I’ve always enjoyed following your river journeys. What dry bags would you recommend using?
- Christian Soltermann
Questions to ask yourself to help decide which drybags you need.
How am I travelling?
If I’m on the water (sailing, kayak, SUP, canoe, waterbike) every day then there’s always the chance of capsize or bags falling in the water. If I’m just on a walk or a bike ride pesky rain or even heavy overnight dewfall demands a moderation of protection.
How rugged will the journey be?
Are the bags going to be tossed around? Do they need to be hardy?
What water type am I travelling on or near?
Gear will last a lot longer in fresh water than it will in ocean salt water. Salt water eats gear faster than crocodiles.
What’s the climate?
Humid or endlessly rainy?
What type of gear needs to be protected?
Electronics are key to some expeditions and are more susceptible to moisture damage than clothing. It’s not fun reaching the end of a grim day only to find your stash of dry end-of-ride clothes are absolutely soaking.
Regardless of whether or not I’m travelling on water, I’ll pack using a layering series of dry bags.
Main choice for river trips:
Main bag: Palm Equipment River Trek: Camping gear, clothing and electronics
My favourite top-layer waterproof duffel bag is the Palm Equipment River Trek. It comes in a bunch of different sizes, is rugged enough to withstand a few months of being chucked about, and it’s my first choice on a long river or ocean journey. A Palm River Trek can also happily survive in the aircraft hold, so no worries about checking it in. They’re top loaded, so ideal for gear you don’t need to grab throughout the day.
Day bag: Aquapac Upano Duffel: Day bag for easy access to spare layers, lunch and other items you’ll use during the day
Aquapac also do duffel bags, which are thinner, lightweight and suitable for shorter weekend or week-long paddles. They’re fastened longways so are good for access throughout the day, and also come with a valve so you can squeeze extra air out before doing the bag up.
Hike rucksack: Aquapac "Wet & Dry" Lightweight Waterproof Backpack - 25 Litres (788)A great hiking and city rucksack. It wouldn’t keep water out if it was submerged but I’ve used one of these for years and it happily keeps the laptop dry in rainy conditions. Good for running into town for supplies.
Inner Layers: All gear inside the dry bags packed away inside AquaPac Pack Dividers
Whatever my main outer choice is, all of my gear goes in smaller waterproof pack dividers. My waterproof pack dividers of choice are by by Aquapac, they come in different colour-coded sizes so you can easily find your gear when in camp.
Main choice for bike trips:
If I’m on the road and need good rain and mud protection for a rack-ready pannier, I’ve always gone with Ortlieb. The back roller panniers are great for the rear rack, and for a handlebar bag the Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Plus has lasted me for years, on scooters and tandems and Elliptigos and water bikes and even normal bicycles.
And finally, to keep the smartphone dry but still usable, Lifeproof know what they’re doing. https://amzn.to/2RU6yiA