Best waterproof bags

(Image credit: Earthpak)

They’re known as 'dry' bags for a reason. These bags are designed not just to resist water but to completely seal it out of your clothes, sleeping bag, camera, and other expensive electrical kit. Originally designed for kayakers to stash their stuff in, the benefits of waterproof bags have seen them grow in popularity for all kinds of outdoor activities and, indeed, any traveling when you want to keep your clothes dry and your valuable possessions free from water damage.

The interior stays dry thanks to waterproof fabric, usually polyurethane-coated with sealed seams, and a watertight system of closing the bag to keep every droplet out. (Although they usually aren't meant to be completely submerged). As with anything where a leak could spell disaster, durability is all-important. Here are some waterproof bags that won’t let you down.

Best overall

(Image credit: Amazon)

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bags

Roll and seal these durable bag

These dry bags use a roll-top closure to keep water out and are made from durable PVC material to be tough enough for watersports like kayaking and rafting. Available in multiple sizes from 10L to 55L, the smaller sizes have a single strap for carrying while the larger ones have double backpack style straps. Earth Pak also supplies a handy transparent waterproof phone case with their bags.

Best floating bag

(Image credit: Amazon)

MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

Float on the water and keep contents dry

Lightweight ripstop tarpaulin material, welded seams and a roll-top closure system keep your gear dry in these bags which come in sizes from 5L to 40L. Carry them with a shoulder strap (or straps on the larger bags), they should float on the surface of the water and stay dry inside although completely submerging isn’t recommended.

Best for small items

(Image credit: Amazon)

YUMQUA Clear Waterproof Bags

Seal smaller valuable items in these bags

These smaller see-through watertight bags are for holding cameras, phones and important documents or maps, and keeping them dry and visible. You close them up using an extra zipper and a fully waterproof triple fold-down tape closure to make sure your important possessions are safely sealed inside. Great for all outdoor activities where rain, sea or river could ruin your devices’ day.

Best for survival kit

(Image credit: Amazon)

HEETA Waterproof Dry Bag

See-through so you can find the right bag

These transparent waterproof PVC bags let you see what’s in each one without unsealing the roll down and buckle closure system. Available in four sizes – 5L, 10L, 20L, and 30L – they have straps and handles to make them an easy carry.

Bottom line

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When you want to keep your stuff safe and dry, these waterproof bags are the ultimate upgrade from old plastic bags. Essential for any activity on the water and a good idea when you’re camping or on the beach and don’t want to risk your clothes getting wet and your gadgets potentially ruined. They are an item that makes all outdoor adventures less stressful. The bags we would recommend for most people are Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bags. Made from good, durable waterproof material, they seal well, come in a range of sizes and the bonus phone case is a nice idea. 

If you particularly want to protect phones, tablets and documents when you’re outside and it’s wet, YUMQUA Clear Waterproof Bags are a solid choice. They will protect your most precious and expensive items in the wettest environments and are good to use as extra protection even if you already have a water-resistant jacket or backpack.

Advnture team

Launched in July 2020, Advnture is the ideal destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Whether you're into epic hikes through the wilderness, camping trips with the family, climbing with your friends, or looking for a trail running personal best, our team of experts will point you in the right direction, with top buying advice and in-depth guides to help you get the most of your time in the backcountry.