When heading out on the water, we all have essential items we want to bring along, like phones, wallets, and keys. However, the last thing we want is for everything to get wet. This is where waterproof dry bags come in handy. They allow us to bring our belongings on our paddleboards without worrying about splashing or capsizing causing any damage.
Choosing the Right Size Dry Bag
The first question to consider is what size dry bag you need. It’s important to think about what you plan to bring with you and choose a size accordingly. It’s always a good idea to go slightly larger than you think, especially if the bag has a roll-top closure, as this can take up some space. Dry bags are typically measured in liters, indicating their internal volume.
- 1-4L bags are perfect for the bare essentials like your phone, keys, wallet, sunscreen, and a small snack.
- 5-10L bags can also accommodate a jacket, water bottle(s), a pack towel, and a small first aid kit.
- 10-20L bags are medium-sized and can hold a change of clothes, a jacket, and even cameras in small padded inserts.
- 20-50L bags are larger and ideal for paddlers going on overnight trips, allowing you to pack additional clothing, sleeping bags, or camping equipment.
- 50-80L bags are extra-large and suitable for multi-day trips, colder weather overnights, or larger bulky items like a double-wide sleeping bag.
For most people, a 10-20L dry bag is sufficient for a day on the water. It provides plenty of space without the worry of everything fitting in. If you’re buying your first dry bag, starting with this size range is a great option.
Best Dry Bags Comparison Chart
Top-Rated Dry Bags
- Sea to Summit Big River: Available in various sizes ranging from 5 to 65 liters, the Big River Dry Bags strike the perfect balance between durability and weight. Made with ripstop nylon outer fabric and a white TPU membrane interior, these bags keep your belongings dry and easy to find. The reinforced bottoms prevent rolling, and the D-rings and daisy chain webbing loops offer easy securing options. Compatible with an adjustable shoulder strap sling, they ensure convenient transportation and use.
- Watershed Ocoee: If you’re looking for a heavy-duty dry bag with a large opening, the Watershed Ocoee is your go-to choice. Made from a polyurethane coated fabric, this bag can withstand tough conditions without showing signs of wear. Its triple-layered fabric edges and RF welded joints ensure waterproofness. The ZipDry closure system opens and closes securely, and the wide zipper-style opening provides easy access to your equipment. With compression straps, a padded handle, and heavy-duty tabs, it offers secure and convenient attachment options.
- Sea to Summit Big River Backpack: Combining the design and construction of the Big River Dry Bags with added functionality, the Big River Dry Backpack is the perfect solution for those in need of additional space and easy transport. Available in 50 and 75-liter sizes, it features a padded backpack harness with adjustable torso length settings, load-adjustment straps, and a multi-position adjustable sternum strap. It comfortably accommodates bulky items on longer trips and fits easily on most paddle boards.
- Atoll Overkill Dry Bag Fanny Pack: When you want to bring just the essentials on the water, the Atoll Overkill comes to the rescue. This TPU-coated waterproof fanny pack is compact yet spacious enough to hold your phone, keys, wallet, and snacks. With compression straps and daisy chain loops, it securely attaches to your board’s cargo bungees or D-rings. Available in black and heather gray, it offers style and functionality.
- Fidlock Medi: If you need a reliable phone case dry bag, the Fidlock Medi is a perfect choice. Its clear plastic pouch allows you to use your phone without any limitation, including taking photos and videos. The magnetic closure system ensures security, automatically closing itself when not held open. With a nylon neck strap, you can keep your phone at hand without worrying about dropping it overboard.
- Sea to Summit Evac HD: For those who need to pack large, bulky items, the Sea to Summit Evac Compression Dry Bag HD is an ideal solution. Using TPU-coated waterproof fabric and a roll-top closure system, it offers exceptional durability. The compression cap and four compression straps allow you to shrink the bag to half of its original length. The Cordura and eVent fabric bottom allows air to be squeezed out while maintaining waterproofness.
As you become more adventurous in your paddleboarding endeavors, you’ll find yourself accumulating dry bags. Among the various options available, Sea to Summit dry bags stand out for their exceptional quality and functionality. Whether you need a medium-sized bag or a heavy-duty backpack, Sea to Summit offers a wide range of options to suit your needs.
Make sure to check out East Coast Paddle Sports, where you can find a fantastic selection of dry bags and other paddleboarding essentials. If you have any questions about dry bags, feel free to leave a comment below!