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Keeping your supplies dry while kayaking can be tricky business. From ziplock bags to plastic wrapped contraptions, we’ve done it all. Unfortunately, we have all failed at trying to keep our supplies from getting damp. But that’s where the search for the best dry bag for kayaking starts.

Here at The Adventure Junkies, we pride ourselves on giving you all the necessary information to get the best out of your adventures. Whether it’s kayaking through the waves of Key West or in the San Francisco Bay, we can give you the know-how on how to make the most of any experience.

For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out the Best Kayaking Dry Bags.

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Kayaking Gift Guide

 

Quick Answer - The Best Dry Bags for Kayaking

  1. Sea to Summit Lightweight
  2. Sea to Summit Big River
  3. Sea to Summit Hydraulic With Harness
  4. SealLine Seal Pack
  5. Big Agnes Pumphouse Ultra
  6. Forbidden Road Waterproof Dry Bag
  7. SealLine Black Canyon Boundary

 

Comparison Table - Best Dry Bag for Kayaking

PictureNameBackpack?CapacityMaterialPriceRating
Sea to Summit LightweightNo4 LitersCoated Nylon$4.8
Sea to Summit Big RiverNo65 Liters420-denier Nylon$$4.7
Sea to Summit Hydraulic With HarnessYes65 Liters420-denier Nylon$$$$5.0
SealLine Seal PackNo4 LitersPolyurethane-coated Polyester$$5.0
Big Agnes Pumphouse UltraNo50 LitersAviation-grade, Ultralight Fabric$$5.0
Forbidden Road Waterproof Dry BagNo10 LitersPolyurethane Coated PVC$4.5
SealLine Black Canyon BoundaryYes70 and 115 LitersThermoplastic Urethane-coated Nylon$$$4.5
PictureNameBackpack?CapacityMaterialPriceRating

Reviews - The Best Kayaking Dry Bags

Sea to Summit Lightweight

Specs
  • Backpack?: No
  • Capacity: 4 Liters
  • Material: Coated Nylon

BEST FOR: SHORT-DISTANCE PADDLING, HIKING, AND SHORT-TERM CAMPING

PROS: Has more space available than other budget-minded dry bags

CONS: Can be awkward to carry around and hike with

SHAPE: Cylinder

Sea to Summit Big River

Specs
  • Backpack?: No
  • Capacity: 65 Liters
  • Material: 420-denier Nylon

BEST FOR: STORING KAYAKING GEAR, SOME TEXTILES, AND FOOD

PROS: Easy to pack and features stabilizing construction to keep it from rolling

CONS: May be hard to carry for long distances, plastic buckle strap is prone to break

SHAPE: Cylinder

Sea to Summit Hydraulic With Harness

Specs
  • Backpack?: Yes
  • Capacity: 65 Liters
  • Material: 420-denier Nylon

BEST FOR: STORING KAYAKING GEAR, SOME TEXTILES, AND FOOD

PROS: Easy to pack and features stabilizing construction to keep it from rolling

CONS: May be hard to carry for long distances, plastic buckle strap is prone to break

SHAPE: Cylinder

SealLine Seal Pack

Specs
  • Backpack?: No
  • Capacity: 4 Liters
  • Material: Polyurethane-coated Polyester

BEST FOR: SHORT-DISTANCE PADDLING AND HIKING

PROS: Can double as a fanny pack

CONS: Its 4-liter capacity means you can’t pack an awful lot

SHAPE: Rectangle

Big Agnes Pumphouse Ultra

Specs
  • Backpack?: No
  • Capacity: 50 Liters
  • Material: Aviation-grade, Ultralight Fabric

BEST FOR: SHORT-DISTANCE DESTINATION PADDLING, CAMPING

PROS: Can double as an air mattress inflater and pump

CONS: Not recommended to be submerged, can be difficult to cary

SHAPE: Cylinder

Forbidden Road Waterproof Dry Bag

Specs
  • Backpack?: No
  • Capacity: 10 Liters
  • Material: Polyurethane Coated PVC

BEST FOR: SHORT-DISTANCE PADDLING AND THOSE TRYING TO SAVE MONEY

PROS: Inexpensive and durable

CONS: Limited for only one year and small storage

SHAPE: Cylinder

SealLine Black Canyon Boundary

Specs
  • Backpack?: Yes
  • Capacity: 70 and 115 Liters
  • Material: Thermoplastic Urethane-coated Nylon

BEST FOR: HIKING, LONG-DISTANCE PADDLING, CAMPING

PROS: A fantastic dry bag for destination paddling

CONS: Polyester straps can become damp

SHAPE: Cylinder/Backpack

 

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST DRY BAGS FOR KAYAKING

SHAPE

Knowing what you’ll be storing can help you determine which dry bag for kayaking you’ll need. For textiles and clothes, cylinder shapes work well. If you’re storing more shapely and squared materials, rectangular dry bags are best.

 

WEARABILITY

Some kayakers need their bags to be easily worn. Other users may have no need for straps or things of the sort.

Simpler drawstring bags will suffice for most kayakers. However, paddlers who want to hike after they’ve reached their destination could benefit from a wearable bag. Dry bags that utilize waist-straps are perfect for hiking, too.

 

VISIBLE ON AND OFF THE WATER

Many dry bags for kayaking are available in neons and pastels. Others can be bought in more natural brown and black tones. It’s worth investing in a bright colored dry bag, should you ever lose it on the water. It’ll be much easier to track down than a black or earth-toned one.

Also, look for bags that have reflectors on them. This will make them even more visible in low-light conditions, helping you to even be better seen by other kayakers as well. If you’re interested in other tips on how to stay safe on the water, check out this list by the American Canoe Associations.

 

MATERIALS

The hydrophobic linings of these dry bags are the keys to their success. Thermoplastic urethane (TPU) and polymers are commonly found in dry bags. Avoid any bags with exposed steel linkings and ones with hydrophilic cotton.

 

WEIGHT

Most kayak bags are quite light by their very nature. But that’s not to say that there aren’t a few out there that are quite heavy. When you’re shopping for your drybag, be cognizant of the weight of the bag itself.

 

GEAR CAPACITY IN LITERS AND CUBIC INCHES

Knowing what you require from the gear you’re looking to lug around will be wholly beneficial to deciding which dry bag is right for you. Most bags list their liter and cubic inch capacities on their product descriptions. That said, liter capacitors are far more important to take note of than available cubic inches. For more tips on how to pack a dry bag, check out this how-to by Paddlinglight.com.

 

SUBMERSIBLE OR NOT

Do you think your bag may, at any time, be submerged under water? If so, make sure you purchase a dry bag that can be submerged while still keeping your belongings dry.

A key characteristic of submersible bags is that they’ll come with lock-and-seal openings where you can suck the air out of them. Bags not intended to be submerged will utilize zippers and even nylon drawstrings. A submersible bag is a great asset to have for beginner and seasoned kayakers alike.

 

THE KAYAK YOU HAVE

Depending on what kayak you’re intending to put the bag in can have a great deal of impact on which dry bag you purchase. If your kayak has an allotted storage space, you can support a larger bag. However, if the cockpit area is quite small, a 10-liter bag may be all you can fit after putting down your paddle.

READ MORE

For more of our top kayaking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

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