Best Kayak Deck Bags

Kayaking requires a ton of gear – maps, snacks, Kayak Deck Bags, water bottles, first aid kits… you name it. Fitting all that stuff in your boat and keeping it handy can be a real pain, especially in sit-inside kayaks where space is limited.

Kayak Deck Bags

But don’t worry – we’ve got the perfect solution to organize your on-water gear and keep it close at hand. Introducing… the kayak deck bag! Deck bags strap onto your kayak’s deck, so all your essentials are right there when you need them. No more rummaging around for your snack bar or water – just grab it from the bag. We’ve tested the top deck bags out there to find the best options.

Whether you need a small bag for day trips or a huge one to hold all your expedition gear, we’ve got you covered. Check out our reviews of the top-rated kayak deck bags and get the inside scoop on picking the perfect one for your paddling needs Your gear will finally be tidy and within arm’s reach on every adventure.

Related Article: Best Kayak Float Bags

Top 7 Best Kayak Deck Bags

If you’re short on time, here are our best choices. Keep scrolling for more details and comprehensive reviews.

  • Best Overall: Gearlab Outdoors Deck Pod 2
  • Larger Alternative: North Water Expedition Deck Bag
  • Best Budget: Wiseman Trading Mesh Deck Bag
  • Best Small Deck Bag: North Water TurtleBack Deck Bag
  • Best Waterproof Deck Bag: Watershed Aleutian Waterproof Deck Bag
  • Best Backpack/Deck Bag Hybrid: Advanced Elements Deep Six Deck Pack
  • Best Overall: Gearlab Outdoors Deck Pod 2

Best Overall: Gearlab Outdoors Deck Pod 2

16.5 x 9 x 2.5 in6L5400D Nylon Polyurethane DWR

It is the first type of Kayak Deck Bags. The Gearlab Outdoors Deck Pod 2 gives you great performance without the hefty price tag. It’s designed to hold all your on-water gear from water bottles to bilge pumps without getting in your way.

Gearlab Outdoors Deck Pod 2

The deck straps and plastic buckles make attaching it to your kayak a breeze. There’s a handy carry handle too for portaging the pod to and from your car. Inside, you get 5 smartly designed pockets to organize all your stuff. The main compartment has a mesh insert for smaller items and fits hydration bladders up to 3L. The 2 side pockets are perfect for stashing your bilge pump and paddle float for quick access.

Despite its burly water-resistant fabric, the Deck Pod 2 has a trim, compact shape. The zipper orientation can make accessing the inside with one hand tricky. But it’s tough to beat the Gearlab Outdoors Deck Pod 2 for great storage at a budget-friendly price. Your gear will be organized and at your fingertips!


  • Durable, water-resistant fabric
  • Easy attachment system
  • External pockets for safety gear
  • Fits 3L hydration bladder


  • Limited total storage capacity
  • Challenging one-handed gear access

Larger Alternative: North Water Expedition Deck Bag

15 x 14 x 6 in15.5L1Ripstop nylon

The North Water Expedition Deck Bag is a great choice if you need lots of kayak storage.

This extra-large bag has 17L of space in one big pocket. It zips closed for quick access to gear. There’s also a small external mesh pouch.

: North Water Expedition Deck Bag

A polyethylene insert keeps the bag open so you can easily grab gear with one hand. No need to put down your paddle! The insert can also be used as a cutting board.

Three plastic buckles and straps secure the bag to the deck lines. The non-slip base prevents sliding.

The downsides are the high price and only one pocket, making organization tricky.

But for a well-fitting, convenient deck bag with ample storage, the Expedition is hard to beat. It allows easy access to gear while paddling.


  • Spacious central storage
  • Easy gear access with polyethylene insert
  • Simple attachment system
  • Non-slip base for deck bag


  • Relatively expensive
  • Lacks multiple pockets for gear organization

Best Budget: Wiseman Trading Mesh Deck Bag

14.3 x 12 x 3.5 in9L1Nylon mesh

The Wiseman Trading Mesh Deck Bag is a good choice for kayakers on a budget. It is made from a lightweight nylon mesh material. This bag has one main pocket that can hold up to 9 liters of gear. So it has enough space for small items like sunscreen and sunglasses. The bag has one large zipper that makes it easy to access your gear.

Wiseman Trading Mesh

 It attaches to the deck of your kayak with four quick clip straps. These snap onto the deck lines to keep the bag secure. You can place this small bag at the front or back of your kayak.

Since it is a basic bag, it does not have a lot of extra features. It may not work for paddlers who want to organize their gear in lots of pockets. 

Also, because it is made of mesh, it does not keep your gear dry. But for a low-cost and simple deck bag, the Wiseman Trading Mesh Deck Bag is a good option. I rewrote the paragraph in simpler language and corrected any grammar issues. Please let me know if this rewrite is easier to understand.


  • Affordable price
  • Quick clip attachment
  • Single main gear pocket
  • Large zipper for easy access


  • Limited customization features
  • Lacks water-resistance

Best Small Deck Bag: North Water TurtleBack Deck Bag

7 x 14 x 42.5L1Ripstop nylon

 North Water TurtleBack

The North Water TurtleBack Deck Bag is a small storage bag that attaches to your kayak. It works best for short-day trips. The bag has 3 liters of storage space. It attaches securely to the deck of your kayak. The bag is made of durable nylon material. It has a dome-shaped top which makes it easy to see and grab your gear with one hand. 

The bag has one main zippered pocket. It does not have extra pockets or features. The small size limits use on long trips. But it is a good option for short kayaking trips.


  • Doubles as a waist pack for on-shore use
  • Built-in flotation system
  • Conforms to your boat’s deck
  • Reliable anchoring system


  • No additional pockets or features
  • Limited for longer trips

Best Waterproof Deck Bag: Watershed Aleutian Waterproof 

Deck Bag
19.5 x 14.5 x 4 in11.5L3Polyurethane-coated nylon

The Watershed Aleutian Waterproof Deck Bag is designed to protect your gear while kayaking. It is made from waterproof nylon material. This bag can hold 11.5 liters of gear. It has an outside pocket for maps or a phone. There are straps to attach the bag securely to your kayak. 

The Aleutian deck bag keeps your gear completely dry. However, it is expensive. The waterproof zipper can also be hard to open with one hand. But if you need your gear to stay dry, this is a good choice.


  • Completely waterproof
  • Clear window for map visibility
  • External buckles for pump attachment
  • Kayak Deck Bags Secure attachment system
  • Includes mesh water bottle pocket


  • Waterproof zipper hard to open single-handed
  • Kayak Deck Bags Higher price

Best Backpack/Deck Bag Hybrid: Advanced Elements Deep Six Deck Pack

20 x 10 x 930L2500D PVC Tarpaulin

The Advanced Elements Deep Six Deck Pack is a special bag that works as both a Kayak Deck Bags and a backpack. It is made of strong PVC tarpaulin material that is water resistant. The bag has reflective panels to make you more visible when kayaking at night.

Advanced Elements Deep Six Deck Pack

The Deep Six works like a regular backpack with shoulder straps. But it also has straps to attach to your kayak deck. This makes it very versatile. The bag can hold 30 liters of gear. This is a lot of space for kayaking essentials. There is also a front zipper pocket for smaller items you need to access quickly.

One downside is that the Deep Six is quite large and bulky on a kayak deck. Also, the zipper and roll-top closure can be hard to open with one hand while paddling. But if you want a deck bag that also works as a backpack, the Deep Six is a unique choice.


  • Spacious 30L storage
  • It functions as a backpack
  • Adjustable cargo straps
  • Tough, water-resistant materials


  • Challenging to open single-handedly
  • Bulky when placed on a kayak deck

Kayak Deck Bags Comparison Table

Deck Bag NameDimensionsCapacityPocketsClosure TypeMaterial
Gearlab Outdoors Deck Pod 216.5 x 9 x 2.5 in6L5Zip400D Nylon Polyurethane DWR
North Water Expedition Deck Bag15 x 14 x 6 in15.5L1ZipRipstop nylon
Wiseman Trading Mesh Deck Bag14.3 x 12 x 3.5 in9L1ZipNylon mesh
North Water TurtleBack Deck Bag7 x 14 x 4 in2.5L1ZipRipstop nylon
Watershed Aleutian Waterproof Deck Bag19.5 x 14.5 x 4 in11.5L3ZipDryPolyurethane-coated nylon
Advanced Elements Deep Six Deck Pack20 x 10 x 9 in30L2Roll-top + zip500D PVC Tarpaulin

Kayak Deck Bag Buying Advice

Choosing the right kayak deck bag might seem straightforward, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. To find the best one for you, think about these important factors:

  • Fits Your Kayak: Make sure it fits your kayak properly.
  • Size and Space: Consider how much it can carry.
  • Water Protection: Decide if you need waterproof or water-resistant material.
  • Closure Type: Choose between roll-top or zippered bags.
  • Attachment and Safety: Look at how it attaches and secures to your kayak.

Kayak Compatibility

If you want to use a deck bag on your kayak, it’s important to make sure that the bag fits your kayak. To do this, you need to compare the size of the deck bag with the size of your kayak. We’ve provided the dimensions of all the deck bags in our review so you can easily check if a particular model is suitable for your kayak.

Deck bags are usually attached to the bow of your Kayak Deck Bags, which is the front part of the boat. This makes it easy to access your gear while you’re paddling. You can also attach a deck bag to the stern of your kayak, which is the back part of the boat, but this can make it harder to reach your gear.

To attach a deck bag to your kayak, you’ll need some deck rigging. If your kayak doesn’t already have deck rigging, you can install it yourself.

Deck Bag Size & Carrying Capacity

The amount of gear you want to carry on the water is the most important factor in determining the carrying capacity of your deck bag. If you only want to carry small items like snacks and your phone, a 2.5L deck bag like the North Water TurtleBack Deck Bag might be enough. 

However, if you want to carry larger items like a storm cag, first aid kit, and other emergency gear, you might need a larger deck bag like the North Water Expedition Kayak Deck Bags, which has a capacity of over 15L.

It’s important to note that the total carrying capacity of a deck bag is only one aspect to consider when choosing a deck bag. Other features like internal and external pockets and external bungee systems can also help organize your gear. So, it’s worth thinking about how you want to organize your gear before you buy a deck bag

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Deck Bags

Kayaking can be a lot of fun, but keeping your gear dry while you paddle can be a challenge. One way to protect your gear is by using waterproof Kayak Deck Bags like the Watershed Aleutian Waterproof Deck Bag. This type of bag can be especially useful if you expect wet and windy conditions during your paddles.

However, it’s important to remember that a waterproof deck bag alone may not be enough to keep your gear completely dry. Every time you open the bag to get something, you increase the risk of letting water inside. So, it’s a good idea to use dry bags to store your most sensitive electronics and other items that can’t get wet.

Roll-Top vs. Zippered Deck Bags

Zipper Closures

  • Easy to open and close, even with one hand
  • Allow quick access to the bag’s interior
  • Typically not waterproof

Roll-Top Closures

  • More water-resistant than zippers
  • Provide extra protection from splashes
  • Not as convenient – can’t open with one hand
  • Need to unroll and roll to access the bag

Some bags, like the Advanced Elements Deep Six, have both systems – a roll-top main compartment for water protection and a zippered front pocket for quick access. This combines the benefits of water resistance and convenience.

In summary, zippers are easier to use but roll-tops are more waterproof. Consider when you’ll need quick access versus maximum protection from splashes. The ideal kayak deck bag combines both systems.

Attachment System & Security

When choosing a Kayak Deck Bags or your kayak, look for one that attaches securely but is still easy to put on and take off. The bag should have multiple attachment points, like clips or buckles, so it stays on even if you capsize.

This prevents the Kayak Deck Bags from falling off if hit by waves or wind while you’re paddling. Multiple attachment points spread out the force, keeping the bag stable. Make sure the clips or buckles are convenient to use, so you don’t waste time attaching the bag. The right deck bag will stay securely on your kayak through waves and wind, without taking long to put on or take off.

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