necky manitou 14 dry bag advice

Hi all, i’m fairly new to paddling, i’ve recently bought a necky manitou 14 with drop down skeg.

I’ve got the paddling bug big time and am planning a week long paddle trip to nc in april.

Before purchasing dry bags, I’d be very appreciative of any advice (especially specifically from members with a manitou 14) as to what they find fits best in thier boats.

I’ve read that a number of small bags is better than a couple of larger bags, certain materials slide better into boats than others etc., tapered bags? Anything else to consider?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Might be
A stretch to think that boat can hold enough food and gear for a one week trip, it’s more like a weekender. But never the less it is a good boat as I have a Manitou 13 in my naval operations fleet.

Quite possibly he can plan one or two
resupply points along the route. He doesn’t state what part of the country he’s planning to paddle in, but most routes in the east allow for resupply.

thanks for the comments guys,

i have been looking at the area around Fontana lake, its between the Smoky Mountains state park and the Nantahalla state park. I may be able to park my car in a camping area on the south shoreline of the lake and resupply from my car midweek if necessary.

All the more reason to get the right gear and pack wisely with the reduced capacity of the manitou 14.


Lots of dry-bag info here:

– Last Updated: Jan-30-10 6:42 PM EST –

Copy and paste the whole thing, and you get several pages of bag descriptions.

There used to be an article on that website about dry-bag materials, shapes, and cost, but I couldn't find it this time. In short, the article said that lightweight, "slippery" bag materials work better in kayaks because the material bends and slides more easily as the bags are being crammed into tight spaces, but that those bags cost a lot more, while stiff, vinyl bags are a lot tougher and cheaper, but much more difficult to cram into kayak hatches.

Yes on the nylon bags, and an article …
I understand that Necky has changed up their product line in the last year or two, but I paddled a Looksha Sport for several years, which was 2" longer and 2" narrower than their current Manitou 14, and had the same two bulkheads and hatches. So they’re pretty comparable boats as far as size goes.

Speaking from personal experience, you can indeed do weeklong kayak-camping trips in such a boat. You’ll have to pack it pretty tight, but once you’ve assembled all your “fixed gear” (tent, clothing, cooking kit, etc.) for an overnighter, your only real “variable” necessary for a week is food and water.

Here’s a tech article I put together on packing for kayak-camping, depicting the above Looksha Sport, with a few words regarding bag materials, etc.

Good Luck!


Manitou isn’t a little boat

– Last Updated: Jan-31-10 2:28 PM EST –

if you're under 225lbs you can carry lots of junk in the 14. Dry bags bigger than 9" diameter are awkward as they won't go much farther than the hatch opening but if you have packed things so you like one bag at the rear hatch opening a fat bag would fit fine there. The long tapered dry bag is neat but expensive.

Get three or four of these just because they're relatively inexpensive and a good size for putting through the hatch. You don't want to throw these on the ground or use them as pillows on rough ground as it's a light material.

and possibly this fat 20L one.

I don't know why people think the manitou 14 is small, it's fat. The benefit to multiple bags, besides getting ones convient sizes to fit in the compartment is that you reduce the odds of more things getting wet if a bag is punctured or the compartment gets a puddle of water in it.

Another place to check out for storage is forward of your feet against the front bulkhead. Usually production boats have big cockpits and normal sized folks have enough room up there to jam a dry bag. It's worth the gymnastics if you're tight for room in the compartments. It doesn't have to be an entrapment hazard if you do it right. Use a pvc bag that is stickier against the hull and experiment with the size that can be jammed up there. If there's any concern about things getting loose string a bungie across the forward end of the footpeg rails to hold the bag forward. You can experiment with a small line attached to the dry bag or bungie to help pull it out or put it in.

Pneumo LTW drybags
from Pacific Outdoor Equipment – these are a nylon material that slide easily into hatches and against each other, plus they have a relief valve for expelling extra air. The 15L size is big enough for a sleeping bag and a pillow.

a 14 footer is most certainly enough for a week-long trip as long as you have freshwater available to filter, heck we’ve even done it with my 12-footer. just gotta pack smart like backpackers do. In warm weather go with a hammock instead of a tent which will save a good bit of room. On the Manny 14 you have that skeg box in the way but using 5L drybags you should be able to work around it.

Thank you to all who responded. Some excellent info (and web sites) from everyone ! I was lucky enough to try some bags in a manitou 14 at the local paddle shop today. I bought a seal line tapered bag with the air purge valve on it. Thought the 20L was about the largest i could get thru the hatch opening.

I was surprised at how quickly a packed bag takes up space in the manitou, but i also think i will be able to get a weeks worth of gear etc into my “little” boat.

I’m going to purchase some other smaller bags shortly i’m leaning towards the seal line baja bags. May consider a low profile deck bag to add on as it might be good for wallet, keys, snacks, monocular, camera etc. Hoping the extra weight on the deck wont effect the stability of the boat too badly.

Again, thanks so much for all the input!


my experience with a Manitou 13
I’ve done week long trips with the 13 and carried a few luxuries (books, iPod, beer, etc.) without problems and without packing excessively tightly. So the Manitou is definitely not just a weekend boat. But I could get fresh water where. If I had to carry 20 L water, it would be more difficult.

The only big piece of gear on deck was my thermarest, but it’s light. I’d endorse the deck bag. I have a small mesh bag behind the cockpit that holds gloves, rain jacket, lunch, and booties.

Just bought a 20 L taper bag last year and it makes packing very easy. Might get another.

We bought a dozen Seal Line Baja bags (5 l to 20 l) for an ocean kayak trip a few years back. They are great bags, but the 20 l bags are generally too big for the rec boats we now paddle so they don’t get much use. And while the Bajas are just about indestructible, they are stiff and don’t squeeze in so well. Softer bags really do pack better. Maybe consider getting some OR bags, especially for sleeping bags.

think backpacking
This isn’t a Manitou-specific problem. Think backpacking. Could you get everything you need for a week in your backpack? If you could, you should be able to get it into your boat, since a Manitou has much more room than a backpack.

For dry bags, I like these – a bunch of 5L, a couple 10L, maybe a 15L for your sleeping bag. What I like about them is that they are slippery on the outside (nylon), and come with a valve to purge out any extra air which gets them as small as you can. If you’re having a hard time, you may have to rethink your gear–get a down/smaller packing sleeping back, etc. For a sleeping bag, I like a compression dry bag too . Pack it down small. Maybe a tarp instead of a tent. Maybe a Jetboil to cut down on size more.

Good luck with your trip!

instead of a deck bag
get creative and make a mesh under deck storage bag and place for pump. It’s got a big cockpit, utilize it before piling stuff on top.

What I did on a plastic CHatham 16 was drill through the deck four fender screws, the wide shallow heads, in a roughly rec shape 8"x10" and attached loops of 1" webbing underneath. Between those four loops of webbing you can secure a mesh bag with a plastic stiffener in it with 1/8-3/16" bungie. Between the deck and mesh bag you can place long objects like the pump and in the mesh bag all the loose items that you’ll like to have access to. I’d rather have cameras/electronics in the shade than in a bag baking in the sun.

this is the mesh bag I used and the plastic stiffener was a piece cut from a rubbermaide bucket lid.

If you don’t like exposed screw heads on the foredeck, no matter how flush you can install the screws through a loop of 1" webbing that can do double duty as a tie down eyelet for a painter. If that still is not desirable you can glue on d-ring patches with contact cement. I attached some on the bottom of the Chatham for securing a small dry box/bag between my legs and it’s been attached just fine for five years.

Hands down the best dry bags
Sea to Summit evac/event. Spend the money. You won’t regret it. And yes… smaller and multiple bags are better than a couple of larger ones due to the Necky’s (and most kayaks) shape in the bow and stern.

Review here: