Keep Your Gear Safe with a Dry Bag


Water is the mortal enemy of electronics and even though technology has been evolving, with many smartphone manufacturers realizing the benefit of waterproof devices, most camera equipment and mobile devices are still highly susceptible if they happen to take a spill in the drink. During many recent adventures, I wasn’t just going to be near water, I was going to be trekking through it, floating above it, and sometimes operating my equipment precariously close to it. This put me on the hunt for something that would alleviate my concerns, at least when my equipment wasn’t in use, and the best solution for this problem was a dry bag.

After searching through some super-advanced options, I figured something a bit more affordable was just fine, and the 20L OverBoard Dry Tube Bag seemed to be just right. It is simple but effective, using a roll-top design to keep water out, along with a durable and reassuring PVC tarpaulin material. It does lack some organization because it is just a single giant compartment, but most of the stuff I am tossing in it either has some of its own padding or can very easily be wrapped for protection. Along with this, it comes with a decent shoulder strap and has a great carry handle.

In what is turning into a minor review for this bag, I brought the bag to the beach, slinging it over my back as I biked a couple of miles, and had no issues once I was out there. I could drop it in the still-wet areas near the surf, and all my gear stayed dry. Today that included a Parrot ANAFI, Sony a7R III, my phone, keys, wallet, and a towel—just in case. The bag’s top rolls up quickly and transforms into a nice handle when closed. And then, at the end of my little excursion, I simply wiped the sand off, tossed everything inside, and got out of there. The bag is plenty spacious, enough that I could fit my regular Domke bag inside it if I just wanted to use the dry bag for transport through risky areas. It is quite versatile and the point at which I would recommend everyone start if they needed a dry bag.

There are plenty of dedicated dry-bag options available, so let me run through them. One thing to keep in mind as you do your own search is to determine the level of waterproofing you need; some bags are only rated to withstand rain and spray, whereas others you could take swimming.

For photographers, you are going to want to look at some camera-oriented equipment. These range from compact bags that hold a camera with lens attached to full-fledged photo backpacks. For the most part, photographers looking to go hiking through the woods during a downpour will be fine with some “rainproof” options, if they provide ergonomic advantages. One clear benefit is that these allow better access to your gear, which means they are perfectly suitable for general use, as well.

miggo Agua Stormproof Backpack 85

If you don’t need something so specific, there are plenty of multipurpose pouches to check out. These range in size from options into which you can toss your phone (and that float, in case of an incident) to larger pouches that will hold the entire contents of your day bag. There is a variety of closures available here, including the standard roll top I mentioned earlier. The other types include a sliding seal, twist locks, and waterproof zippers. If the bags are rated to be 100% waterproof, the type of seal shouldn’t concern you all that much, though I will say I feel very confident with roll-top bags and would go with them, given a choice.

Be sure to check out our entire collection of waterproof bags, and if you have any questions, please chime in with a comment, below!