15 Best Dry Bags for Kayaking and Canoeing to Keep Things Dry 

Best Dry Bags for Kayaking and Canoeing to Keep Things Dry

Short on time? Our pick for the best dry bag for kayaking and canoeing is the Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

Keep your belongings dry on kayaking and paddling trips with one of the best dry bags for kayaking!

When you’re boating a small vessel like a canoe or kayak, the chances of capsizing or getting water inside the boat are a bit higher. 

For avid paddlers, this can be par for the course. While this isn’t the end of the world on a lake or river, it could destroy your belongings.

So what is a kayaker to do? You can’t just leave your belongings onshore. The solution is a quality dry bag.

A dry bag is precisely what it sounds like: a waterproof bag. And while there are multiple types of dry bags to choose from, they all use a flexible, waterproof outer material with sealed seams. 

Many dry bags also float so that if you do capsize, you’ll be able to grab your belongings quickly, and they won’t get lost beneath murky waters.

If you’re a canoeist or kayaker, a dry bag is a must-have piece of gear. But with so many choices, it might be hard to decide on the best dry bag for kayaking. 

Luckily, I’ve rounded up this list of excellent options, and I’ll go into more detail about my top pick at the end!

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

Kayaking Dry Bags

#1 Chaos Ready Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack

Chaos Ready Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack

Size: 22 liters
Materials: 500 PVC Tarpaulin
Star rating: 4.6/5
Best for: People who love water sports and hiking.

Backpacks are an excellent choice for anyone with an on-the-go, adventurous lifestyle. They’re easy to carry while hiking and trekking, and they leave your hands free when you’re paddling. The Chaos Ready Waterproof Dry Bag makes an excellent dry pack for kayaking that you can easily toss over your shoulders when you’re out of your boat.

This water-resistant backpack has 22 liters of interior space and padded straps for extra comfort. 

The main body of the bag uses a waterproof PVC material called tarpaulin, and it features high-frequency welded seams to ensure that the interior is watertight. 

It’s also fully submersible, and it will float. Additionally, the roll-top closure lets you seal the bag and prevent any moisture from entering quickly.

So, if your kayak rolls over or the bag falls overboard for any reason, it will not only keep the contents dry but will also be easy to retrieve. 

There are mesh pockets on either side for stowing water bottles that are easy to reach. 

The one downside to this bag is that the front pocket, while water-resistant, is not completely waterproof like the rest of the bag. So, it’s not a great place for valuables. 

However, it’s a handy spot to store things you might want to grab quickly, like trail mix or other snacks.

This dry bag is also very reasonably priced, and Chaos Ready offers a lifetime warranty so you can feel extra confident about your purchase.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Submersible and bouyant
  • Easy roll-top closure

CONS

  • The front pocket is not fully waterproof
  • Slightly less durable than more expensive competitors

#2 Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack

Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack

Size: 20 liters
Materials: PU-coated 70-denier nylon
Star rating: 4.7/5
Best for: Seasoned kayakers and canoeists looking for a dependable bag.

The Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack is the first Sea to Summit dry bag on this list, but it certainly won’t be the last! 

That’s because Sea to Summit makes so many high-quality, durable bags, and they’re a go-to brand when it comes to dry bags for kayakers.

The Lightweight Dry Sack is a cylindrical-style dry bag that can hold a volume of 20 liters. Thanks to a nylon body, it’s also exceptionally lightweight compared to other dry bags of similar size. 

The material is 70-diner nylon, which is a very close weave, and it has a polyurethane coating to ensure its water-repellence. The outer material is available in three colors: red, blue, and yellow.

And if that’s not enough, fully taped seams and a watertight roll-top help make these dry bags waterproof.

Another exciting feature is the bright white lining. If you’ve ever had to dig through a dark, tube-shaped bag in search of a particular item, then you know how hard it can be to see what you’re looking for.

The white lining helps illuminate the bag’s contents, giving you a better chance at finding your belongings. 

Finally, a D-ring allows you to attach this lightweight dry sack to your other gear or your kayak, ensuring that this sack keeps your essentials dry and close at hand.

PROS

  • White interior lining
  • D-Ring attachment
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • It doesn’t necessarily float
  • No strap

#3 SealLine Discovery View Dry Bag

SealLine Discovery View Dry Bag

Size: 10 liters
Materials: Transparent 12 oz polyurethane film
Star rating: 4.5/5
Best for: Forgetful kayakers and canoeists that have a hard time finding things.

The SealLine Discovery View Dry Bag is the perfect sack for anyone who gets frustrated by finding their belongings in the bottom of a bag. 

This bag goes a step further than other REI dry bags. Instead of a white lining, the body is entirely translucent. 

You won’t have to wonder whether you remembered to pack your phone; you’ll be able to see it without ever opening the bag up!

This SealLine bag has a cylindrical design with a structured bottom and a roll-top closure. It’s on the small side as it only has a 10-liter volume, so this bag is best for just your top essentials. 

Additionally, the bottom is color-coded and SealLine makes this same bag in varying sizes. So, you could get one of each and stay extra organized by storing your other essentials in the other bags.

One unique feature that this bag has is a waterproof valve for pressing the extra air out to compress your dry bag further once it’s sealed. 

This creates a vacuum and allows you to pack more of your belongings into a smaller space.

The Discovery View Dry Bag uses a polyurethane film for its body, and this PVC-free material is more environmentally-friendly than those that contain PVC. 

It also has heavy-duty welded seams rather than taped ones, making it ultra-waterproof.

PROS

  • Transparent
  • Includes a dry valve
  • Welded seams

CONS

  • Small
  • Slightly pricey

#4 Gonex Extra Large Waterproof Dry Duffel Bag

Gonex Extra Large Waterproof Dry Duffel Bag

Size: Available in 40, 60, and 80 liters
Materials: Waterproof PVC Fabric
Star rating: 4.7/5
Best for: Going on a multi-day kayaking trip.

Many dry bags feature a cylindrical design, which often means they don’t have a strap. 

The Gonex Extra Large Waterproof Dry Duffel Bag has a tube-like shape but has sturdy handles so you can carry it like a duffle. 

It also opens on the side rather than the top, making it easier to see and find your belongings within it.

The Gonex bag is available in three roomy sizes: 40, 60, and 80 liters. Even at its smallest, that’s a lot bigger than many of its competitors. It also comes in six different bright colors.

This bag also features separate zippered pockets where you can store wet clothes and towels when you’re on your way home. 

Meanwhile, you can keep your dry clothes separate in the main compartment, making this one of the best dry bags for canoeing and kayaking on multi-day trips. These two compartments also just help keep your gear organized.

The Gonex has two handles, as well as a strap on the end, so there are multiple ways to hold it when you’re on the go. And it has a roll-top zipper design, which helps seal the bag shut to keep your gear dry.

Finally, this waterproof bag wipes clean and offers unmatched durability. It’s a little pricier than some smaller bags, but it’s worth the extra cost for its size and quality.

PROS

  • Large capacity
  • Multiple color options
  • Two compartments

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Heavy 

#5 NRS Bill’s Bag 65-110L Dry Bag

NRS Bill's Bag 65-110L Dry Bag

Size: 110 liters
Materials: Polyester, Polyvinyl Chloride
Star rating: 4.8/5
Best for: Experienced kayakers who need to carry a lot of gear.

The NRS Bill’s Bag 110L Dry Bag has got you covered if you need to pack a whole lot of stuff. 

The price tag may seem a bit steep compared to some of the other dry bags on his list, but it’s essential to consider just how much room this bag has.

This NRS dry bag has 110 liters of space or 6,700 cubic inches of space. 

To help you picture that size, here’s a comparison: when I was in my early 20s, I went on a three-week backpacking trip across Europe, and I bought a large-capacity backpacker’s backpack for the excursion. 

That backpack completely engulfed my 5’3″ frame–to the point where, if I bent down to pick something up while wearing it, I wouldn’t be able to stand up again. 

And that’s not even half the size of the NRS Bill’s Bag.

This genuinely massive dry bag has a cylindrical design and features padded shoulder straps so that you can wear it like a backpack. 

It also has a flat, reinforced-PVC bottom so it can stand up straight wherever you set it down.

Because of its cylinder shape that loads from the top, finding things at the bag’s bottom will be challenging. 

But four straps for compression mean that you can cinch the bag down, allowing you to pack more gear into less space in your boat. Perfect for a multi-day trip.

PROS

  • Large capacity
  • Compression straps
  • Padded shoulder straps

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to find gear

#6 Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack

Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack

Size: 6, 10, 14, 20, and 30 liters
Materials: Body: PU-coated 70-denier nylon; Base: 40-denier nylon with eVent laminate
Star rating: 4.8/5
Best for: Kayakers and canoeists who love organization.

If digging through a deep bag sounds like a drag to you, another option is to purchase a set of smaller bags in different sizes. 

The Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack comes in five different sizes, ranging from just six liters up to 30 liters. 

Collect the whole set, and use the smaller ones for essentials you’ll need frequent access to, such as first aid kits, dry socks, or your phone, and the larger ones for things like extra clothes.

The eVent Sea to Summit dry bag is cylindrical and uses 70-denier, polyurethane-coated nylon for the body and compression straps to further compact the sacks. 

Taped, double-stitched seams and a roll-top closure round out this bag’s list of waterproof features.

PROS

  • A range of size options
  • Compression straps
  • Affordable pricing

CONS

  • No shoulder strap
  • No welded seams

#7 Unigear Dry Bag

Unigear Dry Bag

Size: 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 liters
Materials: 500-Denier PVC material
Star rating: 4.7/5 
Best for: Busy and adventurous kayakers and canoeists.

If you love the idea of a set of differently-sized dry bags, but you’re also looking for a lower price point and welded seams, then you’re in luck! The Unigear Dry Bag has everything you’re looking for.

This dry sack is available in various sizes, ranging down as small as two liters and up to 40 liters. 

And the prices on these bags are some of the most reasonable I’ve seen, so that’s great news if you want to buy a couple of bags, but you’re on a budget. 

For the price of some individual dry bags, you could put together a set of three with these.

And if you’re a fan of having options, then the Unigear bag should make you happy. There are eleven unique colors to choose from, so you can color-code your gear to help you stay organized.

Despite a low price, Unigear doesn’t skimp on quality. Thick PVC materials resist abrasion and firmly keep all moisture out. 

Fully welded seams and a roll-top closure further help to keep your stuff dry. Each pack also comes with a bonus waterproof phone case.

On top of all that, these cylindrical dry bags have a strap that makes them easy to carry. 

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Welded seams
  • Wide range of colors and sizes

CONS

  • It doesn’t go larger than 40 liters

#8 Earth Pak – Waterproof Dry Bag

Earth Pak - Waterproof Dry Bag

Size: 10, 20, 30, 40, and 55 liters
Materials: PVC
Star rating: 4.5/5
Best for: People looking for an alternative to Unigear.

The Earth Pak Dry Bag is another excellent budget option similar to the Unigear bag. 

Like the Unigear, it’s available in various sizes and colors, so you could mix and match to create your own set to help keep your gear organized.

Earth Pak offers eight colors rather than eleven, but unlike Unigear, they provide a 55-liter option if you’re interested in a larger bag.

Like most dry bags on this list, the Earth Pak is cylindrical and has a roll-top closure. It also features a single shoulder strap on the smaller bags, and two padded straps on the larger ones, making them into backpacks. 

Another thing that the Earth Pak shares in common with Unigear is that they include a free waterproof phone case with your purchase. 

One thing to keep in mind with any budget bag is that they may not be super durable in the long run. While Earth Pak has overwhelmingly positive reviews, a few people reported leaks. 

This is all to say that Earth Pak could be a great bag for you if you’re looking to keep your gear nice and dry against splashes and rain. 

However, it may not be the best option for expensive things like camera equipment or in situations where you expect the bag to be fully submerged.

PROS

  • Reasonably-priced
  • Range of sizes and colors
  • Free waterproof phone case

CONS

  • Some leaks reported
  • It may be hard to find things in the bag

#9 Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag

Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag

Size: 8 liters
Materials: TPU-laminated 420-denier nylon
Star rating: 4.8/5
Best for: Kayaking in the rain.

The Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag is another high-quality waterproof kayak bag from Sea to Summit. 

The Big River is a small bag with only an eight-liter volume. But unlike larger bags, the smaller size means that you won’t have difficulty finding things inside it.

The 420-denier nylon outer features a thermoplastic urethane coating to make it super waterproof, and it uses taped seams for extra protection. 

Despite this, the Sea to Summit Big River Bag isn’t intended for prolonged submersion. However, it’s the perfect dry bag for taking a few essentials with you in a kayak or canoe.

Most of Sea to Summit’s dry bags use coated nylon rather than PVC, making them very lightweight. This bag weighs just over three ounces, and it also has attachment points that allow you to clip it in and secure it to your boat.

Interestingly, although the Big River Bag comes in various colors, they’re sold as assorted colors only. 

That means you can’t pick out which color you’d like, and whatever color you get will be a surprise. But, if you’re not picky about colors or you enjoy surprises, this may not be a problem for you.

PROS

  • Durable and quality materials
  • Has attachment points to secure it
  • Taped seams

CONS

  • You can’t choose the color
  • Not intended for prolonged submersion

#10 Columbia 3-Piece PFG Dry Bag Set

Columbia 3-Piece PFG Dry Bag Set

Size: 2, 4, and 8 liters
Materials: 68 D Polyester, Thermoplastic Polyurethane
Star rating: 4.6/5
Best for: Kayakers looking to stay organized and dry on a budget.

Finding a quality dry bag from a trusted brand can be challenging for less than $30, but not with the Columbia 3-Piece PFG Dry Bag Set

Columbia is a well-known and high-quality brand for outdoor apparel and gear. And with this set, you get not one but three dry bags at a very reasonable price.

This set includes a small dry bag with a two-liter capacity, a medium four-liter one, and a larger, eight-liter one. 

The material they use is 68-denier polyester with a thermoplastic coating. These Columbia bags also have durable, heat-welded seams and roll-top closures to keep the water out. The largest bag has a flat bottom, so it will stand straight when you set it down.

The closures also buckle to form a handle for carrying, but the bags don’t have any shoulder straps beyond that.

PROS

  • It comes in a set of three
  • Welded seams
  • Inexpensive

CONS

  • No shoulder straps
  • Small capacity

#11 SealLine Seal Pak Waterproof Hip Pack

SealLine Seal Pak Waterproof Hip Pack

Size: 4 liters
Materials: PVC-free plastic
Star rating: 4.3/5
Best for: Keeping essentials dry and close at hand

Many dry bags follow a similar design and pattern: cylindrical bags with or without shoulder straps. The SealLine Seal Pak Waterproof Hip Pack breaks that mold. 

Like many other dry bags, this small, reliable dry bag has a roll-top closure to keep out moisture, but the similarities stop there. 

Rather than a handle or backpack straps, the SealLine Seal Pak clips around your waist with sturdy buckles, so your essentials will always be within reach.

The Seal Pak uses PVC-free plastic to construct its waterproof outer, which reduces the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. And the seams are welded, making them durably waterproof.

This hip pack also has a small zippered front pocket for storing things you’d like to grab even more quickly, such as your phone. It comes in a choice of either blue or electric green.

While this bag doesn’t perform well during prolonged submersion, it will float if it falls in the water, so there’s no chance of losing it at the bottom of a lake. 

One downside is that it has a noticeably high price tag for its size and capacity.

PROS

  • PVC-free material
  • Attaches to the waist
  • Welded seams

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Small capacity

#12 YETI Panga 50 Dry Duffel

YETI Panga 50 Dry Duffel

Size: 50 liters
Materials: Nylon
Star rating: 4.7/5
Best for: Kayakers and canoeists on weekend camping getaways.

As the same suggests, the Yeti Panga 50 Dry Duffel uses a duffel design for this waterproof bag. 

Many dry bag designs use a roll-top closure system to seal out water. While this is effective for sealing bags, it means that the contents of a large, cylindrical dry bag can be a bit mysterious. 

The Yeti Panga has a cylindrical shape, but it opens down the side because it’s a duffle, making it easier to see and search through the contents.

This dry bag features a waterproof zipper to keep the moisture out of the interior. The outer shell is fully-laminated, high-density nylon. 

Together with the waterproof zipper, these rigid materials mean that the bag is fully submersible. 

The Yeti Panga is a larger bag that uses thick, heavy-duty materials that make it stand up well to moisture. But because of that, this is by no means a lightweight dry bag, as the bag itself weighs five pounds. 

And since it doesn’t skimp when it comes to quality, this dry bag is quite pricey.

With a 50-liter capacity, this dry bag has enough space for a sleeping bag and several changes of clothes, making it the perfect bag for weekend getaways. 

PROS

  • Fully submergible
  • Waterproof zipper
  • Large capacity provides additional storage space

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

#13 Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Bag

Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Bag

Size: 35 liters
Materials: TPU-laminated 600-denier polyester
Star rating: 4.5/5
Best for: Wet and rainy boating trips.

Most of Sea to Summit’s waterproof bags for kayaking use coated polyester as their waterproof material. 

The Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Bag uses this same material, but with a critical difference: the polyester has a denier of 600. This means that the weave is incredibly tight, and the material is thick and heavy-duty. 

This abrasion-resistant fabric is paired with a thermoplastic coating and provides a more environmentally-friendly alternative to PVC.

In addition to this heavy-duty outer material, the Hydraulic bag also features welded seams, making it the best dry bag to protect against leaks. 

On top of that, the Hydraulic bag protects well against extreme temperatures and UV rays. 

With a 35-liter capacity, this roomy dry bag is big enough to pack dry clothes for day trips or overnight trips. 

It has a cylindrical body with an oval base and a roll-top closure system. It also has two attachment points so you can strap it into your kayak or canoe.

PROS

  • Heavy-duty, PVC-free material
  • Welded seams
  • Attachment points

CONS

  • A bit pricey
  • No shoulder strap

#14 MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

Size: 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 liters
Materials: Ripstop tarpaulin PVC
Star rating: 4.8/5
Best for: Paddlers who want to have it all at a reasonable price.

The Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag has several excellent qualities that set it apart. 

Available in various sizes, this cylindrical dry bag has a flat base, so it won’t roll over when you set it down. 

It also has a watertight roll-top closure system, and the ripstop tarpaulin PVC material is welded at the seams to keep water out firmly.

Not all cylindrical dry bags have any carrying straps, but the Marchproof Dry Bag again hits the mark. 

The smaller models feature a single shoulder strap. The 20 and 30-liter sizes feature double straps. And the 40-liter model has padded backpack straps for distributing the weight of heavy kayaking gear.

And if you’re someone who loves to personalize their outdoor gear by choosing bright colors, the Marchway bag is sure to please you. There are eighteen different colors to choose from in addition to the five different size options.

This dependable bag is one of the best dry bags for paddleboarding, kayaking, or canoeing, but all of these benefits won’t break the bank. 

You could even put together a complete set of different sizes and colors for a very reasonable price.

PROS

  • Many colors to choose from 
  • Inexpensive
  • Has shoulder and backpack straps

CONS

  • No side pockets
  • PVC material is less environmentally friendly

#15 IDRYBAG Roll-Top Waterproof Backpack

IDRYBAG Roll-Top Waterproof Backpack

Size: 45 liters
Materials: 500-Denier PVC
Star rating: 4.7/5
Best for: Water-sports enthusiasts on-the-go

The Idrybag Roll-Top Waterproof Backpack has a traditional backpack design and uses heavy-duty and thick PVC materials with welded seams to keep your gear dry. 

Although it features the same roll-top closure system of many dry bags, the design similarities end there. 

First of all, it doesn’t have the typical cylindrical shape, and a top cap helps to seal any moisture that may try to sneak its way into the bag.

This bag also features an external mesh front pocket and two mesh pouches on either side. 

So, if you have more gear that doesn’t need to stay dry, you can stick them there and then grab them as needed without having to search through the main compartment.

Inside, there’s even a laptop sleeve, which shows how confident Idrybag is that this backpack will effectively seal out moisture. 

While this bag has a high waterproof rating thanks to its thick outer materials, that also means it’s a bit heavy, weighing in at three pounds.

Padded shoulder straps make this dry bag comfortable to wear and make it the best dry bag backpack for keeping kayaking gear dry.

PROS

  • Side and front mesh pockets
  • Top cap
  • Laptop sleeve

CONS

  • Heavy
  • PVC material is less environmentally-friendly.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Kayaking Dry Bag

There’s a fair amount of variation in dry bags, which can make it difficult to know where to begin when shopping. I’ve tried to demystify the process for you below.

What to Look for in a Dry Bag for Kayaking

What to Look for in a Dry Bag for Kayaking

Materials

There are a variety of materials used in the production of dry bags and each produces a different effect. 

Some dry bags for kayaking, including many Sea to Summit bags, use a coated nylon or polyester material. 

This is the same material that most camping tents use, so the texture of these dry bags will be similar to a tent’s surface. This makes for a bag that’s very lightweight and water-resistant.

Some dry bags use PVC or reinforced vinyl, a flexible material that will feel much thicker and more plastic than coated nylon. 

PVC dry sacks tend to weigh more, but they provide excellent waterproofing. However, PVC is also less environmentally-friendly, so that’s something to consider.

Some dry bags use an alternative to PVC with the same thick, rubbery texture, and these provide an alternative to PVC that offers the same level of water repellence.

Interior capacity

Dry bags come in all sizes – from a tiny two-liter bag to a massive 110-liter bag. 

Small dry bags are great for everyday essentials. However, larger dry bags can keep clothes, a sleeping bag, and other kayaking gear dry for weekend paddling trips.

Pictures often don’t convey a complete sense of the size of the dry bag, so it’s a good idea to look for the liter capacity to know the size of the pack. 

Straps

Not all dry bags have straps and some cylindrical dry bags resemble rolled-up sleeping bags. 

While many strapless sacks are otherwise quality dry bags, the best dry bags have some kind of strap to make them easier to carry. 

Extra Features

Everybody loves to get more bang for their buck. Some dry bags are entirely bare-bones, and they have one purpose only: to keep their contents dry.

However, other dry bags may have extra features, such as mesh side pockets, waterproof zipper closures, a white interior, or a clear window. Special features can set a dry bag apart from the rest.

Types of Dry Bags for Kayaking

Types of Dry Bags for Kayaking

Cylindrical Dry Sacks

Cylindrical dry bags are the most common type of dry bag available. This will be a tube-like bag, often with a flat bottom. Some cylindrical dry sacks have straps, while others do not. 

Cylinder-shaped dry bags have the advantage of being able to compress down, but they can also make finding your gear inside challenging.

Dry Backpacks

Some dry backpacks are simply traditional backpacks that use waterproof materials, such as PVC, and other features, such as a roll-top closure, to seal out moisture. 

Other dry backpacks are cylindrical dry sacks with backpack straps, making them easier to carry on hikes or in different settings.

Dry Duffle Bags

Many dry duffle bags have a cylindrical shape with duffle bag handles and a waterproof zippered closure along the side instead of a roll-top. 

Dry duffle bags tend to hold more gear and are a good option for weekend camping trips.

FAQs About Kayaking Dry Bags

If you’re still scratching your head, here are the answers to your burning questions to help you determine what are the best dry bags for kayaking. 

FAQs About Kayaking Dry Bags

What size dry bag is best for kayaking?

Kayaks are small vessels. When it comes to kayak bags, you probably want to look for something more compact. 

In general, the best dry bags for kayaking will stay under 30 liters, so they don’t take up too much room in your kayak.

If you’re only going out for a short excursion, a five-liter dry bag should be enough to fit your essential belongings. 

How do you keep things dry while kayaking?

Many kayaks have waterproof compartments, but these alone are not enough to fully ensure that your valuables stay dry. 

If your kayak rolls over, your bag may fall out of the kayak. That’s why dry bags are such a good investment for people who love to kayak and canoe. 

Dry bags keep their contents dry in various ways. Firstly, they use waterproof materials, but that’s not all. 

Dry bags also use welded seams and roll-top closure systems to keep your gear dry while you’re kayaking.

How do you pack a dry bag for kayaking?

Many dry bags have a cylindrical or a tube shape, making it difficult to find things inside of them. 

We all know the frustration of digging through a deep, dark bag, trying to tell your belongings apart by touch alone.

So, it’s a good idea to stay organized when packing a dry bag. Pack the things you won’t need imminently at the bottom: such as towels and a change of clothes. 

Pack smaller items, such as cameras, snacks, and extra clothing layers towards the top of the bag, as you may reach for them earlier in your trip.

How do I choose a dry bag?

When purchasing a dry bag, ask yourself what kind of kayaker you are. 

Are you a hardcore paddler expecting to go on multi-day excursions? Or are you more of a casual kayaker who will only be going out for an hour or two at a time? 

Answering these questions will help determine which size and shape of kayaking dry bag will be best for you.

How many dry bags do I need for kayak camping?

How many waterproof bags you need again depends on who you are as a kayaker and person. In general, it’s a good idea to have a few options so that you’re covered in various situations. 

If you’re someone who likes to keep things categorized and organized, then you might want to opt for buying a set of several dry bags in varying sizes. 

On the other hand, if you aren’t a fan of wrangling multiple different bags, then a single, large-capacity dry bag may be right for you.

Do all dry bags float?

Most dry bags float so that you don’t have to worry about losing anything if you happen to capsize. 

Some bags advertise their floating abilities, while others do not, but any airtight dry bag that doesn’t have an air valve should be buoyant.

That said, not all dry sacks are 100% airtight, and some dry bags feature an air valve to help compress the load down to a smaller size. 

If your dry bag doesn’t expressly state that it floats, or if it has an air valve, then you shouldn’t expect that it will float when submerged in water.

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Dry Bag for Kayakers and Canoeists

Conclusion Our Pick for the Best Dry Bag for Kayakers and Canoeists

What should you look for in the best dry sack for kayaking? A great kayaking dry bag is durable, waterproof, roomy, affordable, and high quality. Having a strap is a bonus. 

Based on these requirements, my pick for the best dry bag for kayaking and canoeing is the Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

This dry bag has it all. It’s has welded seams and uses a thick PVC material. 

It’s also available in various sizes and colors, so there’s a lot to choose from, and numerous positive customer reviews prove its durability over time.

The Marchway bag has a single shoulder strap for smaller models and backpack straps for larger models. 

So, this bag is easy to carry when you’re on your way to the lake or river and leaves your hands free for larger kayaking gear, such as paddles. 

Another advantage of the Marchway bag is that it floats, so you won’t have to worry about losing any of your belongings if the bag goes overboard. 

Not every dry bag is guaranteed to float, so this is a definite plus for the Marchway. 

On top of all that, the Marchway bag is also very reasonably priced. When a product is high-quality, offers customizable variations, and fits a tight budget, it stands out from the pack as the best. 

Whether you go with the Marchway Dry Bag or any of the other excellent waterproof bags on this list, your kayaking gear is sure to stay dry and secure on your next excursion.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elina Ansary

Elina Ansary

Elina Ansary is a writer, visual artist, and avid traveler. She grew up in San Francisco, CA, and spent her childhood camping up and down Northern California. These days, she visits artist residencies around the world and has lived in Amsterdam, Australia, and now Brooklyn, NY.


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15 Best Dry Bags for Kayaking and Canoeing to Keep Things Dry 

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