Who Uses Dry Bags & What Are They For
Waterproof dry bags are one of the most common items for many outdoor activities. It’s easy to see why, over the years, many people have adopted them.
Backpackers: Wanting to separate valuable gear keeping it clean and dry. Have multiple smaller dry bags of different colors help keep them organized.
Water Sports: It’s ubiquitous to find a large waterproof dry bag on a Kayak or Canoe. Waterproof backpacks are used for paddleboarding or SUP for short. Large dry bags are also routinely used for rafting as well.
Camping: Dry bags are used to keep wet gear separate from dry clothes. Small dry bags can hold electronics, keeping them safe from water and dust.
Alternative Uses: Using them as a pillow, gathering water, a bear bag, and a boat anchor.
These are just some of the uses for people that need to protect their equipment.
Different Closing Dry Bag Styles
Closing roll-top dry bags is recommended, but let’s look at other ways of closing them. Let’s compare the zip-top and zipper closing bags to the roll-top.
Zip-Top or Ziploc Closing Dry Bag
This type of bag is excellent for smaller, lighter items that fit nicely in the small pockets of a backpack. I keep a few Ziploc bags whenever I go hiking to keep my toiletries clean. The problem with this closing mechanism is when you have larger, more substantial items.
With heavier gear rolling around in a Ziploc bag, the top can easily blow out. If you close a Ziploc bag with air in it, a small amount of pressure will pop the bag right open. A roll-top dry bag won’t do this. If enough force is applied to a roll-top style bag, the seams will blow out before the top will.
Cold weather will make the zip-top stiff and hard to close. While they will be fine in most temperatures the cold weather will affect the performance.
Freegrace sells a dry bag that has a zip-top combined with a roll-top. While this isn’t necessary or really adds any extra protection, they claim it’s for added security. They also note that in cold weather, the zip-top won’t perform well, and oil needs to be applied before closing the bag.
Waterproof Zipper Dry Bags
A true waterproof zipper will not leak, but the problem is many so-called “Waterproof Zippers” are merely water-resistant. This kind of zipper will let water leak in if they are exposed in the rain or dropped in water long enough. Bag manufacturers do this to save on costs because true waterproof zippers are expensive.
Another downside is that waterproof zippers are stiff, so they don’t slide easily like the normal zippers we’re used to using. This can be a real pain in cold weather as the zippers will be even stiffer. Lubricating the zipper can help with this stiffness.
As with zip-top bags, zippers can blow out when overstuffed. If this happens while you’re out on the trail, you could be stuck with a useless bag for days.
The last downside is that zipper bags are difficult to close with gloves on. In cold weather, the zipper will stiffen up, making it even hard to close with thick winter gloves.
How to Choose The Best Dry Bag
Before we look at different sizes of dry bags, we need to choose a material first. Dry bags generally come in two different categories, thick heavyweight or thin ultra-lightweight material.
Thick Dry Bags
Some dry bags are heavy, but they’re built to take a beating. Take a look at a dry bag made from 500D PCV Tarpaulin for durability. It’s tough, but at the downside of being very heavy and inflexible. These kinds of dry bags are usually recommended as “best value” because they last for years in harsh conditions.
Benefits Of Having A Waterproof Backpack
One of the most infuriating things about going camping, backpacking, or hiking during the rainy months of the year is reaching your destination and finding all your gear and equipment soaked through. And it doesn’t even have to be raining for you to experience this. Sometimes, crossing a river or a creek or walking under a waterfall is more than enough for this to happen. That is why many knowledgeable and experienced camper or backpacker knows how important it is to have a reliable waterproof backpacking or hiking backpack.
A waterproof backpacking backpack or camping backpack comes with many benefits that you wouldn’t get from a typical everyday backpack. However, some of the latest waterproof backpacks imbued with the best waterproofing technology can be quite expensive which is why some people are on the fence when it comes to purchasing one. If you are looking for a reason or two as to why you should invest in one, we have outlined the best ones below for you. But before we dive into our top reasons why you need a waterproof backpack, let’s go over a brief description of what it actually is and how it is different from another popular type of outdoor backpack, the water-resistant backpack.