What Is A Dry Bag – 8 Top Types of Dry Bags And How To Use Them!

Have you ever wondered what is a dry bag? In this post, we cover 8 different types of dry bags along with explaining how they are used in different situations!

In a nutshell, dry bags are a type of luggage designed to keep your gear dry under a variety of conditions.

These can come in extremely handy. Whether you are camping in the rain, planning a hike, or even an extended trekking adventure, a dry bag can be a literal lifesaver! These can also be used in sports such as kayaking and sailing as well as on the beach or even on the back of a motorbike.

Throughout this article, we not only cover the different types of bags but also what is a dry bag used for in each of these different scenarios! Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the perfect dry bag to suit your needs.

Disclaimer: Kindly note that this post may contain links to services or products that we trust and recommend and from which I may earn commissions. You may read our privacy policy to learn more.

What is a dry bag and use to use them

Different Types Of Dry Bags & How To Use A Dry Bag

Barrel Roll Top Dry Bags

The barrel shape of a Barrel Roll dry bag is probably the most popular style of dry bag. 

The cylinders have an opening at one end. In these dry bags, the seams are normally welded with RF welding to make them watertight.

Gear is loaded into the bag from the open end. Usually, the open end is closed by rolling down the extra material at the top and fastening it with two clips.

In most cases, this method is waterproof. The bag should withstand rain, waves, and provide a sufficiently airtight seal to allow it to float in water for a reasonable amount of time if dropped in.

As the water slowly makes its way around the folded material of most rolldown bags, the water will eventually make its way in if the bag is submerged under water long enough.

For most situations, you would have to physically force the bag underwater and hold it there to achieve this.

It is possible, with some drybags, to see the contents and locate items at the bottom of the bag through transparent viewing panels on the side.

This style of bag is popular for use as sailing dry bags.

Dry Bag Holdalls

Earth Pak Waterproof Duffel Bag
  • WATERTIGHT PROTECTION: Constructed from commercial-grade materials for high performance and durability, our waterproof duffel is meant to last a lifetime! All seams are thermo welded shut to ensure all your gear stays completely dry! Ideal weekender bag for all your sailing, fishing, camping, sporting, boating, and travel adventures.
  • EXTRA STORAGE: Equipped with two interior mesh pockets for the smaller belongings you need easy access to and one large external mesh pocket with nylon coiled zipper, providing a separate slot for personal items you to need to grab on the go!
  • EASY TO USE & STORE: Featuring a large main compartment with roll-top closure and single reinforced strip.... simply fold the bag down 3-4 times, buckle, and you are ready to go! Our boat bag is soft sided and completely collapsible to make storage easy!
  • COMFORTABLE STRAPS: Assembled with an adjustable, removable cushioned shoulder strap and padded double handles for comfy & easy carry.
  • SECURE FOR TRAVEL: Sturdy buckle straps situated on all sides of your waterproof luggage ensuring your items stay in place! Side panels are complete with reflectors as an added extra for better visibility. Also reinforced with 1000D PVC MOLLE System looping on the front and back sides of the duffel, providing anchor points to latch onto while boating, kayaking, rafting, or riding a motorcycle. In addition, 4 attached D-rings for quick fastening.

Dry bag holdalls usually have wider openings than barrel bags with roll tops. Access to the contents is easier than with a barrel bag.

Generally speaking, a holdall bag’s closure is not as watertight as a barrel bag because it is more difficult to maintain pressure on the rolled-down material.

Even in total immersion situations, the bags are still watertight in most conditions.

Motorcycle Dry Bags

Kemimoto Motorcycle Dry Bag 50L
  • FOR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES - This waterproof duffel bag can meet the storage and waterproof needs of outdoor activities such as motorcycle trips, camping, enduro and adventure.
  • WATERPROOF MATERIAL - The motorcycle dry bag is made with 500D waterproof PVC with fully welded seams technology. Could keep everything dry in the rain.
  • EXTRA STORAGE -There are two outside pockets on the side and back of the motorcycle dry bag. And there has a mesh pocket in the main compartment. All these designs are for small items.
  • LARGE CAPACITY AND WIDELY OPEN - The volume of this motorcycle duffel bag is 50L. Widely open makes it easier to put things in and out.
  • MOUNTING STRAPS - The motorcycle dry bag comes with 2 bungee straps and 2 buckle straps.

A motorcycle ride can often be just as wet as many watersports, with driving rain pelting against you while traveling at speeds of up to 70 mph. Keeping your gear dry in such conditions can be challenging.

Dry bags for motorcycles are becoming more common. These bags can be used in several ways.

Often, dry bags are strapped to the tail of the bike with wider ones sitting on top of panniers on the side.

Holdall-style bags are popular for weekend trips since they can be taken off the bike and carried straight into your hotel just like a normal bag, but still, keep your gear dry.

Rucksack dry bags are also popular in smaller sizes around 30L. These are very popular for commuting and also for adding to your carrying capacity given by your tail bags.

Dry Bum Bags

Coideal Waterproof Pouch Dry Bag
  • Powerful Waterproof - With 3 heavy duty ziplock type closures and a velcro fastener to keep it closed
  • Adjustable Plastic Pouch - It has a fanny pack type of waist belt, which could also probably be worn similar to an over-the-shoulder bag as necessary, range from 32 inch to 44 inch
  • High-capacity - Roomy enough for cellphone, keys, cash, credit card etc.
  • Durable & Portable - Made of durable and soft PVC materials, safe to use, easy carrying for beach, rafting and swimming
  • Translucent - The clear pouch which worked out great to be able to see your stuff in there without having to open it up each time

If you want to keep some key items close at hand, these dry bum bags are particularly useful. As well as being handy for sailing and motorcycling, they can also be used for many other purposes.

Mobile phones and keys can often be kept in them.

As a dry bag is intended to keep expensive electronics dry and there is a risk of you falling in the water whilst still wearing the bag, it would be advisable to ‘double bag’ your phone in these circumstances; a small lightweight dry bag can be used for these purposes.

Distance swimming is not recommended with Dry Bum Bags because they would be completely submerged for long periods and water may eventually work its way through the closure.

Mobile Phone Dry Bags

Syncwire Waterproof Phone Pouch
  • 🌊[Friendly Reminder]: This waterproof pouch is not recommended for mobile phones with thick cases (e.g., OtterBox). Please remove the thick phone case before placing the phone into the dry bag. The phone may be affected by hydraulic pressure at certain water depths, which will affect the operation of the touch screen. In this case, please press the volume button to take photos. Not applicable to touch ID and fingerprint unlocking.
  • πŸ„[IPX8 Waterproof]: With excellent waterproof seal performance (IPX8 rating), this 100% sealed waterproof bag provides comprehensive protection for devices in a variety of environments. The maximum waterproof protection is up to a water depth of 30 meters(100ft). Features include a simple snap and lock access which ensures a perfect seal, and keeps out water, snow, dust, sand, and dirt.
  • 🏊[Wide Compatibility]: Syncwire dry bag is suitable for almost all cell phones up to 7 inches, such as iPhone 14/13/12/11 iPhone 14/13/12/11 Pro iPhone 14/13/12/11 Pro Max iPhone XS Max XR XS X 8 7 8P 7P 6 plus se 2020, Samsung Galaxy S22 S21 S10 S9 S8, Google Pixel 6 etc. User-friendly design equips Syncwire waterproof phone case extra space for your card and cash, one case for all while no more wallet needed.
  • πŸš£β€β™€οΈ[Highly Sensitive Touch]: High-quality soft TPU material exclusively made for delicate touch and response. It ensures the normal use of a touch screen, camera and other functions in water (fingerprint unlocking is not supported).
  • 🌊[Transparent and Portable Design]: With crystal clear windows on the front and back, this waterproof case is perfect for taking photos, videos and checking email. The adjustable and durable lanyard can hold at least 20kg and can be hung across the chest or slung across the waist for convenience. (Lanyard length: 60cm/23.6", Adjustable between: 40-60cm/15.7-23.6")

Mobile phones are one item that you should make sure stays dry. As well as being able to use the phone while it is in the bag, you’ll probably want one that has a transparent front and works with touch screens on modern smartphones.

Most mobile phone dry bags will have a roll-down top, similar to a mini barrel bag, and will be able to withstand most downpours, but are not designed to be completely submerged for long periods; don’t use them while snorkeling!

You may be able to use some products with hard plastic closures to submerge your phone underwater if you need to do so.

First Aid Dry Bags

Sea to Summit View Dry Sack with First Aid Markings for Medical Supplies
  • Lightweight 3-liter roll-top, dry sack protects first aid, medical, emergency, and survival supplies (sold separately) from the elements; ideal for river trips, camping, and outdoor travel
  • Manufactured from lightweight PU-coated 70D nylon, with a TPU clear window for easy identification of contents; 10,000mm waterhead (the higher the waterhead rating, the more waterproof the fabric)
  • Reinforced waterproof seams are double-stitched, and tape sealed; secure hypalon roll-top closure with a D-ring for easy attachment
  • Low-profile, streamlined shape saves space, and oval base resists rolling; patent-pending field repair buckle can be replaced in seconds
  • 3-liter dry bag is ideal for carrying overnight medical and first aid supplies (sold separately); open dimensions: 6.7 x 4.7 x 11 inches, weight: 1.6 ounces, volume: 3 liters (with closure rolled three times)

In many different sports, first-aid dry bags are used to keep first-aid kits dry. As users often have different preferences as to what a first aid kit should contain, the contents are not always included in the dry bag purchased and you will need to account for that.

Cycling Dry Bags

Rhinowalk Bike Bag Waterproof Bike Pannier Bag
  • Fully Waterproof: Made of 1000D polyester material with waterproof PVC layer on both sides, this bike pannier is super durable and fully waterproof, as well as anti-tear, wear resistant and heat resisting, protecting your items perfectly.
  • Bike Rear Bag Large capacity: up to 25L capacity, fully expanded to hold more.
  • Bike Rear Seat Rack Pannier Easy Installation:Quick release system, easy to be fixed on rear seat trunk rack and carrying handle for portable.
  • Removable Shoulder Strap: There is an adjustable nylon shoulder strap in the package, with easy locks on both sides, the strap can be installed and removed effortless, and you can carry the bike pannier on the shoulder while not cycling.
  • All product data are measured manually, the real object should be considered as final. Please understand us. Rhinowalk is focus on bicycle bags, please contact us if you need more help or you have any questions.

Cycling dry bags will be used for everything from commuting to work to cycling across the country and should absolutely form part of your bikepacking kit gear list.

People will of course choose different types of bags according to their needs. When commuter cyclists arrive at work, they lock their bikes and walk to their workplace with a waterproof rucksack in hand.

In the Autumn and Winter months, hi-viz drybag rucksacks are very popular because they will keep your gear dry as well as help you to be seen on the road.

Touring cyclists often use panniers in conjunction with other bags, such as dry bag rucksacks and handlebar bags.

Bikepacking Dry Bags

ROCKBROS Waterproof Handlebar Bags Bikepacking Bags
  • 100% WATERPROOF BIKE HANDLEBAR BAGS: Innovative seamless workmanship 2 handlebar bags securely hold your items. Roll up closure provides dual protections for your clothes, shoes and tools. High strength 600D nylon + TPU bikepacking bag provide a more delicate using experience for you. Easy to clean with a wet terry.
  • 2 ASSEMBLY TUBE POUCHES: Detachable bikepacking bags can use together or alone on the handlebar. Freely matched, quick release & install on easily. Enhance your cycling experience with this latest waterproof top tube bike bags.
  • LARGE CAPACITY: Total 19-21 L capacity top tube bags satisfy your long or short journey needs, classified storage your items such as clothes, keys, snacks, money, phones, wallets, cards, repair tools, small listening devices, and other more commonly used items (5-6 L + 14-15 L).
  • QUICK RELEASE STRAPS & NIGHT VISIBILITY: Adjustable straps can easily fasten on the handlebar. Coupled with the extra straps can be used as waist bag. Convenient mounting Reflective logo increase your night visibility.
  • MULTI-purpose: Durable bike handlebar bags protect your device and accessories from harsh weather conditions or crashes.Suitable for variety Outdoors Activities - portable and waterproof bag is suitable for casual hanging out, cycling, hiking, running, going to gym, traveling, camping, mountaineering and so on. PRODUCT WARRANTY: Any questions feel free to contract us.

Bikepacking is a relatively new sport that is aimed at people who wish to go touring on their mountain bikes.

Like a cross between backpacking and biking, bikepackers carry their gear on a mountain bike in a way that allows them to negotiate rougher terrain than traditional pannier setups would allow.

A typical bikepacking dry bag would include a frame bag, seat pack (a giant saddlebag), and handlebar bag.

Final Thoughts – What Is A Dry Bag And What Are They Used For

There is a multitude of different dry bags which are all designed to keep your valuables and gear nice and dry, especially in wet or unexpected rainy conditions.

The best dry bag will really depend on what you need to use it for. From cycling to motorcycling, hiking, sailing, or even to keep that all-important first-aid kit safe and dry, there’s a dry bag for every occasion.

Hopefully, this guide has shed the light on dry bags and their main uses and purpose!

Marco Santos

Scroll to top