I presently have too many large and extra large size dry bags and have seen those more experienced use numerous smaller bags instead. What size bags do people find most versatile?
For camping trips I use a tapered bag for my clothes, they go into the bow, then it’s 5 & 10 liter bags, maybe one larger bag for my tent.
For day trips it matters less since the boat isn’t as full. I use one of the wide mouth opening bags for the extra warm clothes. That way I don’t have to unpack the dry bag to get at something stuffed at the bottom.
The Exped compression dry bags compress long and narrow, not short and fat. If you’re trying to pack a boat with 10" hatches they are awesome.
I always use the nylon bags because I can slide them around in the boat.
Like anything else, it depends. In general for trips in a sea kayak, you’ll get farther with more small bags. I have small round hatches (NDK boat) and use mostly SealLine 10L and a couple of 5L bags. Outdoor Research just came out with some great compression dry bags and I picked up the second from the smallest for clothing (fleece, etc). I also use SealLine’s small tapered bag for the bow.
in a touring kayak
In my Looksha IV (a 17 foot touring kayak), I can fit only 1 medium dry bag (20-22 liter size) in the front, and with careful stuffing, 2 in the back. But even with these mediums in, I can still get many smaller dry bags in.
Here is a picture of what I fit in my kayak on a trip last fall: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7866/1234/1600/P90900131.jpg Boat wasn’t fully loaded - there was still room for smaller bags and loose items.
Boats with skeggs will have a bit less room in the back for larger bags, so may need more smaller sizes.
20L is the biggest bag I can fit in my boat and I can only fit one in, it’s my food bag.
A taper bag for the nose is a must (and stern if you don’t have a skeg).
My sleeping bag gets a 5L.
On shore first aid kit in a 15L.
Rest of the boat is filled with 10L, my favorite size for my boat.
flat coated nylon
after the regular 6"-9" diameter coated pvc dry bags that can sit in the middle of the compartments the ones I"ve like the most are flat coated nylon about 9" wide by 26" long. When stuffed they are about 4"x6" wide and fit in all the corners the round bags leave open.
After a few years the coating on the inside has flaked off so I use kitchent garbage bags as liners and they aren’t easy to find in stores, seems that dry bag manufacturerr try to reinvent the wheel like pfd manufacturers. If you can find them get a half dozen, they’re perfect.
Tapered bags, 20L max.
We use a tapered 20L bag in each bow and stern, one more 20L for each stern, then 5L and 10L bags to fill up the rest of the space needed.
The nylon ones with the one-way vent are great.
Your name and phone # in sharpie are also great not only to get your stuff back, but for identification if things go really wrong.