Even the best backpacks and bags are useless when they decide to take an unscheduled dip in the nearest river. For hardcore outings, it’s best to pack your gear in a legit, water-resistant or waterproof dry bag. Whether you’re planning a week-long canyoneering trek or packing a bug-out bag for the eventual end of the world, these dry bags, duffels, and backpacks are designed to handle your wettest, wildest, most extreme outdoor adventures.
Best for Casual Outings
Filson Dry Pack
There’s a lot to love about Filson. Its products are made in America and backed by a lifetime guarantee. Plus, the company has been around since before the Model T was a twinkle in Henry Ford’s eye. Like most things in their catalog, the Dry Backpack is simple, straightforward, and utilitarian. At 28 liters, it’s sized right as a day bag, ideal for carrying everything you need for quick, casual outings. The roll-top design is polyurethane-coated to keep your gear dry even with the bag fully submerged. The 840-denier nylon is also flexible and abrasion-resistant, so it’ll likely outlast you.
Best for Survival
Colfax Design Works Project T.O.A.D. Drybag
When you’re planning to venture far, far off-trail with no idea of the conditions you might be facing, you need a bag that can survive just about anything. Colfax Design Works’ Project T.O.A.D. (that’s Tactical Operations Amphibious Drybags collection) Drybag is over-engineered to mil-spec standards. It’s a military-grade bag for the everyman. Cordura fabric and airtight YKK Aquaseal zippers guarantee an IPx7 rating, making it 100% submersible in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The 40-liter size is capacious, yet lightweight at just 1.7 pounds. It works well as a traditional duffel but easily converts to a backpack on the fly. An advanced webbing system provides for easy modular expansion. In the event your adventure really goes sideways, a locking buoyancy valve allows the bag to be inflated and used as a flotation device.
Best for Extreme Adventures
Watershed Colorado Duffel Bag
Watershed’s Colorado duffel is a favorite among rafting guides and other hardcore outdoor adventurers. The streamlined form factor is as adept at hauling gear through a partially flooded slot canyon as on the rooftop of an SUV. The 75-liter capacity is spacious enough for one person’s equipment on a multi-day trek. RF-welding bonds multiple layers of the fabric to ensure there are no weak points, while its patented ZipDry technology is relied on by U.S. Navy SEALs to keep their gear dry. Durable carry handles, multiple lash points, and compression straps all make the Colorado versatile and functional in the most extreme conditions.
Best for Travelers
Matador Droplet Dry Bag
For anyone seeking a dry bag with maximum portability, Matador’s Droplet Wet Bag is designed to carry everywhere. At just 9 inches by 10.5 inches unfurled, it’s compact enough to clip to a keychain and forget about until you need it. The 3-liter capacity is ideal for impromptu trips to the beach or the gym when you need a place to stow wet, dirty, or otherwise funky clothes away from your other personal effects. For travelers, it can serve as a way to quarantine potentially messy liquids from everything else in your carry-on luggage.
Best for Gear-Hauling
Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack
In Sea to Summit’s own words, its Hydraulic Dry Pack is designed to “survive its own solo trip down Alaskan river rapids.” The 600D TPU-laminated fabric, non-wicking roll-top closure, and welded construction with permanently sealed seams mean it’ll tackle canyoneering and paddle sports with equal aplomb. What truly sets it apart is the UV-resistant, PVC-free fabric that’s purpose-built to survive extreme cold. We love that it’s available in jumbo-sized form factors up to 90 liters and even 120 liters — spacious enough to stow everything but your kayak.