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Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:30 pm
by PlymouthDamo
Having just searched, there doesn't appear to have been a thread on drybags for a couple of years, so I started this as I'm in the market for some new ones and want to know about any good deals currently available.

Over the years, I've picked up some budget junk from Mountain Warehouse, Trespass and RUK which have all leaked at the first opportunity. The first two were made out of tissue paper and the RUK ones incorporate seemingly heavy-duty clear viewing panels which crack, delaminate and leak when folded. I've also picked up some budget bomb-proof Crane ones from Lidl. However these are too heavy-duty, in that they are so big and rigid, they'll only just fit through the biggest of oval hatches.

So are there any reasonably-priced bags out there which are both robust but small/flexible enough to be stowed through small hatches into tight spots?

If such a beast doesn't exist, and I need to go for expensive ones - which ones should I go for, and are there any good deals available anywhere? I'm after a few different sizes, but most will be in the 12 to 15 litres range. Viewing panel would be useful, but not a deal-breaker if they're a weak point.

Thanks.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:40 pm
by Chris Bolton
Home Bargains do some robust and good value bags, only in the shop in summer; £3 for the 5L size and £4 for 20L. Alpkit drybags are very flexible and easy to squash into spaces, but very lightweight. I overbag them with a protective (non-waterproof) nylon bag, but I've found that are not 100% waterproof - even if undamaged,the fabric can become slightly porous if in any depth of water quite quickly. I've been experimenting with making my own using 4oz coated nylon, glued with Aquasure and closed by folding into pleats then folding over and securing with bungee. The benefit of making your own is that you can taper them to fit down the side of the skeg box, etc.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:08 pm
by O2b
Have a look at the 'Lomo' site. They have a wide range and fair prices.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:33 pm
by Jim
Seal Line, not sure which range though, I thought the ones I like were called river bags, but that isn't currently a product line, could be Discovery or Baja? Don't bother with their clear bags or viewing panels, they may have changed the clear plastic but in the past it used to stiffen and crack in a couple of years. Just get lots of different colours and create a colour code for your kit.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:58 pm
by Mal Grey
For bomb proof, I go Ortleib or Seal Line, though I still have a 10 year old Aldi special Crane bag that is still going.

For inner bags, accessory bags, I like the Exped ones. There are many others, and they all eventually get pinhole leaks, but the Exped and, to be fair, a Lifeventure one I have, seem to last a long time.

I know a fair few folk who just keep buying the Karrimor ones from Sports Direct and seem to have no problem, but I won't cross the threshold of that store! (or Evans/Debenhams now!!!)

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:00 pm
by Mini2
I was going to say home bargain too,
Got one last year seams quit strong and good for the money

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Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:19 pm
by mcgruff
If DIY is an option you can buy some high-quality fabrics from specialist suppliers like Extremtextil.

TPU is probably what you want. It's very tough and hard-wearing. It comes in several weights, the heavier ones are TPU coated on both sides. Seams can be heat-welded although I've never tried that myself so can't say how easy it is.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:22 pm
by PlymouthDamo
Thanks for all the replies. It was well worth asking as I at least now know that there aren't any 'buy and forget' solutions if you want a small, stowable dry bag. I hated the idea of throwing away the junk dry bags I've already bought, so I'm instead going to buy some of the suggested lightweight bags and then double bag them in mine. I would have gone for the Home Bargain ones, but I've got a trip in April so they probably won't come back on sale in time. I might test out the Karrimors double-bagged between now and April and replace them with the Sealline/Alpkit/Ortliebs/etc if that doesn't work.

By the way Chris/mcgruff: I did look into making my own dry bag-style closure when I was trying to improve the sealing system between my old Kokatat cag and trousers. I gave up on the idea in the end as it requires a thick webbing band with a plastic stiffening strip, and that would have been too fiddly a sewing job for me. If you can make some tough stuffable ones, it looks like there'd be a market for them...

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:21 pm
by MikeB
Orteib. SealLine. Peak. Palm.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:42 pm
by John K
I like the Alpkit Airlok Xtra drybags. They are lightweight and flexible but really tough and have yet to key me down.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:16 pm
by Chris Bolton
PlymouthDamo wrote:I gave up on the idea in the end as it requires a thick webbing band with a plastic stiffening strip
I didn't seal mine that way. I just have a simple hemmed edge at the top. To close, I flatten the bag, then fold it zig-zag across the width, 2-3cm between folds. That leaves me with the top of the bag being effectively 2-3cm wide. Then I fold that lengthways, again zig-zag, with about 5cm between folds. Then I loop a 3mm bungee over the folded area, twist and reloop. The bags hold air overnight with that seal. If anyone is interested but my description isn't clear, I can try to take some photos.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:20 pm
by pathbrae
Lomo do a very good tapered bag which I've found to be ideal for up in the bow.

https://www.lomo.co.uk/acatalog/tapered ... ml#SID=117

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:47 pm
by ian johnston
As others have said, Ortlieb for heavy duty use (sleeping bag etc), Lomo tapered bag for up in the bow and Alpkit for general use. I'm sure you're across this, but several smaller bags are a more flexible packing solution than a couple of larger ones

Kind regards

Ian

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:25 pm
by seawolf856
Yep, Ortlieb and Aquapak for robustness. They are quite stiff and bulky even before you fill them, but they stay dry which is the whole point isn't it? My own personal experience of the super lightweight 'kayak bags' from Go Outdoors and the Exped, Karrimor types from SD are all pants! I have also tried a lightweight dry bag from Summit to Sea, which normally sells ultra reliable kit, but that was rubbish too.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:35 pm
by Colin C
We have all got drybags that have small/tiny holes, I periodically spend some time finding them by using a torch, inside the bag, in a dark room, and then repair them with aquasure, This extends their life.

Colin

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:54 pm
by Allan Olesen
I use the thinnest model from Lomo - the ones in red nylon. They are dirt cheap, easy to pack in the kayak because they are so flexible, and I have never had a puncture which I discovered. I also have some other, more expensive bags, such as Exped, but that is mainly because I want different drybag colours for different stuff, and the Lomos only come in red.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:22 am
by Rainshine
I kayak a lot and have tried loads of different drybag brands. Last year I scrapped them all in favour of Ortlieb - I reckon you can't beat them. All of the (countless) Lomo bags I've had leak except the heavy red ones but they are inflexible especially when cold so very hard to stuff into the boat without big gaps, many of the other brands are just not watertight or are too stiff, the ultra lightweight ones are all hopeless - I've yet to find any brand that that doesn't leak within a short time of purchase. I've found that buying cheap tends to mean buying twice with drybags. For me the Ortlieb ones are unbeatable - not expensive, very flexible even when cold, a decent length for rolling over the tops, completely watertight, you can write on them with a marker and perfect for the job.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:38 am
by mcgruff
PVC can get quite stiff when cold. TPU doesn't. I think this is the material used by Ortleib.

TPU is very abrasion resistant. The heavier fabrics will (obviously) last the longest but even the lighter ones should perform pretty well. You pays your money and takes your choice.

TPU is even food-safe. I've been thinking about making various TPU bags for food storage to try to cut down on plastic waste. In the past I've always bagged up my food into individual portions, each in its own plastic bag. Those days are numbered, I guess.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:49 am
by Boatsie
Not actually dry bags but might be a useful addition.
Waterproof containers such as the plastic jars that vitamins come in. Seals of circular sizes are easy to find and required.
I often use a clear square container. I can't remember the name. Clear. Latched lid. Good seal. Half price every 3 months. Popular in Australia. They work great. See what you need before breaching the seal. But I doubt their integrity during fun days where everything gets quite wet.
None of which fit and seal spaces like a mould able dry bag yet useful additional secure stores.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:02 am
by Boatsie
Just wanting emphasis . Circular seals are often our worst pollutants. Glue them in.
The containers and lids are recyclable and more importantly easy to see if lost.
That's why I like bags too! Easy to prevent loss of.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:08 am
by PlymouthDamo
Rainshine wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:22 am
I kayak a lot and have tried loads of different drybag brands. Last year I scrapped them all in favour of Ortlieb - I reckon you can't beat them. ...
I'd previously discounted Ortlieb as my only experience of them is their cycle panniers, which are excellent but made me think their products would be too rigid for stuffing through a kayak hatch. If you're saying that they are actually flexible enough to work in a kayak, then I'm all ears. I've had a look on their website, but they've got about 5 or 6 different types. What sort are you using?

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:14 am
by Jim
Rainshine wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:22 am
I kayak a lot and have tried loads of different drybag brands. Last year I scrapped them all in favour of Ortlieb - I reckon you can't beat them. All of the (countless) Lomo bags I've had leak except the heavy red ones but they are inflexible especially when cold so very hard to stuff into the boat without big gaps, many of the other brands are just not watertight or are too stiff, the ultra lightweight ones are all hopeless - I've yet to find any brand that that doesn't leak within a short time of purchase. I've found that buying cheap tends to mean buying twice with drybags. For me the Ortlieb ones are unbeatable - not expensive, very flexible even when cold, a decent length for rolling over the tops, completely watertight, you can write on them with a marker and perfect for the job.
This is similar to my own experience, except that I rate some of the seal line bags as good as Ortileb and less expensive (have ortileb prices dropped?) which is why I only mentioned seal line. The catch is, the seal line ones with windows I found to be unreliable, and the all-clear ones were reliably bad, although I think my map case might be a seal line one and it has proved very reliable.

I think you are lucky not to have a had a heavy red lomo bag leak - I found that due to the stiffness they started to crack where I roll the top down, I do still have a couple but I have retired lots of them. Useful for transporting damp kit around where a bit of seepage is not the end of the world.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:50 pm
by Spikeedog
Lidl do some very tough ones in Spring. Different sizes.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:56 pm
by Rainshine
I use the Ortlieb PD350 range of drybags which come in a wide range of sizes. They are straightforward roll-top bags - not like some of the fancier Ortlieb holdalls and bags. I think I got some in Go-Outdoors and the rest from somewhere else on the web - if you make the time to shop around on the web you can pick them up at very reasonable prices.

Yes - they are very flexible and remain very flexible when cold. They are absolutely ideal for stuffing into kayaks.

I've yet to find a clear plastic drybag that is dry! Clear plastic ones seem like a great idea and you feel sure that they should work but none of them do. Same applies to dry bags with windows - they invariably leak. Its better just to use a marker on non-window ones and on the outside of each bag, write a full list of everything that is inside. I agree with the comments about the heavy duty Lomo ones - I retired all of mine too.

Re: Look for recommendations - drybags

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:58 am
by PlymouthDamo
I took the plunge and bought a selection of 8 different sized Ortlieb bags (PD350 with valves) which came to £120 on the cheapest online vendor I could find. Go Outdoors would only have been marginally more expensive, but only if you've paid for their membership card (and I can never bring myself to do that as I don't want to support their bizarre retailing strategy.) They arrived this morning and certainly seem to be the optimum balance of robustness and flexibility.

I'll doubtless need more to get everything in, so might get one of the pointy Lomo bags to stow stuff in the bow and maybe buy some Sealline ones and double-bag them in my old crappy ones.

Thanks for all the suggestions.