Dry bags have been around for years for kayaking, canoeing, hiking, etc but we had never really made note of them until we started sailing. They really are quite ubiquitous.
We’re Amazon Prime users, so we did a search for Waterproof Dry Bag and got dozens of results. Our very unscientific choice for Earth Pak Dry Bags was simply due to the fact their customer feedback was 5-stars with the second highest number of total comments. Since we’ve returned, we’ve found a site that actually rates dry bags called bestdrybags.com, and our bags managed no.3 – woohoo!
We ordered both the 10 litre (2.6 gallon) which is approx 21″ X 12″and the 30 litre (8 gallon) bags which is approx 27″ X 14.5″ when flat. You can see in the pictures that the 10L bag has a single shoulder strap, and the 30L has backpack-style straps.
The Earth Paks themselves were great! You can read the company’s own material on their Amazon Page, but beyond that boiler-plate info they really are very useful accessories to have with you.
I think you’re supposed to roll them at least 3 times to ensure a waterproof seal, but you can just keep rolling going to make the pack job as small as you want. Eventually you will start to have trouble folding the 2 clips towards themselves, but you’ll get the feel for it.
Also, something that will become apparent to you when first play with them, and something the company would likely never advertise for liability reasons, is that when you leave a bunch of air in the bag after sealing it well, it can also serve as a flotation aid. This can be useful at places like The Baths in the BVI where we went both this year and last year. You are forced to tie your dinghy quite far from shore and swim or pull yourself along a rope to the beach. Some extra buoyancy that doubles as your gear bag may be welcome to timid swimmers in a situation like this.
We also ended up using the 30L bag as a “wet bag” instead of a dry bag. I forgot my normal snorkel gear bag so we put wet snorkel gear inside the bag to keep them isolated from other items we were trying to keep dry.
Both our bags came with something call an IPX8 Certified 6.5 Inch waterproof phone case. A simple snap-lock access pouch that has dual-sided clear windows that allow to take pictures while still inside the case. We have seen these before but had no idea what the “IPX8 Certified” was that they were claiming. Seems it’s an actual thing, and you can see a list explaining the standards on news.outdoortechnology.com, or a more comprehensive Wiki Page. We actually never used these since Christa decided to take a tech-free vacation and left her phone on board the whole time, and I already had a Lifeproof NÜÜD case on my iPhone 6s.
So, in the end…dry bag, wet bag, floaty thing…awesome, triple purpose!