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.

drybags 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.

drybags 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.