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What Is a Dry Bag Used For? – 18 Different Applications!

what is a dry bag used for
Written by Marc Niad

Your outdoor gear is protected, organized, and kept dry with dry bags. In addition to different sizes, thicknesses, weights, designs, materials, and colors, each has its own level of waterproofness, intended use, and price.

A ‘dry bag’ is often associated with gear designed to be used in wet environments, such as with snow, rain, or snow.

What Is a Dry Bag Used For

Dry Bag

1. To keep things dry

In case your daypack (or travel bag) doesn’t have a waterproof liner, make sure to keep a dry bag in your luggage or car in case of rain. In addition to being highly space-efficient, it is also convenient to use as a liner.

2. For packing cubes or organizers

Dry bags lie flat when empty and take up very little space. Packing cubes help organize and protect things. Different colored sacks are easier to distinguish.

3. When there’s no place to dry clothes

There is no time to dry wet swimsuits or damp travel towels when you’re traveling. Pack wet or damp items in a dry bag to separate them from everything else.

4. As a bucket

Dry Bag as a bucket

When water cannot enter a dry bag, it cannot leave either. A dry bag can be used as a bucket if you need to move or transport water. Cool cans or bottles of drinks with a dry bag full of ice.

5. For creating additional storage space

The roll-top closure on dry bags makes them simple to attach to the bags or backpacks. A large dry bag can be attached to the top or bottom of a backpack or travel bag by clipping the interlocking buckle to the external attachment point.

6. As a makeshift pillow or cushion

Dry bag As a makeshift pillow

The air should be sealed in by rolling the opening a few times before clipping the buckle. You should be able to use it as a pillow for several hours. Alternatively, you could stuff the dry bag full with a sweater.

7. To wash clothes

Using soap added to water in the dry bag, you can wash clothing. Simply agitate the dry bag to move clothes around, shake them, then rinse.

8. As a soap bar case

Dry Bag as a soap bar case

The waterproof, breathable material keeps liquid in as the soap dries through the fabric. If you put the soap in wet, it will be dry by the time you need it. Ventilated soapboxes do not work as well.

9. Water bucket

Use dry bag as a Water bucket

You can use it to bring water back from the stream to the camp. If you plan on using it as a dry bag at camp, turn it inside out first, then clip the handles back together so you can carry it.

10. Rucksack dry bags

Rucksack dry bags

There are different sizes and uses for rucksack dry bags. Those who walk in the mountains use them instead of rucksacks and find that their gear remains dry after a day of hiking in the rain.

11. Barrel roll-top dry bags

Barrel roll-top dry bags

In general, barrel-shaped dry bags tend to be more common. They have one cylinder-shaped end that is open. This type is popular for use during sailing.

12. Motorcycle dry bags

A reflective surface is a must on dry bags when using on a motorcycle. Pacific types designed for this type of use are bright and reflective. This will increase visibility at night.

13. Driving home with stinky clothes

In particular, for those who live in vans or on long drives, dry bags are a great odor controller. Roll the stinky bag up, clip it closed and toss everything into it. With the tight seal, no stinky odor will escape.

14. Mobile phone dry bags

Mobile phone dry bags

Dry bags are made of durable material, so you don’t have to worry about things sticking through, and they also make it convenient to store cables together.

On top of that, you’re obviously preventing dust, moisture, and wet conditions from harming any of your electronics, such as mobile phones.

15. Bikepacking dry bags

Bikepacking dry bags

A bikepacking trip is aimed at people who enjoy mountain biking and want to tour on their bikes. As a cross between cycling and backpacking, bikepackers will want to transport their gear on their bikes that will let them traverse rough terrain more easily than a typical pannier setup.

16. First aid dry bags

First aid dry bags

They are used for many sports and are meant to protect first aid kits from getting wet. The first aid kits are waterproof and have the logo on the front, so everyone knows exactly which bag contains the medical supplies.

17. Dry bum bag

You can use these if you need to keep some important items close at hand. Many other uses include sailing and motorcycling. Many people use them to keep their keys, and phones close.

18. Kayak dry bags

Kayak dry bags

Kayaking and, in particular, sea kayaking require drybags almost as a necessity. Many oats do not have completely dry hatches, so securing your gear in drybags and storing them in the hatch will ensure that your gear is still dry when you arrive at your destination.

What size bag do you need?

5-liter Dry Bag

Among all sizes, this is one of the most popular. It is still small enough to pack in your backpack despite its size. Rolled up, you can fit a few. The size of this bag allows you to carry a camping stove and a larger camera with ease.

In general, I recommend picking a dry bag with a capacity of 5 liters to start off with. Then, the 5-liter dry bag will still be useful even if it turns out to be too small for the current purpose.

30-liter Dry Bag

It is about the size of a children’s backpack. It will be cumbersome when hiking with only one shoulder strap. If you have a lot of gear and want to stay organized, you may want to consider two or three 10 liter bags.

Ideally, a dry bag of 30 liters can hold all your camping gear and leave a little room for luxuries.

Tips for using a dry bag

  • Before you leave, make sure you pack everything into dry bags, so you know where everything is and ensures what you want in them actually fits.
  • Dry sacks can also be purchased for larger electronic devices, such as computers.
  • Put different things in different colored bags.
  • Only properly closed bags are waterproof. Ensure that you don’t overfill roll-top bags so that you can roll them three times
  • For zipper sealed bags, ensure you have zippered the entire length of the bag for zipper bags!
  • If you wear gloves, consider roll down dry bags as zippers are hard to fumble around with when using gloves
  • Leave a quarter empty in the dry bag to make sure you can roll it closed properly
  • If you only have one or two items in the dry bag, burp the bag by pushing all the air out before closing for better storage


1. Why should I use a dry bag over freezer bags?

Ans. Freezer bags are not strong and can not be adequately secured. Freezer bags are also not waterproof.

About the author

Marc Niad

It’s been several years that Marc, a retired teacher and a proud dad, has silently been piling up mature bucks down the South. This humble hunter began his hunting journey at quite an early age and since then, he spent countless hours in the woods and learned good lessons in terms of woodsmanship. Along the way, he also made money sharing his skill with his followers and well-wishers.

The Ranger Expert is the brainchild of this veteran hunter who loves hunting the swamps and the hills around the Mississippi and Homochitto rivers. His most favorite hunting technique is taking his climbing gear and going to the top of pines with a 25.06 – the old-fashioned way!

He gets most of his games during late December through mid-January – his favorite hunting time. Marc strongly believes that hard work, passion, and a bit of luck can bring you success in the wild.

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