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Nothing spoils a great day on the water like finding out your supposedly dry belongings got all wet in that spare trash bag you stuffed them in. Eliminate unintentional soaking by packing items in a real dry bag built to handle the job. Here’s how to choose the right one for you.


Top Pick

These work just as well as a hard case. Amazon

Electronics are probably the most vulnerable item susceptible to damage when you’re on the water. Instead of spending upwards of a hundred dollars on a dedicated waterproof phone case, you can get as much protection at a fraction of the cost with a small dry bag made specifically for phones. Need a larger version, as well? Look for a combo set that will give you the best of both worlds.

Duffle vs. Backpack

Most Style Options

Small outer pockets make it easy to get your wallet, keys, or anything else you might need quick access to. Amazon

Some river rats prefer a duffle-style dry bag they can throw in the back of a canoe or pack raft; others want a bag they can strap on their back for a portage or while stalking a remote fishing flat. Both usually feature a roll-top closure, but backpack dry bags often have an external compartment or two for easier access to small items, such as a phone, fly box, or keys.


Most Versatile

Options with attachment points or rings are great because you won’t lose your stuff should you accidentally bump it overboard. Amazon

To get the most out of your dry bag, look for a model that has integrated attachment points, D-rings, or military-style Molle loops for strapping the bag to boats and cartop cargo, or attaching smaller items to the bag itself. Dry bags that can be packed on both shoulders, worn like a sling, or carried like a duffle are the most versatile.