Earth Pak Original Waterproof Dry Bag 10L Review
The Earth Pak Original Waterproof Dry Bag’s PVC fabric withstands heavy splashes to keep your things nice and dry, but the rolltop opening can slow down accessibility.
- Floats on water
- PVC fabric is easy to clean
- Includes a waterproof smartphone case
- Slight water drippage from the roll-top closure
- Minimal organization
- Gear at the bottom can be slow to access
1 lb (0.5 kg)
15 in x 8 in (38.1 x 20.3 cm)
Unbranded Hardware, PVC
When it’s time to leave camp and head down to the stream, there’s almost always a nagging voice at the back of our heads that’s low-key worried about getting wet. Whether it’s your smartphone, wallet, extra clothes, or a tube of your favorite sunblock, stuff that’s meant to be dry should stay dry and—especially in the case of sunblock—uncontaminated.
That’s where Earth Pak’s Original Dry Bag comes in handy. We took it on a short kayaking trip to see how well it holds up. It’s a bit overkill if you’re just looking for something resistant to accidental splashes because the PVC fabric can handle much more than that. However, it’s also not completely submersible due to the rolltop’s gaps, and there’s not much in the way of organization.
Materials & Aesthetic
The Original Waterproof Dry Bag has a simple aesthetic design owing to its mostly PVC fabric construction. The colorway we have for this review is the blue one, and the color dominates most of the bag save for the black hardware and strap. The color matches well with the waterproof theme the bag has going on, and it’s fairly bright, making it easy to spot outdoors. As for the bag itself, it has a cylindrical shape topped off with a rolltop opening.
The most stand-out aesthetic feature of the bag is arguably the Earth Pak logo at the front, along with the small “10 Liter” designation at the bottom. As far as branding goes, they’re very noticeable, but we don’t mind since it gives the Dry Bag a bit more personality in this case.
Blue is a solid option, in our opinion, and at the time of writing, there’s even a light blue variant if you want something brighter. But if blue’s not your thing, there are other colors to pick from too: orange, black, yellow, forest green, red, and white. We have no major gripes about the Dry Bag’s styling, especially considering its focus on waterproofing.
As for hardware, the brand Earth Pak uses isn’t indicated, but they do feel durable. The strap adjuster is easy to slide, the clips rotate around their hinges well, and the buckles snap with authority if a little bit on the stiffer side. We’ll get more into how the bag handles down below, but all in all, we’ve had little trouble with the Dry Bag’s hardware.
The styling of the Dry Bag is not super busy on the exterior. But that’s not to say there’s nothing worth testing here, and as with any other bag, we’re interested in how well the Dry Bag can be carried.
Earth Pak equipped the Dry Bag with a simple nylon strap for carrying it over one shoulder. The base of the strap clips at the bottom right side of the bag, where there’s a D-ring attached to a stubby nylon strap. As for the strap’s other end, that end attaches to the rolltop, which has D-rings on either side. We found the most comfortable attachment point is the right side of the rolltop. This way, both attachment points are aligned, and it makes for a more balanced carrying style.
Carrying the Dry Bag was comfortable enough during our kayaking trip, but that level of comfort will depend on what you’re packing. Unlike backpacks or slings with a padded back panel, the Dry Bag is surrounded only by its PVC fabric. It’s a thick tarpaulin-like fabric, but if you have something pointy or bulky inside, there’s a good chance you’ll feel it jut out depending on how it’s placed. Also, given how rounded its shape is, it can feel a bit rolly on your back, but it’s not too bad.
As for the remaining D-ring on the left side, that remains open for any accessories you might want to bring along. We recommend picking up a carabiner to make clipping stuff like water bottles and pouches to the Dry Bag much easier.
Thanks to the clip-on rolltop of the Dry Bag, the top also acts as a makeshift handle. It’s not the most comfortable handle on a bag we’ve seen, but it totally works for the relatively lightweight 10-liter capacity of the bag. Plus, if you don’t have a carabiner handy with you, you can use the rolltop to clip the Dry Bag on thick bars, thin ropes, or even tree branches.
Inside The Pack
Access to the inside of the main compartment via the rolltop is easy as far as rolltops are concerned. It’s just four or five rolls of the rigid nylon piece at the top and a quick snap of the buckles to close it, and again in reverse to open it.
One quick tip we have to ensure an optimal carrying experience is to make sure to position the buckle facing the rear so that the strap comes out closer to the bottom D-ring. It’s a small detail to keep in mind, but one that prevents an awkward positioning of the strap.
Inside the main compartment is just a plain, cavernous space for things like clothes, toiletries, tech pouches, and general stuff you wouldn’t want to get wet. It will be up to you to organize and pack your items smartly to maximize the 10-liter capacity since there are no built-in pockets of any kind. That said, the absence of any partitioning grants you a bit more flexibility to use thicker, more waterproof containers like the Stasher Reusable Silicone Bags or small, weather-resistant packing cubes.
However, using smaller waterproof bags like those isn’t too necessary since the Dry Bag did a great job of keeping our stuff dry. Things got wet and splashy during our kayaking trip, but the Dry Bag held its own well. It’s designed to float on water, and it holds some air inside for that purpose. Earth Pak does warn against submerging it, and we did notice a small gap on the rolltop where some water got in and dripped inside, but only slightly. So depending on how much water’s involved in your use case, using additional waterproof containers might be appropriate.
Since this is a rolltop, we found ourselves stacking items on top of each other. We opted to put items like our sunscreen and wallet on top of our hoodie and extra clothes for quicker access in the absence of any quick-grab pockets. Luckily, our phone didn’t have to join and take up space inside because the Dry Bag comes with a separate waterproof case.
This is a neat little inclusion for the Dry Bag because it meant we could safely hang on to our phones while kayaking. As easy as it is to roll and unroll the Dry Bag’s rolltop, we found it more convenient to have our phones attached to a lanyard rather than having to take it in and out of a bag.
The case itself is compatible with up to 6.5-inch smartphones. It’s less of a hard case and more of a small pouch that your smartphone slots into. But unlike pouches such as the Gossamer Gear Shoulder Strap Pocket, the included waterproof case is transparent on both sides and is touchscreen compatible, allowing you to use it normally. You can still use your smartphone’s camera, but the extra plastic layer has a slight impact on image quality.
To use the included waterproof smartphone case, you have to undo the two clips built into the top plastic piece to get it open. Once you’ve slid your smartphone inside, it’s only a matter of realigning the clips into the slots on the opposite side and locking them into place. The locking mechanism is a bit fussy to operate, though we did eventually get better at it throughout our testing, and it’s still a great value-add to the Dry Bag.
The Dry Bag performed well throughout our testing, and it lives up to the claims made by Earth Pak. It’s not absolutely waterproof as there are still gaps courtesy of the rolltop, but it can certainly hold up against heavy splashes and light rainfall. It’s also easy to carry, and the included waterproof smartphone case is a good value-add for people who are looking for a bag to take with them on the water.
- The 500D PVC fabric is thick, but still rolls up well
- Comes with a free waterproof phone case
- Does indeed float even when packed in tight
- D-rings make it easy to attach the bag to a boat
- Plastic hardware is unbranded but feels durable and secure
- Material of the shoulder strap, buckle attachment points, and the structured lip retains water
- Even when rolled, the fabric lip of the bag gets wet and drips small amounts of water into the bag once you open it
- Can still take quality photos through the clear phone case
- Phone case can be fussy to open and close