Review of Baja Dry Sack from SealLine

Keeping things dry on a kayak is no easy task.

For a long time, I used a very small, quasi-waterproof box to protect a few valuables – my phone, my wallet and a key to my car.  The dry box prevented things from getting soaked, but at the end of a day on the water, everything inside was, at best, moist.

I’ve been poking around for a while, looking for something that I could trust to protect my ever-expanding set of techie stuff with which I kayak.

I had three criteria:

1. Fairly cheap (no $150 waterproof duffles)

2. Big enough to hold an SLR camera, a cellphone, snacks and some extra clothing

3. It needs to float and be really, truly waterproof

After poking around for a while on the interwebs, I went with the 10 liter Baja Dry Sack from SealLine.  SealLine specializes in making things that keep other things dry, and that’s it.  I like companies that make one thing and make them well, and I read lots of good things about SealLine and their line of waterproof bags, backpacks and protectors.

While purchasing, I had to make a few decisions.  Which color?  I went with the yellow, which as a color, really throws subtlety to the wind.  It’s an eye-catching, electric yellow, and that’s exactly what I wanted.  If this thing falls off my kayak while I’m paddling, I want to be able to spot it from a long way away, even if it’s bobbing in the water or tangled in the mangroves. I have no doubt that I could certainly spot this bag from a long, long way away.  For those who are looking for a more subdued bag, they also offer the Baja Dry Sack in black, green, blue and bright orange.

And what size do I want?  The bags are sized in liters, which is a bit hard to visualize.  The specs on their website make it a little easier to picture:

5L – 7″x8″ (weighs 7 oz.)
10L – 8″x14″ (weighs 11 oz.)
20L – 9″x16″ (weighs 14.5 oz.)
30L – 11″x19″ (weighs 1 lb. 4 oz.)
40L – 13″x20″ (weighs 1 lb. 8 oz.)
55L – 13″x25″ (weighs 1 lb. 12 oz.)

I went with the 10L bag, which I hoped would strike the right balance between “big-enough-to-hold-my-stuff” and “there’s-nowhere-for-me-to-sit.”

OK, so how did the bag perform?  Let’s see how it met my three criteria:

1. Fairly cheap – I bought the bag from Amazon for $17.38 (It looks like it’s gone up 20 cents in the last month).  If the bag works, that’s not fairly cheap, that’s really cheap.  There are lots of dry bags out there of comparable sizes that are way more than $18.

2. Big enough to hold an SLR camera, a cellphone, snacks and some extra clothing – Definitely!  On my last kayak trip, I filled the bag with a DSLR camera, a telephoto lens, two cellphones, a wallet, keys, two granola bars, other miscellaneous snacks, sprayable sunscreen, a T-shirt, a dry hand towel and extra parts for my GoPro video camera.  The bag held it all easily and with lots of room to spare.  For a day-long kayak trip, I don’t think I’ll ever need to take much more than that.

Compared to a large (14.5oz) box of cereal.

3. It needs to float and be really, truly waterproof – Before I put valuable things in the bag, I tested it by stuffing it with a dry towel.  I held it under water for 2-3 minutes and checked – the towel was completely dry.  I closed it and let it float for 10 minutes, splashing it occasionally.  The towel was still dry.  That was good enough for me.  The bag is very buoyant, sitting almost entirely on top of the water, and it didn’t seem to be allowing any moisture in.

The next day, I took it out on the kayak.  I opened and closed the bag about a dozen times during my trip, and it was splashed, sloshed and, for a while, sat in a puddle in the back of the ‘yak.  At the end of the day, there wasn’t a drop of moisture in the bag.

The Baja bag is made of a tacky (in the tactile sense), rubberized vinyl material.  It feels very strong and durable.  At the top of the bag, there are two heavy, black bands.  Rolling the bag down (or maybe “folding” is a better word), the black bands stack on top of each other, forming the water tight seal.  A buckle pulls the seal tight and prevents it from opening.  The bag also has one large eyelet at the top, allowing you to tie it off to a kayak or backpack.  Every part of this bag feels tough and rugged.

One thing to consider:  The bag is tubular.  This doesn’t affect its performance, but it can make it a challenge to get to the stuff at the bottom of the bag.  If you have a larger item at the bottom of the bag, you pretty much have to empty the bag to get to it.  If you put your camera on the bottom, for example, you’d have no chance of shooting a bird or dolphin or turtle that was just passing by.   Not a major drawback, but it’s something to consider when you’re packing the bag (the stuff that you need goes on top).

In summary, I was thoroughly impressed with the 10L Baja Dry Sack.  It floats, it’s durable, it’s affordable, it’s big enough and, most importantly, it keeps everything perfectly dry.  I’ve tried lots of dry containers, and this one is tops.  And while I bought it for kayaking, it’s light and versatile enough that I know I’ll be taking it with me lots of other places – hiking, camping and fishing, for sure.

DISCLAIMER: I purchased this product myself for my own use, and this review was not solicited, compensated or in any other way influenced by the manufacturer of the product.

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Comments

  1. Under $20.00 for a good dry sack is very reasonable. I might have to snag one of these. Thanks for the review.

  2. yes, $20 is really affordable price for dry bags… i like it…….

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