Three Things to Look For In A Dry Bag

Get the perfect dry bag with these tips

It’s not always easy to keep valuables or a change of clothes dry in a boating or watersports setting. Enter the aptly named dry bag. With waterproof exteriors and watertight seals, dry bags prove a simple and affordable solution for many water goers. Here are three things to look for when purchasing a dry bag.

Construction Material

MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
High-tech thermo welding ensures dry bag seams don't leak and compromise the contents within.Courtesy Amazon

Dry bags are typically made from vinyl, vinyl-polyester laminates or PVC-coated ripstop nylon. Vinyl is often found in smaller bags, like those specific to phones and cameras, as the material allows buyers to actually see or use the item in the bag. Nylon bags, with a waterproof coating, are often the most flexible alternatives. The denier rating (ex. 500D) indicates how dense the nylon fibers are; the higher the number the stronger the bag.

Type Of Closure System

HEETA Waterproof Dry Bag
Why the D-rings found on many dry bags? They're not just to attach a carrying strap but also to enable bags to be clipped together. Should they go overboard, or the boat capsizes, they're easy to retrieve.Courtesy Amazon

Most medium-to-large dry bags seal with a roll-top closure system. You literally roll the top of the bag over several times around a sewn-in top strap, then clip the strap ends together via buckle. It’s both air and watertight, while the strap forms a natural carrying handle. Smaller bags may feature a freezer bag-style sealing zipper.

Usable Size

KastKing Dry Bags
Want an easier time finding a specific item within your bag? Look for a clear window, or even clear vinyl bag, to see the various contents.Courtesy Amazon

Bags are often sized by liters but keep in mind a portion of the potential volume will be negated by the roll-top closure. To ballpark the size, think of a 10-liter bag as perfect for bringing along a change of dry clothing, a 5-liter bag best suited to wallets, personal electronics, etc.