The Best Roll-Top Dry Bag

The Best Roll-Top Dry Bag

Our pick

Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag

Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag

The best dry bag

Offers the most versatile water protection both inside and outside a pack.

Buying Options

$55* from Backcountry
Buy from Amazon
$65 $52 from Sea to Summit

You save $13 (20%)

*At the time of publishing, the price was $45.

The Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag is for the outdoors enthusiast who needs one bag to do it all. We dragged this bag behind a boat through rocks, branches, and other roughage, and it was more durable and waterproof than many that were supposed to withstand more abuse. Meanwhile, its 420-denier nylon (which is not as burly as some other materials) makes this bag a decent option for compartmentalizing gear within a backpack without adding too much weight to your load.

The Big River Dry Bag has four loops (two on each side) in addition to two D-rings by the closure buckle that let you easily lash the bag to a boat, pack, bike, or car. It weighs 2.5 to 10 ounces, depending on the size you choose. As with many roll-top dry bags, the buckled seal creates a loop that you can easily use as a handle. It comes in seven sizes ranging from 3 to 65 liters in capacity, and in five colors.

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Runner-up

Outdoor Research Durable Dry Sack

Outdoor Research Durable Dry Sack

If our top pick is sold out

A lighter-weight bag, but it comes in only one size.

Buying Options

$30* from Backcountry
$35 from Amazon

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $35.

The fabric of Outdoor Research’s Durable Dry Sack is 210-denier nylon with a polyurethane coating, which means it’s half as substantial as the material of our top choice. This bag withstood all our stress tests, however, so we think it’s plenty durable for long-term use in the field. The 55 L size weighs 7.5 ounces but is not necessarily meant for ultra-lightweight hiking, as it has the added weight of a vertical daisy-chain strip to lash the bag to a boat or vehicle. It could also easily attach to any MOLLE-compatible packs. A D-ring sits by the buckle, but it feels flimsier than the two adorning our top pick, and the Durable Dry Sack comes in only one largish size: 55 L.

This bag has no compression straps. But as with any roll-top dry bag or sack, we don’t think straps are necessary: You can compress a dry bag just by pushing out the air before you seal it. And if you’ll be using it on the water, it helps to leave some air inside so that the bag can float.

Also great

Outdoor Research Ultralight Dry Sack

Outdoor Research Ultralight Dry Sack

For landlubbers (hikers and backpackers)

This design is great for stuffing inside a backpack.

Buying Options

$20 from Amazon
$20 from Backcountry

The Outdoor Research Ultralight Dry Sack is our number one choice for anyone carrying their load on their back. It’s great if you need to swim with a backpack on, or if you just get caught in the rain a lot. The ultralight fabric of this model is 40-denier ripstop with a polyurethane coating (don’t go dragging this sack around on the ground), and the 20 L size weighs 2.8 ounces. (There are four sizes, ranging from 5 L to 20L, although the smallest is currently sold out on Outdoor Research’s site.) It will maintain its dry interior as long as it has no holes, which seems obvious, but that means no sharp objects like keys or forks in or around the sack. (If you really need waterproofing for that stuff, a hard case is better.) These sacks are best for holding clothing and other soft goods, and they’re often useful for compartmentalizing the inside of a large backpack.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag

Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag

The best dry bag

Offers the most versatile water protection both inside and outside a pack.

Buying Options

$55* from Backcountry
Buy from Amazon
$65 $52 from Sea to Summit

You save $13 (20%)

*At the time of publishing, the price was $45.

Runner-up

Outdoor Research Durable Dry Sack

Outdoor Research Durable Dry Sack

If our top pick is sold out

A lighter-weight bag, but it comes in only one size.

Buying Options

$30* from Backcountry
$35 from Amazon

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $35.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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