The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

How We Tested Dry Bags

Thursday September 19, 2019

Waterproofness


The ability to keep water out and your gear dry is the most important job of a dry bag. To test each product's capacity in this metric we first exposed them to regular recreational use. We used them for paddle boarding, beach days, and river trips and took careful notes about the level of water exposure they received and how the internal contents fared. We then subjected them to more rigorous testing. Each product was filled with towels, closed according to the instructions, and held underwater for 30-seconds. The towels and inside of the bag were then evaluated for water. Last but not least we attached each bag filled with dry towels to a leash on the back of a paddle board and dragged them through a lake for 30-minutes. Afterward, we investigated the level of water in each product.

Each model was dragged through the water for 30 minutes.
Each model was dragged through the water for 30 minutes.

Ease of Use


We set out to determine how the product packs, how it carries, and how simple it was to retrieve contents during an activity. We used each model for a variety of adventures and packed everything from clothes to cameras to sleeping gear inside.

One of the criteria for this metric was how the product carried.
One of the criteria for this metric was how the product carried.

Features


Certain models are best suited for specific objectives. In order to tease out the specialists, we thoroughly investigated and used the individual features of each product. We paid particular attention to the closure system and the lash points and made note of any unique characteristics like backpacking straps or pockets.

Models built for specialty purposes often have unique features.
Models built for specialty purposes often have unique features.

Durability


To best assess durability, we spent months subjecting these products to regular use and abuse. We judged each on the material of the main body and the features such as clips and straps. We also evaluated the closure-system and how well it stayed sealed during use.

We investigated how easily a product was damaged with casual use.
We investigated how easily a product was damaged with casual use.