Matador Flatpak Dry Bag 8L Gear

Save your gear from the elements with these waterproof bags

The endless hum of the air conditioner stops and you can hear the bugs again. The windows are wide open and you can lie back on the sofa, book in hand, and remember why you live here in the first place. This, my friends, is a good life. The only problem is that the wonderful afternoon breeze can blow away when you’re busy preparing dinner. At midnight, your open window is an invitation for the storm to drench the couch and the bag full of camera gear and batteries you left behind. This is exactly what happened to me earlier this year.

If you purchase something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. to know more.

High tide

Dry sofas. So do bags. But the camera and batteries would have been ruined (including one, ahem, that wasn’t mine), if it hadn’t been for the fact that a couple of months earlier I had decided to keep my batteries and cameras in dry bags outdoors. inside of my actual carry bag.

I spend a lot of time by the water, so it’s not as excessive as it might sound. But the real key to this decision was my discovery of Matador’s very elegant, thin and light dry bags. A traditional rubber-type dry bag is bulky and difficult to slide in and out of another bag. I have the traditional bags, but I really only use them when I’m paddling in the water.

The genius of the new Matador bags lies in their lightweight construction. The 8-liter bag weighs just 2.3 ounces and is made from waterproof 70D ripstop nylon, which isn’t bulky. Even with such lightweight materials, they achieve an IPX7 rating (meaning they’re submersible to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes).

Something for everyone

Two sizes are available, one 2 liter and one 8 liter. I use the 2 liter to store all my batteries and the 8 liter to hold mine Sony A7 along with two lenses and binoculars. This setup means I only take two bags on my way out the door and know I have everything I need, whether I put them in a backpack, shoulder bag or camping bin. The Matador dry bags also have a flat bottom, which means you can lay them flat and they don’t automatically crumple (whether they stay upright in the end depends on what’s inside, but mine do).

The bags aren’t sealed, which gave me pause at first, but Matador says the welded construction they use is more reliable and durable than seam sealing. I’ve only had them for about three months so can’t comment too much on long term durability but so far they’re fine and I haven’t seen any evidence of peeling or delamination along the seams. They have a very sturdy feel and also come with a 1 year warranty. The bags can also be repaired later.

Perhaps the best feature is the small clear vertical window that runs along the side of the bag, allowing you to see the contents of the bag without opening it. With only two (different sizes), I know what’s inside, but after the rain incident I ordered another one and it will be nice to see at a glance which one has batteries and which one has clothes, all dry .

Special Offer for Gear Readers: Get a WIRED 1-year subscription for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to and our print magazine (if you wish). Memberships help fund the work we do every day.