You can’t stop water from getting on you or on your stuff while paddle boarding. The simple fact is – if you’re out on a paddle board, you’re likely going to get splashed, even if you don’t go overboard (though there’s always the chance you, or your cargo might). There’s nothing wrong with an unplanned swim or a little splash, but you should be ready for it.
This means ensuring that your electronics, food, clothes, and other essentials don’t get wet. Hence the need for a dry bag. It will keep your gear bone dry and your valuables nice and safe.
But first, you have to find a reliable, high quality, fully waterproof bag. This is important because a cheap dry bag could cost you a lot in the long run if it can’t keep its contents dry even when submerged.
To spare you the trouble, I’ve put together this list of the best dry bags for paddle boarding, making sure there’s something for everybody. I’ve also included a buying guide so you know which dry bag is right for you.
All these bags are worthy of their place on this list. But if I had to pick a winner among them, I’d go with the Gili waterproof backpack. Read on to find out why, and for more great options.
If you’re in a hurry, here are our top dry bags. Or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.
- Best Dry Bag: Gili Waterproof Backpack
“The Gili waterproof has a nice compact design and beautiful colors for you to choose from. It features multiple pockets and compartments for easy organization”.
- Best Mid-Size: Gili Waterproof Roll-Top Dry Bag
“The Gili roll-top is small but fits all your essentials, it makes a great everyday SUP bag. The bag comes in different gorgeous color options for you to choose from”.
- Best Budget: OutdoorMaster Dry Bag
“This SUP dry bag is low-priced but still a reliable and durable bag. It comes with a free waterproof case for your phone too”.
What Are the Best Waterproof Dry Bags for SUP in 2023?
1. Gili Waterproof Backpack – Best Dry Bag for Paddle Boarding
Dry bags usually have the same uninspiring, ‘off-the-shelf’ design–but not this one. Among the many things I like about the Gili waterproof backpack is the eye-catching style and vibrant color options.
But it’s more than just a great-looking product. It’s also functional and makes a paddler’s job so much easier! The bag has pockets that help you organize small items and keep what you need frequently accessible. The 28-liter backpack even has a laptop compartment inside that you can use for your valuables.
This is a dry backpack so you can attach it to your SUP or carry it on your back. It has ergonomic shoulder straps and a waist strap for more support. It’s comfortable to carry and you’ll love it if you walk long distances to your paddling spot.
More importantly, the Gili waterproof backpack is made using tough material, so it’s very durable, as well as being completely waterproof to keep your essentials dry.
The bag comes in three sizes for you to choose from: 28, 35, and 55 liters. You also get color fout options: teal, black, yellow, and blue.
2. Gili Waterproof Roll-Top Dry Bag – Best Mid-Size SUP Dry Bag
The Gili waterproof roll-top makes an amazing everyday paddling dry bag.
Not too big, not too small, the dry bag is available in only one size: 15 liters. While it will fit most of the essentials that you need for regular kayaking and paddling trips, you don’t have to worry about it taking up too much space.
This size also makes the Gili roll-top easier to carry around compared to larger bags. I love that it has a top handle as well as a removable shoulder strap to help with that too.
You can get this bag in seven colors, which is awesome if you like to have that option. The colors are bright and beautiful, perfect for paddlers who love gear that stands out.
On top of that, each bag has a turtle decal illustration and a “Save Our Turtles” or “Save Our Reefs” message. This not only adds to the beautiful design but you also play a part in creating awareness which is cool.
Another awesome feature of this bag is its exterior pocket which is waterproof. You can use it for small but valuable items that require quick access.
This Gili dry sack is made using strong vinyl-coated fabric. It looks and feels heavy-duty, and it can certainly handle the harsh outdoors. The material is also completely waterproof and your stuff will stay dry all day long.
3. OutdoorMaster Dry Bag- Best Budget Waterproof Dry Bag
Quality dry bags can be expensive. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good one on a tight budget. The OutdoorMaster paddle board dry bag is a fantastic budget option.
Despite the low price, this dry sack is actually super durable. It’s made with 500D PVC, a thick material that is both tough and waterproof, and it’s abrasion resistant too, meaning it will hold up well with prolonged exposure to the elements.
The OutdoorMaster bag comes with a free waterproof case for your phone. You can get it out of the dry bag and check the time or your messages without worrying that it will get ruined if it falls into the water.
You can get this SUP dry bag in two sizes: 10 and 20 liters. The smaller one would be great for short, half-day trips while the bigger one would work for longer overnight trips. I love the fact that you also get color options–some bright and others muted. So there’s something for everyone.
The OutdoorMaster has an adjustable shoulder strap. You can hang it over your shoulder and have your hands free to carry other stuff.
4. Nixy Dry Bag Tote
This Nixy bag doesn’t look like your regular dry bag. It’s a tote bag that’s completely waterproof.
It’s versatile and great for all kinds of SUP adventures, including family paddling trips. I love that it has several pockets, D-rings, and a key clip so you can easily organize your accessories and have them easily accessible.
The dry tot bag has carry handles and a shoulder strap, making it easy to travel with. It has a 20-liter capacity which means it can fit a lot of stuff but it’s still great for traveling.
The Nixy tote bag is made using heavy-duty nylon and features a roll-top closure system. It is 100% waterproof and you can SUP in peace knowing that your valuables are safe and dry. The material is UV-resistant too and the bag won’t fade due to exposure to the elements.
The colors are amazing. It’s available in sand, pink, blue, gray, and aqua. They’re not too vibrant; the bags look stylish and classy. You can use your Nixy tote bag for more than just SUP.
5. Nixy Dry Sack
The Nixy paddle boarding dry bag is a simple and lightweight yet quality bag that you can count on to keep your gear dry.
It’s made using ripstop nylon and has a PU coating to ensure durability. It’s tough enough to handle all kinds of outdoor adventures, including whitewater paddling. More importantly, it’s totally waterproof and it won’t let even a drop of water in.
I love that it’s super lightweight and, when empty, it folds into a small package that can fit in your hand. It’s great for traveling.
There are three size options–5, 10, and 20 liters–and you can choose the one that best suits your paddling lifestyle.
This Nixy dry bag is surprisingly affordable. I’d say it’s a fantastic deal given its quality and the fact that NIxy is a reputable company, quite popular in the SUP community.
6. Geckobrands Waterproof SUP Backpack 30L
This waterproof SUP backpack is unbelievably lightweight, weighing only 0.6 pounds. Every paddler appreciates lighter gear because at some point you may have to carry it all by yourself.
Despite the weight, the Geckobrands dry backpack has a 30-liter capacity. It’s large enough for a day trip as well as a multi-day trip. You can squeeze a lot of camping gear into it. The bag is also tough and it won’t come apart easily.
This Geckobrands dry bag offers a ton of color options–from bright and vibrant colors to more muted options, including camo. There’s something for everyone.
The backpack has a top handle and padded backpack straps so you have two ways of carrying it. If you decide to carry it on your back you’ll appreciate how comfortable the straps are. They don’t dig into your shoulders even when the bag is heavy with stuff.
I love that it also features a zippered pocket on the outside for your smaller accessories and two internal pockets.
7. Marchway Floating Dry Bag
One of the best things about the Marchway dry bag for paddling is that you get options.
First, it comes in almost 20 colors for you to choose from: from vibrant colors like yellow and orange to chill ones like camo and army green. You may prefer a camo SUP dry bag so you can use it for other activities like hunting. Or you may want something bright that matches the color of your inflatable paddle board.
This Marchway dry bag also offers size options. It’s available in 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 liters. The bigger sizes can fit sleeping bags and other camping gear for SUP camping trips. The smaller sizes would be ideal for shorter paddling trips.
This dry sack isn’t that expensive but its quality is remarkable. It’s made using ripstop tarpaulin and features welded seams, making it puncture- and tear-proof. It’s also waterproof and floats on water. What more could a paddler ask for?
The 5- and 10-liter bags have a removable shoulder strap, the 20- and 30-liter bags have detachable backpack straps, while the 40-liter bag has fixed double straps. The straps help you carry the bag with ease, especially when filled with gear.
8. Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag
The Earth Pak dry bag is of premium quality, ideal for adventurous paddlers who’re looking for an extremely durable dry bag.
It is made using 500D PVC and it’s unbelievably strong. You can put it through all kinds of situations and it won’t get so much as a tear. This bag comes with a five-year warranty, which is impressive and inspires confidence.
The material is waterproof and the roll-top closure creates a watertight seal that keeps your paddling gear dry all through.
The Earth Pak is available in a wide range of sizes: 10, 20, 30, 40, and 55 liters. You can get a bag that’s big enough to hold a sleeping bag and all kinds of paddle board accessories for your adventures. You also get 8 color options.
Even when your Earth Pak dry bag is full of gear, you won’t have a problem carrying it. The 10- and 20-liter dry bags have single shoulder straps while the bigger bags have backpack straps and a waist belt. You’ll love this if your adventures sometimes include hiking trips.
This dry bag comes with a free case with an IPX8 waterproof rating for your phone. You can use your phone while it’s in the case too, which is really awesome.
9. Wise Owl Outfitters Waterproof Dry Bag
The Wise Owl Outfitters SUP waterproof bag is made using tough PVC fabric with a waterproof coating. It looks and feels like a reliable dry bag that you can count on to protect your valuables.
This bag is available in three sizes: 5,10, and 20 liters. These are great size options for paddlers who want a bag that can hold their essentials but is still not too bulky.
You only get four color options: solid blue, clear blue, solid black, and clear black. The clear bags are awesome because you can see everything inside and you won’t be frustrated trying to find small items. The downside is that everyone else can see too. But you can put your dry bag into your backpack or duffel bag if you have one for SUP.
The Wise Owl Outfitters bag comes with a free waterproof case for your phone.
10. Heeta Waterproof Dry Bag
Last but not least, we have the Heeta clear dry bag.
This dry bag is available in 11 colors, all of them transparent. This means that you can see the contents of your dry bag at all times. It’s good because you won’t have a hard time trying to find something.
But it can be risky, especially if you use it for valuable items because everyone else can see them too–unless you put the dry bag inside another bag.
One thing I love about this Heeta bag is that you have three ways of carrying it. You can use the roll-top handle, the shoulder strap, or the side handle.
The bag comes in five sizes, from 5 liters to 40 liters. You can get a smaller bag for SUP day trips or a bigger one for long expeditions. The bag comes with a free case for your phone too.
What to Look for When Buying a Dry Bag for Paddle Boarding
There are two main factors to consider when buying a dry bag. Let’s talk about them.
Quality of the Material
A dry bag is supposed to keep its contents dry or for storing wet gear so it doesn’t get your other stuff wet. So the material has to be completely waterproof.
Another thing, SUP dry bags are meant to be used outside, exposed to the elements. This means that they have to be tough and durable. PVC and nylon are fantastic materials for making outdoor gear.
Other than the material being waterproof and strong, the way a bag is made matters too. If the material is good but the stitching is bad you can’t count on the bag to keep your stuff safe.
It’s always a good idea to buy from well-known companies and never ignore user reviews.
Pockets and Other Features
Some dry bags are pretty simple while others have some extra features that could make your life easier.
There are features you may not even think about but are quite useful. You’ve seen that some bags don’t have shoulder straps. Is that something you’re comfortable with? Do you need your bag to have a shoulder strap, or maybe two–backpack style?
I personally prefer backpack style bags, as I tend to carry a lot of gear. A heavy bag without a shoulder strap will be a pain to handle, so it’s much more comfortable to have a backpack. .
You should consider pockets too. Interior pockets provide a place for smaller valuables while exterior pockets give you quick access.
Some SUP dry bags also have D-rings where you can attach accessories.
Do You Really Need a Dry Bag?
If you’re a paddle boarder then you need a dry bag, there’s not really much getting around it.
At some point, you’ll find yourself with wet gear and nowhere to put it without getting everything else wet. A dry bag is essential for this reason.
Another thing to ask yourself is what will happen if you and everything on your board end up in the water? Your water-sensitive items could get ruined. Other valuables may sink and you’ll never see them again!
A dry bag prevents all this from happening. It’s waterproof so water can’t get in or out. A dry sack also floats and you can retrieve it without losing anything.
Proper Care and Maintenance of a SUP Dry Bag
Paddle board dry bags aren’t hard to clean and maintain. You clean them the same way you clean your SUP.
Rinse it with fresh water after paddle boarding, especially in salt water. Use a soft cloth for stains and the same mild soap you use for stains on your inflatable paddle board.
Let the bag dry completely before you store it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Bags for Paddle Boarding
Does It Have to Be a SUP Dry Bag or Just Any Dry Bag?
SUP dry bags are designed for paddlers in terms of quality, size, and other features.
Most dry bags on the market are multi-functional and meant for different water sports, including paddle boarding. So they’ll suit a paddler just fine.
But before you buy just any dry bag, consider the factors discussed above so you can buy a bag that’s perfect for your needs.
What Size Dry Bag Should I Get for Paddle Boarding?
Paddle board dry bags come in a wide range of sizes, from 5 liters to 55 liters and even bigger.
The size you should pick depends on the nature of your trips and what you intend to carry. If you never paddle for more than a couple of hours, you probably need a bag for your phone, camera, snacks, and a change of clothes. So the smaller sizes are more suited.
But if you’re an adventurous type and prefer multi-day trips, you’ll need a bag that can fit dry bags, more clothes, your electronic gadgets, and a few other things, So you’ll have to get the bigger sizes.
How Do You Attach a Dry Bag to Your SUP Board?
The easiest way is to just put it under your SUP bungee storage. Most paddle boards, especially inflatable paddle boards, come with bungee storage areas.
Some board dry bags come with snap hooks. You can attach them to the D-rings on your SUP. It’s a pretty straightforward process.
Are Dry Bags Worth It?
Yes, dry bags are worth it. They can save you a lot of money by preventing your valuables from getting wet or lost in the water.
A dry bag is an important accessory for paddle boarding (if not essential). It keeps your water-sensitive items dry and prevents wet clothes from getting everything else wet. So it’s wise to make sure you invest in a quality dry bag.
The Gili dry backpack is a fantastic choice. The design is beautiful and it comes in three different sizes. I love that it has multiple pockets so you’ll find it easy to keep your gear organized. It’s a quality bag that will last too.
If you want a smaller dry bag for day-to-day use, you should consider the Gili roll-top dry sack. It has a 15-liter capacity–not too small and not too big either. Plus, it has a waterproof outer pocket.
For a nice budget option, I recommend the OutdoorMaster dry bag for SUP. It may be affordable but the quality is still outstanding and it’s made to last.