How to Choose the Perfect Dry Bag for Your Next Water Excursion?
For everyone going for a water excursion or any activity involving water, a dry bag is crucial. It is a flexible, durable, watertight bag that will protect and keep your items dry. They are mainly used for outdoor activities and preserve contents from water, dirt, and sand. Besides, dry bags are excellent for organizing your essentials and having one makes you ready for whatever nature calls for.
Considering the various options available in the market, it gets tricky to choose the right product. You will need to make important considerations. That way, you will enjoy your experience entirely. Worrying about your stuff getting damaged will be the least of your concerns. You only need to plan where to go and when. With our guide, we will help you choose the perfect dry bag based on your needs.
The first thing to consider when choosing a dry bag should be the material used. The material is part that determines how safe your contents will be. Dry bags will be made of nylon or vinyl. The two are waterproof and durable. Vinyl will mainly be used for dry bags that carry smaller personal items, while nylon is used for larger bags. However, you can also find large dry bags made with vinyl.
Nylon is used mainly due to its durability, and the nylon is coated with a waterproof coating referred to as siliconized Cordura or a PVC film. It prevents the bag from abrasion. Nylon dry bags have a number followed by the letter ‘D,’ which denotes how dense the fibers are. The higher the number, the higher the density of the nylon fibers and vice versa. A more rigid bag means denser nylon fibers. Either way, your dry bag needs to be heavy-duty enough to sustain aggressive moist and wet environments.
Nylon dry bags are lighter and more flexible than those made from vinyl. However, they are also more susceptible to tear, mildew, and puncture. On the other hand, vinyl bags are more resistant. Yet, a dry bag that can tear in the middle of your excursion may not be very ideal. Thus, it is better to opt for thicker heavy-duty dry bags rather than lightweight dry bags.
Type of closure
To choose the perfect dry bag, you need to consider its closure system. It prevents
water from getting inside the bag. Dry bags reinforced with fully taped seams mean that the bags are designed to be water-resistant. With the seams, they have more protection against water and will keep your items completely dry even with a full submersion. In addition, a double-stitched seam improves a dry bag’s strength.
All dry bags should be sealable to prevent water from getting through. Seals used are:
Hypalon roll-top: It is predominantly used as it seals out water more effectively. The rolled top and the snapped buckle make the dry bag air and watertight. In a way, the top and buckle also create a handle that allows you to carry several bags or secure them using a carabiner.
Some companies use webbing on roll-top closures. Yet, this type of closure can draw moisture into the dry bag’s opening. That is why using a Hypalon roll-top closure is more effective for superior dry bags.
Zipper seal: There are dry bags with a press and a zipper seal like a freezer bag. They seal out water, but they need proper lubrication for the seal to work correctly. Also, not all zippers are waterproof.
Velcro: Today, there are dry bags made with a Velcro top edge for water protection. This closure is easy to use and secures the bag relatively well.
Drawstring: This type of closure is easy to use and is excellent to stow away personal stuff. Yet, it does not completely protect your content from the water.
The Size and Functionality
Dry bags come in different sizes. Small ones are ideal for small personal items like toiletries, medication, small electronics, and first aid kits. Then, there are also larger ones. The most common market sizes are S, M, L, and XL. Depending on your needs, you can get dry bags from 5 liters up to 40 liters.
Think about how and what you will be using your dry bag for. Smaller bags can be used to separate clean and dirty laundry and can go into bigger ones. 10-liter dry bags can be used to store a change of clothes. Medium-sized ones can keep clothes for a few days or two people.
A large waterproof bag can store supplies for a week long trip. Extra-large dry bags can hold a lot of gear and are ideal for a trip that’s longer than a week.
Depending on how much your dry bag can hold, you need to ensure not to over stuff it. Over stuffing can interfere with the waterproof properties. A dry bag should be spacious enough for all your gear and personal items. Filling it up to ¾ is good enough.
You may find dry bags that have a transparent window. Such a provision is a great option to help you when searching for things quickly. However, this is just a plus and does not mean a higher quality bag.
The carrying straps will help you carry the bag around. They should be able to handle any load within the bag and offer comfort ability. For a small or medium bag, one strap works. Yet, large or extra-large bags may need more than one strap. The straps can be of a backpack or duffel style.
Duffel-style dry bags are ideal for personal gear, and they tend to be more expensive. This is because they need a unique zipper to retain their water-resistant qualities. To be comfortable, you can opt for a dry bag with padded straps.
You must choose your dry bag bearing the cost in mind. Sellers will price dry bags differently based on the quality of the material used, durability, size, and more. More durable dry bags might cost more. Buy a dry bag considering your budget and needs.
Most dry bags have a D-ring, which can also be bought from an outdoor retailer. D-rings are D-shaped rings typically attached to the dry bag after rolling or buckling. They allow you to string several dry bags with a rope or string to attach to a boat or kayak. With a D-ring, your dry bag’s buckle is kept away from the stress and possibility of breakage when stringing bags together. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the rings are of good quality. Most dry bags are also attachable with an end handle or straps.
Other Usable options for Dry Bags
Dry bags serve several purposes. Hence, it is crucial to know how else you can use your dry bag. It can be used as a water bucket or cooler. Since most of them float on water, you can use your dry bag as a floatation device. Dry bags also serve to protect electronics like cameras, GPS devices, and cellphones from water. They are also usable as pillows when you need something to lay your head on.
Dry bags vs. Dry sacks
Dry bags and dry sacks are different based on how they can tolerate harsh conditions. They also differ in terms of the materials used. Manufacturers make dry bags with stiff materials that are very durable and waterproof. On the other hand, dry sacks are made using lightweight materials.
Dry sacks are helpful in various situations. However, they are not made using impermeable material, and their type of closure is also different. Dry bags are heavy-duty and can even be thrown on a boat’s bottom and keep contents dry. Dry sacks will usually be ultra-light options meant to go inside a different pack.
Both dry bags and dry sacks will keep your contents dry, but dry bags are more efficient. For example, dry sacks are not ideal for marine or boating use, unlike dry bags. You can also use a dry bag for paddleboarding.
You can drag a dry bag on a sandy beach, and you can also trust a dry bag to keep your contents dry even when submerged in water or the rain. Dry bags are best for waterspouts and outdoor use. Dry sacks are best for outdoor activities or camping but not ideal for waterspout activities. You can use dry bags for boating and not dry sacks.
A dry bag is a perfect companion for a water adventure or excursion. A waterproof bag for water sports is ideal for SUP enthusiasts and sea kayaks. It would be best to consider the things mentioned above before choosing your dry bag. There are very many different options, but the concerns above cut across. The best waterproof bag should keep your content dry and safe and offer you comfort-ability. Dry bags are ideal for everyone, and they make expeditions and adventures more pleasant.