Duffle Bag

QUICK GUIDE TO BUYING A DRY BAG

Sitting on my commuter train, I notice more and more people using dry bags to carry their laptops and work documents around in their daily grind. There is nothing wrong with this and the bag undoubtedly provides better protection against the occasional shower. But with more and more commuters using dry bags to carry their effects, there are now more and more dry bags on the market, built for a variety of purposes and in a number of different sizes.

MATERIAL

Depending on your use, you will need to consider the material you want. Some materials, like vinyl, are more durable and others, like Silnylon (a combination of silicon and nylon), are more lightweight and flexible. Unless you are carrying heavy gear, which might tear a hole in the lining, something lighter is probably better suited for the occasional camper and commuter. If you are going to be taking it in tough, conditions, particularly with saltwater and rocks present then you should go for a more heavy-duty material. But for a little extra protection for your work documents from the rain, there really is no need to lug a heavy vinyl dry bag around with you at work.

SIZE

You can pick up a dry bag in nearly every size you can imagine. From small bags for stashing your phone and money in whilst going for a swim, or a full 70L dry bag backpack for a week away camping. I usually bring a larger, more durable bag, with a collection of smaller more flexible lightweight bags inside. Waterproof duffle bags are a popular choice in Australia for just about all fishing situations where anglers are looking for a genuine waterproof bag that provides for ample carry space, handles, a large strap and they know the product is designed for years.

SEAL METHOD

Depending on your intended use, you might not need a dry bag which completely seals the top. If you are concerned about rain getting in, for example, a roll-top seal should be sufficient. If you are taking the bag out on boat trips regularly and want something which could handle a beating from waves and offshore storms, something with a zipper and a more waterproof seal might be better.

LEVEL OF WATERPROOF

Most dry bags are built to withstand rain and splashes, not to be fully submerged. There are bags available now which are built to withstand a swim in the sea, but make sure you know what you are buying. You can also test your dry bags waterproof capabilities. If you turn it inside out and fill the bag with water, you can see if any water leaks and assess the bag’s ability to withstand total submersion.

USEFUL ADDITIONS

There are some useful features that can be chosen. For example, if you are carrying breakable equipment like audio or video equipment, you can get a dry bag with extra padding on the inside to protect the equipment against jars and knocks. If you want to attach the bag to a kayak or something, you can get an external attachment point. Or if you need some easily accessed pockets there are now models with pockets on the outside. I bought a some clear dry bag recently and found it to be useful having a totally transparent bag.I spend much less time rummaging around to find what I’m looking for. But when it comes to real protection for serious equipment you really care about and it is probably very expensive, you need to forget the bag and go with a case.

SHOCKPROOF CASES FOR THE ULTIMATE PROTECTION

I would go with waterproof and shockproof equipment cases when it is something you really want to protect. Basically, they’re the kind of things you would want to take anything from fishing reels, sensitive fishing gear, video and camera kit. They will protect your kit from water, dust, bugs, shock and careless mates who are in a rush to go and just throw everything in the back of the utility without thinking twice.

 


What do you think? What else would you look for in a dry bag, waterproof duffle bag or some tough storage equipment for camping, fishing, boating or filming any of your adventures? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.

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Martin White
martinw@dinga.com.au

Martin is huge on everything outdoors and is even bigger on driving and technology. He loves boats, new stuff and writing about it.