Kayak Deck Bags


Does anyone have any strong opinions one way or another on the use of deck bags on a touring kayak? Any suggestions on features to look for or avoid? I am considering one of these to keep my water bottle, pump and small pelican case organized and easily accessible. Thanks…


UNDER deck bag/box…
i like a clean deck…

spare paddle only…


– Last Updated: May-07-07 11:02 AM EST –

some touring kayaks have high decks where a 3" thick zippered bag makes it even higher. I would recommend first outfitting the "touring" kayak with secure underdeck storage, between thigh storage (on hull bottom) before stacking the foredeck.
I don't know of any bag that can take a pump.
That said, if you want one, get it. I know one fellow who paddles a LOT and has one on his high foredeck CD Extreme.
Regarding securing things to the bottom of the hull, on glass boats I've used a lace of bungies between 1" webbing epoxied to the glass hull.
On plastic kayaks you can attach rubber or vinyl patchs with d-rings then lace bungie between that.
I think a person can get used to a foredeck bag, the problem I have is how hot/steamed things get in the sun. I'd rather have a submersible VHF radio,gps or camera in my pocket getting splashed than in a bag getting steam heat. Leaving things in the bag as the kayak gets transported allows for more time for things to get warmed up.
Regarding foredeck bungies and holding things. Instead of the regular criss crossed set up put in three parallal loops, each loop is tied off with a sliding fishermans knot. That gives you a space inside the sliding knot to secure anything well. No more bottles popping out, pumps flopping away etc.

double fishermans knot. Using bungie the line doesn't slide together easily so you can adjust the tension in the deck rigging or clamp some items tightly between the knots.



Watershed Aleutian
I have owned Watershed’s Aleutian Deck Bag for two years. I do prefer a clean deck, however I have found that the bag lays relatively flat when plastic insert is removed. There is a great place to secure a bilge pump and nalgene water bottle. Very durable and useful. I saw review on this bag at www.quietworldsports.com, click on product reviews.

nrs mesh deck bag
I use an nrs mesh deck bag–it’s cheap ($25), keeps water and the pump easily accessible, and it’s small enough that it doesn’t interfere too much with having a clean deck. I hate stuff under the deck, because i have a very low volume boat. The nrs bags are well made, and I take the plastic insert out so the bag lies pretty flat:


My opinion
for what it’s worth…I’m a minimalist who’s traveled a few thousand miles in a sea kayak. Leave all that crap at home. There’s no need for a deck bag. It will be in the way. If you need it you have too much crap. Put your stuff in a little dry bag that rests between your legs. Put the money on a great Carbon paddle!

This is exactly the one I was considering as it looks light and simple. The Aleutian looks nice but is very expensive, and I don’t need waterproof.


Under deck bag
is a good way to go, IMO. I’ve used the Northwater Under-Deck Bag for a couple of years and really like it. It keeps a conservative amount of stuff close at hand, off the deck, & not running around in the cockpit. My pump fits between the bag and the underside of the deck.


Waterproof ones
Not being smug.

Are you looking for a deck bag or a bag to mount/strap to your deck.

The first "deck bag’ I purchased was a Seal Line deck bag. It very nice looking and a great deck but it wasn’t waterproof. Who would have thought a good company who makes some of the best dry bags would make a deck bag that wasn’t waterproof. Luckily it was summer and everything drie in the sun although they continuously got wet.

“Gaia” makes a waterproof deck bag.

Otherwise I mount a Seal Line 25L on the bow an it works great but makes the kayak more unstable.

Second the Under Deck Bag.
I have them in all my boats.

Carries more than you think.

Holds my pump over it.

Everyone that has one, loves them…

You can order extra mounting pads and switch the bag between boats.

I’m still scratching my head
wondering how flatpick got that two-burner Coleman stove and propane tank to the camp site when I wasn’t looking