Dry bags are a must-have piece of gear for any outdoor adventurer. While they are simple, easy to use, you’ll find there are many different styles, sizes, materials, and features that go into them. I hope to guide you through the decision-making process with this ultimate guide to waterproof dry bags. Let’s get started!
If you’re just looking for our best dry bag recommendation, check out Gold Coast gear for all sizes and colors.
What’s a Waterproof Dry Bag?
As the name implies, their primary job is to keep any piece of outdoor gear dry. The bag is a flexible container, typically with a roll-top closure. Roll-top Dry Bags provide a Watertight enclosure by the way they are secured. Instead of a Zip-top or zipper type of closing mechanism, the bag is secured by rolling down or dog-earing the top at least three times, them clipping the buckles together.
We will go over other ways of securing a dry bag, but the most reliable ones are closed with a roll-top seal. The reason Mountaineers prefer this over a zipper and zip-top closing style is that a rolling top is virtually indestructible.
Two pieces of fabric being pressed together won’t wear out like a waterproof zipper. It will perform the same in a cold environment (unlike a zipper) and can easily be closed with gloves on.
Who Uses Dry Bags & What Are They For
Waterproof dry bags are one of the most common items for many outdoor activities. It’s easy to see why, over the years, many people have adopted them.
Backpackers: Wanting to separate valuable gear keeping it clean and dry. Have multiple smaller dry bags of different colors help keep them organized.
Water Sports: It’s ubiquitous to find a large waterproof dry bag on a Kayak or Canoe. Waterproof backpacks are used for paddleboarding or SUP for short. Large dry bags are also routinely used for rafting as well.
Camping: Dry bags are used to keep wet gear separate from dry clothes. Small dry bags can hold electronics, keeping them safe from water and dust.
Alternative Uses: Using them as a pillow, gathering water, a bear bag, and a boat anchor.
These are just some of the uses for people that need to protect their equipment.
Different Closing Dry Bag Styles
Closing roll-top dry bags is recommended, but let’s look at other ways of closing them. Let’s compare the zip-top and zipper closing bags to the roll-top.
Zip-Top or Ziploc Closing Dry Bag
This type of bag is excellent for smaller, lighter items that fit nicely in the small pockets of a backpack. I keep a few Ziploc bags whenever I go hiking to keep my toiletries clean. The problem with this closing mechanism is when you have larger, more substantial items.
With heavier gear rolling around in a Ziploc bag, the top can easily blow out. If you close a Ziploc bag with air in it, a small amount of pressure will pop the bag right open. A roll-top dry bag won’t do this. If enough force is applied to a roll-top style bag, the seams will blow out before the top will.
Cold weather will make the zip-top stiff and hard to close. While they will be fine in most temperatures the cold weather will affect the performance.
Freegrace sells a dry bag that has a zip-top combined with a roll-top. While this isn’t necessary or really adds any extra protection, they claim it’s for added security. They also note that in cold weather, the zip-top won’t perform well, and oil needs to be applied before closing the bag.
Waterproof Zipper Dry Bags
A true waterproof zipper will not leak, but the problem is many so-called “Waterproof Zippers” are merely water-resistant. This kind of zipper will let water leak in if they are exposed in the rain or dropped in water long enough. Bag manufacturers do this to save on costs because true waterproof zippers are expensive.
Another downside is that waterproof zippers are stiff, so they don’t slide easily like the normal zippers we’re used to using. This can be a real pain in cold weather as the zippers will be even stiffer. Lubricating the zipper can help with this stiffness.
As with zip-top bags, zippers can blow out when overstuffed. If this happens while you’re out on the trail, you could be stuck with a useless bag for days.
The last downside is that zipper bags are difficult to close with gloves on. In cold weather, the zipper will stiffen up, making it even hard to close with thick winter gloves.
How to Choose The Best Dry Bag
Before we look at different sizes of dry bags, we need to choose a material first. Dry bags generally come in two different categories, thick heavyweight or thin ultra-lightweight material.
Thick Dry Bags
Some dry bags are heavy, but they’re built to take a beating. Take a look at a dry bag made from 500D PCV Tarpaulin for durability. It’s tough, but at the downside of being very heavy and inflexible. These kinds of dry bags are usually recommended as “best value” because they last for years in harsh conditions.
Benefits Of Having A Waterproof Backpack
One of the most infuriating things about going camping, backpacking, or hiking during the rainy months of the year is reaching your destination and finding all your gear and equipment soaked through. And it doesn’t even have to be raining for you to experience this. Sometimes, crossing a river or a creek or walking under a waterfall is more than enough for this to happen. That is why many knowledgeable and experienced camper or backpacker knows how important it is to have a reliable waterproof backpacking or hiking backpack.
A waterproof backpacking backpack or camping backpack comes with many benefits that you wouldn’t get from a typical everyday backpack. However, some of the latest waterproof backpacks imbued with the best waterproofing technology can be quite expensive which is why some people are on the fence when it comes to purchasing one. If you are looking for a reason or two as to why you should invest in one, we have outlined the best ones below for you. But before we dive into our top reasons why you need a waterproof backpack, let’s go over a brief description of what it actually is and how it is different from another popular type of outdoor backpack, the water-resistant backpack.
The Best Waterproof Duffel Bags: Duffel Dry Bags for Travel & Outdoors
If you've ever been concerned about your belongings getting wet while traveling or spending time outdoors---a waterproof duffel bag is your secret weapon. These durable and fully waterproof bags are ideal for situations when you just need the ultimate protection.
A versatile travel backpack is great for everyday travel, but when you need to keep your gear safe from even the most extreme conditions, dry bag type duffels are a much better option.
When traveling, especially in foreign climates, you just don't know what conditions you'll find yourself in---and who knows what happens to your bag in transit. I've learned to be better prepared and safe, than sorry.
I've taken 10+ hour overnight bus journeys only to arrive at my destination finding that my luggage was moved from the secure and dry under bus storage to the top roof rack! Thankfully on this trip I decided chose decided to take my The North Face Base Camp Duffel, which keep all my belongings dry---even through a wet and rainy night.
Your average travel backpack and luggage are great for the casual traveler, but if you are one who seeks adventure and outdoors, they often just don't cut it.
Most travel bags will do a decent job keeping your gear dry when exposed to light rain, but a fully waterproof bag will ensure your stuff stays dry---no matter what.
Cooler Bag Technology
The original ice chest was made out of galvanized metal. Later versions were made from hard plastic. They were double-walled with a layer of dense Styrofoam in between which helped to keep the contents cool. Today's ice chests are still made this same basic way.
Styrofoam was a suitable insulator, but it had to be relatively thick to maintain internal temperatures for an extended period of time. And, of course, Styrofoam is easily dented and broken, so it had to be encapsulated in a hard shell to prevent breakage. As such, ice chests have to be rigid.
By contrast, cooler bags are not rigid. Instead, they are usually made from heavy but flexible fabrics, like polyester, on the outside. The inside is lined with heavy duty foil. In between the outer and inner layers are layers of materials like flexible foam, which are thin but dense and have the ability to maintain internal temperatures for several hours. This technology allows for a bag that is flexible and thin and, therefore, easy and convenient to transport. Also, unlike their rigid predecessors, cooler bag can be manufactured in a wider variety of sizes and shapes.
How to get abandoned, lost and discarded ‘ghost’ fishing gear out of the ocean
Fishing gear and plastic marine debris is a growing global issue. Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear — often called ghost gear — can contribute up to 76 per cent of all marine debris found during beach cleanups.
Estimates of the weight of abandoned fish gear vary widely by region and by type of gear used. One study retrieved 14 tonnes from the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. In one fishing region in Nova Scotia, an estimated 22 tonnes of fishing gear remains at sea. Overall, an estimated 640,000 tonnes of ghost gear is lost globally in the oceans every year.
This derelict fishing gear continues to catch fish, including commercially valuable and threatened species, and other marine fauna. For example, ghost gear, especially nets, are responsible for entangling seals and sea turtles. One abandoned fishing net in Puget Sound in the United States is expected to catch two invertebrates per day, one fish every three days and one seabird every five days.
It also costs fishers. Ghost gear reduces catch rates and cuts into profits, it is expensive to replace and it can be dangerous — getting tangled in propellers and snarling anchors.
What Makes a Good Fishing Cooler?
Fishing cooler bag generally spend a lot of time in the sun and around the water, so it’s important that these coolers are both rust resistant and UV protected. Other benefits of a true fishing cooler will be the added insulation as well as odor and stain resistant materials. A good fishing cooler will also need to come equipped with a good seal to protect ice retention. There are many great fishing coolers to choose from, but have you ever thought about an insulated fish bag? These insulated bags can be a great alternative depending on how you plan to use your fishing cooler.
What is a Fishing Bucket?
Fishing bucket is frequently used by professional fisherman for the simple fact that they have been proven that the original weight of a fish can be maintained by placing it in an insulated bag with ice. Good insulated fish bags are lightweight, weighing much less than even small coolers. UV resistant, they are designed to hold ice all day; keeping your newly caught fish fresh for hours. These insulated fish bags should be leak proof and should be constructed in a way which makes them easy to clean. So, which is the best choice for your next fishing trip? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both.
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