Staying Dry While on the Water
While many of us love all things pertaining to water, undoubtedly, there are a host of items we don’t want to get wet while we enjoy our fly fishing from a boat.
Dry bag technology has come a long way in the last 20 years, and in this review, I’m going to be taking a long hard look at the best dry bags on the market, so you can keep those high-price-tag items safe, secure, organized, and most importantly, dry.
Join me as I review multiple offerings from some great companies, so you can, as always, buy with confidence.
This article will cover:
- Best dry bags for boating (overall)
- Best dry bags for the money
- What to look for in a boating dry bag
- Frequently asked questions
Let’s get started!
Best Overall Dry Bags for Boating
Below you will find our top three waterproof bags for boating!
- 600 Denier Polyester Ripstop Fabric
- Double-Sided TPU Lamination
- 60 L capacity
- 39 Oz Weight
- Rugged Abrasion-Resistant Bottom
- Roll-Top Closure, TSA-Friendly Zipper Access
- Large Grab Handles on Sides
- Shoulder and Backpack-Carry Options
- Roll-Up Strap Retainer
Starting off with a Simms product is a great way to open this review. Simms is synonymous with quality, and their attention to detail and commitment to customer satisfaction has created a lot of brand loyalty to this company.
Their Dry Creek Duffel is no different and was designed for heavy use and travel. 600 D polyester Ripstop fabric is the epitome of ruggedness.
The fabric can resist abrasion and seam-ripping well, and the double-sided TPU lamination not only strengthens the sidewalls, but they also are super effective at keeping water out. The abrasion-resistant bottom keeps the bag open while upright for easy loading and 60 L gives you all the room you would need to keep what can’t get wet safe while buzzing around in your boat.
This bag was meant for travel and can be carried in multiple different ways, even on your back. Check out this Simms product, because it is most likely a great addition to your boating outfit.
- Quality componentry. This is a tough piece of equipment that is reviewed well and will last a lifetime
- Multiple carry options mean that hiking this bag in is easy and intuitive
- Keeps what can’t get wet safe. Period
- If you know Simms, you know you’re getting a field-tested piece of equipment you can rely on
View on Simms →
- Waterproof Rubberized PVC Material
- 60 L and 80 L Capacity
- 3.5 lbs and 3.75 lbs Overall Weight
- Hook and Loop Closure
- Back Nylon Zip Pocket for Soiled/Wet Clothes, Shoes, etc
- Rugged Straps, 3 Carrying Options (Side Handles, Main Handle, and Over the Shoulder
- Transparent ID Slot for Travel
This dry bag from Gonex is warmly reviewed and affordable. The PVC material used in its construction is super durable and resistant to water, ice and snow.
These bags come in two different capacities, 60 L and 80 L, and these are both big sizes, suitable for a ton of gear. The back nylon zip pocket is perfect for storing wet shoes, laundry, swimsuits, and whatever else you want to be organized but away from your dry gear. This bag is super versatile, even if you don’t have a boat.
It works just as well on a kayak, or on the beach. Reviewers of this product were very happy with its ability to be used in a variety of different outdoor applications, and at a reasonable price, it’s less alarming to pull the trigger on this well-designed and functional dry bag.
- Great price point for this quality piece of gear
- The versatility of this bag is a great selling point, you can use it for a lot of different outdoor applications
- Built for travel
- None! This is a great dry bag that’s reviewed well, spacious and functional. Highly recommended
View on Amazon →
- 500 D PVC Material
- Watertight High-Frequency Welded Seams
- 40 L and 60 L Capacity
- Roll-Down Top is Completely Waterproof
- Two Outer Zip Pockets
- Two Interior Zip Pockets
- Attached D-Rings
- Shoulder Strap and Two Haul Handles
- Reflective Trim
- 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee
The DuffelSak from Skog A Kust is a great dry bag. This works great on your drift boat or kayak, but reviewers of this bag use it for a lot more. From backpacking to long-distance motorcycle outings, this is a warmly reviewed dry bag.
Spacious and available in two sizes (40 L and 60 L), the roll-down top clips in place and allows this bag to stand up to extremely adverse conditions (heavy rain, snow, and frequent splashes on your watercraft).
I like products that are equally useful in a variety of conditions, and this bag fits that bill, and all at a reasonable price point. Check this bag out, it is great.
- Superiorly designed with great componentry
- Super versatile, can be used for multiple outdoor applications, and wherever it’s wet
- Rugged and functional
- I looked hard for negative reviews of this dry bag and outside of a few manufacturer’s errors, there’s really nothing negative to report. Highly recommended
View on Amazon →
Check out our other Gear-Related Articles:
Best Boating Dry Bags For The Money
We felt necessary to provide a few highly recommended dry bags for boating with a more affordable price tag.
- 210 D Nylon Ripstop Material
- 27 L Capacity
- PU Coated and DWR Treated
- Roll-Top Closure with TPU-Coated Webbing
- Fully Taped Seams
- Single D-Ring
These are the kind of dry bags that I am used to–simple, functional, and rugged. 210 D Nylon treated with DWR water-resistant coating, this bag keeps stuff dry and packs away tight.
The roll-top closure keeps water out and the fully taped seams add structural integrity to the bag. The single D-ring is perfect to lash this bag into your watercraft.
Simms uses great materials and makes great products, and this is a great bag from this company at a very accessible price.
- Simple, functional, and durable, everything you want in a dry bag
- Not submersible, so keep this lashed to your watercraft
View on Simms →
- 1680 D TPU Coated Nylon CyclePond Fabric
- 15 L Capacity
- Welded Seams
- Roll-Top Waterproof Closure
- Attached D-Ring
Fishpond is a great company with an awesome conservation mindset. This bag utilizes Fishpond’s proprietary CyclePond fabric, made from recycled polymers, and that’s just awesome.
The Thunderhead Rolldown has many features of more expensive dry bags, like welded seams, and of course, the waterproof roll-top closure.
The attached D-Ring means you can lash this to your boat or kayak, or backpack. It is an affordable, versatile dry bag, made with recycled materials at a great price. Highly recommended.
- Rugged and durable whether you’ve got it tied to your watercraft or not. Versatile.
- Simplistic and functional.
- 15 L is a pretty modest capacity
View on Trident Fly Fishing →
- 500 D PVC Construction
- Available in 10 L, 20 L, 30 L, 40 L, and 55 L Capacity
- IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case Included
- Shoulder Strap on Smaller Models, Backpack Straps on the Larger Capacity Bags
- 5-Year Warranty
Earthpak’s waterproof dry bag is a solid offering from a good company. 500 D PVC construction and welded seams keep water out. These bags are available in a multitude of sizes to fit your needs.
The smaller models come with a single shoulder strap (10 and 20 L) and the larger models have backpack straps. Earthpak bags are high-viz and float, meaning that if disaster strikes, you can probably recover your dry bag if it gets in the water.
The IPX8 WAterproof phone case is a great feature, and you can operate your phone while it’s in the case. These bags are great and affordable. Check these out.
- $19.99-$38.99 is a great price point, especially if you need multiple dry bags for your fly fishing endeavors
- Durable and effective
- Great customer service with this company
- There are some instances of manufacturer’s errors in the construction of these bags, slightly more so than the other dry bags I have reviewed. However, at this price point, this bag is worth taking a chance on.
View on Amazon →
What to Look for in Dry Bag for Boating
One thing to look for in a dry bag for boating is a way to secure it to your watercraft. Many of the above-reviewed dry bags have D-rings that make this easy to do, but a few don’t. The ability to secure your dry bag to your watercraft is important because they usually contain electronics and other important items. Roll-Top style closures work best to keep water out.
As far as size goes, only you will know how much space you’ll need for your boat side dry bag. One thing to keep in mind here is that, if you purchase a large capacity dry bag, you’ve got to keep it organized, or you will only multiply your headaches out on the water. Your dry bag should be easy to access quickly if need be.
Another thing to keep in mind when looking for a dry bag that’s right for you is how you can carry it. Backpack straps are great but often, you’ll already have a pack that you’re carrying and attaching to your watercraft.
Padded handles and shoulder straps are important features that make getting your stuff to where it needs to be easier and less of a hassle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I don’t have a boat. Do I need a big dry bag?
A: Some of the bigger capacity dry bags in this review aren’t really necessary if you’re bank fishing or wading. You don’t need a 60 L dry bag for a wading day trip. However, many of these bags come in smaller sizes and come in very handy when the weather turns sour.
They are just as effective when camping as they are on a boat, so consider looking at some of the size options available in the above-reviewed bags.
Q: How do I organize my dry bag?
A: While poring over reviews of the products listed here, most reviewers agree that effective organization and customization of your dry bag is key to making them work for you.
If you purchase a large capacity dry bag, keep it organized, or it will end up as a catch-all “black-hole.”If what’s in your dry bag is disorganized and a pain to access, this will lead to frustration on the water. Some reviewers used Tupperware, Plano organizers, and other items to make their dry bags more functional and useful.
Dry bags are super important for extended fly fishing trips, especially on a boat. Trips like this require a ton of gear, and sometimes a lot of electronics and fragile items.
Dry clothes are a must, not just for comfort, but for safety as well. Soaked clothes can lead to hypothermia fast, especially in cold water. Phones and communication devices need to be protected and kept dry as well, for safety reasons.
The above-reviewed dry bags are great tools for those of us who fish off a boat and cover a lot of water, sometimes for days at a time. That being said, even if you don’t have a boat or kayak, the smaller capacity bags in this review are perfect for attaching to framed backpacks and a blessing to have when engaged in ultralight camping.
I hope that this review has shed some light on some great products. As always, stay safe, stay dry, and tight lines!