If you’re looking for the best dry bags for kayaking, you’ve come to the right place! Keeping your paddling gear dry and protected while on the water is more complicated than packing zip lock bags, but using this guide you’re sure to have success. Here at Seaside Planet, we take pride in giving you ultimate and unbiased gear reviews to ensure your adventure is the best yet. Whether you’re kayaking through the majestic Prince William Sound in Alaska, or paddling the waters of the Everglades National Park, we’re here to help you achieve the ultimate kayaking adventure.
Here are the 6 best functional and protective dry bags for kayaking and a buyer’s guide to help you choose which is right for your adventure:
Best Dry Bags for Kayaking Reviewed
1. MARCHWAY Floating and Waterproof Dry Bag
The MARCHWAY floating and waterproof dry bag is a lightweight, compact and highly durable protection for your gear. It’s made from a ripstop tarpaulin, and designed with sturdy welded seams to ensure longevity in its use. This material is constructed to withstand use in marine environments, and it prevents tearing, ripping, and punctures. This type of durability is essential for extreme adventures like kayaking.
Along with a quality and durable build, this dry bag comes with a waterproof guarantee. While it’s not submersible, it does provide a watertight seal and roll-top closure system to provide ultimate security for your gear inside. This seal is great for keeping out water, sand, dirt and even snow. Additionally, the bag is easy to operate, and to clean and maintain. Simply put gear inside, roll tightly closed 3 to 5 times and plug buckle to complete the seal. The closure process is very quick, and the dry bag can be wiped down easily to clean because of its smooth and resistant surface.
The MARCHWAY dry bag comes in a variety of sizes and colors to suit your individual needs. Additionally, this dry bag is great for a variety of ocean sports. Because it floats, it’s perfect for paddle boarding, boating, canoeing, surfing and more!
2. Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
The Earth Pak waterproof dry bag is highly rated and reviewed for it’s reliable protection and durability in marine environments. Designed for ultimate longevity in use, this bag is constructed to withstand rugged adventures while keeping your gear inside protected and dry.
This product comes in two different styles with a variety of sizes to choose from. The 10 liter and 20 liter options feature a single shoulder strap for easy carrying, while the 30, 40 and 55 liter options are equipped with backpack style shoulder straps and a sternum strap for ultimate hands-free portability. Additionally, the 55 liter option has a heavy-duty waist belt that relieves pressure on your body and helps support the weight of the load.
An added bonus to this dry bag is the certified waterproof phone case that comes included. It’s a 6.5 inch case that fits a wide variety of phone types, with a simple snap and lock access and dual-sided clear windows that allow camera use on the water. Additionally, it comes in a variety of 8 different colors to suit your aesthetic preference and individual personality. This bag was featured by New York Times Bestseller because of its versatile use for fun adventures sports.
3. Kast King Waterproof Dry Storage Bag
The Kast King waterproof dry bag has an innovative design that’s ideal for seeing your gear inside without unpacking. The clear see-through window panel on the front of the bag is a unique feature you won’t find in many dry bag styles, one of the many reasons this bag is so highly rated and reviewed. Additionally, it’s double layer tough and durable design offers ample security for items inside. It’s made of a 100% waterproof 500D PVC material, and has welded seams for ultimate protection.
The removable and adjustable shoulder straps on this product make carrying this compression dry sack a breeze. Along it it’s portability and durability, it also has a unique water-tight double overlap roll top closure which provides maximum protection for your belongings inside. In addition to the waterproof design, it’s also constructed to withstand other elements and is snow proof, sand proof and dust proof. With this bag you’ll feel confident exploring rivers, paddling the shore, or even getting caught in a rainstorm.This bag is available in 3 different sizes, and comes in a wide variety of fun and bright colors. It’s also designed to maintain it’s protection to gear inside for quick submersion, and it can also even be used as an emergency flotation device in the event of any emergency. It is not meant to replace your personal flotation device, but simply to add an extra safety measure on the water.
4. Wild Paces Floating and Waterproof Dry Bag Set
The Wild Paces dry bag set is ideal for kayakers who want plenty of protection for their gear, and a convenient way to access it. Featuring a set of 3 different sized bags, a 2, 5, and 10 liters, all bags feature fasteners with durable rings which allow them to be attached to each other, or to kayak or belt. Because of the smaller size and ease in transport of the bags, they’re great for day kayaking trips. Different bag sizes allow you to separate and organize your belongings inside, and keep gear protected throughout the day.
The super lightweight and compact design of these compression sacks is ideal for an adventurer on the go. The durable technical fabric used in it’s construction ensures long lasting waterproof protection for the items you’re carrying inside. Additionally, the buckle closure and roll-top closure system offers maximum resistance to water getting inside, and it provides floating storage to keep everything protected on the go.
Along with being a budget friendly and convenient option on this list, these bags also come with adjustable shoulder straps for comfortable carrying. While these bags are a reliable, functional and durable option, they’re not designed for full submersion and they don’t come in a variety of colors.
5. IDRYBAG Waterproof Backpack Floating Dry Bag
The IDRYBAG waterproof backpack is an innovative and unique dry bag that’s design for ultimate protection and ease in use. Designed using 500D vinyl-coated woven polyester and welded, watertight seams, this dry sack is the perfect combination of quality, durability and protection for your gear inside.
Along with a durable build, this dry bag features a convenient and splash-proof front zip pocket for securing smaller items or those you’ll need easy access to without opening the bag. The zipper closure design means water can enter this pouch, which should be taken into consideration when you choose what to put in it. While this small pouch may not be waterproof, the large compartment is. It’s also easy to use. Simply load your gear in, use the convenient roll-top closure 3 or 4 times, and clasp the buckle to complete the seal. Additionally, this bag features a stretched strap over the zipped clip for a more compressed fit, and it’s easy to clean by simply wiping it down with water or a gentle detergent.
Carrying this dry bag is the ultimate convenience because it features both handles for hand carrying and backpack straps for hands-free carrying. It’s 20 liter design can be carried by handle, or like a backpack with the two back straps. Additionally, this bag is available in 4 different colors, each of which feature a 5 ½ inch x 1 ⅖ inch reflective stripe for added visibility on the water.
6. Boncas Waterproof Dry Bag
The durable and solid construction of the Boncas waterproof dry bag is one of the many reasons it’s highly rated and reviewed by happy customers. It’s made using heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin, strong and durable plastic buckles and D-rings for ample protection for your gear inside. Additionally, the roll-top closure system and secure seams ensure water stays out and items inside stay dry.
The large circular base of this dry bag gives an incredible amount of compartment space inside, and the back pocket is great for storing items you need quick access to on the go. Along with the back pocket, this bag also has a front mesh bag that’s designed for holding damp items like a swimsuit or water shoes. In addition, it also comes with a waterproof phone case that allows you to capture photos and video while in the water.
Featuring comfortable, adjustable and removable backpack style shoulder straps, this dry pack is easy to transport and allows you to be hands-free on the go. It’s also equipped with a durable hook for securing the bag to your kayak in rough water or weather to prevent it from going overboard. This dry bag is a perfect combination of convenience and durability for water adventures, and a great addition to your kayaking gear.
Choosing A Dry Bag for Kayaking Adventures: A Buyer’s Guide
Choosing the best dry bag for your kayaking adventure starts with understanding what gear you’ll be carrying inside, and the environment you’ll be using the bag in. Here are several important bag features to search for when deciding which dry bag to invest in:
Wearability and Portability
Kayaking is a fun adventure sport that requires free hands for paddling, carrying gear and exploring lush marine environments. This makes a dry bag that’s highly wearable ideal for those who are on the go while on the kayak. If you plan to only carry the bag to and from the shore, on the other hand, and keep it stored in the kayak otherwise, then a dry bag with handles or straps will work great.
Standard dry bags are great for many kayakers, while those who plan to get on foot or go for a hike along the way may benefit from a wearable bag. This style of bag will feature backpack straps and body adjustments to keep the bag secure and comfortable throughout your adventure. This style of wearable bag often features waist straps that are great for exploring on foot comfortably and easily.
Things to look for when choosing the portability of your dry bag:
- Carrying Handles
- Waist Strap
- Backpack Straps
Bag Weight and Capacity
Kayaking dry bags come in a variety of different sizes, and you’ll want to choose the one that’s right for the gear you’ll be carrying along. Dry bag sizes range from small and convenient, to large and high capacity.
A general size range for kayaking dry bags you’ll find on the market:
- Small: 1-10 liters
- Medium: 10-20 liters
- Large: 20-55 liters
While large dry bags offer ample room for storage and plenty of room for all your kayaking gear needs, this size bag is often excessive for convenience and portability. A bag that’s too small, on the other hand, won’t offer room for you to easily carry your kayaking essentials. Kayaking dry bags for a day adventure are typically around 20 liters, which offers plenty of room to hold gear, while not too big to interfere with your mobility on the water.
Visibility On and Off the Water
Kayaking gear like dry bags are often available in a variety of bright, neon and pastel colors, as well as more natural tones of greens, browns and blacks. While gear that matches the surrounding environment is great for blending in with the natural world around you, it’s not ideal for kayaking safety on the water. It’s worth investing in a highly visible for the following reasons:
- Easy to Spot if Lost in the Water
- Attracts Attention in an Emergency
- Helps You be Seen by Other Boaters, Kayakers and Vessels
As well as a brightly colored bag, look for an option that has reflectors on it for increased visibility. This is especially important in low-light conditions, ensuring other vessels are aware of your presence on the water. For more water safety tips, check out this article.
Kayaking dry bags are typically made of the following materials:
- Ripstop Tarpaulin
The materials of a dry bag need to be durable and hydrophobic to ensure longevity for many kayak adventures to come, and to protect gear inside. These bags are typically made of nylon, polyester or vinyl, ensuring your valuables are safe inside. Choose an option that features lightweight and durable materials for the ultimate kayaking adventure.
The shape of the kayaking dry bag you choose should reflect the gear you’ll be carrying inside of it. Kayaking gear can include:
- Kayak Anchor
- Kayak Gloves
- Waterproof Camera
- Kayak Coolers
- Water Shoes for Kayaking
- Portable and Waterproof Speaker
Knowing what you’ll be carrying along on your adventure will help you to decide which dry bag is best for your needs on the water. For clothing and other soft gear, cylinder shaped bags work great and make transport a breeze. On the other hand, if you’ll be carrying more rigid and shapely gear, like a waterproof radio or anchor, a rectangular dry bag shape may be best for your needs.
While dry bags are designed to be waterproof, not all bags are designed to be submerged. If you think your bag may be submerged at any point during your adventure, make sure to invest in one that’s constructed to do so. Bags that are made to protect valuables from splashing and rain, won’t be ideal for an adventure that takes the bag underwater. Choose an option that’s designed to withstand this water pressure to ensure you protect your gear inside.
A key characteristic of submersible dry bags to look for is that they feature a lock-and-seal opening and closure where air can be sucked out. Bags that aren’t constructed to be submersible will most often feature zippers or even nylon drawstrings for closure. While submersible bags aren’t a necessity for all, they’re a great tool for beginners who may, by accident, end up in the water.
Kayak Storage Space
Consider what style of kayak you have, and the size of it’s storage space, before choosing which dry bag size is best for you. The space where you’re intending to secure the bag during your adventure will determine the size of the bag that will fit conveniently while paddling.
If your kayak features a separate storage space, you’ll likely be able to conveniently store a larger dry bag filled with gear, as there’s designated space to do so. Keep in mind, you will likely also have other kayaking gear that will take up room in this compartment. If your bag will need to be stored in the cockpit with you, on the other hand, a smaller bag size will be ideal to keep you comfortable and highly mobile.
Kayaking is an exhilarating marine adventure that is great for a variety of skill levels, even those novice to the sport. The best dry bag for keeping your gear protected while kayaking will depend on your needs on the water. Consider what items you’ll need to keep dry and protected, and whether a small, medium or large sized bag is best for you. You may even need a few different sized bags for a variety of gear, but each kayaker’s needs will be different. Use this guide and our recommendations for the best kayaking dry bags on the market today to get you paddling in no time!
Has this article helped you to choose which dry sack is right for you? Are you planning an epic kayaking adventure and want to share it with us? Join the Seaside Planet Community and share your thoughts or questions in the comment section below!
For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, please visit the following articles.
Megan Jones leads the editorial staff of Seaside Planet. They are a multidisciplinary team of outdoor adventurers, water sports lovers, and passionate beach goers. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.