5 Best Waterproof Bags for Kayaking

Heading out on a trip in your kayak and need to bring with you some of your essentials? A dry bag is a great way to keep your things dry while staying comfortable.

man and woman sitting on grass field with a green waterproof bag

Kayaking is a go-to activity for so many but there’s one specific problem that can arise for just about anyone. How do you account for your gear, electronics, and general items that you don’t want to get wet?

After all, just because you’re out on the water, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take certain items with you that aren’t designed to get wet. All you need is one simple thing…and in the business, they call it a dry bag.

While not all dry bags are the same, most will be waterproof to a certain extent (as there are different levels to this stuff). In general, we want to present the best waterproof bag for kayaking and also several others that are nearly just as fantastic.

1. Earth Pak Dry Bag

When everyone is saying the same thing, it’s easy to believe that to be the cold-hard truth. Such is the case with the Earth Pak Dry Bag as when you see its rating on Amazon, it’s hard not to be immediately impressed. Sure, that’s not the whole story but let’s just say that for this waterproof bag for kayaking, it lives up to the hype.

Simple and effective, we think the best part about this kayak bag is that it knows exactly what it wants to be. It may be the most cliché dry bag on the market, but that’s not a bad thing at all. With comfortable shoulder straps, a multitude of sizes and colors available, and an included IPX8 waterproof phone case, the value here is so good.

One thing to note is depending on the size you select, the design of the strap will be different. For the 30, 40, and 55-liter options, you’ll get a dry bag equipped with dual shoulder straps. However, the smaller options (10 and 20 liters) only come with a single shoulder strap.

Seeing how this is a typical dry bag, it can be a little awkward to load and unload items in this. However, that’s more or less standard with waterproof bags of this nature.

✅ Pros

  • Comes with comfortable shoulder straps
  • The quality is really good
  • Comes with a waterproof phone case

❌ Cons

  • No exterior pockets
  • Can be awkward to use
  • Could be a bit thicker

2. IDRYBAG Waterproof Bag for Kayaking

Alright, so, technically, this dry bag could be used for a variety of activities such as hiking, backpacking, and (of course) kayaking. Compared to the others on this list (and really to most on the market) this is a heftier option regarding price.

For the most part, the design warrants the price. That said it wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings if this was a few dollars less. Either way, it has more storage options than most dry bags and also comes with backpack straps for easier carrying.

Specifically, this waterproof bag for kayaking comes with an outer splash-proof pouch and also an inner zippered pouch. Not a lot of dry bags offer pouches of this nature and they can be used to better organize your items. The outer pouch is nice for items that you want quick access to.

As far as the build, the 500D waterproof exterior is built to last and is one of the most heavy-duty options that you’re going to find on the market. However, the stitching for the buckles could’ve been a little better, though it’s still not absurdly bad or anything like that. Overall, while a little pricy, this is worth it if you want a dry bag for many uses.

✅ Pros

  • Has an outer and an inner pocket
  • Comes in three sizes
  • Constructed from heavy-duty material

❌ Cons

  • A bit pricy
  • Stitching for buckles could be better
  • Could still use more interior pockets

3. Seattle Sports Glacier Dry Bag

Not the typical dry bag by any stretch of the imagination, there are two main features that make this waterproof bag for kayaking unique. For starters, it’s made of plastic. Some will be turned off immediately after that, and we understand for sure.

The second unique feature is that it’s clear. Most dry bags have solid colors that prevent the user from being able to see what’s inside. With the clear, see-through design, you can see all the items you place inside this bag. A big plus if you want to be able to get a specific item out without removing everything else.

As for the plastic, it’s not cheap. It’s somewhat similar to that of heavy-duty vinyl shower curtains. Add on to that a tough wrap, abrasion-resistant bottom and you have a bag that’s perfectly fine with taking a little bit of abuse.

In other words, the bag is built well. It’s just a terrific dry bag overall if you’re okay with the plastic construction. No, it’s not the flashiest or best-looking waterproof bag for kayaking but it’s extremely convenient and built like a beast.

✅ Pros

  • It’s see-through
  • Very sturdy and well-built
  • Designed to keep water out

❌ Cons

  • The plastic is a bit stiff
  • Made of plastic (some don’t like that)
  • Not submersible for long periods

4. EcoGear FX Dry Bag

If the average customer were to look at this waterproof bag for kayaking, they’d probably ask why it’s so special or extraordinary. Here’s the deal, when compared to the vast market of dry bags, it doesn’t necessarily offer anything different or incredibly unique.

The reason it’s on this list is that it just plain works and gets the job done with very few issues. From its durable construction to the adjustable shoulder strap and even the included waterproof phone case, you know your money is well spent here.

For the shoulder strap, it’s just a single strap and it can be adjusted from 24 to 42 inches to offer a bit of flexibility. The phone case, also, is an IPX8 rated case (meaning it can handle submersion) and will fit smartphones up to 6.5 inches in size.

Add on to that the extremely affordable price and you have yourself a massive winner. Perhaps the only head-scratcher is why this bag isn’t more popular than it is. Consider this somewhat of a hidden gem of sorts.

✅ Pros

  • The look and feel are great
  • Comes with a waterproof phone case
  • Has an adjustable shoulder strap

❌ Cons

  • Not a great variety of sizes
  • Not as popular as others
  • Shoulder strap needs more padding

5. Sea to Summit Dry Sack

For the purposes of kayaking, typically, it’s best to be as minimalistic as possible. Due to such, you could argue that this is the best waterproof bag for kayaking just on the basis of its ultra-lightweight and watertight combination.

Then again, there are larger size options that you can choose from that will make the bag a bit heavier, but that’s to be expected. Now, don’t get it twisted, though this bag is well-built overall, it’s also not designed to be rugged and handled with rough care.

However, when we say it’s a lightweight sack, we mean it. The 70D nylon construction is not thick at all, and this is part of the reason why the dry bag needs to be handled with care. It’s not a cheap piece of crap, but the tradeoff to the weight is the toughness.

It’s just a dry sack that does a great job of keeping water out, is as lightweight as they come, and is quite attractive to look at. Oh, one last thing, it doesn’t appear as if this comes with a shoulder strap. Just something to keep in the back of your mind.

✅ Pros

  • Many attractive colors to choose from
  • Extremely lightweight construction
  • Many size options are available

❌ Cons

  • Not designed to handle rough care
  • No shoulder strap
  • The smaller options are really small

Frequently asked questions

Are dry bags waterproof?

It seems so obvious, right? The best waterproof bag for kayaking is virtually always going to be a dry bag. So, with that in mind, that would make dry bags waterproof, right? Here’s the thing, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to discussing waterproofness. It’s not as if calling something waterproof means that it has the same water protection as another item advertised as waterproof.

A common system used for determining waterproofness is the IP rating system. An example of such is IP34 or IPX7. The first number refers to solids and the second refers to liquids. For the purposes of waterproofness, it’s the second digit that you want to focus on. IPX7 and IPX8 ratings offer the highest amount of water protection, in general.

Will dry bags float?

Alright, so you buy the best waterproof bag for kayaking that you feel is right for you. The next thought that may cross your mind is whether or not said bag is going to float. In general, most dry bags will be designed to float. It’s kind of ironic as the IP rating system that was just discussed will also indicate whether or not something can be submerged in water.

Yet, seeing how most dry bags will float, they won’t be allowed to be submerged most of the time. If this is something that is very important to you, you can always double-check and email the seller of the bag you’re interested in to make sure it floats. But, as mentioned, most will.

Can you wash dry bags?

Okay, so this is going to be a two-part question of sorts. Firstly, let’s discuss how you’re going to want to go about lightly washing a waterproof bag for kayaking. Quite honestly, most bags will do just fine with some antibacterial wipes and a wipe down with a wet towel afterward. Remember, waterproof bags can handle a little water!

But what about much larger messes such as spills, mud, and stuff like that? Well, unless the seller and manufacturer state otherwise, it’s probably best to avoid machine washing. However, if the manufacturer says that’s okay, go for it. Yet, hand washing will probably be the preferred choice. Using some mild dishwashing soap and a soft sponge can allow you to get larger messes cleaned up. To finish, you could then rinse off the bag and then allow it to air dry.