Guide to Waterproof Cases
Waterproof cases are one of those pieces of gear that every paddler needs. Whether you're protecting a cell phone, camera, car keys, map, or some other personal item, you need one that you can rely on to keep your personal items dry. They come in a variety of shapes, materials, and sizes, but the most essential waterproof “cases” typically include:
- Small utility envelopes for personal ID, car keys, cell phones and other smaller, more compact items;
- Sealed, clear-panel packets for holding maps/charts; and
- Cushioned/hard-shell units for protecting cameras and other delicate electronics.
Tips for Buying a Waterproof Case
Most cases keep out water by using both waterproof material and seams [TIP: All seams should be welded, not sewn], and by air-tight closures such as zip-loc pressure rims and zipper-like pulls or pressure bars tightened with knob screws.
Often lighter, more inexpensive clear window cases use a thinner, clear plastic but are sometimes too brittle to crease for storing. Look for good quality transparent panels that are ‘crease resistant’ enabling you to fold it over for stowing in smaller pockets. [TIP: map cases with clear panels front and back let you double the size of viewable map area].
Waterproof Cases & Packs for Kayaking, Canoeing, & Paddling
Protecting Your Waterproof Case While Paddling
Cases typically have lash points on corners for securing to deck or PFD or wearing around your neck. Besides keeping out water, a good case will keep out dust and dirt.
Hard-sided cases should have ample gasket sealers around lid closure rim as well as secure, pressure locking clasps. Cushioning and integral case framework should securely cradle the contents (good nesting for a lens, for example).
Whether carried in a pocket or stowed on deck, all cases should be secured with a lanyard or tethered to self or craft. Consider cases that will float. Gear in waterproof cases should survive a submersion, not just deck spray.