I’m a big fan of dry bags and have been using them for years. Before discovering SUP, I’ve brought them on canoe trips, kayak expeditions, bike trips, car camping . . . pretty much everything outside where having your stuff protected from water is helpful. My first dry bag was an impulse buy at Superstore almost 10 years ago. On sale at the end of the season, it was bright yellow and I thought “Hmmm . . . why not?” Soon after it became an indispensible part of my outdoor gear. Last year I bought another dry bag so I’d have two but I didn’t like the new one nearly as much as my old yellow one. Somehow my old one had just the right size, shape, and mix of flexibility and durability. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I decided to invest in some Red Paddle Dry Bags – I didn’t want to be disappointed again.
Luckily, I wasn’t – far from it. The Red Paddle Dry Bag holds a full 30 litres and retails for $79.00 which is admittedly on the higher end in the world of dry bags. The question was - is it worth it? I excitedly took it out of its enclosure and was immediately pleased – the material of the bag was thick yet supple - almost the exact feel of my old yellow one. A great start!
Throwing a few things into the bag I appreciated the narrow window near the bottom of the bag. Practically speaking it lets you see things near the bottom of your bag, a problem I’ve found when I’m out on the water and fishing for something small like a bottle of sunscreen or snack. The nice Red Paddle lettering also looks sharp. Not sure if I would have picked grey as the main color if I was the one who designed it, but it works.
I was happy to have a functional Red Paddle dry bag, but I’ve found that the most useful feature is the two adjustable straps with 4 clips that allow you to strap down the bag to the board. While usually I just stick dry bags under the bungie cord at the front of my board, this doesn’t always keep the bag in place. I’ve had a few sketchy times on the river where my bag has slipped out, or if I’ve been portaging with the board over my head, the board bag can come out. After you clip in the dry bag you can cinch it down so it is tight against the board – it sounds simple but it’s kind of a game changer. Everything feels secure and tight to the board. No worries about your stuff floating away in rapids/surf or dropping while carrying the board. The freedom!
Those straps/clips make a good product into a great one. Keith and I took our boards out on the river and while carrying my board to the river (the Assiniboine here in Winnipeg – a super fast and fun river to paddle by the way) I didn’t have to worry about my dry bag coming out of the bungees at all. I’ve tried the bag out on Lake Winnipeg too and found that it performed very well. Personally I like having my dry bag on the front of the board so I can quickly access it while keeping an eye on where I’m going, but on the 12’6 and 13’2 Voyager models which have D rings on the front and back, you can put dry bags on the back too. See below to see what that looks like strapped down:
Dry bag are super useful for paddle boarding adventures. For Keith and I who like to do long river runs, they are absolutely essential. What do you put in a dry bag on a day trip? Here are some ideas in order of importance:
- extra water/drinks (I use a carabiner to attach my main water bottle to the
- bungees or dry bag for easy access)
- food (full meals, energy bars, etc)
- extra sweater/fleece (for cold weather dunks where you want to warm up afterwards)
- rain jacket/shell
- multi tool (good for small repairs or to tighten up paddles
- first aid kit
- SUP anchor
What do you carry in your dry bag?
Summary: Pros: Durable, transparent window, Red Paddle graphics, deck tie downs are genius. Cons: A little more expensive, you can have any colour as long as it's grey. Is the Red Paddle bag a good investment? I think so. You get what you pay for and what you get here is premium materials, high practicality, security, and something that matches perfectly with your Red Paddle bag and board. After a PFD, paddle and leash, it would be my next highest recommended piece of gear. If you want, feel free to check it out on our store here.
Red Paddle Dry Bag Features and Specifications:
- Roll-top closure with clips
- Two d-rings for attaching additional gear, located on roll top clips
- Two adjustable straps with swivel clips to attach to 4 d-rings on Red Paddle boards. Straps adjust from 18 to 45 inches in length, located 15 inches apart from each other.
- Clear window panel 2.75 x 11.5 inches to see gear inside
- Dimensions: 33 x 16 inches flattened; approximately 26 x 10 inches filled and closed
- Weight: 1.4lbs
- Capacity: 30 litres