Last updated: August 10, 2021
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Welcome to our big waterproof bag test 2022. Here we present all the waterproof bags we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best waterproof bag for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a waterproof bag.




Summary

  • Waterproof bags reliably protect your clothes and valuables from rain, salt water, sand and dust. This is ensured by a special thermoplastic coating.
  • There is a wide range of waterproof bags, travel bags, backpacks and fanny packs.
  • A pack sack, often called a "dry bag" or "dry sack", is particularly suitable for water sports. It is light, handy and can be easily stowed in your luggage.

The best Waterproof Bag: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a waterproof bag

Are you thinking about buying a waterproof bag, but are a bit overwhelmed by the choice and the different offers? Then you've come to the right place, because we explain what you should look out for when buying waterproof bags.

For which trips and activities is a waterproof bag suitable?

A waterproof bag is suitable for any activity where you and your luggage could potentially get wet. For example, beach holidays, water and winter sports, trekking and cycling.

If you're spending your holiday by the sea, a waterproof bag is almost always useful - especially if you're planning to go kayaking, canoeing or boating.

When you're out on the water, you can safely stow your mobile phone, towel, sunglasses etc. in a waterproof bag. (Image source: unsplash.com / Romanos Senikidis)

But buying a waterproof bag is also worthwhile for other activities. For example, on multi-day hikes, cycling tours or skiing holidays.

In other words, whenever you have to expect heavy rain or severe weather conditions.

Is a waterproof bag suitable for valuables?

Yes, a waterproof bag is generally suitable for valuables. Most manufacturers guarantee that the material is 100% waterproof.

A waterproof bag is usually coated with PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane).

Both are plastic coatings that are extremely resistant to water. This also protects your valuables from sand, salt water and other dirt.

Note: Waterproof does not automatically mean that you can go diving and swimming with the bag. If the external pressure on the material is too great, water can still get inside. Read the manufacturer's description carefully.

What size waterproof bag should I buy?

The size of your bag logically depends on how much and what you want to take with you. There are small waterproof bags as well as XXL bags that have a volume of over 110 litres.

Think about it before you buy: Do you need to store all your luggage for a three-week summer holiday? Then large travel bags and backpacks are best.

Are you only going for a beach day or a kayak tour? Then a smaller dry bag might be enough.

If you are only taking the most important things to the beach, a capacity of 10 to 20 litres is sufficient. You can easily fit a beach towel, swimming trunks, mobile phone, wallet and other small items in it.

How much does a waterproof bag cost?

The price of waterproof bags varies greatly and depends on size, manufacturer and material, among other things. But even a small budget can buy a good bag.

Type Price range
Waterproof fanny pack 7 - 20 €
Waterproof pack bag 7 - 30 €
Waterproof backpack 40 - 200 €
Waterproof travel bag 60 - 200 €

You can usually get waterproof fanny packs and simple panniers quite cheaply. These bags are small, light and simply made. The offers start at seven euros and amount to a maximum of 30 euros.

For backpacks and travel bags, you have to and should dig a little deeper into your wallet. What counts here is that the seams are well made so that water really doesn't stand a chance.

Waterproof backpacks are a good companion for long hikes or treks - as long as the quality is right. (Image source: unsplash.com / Fabrizio Conti)

You can find good backpacks from 40 euros upwards. Travel bags start at 60 euros and more, but the XXL versions can cost you around 200 euros.

What alternatives are there to a waterproof bag?

As an alternative to a waterproof bag, a water-repellent bag or a rain cover may be sufficient.

Although the two terms waterproof and water-repellent sound similar, they are very different. If your bag only has a water-repellent coating, the contents may get wet, especially in heavy rain. With waterproof material, the contents should always stay dry - no matter what the conditions.

Waterproof rain covers are also good for backpacks in particular. Such covers are usually quite cheap and can easily be put over your backpack when the sky is grey.

Disadvantage: Most covers are not closed at the back and are therefore not 100% waterproof.

If you are travelling in very rainy regions in general, such as the jungle, you can protect yourself and your backpack with a rain cape or rain poncho at the same time and don't have to buy two products.

All alternatives offer a certain amount of protection from the rain, but they reach their limits in strong weather conditions. So if you want to be prepared for wind, weather and whatever else comes your way, there's really no way around a waterproof bag.

Decision: What types of waterproof bags are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to get a waterproof bag, there are roughly four alternatives to choose from:

  • waterproof dry bag
  • waterproof travel bag
  • waterproof backpack
  • waterproof fanny pack

With each bag, of course, you still have the choice of certain features. For example, there are also pack bags with backpack straps.

The size, design and handling of the four waterproof bags each have specific advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer and where you want the waterproof bag to go, a different type is suitable for you. In the following section we would like to make the decision easier for you.

What are the characteristics of a waterproof dry bag and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The dry bag is a popular companion for various water sports activities, such as canoeing, kayaking, boating, sailing, fishing and much more.

Most dry bags have a clip closure that allows them to be easily attached anywhere.

What's more, the waterproof dry bag is so popular with many world travellers because the price-performance ratio is optimal. For relatively little money, you get a safe way to protect valuables from water.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Extremely compressible
  • Lightweight
Disadvantages
  • Mostly uncomfortable to carry
  • Cluttered interior
  • Quite clumsy design

And there's definitely a place for this waterproof companion in every travel bag! Because you can compress the pack by rolling it up.

Here you will find a short guide on how to best compress your pack.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a waterproof travel bag?

With a volume of up to 110 litres, a waterproof travel bag can hold a lot - and that's its biggest advantage. Unlike other types of waterproof bags, you can fit several weeks' worth of clothes in it.

In addition, many manufacturers offer features such as wheels or carrying straps as a backpack function.

Advantages
  • Lots of storage space
  • Sporty design possible
  • Optional features
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Bulky

With a waterproof travel bag you are always on the right track in terms of style, because most models have a sporty design and can be used well in everyday life, for example as a training bag.

What distinguishes a waterproof backpack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The be-all and end-all on long hikes is a waterproof backpack. If you are going to be out for longer, it is worth buying a bag that has well-padded straps and a stable carrying system.

Advantages
  • Good carrying comfort
  • Clearly arranged compartments
  • Wide range of designs to choose from
Disadvantages
  • Mostly expensive
  • Many seams

In addition, most waterproof backpacks are super practical when it comes to clarity. Because the many different compartments make it easier for you to organise clothes, valuables or food.

What are the features of a waterproof fanny pack and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The biggest advantage of a waterproof fanny pack is its small and compact size. This makes many fanny packs ideal for swimming and snorkelling.

Advantages
  • Small
  • cheap
  • Everything at hand
  • Safe
Disadvantages
  • Little space
  • Can get in the way on the stomach
  • Few colour choices

If the security aspect of your valuables is very important to you, you can use a waterproof fanny pack. It is always close to your body and can also be hidden under a loose T-shirt.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate waterproof bags

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible waterproof bags.

The criteria you can use to compare waterproof bags include:

  • Volume
  • Material
  • Handiness
  • Closure
  • Colour

In the following paragraphs, we will explain exactly what the individual criteria are.

Volume

The most important criterion when buying a waterproof bag: How much can it hold? The more you want to take with you, the more storage space your waterproof companion needs. The range goes from 5 litres to waterproof XXL bags with a volume of up to 110 litres.

A small pack sack is usually enough for a kayak trip. It's also super easy to strap on the front part. (Image source: unsplash.com / Laura Lefurgey-Smith)

The decision is up to you: Do you need the bag to store all your luggage? Or are you going on a kayaking trip and only need space for your mobile phone, water bottle and a towel? Think carefully about how much you want to pack before you buy.

Basically, 10 to 20 litres is enough for a day trip or a short trip. For your luggage, you should plan on 50 to 80 litres.

Material

Most waterproof bags are coated with thermoplastic materials such as PVC or TPU.

Basically, these types of plastic are quite similar, but TPU is often considered more environmentally friendly because it is said to contain no plasticisers. On the other hand, PVC-coated products are often cheaper and more robust.

Handiness

Each model has certain features that make it more or less handy for certain situations. Of course, this also depends on your personal preferences.

Features that make a waterproof bag more handy are, for example, the size, the shape or the straps.

For example, make sure your bag has the right dimensions and format if you want to take it as hand luggage on a plane.

Closure

You can also choose the closure as you like. In general, however, there is a higher risk of water getting inside with zips than, for example, with a roll closure or multiple ZIP closures.

Type closure types
Zip moderately waterproof
Roll closure waterproof
Multiple ZIP closure very waterproof

Roll closures are mainly found on packs and rucksacks. The opening is rolled up three times and held together at the end with a clip closure. ZIP closures are mainly found on waterproof fanny packs and work on the classic cool bag principle.

Colour

Do you like bright colours? Or do you prefer a plain black waterproof bag?

In the "Dry Bag" category you can choose your favourite colour, because there is a huge selection to choose from. Do you want the "Dry Bag" to be your new beach companion? Then keep in mind that black surfaces heat up faster in the sun.

Unfortunately, there is very little choice when it comes to fanny packs. At least you can choose between transparent and non-transparent.

With most transparent bags, the transparent cover allows you to operate your phone's touchscreen.

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about waterproof cases

Finally, we would like to answer a few important questions about rose hip powder and how to take it.

You'll learn how to repair a waterproof bag, how to clean it and what waterproof bags are available for your phone, laptop or camera.

How do I repair a waterproof bag?

Your waterproof bag has a hole, a small tear or a scratch? Don't try duct tape, hot glue guns or superglue, these methods usually only last for a short time.

The best way to repair a waterproof bag is to use so-called repair pads for PVC or TPU. You need to know what kind of coating your bag has. You can find the pads on the internet, for example on the website of the manufacturer aquapac or at amazon.de.

Please note, however, that most manufacturers only guarantee 100% waterproofness if the bag is intact.

How do I clean a waterproof bag?

Most bags and backpacks should not be washed in the washing machine. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. We have some safe washing tips for you here:

  • Outside: You can easily wipe dirt, sand and salt off the waterproof outside of your bag with a damp sponge or cloth.
  • Inside: If the inside of the bag is dirty, you can also wipe it with a damp cloth. If this doesn't remove all the dirt, you can soak the bag with mild detergent in a washbasin or bathtub and then rinse off any detergent residue with clean water.

After washing the inside of your bag, make sure you let it dry completely. This is because water-repellent materials are hardly breathable and tend to grow mould.

Which waterproof bag can I use for my mobile phone, laptop or camera?

Basically, every waterproof bag offers protection for your valuables. However, there are usually special cases for mobile phones, laptops, cameras and the like that are precisely tailored to the size of your device.

A waterproof mobile phone case is worthwhile, for example, if you only want to take your mobile phone on a trip or if you are going to a festival. Some cases also allow you to dive down and take photos under water.

You can find a large selection of cases for your technical devices at the online retailers amazon.de, ebay.de and aquapac.

(Image source: pexels.com / Mike)

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