A Quick Guide on How to Use a Dry Bag

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Dry bags are popular products for everyone. From hikers and surfers to families at waterparks, you can find value no matter who you are. These bags help to ensure that your personal belongings won’t get soaked and ruined. Not everyone understands how to use them, though. Taking the time to find out how to use a dry bag will prevent water damage and will help you keep your belongings safe. 

There’s nothing worse than your belongings getting soaked while you’re trying to have some fun. Take a couple of minutes to read this guide on how to make the most of a dry bag. You will even discover how versatile they are.

The Basics

How to Use a Dry Bag to Keep Items Dry

No matter what wet environments your activities take you to, it’s always a good idea to keep your gear dry. It sounds simple enough but in the excitement of packing, it’s easy to throw a few essentials into any bag that’s handy.

You want to think about the activity and not the packing, so ensuring you have a bag made from waterproof materials is a win-win. Use them as a day pack and have peace of mind knowing your phone isn’t going to get water damage. 

Dry bags are the perfect solution and they’re easy to use but here are some tips on how to use a dry bag the right way:

  • Put soft items at the bottom
  • Fold three times to ensure a watertight seal
  • Use the straps at the top to convert into a shoulder bag or backpack
  • Keep some air in the bag to help buoyancy 

How to Use a Dry Bag to Store Wet Clothes

Dry bags can also be useful after water sports. After fun in the ocean, lake, or pool, the last thing you want is for everything in your bag to be soaked from your wet clothes. You could always bring a spare bag but unless it has waterproof protection, it isn’t going to be much help.

With a dry bag, you can roll it up really small and place it into your main bag. This way, it’s compact enough to be brought everywhere and gives you a place to store your wet clothes.

Since dry bags have a watertight seal, you can have the peace of mind knowing that your wet swimsuit isn’t going to ruin your favorite gear by getting it wet. Simply place the wet clothing into the dry bag and make sure it’s properly sealed to keep your valuable items protected. 

How to Ensure it is Sealed Properly

How you use your dry bag is up to you but to make sure it does it’s job at keeping your items safe, ensure that your dry bag is sealed properly. 

A Quick Guide on How to Use a Dry Bag1

Most dry bags have a roll top closure which creates a waterproof seal. Here are some tips on how to seal a dry bag:

  • Leave at least the top ¼ of the bag empty
  • Remove the remaining air inside 
  • Seal the top of the dry bag and fold the edges like dog-ears
  • Fold the bag three times
  • Secure the buckles together to create a seal

Other Versatile Uses of a Dry Bag

Dry bags are versatile and can be used for more than what is written in their product description. Here are some ideas on how to use a dry bag in more creative ways.

Use it as a Bucket

This is a great option for those who plan on taking a dry bag on their camping trip. You can scoop up plenty of liters of water and make use of the removable shoulder straps to help you bring it back to camp.

A bucket doesn’t have to be just for water, though. You can also fill your dry bag with ice to keep food and drinks cold, making it super useful for summer trips and picnics. 

Use it as a Swimming Float

Cold water swimming and open water swimming have become so popular over the years.   Recent figures from Sport England suggest more than 4.1 million people now enjoy swimming activities. While these activities are invigorating and offer a sense of liberation, safety is always paramount. 

Dry bags can be turned into a tow float very easily. Ensure your bag contains plenty of air and seal the roll-top closure as normal. Trapping the air inside creates buoyancy so that you are detectable in the water from afar.

All that’s left to do is to fasten the float securely to your person and enjoy the swim.

Use it as a Camping Pillow

Another great option for campers is to convert their dry bag into a comfortable camping pillow. Of course, having a pillow can come in handy for many other situations too such as backpacking, sunbathing on the beach, or at a sleepover. 

This hack can work with an average size dry bag. Simply stuff your dry bag with soft items to create a pillow shape. The more you stuff the dry bag with, the firmer the pillow will be making it fully customisable to your preferences.


So, if you were once wondering how to use a dry bag, you now have so many options from the basics to the creative. Dry bags are an essential tool to protect your belongings from wet conditions but don’t forget the other ways you can use these versatile bags.

Dry bags can be used in a number of different ways. From storing your wet clothes to keep your other items from getting soaked to being converted into buckets, tow floats, and pillows. All of these creative solutions can be achieved from one single bag so hopefully you can now feel confident about how to use a dry bag.

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