When you’re out in the wild a waterproof duffel bag can be a crucial piece of your gear. We tell you what to look for and show you the best ones out there.
When you’re planning your trip of a lifetime, no matter whether it’s fly fishing, canoeing, rafting or tracking into the wild, a waterproof duffel bag is worth considering. The best ones on the market keep your gear dry no matter the conditions. There are two technical solutions that make sure no water enters your bag. The first one are so-called roll-top duffle bags where – as the name suggests – you close the top by rolling the fabric a couple of times and closing it with a buckle. This kind of waterproof duffel bag makes sure no water can enter from above no matter how harsh the rain.
The second kind of waterproof duffle bags are the so-called submersible bags. These bags feature waterproof zippers that even allow for the bags to me immersed into water without getting wet on the inside. This kind of product is the ultimate gear for the wild. Since the technology behind these zippers is more advanced, these waterproof, submersible bags tend to be a bit more expensive than roll-top waterproof duffel bags. In our review we’ll take a look at products from both categories making sure you can make a solid choice. Let’s go.
Waterproof Roll-Top Duffel Bags
In this first part of our review we want to present you some of our favourite roll-top waterproof duffle bags. As mentioned before these bags ensure everything on the inside stays dry. However, you cannot submerse these bags.
The Filson Medium Dry Duffle Bag is a beautifully classic waterproof roll-top duffel bag. It is one of our favourites since it’s the only submersible roll-top duffel bag in our review. The fabric made from 840-denier nylon is incredibly durable and fully waterproof.
The shoulder strap of the Filson Medium Dry Duffle Bag is removable and padded. The bag is also available in a bright orange color and as a large version. Made for your ultimate adventure and guaranteed to last a lifetime.
DIMENSIONS: 25”L x 12”W x 14”H – CAPACITY: 54L (Large version: 70L)
American manufacturer Simms knows a thing or two about building waterproof gear, their waders are amongst the best you can find. Their Dry Creek Duffel can keep a lot of gear dry – already as the M version it holds 155L, making it an excellent choice if you are looking for a large waterproof duffel bag. If you still think that’s not enough, there is an L version that can hold 200L. For shorter trips the S version with 60L should be enough, which comes in two colours.
The Simms Dry Creek Duffel also closes with a roll-top mechanism and a securing buckle. The carry handles are padded and adjustable, just like the shoulder strap. It also features a small outside pocket with a zipper (not waterproof) for essentials such as car keys.
DIMENSIONS: Rolled closed 30 L x 22 H x 13 D in. (76.2 x 55.9 x 33.0 cm) – CAPACITY: 155L
The Grundens Shoreleave 55 Liter is a simplistic yet incredibly tough waterproof duffel bag. Grundens was founded in Sweden for commercial fishermen that had to withstand the toughest conditions while out on the sea. Hence their gear is basically indestructible. The Grundens Shoreleave 55 Liter is kept in all black which gives it a nice and clean look.
The Grundens Shoreleave 55 Liter also features a roll top closure and its straps can be used to carry it like a backpack which comes in handy when you have to walk for a bit. Made from 500D PVC tarpaulin material, the Grundens Shoreleave 55 Liter features welded seams for extra durability.
The Earth Pak is another well thought through waterproof duffle bag. Made from commercial grade materials it features thermo welded seams that guarantee a long life span. The Earth Pak is a good choice if you are looking for a bit of organisation within your bag since it features two mesh pockets on the inside and one on the outside (not waterproof).
The Earth Pak Waterproof Duffel Bag features padded carry handles and a removable shoulder strap. Additional buckle straps on the side ensure safe travels no matter where you are going. D-rings allow for the attachment of extra gear. Comes in two sizes (50L and 70L) and three colors (black, green and blue).
DIMENSIONS: 3.94 x 12.2 x 12.6 inches – CAPACITY: 50L – WEIGHT: 2.43 Pounds
The Patagonia Stormsurge Wet/Dry Duffel Bag 65L is the only waterproof duffel bag in our test that is not a roll-top version. Since it’s non-submersible we feature it in this category. The Patagonia Stormsurge Wet/Dry Duffel Bag 65L is a very thought-through bag that offers a lot of versatility due to its divider that allows for wet gear to be stored in the lower compartment without getting the rest of your gear wet. A great feature for fly fishermen with wet waders or surfers with wetsuits.
The TPU coating of the Patagonia Stormsurge Wet/Dry Duffel Bag 65L is waterproof but be careful with the top zipper that Patagonia describes as water-resistant. On the inside there is a small zippered mesh pocket for essentials. Comes in black and grey.
DIMENSIONS: 28″ x 14″ x 12″ – CAPACITY: 65L – WEIGHT: 2lbs 11.9 oz (1245g)
Waterproof Submersible Duffel Bags
Now that you have a good overview of some of the best waterproof (roll-top) duffel bags out there we want to take a look at submersible duffel bags in the second part of our review. As mentioned before submersible bags allow for the bag to immersed into the water without getting the gear inside wet.
This kind of waterproof duffel bag is a good idea if you are looking for the utmost in waterproofness in any situation. Here is a look at a few good options.
German manufacturer Ortlieb is well-known to produce some of the finest waterproof gear on the planet. Millions of cyclists and outdoor lovers around the globe trust their products since decades. The Ortlieb Waterproof Duffel is a fantastic option if you are looking for a submersible bag.
The Ortlieb Waterproof Duffel comes with a very sturdy waterproof TIZIP zipper that opens up the main compartment. On the inside it features two zippered pockets and another one on the outside (not waterproof). The carrying straps can easily be converted into shoulder straps, turning the Ortlieb Waterproof Duffel into a backpack. Comes in a variety of sizes (40L, 60L, 85L and 110L) and colors (black, green and yellow).
DIMENSIONS (60L version): 22″W x 11″H x 13″D – CAPACITY: 60L – WEIGHT: 41.6 oz (1180g)
American manufacturer YETI has established itself as a force in the outdoors industry and is certainly most well known for its coolers. Yet, they also produce great waterproof gear such as the PANGA 50 DUFFEL, a fully submersible duffel bag. Everything about this bag is incredibly sturdy.
The YETI PANGA 50 DUFFEL is made from laminated high-density nylon which YETI calls THICKSKIN™. It does indeed feel like an elephant skin and is built to last. The Hydrolok™ zipper safely keeps the water out and on the inside the YETI PANGA 50 DUFFEL features two mesh pockets for easy storage. The shoulder straps that can turn the YETI PANGA 50 DUFFEL into a backpack are detachable. Comes in three sizes: 50L, 75L and 100L.
DIMENSIONS: 10” × 23 1/2” – CAPACITY: 50L – WEIGHT: 5.2lbs
The SealLine PRO Zip Duffle Bag is another high-quality option if you are looking for a submersible duffle. This bag definitely stands out for its versatility and possibilities to attach extra gear or attach the SealLine PRO Zip Duffle Bag to a boat or raft. The carry handles are removable.
The SealLine PRO Zip Duffle Bag is rated to stand full submersion in 1m of water for 30 minutes. Made from PVC free material with welded seams. Limited lifetime warranty and made in the USA. Comes in a variety of sizes (40L, 70L and 100L) and colours (black, brown and orange).
DIMENSIONS (40L): 24″ x 11″ x 9″ – CAPACITY: 40L – WEIGHT: 2.2lbs (1kg)
The Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Duffel is the last submersible duffel in our test and offers a great degree of versatility. Made from recycled nylon, the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Duffel comes with a TIZIP zipper making sure all water stays out of the bag. Even the quick access pocket on the outside features a water resistant zipper.
The Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Duffel‘s handles are made of climbing rope which is known to be incredibly durable. The shoulder strap is removable. On the outside a range of loops allow for the attachment of extra gear or a secure fit on a raft or boat. Comes in two colours and can be used as a carry-on in airplanes.
DIMENSIONS: 21” x 12.5” x 11” – CAPACITY: 39L – WEIGHT: 2.6lbs (1.18kg)
As you can see from our review there are basically two types of waterproof duffle bags. The choice you have to make is between a waterproof duffle (most often in the form of a roll-top) that will withstand water coming from above and a submersible one that can be immersed into the water (for a certain amount of time and a certain depth).
All of the products reviewed above are high-quality duffel bags that will last for a long time. In the end it really depends on the surroundings and circumstances you want to use it in.
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