What Size Dry Bag to Use for Kayaking?

If you’re simply heading out for a short, 1-2 hour leisure paddle on flat, calm water, though, you should choose a dry bag with a capacity of 5 to 10 liters. For long days on the water, a dry bag with a capacity of 10 to 30 gallons is recommended.

Purchasing a Dry Bag

While we believe that those broad guidelines for kayak dry bag size provide a good starting point, there is often more to consider.

  • Size

Measure the dimensions of the largest item you wish to fit inside your dry bag when deciding what size dry bag to use for kayaking. For example, one of the largest items to pack away for a multi-day kayak camping excursion is likely to be your sleeping bag or tent.

You can ensure that your dry bag is large enough to fit your important goods by measuring that item. You can then pack smaller items around your larger ones to fill in the leftover space within. Measuring the inside dimensions of your kayak’s bulkhead compartments is another approach to determining the proper size dry bag for your kayak.

  • Style

Dry bags come in a variety of sizes and shapes these days, in addition to the many sizes available. Some of these types may suit your kayaking style better than others, so weigh the benefits and drawbacks before making your decision.

1: Dry Bags with a Sling

For a relaxed day on the water, sling-style dry bags are ideal. This type of dry bag is often smaller in size, but it provides a convenient option to secure the dry bag over your shoulder if there isn’t enough place to strap it to your kayak. The sling strap on sling-style dry bags is usually removable, which is a nice feature. This allows you to carry it either left-handed or right-handed, and you can even remove the strap entirely if you just want to stuff this type of dry bag into your kayak’s storage compartments and don’t want to carry that extra ounce of ‘strap weight.

2: Dry Bags in the Style of a Backpack

Dry bags designed for backpacking are ideal for multi-day kayaking journeys or trips that require you to transport your kayak overland for short distances. While some of the first designs weren’t particularly comfortable, today’s backpack-style dry bags may easily be carried for a mile or more. These dry bags, unlike sling bags, feature two straps that cross both shoulders. Some also have a hip belt (much like backpacking backpacks) to provide greater lift and support for carrying big goods over longer distances, depending on how well they’re manufactured.

3: Dry Bags in the Style of a Duffel

The highest capacity of any of these dry bag varieties is often found in duffel-style dry bags. They also include a zipper closure, which allows rapid access to all of the contents of the dry bag without having to remove everything to grab that one item at the bottom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size dry sack do I require?

A modest sleeping bag, a few days’ worth of clothes, or a long weekend’s worth of freeze-dried food can all fit into a 20-liter pack. 30-liter bags are large enough to store two people’s clothes or practically everything a single person needs to stay dry for a week.

How much can a 5L dry bag hold?

A 5L dry bag holds 1.3 gallons of liquid and is perfect for small devices, personal goods, toiletries, a first-aid kit, and food. This is ideal for a short outing of a few hours.

Is it worthwhile to invest in dry bags?

A dry bag keeps goods dry while also providing some protection.

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