Usually, when it comes to hermetic equipment, water tourism comes to mind first. Indeed, fans of water sports are the primary consumers of these products. But the scope of application of sealed bags is not limited to alloys alone.
The primary function of hermetic equipment is to protect equipment and clothing from water, and it is actively used in all types of tourism. For example, having a set of small sealed bags, you can conveniently distribute clothes, equipment, a sleeping bag, a first aid kit, and everything that needs to be protected from water.
The essential travel companion is a reliable waterproof bag. It is also used by fishermen and hunters, members of expeditions, and hiking trips. This necessary thing will protect your tent and sleeping bag, clothes and food, documents, and gadgets from getting wet.
The dry bags differ in the material of manufacture, density, size (there are models with a volume of up to 180 liters). The strength, tightness, and weight of the package depend on the fabric used. Many tourists are interested in how to choose a dry bag, and a few helpful tips will help with this.
So, Where Do We Start?
Hermetic bags and other types of waterproof packaging are used to protect things, clothes, and equipment from moisture. They contain valuable items: money, documents, mobile devices (tablet, phone), food, first aid kit, sleeping bag. They are used by hunters, anglers, ordinary tourists when hiking in rainy, snowy, and wet weather.
According to the design features, there are two types of waterproof packaging:
- with vertical loading — hermetic backpack;
- with horizontal loading — a sealed bag, a hermobaul.
There are also conical sealed bags, which are placed in the stern or bow of the kayak.
Popular Materials Used to Make Dry Bags
The first thing you need to pay attention to when choosing is the material from which the dry bag is made. Many airtight bags and airtight covers are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) — a durable and serviceable but heavy and unecological material. There are products made of polyester — a less reliable but lighter fabric.
Ordinary sealed bags are made of polyurethane. It’s a strong, light, transparent, elastic material. Such models are resistant to temperature changes.
The materials from which sealed bags are also made are nylon, which differs favorably from PVC in lightweight, compactness, and high heat resistance. The disadvantage of the nylon is relatively minor strength.
Models made of polyurethane-coated nylon are becoming more common. These hermetic bags are resistant to UV rays and low temperatures and have all the advantages of ordinary nylon. Products from another type of nylon have increased strength and abrasion resistance but are pretty heavy and expensive.
Light Weight Dry Bag vs. Durable Dry Bag?
When the question is whether to choose a lightweight bag or a durable one, it’s worth looking for a middle ground. Choosing one thing can mean that you give up, for example, on high-quality, durable material or get a heavy bag. The golden mean is the best solution when opting for the right variant for certain circumstances.
A light hermetic bag is a rather popular type of waterproof bag among travelers. This popularity is due to the minimum weight and low price. The products are used to protect the dry bag from getting wet. They are made from ultra-thin fabrics (nylon with silicone or polyurethane treatment, or Cordura), due to which they have less wear resistance than products for aqueous alloys.
It is also recommended using several relatively small bags instead of one massive one on foot. This will make it possible to sort items by purpose and type (food, clothing, equipment). This solution will help prevent most things from getting wet if one of the airtight bags is damaged.
What Features Should Be On Dry Bags?
Waterproof bags can be equipped with additional features and amenities:
- Rings — made in the form of the letter «D». Allow fixing hermetic bags on a kayak or the boat and connect it with other hermetic sacks.
- Valve — allows you to quickly release air from the pressurized bag and compress it to a minimum size. If such a valve is not available, then «blowing» the pack will require additional effort and skill.
- Transparent window — allows you to see the contents of the sealed bag without opening it. Through this window, you can use mobile devices — phone, navigator, or tablet.
- Hinges are used to fix the sealed bag to a kayak. Found in PVC products, they are often equipped with plastic fittings.
Different Size Dry Bags
The parameter that worries every buyer of a pressurized bag is spaciousness. On sale are options of various sizes: from miniature to real giants. In the assortment of tourist equipment stores, you can find sealed bags of different sizes. If you need to protect a minimum of things from water — documents, money, and a phone — a sealed package of appropriate measures will come in handy.
How Much Stuff Can You Fit Inside Each Size Dry Bag?
There is a massive range of sizes of hermetic bags. Accordingly, everyone can choose the variant that will satisfy the need for dry things for their tasks. Manufacturers usually indicate the volume of sacks in liters. Sometimes, parallel to the «liter» designation, a scale is added in standard letter sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, etc. The most common sizes are:
- Up to 5 liters. Suitable for storing documents, charger, power bank, smartphone, first aid kit, cosmetic bag, and other small but essential things.
- 5 to 10 liters. In addition to everything that fits in a five-liter bag, you can put some clothes here and even a light summer sleeping bag that rolls up to a compact size.
- 10 to 20 liters. It easily accommodates changeable clothes for a multi-day hike and a more voluminous demi-season or winter sleeping bag with insulation.
- From 20 to 30 liters. It accommodates one tourist’s equipment, including a sleeping bag, padding, clothes, and personal belongings.
Larger Dry Bags Above 30 Liters
A 30-40 liter airtight bag will be enough for two people or winter clothes for one person. In the summer, you can put all the equipment in the «thirty» that needs protection from moisture during a multi-day hike.
Bags with a volume of 80 to 90 liters and models of 100 liters or more are used to store all the tourist equipment of a large group. Most often, they are used when kayaking, swimming with the catamarans and camping in wet places.
Larger hermetic bags can be used as a liner in a backpack for the complete protection of all equipment from moisture. This approach is practical when traveling in climates where there is high humidity, constantly rains, or on water trips. In a sizable hermetic bag, you can completely pack your backpack.
However, if you are going on a hike, it is recommended to consider using several smaller sealed bags instead of one large one. This will allow you to «pre-pack» things by type, put separate spare clothes, separate food, and keep more things dry if one of the sealed sacks is accidentally damaged. Moreover, during camping, there is the practice of putting hermetic bags one-in-one.
Large Waterproof Roll-Top Duffel Bag
The best waterproof roll-top duffel bag is the one that can keep things dry and undamaged. These oversized bags are handy for long trips that require many days on the road and at the camping site. In such circumstances, it makes sense to choose a waterproof roll-top duffel bag.
Immense, waterproof sports-style bags are helpful in many ways. They are regularly sold for an average price, and it is effortless to organize and stuck everything neatly as if you are going on a business trip. The waterproof roll-top duffel bag has a special seam to resist water and is created especially for extreme conditions. This sack has a unique outer and inner cover, as well as convenient compartments inside.
Stuff Sack or Dry Bag?
Stuff sacks can also be an excellent solution for storing things during backpacking. Choosing a dry bag or stuff sack for items depends only on what you plan to keep there. If a person is sure that the things he puts in the pack are dry or the food does not leak, he can choose a regular bag. In other cases, it is better to protect yourself and take a waterproof bag.
Regular bags will cost much less than waterproof bags. They are often simple in design and fasten with lace. Such a variant will provide quick access to things.
Consequently, when choosing a dry backpack, it is worth looking at its material, price, special features, as well as its size. Considering all the characteristics and observing the rule of the golden mean, you can find the best option for camping.