Best dry bags 2022: keep your belongings safe and dry

Our pick of the best dry bags for stashing your valuables when SUPing, kayaking, or just trekking through a downpour

Included in this guide:

best dry bags: Aqua Quest MARINER
(Image credit: Aqua Quest)

Looking for the best dry bag to keep your kit safe and dry? Read on. A waterproof bag is an essential if you're embarking on any kind of water-based activity and need somewhere to stash your belongings, but can also come in handy for general outdoors adventures in unreliable weather. 

In this guide we've rounded up the best dry bags to buy now. There are neat packs designed to be tucked under the bungee chords of today's best paddle boards, bright dry bags on tethers designed to float behind you on a wild swim, and waterproof backpacks that are easy to sling on your back on a hike. 

There are three things to think about when deciding which of the best dry bags to buy: size, material, and closure type. Size-wise, choose a high capacity backpack if you plan to go trekking or kayaking, though much smaller if you're cycling or just planning a jaunt to the beach/resort pool. For materials, you'll see a lot of vinyl, though sturdy nylon materials are now appearing that have a much soft, less industrial (and less shiny) look, while remaining waterproof. 

However, what most of the best dry bags have in common is a roll-top closure. Although you will also see sealed zippers, roll-tops that must be rolled three or four times before being sealed using clips is a common and highly effective way to keep out water. 

All of these picks will protect your belongings, keeping everything from your clothes to your action camera to your sleeping bag safe, whether you're facing water, sand, dust, humidity, or just a sloppy baggage handler. 

The best dry bags to buy right now

Aquapac 25 litre Wet & Dry back on white backgroundpack

(Image credit: Aquapac)

The best dry bag for SUP, hiking and more

Material: PU-coated fabric
Closure: roll-top
Volume: 25L
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight yet very roomy+Removable seat pad+Padded shoulder straps
Reasons to avoid
-Inner bag isn't a standalone dry bag

Our top pick for best dry bag right now is the Aquapac Wet & Dry rucksack. This roomy roll-top boasts plenty of features that make it a great choice for a range of activities. Padded shoulder straps make it comfy to sling on your back when hiking or cycling, and these even a removable seat pad built in. It's lightweight yet roomy enough to stash your valuables, a change of clothes, your lunch and even a 17″ laptop, and the external mesh pockets provide the perfect home for your water bottle. There's a full-sized internal pocket that enables you to separate wet and dry things (or clean and dirty things). If we're nit-picking, we'd like this to function as a separate dry bag. Head to our Aquapac Wet & Dry rucksack review for more info. 

Overboard Waterproof Dry Flat Bag

(Image credit: Overboard)

2. Overboard Waterproof Dry Flat Bag

The best small dry bag for protecting valuables

Material: nylon ripstop-PU coated fabric
Closure: roll-top
Volume: 5L
Reasons to buy
+Floats if dropped in water+Removable shoulder strap+Folds-up to pocket size
Reasons to avoid
-Strictly for small items

Even if you're hauling a lot of gear on a kayak or a yacht, you're occasionally going to need easy access to your phone, camera, documents or hat. Cue the great value Overboard Dry Flat Bag, a handy – and hard to miss – ripstop nylon fabric bag that's as super-light as it is versatile. Folding to almost nothing when not in use, it's got a carabiner to clip to a belt or other bags or equipment, and when full it can be worn across the body thanks to a clip-on adjustable shoulder strap. Although it's designed for beach, boat, surf and scuba trips – and even floats if dropped on water – it also works well as a way of keeping your essential possessions 100% dry inside any regular hiking backpack

Waterproof Tele Compression bags in three sizes

(Sizes not to scale)

(Image credit: Drybags)

3. Waterproof Tele Compression bag

The best dry bag for space-saving packing

Material: nylon
Closure: roll-top
Volume: 13l, 19l or 36l
Reasons to buy
+Great quality +Straps plus vent great for compression+Will withstand 10,000m water column
Reasons to avoid
-Not submersible

The best dry bags for slinging into a hiking backpack to keep your belongings safe and dry are these Tele Compression bags from Drybags. We've tried one out, and it's now a permanent fixture for all packing situations. While you shouldn't take these for a swim, they are still very waterproof, and will certainly keep your sleeping bag, down jacket, or electronic devices safely dry in a downpour. As well as being a great place to slash any luggage items that don't like the wet, these kinds of dry bags are great for keeping your stuff organised within a larger rucksacks. And these ones are perfect for space-saving too: open the vent at the bottom and pull down the adjustable straps to expel any air from the inside of the bag and compress down its contents. There are three sizes to choose from.

SealLine Boundary Dry Pack in three sizes

(Image credit: SealLine)

4. SealLine Boundary Dry Pack

Another excellent dry bag for watersports

Material: vinyl-coated polyester
Closure: roll-top
Volume: 35L, 65L, 115L
Reasons to buy
+Lateral pull straps for compression+Removable shoulder straps+Superb storage options
Reasons to avoid
-No inner pockets

If you're looking for a great basic all-rounder, the best dry bag for you is the SealLine boundary Dry Pack. This waterproof rucksack comes in three different sizes, ranging from a compact 35L right up to 115L. Compression straps are 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.

Great for kayaking and canyoneering, the Boundary Dry bag is built to withstand rough and tumble, on and off the water.The padded, adjustable shoulder straps are removable, making this dry bag flexible to wear as a rucksack or not, depending or what you're doing. If you are lugging gear around, you'll benefit from the updated suspension system, sternum strap and webbing waist, designed to distribute weight better and lighten the load on your shoulders. 

Front and inside of Chrome Industries Urban Ex Rolltop 2.0 backpack on white background

(Image credit: Chrome Industries)

The best waterproof bag for taking to work

Material: 600D poly with PU coating and TPU backing
Closure: roll-top
Volume: 30L
Reasons to buy
+Work-appropriate styling+Padded laptop sleeve+Comfortable and roomy
Reasons to avoid
-Geared towards urban use

If you're not heading off on a paddle board or kayak, but want something that'll keep your work gear and laptop dry as you commute to work in the rain, the Chrome Industries Urban Ex Rolltop 2.0 backpack is the dry bag for you. This smart bag wouldn't be out of place in our general best backpack roundup, but has a trick up its sleeve: it's also fully waterproof. It features a Knurled Welded construction that looks smart but also keeps any water out, alongside a super comfy shoulder harness and reflective loops to keep you visible on your commute. There's a padded laptop sleeve that'll fit a 15" MacBook pro, pockets for valuables, and the rolltop design is good for security too. Check our Chrome Industries Urban Ex Rolltop 2.0 backpack review to see more of what we thought.

Aqua Quest Mariner Waterproof Dry Bag

6. Aqua Quest Mariner Lightweight Dry Bag 10L+

The best budget dry bag

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.

Sea to Summit Big River Luggage organiser

7. Sea to Summit Big River 65L

A tough dry bag with space to spare

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. This Sea to Summit dry bag offers a sizable 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.

Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack

8. Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack 35L

A highly durable waterproof pack for lighter loads

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.

Fjӓllrӓven Ulvo Rolltop 23

(Image credit: Fjӓllrӓven)

9. Fjӓllrӓven Ulvo Rolltop 23

A colourful dry bag for your commute

Material: waterproof ripstop Bergshell 400D 100% polyamide
Closure: roll-top
Volume: 23L
Reasons to buy
+Padded pocket to protect a 15-inch laptop+Compression straps to squash-down+Loop for a bike light
Reasons to avoid
-Not for serious adventures

Here's something from Swedish brand Fjӓllrӓven for urban types who sometimes have to brave the outdoors – and specifically the rain – with tech in tow. A smart-looking daypack complete with a padded area for a 15-inch laptop, a zipped pocket and even pen holders inside, the Ulvo Rolltop 23's most obvious trick is its roll-top closure to keep out downpours. However, although we love its two outside pockets for storing a water bottle and/or umbrella, secret zipped pocket, and loop on the front for a bike light, the Ulvo Rolltop 23 is all about its waterproof, yet soft and smooth (and part-recycled) Bergshell fabric. At 23 litres the Ulvo Rolltop 23 isn't going to take much gear, but for anyone on an urban commute, a light hike or a cycle ride through bad weather it's one of the best-looking options we've seen.