Nylon dry bag recommendations?

With 9" hatch openings on my Merlin LT, I’m considering buying some of the “new” coated or silicone-impregnated dry bags in smaller sizes. Would appreciate the benefit of anyone’s experience with these–do they stay waterproof, are they worth the cost, which brands are best, etc. And, does anyone make a compression dry bag for a sleeping bag? Thanks.

Yes, there is a compression dry bag
…made for sleeping bags.

Look for the Black Canyon line of drybags from SealLine. They can tell you which size is the “sleeping bag” size. If they can’t, e-mail me and I’ll measure my bag and get back to you.

SealLine also makes nylon drybags in many, many sizes, some with purge valves (a nice feature in the larger bags).

I like the Outdoor Research Exped bags
and have used them extensively. I find them rugged, light-weight and only had one leak when it was over-stuffed and riding on my rear deck. I’ve never had one leak when it was used properly. The other one I haven’t personally used, but have heard good things about is the Pacific Outdoor Equipment WXtex Pneumo bags. They have the advantage of having a purge valve which is useful when space is an issue.

Exped also makes a compression dry bag.
I like it because it presses your bag into a long narrow tube rather than a short fat one. Makes packing easier.

Seattle Sports Super Latitude?
Not sure if these are as light as you are looking for but they are as light and much more useable than my Sealine bags. Side opening. Window. Purge valve. I don’t see myself using anything else anymore.

Sea to Summit
makes a silnylon drybag that slips easily into tight spaces. Their best features:

-they work, everything stayed dry on a quite moist 2 week camping trip

-they held up well, though more time will tell

-they make jamming stuff into small hatches much easier because they slip and slide into place

-their are very light and the contents of the sacks can be seriously compressed

The only thing that frustrated me was difficulty getting all the air out of the bag before I sealed it when I needed to put the bag in the hatch first (I have a small front hatch also) because the material is so slippery. But overall it’s a great bag. If they hold up another year or so I will replace every drybag with them. I don’t think I could’ve fit everything for a 2 week trip into my Sirius without them.


Pacific Outdoor Equipment Great!!!
Pacific Outdoor Equipment is a terrific company. They make ultralight all the way to ultratough bags, map cases, and a number of specialty kayak items as well. Very very high quality. I have used their gear in high altitude mountaineering and in expedition sea kayaking. NO complaints.


Make your own, it’s easy
Sea Kayaker published an article on making dry bags using heat-sealable nylon. It’s very easy to do and you can make whatever size and shape you need.

WXtex Pneumo bags are
great for almost everything. Really like the purge valve. For sleeping bags, however, it is harder to get the air out as the valve is on the side. For sleeping bags we like the Seattle Sports Cyclone flat drysack with the autopurge valve which is located at the bottom of the bag. We also use the Seattle Sports Cyclone tapered drysack with autopurge for clothes in the bow. No wasted space there!

None have leaked yet (knock on wood kayak).

SeaLine Kodiak Window
bags work well for me. The larger bags have a purge valve that works pretty well and all models have a supple semi-clear window strip that lets you see what’s in the bag before opening it.

I would also suggest that if you have a sleeping bag that requires a compression stuff sack for kayaking, you might consider getting a different sleeping bag. Even the synthetic models are more compressible than they used to be and down is beyond comparison for this purpose. For instance, my TNF 32F Kilobag came with a factory 8" X 11" stuff sack which easily fits through an 8" hatch. With a marginal increase in elbow grease, it will fit into an even smaller stuff sack.

I would highly recommend the nylon bags–in my experience, they seal better and aren’t affected by colder temps like vinyl bags are.

Good luck!


Lyn’s got it.