Do you have a favorite dry bag. I have some to be more durable than others. After going on a recent 4 days kayak camping trip I noticed a bag developed pinholes - this is no good. Do you prefer one brand for durability? Thanks
Keep essentials in a dry box, the rest in a “cheaper” dry sack and off the floor. The main thing is to not let water in the boat.
The general consensus is that Watershed bags are the most reliable in terms of dryness and durability.
They come in a variety of sizes and styles, but they are not cheap.
try NRS Bills Bags and Outfitters bags
if these bags are treated as fragile, keot filled when not in use, not roughly folded and sat upon then the bags will last
clear vinyl is terrific. get organized, pack according to need and use… NOW or dinner after NOW…next days T …
I’ve been okay with basic Seal Line
I have no evidence that the basic style from Seal Line is better than the other big-name brands, and like any "standard" dry bag, these are not 100 percent waterproof. Still, they've worked for me because my gear doesn't ever get forced below the water's surface. I mentioned these on your kayak-camping post too. After 12 years of rather rough use and no special care whatsoever, no noticeable wear and tear has occurred with the basic Seal Line style. However, I DID learn not to carry them by the center of the buckled loop, as that puts a lateral bending force on the Fastex buckle which it's not designed for (but if you're clever, you can fix a cracked Fastex buckle and make it better than new). For your kayak-camping needs, the basic model from Seal Line (and many other standard bags) might be a little bit too heavy-duty, since the bigger sizes would be more difficult to get in and out of hatches than bags made from thinner (more flexible) material.
Also as I mentioned on your other post, I've seen short lifespans for clear vinyl dry bags due to cracking at the fold lines, but if you have a good method for organizing and sub-dividing your gear, there's no value in the see-through design anyway.
Good visibility, bad packability
I like the clear dry bags for being able to see what is in them, but they are not as good for packability, as the material is more sticky, so doesn’t let one bag easily slide past other items,
Most of my big vinyl bags
are Seal Line, although the oldest are branded Cascade Designs - it looks like that is the same company. I have one old NRS bag. They have held up well. I also have a couple of Ascend nylon bags from Bass Pro Shops with the relief valve and clear window, which I use for double bagging.
The bags you need will depend on the boat you are packing. In a kayak you'd probably be looking for lots of smaller nylon bags that can fit into the confined bulkhead space.
Dry bags are made of varying material
I like Outdoor Research compression dry bags for sleeping bags. Pricey. So only for that that must remain holy dry
I like clear PVC dry bags for shoving through the 8 inch Valley Hatch in the front of my hubbys kayak. They are thicker wall, tough, and not very compressible at all ( there is always a downside). I have had some for years and years.
I like the Sea to Summit dry bags in assorted sizes( 2-20 liters) for clothes etc. They are coated nylon and not terribly durable. But I use them inside another dry bag…They slide easily into the other dry bag and then the pack. I use that arrangement for canoeing.
Finally there are the big Cascade Designs packs… The 115 and 70 liters… PVC. Wear well but for canoeing. I still double dry bag… not trusting a single layer of protection.
Had good luck with the SeaLine Purge bags too. One just wore out after lots of years.
If I needed one big dry bag now I would go with Watershed but I have none of their product. Heard nothing but good about them.
I have a mix of Watershed and SealLine bags, have never let me down. I used transparent for awhile, but I don't like the bulk, inflexibility and I can remember well enough "what's in which colored bag" without having to actually see the contents. Plus usually the only thing I'm in a hurry to get to when I unpack is the beer, which doesn't get a bag.
More important to me are sizes and shapes: long skinny ones for sleeping bag (so I can get it into the puny front harch), more skinny bags for tent and tent poles, small bag for mess kit, etc.
I have a LL Bean dry bag that is over 20 years old and still going strong. It’s probably the one I use the most because I even take it fishing in my power boat to keep camera, cell phone, etc dry from spray.
Other than that I have dry bags form Seattle Sports, Seal Line and H2ZERO ranging from 2 to 15 years old and so far none have sprung leaks.