From the Mag |Gear | Dry Bags
Dry Gear, Happy Camper
Eight Bags to Keep the Wet Out
1. Outdoor Research Sensor Command Deck Bag
$159 | Outdoorresearch.com
The Sensor Command (SC) is the most design-specific bag in our test. Made for expedition paddling, we loved the flat bottom and lash system for getting it solid on deck. One big note: the main compartment is not waterproof. It's made for storing gear that can get wet like raincoats, energy bars and water bottles. There are two thin sleeves that are waterproof for maps, money, wallet, as well as one specifically built for an iPad, which makes the SC handy for day-trip use, too.
2. SEAL LINE BAJA STERN DECK BAG
$75 | Cascadedesigns.com
The Baja Stern is a great bag to pack your night gear: warm jacket, sleeping pad, cookware, etc. It's long and flat, which keeps it low on the deck and it's easy to strap down thanks to plastic D-rings (minor complaint: we thought they could be larger). We also liked the bungee cord on top that allows you to secure a three-piece paddle, water bottle or other gear without opening it up.
3. Advanced Elements Deep Six Deck Pack
$80 | Advancedelements.com
The Deep Six is a simple utilitarian pack for everyday use. With simplicity come some nice benefits: light weight, svelte design and unobtrusive front storage pocket. It's marketed as "water-resistant," with a stiff roll top and a non-waterproof zipper, so we wouldn't take it on gnarly expeditions where there's a chance of capsizing. But for daily paddles or carting wet gear home from the beach this is a decent choice at a relatively low price point.
4. Exped Torrent 30
$105 | Exped.com
The Torrent is a solid, daypack-sized drybag with some nice bells and whistles. We love the side- and front-mounted daisy chains that make it easy to tie down the bag at any angle. The wide-mouth opening gives you easy access to all your important gear, a feature that many top-loading packs lack. And this bag is super comfortable thanks to the beefy shoulder and waist straps. Solid construction, attention to details and good looks make this one of our favorites.
5. MEC Scully 30L duffle
$65 | Mec.ca
The Scully is a hybrid duffel/drypack with a roll closure inside the outer zipper that works as well in the airport as it does on your SUP's deck. We liked the square shape, which makes packing and unpacking easy, not to mention the purge valve that allows compaction after you've sealed it. The backpack straps are thin and uncomfortable so it's not the best bag for heavy loads. Regardless, this pack sees a lot of use by SUP magazine staffers.
6. Rip Curl F-Light Marine Dry Backpack
$99 | Ripcurl.com
This pack is made to get you to and from waters edge. Whether you're hiking into a secret spot in a rainstorm or leaving the beach with a sopping wetsuit, the Marine Dry will serve you well. We liked the large outside pocket for storing fins, keys and other surf paraphernalia and the padded shoulder straps and chest cinch made any endeavor comfortable. While this bag might not be as burly and waterproof as some, it's a good everyday beach bag.
7. Watershed Ocoee
$105 | Drybags.com
Watershed makes some of the best drybags on the market, thanks to their patented quick-entry zipper technology, which will keep your gear dry as the desert. Built with ripstop construction and burly buckles they are also super durable. Plus, they come in multiple sizes. After numerous surf landings (and a few crashes), our photo editor trusts his Watershed bags to protect his camera gear while on the water. A must-have for those with gear that absolutely cannot get wet.
8. SEA TO SUMMIT Hydraulic Dry Pack 90L
$140 | Seatosummit.com
The Sea To Summit Hydraulic series are serious drybags. We tested the 90 liter, which is too big for many SUPs, but they also offer 65- and 35-L options and the detachable, padded waist belt will work with any of them. These bags are tough, watertight and feature four solid external lash points for easy strapping. If portaging rough trails or spending days in foul weather sound like a good time, you should look into the Hydraulic packs.
Check out more gear!
This feature originally ran in the Winter 2015 issue