Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gear Spotlight: Dry Bags

I have used various dry bags over the years and some have been great and some have not really held up to the beating of being shoved in kayaks.  So I wanted to take a bit of time and mention the dry bags that I use and would recommend to anyone.

I think we may see more kayak inspired products from this company in the future and they have a reputation of making solid equipment.  Outdoor Research is an amazing company that has been making mountain gear for years.  They stand behind their products and have branched out into the Dry Bag market.  I was excited to see this given that I have been a big fan of OR gear for years.

The OR Bags I use:

I first started using the OR Dry Sacks for my personal use and was so impresses with them I added them to my commercial kayak tour fleet (Discovery Sea Kayaks).  I use them for clients to put their gear i and I use the Dry Compression Sacks to pack all sleeping bags in.  I have had no problems with the Dry Sacks.  None have ripped or torn.  The Compression Sacks have help up at all sewn points where so other manufactures bags have failed in the past.

Unlike the Vinyl Dry Bags, which I still use sometimes, the OR Dry Sacks slide easily when packing in plastic or fiberglass kayaks.  They are easier to store when empty due to the pliable fabric.

OR also has an Infinite Guarantee.  There is some small print with that of course. But any time I have had a rare occasion when I needed to send a piece of equipment back.  It was taken care of swiftly.

Hydroseal Dry Sack:  This is my preferred bag that they make.  Thicker than some of the other models they make.  I have yet to become a fan of the ultralight dry bags.  The bag features standard roll down closure with buckle secure top.  The fabric is a waterproof coated Antron Nylon, which is abrasion and tear resistant.  


No.1 Hydroseal Dry Sack Volume 5L.  This is my sack of preference.  I paddle a NDK Explorer and the with small round hatches, it is nice to have small durable dry bags.  You can find a few of these in my kayak at any given time.  From gloves and beanies to snacks, I use this bag for everything.

No. 2 Hydroseal Dry Sack Volume 10L.  I use this as a dry bag to carry jackets and other bulky spare items I may need.  It is not too big so I can easily fit it anywhere in my kayak.

My next favorite bag by Or is the AirPurge Dry Compression Sack.  Made with the same durable material as the Hydroseal Dry Sack and an added gor-tex like fabric band that purges the air as you compress the bag.  This has become my favorite dry bag for sleeping bags and even my little tent.


No. 1 AirPurge Dry Compression Sack Volume 10L.  This is what I use for my sleeping bag and for my tent.  This is one of the easiest functioning compression sacks there is.  Since there is the fabric band that purges the air, you do not have a valve that awkwardly sticks off to the side or bottom.  

No. 3 AirPurge Dry Compression Sack Volume 25L.  This is the bag we use for our commercial kayak tours.  We put all sleeping bags in the dry bag.  We have not had any problems with clients tearing the bag while compressing them.  This was a problem with a previous manufacturer we used.  They compress the sleeping bags nicely and make it easier to pack warm sleeping bags in the kayaks.  


SealLine Dry Bags.  The are heavy duty vinyl dry bags.  I have phased most of my SealLine bags out for the OR Dry Sack for packing items such as clothes and sleeping bags.  What I do use them for is packing equipment that is heavy and typically I am afraid of puncture possibilities.  Mainly use when pack my Brunton Wind River Range.  I use this stove for my commercial kayak tours. It is a beast and cooks as good as being at home.  But I needed a super durable Dry Bag.  I turned to the SealLine TieDown Bag


SealLine TieDown.  This a rectangular cut bag that can accommodate large equipment.  It is as rugged as you can find in a dry bag.  A central carry handle makes it perfect for porting from the beach to camp.  I do have confidence in this product.  I have not had any problems with it in the field and it can take a serious load.  I will have stove, hoses and cutting boards pack away in my TieDown Bag and it is nice and safe from the salt water.

Well if you are looking at some Dry Bags and not sure what to buy.  I really feel the best dry bags on the market today are the Outdoor Research Dry Sacks.  Check them out the next time you are at your local paddle shop.

1 comment:

ajd said...

Thanks for the review -- very helpfu indeedl! :)

It's exactly this kind of information I look for on the web before I go buying my own products -- something written by a 'pro' about something they use themselves -- and why. :)

Your review was well-written and obviously gained from personal experience gathered over regular usage. Again, thanks -- I'll be looking at dry bags differently as I choose a couple for my canoe tripping!