Best Dry Bag For Kayaking - 2023 Guide

Canoes and Kayaks

A dry bag for kayaking is an essential piece of kit for the serious kayaker. But a quick look around will reveal many different types and brands of dry bags on the market today. Therefore it can be challenging to decide which one is best suited for your needs. This article will go through what to look for in a good dry bag and take a sneak peek at some of the best waterproof kayak dry bags available.

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dry bag for kayaking
Photo by Laura Lefurgey-Smith on Unsplash

Are dry bags worth it?

A dry bag is an excellent investment and is one of the essential pieces of equipment for any kayaker. It will protect anything you need to stay dry if you end up in the water.

Dry bags have many benefits that make them worth the investment. First, they are a great way to protect your gear from the elements and keep them dry. They are also straightforward to use.
Dry bags are also lightweight and easy to carry around, making them perfect for kayak trips where you want to be as mobile as possible. 

In addition, they make it more likely not to lose valuable belongings overboard if your kayak flips or capsizes. They can also offer protection from the wind and the sun and when wet weather is on the horizon.

Large dry bags can even help kayakers stay afloat if they end up in the water in extreme situations.

What to look for in a dry bag.


One of the first things to consider when buying a dry bag is the material. Typically dry bags are either made from nylon or vinyl.
Vinyl is a material commonly used in the making of dry bags. These are generally high quality but less flexible and are heavier than nylon bags. In addition, vinyl bags are also more durable.

Nylon dry bags are coated with a PVC film or silicone coating to achieve waterproofing. These are often lighter and more flexible than vinyl bags. However, unlike vinyl bags, Nylon bags are more subject to tears and punctures.


As you embark on your next kayaking trip, you should consider the color of your dry bag. A brightly colored dry bag is aesthetically pleasing but, more importantly, can help with visibility should it or you go overboard.

How waterproof is the dry bag?

Some dry bags can be fully submerged in water for short periods, although it is not recommended. Many dry bag brands claim to be waterproof but are only water-resistant from rain and splashing.  A quick look through user ratings and reviews will highlight which brand is really waterproof.

We recommend using a clear zip-lock bag as a double layer of protection, especially for valuables such as smartphones and car remotes even in waterproof bags.

What Size Dry Bag Is Best For Kayaking?

The size of the dry bag often depends upon its intended use. The larger the bag, the more gear you will be able to fit inside.

On short kayaking trips where only a few small items like car keys, snacks, and your phone need to be taken, a small 3-10-liter dry bag should suffice for essentials such as a phone, keys, and light clothing.

Longer day kayaking trips may require up to a 40-liter dry bag. If you’re planning a big adventure, maybe one of the larger 100L plus bags may be required.

Where Do You Put Dry Bags In Kayaks?

Most people put dry bags on the bottom of their sit-in kayaks or on top under bungee cords at the front or back for sit-on-top kayaks. If storing your dry bag on the floor of your kayak, be mindful of water pooling.

Where possible, stand the drybag upright so that the sealed opening is not sitting in water for a prolonged period. It’s also good to fix your dry bag to your kayak with a bungee cord so that it won’t ever float away.

Best Dry Bags For Kayaking

Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack

The Osprey dry sack has been in the market for years and is still highly regarded for its design and quality. It is a durable dry pack that kayakers can easily carry around in all forms of weather and water conditions.
The design of the Osprey dry sacks makes them one of the top contenders on this list. The rectangular shape of the Osprey dry sack allows it to be used in various ways and fits into both carry-on and checked baggage with ease.

Sizes available: 1.5L, 3L, 6L, 12L, 20L, 30L

What we like:
✅ Good choice of sizes
✅ Affordable

We don’t like:
⛔️ Water resistant only

Yeti Panga Dry Bag

The Yeti Panga is a dry bag for kayaking that’s been tested by many people and is one of the most durable on the market today.
The Yeti Panga is known for its durability. Its composite construction is built to handle harsh conditions, so you can use it anywhere. It’s also made of thick laminated high-density nylon to withstand impacts from rocks, small trees, and other obstacles.

Sizes Available: 50L, 75L, 100L

What we like:
✅ Waterproof
✅ Durable

We don’t like:
⛔️ Expensive

Earth Pak Dry Bay for Kayaking

Earth-Pak’s outdoor sports & leisure brand has focused on providing quality gear at a lower price. They are popular among countless outdoor enthusiasts because they offer good value and continue to offer new and improved models for their customers.
This dry bag is the number 1 best seller on Amazon and comes with a fantastic 5-year replacement guarantee. And apparently, you have coverage even if a bear tears through your dry bag!

Sizes available: 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L, 55L

What we like:
✅ Affordable
✅ Comes with a waterproof phone case
✅ 5-year guarantee

We don’t like:
⛔️ Plastic clips could be stronger

FE Active Dry Bag

The FE Active Cloudbreak 30L and Huntington 20L Dry Bags are highly durable. They feature a large mesh pocket and will keep your gear dry during all types of adventures. It even has a laptop pocket.
These dry bags are perfect for transporting dry gear in a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. They can also be used as a day pack with padded shoulder straps and chest straps to keep the bag secure while on a motorcycle, bike or jet ski.

Comes with a complimentary carabiner for extra utility.

Sizes Available – 20L (Cloudbreak) , 30L (Huntington)

What we like:
✅ Waterproof
✅ Durable

We don’t like:
⛔️ Only comes in 1 color

NRS Outfitter Dry Bag

The NRS Outfitter Dry Bag is an extra-large waterproof PVC/polyester bag with a shoulder sling designed to deal with the rigors of intense outdoor trips. This particular bag has two main features which make it stand out from the rest: its size and durability. The massive size of these bags makes them perfect for many activities, including camping, overnight kayaking, and hiking. They are large enough to carry all of your equipment, including tents and camping gear. Be aware that these bags with not fit into most closed kayaks. They need to be carried on top of an open or sit-on-top kayak or canoe.

Sizes Available: 65L, 110L, 140L

What we like:
✅ Durable
✅ Waterproof
✅ Oversized Capacity

We don’t like:
⛔️ Pricey

NRS Bill's Bag

The NRS Bill’s Bag Dry Bag is one of the best dry bags available. It’s especially popular among adventurers and kayakers who use it for intense backpacking trips.
Constructed with 21 oz TobaTex with a reinforced bottom, these are an excellent sturdy waterproof bag option. It has a large storage capacity with a patented water-repellent coating that keeps your gear safe from outside elements.  Padded shoulder straps on the back pack harness make carriage of these bags a breeze.  The backpack harness is also removable.
This bag comes in 4 colors: black, red, blue, and yellow.

Sizes available: 65L, 110L

What we like:
✅ Easy to remove backpack harness
✅ Waterproof
✅ Oversized Capacity

We don’t like:
⛔️ Heavy – 110L bag weighs 4.2 lbs

Sea to Summit Dry Sack

The Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Bag is a small lightweight bag that can be compressed down into its pocket when not in use. It’s made with durable nylon and PVC that protects your valuable items from moisture and water splashing. The manufacturer does not recommend submerging this bag underwater.
This dry bag is an excellent addition for kayaking day trips as storage only.  There are no backpack straps for easy carriage. 
Come in the following colors: Apple Green, Pacific Blue, Red, and Yellow.

Sizes Available: 1L, 2L, 4L, 8L, 13L, 20L, 35L

What we like:
✅ Inexpensive
✅ Soft and pliable

We don’t like:
⛔️ Water resistant only 

Marchway Dry Bag for Kayaking

Marchway Floating Dry Waterproof is a budget, lightweight backpack designed to keep your gear dry while kayaking. The pack has been made with high-quality materials to ensure perfect durability, impact resistance, and water resistance in all kinds of weather conditions. The 5L and 10L packs have a single carry strap, whereas the 20L, 30L, and 40L all have double straps to carry them on your back. In addition, the straps on the 40L are much thicker, much like a proper backpack, and are non-detachable.
This is an all-around decent dry bag with a great price point.

Sizes Available: 5L, 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L

What we like:
✅ Lightweight
✅ Affordable

We don’t like:
⛔️ Plastic clips could be sturdier

Summing Up

The best dry bag for you ultimately comes down to what you are looking for. You need to consider what and how much you need to keep dry and how and where you intend to use it.

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