Best Way to Keep your Gear Dry

I wanted to know the best way to keep gear dry

There have been a few times I’ve been hiking and thought it was going to rain, and suddenly realized that I brought a rain jacket for myself, but not anything to protect my gear. I knew if I was going to commit to longer and longer hikes that I would need to know the best way to keep gear dry.


There are various types of applications of course, so I’m going to give some examples of what you can use, and where to find them. As always, the links listed below are affiliate links. Buying anything from them sends me a small commission at no additional cost to you. Those purchases help maintain the site and more.

Living in central Texas offers me the chance to spend a lot of time in the San Marcos river in warmer months. Floating down the river is an amazing past time that I try and not take for granted. I much prefer the San Marcos, as opposed to the Guadalupe or Comal rivers, because the smaller crowds and shorter lengths on the water.

In San Marcos, if you want to keep going you can just walk to the beginning and plop back in. The river though is where I discovered the need to keep gear dry. Especially once my daughter was old enough to float the river with me. Phones, keys, camera stuff, anything packable, but a couple things that would be damaged if gotten wet.

The same items can be used for your gear in your backpack as well. Separate pouches for the same electronics can be used for either setup. I’ll also include items to keep your entire backpack dry as well!

Top Picks:

Dry Bags

Dry Bags are going to be the best way to ensure your gear remains dry. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and many brands makes their own styles. I use Columbia dry bags for my smaller gear and they work great. All you need to do it roll the top of the bag down a few times and them buckle the sides of the bag together. Between that and the waterproof material, you’re going to have great protection.

Columbia drybag set

Low Drag™ II Drybag Set

  • $13.50
  • Light weight
  • Comes in a 3-pack

alps mountaineering torrent dry bag

ALPS MountaineeringTorrent Dry Bag Multi-Pack

  • $29.73
  • 500-Denier Poly PVC
  • Oval shape bottom

sea to summit big river dry bag

Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag

  • $38.21 20L
  • Various sizes/price. Shown 20L
  • TPU laminated nylon
  • Bigger sizes can be placed in a backpack for bigger items like tents, etc.


Dry Sacks

Dry Sacks are a little more specific to being used within a pack or backpack. They go inside your bag and then your gear, well, goes inside of that. Great for hiking and traveling if you think you’re going to get caught in some wet climate. Better safe than sorry.

Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack

Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack

  • Shown: 6L $13-$25
  • Various sizes for all types of bags/backpacks
  • Rectangle shape so it fits better in bag
  • Coated fabric

Earth Park Dry Bag

Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag

  • $19.99-38.99
  • Roll Top Design
  • 10L-55L Options
  • IPX8 Waterproof rating. (that’s good)
  • Comes with phone case

Dry Duffels

If you smashing waves on Devil’s River, or need something to withstand the elements why traveling, then a dry duffel bag is going to be your go-to item. They are not really intended for backpacking per se, but they do serve a great purpose for anglers and people needing some top tier sturdiness.

Yeti Panga 50

Yeti Panga 50

  • 50L-100L
  • Shown 50L $299.99
  • High Density Nylon
  • Made by Yeti, but not a cooler
  • Perfect for boat, kayak

RTIC Duffel

RTIC Duffel

  • 45L-140L
  • Shown is 70L
  • $89.99
  • Puncture resistant
  • Removable Strap

Why these?

After scouring the interwebs these are the top recommendations for these type of bags. There are plenty of choices out there, but this site wants to save you time a recommend top pics.

What are some other uses you’ve found for dry bags? Leave a comment below and help share your stories!

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