Keep Your Gear Dry
Having a dry bag opens up new possibilities for what kind of gear you can pack out into nature. Whether you’re on a river or ocean or hiking through a desert, a good quality dry bag will save your gear from the elements.
Becoming a Fan
Every year my brother and I head over to Mt. Fork river to do some kayaking. It’s great fun, one of the best workouts I’ve ever found and a great stress reliever.When I first started going several years ago, I’d pack my food and gear in a backpack, strap it to the kayak and subsequently drench it all at the first rapids we found. Newbie me just figured that was par for the course.
The next year I’d learned about dry bags and after some research found that there are many kinds with different properties. Thickness of the material was of paramount concern to me since my bag would be strapped to my kayak and smashed against rocks and tree stumps. After stopping by Bass Pro I decided on their Ascend™ Heavy Duty Round Bottom bags.
Bag Construction & Quality
These bags are made of thick PVC fabric. There are only two seams; the first runs the length of the bag, top to bottom, and the second runs the circumference of the round bag joining the bottom. The seams are over lay seams — meaning the pieces overlap each other — which means they’re very strong due to the surface area that’s welded together. The welded seams are joined by electronic-welding which excites the molecules in the PVC and literally fuse the two pieces together. This creates a very strong bond resulting in a leak proof seam.
The bag has two handles / tie-down patches on either side of the bag. While these are welded to the bag just like I described above, they’re not seamed into the bag, they’re applied to the outside only. This makes a lot of sense since it reduces the number of seams in the bag construction.
The roll-top design is very cool. Along the top of the bag is a bonded webbing strap that’s sewn into the PVC. On each end of the strap are male and female quick-release buckle ends. To seal the bag you simply place the sides of the bag opening flat together and roll it down the bag 3-4 times, then pull the two buckle ends together in a circle. The end result is a sealed bag that’s held closed by the mechanical lock provided by the folded fabric; it also doubles as a nice handle.
I have two of these bags, the 10 Liter and 20 Liter. In the smaller bag I usually place a first-aid kit, phone and camera and food. The larger bag gets filled with bottled water. My brother and I each take a bag and strap it to our kayak using a bungee cord.
I’ve submerged these bags going over falls, I’ve thrown them from kayak to rocky shore and now I’m recommending you get at least one. They’re made well, durable and work as advertised.
I’m interested in how you use, or would use, your dry bags. I’ve not had the opportunities yet but I when I go camping in bear county my food is going in one of these bags for sure.