Keeping Your Gear Dry

I know there are various waterproof bags for phones and other small gear available for purchase, but what do you do if you don’t have one of those – or one big enough to fit your laptop – and you’re going to be exposing your gear to water?  As I was taking Rachel to school this morning, it was raining torrentially.  Water was standing on the roads, there were wrecks causing traffic delays, and a transformer literally blew up as I was driving by.  Rachel has a phone in her backpack, and she also takes a laptop to school most days.  Most backpacks aren’t exactly waterproof, and she was going to be outside quite a bit today while walking into and out of the school from the car drop-off location and while changing classes on a campus the size of a small college.  And need I tell you that she couldn’t find her umbrella?

We put her phone into a Ziploc sandwich bag; we’ve used this before and it works great to keep her phone protected from the water that gets through the backpack.  You can even use a capacitive screen through the bag.  Luckily I had a Ziploc bag big enough for her laptop, too.  Ziploc also makes Big Bags that were designed to store bedding and off-season clothing, toys and sports equipment, or the like.  Luckily I had some of the Large size, which are 15″ X 15″.  (Big Bags are also available in a 2 ft X 1.7 ft size and a 2 ft X 2.7 ft size.)  The Large size was big enough to hold her laptop, and the plastic is thick enough that I don’t have to worry the bag will rip easily while she’s moving the laptop in and out of the bag.  It has double zippers to ensure a water-tight seal, too.

I’m going to make sure she keeps a Ziploc Big Bag inside her backpack all the time for other days when she gets caught without an umbrella.  How do you keep your gear dry when you don’t have a waterproof gear bag or a waterproof cover for the bag?

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9 comments… add one
  • Fred September 18, 2012, 10:41 am

    How about static electricity?

  • Janet Cloninger September 18, 2012, 10:44 am

    @Fred Hmm, I didn’t think of that, but it hopefully won’t be a problem with the 1000% humidity we have today.

  • Ian Lim September 18, 2012, 10:51 am

    A hot bath, a Kindle and a ziploc bag. Works for me all the time 🙂

  • Julie September 18, 2012, 1:38 pm

    I think this is a great idea. I always carry a couple scrunched up plastic Walmart bags in my Timbuk2 messenger bag just in case.

  • Janet Cloninger September 18, 2012, 2:43 pm

    I’m thinking about putting one of these in my purse in case I get caught in the rain. I don’t want to mess up my Oberon Design bag!

  • Jackie Cheng September 18, 2012, 5:53 pm

    I’m not totally sold on this idea. I like Ziploc bags to be small and use a regular bag if I want to store larger things. Ziploc is venturing outside their norm. Next thing you know we’ll have Ziploc bookbags….Ziploc luggage…Ziploc car cover…

  • Smythe Richbourg September 18, 2012, 9:51 pm

    I have a gallon-sized one or two in my bike pannier (water-resistant, not torrential downpour-resistant) when I’m out. I carry a fair amount of tech – iPad, iPhone, chargers, headphones, etc. – that all are rather hindered in operation after exposure to liquids. I recommend them to customers who come in and complain about phones and tablets that have been ruined in coolers, canoes, and the like. They’re cheap insurance. I have also replaced the phone of people who relied on Otterboxes and Lifeproof cases for protection. Nothing’s 100%. If you expect real weather, use two layers!

  • Bob DeLoyd September 19, 2012, 3:17 pm

    @Jackie Cheng
    Reading the article I was thinking to myself…maybe Ziploc should get into the business of making protection cases for phones, tablets, and the like.

  • Al October 1, 2012, 6:28 am

    I run half marathons with my phone in a zip loc bag. I also put in car key, train card etc. You can still use the screen through the plastic. At the same time, you can do a quick draw to take a quick pic.

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