A waterproof dry bag is one of the most multipurpose and functional storage solutions for the outdoors. Waterproof dry sacks for swimming and other water sports are also hugely popular as they prevent soaking wet items from leaking through for easier transportation.
Measured in a liter capacity, you can find many different sizes to hold just the right amount you need. While dry bags always involve a watertight seal, being waterproofed is pretty much essential when you’re trying to keep your possessions dry inside.
These types of bags can be used for such an incredible number of things, like kayaking, canoeing, rafting, camping, hiking, or as a general travel bag with important documents. I’ve personally found great use for these myself in my travels to Thailand during the water festival, Songkran.
They can even be used for something as simple as keeping a drink bottle from leaking. Waterproof dry bag backpacks are massive among outdoor enthusiasts, thanks to their convenience, impermeable properties, and lightweight nature that won’t add more weight to your back.
It can be a struggle to find the right one, even more so one that is truly waterproof. We’ve created this list of the best waterproof dry bags for sale today, so that you can find the perfect one for whatever the use may be.
Top 10 Dry Bags for All Weather Conditions
1. Sea to Summit Ultra-SIL Event Compression Dry Sack
Size: 3.3L, 6L, 10L, 14L, 20L
From Sea to Summit, this is a highly lightweight bag that is designed to compress any bulky items to get the most out of the capacity. Constructed from Ultra-Sil 70D nylon fabric, it has a waterproof rating of over 2000mm, making it highly protective. There is also a silicone lining on the outside, a PU coating on the inside, plus double stitching for even more protection. Its best uses are for backpacking, hiking, and bike packing, but we think it’s versatile enough to use in all kinds of situations.
As well as compressing all the air out, this has a flip-top lid. We think this is a smart design feature because it prevents any straps from tangling, making it easier to take on and off. Further compression is created with the straps that are attached to the lid. They cinch everything down tightly, so you can pack larger items without feeling bulky. With the addition of a Hypalon rolltop closure, everything stays super secure as it’s a watertight seal. The pull handle on the bottom lets you pick it up easily and in a flash.
To ensure wet items don’t cause a build-up of mold or mildew, the eVent material base allows humid air to easily escape. This is hugely important, as it prevents water damage from occurring to your items. Especially with clothes or bathing suits, if they are crammed inside a very small space without airflow, it can start breaking down the fabrics.
- Robust 70D Waterproof Nylon Fabric
- Compression Properties for Maximum Capacity
- Breathable Base Expels Air to Prevent Mildew
2. K3 Poseidon Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack
Capacity: 20L, 30L
This bag from K3 comes in black, yellow, and white with a traditional sack shape to it. Using 500D tarpaulin and RF welded seams, this model has all-weather protection. It’s completely watertight, even the zipper on the outside that leads to the pocket. With a shock-corded zig-zag design on the front, it has a unique look whilst providing functionality. Using the cords, you can squeeze anything that’s in the mesh pouch to make it less bulky.
To carry it with ease on your back, the straps are highly padded. They’re also quite wide, which we like because it lays flatter on the back, adding much more comfort. A chest buckle strap makes it even easier to carry, as it lifts some of the weight off.
To keep the contents snug, the top squishes down slightly and gets closed used a strong buckle. At 2.2 lbs, it’s not the most lightweight out there, but it’s a small sacrifice to take with such a high amount of protection and quality of materials. Another standout for us is the fact that it floats, so it’s perfect for water sports like kayaking and canoeing.
- Highly Durable 500D Tarpaulin Material
- Watertight Welded Seams
- Additional Exterior Storage Compartments
3. Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
Capacity: 5L, 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L – 12 Color Choices
A top pick for kayaking and rafting, this consists of extremely thick ripstop tarpaulin with sturdy welded seams for increased protection. It’s completely scratch, tear, and puncture proof, which is why it is so well suited for intense water travel in flat paddle boats.
Available in 7 sizes, we love the multiple strap orientation options for each one. On the 5L and 10L, there is a single detachable strap that goes over one shoulder, like a messenger bag. For the 20L and 30L, you’ve got double detachable straps, which you can use either as cross-body, or as a backpack.
Finally, the 40L has double non-removable straps, so it works as a backpack and sits comfortably against the back and won’t weigh you down. One each size, the buckle top attachment doubles as a handle, so you can pick it up easily and quickly.
The solid roll-top closure further enhances protection, as it creates a watertight seal. You may lose a little room as you must roll it down 4-5 times, so don’t overfill it. Since the material is so smooth, it’s easy to clean with a simple wipe-down.
- Dense 500D Tarpaulin Fabric with Welded Seams
- Roll-Down Top Provides Watertight Protection
- Various Strap Options for Comfort
4. Aqua Quest Rogue Waterproof Dry Bags
Capacity: 19L, 20L, 30L, 60L, 100L
One of the best outdoors models out there, this version from Aqua Quest comes in camo or olive colors to blend right in with nature. Sporting a classic roll top, it closes with a heavy-duty buckle that ensures the contents remain secure.
We would have liked if this had some sort of handle on it, even some stronger D-rings to connect your own strap, but it is more-so designed to put in a secondary bag. This makes it an ideal choice for backpackers, hikers, and mountaineers, because it’s also very lightweight.
With 70D nylon fabric and a TPU lamination, this is a reliable option that will keep things completely dry inside. It compresses to be quite compact, plus it’s available in so many capacities that you can even make your own 3-piece set to pack items separately.
- Waterproof 70D Nylon & TPU Lining with Heat Taped Seams
- 3 Piece Set is Lightweight 1.2 lbs
- Available in Set of 3 Different Sizes
5. K3 Evolve 20l Dry Bag
Capacity: 20L, 30L
This model from K3 gives you all-weather protection thanks to the heavy-duty 500D tarpaulin. This is combined with RF welded seams that are watertight. Another watertight element is the outer zipper that won’t allow any leaks. A roll top closure is secured with a robust buckle, plus you’ve got a reinforced Dura-Flex aluminium clip that enhances protected even further – it acts as double security.
On the outside, you’ve got a shock cord drawstring system that is attached to a mesh pocket. Both can be used for storage of items that you don’t mind getting wet, like an extra bag, dirty clothes and towels, a wetsuit, and so on.
To carry it around, you’ll find the heavily cushioned back straps. With a chest belt attached, this is very comfortable to transport, even if the contents are heavy. These backpack straps are quick dryings and have sewn-in mesh. This makes them very breathable, so even if they get wet or your clothes are wet, the integrity of the bag won’t be affected.
- All-Weather Protection with 500D Tarpaulin
- Heavily Padded Backpack Straps for Comfort
- 3 Exterior Stash Pockets
6. Piscifun Waterproof Dry Bag
Capacity: 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L
This model from Piscifun is very hard-wearing as it’s made from thick 500D PVC. Rugged welded seams ensure a watertight seal in high stress areas, plus extra vinyl reinforcements.
A heavy-duty buckle closure is made to withstand the harsh conditions of the outdoors, so you don’t need to worry about anything unfastening. This is paired with the roll top system, which creates a tight lid so that moisture can’t enter. All straps are well padded, which makes it much more comfortable to wear.
A front mesh pocket lets you store smaller items, like lake maps, or any other items that you don’t mind getting wet. Connected to this mesh is a drawstring system made from shock cords. It’s handy for holding items outside of the bag, like wet towels that you don’t want to put inside. Coming with 2 straps, you can wear it 3 different ways, which highlights its comfort and convenience. We love the bonus cell phone dry case that has an IPX8 waterproof rating to protect your phone completely when it’s submerged underwater.
- Waterproof & Durable 500D PVC Construction
- Sealed Seams & Reinforced Vinyl Base Increase Protection
- Convenient Exterior Storage Options
7. Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
Capacity: 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L
One of our top picks for travel, all sizes of this bag from Earth Pak fits the carry-on allowance for most airlines. They are very classically designed with a simple tube style that won’t take up much space. The 10L and 20L have a single shoulder strap that allow it to sit across the chest and swing onto your back – convenient for open water activities, day trips, or carrying beach essentials. All the larger sizes feature padded shoulder straps, plus a chest fastening, designed to distribute evenly any large loads.
Welded, leak-proof seams and 500D PVC material make this bag entirely waterproof and resistant to any scuffs or holes. Watertight protection is provided through the rolling closure at the top, which locks down securely with a buckle. If packed correctly, this bag does float, or it can be submerged for a small period.
The side D-rings let you tie down the bag to a raft, boat, or kayak, so you can secure your belongings during intense water sports. This brand has also included a free waterproof and watertight phone case, which has an IPX8 certified rating to protect 6.5” and smaller phones.
- Rugged & Waterproof 500D PVC
- Wide Padded Backpack Straps on 30L & 40L
- Free Waterproof Cell Phone Case Included
8. YETI Hopper Sidekick Dry Bag
Capacity: 40L & 90L
This edition from YETI is more of an add-on than a lone dry bag, hence the name “Sidekick”. It attaches to the Camino Carryall 35, Hopper Soft Coolers, and Panga Backpack from the same brand, but you can pop it in your bag or loop it onto any backpack or even your pants. We’ve chosen it because it’s a great small model that’s perfect to put much smaller items like your phone, portable chargers, wallet, keys, and anything else you can fit.
With a lack of zippers, snaps, or roll tops, it’s incredibly simple to use. It opens effortlessly with a hook-and-loop flap and magnet design. In fact, it seems to seal so quickly that it can fill up with air, so make sure to squeeze it out whilst closing it.
In addition to waterproof, this is very resistant to wear-and-tear, so it won’t puncture or rip, and it’s also UV-resistant. Attaching it to other bags or straps is easy, with the patented HitchPoint Grid system. The re-welded seams are great because they increase the protection level, creating a watertight closure.
- Waterproof & Robust DryHide Shell
- HydroShield Closure & Re-Welded Seams for Added Protection
- Great Accessory Size 11.7” x 7.1” x 3.2”
9. Leader Accessories Waterproof Dry Bag
Capacity: 5L, 10L, 15L, 20L, 30L, 40L, 55L
This bag fully floats with a tough vinyl polyester construction and watertight seams. An airtight roll top design ensures even more protection, and it can be submerged quickly without leaking.
Carrying each size is a breeze with different straps to accommodate to the sizes. From 5L to 20L, you’ve got a single shoulder strap that’s quite long, and can be adjusted to fit more comfortably. The 30L has double straps, which can be used as either cross-body or as a backpack. Finally, the 2 largest sizes have huge padded back straps plus a chest belt for stability.
As well as the straps, there are 2 handles on each one. First is the natural handle that is made by the top buckle, and the second is on the side. Having multiple options makes portability so much easier. If you’re in a rush, or the bag has fallen over the edge of a flat boat, simply snatch it up in a few seconds from several angles. The side handle doubles as an attachment with a D-ring, so you can hook it to a boat, or another bag.
- Heavy-Duty Vinyl-Polyester Trilaminate Materials
- Able to Float Plus Suitable for Rapid Submersion
- Multiple Strap Designs for Comfort
10. Unigear Waterproof Dry Bag
Capacity: 2L, 5L, 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L
Our last pick is a budget friendly version from Unigear. It maintains the same simple and traditional tube form, with various strap options to conveniently carry. Use the top handle, in the cross-body style, or on the back for the 30L and 40L sizes. The 40L has the most heavy-duty straps, with an added chest buckle part to take pressure off the back.
Made from 500D eco-friendly PVC material, this is completely waterproof and abrasion resistant. The roll-top closure is watertight, plus it protects from any dust, sand, or dirt from entering. On top of all that, welded seams ensure that no moisture can seep through.
When packed correctly and air fully pushed out, this can float on water, making it perfect for water sports. For a long lifespan, the buckle and D-rings have been upgraded with POM material, which is stronger than traditional buckles. While heavy-duty in quality, it’s still quite light so it won’t weigh you down.
- Waterproof 500D PVC & Anti-Leak Welded Seams
- Shoulder Straps For 2L-20L & Backpack Straps For 30L-40L
- Available in 10 Colors and 6 Sizes
How to Choose the Best Waterproof Dry Bag
The fabrics that are used need to be extremely strong for 2 reasons. The first is obviously to prevent water from getting through, to keep things completely dry inside. The other reason is to withstand the frequent wear-and-tear that can occur outdoors. Your bag will probably get thrown around, will need to rest on rough ground, or hit rocks if it’s floating in water, so you want something that will hold up against harsh conditions.
Here are the most commonly used materials:
- Nylon – this is heavy duty and flexible, so you can fit a little more than usual. It’s also quite lightweight.
- Tarpaulin – somewhat of a combination of nylon and PVC, this feels very thick and is highly durable.
- PVC – 500D PVC is one of the most popular because it’s also extremely durable. It’s thick, rugged, and highly abrasion and puncture resistant.
- Vinyl – another thick, very long-lasting material that is also completely waterproof and resistant to rips and cuts.
Double stitching or welded seams are certainly something to look out for. Seams are often weak spots, so they must be reinforced to prevent easy leaks.
Another element is the roll-top closure. The buckles should be heavy-duty, and the rolls need to create a firm seal. This is where you’ll see “watertight” or “airtight” because it won’t allow any water to get inside. Sometimes you’ll also have a magnet closure at the top, which is just an added element of protection. If zippers are a factor, ensure that they are also watertight to avoid leaks.
These bags should be comfortably to carry because you’ll probably be transporting heavier items, like wetsuits, towels, electronics, clothes, survival gear, a tent, sleeping bag, and so on.
Most smaller sizes, or at least up to 20L, will use a single shoulder strap. Anything larger should have backpack straps, and they should be padded for cushioning. Other handles are a must, because you might find it annoying to sling over your back every time.
Here are our ideas for some common items that are packed in popular sizes (but of course, pack whatever you need and what will fit, check our safety guide for more):
- 10L – great for smaller possessions for a shorter trip. Mobile phone, keys, wallet, towel, toiletries, camera, water bottle, etc.
- 20L – suitable for most shoes, your clothes, a tablet or laptop, food, books, survival gear, etc.
- 30L – ideal for longer trips. Survival gear, camping pad, pillow, food containers, clothes, etc.
- 40L – best for longest trips. You can pack 2 people’s clothes, wetsuit, small air mattress, sleeping bag, towels, etc.
Exterior pockets aren’t common due to the materials used, but some models have outer splash pockets made of mesh or with a watertight zipper.
Reflective strips are a cool element and aren’t necessary, but they help a lot in the dark. Some D-ring parts are convenient for attaching the bag to a boat or another bag.
Some versions come with a clear, waterproof phone pouch. Since it can be difficult to access your phone when the bag is rolled shut, having this phone case is a huge benefit.
How to Keep Stuff Dry with a Dry Bag
It’s very important to use and seal a dry bag properly, otherwise your valuables and electronics can get wet and damaged. The basic anatomy of a dry bag is that of a bucket, with a tube-like shape and a rounded bottom. The large majority will have a roll-top closure with a buckle at the top.
These are our best tips for closing one the right way, as well as some other safety bits:
- When packing your items, make sure that it’s not overfilled. You want to leave some room at the top to be able to roll the closure part down properly.
- Squeeze as much air out as possible.
- While rolling the top down, keep any air out. ensure they are clean folds.
- In order to get the best dry seal, you want to get at least 3 folds. If you can fit more, that’s even better.
- Once you’re done rolling, simply bring the buckles together and connect. For a super tight seal, I personally like to add one more little twist at the end, turning one of the buckles upside-down. It adds some torsion to the closure, making things extra dry.
- Most of these bags can float but check with the manufacturer first. This is a great feature because your bag may fall into water whilst boating or rough white-water sports.
- With the right closure method, most can be fully submerged. However, we strongly suggest also checking with the manufacture as some models can only go underwater for a short period of time.
- When packing your bag, put essentials at the top. For instance, if you’re travelling on a river in the dark, put your torch at the top for easy access.
- For sleeping bags, camping pads, and so on, ensure that they are packed tightly without any air gaps.
- For loose items, or if you just want more organisation, one of our top tips is using a few mesh bags because they make things more compact.
- Don’t pack any breakables, like glass bottles, as they may scratch or puncture the material inside if the bag gets thrown around.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Waterproof Dry Bag?
It is a type of container-like bag that has a watertight seal for keeping valuables and gear dry. They are very popular for water sports like rafting and kayaking, but they have many uses, like travelling on boats, fishing, and camping.
How Waterproof are Dry Bags?
They are extremely waterproof due to the special materials and construction; however, we recommend checking with the manufacturer whether it can be submerged underwater. Some can only go under for several seconds or minutes.
Can You Submerge a Dry Bag Underwater?
This depends on the brand, materials, and design of the bag. Some cannot withstand prolonged immersion underwater. If you’re worried about this, you could pack your items in smaller watertight pouches, and then putting them in the full-size bag.
Should Dry Bags Float?
When packed and rolled correctly, having squeezed all the air out, your bag should float just fine. Again, check with the brand first before assuming if it can float.
Conclusion on Dry Bags
No matter if you’re an outdoor water sports enthusiast, or simply need something to keep your everyday items dry, a waterproof dry bag is a huge necessity for providing the best protection against leaks. Thanks to their multi-functionality, dry sacks with waterproof properties will keep electronics, clothes, and other valuables dry in even the wettest conditions.
They also prevent any wet gear from seeping through to the surface of the bag, preventing damage to other belongings. The models on our list were chosen based on their great quality, unique features, and interesting designs.
We’ve covered a large range of brands and styles to suit all kinds of people, so we’re sure you can find one that will perfectly suit your needs.