Keep your stuff dry.
It usually only takes one instance of soggy essentials for a boater to know the importance of a dry bag. Whether you are paddling calm waters, rafting down rivers, camping or powering through chop, waterproof bags for boating can save your wallet, phone, keys, dry clothes and more from getting soaked and ruined.
What should you look for in a dry bag?
Features to look for in a dry bag or pouch include waterproof materials, reinforced seams and secure roll top closures that offer further water protection.
Materials can range from lightweight, waterproof nylon to clear, PVC or thermoplastic polyurethane to help you easily find what you need. While lightweight nylon can offer good water protection from rain and sprinkles, you’ll want a thicker PVC or TPU dry bag if it will be subject to submersion or heavy splashes. Some styles include a clear window that enables you to view the bag's contents before undoing the zip lock seals at the rolled top.
Choose a dry bag with a shoulder strap to easily carry your gear from shore to ship. Backpack style dry bags are especially good for those who combine boating with other activities like hiking, camping or surfing.
West Marine carries dry bags by top brands including Helly Hansen, Sea to Summit, Dakine, Gill and Ronstan.
What size and style of bag do you need?
For what type of activity will you be using your dry bag? How much gear do you need to keep dry on a typical trip? Do you need a dry pack that can multi-purpose as a day bag ashore? Your answers to these questions will help you decide which style and size is right for you.
Dry bags with under a five-liter capacity are great for a day on the water. These typically have a round or oval base to keep them from rolling or sliding as you are sailing, rafting, or paddling.
For multiple day excursions, West Marine offers dry bags that range up to to 75 liter capacity. These can be of the traditional cylinder shape or duffel style. Larger bags with clear windows can make finding your gear easier.