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Dry Packs

Top Picks

How we choose: The best dry packs highlighted here were selected based on 38 reviews of 14 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Top Dry Pack / Daypack

Exped Cloudburst 25

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

A lightweight, completely waterproof summit and day pack that can ride in a bigger pack for doing side trips on longer hikes, doubles as a dry bag in the pack. Attention to details make it comfortable and highly functional.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight, compact when not in use
  • Rugged enough for extended use
  • Completely waterproof
  • Sternum and waist straps
  • Stretch cord for attaching helmet or other items

Reasons to Avoid

  • No hydration or other pockets

My wife has a habit of conveniently forgetting critical items so that she can replace them with something newer and better. For five years or so we both have been using the minimalist Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Packs for side trips on longer backpacking trips. On the first stopover on our recent trip to Iceland, a daughter-visit in Oslo, my wife discovered she had forgotten hers. So we found our way to an outdoor gear emporium downtown, and sure enough they had the S2S packs prominently displayed right next to the cash register.

Read more: Exped Cloudburst 25 review (1)

SealLine Pro Dry Pack

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

Used in BWCA for an 11-day trip. No problems!

Reasons to Buy

  • Strong
  • Water tight
  • BIG
  • Comfortable enough
  • Legitimate harness and hipbelt

Reasons to Avoid

  • Hard to see inside (black interior)

My wife and I used this pack on an 11-day trip in the Boundary Waters. During this time she and I both portaged loads in excess of 70 lbs, covering distances of up to one mile. While this pack has nowhere near the amount of support needed to to use as a dedicated backpack, for a portage pack, I haven't found anything better. The hip belt and shoulder harness are adequate to the task for short (.25-1.5 mile) hauls that one typically encounters while on a canoe trip. Due to the size of the pack, and the fact that the top will extend higher than one's shoulders, I don't recommend for solo paddlers trying to 'single-track' (I.E.

Read more: SealLine Pro Dry Pack reviews (3)

Sea to Summit Rapid 26L Dry Pack

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

The Sea to Summit Rapid 26 L Dry Pack is a well-constructed and featured day pack that happens to also double as a dry bag. I was impressed with its versatility in functioning in wet conditions and also meeting my needs as a day pack, even as an overnight pack. It handles loads up to 20 lbs quite well but begs to be loaded with more than just a few pieces of clothing, as I found that the top roll can unravel if not sufficiently stuffed and compressed. The universal fit worked pretty well for my more petite frame and appears to be expandable to larger sizes. The sleek and trim design should suit a variety of applications.

Reasons to Buy

  • A day pack that stays dry
  • Well featured
  • Quality construction and materials

Reasons to Avoid

  • Top roll can unravel if pack is not stuffed sufficiently

A Bit of Background: I have worked and played a substantial amount of my life out on the water, as a SCUBA diver, ship captain, marine biologist, and kayaker. I have seen my share of instances where things get wet when not properly stored. I incorporated an LL Bean dry bag with shoulder straps many years ago to suit such a lifestyle, mostly shucking it short distances across the gangways of ships and into the bellies of small boats. As such, I learned quickly that these early dry bag packs were not designed to go the distance on your back.

Read more: Sea to Summit Rapid 26L Dry Pack review (1)

Seattle Sports Omni Dry Backpack

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

This is a very reasonably priced, very large, pack-style dry bag that we have used for the past two years while canoe camping. It has held up very well, has a nice large capacity, and protects the contents. We anticipate we will get quite a few more years of use from this bag.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable
  • Nicely adjustable straps
  • Large capacity

Reasons to Avoid

  • We have not found any problems with the bag; we do take care when we put it on, since the lower rear strap attachment is only a small stitched area

So, here in December, I am writing a review for a product we purchased for canoe camping...and generally put away for the season in October. No, we're not canoe camping now (though the spate of warm weather makes it tempting!).  However, I actually just packed the bag for a winter camping trip. Not a backpacking trip, but a remote cabin trip which requires us to haul our gear about .2 mile through the woods. In fact, very similar to portages/carries to campsites we do in the summer. This bag is HUGE! (140 l capacity).

Read more: Seattle Sports Omni Dry Backpack review (1)

Eureka! Terra Cotta Canoe Barrel

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Gear barrel, barrel pack, canoe barrel * NOT A BEAR-PROOF BARREL * This is a 64L food-grade (HDPE) "total-opening" cylindrical plastic drum with screw-on gasketted lid. Manufactured by CURTEC, and originally used for transporting pharmaceuticals. When they are retired, EUREKA! takes these barrels, cleans them, and gives them a second life as a canoeist's gear barrel.

Reasons to Buy

  • Waterproof
  • Buoyant (it floats!)
  • Rigid/Strong
  • Contains food odours
  • Cylindrical (not tapered)
  • Full-width mouth
  • Screw-on lid
  • Large volume

Reasons to Avoid

  • NOT bear-proof
  • Harness sold separately
  • Uncomfortable
  • Very heavy

The size and weight of gear barrels make them less than ideal for long-distance backpacking on dry land. But being waterproof gives them a distinct advantage on water, ie. when canoeing/portaging. Many brands sell a harness that is compatible with these barrels, and makes them more comfortable to carry on your back (sold separately). Ease of Use (10/10):On the topic of "ease of use", the following features stand out to me compared to barrels from other manufacturers: The screw-top lid means there's no metal strap that can get lost or damaged (or opened by crafty raccoons), and I find it's much faster and easier to spin the top and engage the threads than it is to fiddle with the metal belt-clamps of other brands of barrels.

Read more: Eureka! Terra Cotta Canoe Barrel review (1)

Top Daypack (under 35L) / Dry Pack

Outdoor Research Dry Summit Pack LT

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Great minimalist waterproof day pack. Simple and light, very underrated!

Reasons to Buy

  • Very light
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable
  • Spacious

Reasons to Avoid

  • No place to put a water bottle
  • Mo form to the pack

I have many pieces of Outdoor Research gear, and I have been pleased with all of them. The Outdoor Research Dry Summit Pack LT does not disappoint! Might be light on features, but it checks all of the boxes if you are looking for a minimalist pack. What I like... I have been using it for a week, both as a daypack for work and used on a 5-mile day hike, and the pack performed admirably. Even though it has no internal frame or shape to speak of, it was comfortable on my back and handled gear with ease.

Read more: Outdoor Research Dry Summit Pack LT review (1)

Outdoor Research Dry Peak Bagger

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

The Dry Peak Bagger is an excellent 'extra' pack to bring along on those long winter hikes where your main pack is heavy — filled with all the necessary emergency gear. I use this ultralight waterproof pack to stuff with essential gear at the base of a summit resulting with a much lighter pack for the steep push to the top.

Reasons to Buy

  • Waterproof
  • Ultralight

This pack has been a little 'gem' in both winter and summer. In the winter it is a must to keep your extra gear dry and using this as a 'summit' pack works perfectly. It is constructed well and has a comfortable fit.  The roll top closure makes access quick and easy.  The emergency whistle on the sternum strap is an added plus. When paddling in the summer this pack is extremely handy especially on portages giving you free hands to carry your canoe/kayak.  The exterior pocket works well to hold small items such as gloves, sunglasses, etc.  I have used this pack for several years now and it has far succeeded my expectations.

Read more: Outdoor Research Dry Peak Bagger reviews (2)

Outdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

A well built summit pack that is able to carry the essentials and tools when bagging peaks from a base camp.

Reasons to Buy

  • Tool capability
  • Keeps gear dry
  • Lightweight
  • Packs small
  • Dual purpose

Reasons to Avoid

  • Straps have a tendency to slide
  • Hot to wear

I sought out this pack to fill a unique need. I wanted a summit bag that held about 30 liters, could hold tools like ice axes, crampons, and skis, and be frameless so that it could stuff inside a multiday pack. The OR DryComp Ridge Sack hit every one of those categories. For tool capability, the pack includes an external mesh pouch which holds crampons well. There are also two compression straps on either side which can be used to attach skis in an A-frame style. Additional there are two ice axe/trekking pool loops.

Read more: Outdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack review (1)

More Reviews of Dry Packs

Trailspace reviewers have shared 38 reviews of 14 different dry packs.

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Other Types of Waterproof Storage

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