How To Choose The Perfect Float Bag For Your Kayak

Do you love kayaking but get worried about what will happen if you capsize? Well, I have good news for you! A float bag can help prevent your valuables from filling with water and sinking.

In this blog post, I will discuss a float bag, how to use one, and the benefits of having a float bag for your kayak. 

I hope that by the end of this post, you will feel more confident about using a float bag and be able to decide if it is right for you. So, grab a cup of coffee and chat about float bags.

Key Takeaways

  • A float bag is a kayaking accessory that helps keep your valuables dry in the event of a waterlogged or capsized vessel.
  • Float bags come in various shapes and sizes to fit different kayak models and are made with waterproof materials.
  • Foam float bags are more lightweight and easier to store than other bags but may not provide as much buoyancy. 
  • Neoprene float bags are more heavy-duty and provide more flotation. Still, it can be difficult to stay afloat in the event of a capsized kayak.
  • Choosing the right size and type of float bag for your kayak model is important to ensure maximum safety and efficiency in an emergency.
How To Choose The Perfect Float Bag For Your Kayak
How To Choose The Perfect Float Bag For Your Kayak

What Is A Float Bag For Kayak?

A float bag is a kayak accessory that helps to keep valuables dry, including electronics. They are also good for storage on kayaks.

Float bags come in different sizes to fit different kayaks. They are made of urethane or other materials that provide floatation.

Most float bags are placed in the bow (front) of the kayak, but some people put them in the stern (back) or even in the middle. Some kayaks have built-in float bags.

Float bags are not just for kayaks; they can be used on any boat. They are especially helpful on small boats or open water, where there is a greater risk of capsizing or swamping. A float bag can help keep your boat afloat if it takes on water.

Dry bag backpacks are similar to float bags but are not always waterproof. They can be made of nylon or other materials and often have a roll-top closure.

Dry bag backpacks are great for hot days when you want to keep your clothes and belongings dry while rafting or hiking. Float bags are designed specifically for boats, while dry bag backpacks can be used for anything from camping to hiking to biking.

Float bags usually have more robust seams and construction because they need to be able to withstand abrasion from being inside a boat.

A Float Bag Is An Essential Piece Of Safety Gear For Kayakers

A Float Bag Is An Essential Piece Of Safety Gear For Kayakers
A Float Bag Is An Essential Piece Of Safety Gear For Kayakers

A float bag is a lightweight, inflatable cushion that can help you stay afloat in an emergency.

They’re also great for storing other gear while you’re out on the water, and they make it easier to get back into your kayak after you’ve swum to shore.

You’ll want to choose a float bag that’s large enough to hold all of your essential safety gear—including flares and a signaling device—but small enough not to take up much room in your kayak (which could affect its stability).

If you require additional storage, consider getting two smaller bags rather than one large one since each will weigh less than half a pound.

Float Bags Help Keep Your Valuables Keep Dry If It Capsizes

Float bags can help keep your valuables dry if your kayak capsizes, but there are a few things to consider before you throw them into the water.

  • How does a float bag work? A standard float bag has a foam core that floats and an outer shell made from PVC or neoprene (synthetic rubber), which protects the foam core and keeps it dry. They’re typically used to store food, clothing, electronics, and other items on an expedition or other extended kayaking trip where space may be limited, and weight needs to be kept low for safety reasons.
  • How do I choose the right size float bag? The size of the paddleboard you’ll use will determine how large a float bag you need—if at all! If you own just one board or rarely use it, then perhaps buying a small-sized board wouldn’t require as much room in between your body and what’s below deck; however, if this isn’t something that happens often, then consider getting something slightly larger, so there are no issues with storing any extra gear inside without having issues later on down the road.

They Also Help Prevent Water From Damaging Your Electronics And Other Valuables

They Also Help Prevent Water From Damaging Your Electronics And Other Valuables
They Also Help Prevent Water From Damaging Your Electronics And Other Valuables

But float bags also keep your valuables dry in the event of a capsize. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a capsize is when your kayak flips over.

This usually happens when you hit a wave or come upon one that’s too big for the boat to handle, and it can be dangerous if you’re not prepared for it. If this happens in rough waters, most of your gear will likely end up on top of the water unless it’s securely packed away in a float bag.

Some people use GPS trackers in their float bags to prevent theft and ensure their stuff doesn’t get lost at sea if they have to abandon ship (although we don’t recommend abandoning ship ever).

There are even waterproof fitness trackers available now, so there’s no reason not to take advantage of this handy feature.

Float Bags Come In A Variety Of Sizes And Shapes To Fit Different Types Of Kayaks

When choosing a float bag for your kayak, you’ll want to consider the size and shape of your kayak. Some kayaks have designated storage compartments, while others do not.

If your kayak has an open storage compartment, look for a float bag that will fit it. If you have a larger or smaller than an average-sized boat, you may need multiple float bags to accommodate its size.

There are also various shapes of kayaks which can make finding the right float bag even more difficult because they won’t all fit in the same place.

For instance, if you have an open cockpit-style boat with no cup holders (often), it might be difficult to attach any straps directly onto your boat without causing damage.

Most Float Bags Are Made From Durable Neoprene Or PVC Or Nylon Fabric

Most Float Bags Are Made From Durable Neoprene Or PVC Or Nylon Fabric
Most Float Bags Are Made From Durable Neoprene Or PVC Or Nylon Fabric

Most float bags are made from durable neoprene, PVC or nylon fabric. Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that’s used in many products and can be found on the inside of your wetsuit.

It’s also the material used to make inflatable rafts and pool toys, as well as some types of life jackets.

PVC is a common plastic used in many products like plumbing pipes, house siding and fiberglass boats. Nylon is a common fabric used for everything from tents to parachutes to clothing.

There are many other materials: PVC-free rubberized vinyl, silicone-rubber blends, paraffin waxes—the list goes on.

The point here is that you want something that’s not falling apart when you’re paddling around your favorite lake or river, looking for adventure with your friends (or alone).

Some Float Bags Have Multiple Compartments To Store Other Gear, Such As A Pump Or Paddle

Some float bags have multiple storage compartments, making it easy to store other gear, such as a pump or paddle. Other float bags have open storage compartments that can be used to dry your kayak after paddling.

You’ll also want the bag to fit comfortably on your kayak, so you don’t feel restricted when wearing it. If you’re looking to store gear in your float bag, here are some tips:

  • Use a dry bag, dry box or dry storage bag. These have the advantage of being submerged and not leaking water. They can also be used for many things other than kayaking, so they will last for years if taken care of properly. You can use them for storing camping gear, hiking equipment or even clothes that need protection from rain or humidity. Suppose you want an extra layer of security from leaks. In that case, most companies sell waterproof liners that fit inside these bags or boxes (and sometimes come with them).

How Does A Float Bag Work?

How Does A Float Bag Work
How Does A Float Bag Work

A float bag is a device that fits into your kayak’s cockpit and keeps it afloat if it capsizes. You can use them to keep any gear you don’t want to get wet or damaged, like a first aid kit or a survival kit, out of the water.

Floats bags are typically made of neoprene (like a wetsuit), PVC or nylon fabric. They come in different sizes and shapes depending on whether you want them for kayaks with open cockpits (meaning no top) or closed cockpits (meaning they have to top).

Float bags are designed to fit specific models of kayaks. They can accommodate up to 50 pounds of equipment, so you don’t have to worry about losing anything overboard when your boat tips over.

While most floats are designed as “one-size-fits-all” solutions, some companies specialize in building custom floats specifically designed for certain types of boats — so keep an eye out if you have an unusual model.

Which Type Of Float Bag Is Best For Kayaking?

If you’re a beginner, a smaller float bag is better. Once you get more experience kayaking, a larger float bag will be better because it will hold more gear, and it will be easier to see what’s inside the bag when water splashes around.

Some of the things that you might want to store in a float bag while kayaking include:

  • A first-aid kit
  • A fishing rod or reel
  • Torch or headlamp
  • Life jacket

How Do You Choose The Right Size Float Bag?

  • Know the dimensions of your kayak
  • Know how much gear you want to carry, including the weight of your gear and how much space you have in which to store it
  • Get a float bag that is large enough for your kayak and its contents (or at least one size larger than what you think will be best)


We hope we’ve given you all the information you need to choose the perfect float bag for your kayak. A float bag is an essential piece of kayaking gear. 

It is used to seal off the valuables and electronics so that they will float in case of capsizing. Float bags are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to fit various kayaks. They can be made of different materials, such as PVC or polyurethane.

Float bags are an important safety item for kayakers. They should be chosen based on the kayaking you will be doing. 

Suppose you are planning on doing any whitewater kayaking. In that case, you will need a float bag specifically designed for that purpose. A float bag can provide extra storage and first-aid for sea kayakers in rough waters.

No matter what kayaking you plan on doing, ensure you have a float bag appropriate for your boat and your experience level.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what to put in my float bag?

It depends on the type of kayaking you are doing. For whitewater kayaking, a float bag should be packed with gear to help you stay safe while fishing and navigating waterfalls. Consider packing food storage bags or fishing gear in your float bag for sea kayaking to make catching dinner easier.

What happens if my float bag lets in water?

If your float bag gets water inside it, it can cause the bag to burst or sink. This will ruin your kayak and electronics, so choose a water-resistant float bag.

Can I use a float bag for other purposes besides kayaking?

Yes, float bags can also be used for storage or to protect valuables in a car.

How to keep my float bag dry?

To keep your float bag dry, store it in a dry place when you are not using it. If you get water inside the bag, let it dry before storing it again.

Looking for a float bag for your kayak? Check out our top picks for the best kayak float bags on the market today!