DryTide Instruction Manual

Closing DryTide Waterproof Bags and Backpacks

To keep the water out of your backpack or dry bag it is very important to properly close it. All the main compartments in DryTide waterproof backpacks, duffels and dry bags use the roll down closure system. When using backpacks and bags in rain a quick roll down is more that enough to stop the water. For extreme conditions like heavy rain and water use it is however important to make the roll down as tight as possible. The following images and videos demonstrate how to correctly close the roll down top.

close and align the seal 1

First make sure the bag or backpack is not overfilled so you have enough material to roll down. Then align the top edges of the main compartment and squeeze them together.

fold and roll down 1

Roll down the top of the bag or backpack at least 3 times as tightly as possible. Rolling the top tightly makes the seal better (please check the end of these instructions for the roll down closure limitations).

plug the buckle 1

Depending on the model of your bag or backpack there are from 1 to 3 ways to secure the roll down top so it doesn’t come loose. The most watertight option is to buckle the ends of the roll down top together (works with all DryTide gear except 50L duffel). To make the seal even better make sure you bend the ends in the opposite direction towards the back, away from the side where you rolled the top down. You should always close your backpack this way if you will be using it in extreme conditions!

plug the buckle on both sides 1

You can also buckle the ends to the sides of the backpack. This option is available with rainproof version of the 50L backpack, 30L daypack and 50L duffel. Closing the backpack this way is okay for regular use and using your backpack in rain. Buckling the roll down to the sides of the backpack makes the backpack look better (at least to most people).

Third option, available in 30L daypack and 50L duffel is to leave the roll down unbuckled and just secure it with a strap that goes over the top. This is the fastest way of closing, but obviously not very watertight.

closing the drytidy waterproof backpack roll down

A quick demonstration of how to close the backpack by buckling the ends to the sides of the backpack. Works with rainproof backpack, 30L daypack and duffel bag.

Video: How to Properly Close a Dry Bag (Waterproof Backpack)

When you close your bag or backpack there will be air trapped inside. This makes bags and backpacks float if you drop them into the water. If you want to make them smaller, release the air from the main compartment before you close it (recommended when you want to use the backpack as a carry on or when squeezing bags into tight spaces).

Check Your Bag and Backpack Before Use

DryTide bags and backpacks are made out of very sturdy material but still punctures can happen, so make sure that you check your bag or backpack before using it in extremely wet conditions (floating in water etc…).



IMPORTANT! All the DryTide bags and backpacks use special waterproof zippers on external pockets. These zippers will keep the water out in heaviest of rains and will even stop the water for a while if you drop your bag into the sea.

Because they are waterproof, these zippers are harder to open and close than regular zippers. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature:). Also, make sure you close the zippers all the way to the end.

Taking Care of DryTide Bags and Backpacks


Bags and backpacks are very sturdy, but avoid putting them on sharp objects (thorns etc…) or dragging them over sharp rocks, using them to carry exposed fish hooks, knives etc… Sharp objects can puncture the material making your bag no longer waterproof.

Washing Instructions

If your bag or backpack gets dirty you can simply wash it with water and soap and hang it up to dry. There is a loop at the bottom of the 50L backpacks for easier hanging. It is also recommended you wash the bags with fresh water after every salt water use. This is especially important with bags that have zippers. Salt water and salt deposits can jam the zippers!

Keep away from…

  • …solvents and insect repellents,
  • …extreme heat.

Maximum Load

Bags and backpacks are designed to comfortably take even heavier objects (like electronics, cameras, lenses etc…) when filled to the top. This is more than enough for any regular use. Carrying extremely heavy objects for longer periods of time can however cause tears in the stitching.


Backpacks and bags will float on water surface if you drop them into the sea. However they are NOT flotation devices and should not be used as such.


We try to make our backpacks and bags look as much as regular bags as possible. This is why we choose a material that looks more like regular canvas and is not as “plastic” and “shiny” looking as your average waterproof bag. The only downside if this material is that sometimes small threads can come out where the material was cut. If they bother you the best way to get rid of them is to quickly burn them with a lighter (do not pull on them).

Waterproof Limitations

We suggest that you read our explanations on what exactly is the meaning of waterproof when it comes to waterproof bags and what can a waterproof backpack or bag do.

In short – even though the roll down closure is used in all the dry bags our there this system is not completely waterproof (even though the name “dry” suggests this and some stores/manufacturers falsely claim so). If the roll down is pushed under water for a longer period of time (more than just a few seconds), water will slowly start to drip in. It is not a dramatic flush of water that will ruin your things in a moment, it is a slow drip, but it is something to keep in mind. So to keep the inside of your bag or backpack dry do not use it as a flotation device and do not push it underwater for longer periods of time. Even with this limitation, the roll down is the best (price/performance) and most fail proof system out there.

The zippers used in our bags can also slowly leak if they are put directly into the water or pushed under the surface. Again this is not a sudden flush of water, if you drop your backpack into the water it gives you more than enough time to pick it up before the pockets get wet.

Waterproof Warranty

Because of the limitations mentioned in the previous paragraphs we do NOT give warranty on bag and backpack leakage.