What is a Dry Bag Used For [ Your Quick Guide ]

What is a dry bag used for

A dry bag has many uses but the ultimate aim of it is to make sure your gear, equipment and/or clothes remain dry whether you’re camping, kayaking or canoeing.

They are a great invention that allows you to bring along the things you really need and guaranteeing they stay dry the entire time.

How does a dry bag keep water out?

Any quality dry bag is either made of pure grade waterproof polymer or durable PU-coated Taffeta nylon; these are soft, flexible and strong – perfect requirements to keep the inside dry.

Once you have all of your gear packed away in the bag, you want to roll the top of the bag down about 3 or 4 times. Simply click the buckle together and you’re good to go – it’s that easy!

How many sizes do dry bags come in?

Dry bags to come in a variety of sizes and you want to choose the best one for you.

They come in:  1.5L / 2L / 2.5L / 3.5 L / 5L / 10L / 20L / 30L / 40L

As you can see, you’ll have no problem in making sure that your essential gear is protected.

How protective are they at keeping water out?

The materials that dry bags are made out of are extremely waterproof. Depending on the dry bag, they can have a hydrostatic head of up to 10,000mm, which means they are protected from any water entering of up to 10 meters. This is ideal for kayaking or canoeing!

You’re guaranteed that your gear will stay dry no matter what.

Can a dry bag float?

Yes, to a certain extent. The materials used in dry bags are very buoyant even if it is packed with gear. However, if you’re loading it full with heavy electronic equipment, it may start to sink.

Just make sure that you choose the right dry bag for you that it is going to be big enough to hold your gear comfortably.

[ Never confuse a dry bag with a buoyancy aid though! ]

How to pack a dry bag

You want to make sure that you’re carrying the weight on your shoulders, not your lower back.

So, lighter bulkier items will go at the bottom whereas all the heavier items will go on top.

Obviously depending on the size of your dry bag, it will limit what you can fit into it. However, if you were to use one of the largest sizes for a kayaking camping trip, this is how you would pack it –

  1. Sleeping bag at the bottom
  2. Your clothes
  3. Toiletry bag
  4. Stove and camping utensils
  5. Your tent

Recommended Dry Bags

There are some awesome dry bags you can purchase that are completely waterproof, hold a lot of storage and actually quite affordable.

Ultra Dry Adventurer

Ultra Dry Adventurer dry bag


10L or 20L


  • Light, tough and extra strong

This dry bag will guarantee no water enters your gear, it can be floating on the water in an extreme kayak run or camping in torrential rain and you can rest assured that your gear is completely dry

  • Extra long shoulder strap

It has a detachable and adjustable strap up to 48 inches or 122 cm. Perfect for carrying around your shoulder to get to the water’s edge or your campsite

  • Premium quality waterproof phone case included

This can store any smartphone, big or small. It has clear windows on it so you can still use it to take photos or videos when out on the water and at the same time knowing that your phone is completely protected from any water entering it


Unigear dry bag


2L / 5L / 10L / 20L / 30 L / 40L


  • Adjustable shoulder strap

There is a single strap for the 5L, 10L and 20L bags. The 30L and 40L come with double padded straps (backpack style). They are easy to carry and transport to and from the water or your campsite.

  • Completely waterproof phone case

This dry bag comes with a waterproof/snow-proof/dirt-proof touch-friendly phone case which fits all smartphones up to 6.0″ screen size, credit cards and other small gadgets.

  • Lightweight & heavy duty

Made of industrial grade 600D PVC tarpaulin. Scratch, tear and puncture proof so need to worry about water entering this.



Exped dry bags


Comes in 4 sizes : XL to XXL


  • 4 different sized dry bags

This comes with 4 different sized dry bags that are great for family camping or kayaking or if you have a lot of gear yourself, this will protect it all.

  • Made from durable and pliable PU-coated Taffeta nylon

This material is made of nylon which is incredibly strong but also very flexible so it can be easily folded away or scrunched down to minimise any air pockets leaving more room.

  • 10,000mm water column and taped seams

With this level of water protection, you can guarantee that your gear will stay dry no matter what


Arteesol dry bag


5L / 10L / 20L / 30L


  • Lightweight & Durable

This dry bag promises to offer full protection and usability of a life-time. It works incredibly well when being subjected to water so you can always rest assured that the important stuff will never be damaged.

  • IP66 Waterproof ability

It provides the best protection for your phones, camera and clothes from water, sand, dust and dirt.

  • Adjustable straps

The Arteesol dry bag can be used as your backpack, just adjust the strap length according to your needs and you can carry your gear with ease

Lucky Stone

Lucky Stone dry bag


2L / 5L / 10L / 15L


  • Made of quality high grade Nylon

Having a Nylon made dry bag will provide optimal protection from water, sand and dirt and due to its pliability it means you can really pack the bag full and make sure any remaining air will be forced out

  • Lightweight & Easy to transport

A 2L bag only weighs 75 grams itself but once it is packed up with your gear, it has an ergonomic handle that is easy to hold and carry

  • Easy to fold away

Due to the Nylon material, it can be easily scrunched and folded down and be able to fit away into the smallest of space within your backpack

So, the next time you are camping, kayaking or canoeing don’t forget your dry bag. Even if you’re not out in the water and possibly camping on dry land, it’s good practice to bring it along as it can store any wet gear or keep any essential gear dry if it’s raining.

If you have any questions, drop me a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you

2 comments Add yours
  1. Great material you have here!

    I have never really thought of a dry bag before. They are actually very affordable for what they claim to do. I have always use ziploc bags and what not – nice to know there is a much better alternative to keeping your phone and important electronics safe. 

    Thanks for a great article.


    1. Hi Nic,

      Dry bags are very affordable and can hold a lot of clothes or gear to guarantee ultimate waterproof protection. I always store my electronics in a dry bag before I head out kayaking as I like to take photos when I’m out on the water and this just makes sure they stay dry the entire time.

      Thank you

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