The best dry bags 2018: from tiny waterproof packs to mammoth storage sacks

Keep your outdoor gear and clothing safe with our pick of the best dry bags to suit a range of budgets and active pursuits

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There's no getting around it: wet clothing and utterly soaked outdoor gear (that's not meant to get wet) sucks. There's no excuse for it, either. Not when you have one of the best dry bags in the outdoors for protecting your kit, whatever you're getting up to out there in the wild.

Yes, whether you're canoeing, kayaking, mountaineering, abseiling down waterfalls or trekking across streams and rivers in the pouring rain, these dry sacks and bags will protect your gadgets and clothes from water.

The two main consideration points you’re likely to encounter in your quest to find the best dry bag for you are material and closure type. When it comes to the former, you’ll tend to see a lot of vinyl. And we're not talking the kind you spin on a turntable...

Vinyl is generally used for smaller, packable dry bags that can be stowed inside larger bags. There's also nylon, which is a little sturdier in the face of water, plus scrapes from rock and debris. 

Closure types basically come down to either zipper seals or roll-tops, both of which are pretty self-explanatory.

Our current top pick for the best dry bag is the SealLine Boundary Pack ,  chosen for its huge capacity, certified waterproofing, and its ability to perform as an all-round travel bag for outdoor use. 

To learn more about the Boundary Pack, and to pick up a few extra recommendations, check out our guide to the best dry bags of the year...

The best dry bags to buy right now

The best dry bags: SealLine Boundary Portage Pack 115L

1. SealLine Boundary Portage Pack 115L

The best dry bag for packing in large amounts of outdoor gear

Specifications
Best for: Heavy loads
Material: PVC-free PU-coated polyester, scrim-reinforced urethane
Closure: Roll-top
Volume: 115L
Reasons to buy
+Lateral pull straps for compression+Ventilated shoulder straps+Superb storage options
Reasons to avoid
-Bulbous anchor point

With a whopping 115-litre capacity, this tried and tested dry bag provides a watertight home for all of your outdoors kit. Best suited to canoeing and canyoneering, the Boundary Portage Pack by SealLine is built to withstand rough and tumble, on and off the water.

It's comfortable to wear and carry too, thanks to adjustable padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap and a webbing waist built to distribute the load more evenly. 

Compression straps are also on hand to help you pack in even more gear, and to keep that DrySeal roll top closure sealed tight against any rain or incoming water. Welded seams keeps the wet stuff out.

The Boundary Portage Pack is our current top pick for the best dry bags because it's hardy, built to last, fully waterproof and simply to adjust for maximum comfort.

The best dry bags: Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack

2. Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack 35L

A highly durable waterproof pack for lighter loads

Specifications
Best for: Back support
Material: 420-denier nylon
Closure: Roll-top
Volume: 35L
Reasons to buy
+Solid construction+Comfortable shoulder straps
Reasons to avoid
-Waist strap loosens easily

With its backpack design, this hydraulic daypack from Sea to Summit seeks to offer one of the most comfortable carrying experiences out there. 

With proper adjustable shoulder straps and even a chest harness, it’s a neat case of 'dry bag meets hiking bag', making it ideal for long walks in the rain, or for stream crossings to a remote launch site for your paddle board. 

The Hydraulic Dry Pack features highly in our best dry bags buyer's guide because of its sturdy fabric and construction, load lifter design and sternum adjustments. That and the roll-top closure performs well as a defence against water infiltration.

The best dry bags: Aqua Quest Mariner Waterproof Dry Bag

3. Aqua Quest Mariner Lightweight Dry Bag 10L+

The best dry bag for wearing like a backpack

Specifications
Best for: Backpack design
Material: PVC fabric
Closure: Roll top
Volume: 10L, 20L, 30L
Reasons to buy
+Comfy backpack style straps+Easy-access roll top design
Reasons to avoid
-Side handle isn't robust enough-Overpacking weakens stitching

While it might not have the adjustability or balancing chest harness of the Sea to Summit Hydraulic Day Pack, the Aqua Quest Mariner is an admirable option if you're after something more akin to a waterproof backpack. 

For those days when the 35-litre capacity of our previous pick might be overkill, Aqua Quest's 10 and 20-litre options may be more fitting.

There’s a duffel-like side handle to this dry bag as well as backpack-style shoulder straps. Their more portable size, as well as the versatile carry options, are just two reasons why the Mariner Lightweight should be on your radar.

The best dry bags: Sea to Summit Big River Luggage organiser

4. Sea to Summit Big River 65L

An absurdly tough dry bag with space to spare

Specifications
Best for: Ruggedness
Material: 420-denier waterproof ripstop nylon
Closure: Roll-top
Volume: 65L
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly hard-wearing+Range of size options
Reasons to avoid
-Needs careful packing to maximise space

If you want a dry bag that’ll swallow a whole heap of your weekend outdoor gear, take a look at the Big River sack, designed with a roll top and clip closure. The interior is white for enhanced visibility, and the tape-sealed seams are almost foolproof.

Sea to Summit's second offering in our best dry bags list offers a sizeable 65-litre storage capacity and a shell of hard-as-nails 420D ripstop nylon to ensure no water gets in and to keep it safe from tears.

65 litres is the maximum capacity you can buy this best dry bags contender in, but the Big River comes in much small versions too, starting with a dinky three-litre version, which is ideal for housing small gadgets and your phone.

Granite Gear 7-Liter Event Uberlight CTF3 Drysack

5. Granite Gear eVent Uberlight CTF3 Drysack

The best dry bag for seeing at a glance what's inside

Specifications
Best for: Super lightweight
Material: PVC fabric
Closure: Roll-top
Volume: 7L
Reasons to buy
+Ultra lightweight+Breathable fabric
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive compared to some

The eVent dry sack from Granite Gear is a nervous packer’s dream, as it looks a little like a waterproof poncho with its colourful yet clear material that enables you to see everything stuffed inside. 

The dry bag also has the added beauty of nixing the sweatiness that some rubberised materials can cause. It does this via a breathable base that lets excess air escape even when the roll top is closed tight.