Canoe & Kayak photography editor Aaron Schmidt reviews three dry bags and boxes that kept expensive cameras and lenses safe and dry in the wettest of conditions.
Last winter, C&K Managing Editor Dave Shively and I spent a weekend on Vancouver Island with a select crew of pro level kayakers reviewing the newest in rec sea kayaks. With my heavy water housing strapped to the deck of a particularly narrow kayak, and a drybag full of camera gear between my legs, I paddled out onto the cold waters of Comox Lake. I ended up flipping and swimming still quite close to shore. Embarrassing? Indeed. But what I was really worried about was the several thousand dollars worth of equipment floating in a second-hand drybag as I reached the surface. I learned after reaching the shore that not all drybags are created equal, as water had indeed penetrated my 'dry' bag, coating my gear and everything else inside with a liquid sheen. Luckily, it wasn't saltwater and my cameras dried out after several minutes in the sun. When I told the story in the office, everyone told me the same thing: you really need to get a drier bag.
Here are the top drybags, backpacks and cases I use to keep my gear safe and dry.
|Watershed Chattooga Duffel
The Watershed Chattooga duffel is one of the most versatile drybags on the market. This setup is ideal for almost any kayak—or canoe—based photo mission.
|Lowepro Dryzone 200
The Lowepro Dryzone 200 is the ideal camera backpack for most water-based photographers.
|Pelican 1510 Case
When water and impact protection are your top priority it's hard to go wrong with a Pelican case —especially when space and weight are not the biggest concerns.