zip-lock input needed

I had trouble today with my keys and other stuff in my shorts’ pocket getting wet when out kayaking. What brand of small (pocket size) zip-lock bags would you recommend to keep things in your shorts’ pockets dry?


A-Lok-Sac and Storus Pouch
In my opinion - this stuff is just about the best

Another great option is one with closing “tabs”

Storus Pouches

zip lock
No need for anything fancy. Just use whatever you have in the cupboard.

If you have more room…
Instead of in your pocket, put something in your kayak…

Lock-n-lock type food storage containers might work. They have a rubber seal to keep food fresher, so one would assume they are pretty water tight.

Worth a try! In fact, I might pick one up myself.

a Tang or Kool-Aid drink mix container, the kind that makes 8 quarts. you can put your keys, lighter, ID, money etc. in it and it will float (unlike a ziplock baggie)

plus the container has an indentation around the middle that you can tie a piece of paracord around to lash it to somewhere on your boat.

WalMart has inexpensive small waterproof boxes that are good for stashing your keys, cellphone and a small wallet

if you have to use ziplocks for something such as lunch, choose the better freezer-grade ones with a double-lock design.


– Last Updated: Jul-05-11 12:05 AM EST –

If you have a spare wide-mouth Nalgene bottle (or something similar), they make good small waterproof containers. Somewhere I saw a Nalgene-contained first aid kit for sale - nice idea.

PS I used thick freezer zip-lock bags for a while, but my car key always poked a hole in it.

Ruin stuff and learn

– Last Updated: Jul-05-11 10:06 AM EST –

Food sits still ---- your stuff doesn't, it rubs, moves,chaffs, scrapes, shifts, etc.

Take your chances on pinholes, leaks, ruined equipment,
stuff that sinks to the bottom because it's full of water.

gasketed minibox
I’ve tried everything and my favorite so far is the small hard plastic cigarette package sized flip lid boxes with a rubber gasket and locking mechanism and nylon lanyard.

Like these:

They run around $3 to $5 at general sporting goods emporia like dicks, dunhams, etc., usually in the swimwear department, hanging on racks above the bathing suits. I can fit my cell phone, some cash, ID and car key in one and have never had it fail. The cord lets me lash it to the rigging and it floats. In fact, I plan to get a second one since discovering that my smallest digital camera fits handily inside too (though not leaving enough room for other items, so I need two.)

A-Lok-Sac - customer service sucks

– Last Updated: Jul-05-11 6:58 PM EST –

I had one of their 'zip-lock' bags leak and I made the 'mistake' of contacting them. I have never been given such a run-around by a company's customer service department, which included direct negative responses from the president of the company.

They "never" have leakage problems with their products. The customer contact information on their website was in error at that time (confirmed by an associate, but denied by the President). There was also an issue with their ordering system, but apparently the was my fault too.

Spend your money elsewhere. I have had great luck and support from Aquapac and Seal-line (small dry bags).

Life is just to short to have to deal with companies that have poor customer support.

Dry bag for bigger stuff, Pelican Box
for electronics.

alternatives to ziplocks
If you don’t want to use ziplocs, almost any plastic wide mouthed food container will work. Peanut butter jars, jam jars, pickle jars etc.

spare key…
I always carry a spare, “unlock the door only” key in my PFD and leave the “real” keys in the vehicle, under the seat. No worries about any “chips” getting ruined by the water…

get a…

– Last Updated: Jul-05-11 9:50 PM EST –

.Pelican case large enough for your things( wallet, keys,etc.) or buy a waterproof bag. DO NOT buy a product called "Outdoor Products" ..Made in China ...from Dick's sporting goods....I bought one , dropped it and it cracked against a rock !! Buy something like a Dry-Pac brand bag, a large size will hold wallet and car keys( I
use the Dry-Pak camera bag).

Rubbermaid type container in hatch
Or sometimes a pelican case in the hatch. If I get separated from the boat I’m really going to have a bad day.

ow bad do you want to keep it dry?
How bad do you want to keep it dry? I keep my keys and wallet in a dry bag inside a second dry bag. Even so, a small dry box would be better protection.

There is an article in Winter 2010 issue of California Kayaker Magazine ( that talks about the different dry storage, including results from an incident that put their dry storage to extreme test. The article can be read online for free at

Be careful with Ziplocs in your pockets. They tend to slide out easier than loose items in your pockets. Lost my wallet this way. Luckily I was able to backtrack and find it.

no use for a wallet
anywhere I paddle, lucky me! Wallet stays in car. Car key (non-electro) goes on ring in PFD pocket. (GF does have Otter Box on deck w/caribiner for her camera.)

Don’t trust zip locks
I can’t imagine trusting a zip lock bag to anything with any kind of electronics in it around the water. To demonstrate, simply put a tissue inside the zip lock and then put under water in the kitchen sink. See how much water seeps in while still. Then wonder what happens if you happen to squeeze the bag (say sitting on it inadvertently). Pop goes the seal…

I have a valet key that I use and that has no electronics in it. It can’t run the car either but I don’t need it to. Just need it to open the door. I keep that on a string around my neck. It doesn’t come off until I am seated in the drivers seat after paddling.

As for phones, a zip lock bag??? Anything that costs as much as a replacement phone, shouldn’t be in a bag that can’t seal properly. I also wouldn’t trust a phone to a rubbermaid container either though.


For those warning against
ziplock bags and a Tupperware boxes, I would agree that the chance of failure with these items is much greater than with a proper dry bag. However, by putting a box inside a ziplock you are probably approaching the same kind of protection that one might obtain with a much costlier solution.

try my test
of the tissue in a zip lock and if you are OK with that, great. Then of course, try squeezing the bag.

All I know is that when I thaw frozen food in a zip lock bag in a sink of cold water, I get water inside the bag. So, if that is good enough for the “stuff” that you put in it, then the solution is a good inexpensive solution. It isn’t good enough for me.