Best for Day Trips
Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag

Outdoor Research is known for making durable, reliable gear that caters more to serious hobbyists and hardcore outdoor adventurers than weekend warriors.

While outdoor clothing is their specialty, and while they’re not necessarily the most popular outdoor gear brand out there, the consensus among those in the know is that Outdoor Research offers serious value for money across their whole catalog.

Apart from its graduated exterior (which explains the name), it’s a simple, no-frills, lightweight dry sack that has more to offer than it lets on.

That said, while it’s still very much a dry sack in form and function, it has dry bag-like qualities that make it stand out from the rest of the competition.

On that note, if you’re looking for something to keep your valuables dry on casual treks that’s lighter than your traditional PVC dry bag, then the OR Beaker Dry Bag is worth taking a look at.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.3

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    It boasts a classic, no-frills design that makes it one of the more stylish dry sacks in the market.
  • check-mark
    It’s lightweight, making it ideal for casual use, as well as for compartmentalizing your gear inside your bag.
  • check-mark
    Its external printed liter measurement marks make calculating your packed essentials’ total volume easier.
  • check-mark
    Its semi-translucent nylon material allows you to see your essentials and valuables better.
  • check-mark
    With its 40D siliconized nylon material with PU coating, it offers more water resistance than other dry sacks in its segment.
  • check-mark
    Its ripstop nylon material makes it a bit more tear and abrasion-resistant than other dry sacks in the market.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markIts plastic buckle is made of thin plastic, making it prone to breaking.
  • check-markWhile it’s fully seam-taped, its seams are only single-stitched, making it more prone to tears and fraying than double-stitched/reinforced dry sacks.

Where to buy:

outdoor-research-beaker-dry-bag-product-picture.jpg

Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag

Specs & Features

  • Sizes: 3L, 5L, 8L, 10L, 15L
  • Weight: 3.5 oz (3L, 5L, 8L, 10L), 6.4 oz (15L)
  • Material: Semi-translucent Nylon, 40D siliconized ripstop with PU coating
  • Fully Seam-Taped
  • Roll-top closure
  • External Printed Liter Measurement Marks
  • Classic Cylinder Design
  • Available colors: Samba Print, Black Print, Titanium, Atoll
See the complete list of the best Dry Bags here!
outdoor-research-beaker-dry-bag-product-picture.jpg

An Ultralight, Protective Organizer

This ridiculously lightweight dry bag raises questions of durability. That is when compared to a heavier, PVC dry bag. The Beaker is a great option for protecting clothing from water, either rain or dew. It’s also a solid way to keep your clothing organized, either in use as a laundry bag or in a group, like packing cubes.

Using a couple of these inside a water resistant duffel bag will serve pretty well for canoe trips and camping or hiking expeditions. With measurement lines on the side, it’s a good technical item to use when keeping volume down counts on longer trips.

Upon testing it out, the Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag justifies Outdoor Research’s reputation for making solid, reliable gear.

As mentioned above, the OR Research Beaker Dry Bag is a simple, no-frills dry sack, but it does have dry bag-like qualities.

While it can’t compete with, say, the Sea to Summit Sling Lightweight Dry Bag in terms of waterproofing, it does offer a bit more water resistance than other similarly built dry sacks.

The Beaker Dry Bag’s 40D ripstop nylon construction makes it suitable for casual outdoor use. Its single-stitched seams are fully-taped, adding more durability to the dry sack’s rather thin shell.

That said, unlike thicker, PVC-constructed dry bags, the Beaker Dry Bag is not meant to be used for outings where it’ll get tossed about. Which is to say, it’s more suited for organizing your gear than anything else.

While it’s a reasonably reliable dry sack, it’s not perfect. Outdoor Research did skimp a bit on its hardware. The Beaker Dry Bag’s buckle is made out of a thin plastic, which can be prone to breaking (although we haven’t experienced this yet).

All things considered, the Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag has more positives than negatives, and it’s worth considering if you’re looking for a dry sack that’s both lightweight and reasonably water-resistant.

Related Reviews

Waterproofing

First thing’s first, don’t let the name fool you. The Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag is a dry sack, not a dry bag. What we mean by this is that it is not meant to be used on its own; it’s meant to be put inside another bag.

That said, its 40D siliconized ripstop material with PU coating does offer more water resistance than just the standard dry sack made out of 40D nylon material.

The PU coating, in conjunction with the siliconized material, helps make it more hydrophobic. Clothes stay dry in the Beaker when the dry sack is put inside a duffel bag.

While it’s not meant for total submersion, the OR Beaker Dry Bag does hold up well against light rain and occasional sprays. Being air-tight, it’ll float at the surface if it falls overboard, protecting the contents.

If you plan on doing some kayaking or paddle boarding, it’s best to keep the Beaker Dry Bag inside a dry bag that’s made of material that has a higher hydrostatic head (e.g. a 500D PVC dry bag).

That said, if you’re only using it to do some light trekking across, say, a humid rainforest, it should be able to keep your gear and essentials dry.

Transport and Usability

As mentioned above, the Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag is a no-frills dry sack. While this counts as a positive in our book, it does have some drawbacks.

The OR Beaker Dry Bag does not have any extra straps, D rings, loops, or any other extra feature for that matter. It’s a compartment for your essentials, nothing more.

While you can always fashion your own carrying system to remedy this, for its price, some additional features like a strap or a D ring would have really elevated the already more than serviceable Beaker Dry Bag.

That said, its semi-translucent shell does make organizing and spotting your gear and essentials easier.

While it doesn’t have any extra compartments, as long as you have sufficient light (the semi-translucent material lets the light in), you won’t have a hard time locating your hiking journal, or that one T-shirt/top you always use as an extra shirt.

The Beaker Dry Bag also comes with exterior liter markings (which explains the name), which makes calculating the volume of the gear/essentials you’re packing very easy. This helps in preventing you from overstuffing the dry sack!

Lastly, the Beaker Dry Bag, while not as light as other dry sacks, is light enough to be used as an organizing dry sack, and carrying multiple Beaker Dry Bags inside your main bag isn’t a burden at all.

Durability

When it comes to durability, it bears repeating that dry sacks can’t really compete with more conventional dry bags. Dry sacks are thin and are made for portability. They’re not made to withstand the same abuse that dry bags are built for.

That said, the Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag’s 40D siliconized ripstop material does make it relatively sturdy. The Beaker Dry Bag is fully seam-taped as well, giving it a slight edge over dry sacks with non-taped seams.

However, its PU coating is a bit double-edged. On one hand, it helps make the dry sack more hydrophobic and more resistant to the elements. On the other hand, PU coating is more prone to hydrolysis than any other coating.

This means that if the dry sack isn’t wiped dry after every use and stored in a cool, dark, and dry place, the PU coating will eventually break down, compromising the dry sack’s water resistance, and overall lifespan.

PU coating also reduces the material’s tear resistance, essentially reducing the benefits of the material’s ripstop weave.

Moreover, the Beaker Dry Bag is only single-stitched, making it prone to fraying and tears; and its plastic buckle is also quite thin, making it prone to breaking.

Mindfulness goes a long way when it comes to preserving the Beaker Dry Bag’s longevity. As long as you use the dry sack as intended, and not abuse it too much, it should still last you a fairly long time.

Features

The Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag is an Outdoor Research product through and through–it’s as straightforward as any dry sack can be. Well, almost.

It has a roll-top closure and a classic cylinder design. It’s made out of 40D siliconized ripstop nylon with PU coating. As mentioned above, this makes it more water resistant than dry sacks made with just regular 40D nylon material.

The dry sack’s taped seams also add a little more robustness to the otherwise thin 40D nylon material.

As mentioned above, there are some downsides to its PU coating, and the fact that it’s single-stitched makes it more prone to fraying and tears. Its flimsy plastic buckle also leaves much to be desired.

That said, one of the main upsides of the rather thin 40D nylon construction is that it makes the dry sack significantly lighter than the average dry bag.

This makes it great for casual use where you don’t intend to expose the dry sack to extremely wet conditions. It’s also great for organizing your gear inside your main bag.

Another upside of the Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag’s thin 40D nylon material is that it’s semi-translucent, and allows you to see your gear and essentials clearly without the hassle of opening the dry sack and taking everything out.

The one defining feature of the Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag, as hinted at by its name, is its external liter printed measurement marks.

This comes especially handy when you’re trying not to overstuff your dry sack, and you want to be aware of the total volume of gear you’re packing.

The Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag comes in five sizes (3L, 5L, 8L, 10L, and 15L), and four colors (Samba Print, Black Print, Titanium, and Atoll), which is enough variety for you to efficiently organize your gear.

Value

Priced at $21 for its 3-liter variant, and $29 for its 15-liter variant, the Outdoor Research Beaker Dry Bag is definitely among the pricier dry sacks in the market today.

It straddles a very fine line between being perfectly worth it and being slightly overpriced. This really depends on what you’re looking for in a dry sack.

On one hand, it definitely does its job just as well as any high quality dry sack in the market; and with its added waterproofing, printed liter markings, and Outdoor Research’s Infinite Guarantee®, you definitely get what you pay for.

Conversely, it does have a few kinks, such as the lack of any additional straps/hooks/D-rings, being single-stitched, and having a relatively flimsy buckle closure.

If you’re just looking for dry sacks that you can buy in bulk to organize your essentials, then you might be better off with more affordable dry sacks.

That said, if you’re looking for that extra assurance that your gear won’t get soaked, and if you want to be aware of the exact volume of gear you’re packing, then the OR Beaker Dry Bag is definitely worth investing in.

Ultimately, the OR Beaker Dry Bag is a great choice for serious adventurers who want that extra bit of waterproofing for their gear.

Because of its added PU coating, it does a better job at keeping your gear dry under moderately wet conditions than most dry sacks, and it does just as well as other dry sacks in organizing your gear (maybe a bit better, with the added liter markings).

Obviously, it won’t protect your gear from the elements on its own, especially if you intend on using them while, say, kayaking or paddle boarding or extended treks through a heavy downpour.

That said, paired with the right dry bag, it should keep your gear perfectly dry.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.3

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    It boasts a classic, no-frills design that makes it one of the more stylish dry sacks in the market.
  • check-mark
    It’s lightweight, making it ideal for casual use, as well as for compartmentalizing your gear inside your bag.
  • check-mark
    Its external printed liter measurement marks make calculating your packed essentials’ total volume easier.
  • check-mark
    Its semi-translucent nylon material allows you to see your essentials and valuables better.
  • check-mark
    With its 40D siliconized nylon material with PU coating, it offers more water resistance than other dry sacks in its segment.
  • check-mark
    Its ripstop nylon material makes it a bit more tear and abrasion-resistant than other dry sacks in the market.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markIts plastic buckle is made of thin plastic, making it prone to breaking.
  • check-markWhile it’s fully seam-taped, its seams are only single-stitched, making it more prone to tears and fraying than double-stitched/reinforced dry sacks.

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