A dry bag is a versatile piece of outdoor equipment made to keep gear dry in water or wet weather. As the name suggests, it is a storage container, typically a bag or backpack made from material that won’t absorb water with seams and fasteners designed to keep contents free from moisture.

The combination of the roll top closure and water-resistant fabric is what keeps the contents inside of dry bags dry.

No matter where you plan on taking your dry bag, you'll need to make sure it is properly sealed to protect whatever you plan on storing inside it from getting wet. For those that may have limited experience with them, we’ve put together this small guide to explain what keeps a dry bag dry.

How Dry Bags Work

Dry bags are durable, yet flexible enough to close with a roll top which creates a waterproof seal when properly secured. Take the TD Dry Bag Backpack for example. Simply roll the top buckle down over itself a few times, then clip the buckles together on either side to close the bag and protect your valuables completely.

Many dry bags come with extra features, too! Some come with openable valves to drain the air and roll it up tightly for easier storage, and others are partially made with clear plastic to show what items are inside. Extra handles or removable straps are a common and helpful feature on dry bags. While the buckle at the top of a dry bag usually connects to itself to make a convenient handle, it can be helpful to have additional carrying options or the ability to go hands-free, especially on long treks.

Dry bags have another, less common use, but one that can be just as important: transporting or storing clean water. That’s because the materials used to make dry bags are as effective at keeping water in as they are at keeping it out!

If your access to clean water isn’t a guarantee, bring a spare dry bag. In a pinch, you can use it to store fresh, safe water. Staying hydrated can be as simple as filling up your empty dry bag and bringing it back to the site. Just remember to thoroughly wipe down the interior of the bag before using it to keep gear dry.

Best Features and Benefits of Using a Dry Bag

One of the greatest enemies of many of the items in any type of kit, is water. Water can rot material, spoil food, damage delicate electronics, and corrode metal. A quality dry bag used properly solves that problem.

  • In addition to being a convenient option for carrying your gear, dry bags are durable enough to endure heavy water flow and some degree of sharp rocks.
  • The seal of a dry bag will last longer and is more secure than a zipper.
  • They keep out water better than most other seal types, and, unlike zippers, you won’t need to take extra precautions in freezing weather.
  • Rolling the bag open and closed is also a lot easier and more reliable than other sealing methods.

Packing Your Dry Bag

If you have heavy gear or equipment you don’t expect to use often, place these items first at the very bottom. Any lighter tools, more delicate pieces of equipment such as a phone or camera, or items you plan on pulling out regularly should be stored near the top or in an exterior pocket. Prioritize items that need to be dry, like electronic equipment or spare clothes. Always be mindful of the contents when storing items in or placing down your dry bag.

We hope we’ve accurately conveyed not just the benefits, but a more accurate description of what a dry bag does and how to use it. Wherever you go, you want the tools you bring to always be protected and ready to pull out whenever you need them. Take a dry bag with you on your next excursion as an easy and effective storage solution.

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