Best dry bags for protecting your gear from the elements
Make sure your essentials and electricals are tucked safely away from wet weather with our pick of the best dry bags
When you're planning ahead for your next hilly trek or coastal walk and have a checklist in mind of all the hiking essentials to see you through your trip, it's just as important to consider how you're going to store them.
While a conventional hiking backpack is a great idea especially if you have a large amount of gear needed for a multi-day hike, a dry bag is also an excellent solution if you're concerned about the weather turning, or having to navigate a body of water.
What to look for in a dry bag
An effective dry bag doesn't simply protect your belongings from the occasional shower or coastal spray, they are also ideal for storing away items that become soaked during your trip.
If you're caught in a serious downpour or have a towel that is wet through from a quick dip, a dry bag will keep them separate from the rest of your belongings.
It's wise to consider what sort of outing you have planned, how much moisture you're likely to come in contact with and how suitable the model of dry bag is for carrying over large distances.
We've put together a list below that covers a variety of uses, from bags that will withstand stormy weather on a wet and windy hike to those that can be totally submerged if you're planning on kayaking or carrying your cargo across a body of water.
Best dry bags to buy in 2022
Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
This versatile dry bag from Marchway comes in a variety of sizes, designs and even strap adjustments so you can find the perfect option depending on the activities you have planned.
Ranging from five litres right the way up to 40 litres, it has a roll top design to make sure no water or moisture can make its way in, with a buckle that will keep the ends tucked tight. Simply fold the material between three to five times to create the ultimate seal.
This top section can be used as a carry handle and there's also an additional shoulder strap to make use of which will likely be more comfortable across greater distances.
Ideal for kayaking, paddling or any activity on the coast, this bag has been designed to float without letting the water come in contact with your equipment.
Uncle Paul Boat Dry Bags
Perfect for shorter trips where you want a handful of extra items, the Uncle Paul boat dry bag has two sizes which include two litres or five litres in capacity.
Available in a range of bright colours from blue and green to orange, you're unlikely to forget to pick them back up while taking a break on your next hike.
They're made from a PVC material which is both lightweight and tough so it shouldn't be a struggle to carry while holding up against wet conditions, thanks to the roll and buckle combination which also doubles as a carrying handle.
Cathay Fenix Unisex Bag
Made with welded seams that will keep the water at bay, this colourful dry bag has been designed with a sturdy and reliable PVC to protect your items from water and poor weather in general.
It’s available in a range of tones, whether you want a simple vibrant colour, or something patterned which is especially useful if you'd like to have several dry bags for different members of your group.
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It has a handy zip pocket at the front for any essentials you need to access in a pinch such as a map or your ID, with a reflective trim that will help keep you visible when hiking in low light.
You can opt to carry the bag over your shoulder using the adjustable strap and also attach it to a kayak if you're taking to the water directly.
Northcore Dry Bag
Packing 20 litres of capacity in a bright and vibrant yellow, this dry bag from Northcore can be worn like a backpack to spread the weight, or carried via the handle depending on what works best for you.
The straps are padded for additional comfort, and the fabric should be durable enough to hold up on an arduous treksas it's made from heavy duty PVC.
With large reflective sections on the bag you should be able to spot it (and be spotted yourself) in low light, helping to keep you safe on your ramble.
Aqua Quest Mariner
Not simply waterproof but also able to withstand a quick, total submersion, the Mariner dry bag from Aqua is a strong option if you're expecting to encounter some water on your next adventure.
Made from a non-toxic PVC material, this bag isn't just waterproof it's also puncture-resistant which means it won't be compromised even if it encounters something sharp.
The bag itself is smooth which means it'll be easy to wipe down and clean if it gets pretty muddy, and has a padded shoulder strap for comfortable carrying as well as a side handle.
This bag will carry around 10 litres of content and will even float if necessary without taking on any water thanks to its roll-top closure design.
Itiwit Waterproof Dry Bag
Designed with water sports in mind which means it will do the trick in wet weather or right by the waterside, this brightly coloured dry bag will protect your belongings from becoming soaked and damaged.
Resistant to any splashes and sprays while on the coast, it can also withstand a brief immersion due to its laminated polyester design.
There's room inside for the basics such as a small towel as well as valuables like your phone and wallet, with a shoulder strap that should make transportation nice and simple.
To ensure you get the full effect of the water protection they advise rolling the top of the bag around five times before fastening the buckle, and as an extra precaution to double up on waterproofing any electricals such as your camera or mobile.
Andrew Lloyd is a digital writer covering the latest gadgets, appliances and devices across Immediate Media's special interest brands. Whether you’re relaxing at home, exploring a mountainside, or staring into space, he likely has a recommendation for you.