Barlii Waterproof Dry Bag Review: A PVC Free Dry Bag Great for Adventure, Better for the Planet

Many of the best outdoor gear products on the market today combine form and function with a focus on keeping the places we adventure in protected for future generations.  The emphasis on the environmental impact of a product’s lifespan is greater than ever.  Innovative gear manufacturers are creating excellent products that consider all parts of the manufacturing process.  The results are outstanding products that are safe for the planet.  Barlii’s Waterproof DrySak ranks high in that category and it does not disappoint.

Caution: Science!

A departure from most traditional dry bags, Barlii uses a TPU material rather than PVC.  Hold on, here comes the science!  Thermoplastic Polyurethane, or TPU, differs from PVC in that it is manufactured cleaner and does not emit damaging chemicals called dioxins and other elements at the end of its lifecycle.  TPU is PVC and BPA free and possesses a lot of other desirable qualities needed in outdoor gear while retaining superior waterproof performance.

TPU dry bags are inherently resistant to abrasions and damage from oil or grease.  Barlii uses a Polyether based TPU which performs extremely well in low temperatures and at the micro level, does not break down when exposed to water therefore giving it high end waterproof protection.  TPU is one continuous film as opposed to PVC which is woven and requires a coating to make it waterproof.  Why is all this science stuff important?

  • TPU material will not crease, crack, or become rigid when exposed to low temperatures.  For the winter adventurer, that is a necessary quality to have especially when using a dry bag for skiing, snowboarding, or winter trekking.
  • A TPU dry bag or dry sack has natural waterproofing that won’t break down over time, nor will it require the use of a Durable Water Repellent to boost its ability to stay dry inside.
  • TPU has a naturally high microbial resistance which will make the bag last longer and not possess the smell that some PVC waterproof bags do.
  • TPU exhibits elasticity and transparency.  Elasticity is a cool feature that contributes to durability, comfort, and overall function.  Transparency is an aesthetic quality that PVC dry bags can’t offer without the addition of a clear window portion seam welded into a portion of the bag.

The Features

Barlii’s DrySak is a sleek product with a few design features that make it very useful for a range of outdoor adventures.  To be completely honest, its look doesn’t scream durable and tough.  However, when it comes to performance, this dry bag stands equal to or in some cases surpasses other PVC dry bags.  Here’s why.

The standard dry bag roll-top closure works extremely well and is reinforced with additional material to create a bomb proof seal.  Barlii designed their DrySak to retain its 10 liter capacity even with a properly closed roll-top.  We never recommend submerging a dry bag underwater unless there is good reason.  The reinforced roll-top closure on the Barlii DrySak will hold up while submerged but depending on how it is packed and what conditions are present, like any dry bag it could eventually let some water inside.

The Barlii DrySak comes with an adjustable shoulder strap and swivel connections capable of attaching at the roll-top closure and to the bottom left or right side of the bag.  The strap can be configured to either side for a shoulder sling or an across the chest carry.  The addition of two high quality plastic D rings at the top and bottom provide versatility and serve as tie down points.  Whereas most dry bags come with a simple plastic attaching point, Barlii’s DrySak truly provides heavy duty, solid D rings.  No kidding, they are good.  To take it a step further, the D rings are attached to a TPU patch with quality cross stitching and welded securely in place.  While it only comes with one strap as opposed to two, the quality in design and construction make up the difference.

There are two characteristics of TPU material that serve as excellent design features on the Barlii DrySak.  It is both transparent and light.  The dark grey transparency is enough to get an idea of the contents inside and locate items quickly, but not completely clear, maintaining some privacy.  At only 9.6 oz, it is roughly a third lighter than 10L dry bags made from PVC.  It might not sound like much, but if you are an ounces equal pounds kind of person, then it is a big deal.

Almost every dry bag comes in the same cylindrical shape and for good reason.  Barlii decided to  go rogue, take a page from some of the best dry bag backpacks, and add an oval shaped bottom to their DrySak.  It is a really cool feature because combined with the bag’s elasticity, you can get creative in how and what you pack in it.  The oval bottom affords a lot of flexibility to get creative in packing and even causes the bag to rest comfortably on the back when carried with the shoulder strap.

Best Recommended Use

For the best recommend use of Barlii’s DrySak, we can go in a bunch of different directions.  At 10 liters, it isn’t going to house a ton of gear but we like it as one of the best dry bags for Stand Up Paddleboarding and hiking.  It is compact enough to strap to a SUP and the size combined with light weight make it a top choice for hiking as well.  It isn’t considered an ultralight dry bag, however the waterproofing quality of TPU combined with a lighter weight than PVC make it a solid option for long hikes or backpacking trips.  With the transparent quality of TPU, you might not feel comfortable displaying the DrySak’s contents on a casual walk or day at the beach, or maybe you don’t care.  Then it is a win-win.

Final Verdict

In the small dry bag category, those under 20 liters, the Barlii DrySak stands out for it’s attention to detail in construction and features.  Dare we say elegant, it is clearly a dry bag designed with functionality and an emphasis on creating outdoor products that aren’t damaging to the spaces we like to adventure in.  Don’t let the grey transparent look fool you.  This dry bag has superior durability and can hang with the burliest dry bags out there.  Better yet, as a non PVC dry bag it naturally has better waterproofing than those guys and will last a very long time.  We only wish more size options were available.  We could find a use for both a 5 liter and 20 liter version.  Ultimately, the Barlii DrySak is a great choice and will get the job done.


  1. Hello Whopper Duffel,

    Thank you for your concise review. You have certainly done your research on this topic and covered all the points quite well.

    Just to inform you, we do make a 6L and 20L version. We are currently sold out of both sizes and in the process of making more. We are also enhancing certain features of the DrySak and introducing one new color.

    The two sizes should be available by the 1st quarter of 2018.


    Ed @ Barlii

    1. Hi Ed-

      That’s great! Your product in a 20L version would be awesome. 6L is a unique volume and that should have exciting uses as well. Nice work!

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