Dry Bags: comments and suggestions

I’ve been a kayaker little over a year, and already have taken several trips of up to 4 days in length. Keep everything in large zip-lock bags inside duffle bags. It works, but what a bother!

Need Christmas Wish List suggestions. These things aren’t cheap, so don’t want to make obvious mistakes.

What are the strongest (puncture resistant) most durable and reliable bags for the money? What were you glad you bought? And, where do you get yours?

Also, any suggestions as to variety, sizes, transparency, etc.

Thank you.

Outdoor Research Advanced Hydroseal
my personal favorite is the Outdoor Research Advanced Hydroseal series bags. their outer shell is nylon so they slide easily into kayak hatches. they’re fully immersion proof in my experience, light and come in a variety of sizes for every type of gear.


I use a variety of bags.

Among my favorite are some of NRS’ bags. Their Riksack is translucent and very strong. They also make very nice red (I don’t recall their name) small bags which are often on sale.

I find Seal Line tapers useful for the bow.

It is easiest to pack a yak with a range of bags. Many medium to small bags provide the most flexibility.

NRS and Sealine.
The NRS nylon ones slide into the kayak compartments very easy, and the Sealine clear plastic allow you to see what is in them.

The REI clear ones are NG. The don’t have “D” rings and the bag comes apart at the buckle strip.



I found a great deal on sealline black

– Last Updated: Nov-15-04 10:49 PM EST –

canyon compression bags and sealline kodiak tapers.

The folks selling the comporession bags had the prices as if the were seling the rebular blac canyons bags (at discount). I warned them, they poo-poohed me. So I bought enough to outfit two kayaks. Thye raised their prices a week later to something more reasonable. I like the purge port (cannot really call it a valve cause it's not.

I could not imagine using hydroseal bags in anything but an almost perfectly dry compartment, but that's just me.

My favorites are
First the Gaia duffels, with compression straps and a bleeder valve.

Second surplus pack liners from Sportsmans Guide, they’re about $10 for three, stay good and dry and fit into small spaces.

Good Luck


dry bags
All the main companys have comprable quality. What I HIGHLY recommend is NOT getting the totally clear bags for several reasons. The material is actually made from a different substance and the area near the seams that you fold to create a seal will eventually crack and your bag will leak. Im sure some may disagree but take my advice since Ive used all types. I would suspect that if someone is taking a 1-3 day trip a couple times a year you would not notice it cracking and tearing until a year or so of use.

I just completed a 6-month solo trip and the clear bags by SEALINE (and other clear brands) split at the top after about three weeks of use (which would be equalivalant to someone doing 7 -three day trips which for most people is two years worth of trips so it may seem that they lasted a long time etc)

The clear ones that have the mesh webbing treads built inside last much longer than the clear ones.

I use a variety of colors so I can remember what is in what. I also carry a small list of everything I pack and where it is located. This helps at the start before you actually have time to remember what is where etc.

When buy the larger bags (i have two that hold over 4000 cubic centimeters) its nice to have shoulder straps for carrying like a backpack etc. If you kayak is not a high volume boat then you wont be able to get them inside anyway… so opt for the smaller ones.

I always keep my leaky bags too. You can use old bags to patch holes in other dry bags. Cut small square and oval patches like bike tube patches only bigger and buy some Marine sealant glue. When you get a hold patch both side of the dry bag. I have some bags that have 10 patches and they work fine.

SEALLINE makes good bags despite the clear model problems.

hope this helps


Watershed bags best meet your specs.
They have a heavy urethane impregnated fabric, bulletproof seams, and a rubber quasi ziplock closure. However, in my view they have not yet fully responded to the sea/touring kayak market. They have two tapered bags with inflation tubes, but even the larger is sized more for late old-school WW kayaks than for sea kayaks. I bought the larger size inflatable for the nose of my Necky (no front bulkhead) and found that the Watershed did not occupy the space.

Watersheds other bags tend to be wider at the zip end than elsewhere, and this can make them difficult to insert and pack tightly.

My other favorite are the Voyageur Sto Floats. The fabric is thoroughly impregnated with urethane and will not delaminate, but it is a rather light fabric and subject to wear-through or puncture by stupid packers. However, they make rather large combo storage/float bags with long inflation tubes and with their wonderful slide closure. Occasionally a plastic slide may be broken by stupid handling, but they open/close very fast and seal completely, not leaking air at all as far as I can tell.

Are Dry Bags really semi-dry?

– Last Updated: Nov-16-04 10:59 PM EST –

Sorry for beginnerish question, but are any of these bags really dry, that is if compartment floods, will they leak? Are any of them actually dry if held underwater?

A friend told me about the Pacific Outdoor Equipment WXtex Pneumo Drybags. They have a roll top, double seal opening, and compression valve, these bags allow you to compress loads without having to use compression straps, and claim to be totally waterproof. Anyone tried them. They are supposed to be tough even though not super think and heavy bags.

Any good dry bag is completely dry when immersed as long as you roll and fold the top closure properly.

If they weren’t, we would be using trash bags and saving our money.

Every time I paddle, weather it be in the canoe, or the yak, my wallet and my keys go in a little one either behind the yak seat, or buckled to the thwart. They have been immersd on numerous occassions.

On camping trips; everything that needs to stay dry goes in them, and as long as they are all tethered in the canoe, or stashed in the yak compartments, it is one less thing to worry about.



Watersheds are dry.
I know of one vertical pin situation (on a whitewater creek run) where the boat stayed pinned for several days in the meat of a drop. Much of the outfitting got stripped out by the force of the water, but the boater’s drybags were all 'binered in. The only bag that stayed dry was the Watershed. The rest of his gear (kept in ‘high end’ roll top bags) was completely soaked.