Best Dry Bags Reviews and Guide 2016
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History of Dry Bags
If you are an adrenaline junkie and activities like rafting, canoeing, kayaking and camping are a part of your daily life, then you may have heard about dry bags. For those who don’t know, a dry bag is a type of an inflatable container that can be used to store many valuable items in order to protect them from many kinds of danger. Not only that, dry bags are also used in extreme water sports to protect precious items from getting damaged on ruined. This bag can be sealed off in a watertight manner and is often made of a thin plastic film or other types of synthetic coated fabric.
This waterproof material helps to form a secure, impermeable, container that can provide maximum protection against water damage. A dry bag that is sturdy and abrasion resistant is a must have item for those going on an outdoor excursion where there is a possibility of them coming in contact with water or things getting wet. If you’re looking forward to buying a dry bag, choose the one that offers the best protection even if it means going a bit above your budget.
The dilemma of the methods of keeping gear dry has been a common concern among adventure lovers and backcountry travelers throughout the world. They would often have to bear with the problem of wearing and carrying wet items without having any solution in sight. However, the usage of wax not very long ago gave birth to the very first line up of sturdy canvas bags. Later, these canvas bags were replaced by bins made out of metal tins that were considered to be the most appropriate for protection from water. Even the metal tin bags became outdated since that time plastic began to be used to make stylish dry bags.
Leveraging the idea that plastic bags might be the next logical step forward in dry storage solutions, companies started to cash in. However, this too didn’t last because their water resistant property soon proves to be inconvenient when factors like durability and lack of waterproof sealing were taken into consideration. Fast forward a few years; the company started experimenting with the idea of expanding the usage of these bags to suit even harsher conditions. The market was yearning for a proper waterproof sack that would solve all the problems, but nothing yet had come to be.
Finally, the pioneers of the industry found the right fabric to make waterproof dry bags in the form of 70 denier nylon with its interior coated using polyurethane. This technique allowed the makers to manufacture a variety of bags in different shapes, sizes, and colors. The light fabric brought a revolution of gradually shifting to even lighter components that would provide excellent mobility and equally effective resistance to water.
Why Should You Use A Dry Bag?
In simple language, a dry bag can be defined as a container that can keep your valuable belongings from getting wet and spoiled as a result. Kayakers, fishermen, canoeists, and others can store their precious items and essential here from river and ocean water by using this bag. Most bags come with a sort of airtight sealing system that keeps the water out. Most of these bags are usually made of waterproof film cover or waterproof material, consisting of taped seams with the closure in the form of a roll top. The type of guy that you should buy depends on what you intend to do.
If you love adventure and would like to get the best experience without having water getting in the way, then a dry bag is an item that must find a place inside of your backpack. Lightweight and compact dry bags offer greater protection from water damage, and they are also perfect for storing hiking and camping gear (such as a camping tent). The bag can be squished and folded into a smaller shape that very to go inside of a backpack or any of its pockets. With extreme convenience and a wide variety of applications, this hiking gear can be used anytime as required.
These bags are even more useful when it comes to storing clothing and equipment that’s already wet and cannot be dried. Just put your stuff inside of the bag and throw the bag inside of your rucksack to never worry about rest of the items getting spoiled the damaged by water ever again.
Reasons a Dry Bag Can Be Useful
Remember, when you decide to buy a dry bag or hiking poles, you’re not paying money for storage. In fact, you can use this item for many more purposes that may be currently beyond your imagination. Keep reading the following points to learn how to maximize the utility of your dry bag.
1. Use as an inflatable pillow: So the train ditched you again, or the plane left in a hurry? Well, there is no making up an excuse now because you have to admit that you’re stuck. Since you have to wait for the next mode of transport in line, checking into a hotel room is no longer an option. But, your wait time doesn’t have to be exhausting.
If you have a dry bag, simply fill it up with air to create a makeshift pillow that you can lay your head upon for rest. Just folded at the top a few times and keep it together to keep it inflated and you’ll have a decent pillow to relax with.
2. Managing clothes and laundry: Segregated worn and dirty clothes from the clean ones might prove to be somewhat of an ordeal when you’re out in the wild, without a suitcase. Things can get especially rough when the clothes are wet or soiled after a long day of use. Having a dry bag in this situation can prove to be incredibly helpful as you can simply fold or roll your dirty clothes to a lump and stuff it inside of the bag. There’s no need to worry about foul odor because you can always keep the top clipped and take the bag along to a place where you’ll be able to wash the clothes.
3. Use as a compression sack: When you’re out in the wild, making the best possible use of every item is of utmost necessity. From foraging for woods to packing a lot of clothes, a dry bag can act as a container for a dime a dozen materials. Bags having permeable membranes allow you to escape when it is compressed conveniently and thus helping you save space inside of the backpack or a suitcase.
Also, these bags offer resistance to water, making them perfect to carry along in rainy or wet weather conditions. Your journey will certainly be a bit more comfortable with this bag in your arsenal.
4. Store electronic items and wires: We’ve all faced the hassle of keeping our smartphone safe, the wires untangled, and always worrying about theft of other gadgets while on the move. Camera chargers, power banks, memory cards, GPS devices, satellite phones, etc. are all items of utility that has to be protected from water damage. Also, they also take up a lot of space and might get snagged on to the other items inside of your bag.
With a dry bag in position, you can safely store these electronics and accessories with no worries. No more stray prongs or plugs will poke you in the back, nor would you have to deal with fighting for space as a dry bag will keep your items safe and compact all the time.
5. As a bucket: Need to take a bath on the go? Well, you have always to force yourself to jump into a river or a lake because a dry bag can do the job of a bucket and among perfectly fine. The next time you come across a water body, just fill up your dry bag with the quantity of water you need and you’ll have yourself a ready to use the bucket at your disposal.
There are even bags that come with roll fold closure as well as a handle for better convenience to carry the bag. Just be sure to boil the water if you plan on drinking it or at the very least, take only clean water for usage.
6. As a washing container: From time to time, you’d have to wash your clothes even when you’re on the run. The last thing you’d want is to stink up the entire camp with your body odor coming from a week’s worn unwashed clothes. If there is no place to wash, then don’t worry; use a dry back to create a makeshift bucket inside of which you can wash clothes. Just use an eco-friendly detergent, fill the bucket with water, and make all the clothes fresh again.
You can wash by hand or roll up the bags fold and give a thorough shaking with the clothes inside; both ways are good.
7. As a kettlebell: Kettlebells are some, right? You can use them any time to do a bit of work out and store them safely at the corner to be forgotten about their existence. Well, you can now have your very own temporary kettlebell by filling up a dry bag with water. You can fill enough water to the point you feel comfortable lifting because 1 L of water adds up to 1 KG of weight.
Want to do a bit of dumbbell curls but have no dumbbells? There is nothing to fear as long as you’re packing a dry bag in your rucksack. Now, your extended traveling plans don’t have to mean a loss of the gains at the gym because you can do weightlifting anytime.
8. For foraging firewood: Nothing beats an evening out in the woods with friends surrounding a bonfire and a guitar playing the tunes of John Denver song. But, not everyone likes to take responsibility for gathering firewood because it’s serious work. While you still do have to chop wood by yourself, carrying it back to the camp can be easier if you had a dry bag.
Rather than holding it all in your arms while withstanding the pokes from branches or ruining the sophisticated material of a travel bag, store the wood inside of a dry bag for maximum convenience. Trust us; we know how to chop wood and the ways and means to get them back to camp.
Considerations When Buying A Dry Bag
Even if you have your mind made up on purchasing a drying bag, choosing one from the market isn’t as easy as you may think. There are so many available choices and factors you have to keep in mind before buying that it can seem like a real chore. However, we are here to tell you how to pick a product that would give you full money’s worth and exceed your expectations. The things you should look out for are:
Material: Dry bags are usually made up of two materials – nylon or vinyl. The materials and the unique advantages are stated as follows:
- Nylon: Nylon is the most commonly preferred material for making dry bags because of its shiny finish and excellent durability. This fabric comes with a coating of silicon CORDURA that aids in waterproofing and provides much-needed abrasion resistance. Dry bags constructed of nylon usually come with the letter “D” signifying the denier used to denote the nylon fibers density. Naturally, the sturdiness of the bag goes up with the denier rating.
- Vinyl: this is also a highly popular material manufacturers use to make small dry bags used to store personal items. Thanks to its durability and enough water resistance, it is suitable for casual users and for most circumstances where they may need to protect their belongings from water damage. However, if you plan to go on long trips then go for a nylon variant bag because they are more resistant.
Closure Type: The way how your dry bag would close plays a great importance on how much waterproof the bag would be. There are types of bags that offer both partially taped and fully taped seams with their individual benefits. Seams that are fully taped almost always provide extra protection from water infiltration and are better able to protect your bag even if it’s fully submerged. As far as closure type is concerned, there are two kinds you’ll find in the market:
- Hypalon Roll Top: this is an excellent mechanism that is great in keeping water out as it contains a snap buckle and roll top to make the ideal sealing device. Once the bag is inflated, you get a carrying handle that makes portability of the dry bag much more convenient. And the best part is that you can tie many of these bags together and carry them quickly while attached to a boat as their inflatable in water.
- Zipper seal: most of the dry bags available in the market come with a zipper lock because it is highly easy to use. Manufacturers incorporated place and sealed type of zipper similar to those found in polyethene plastic bags. This contraption is also capable of keeping water out and offering perfect protection to all your valuables.
D-Rings: now, you may not have heard about D-Rings but know that it is an essential add-on item that you can purchase separately. The purpose of these rings is to allow the users to attach multiple bags together using a string so that they can control all the bags through that string. As the name implies, the rings are in the shape of the letter D, and they aid in minimizing the pressure applied on the buckle so that it does not break when many bags are attached for any reason.
Carrying straps: Some dry bags come with carrying straps; some dry bags don’t. But to an adventure lover or a sports enthusiast, a bag with a carrying strap is important because it allows better mobility. It is because of the straps one can throw the bag over their shoulder or use it to strap it correctly to their back. If the dry bag that you want to purchase comes with straps commonly found in backpacks, then chances are it would be attached to the bag itself.
Dry bags with carrying straps are excellent products to buy as they improve their utility by multiple folds. There is no need for you to carry a heavy bag in hand when you have straps that can be fastened to your shoulders and back.
Brand: You already know how brands differ from one another regarding quality, price, the range of products, and a dozen other aspects. Depending on your budget and requirements, try to go for a brand that is relatively well known in the market and has a good line up of reliable products. But choosing one brand among a couple dozen others is no easy task as there are probably many that would be right for you and many that won’t.
The key here is to conduct a thorough research about brand reputation and product lineup to narrow down to only a few that matches your expectations. You do not want to go for a cheap item and find out later that it doesn’t meet your expectations. Do an online checkup of various brands, reviews of their products, and then only by. Also, since you’re making a long-term investment, it is better to buy a high-quality product other than something that is available for cheap and is of poor quality.
Size: Coming last in the list is size, but it is an equally important consideration when it comes to buying dry bags. A dry bag with 5 L storage is best used for storing personal belongings such as toiletries, electronics, medicines, light food, and first-aid kits. Due to their smaller size, they are ideal to be kept under Kayak Bungees. Going higher up, and then later drive and is suitable for storing clothes as well as small personal belongings.
Bags with 20 L capacity can hold clothing for a few days worth, food to last weekend, electronic items of an entire camping group, and even a sleeping bag. The highest capacity, which is a 30 L bag, should be good enough for carrying clothes and all sorts of supplies sufficient to last a week for one person.
Now that you have chosen with the dry bag you want, it’s important that you do a close inspection of the product before handing over the money. Or if you are buying online, trust only a reputed brand with no record of delivering goods with manufacturing defects. It is crucial for you to have the perfect product that would be suitable for using in extreme weather conditions and can offer protection from rain, water submersion, and other sorts of issues.
This method is for checking if the dry bag is wet: turn the bag inside out and partly fill it with water while keeping an eye to see if there are any spots of leaks. Turn the bag back to its original form if you want to use it right away. This simple practice will ensure you’re not putting your valuable items inside of a weight container. Remember not to fill up the bag with too much water as it would put unnecessary pressure on it.
As a rule of thumb, it’s important that you try to keep your dry bag away from water and use it only when needed. All dry bags come with a submersion capacity, meaning they can be submerged to a certain depth before they start to fail in their purpose. Keeping bags submerged to a great depth and for a longer period is not advised unless you have any additional protection boasting your bags waterproofing quality. Always store your dry bag in a secure, temperature neutral place when not in use.