In the Dry Storage overview I mentioned the dry bag that I carry my iPhone in while kayaking, canoeing, paddling, boating… pretty much any time I’m on or near the water. Sure, I could leave the phone on dry land, but I like to have it in case there is an emergency.
Here is what it looks like.
It was dirt cheap. Something like $1 shipped from Meritline. Honestly, I worry about trusting my expensive iPhone to a $1 bag. So, before trusting it to protect my iPhone I put some tissue paper the bag, sealed it up, and submerged it in the sink with a weight to hold it under the water. When I checked it an hour later the tissue was a bit wet.
The bag is “sealed” by the clamping force created by two rotating levers that squeeze the hard plastic sides of the opening closed. There is a little groove in one side, and a ridge on the other. They are supposed to mate and pinch the bag closed. However, they didn’t quite seal all the way.
- Don’t count on the bag for total protection. It is great for splash protection, and I can actually talk on the phone, take pictures, check emails, etc. with the smartphone in the bag.
- I added a strip of black electrical tape to the ridge on the hard plastic to provide a more positive seal.
After only a few uses the little plastic clips that hold the black plastic clamp in place started breaking. After about 10 uses I’m down to only one of the four clips. I can still use the bag, I just have to manually line everything up. It is a PITA.
- Splash protection. I carry my phone in the Outdoor Products Large Watertight box. So, it is safe when I’m paddling. However, when I open the dry box to get out the phone, camera, etc. sometimes my hands are wet. Nice to have splash/drip/wet hands protection for my phone.
- Lanyard. The lanyard saved my phone a couple of weeks ago when I was talking on the phone while on the kayak. A big wake rocked my kayak and the phone slipped from my wet hand. Luckily I had dropped the lanyard around my neck so the phone just swung above the water instead of plunging into it.
Jeff doesn’t like:
- Leaks! They shouldn’t call it a Waterproof bag. It clearly is NOT.
- Terrible durability. The bag is intact, but the clamping mechanism fell off after a short time of gentle use.
- Headset cable. Great concept… a pass through cable to allow use of device via a headset while in the bag. Doesn’t work with the iPhone headset though. Well, I can listen to music, but can’t use the iPhone headset for phone calls.
For $1 it is hard to beat this product up too bad. I think this comes down to understanding what you are buying and deciding if it is worth the hassle of dealing with an inferior product to get a great price. For me, if Meritline has this on sale for $1 again I’ll order another one. Maybe the clamps won’t fall off, maybe they will… but it is a dollar and I know what I’m buying. If you just want a way to keep your smartphone or mp3 player dry, without the hassle or risk, then go for any one of the more expensive, but better designed and constructed options out there. I haven’t tried this
Sea Lion dry bag from Altrec yet, but it looks like a good options to me.
Please leave a comment to let me know if this review was helpful to you.