For paddlers who regularly do overnight trips, want the maximum amount of storage, or just like having versatile gear, combo float/dry bags are a great option. They are dry bags that are tapered at the end to fit perfectly in the stern of many modern creek boats. When not filled with overnight or expedition gear, they can be sealed up and inflated for use as a general float bag. For dirtbag kayakers, finding a piece of gear to serve multiple purposes is a great way to save money.
So, let’s say you’re in the market for one of these combo float/dry bags….which one should you be looking at?
The Watershed Futa Float is the more expensive of the two, coming in at $115.00. Made with Watershed’s super durable Cordura/nylon blend and finished with a heavy matte polyurethane finish, this bag is made to hold up for the long term. It is very heavy duty and comes with the proven Zipdry seal to keep your gear dry time after time. Multiple lashtabs and attachment points keep the bag in place and compression straps help customize the fit. The Futa is the larger of the 2 that were compared coming in at 36″ Long x 9″ Deep x 18.5″ Wide x 6.5″ Wide at the end.
The NRS Hydrolock Stow Float is an economical option with an affordable price of $74.95. Constructed in a similar manner to the Watershed, the Stow Float is made with a lighter duty urethane coated nylon. The Hydrolock zip seal is easy to use and provides a totally waterproof closure. To ensure maximum waterproofing ability, make sure to clean the zipper with 303 a few times a season. The Stow Float also has multiple lashtabs and compression straps to keep it in place and fit a variety of boats. Slightly smaller than the Futa Float, the Stow Float comes in at 30″ Long x 10″ Deep x 18″ Wide x 7″ Wide at the end.
Here’s the verdict.
Both options are great, but in different ways. The Stow Float is a very versatile piece of gear at an affordable price. It is perfect for those on a budget, or those who only do a few overnight trips per year. The Futa Float is pricey, but for those who need the most out of their gear, it is worth it. The Futa Float is bigger and incredibly durable. It is perfect for expedition paddlers and something that I highly recommend. Either way, buyers can’t go wrong. Weigh the options and choose whichever feels like it best fits your needs.