BEST Dry Bags In The UK 2019 (July Update)
You might love the outdoors, but no one likes having wet clothing, sleeping gear, toiletries or damaged electronics. Dry bags do exactly what they say on the tin; they protect your kit – come rain or shine!
Once upon a time people turned to plastic carrier bags or bin bags to keep their kit dry, but with the arrival of polyurethane-coated fabrics and new technologies came the creation of lighter and higher-quality dry bags because the sewn seams could then be taped to create a waterproof seal. And thanks to high demand and numerous suppliers, there are plenty of options at varying price points.
Dry bags are most commonly used for kayaking, canoeing, rafting, fishing, and other outdoor activities, but they are just as well suited to camping and mountain-based activities.
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The bags come with a watertight closing system, either zip-lock or roll top, and waterproofed seams to ensure that absolutely nothing gets inside.
Most premium dry bags will include a roll top as these provide the best protection. It is advised that users roll the top closure at least three times to get maximum protection against water and are careful when re-opening to ensure that there is no run off. Made from a waterproof material or plastic-coated fabrics, well-made dry bags are totally impermeable once sealed.
However, it’s always worth researching a dry bag before you purchase it or opting for a well-respected brand, as some cheaper makes are prone to splitting seams or small tears, which could leave your kit inside at risk.
You should consider whether you want a soft dry bag – better for lightweight purposes and putting inside a backpack – or a rigid one, which holds its shape, is more durable, and can be stood upright on the floor.
To allow for a better price comparison, the first four products reviewed are all 10L, but most also come in additional shapes and sizes.
KastKing Dry Bag Waterproof Roll Top Sack
Waterproof, snowproof, sandproof and dustproof – this is what KastKing promises from their dry bag. These bags are built with the outdoor adventurist in mind and will withstand whatever you choose to throw at them.
Built from 100% waterproof heavy-gauge, non-rip 500D PVC material, the heavy-duty bag offers fusion welded seams with reinforced vinyl at stress points. This means you can fill your bag to the brim, sit on it or throw it in the bottom of your boat, and not waste time worrying about it splitting. The circular bottom allows it to stand upright whilst you pack or unpack it and an additional transparent waterproof piece on opening means that the chances of river or sea water getting in are quite literally zero. An alternative handle and adjustable shoulder straps provide an easy way for carrying. Their adverts even show it being used as a beer cooler on a camping trip – we’re sold!
- Brand: KastKing
- Dimensions: 20 × 50 cm (H×W)
- Weight: 350 g
- Colour: Yellow, Blue, Orange and Black
- Style: Wet and extreme environments, sand and dust-prone environments
- Outer material: Synthetic 500D PVC
- Polyurethane coated and fully seam sealed
Ultra Dry Adventurer Premium Waterproof Bag
The name of the brand is a strong indication that this team know their stuff. This dry bag is light, tough and highly durable – promising to be rip and puncture proof, even under pressure.
The material is pure grade Y7.5mm thick 500D polymer, which to you and me means it’s a resilient and waterproof synthetic. Keeping up with the market trends, thermo-welding technology ensures the strong seams are watertight, even under pressure with reinforced vinyl at its stress points. It can survive quick submersion but this is somewhat irrelevant as it floats, and thanks to its colour, it will be easy to spot should it go overboard!
The bag comes with an extra long removable shoulder strap, meaning it can be comfortably carried in different ways.
- Brand: Ultra Dry Adventurer
- Dimensions: 30cm X 55cm
- Weight: 369 Grams
- Colour: Blue, pink, black, yellow
- Style: Wet and extreme environments
- Outer material: Pure Grade Y7.5mm thick 500D Polymer
- Product replacement offered if water gets in
Outdoor Research Ultralight Dry Sack
Thanks to the ultralight fabric of 40-denier ripstop with a polyurethane coating (not to be dragged along a rough surface), it is extremely light and totally flexible – unlike the previous products. This means it can be comfortably carried on your bag, or folder and moulded to fit within other bags. These dry bags are best for compartmentalising in larger backpacks or holding clothes and soft goods.
This lightweight compression sack is aimed more towards reducing sleeping bags and other stuffables to a pack-friendly size. Although it is splash-proof and keeps moisture out, it doesn’t match its counterparts in terms of being totally waterproof or tear-proof.
The bonus is that it is incredibly lightweight and the moisture-resistant silnylon fabric slides easily into a larger backpack. A handy pocket within is perfect for keeping track of small items or can be used for self-storage.
- Brand: Outdoor Research
- Dimensions: 15.2 x 7.6 x 3.2 cm
- Weight: 63.5 g
- Colour: Numerous
- Style: Wet and extreme environments
- Outer material: 100% polyester, 40D ripstop with PU coating
Viddora Travel Dry Bag
Kicking off with a cheap and cheerful option, the Viddora dry bag is suited to basic outdoor requirements. Whether that’s throwing it in a kayak for a paddle down the river, or putting your valuables inside on a hike where you might get wet, this bag provides just enough protection for your valuables.
The bag is built from heavy duty 500D PVC tarpaulin, which means it can withstand a fair bit of rough and tumble without any risk of snagging or tearing. Welded seams reinforced with double stitching mean neither water nor air should be able to enter the bag, making it a popular choice within water-sports communities. As the cherry on top, they’re throwing in a free adjustable carry strap and an ebook on how to get the most from your dry bag.
Don’t be fooled by the low price of this small and mighty dry bag, Viddora offer a lifetime money-back guarantee on their high-quality products.
- Brand: Viddora
- Dimensions: 38.5 x 0.5 x 31cm
- Weight: 270g
- Colour: Blue
- Style: Wet and extreme environments
- Outer material: Synthetic PVC
- Lifetime Moneyback Guarantee
Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag
Made of 420-denier nylon, rather than thick PVC, they are extremely lightweight, flexible and be used to compartmentalise other items. Thanks to their reinforced tape-sealed seams and TPU-laminated fabric, these bags are built to stand the test of time.
Two D-rings by the closure buckle allow it to be easily lashed to a boat or bike and the side lash loops are extremely handy for stacking and/or storing the bags.
- Brand: Sea to Summit
- Dimensions: 27cm x 15cm
- Weight: 200g
- Colour: Black
- Style: Wet and extreme environments, camping
- Outer material: 420-denier nylon
SealLine Boundary Pack
SealLine bags are known for quality and durability. Don’t be put off by the price tag because these bags will keep your prized possessions safe and dry for years to come.
These bags offer peace-of-mind waterproofing qualities with the load-carrying comfort of a traditional backpack.
Built from scrim-reinforced vinyl sides with a heavy duty scrim-reinforced vinyl bottom, the bags can withstand quick submersion and will float for extended periods of time.
The adjustable, breathable shoulder straps allow users to easily carry it as their primary piece of luggage on a trip.
- Brand: SealLine
- Dimensions: 40.6 x 30.5 x 7.6 cm
- Weight: 450g
- Colour: Teal (others available)
- Style: Wet and extreme environments
- Outer material: 100% vinyl
What type of dry bag do you want/need?
Thanks to the growing popularity of dry bags and development of different materials, there are so many types available on the market that it’s hard to know where to start.
We recommend that you consider various aspects of a dry bag and then use this knowledge to inform your choice.
This may sound like an obvious one – you want to keep your belongings dry. However, do you want to keep them safe from the rain whilst cycling to and from work or are you protecting them in case they go overboard on a sailing trip?
Different uses will require different levels of protection and material durability. Which leads us to the next point.
Materials range from lightweight, stitched fabrics to heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin. Based on what you’re planning to use the bag for and what conditions it will need to hold up in (including whether it will be in regular contact with rough surfaces or the floor), you will need to make sure you make your selection accordingly.
Sturdy and abrasion-resistant bags are essential on outdoor excursions like hiking and camping. It should also be noted that in hot climates the bag should be opened regularly to ‘breathe’ as condensation inside can be an issue.
The size of dry bag you opt for will also be tied into what you’re looking to use it for. A 5-litre bag is perfect for first aid supplies, toiletries and electronics when you’re heading out on an excursion.
A 10-litre bag would fit a sleeping bag or clothes and your other key essentials, but if you want to protect all your kit and food for an extended trip, opt for a 30-litre bag. This is generally the maximum capacity that dry bags will come in and will likely be more heavy duty than their smaller counterparts.
Although you might see comfortable carrying straps as an added bonus, they’re somewhat of a necessity for anyone looking to load up a dry bag and cover considerable distance with it. Just think, a 30 litre (or more) dry bag, full of wet kit, food and water is not something you’ll be able to sling over one shoulder with too much ease!
For extreme sports enthusiasts, backpack-style straps are extremely useful when transporting your dry bags as they equate to better mobility.
On a similar note, D-rings are extremely useful as they allow multiple bags to be bound together, making them easier to control.
As the name implies, these rings are D-shaped and are commonly found on the side of the bag – either coming with the purchase or being bought separately from outdoor retailers.
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