Kayaking is one of the most popular water activities during the summer. It is suitable for a wide range of fitness levels and it can be easily enjoyed with family and friends. While there are things to love about kayaking, it has its challenges. One of these is keeping your things dry. It may not be the biggest kayaking challenge unlike going into the boat and learning to move the kayak through the water, but its effects are felt long after you’re out of the water in the form of damaged electronic devices and unusable extra clothing.

The solution to this challenge is quite simple – a dry bag. This is a watertight container that can keep things dry even when submerged in water. It comfortably fits in a kayak and does not take a lot of the boat’s tiny space. This bag is also ideal for canoeing, surfing, fishing, hiking, and traveling.

Advantages of a Dry Bag

Dry bags are lightweight and flexible. It can easily accommodate many items such as clothes, towels, and electronic devices. If you are a water enthusiast, a dry bag is a must-have in your list. You can be confident that your gears are well-protected from the water with this reliable, sturdy, and water-resistant sack.

Protects Electronic Devices

One of the essential things you’d want to be with you when you go kayaking is your smartphone and perhaps even a camera. However, you don’t want to risk these devices getting wet. With a dry bag, you can bring along your smartphone and any other electronic items with you anywhere. Whether you are on a sit-on-top kayak or a sit-inside kayak, your dry bag will keep your devices dry and safe even if you capsize. There are small dry bags that are perfect for small devices. You could even put these small dry bags in a bigger one for added protection.

Keeps Food Edible

Going on a water adventure with family and friends usually involves well-packed picnic food. Kayaking consumes a lot of your energy, thus requiring you to sometimes bring along food with you. However, you don’t want your food to get soaked with saltwater or water from the river. A dry bag will help make sure that you have clean, dry food and water while you’re out in the river, the lake, or the sea.

Protects Extra Clothing

Water sports and activities always result in wet and damp clothes. You don’t want to stay in wet clothes the whole day. A set of dry clothing can help you feel better knowing that you can change into a warm shirt anytime. If you need to bring your extra clothing with you while you kayak, a dry bag will help them stay dry, ready for you when you need it.

Protects Valuable Items from the Sun

The best dry bag for kayaking is not only useful for keeping your things dry. You can also depend on this durable bag to protect your gadgets and items from harmful UV rays. The sun can damage your electronic devices and food items faster than the waves of the water.

Keeps Necessary Items Accessible

A dry bag can keep your things safe and accessible to you even when you are on the water. While it can keep your valuables safe and dry, it also means you can reach for anything while you are out on the water. This will be even more easily done if you get a dry bag that has quick access pockets and external access points.

Serves as a Flotation Device

Water is unpredictable. Calm water can become rough and bumpy in an instant and capsizing in a kayak is a common occurrence. Dry bags are designed to float on the water. If your bag gets separated from your kayak, you can easily spot the pack floating on the water. In case of extreme emergencies, a dry bag can serve as a water floater.

Top 10 Best Dry Bags for Kayaking

Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag

The Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag comes in eight colors and the price ranges from $20 to $40 depending on the size. The Earth Pak bags are known to be durable and it is considered one of the best brands when it comes to dry bags. Small to medium-sized bags have a single strap, while the large ones come with two backpack straps. The extra-large ones have an extra waist-belt for added support.


  • Comes with a 6.5-inch waterproof phone case
  • You can still use the phone even when in the case
  • Durable and made of 500D PVC material
  • Large bags have padded shoulder straps for convenience


  • Users complain about the seam under the bag getting ripped easily

Piscifun Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack

The Picsifun Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack comes in nine color varieties and costs from $13 to $35. This durable waterproof bag is made from 500D PVC that can withstand extreme weather conditions.


  • Comes with a 6.5-inch waterproof phone case
  • With adjustable padded strap
  • Strong fully-welded seams


  • Some users find the shoulder straps not too comfortable

Boncas Waterproof Dry Bag

The Boncas Waterproof Dry Bag comes in six colors and costs from $19 to $29. It is made of heavy-duty PVC, making it a robust waterproof bag.


  • Strong and stout seams
  • With extra pocket and front mesh for easy access
  • Comes with a waterproof phone case
  • Adjustable strap


  • Can get heavy when fully loaded

MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

The Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag comes in 16 colors and the price ranges from $11 to $25. It is lightweight yet durable with strong welded seams, which makes it a perfect companion in extreme fun and activities.


  • Solid roll-top closure
  • Smooth surface is easy to clean
  • Adjustable and removable strap


  • If not appropriately folded, water can get in

IDRYBAG Waterproof Backpack Floating Dry Bag

Available in four different colors and costs $43, the IDRYBAG Waterproof Backpack Floating Dry Bag is from a 500D vinyl material. You can easily wipe and clean its smooth surface.


  • With dual shoulder straps
  • Can be used for various water and outdoor activities


  • Zipper design makes it not fully waterproof

Gonex Waterproof Duffel

The Gonex Waterproof Duffel bag comes in 5 colors, and price ranges from $52 to $66. Made from PVC, it has a nylon pocket that can keep your items dry even if submerged in water.


  • Transparent name tag window for easy identification
  • Adjustable strap
  • Available in 80 liters


  • Pricey

Wise Owl Outfitters Dry Bag 3-Pack

The Wise Owl Outfitters Dry Bag comes in three colors and costs $30 for three different sizes. The three packs are lightweight, durable, and made from 190D Polyester.


  • Three bags for the price of one
  • Functional and with D-Ring for attachment
  • Can be used in any watersports and outdoor activities


  • Material is quite thin

HEETA Waterproof Dry Bag

The HEETA Waterproof Dry Bag comes in nine colors, and the amount ranges from $9 to $21. The bag is made of PVC material, making it ideal for use in any weather condition.


  • Comes with a touch-friendly phone case
  • Adjustable strap
  • Transparent window to quickly find items


  • Not advisable for water submersion

AKJMMZ Waterproof Sports Bag

The AKJMMZ Waterproof Sports Bag comes in black and blue and costs $19. It has a smooth surface for easy cleaning. The bag is lightweight, yet durable.


  • Made of 500D tarpaulin material
  • POM-made Buckle and D-Ring are sturdy
  • Easy to carry


  • Cannot be fully submerged in water

Arteesol Waterproof Bag

The Arteesol Waterproof Bag comes in seven colors and costs from $10 to $20. Made from 500D PVC material, it is ultra-durable and fully waterproof.


  • Has an extra front pocket
  • With adjustable dual straps
  • Easy to carry
  • With reflective stripe for night-safety


  • Users complained about the straps being uncomfortable

With the many brands and types of dry bags for kayaking, it can be challenging to determine which one to get. Aside from the design, color, and size, you also have to consider its material for durability. The most important thing is that you will get a dry bag that can keep your items dry, especially when you are having fun out on the water.

What to Look for in a Dry Bag

You might think that you don’t need a dry bag when you go kayaking. Some kayak hatch compartments can keep your valuables dry and safe while you’re on the water, but having a dry bag will ensure your items are protected wherever you place them.

Getting a dry bag, especially if you spend most of your fun time in the water, is one of the most essential decisions you’ll make. Once you decide to invest in one, make sure to consider several things before buying.


Dry bags are available in various sizes to cater to the different needs of kayakers, fishing enthusiasts, hikers, travelers, and campers. The measurement size of a dry bag is in liters. It can come from as small as one liter to as big as 65 liters. One liter is equivalent to one kilogram. The bigger the capacity size of the bag, the heavier it is to carry.


Small dry bags are ideal for electronic devices and other loose and personal items. Small bags measure from one to ten liters. A small dry bag usually doesn’t have a strap since it can be placed in a bigger bag or luggage.


Medium bags measure from 10 to 20 liters, which are the most common and ideal sizes for kayak dry bags. These can accommodate electronic devices, clothes, and other personal items, and usually have a single strap.


Large dry bags can accommodate 30 to 40 liters of water. These are typically used as motorcycle dry bags since they can store a lot of items.

Extra Large

Dry bags that can carry 40 liters or more are in this category. These are ideal for camping and other outdoor activities.


The best dry bags are typically made of nylon, vinyl, PVC, or Polyester. Most bags are nylon-made due to the material’s durability. Most kayakers and hikers prefer the lightweight material of nylon. You can also find some good polyester bags while dry bags made from vinyl are not as robust. The vinyl is commonly used for small dry bags that good for keeping small personal items only. PVC dry bags are the strongest but weigh heavier than nylon ones.


The roll-top closure is most common in dry bags. It comes with a buckle to secure and lock the bag even more, which can also serve as a handle. There are dry bags with zipper tops, but roll tops are more airtight.

Also, look for dry bags with taped seams to keep water from seeping in. Be sure to look for this feature before purchasing one to ensure full waterproofing.


Most dry bags have a single side strap, but some come with two straps and can be worn as a backpack. Choose a pack with either one or two shoulder straps, depending on your needs, to ensure convenience when carrying it.


Aside from showing your personality, choosing the right color can be helpful. Bright color bags are easier to find and see, in case it goes overboard.


Dry bags are inexpensive on average. The price of a dry bag depends on its brand, size, and materials used. Choose the one that fits your needs and not because of the price alone.

Extra Features and Attachment

You may find extra pockets and compartments on your dry bag helpful. Extra padding is also useful to adequately protect cameras and other electronic devices in your bag. You may also want to choose a pack with D-ring attachments that will secure it on your kayak or luggage.


Some of the most popular dry bag brands are Earth Pak, Piscifun, and MarchWay. However, other brands can provide as much functionality and durability as these three brands. There are more critical things to consider beyond brand names when buying a dry bag. Just make sure that you get a waterproof bag that answers your needs.

How to Use a Dry Bag

A dry bag is water-resistant, meant to prevent water from seeping inside. To make the bag fully waterproof, you need to secure it using the roll-top seal. To do this, here are the simple steps to follow:

  • Put all the items you need inside the dry bag. Leave at least a quarter of space on top of the pack.
  • You can remove the remaining air inside or keep the air in if you want the dry bag to float when on the water.
  • Fold the two top edges of the bag like dog ears and fold three times.
  • Lock the buckle to make the bag fully secure.

How to Care for Your Dry Bag

A dry bag is designed to be durable and sturdy. However, this doesn’t mean that you do not need to take good care of it. You do not want it to come apart or break down because of improper care and neglect, especially while you are using it. Caring for your dry bag properly will ensure that it does what it needs to and that it lasts for a long time.

1. Handle with Care

Even if a dry bag is made of durable fabric, throwing, dragging, squeezing, or shoving can damage it. Handle your bag gently, even if it is meant to protect your items in rough conditions.

2. Keep It Clean and Dry

Wash or at least wipe them after every use. It will ensure that the dirt and odor are gone. Dry the bag entirely before storing it to prevent the build-up of molds.

3. Keep Solvents, Chemicals, Pointed Items, and the Sun Away

Excessive exposure to UV rays is harmful to your dry bags. Keep them in a cool and dry storage area. Alcohol, gasoline, and other chemicals can make the bag peel away. Properly wrap pointed items like knives in cloth before putting them inside.

4. Do Not Overload

Avoid putting things in the bag more than it can handle. Put your stuff in separate containers, if possible. It may make you bring more than one pack, but it will prevent any damage to your bags and keep them useful.