lightweight *waterproof* dry bag recommendation?

fossana

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Jan 11, 2018
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My barely used Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack failed when I took it on a rafting trip. Yes, I followed the instructions and I've always carried it in a second more abrasion resistant pack. Pretty sure it's a seam failure, but I need to repeat my test to confirm. I haven't yet filed a warranty report with the company. Anyone have another recommendation for a lightweight truly waterproof (as in emersion proof) dry bag, or am I better off getting it repaired and/or preemptively seam sealing them?
 

Nick

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Any lightweight dry bag is not going to last very long, in my opinion. It doesn't seem to matter how gentle you are with them. I have at least a half dozen of them in a bin in my gear room with various tiny holes and leaks. The heavy duty ones are the only thing I'd trust anymore, and even then not too much.
 

regehr

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I did a couple packrafting trips this spring and the fact that a buddy picked up some big, bomber NRS dry bags made this go better. they weight a ton but can take abuse. I have a few of those sea to summit bags as well, and don't trust them!!
 

Nick

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The NRS Bill's Bag is well known for being burly and long lasting. On the smaller end of things, their Tuff Sacks seem to be pretty similar but without the backpack straps. Welded PVC is bomber and will long outlast the silnylon stuff.

 

regehr

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The NRS Bill's Bag is well known for being burly and long lasting.

Ok, I think these are the ones! We got the 65 liter version. They're used but still tough. It fit my sleeping bag, bivy bag, some clothes, and random other items.
 

Windy

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Dec 12, 2018
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My barely used Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack failed when I took it on a rafting trip. Yes, I followed the instructions and I've always carried it in a second more abrasion resistant pack. Pretty sure it's a seam failure, but I need to repeat my test to confirm. I haven't yet filed a warranty report with the company. Anyone have another recommendation for a lightweight truly waterproof (as in emersion proof) dry bag, or am I better off getting it repaired and/or preemptively seam sealing them?

Not necessarily light, BUT the only dry bag that I would consider fully waterproof, as in complete immersion proof is Watershed Dry Bags. I've seen rafts upside down and under water for 1hr and once righted everything inside those bags was dry. Others with roll top or zip dry bags had wet clothes and sleeping bags. Watershed has tested their bags in Japan down in the ocean. I talked to the rep and he said that the contents of the bag crushed due to pressure but the seal didn't fail. They are all I have used for the last 10 years and the only bag I would trust with my personal gear. Occasionally you can find them on discount on Amazon, or a 20 % off thru Backcountry.com.
 

Nick

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x2 on Watershed bags. I have 4 in various sizes and use them on every river trip. I did just switch my day access bag to a hard case though. The Watershed seal is great but it's a pain if you're getting into it constantly.
 

Windy

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x2 on Watershed bags. I have 4 in various sizes and use them on every river trip. I did just switch my day access bag to a hard case though. The Watershed seal is great but it's a pain if you're getting into it constantly.

I agree, the seal can be a bit of a pain to access often. I normally re-apply 303 after every trip, this keeps the seals lubed up and easy to use. My go to system for years has been a Pelican 1300 case for my river ditty bag "ammo can" and a Watershed Chattooga for my rain gear/splash gear/dry suit etc and any other clothing I might want to access quickly. Then I keep the rest of my gear in either a Colorado or Yukon depending on trip size/length etc.
 

Outdoor_Fool

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Most if not all my friends who are on the water a lot always load the clothes etc in a heavy duty garbage bag before placing in a dry bag, they feel that this is the only way to feel like their stuff will be dry. As they explain, eventually, you will fail to wrap the top down incorrectly, or close a zipper correctly, or rub a hole in a bag at the wrong time, and the secondary layer has saved the day.

I have a SealLine 100 L bag that has been through a lot and never failed but has never been immersed for any length of time. We have a variety of other bags and most of them seem to be fine still although small holes seem to be developing pretty regularly. We tend to keep our bags loaded a bit high on our cataraft so they are not sitting in water for any length of time.

We have a military aluminum box for our food and kitchen gear that is absolutely waterproof so far. When I canoe by myself, I put all my stuff in it. Never leaked a drop. They used to be cheap ($20) but I have seen them going for $80 the last few years. It's a great highly-bear-resistant food box, just not lightweight. .

Aluminum_Military_food_box2.jpg
 

Brendan S

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Mar 19, 2016
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For dedicated river trips real drybags are the way to go but for packrafting trips where I’m doing a lot of walking I still roll with the S2S Lightweight bags but also use a trash compactor bag as a pack liner. I keep an eye on them but I haven’t had any issues (including completely submerging my pack a few times).
 

fossana

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Jan 11, 2018
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For redundancy I just ordered a pelican case for my RX100 and a smaller waterproof bag for my cell phone. Less worried about my In-Reach Mini since it's IPX7, but will still bag it. Btw, found this dry bag maintenance article, which may be of interest to others.
 

Brendan S

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Mar 19, 2016
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For redundancy I just ordered a pelican case for my RX100 and a smaller waterproof bag for my cell phone. Less worried about my In-Reach Mini since it's IPX7, but will still bag it. Btw, found this dry bag maintenance article, which may be of interest to others.
The small aloksaks are great for phones. Totally waterproof and you can still use the phone.
 

Arizona Jones

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Aug 1, 2020
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I only use the heavy duty types. Would rather carry the extra weight and have them be durable. I backpack through or into West Clear Creek, and Wet Beaver Creek in Arizona, usual at least once a year. You have to swim and float packs. And stuff takes a beating, and you don't want to get in there and find out your sleeping bag is soaked.
 

ronald123

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May 5, 2021
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I would also recommend you to always buy the heavy duty backs that could fulfil all your needs.
 

ghansen542

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Jun 27, 2021
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I would also recommend you to always buy the heavy duty backs that could fulfil all your needs.
You need to check out hyperlite mountain gear (the leading ultralight equipment company). Dyneema fabric is as strong as steel and lighter than nylon or polyester. totally waterproof. Expensive, yes. But worth it. Since I went ultralight, my backpacking experience has been totally transformed.... with dyneema fabric tent, sacks, and backpack... all superlight and super durable and lighter than anything else on the market. you will never go back to lugging "heavy" anything.
 

NECoastalHykur

NE Coastal Hykur
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Oct 24, 2020
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Big River Dry Bags

I own three sizes. The first was the 35L that was required for our river crossing drills completed with a state SAR crew many years ago. Placed the 35L inside of a 50L pack, which doubled as a PFD, in addition to keeping our gear dry. We had to unbuckle our waist belts, rolled over onto our pack in the river, then frog kicked to the riverbank. Bag is still in great shape after using it countless times - owned the 35L since 2010.

BTW: Backpacks are available for this purpose now. Waterproof Backpack
 
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