NRS Bill’s Bag 65L Dry Bag Review

Packing for an overnight paddling adventure always includes my sturdy blue Bill’s Bag dry bag, named for NRS Founder Bill Parks.

I first used one two years ago on my second Lake Powell camping trip, courtesy of my mom. She received the bag as a Mother’s Day gift from my dad and, in true motherly fashion, immediately let me borrow it.

The sight of this sleek bag on the front of my board in lieu of my usual fleet of small, flimsy dry bags increased my confidence and overall feeling of competence. I suffered from post-trip gear jealousy until I discovered the updated version under the tree last Christmas.

Review in a Nutshell

Pros:

  • Snag-free PCV fabric
  • Easy to carry
  • Comes in several sizes

Cons:

  • No interior compartments

Price & Where to Buy:

nrs bills bag size

Fits Plenty of Gear

The colorful top-loading 65L bag weighs just under 4 pounds and comfortably fits a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes, and a modest supply of dry food and cooking supplies.

Secure it in place with your deck bungees and throw an additional bungee cord across for redundancy and peace of mind.

Snag-Resistant Fabric

The PCV fabric NRS uses to create the Bill’s Bag line eliminates the fear of snagging and tearing that generally accompanies other dry bags. It also helps explain the weight.

Easy to Carry

Instead of the single hook handle on my mom’s bag, the updated version includes an adjustable and removable backpack harness which makes it easier to carry.

Additionally, side straps allow you to cinch down the bag and secure the contents. The metal closures appear more durable than the plastic counterparts on other dry bags.

nrs bills bag straps

Several Sizes

When packing your dry bag, always make sure you can make 3 complete turns to achieve a watertight seal. If you are unable, consider transitioning to a larger dry bag.

NRS also makes a 110L version with an almost negligible weight increase from the 65L bag.

Starting with a smaller size does encourage you to make smarter packing decisions and consequently minimizes the weight you haul across the lake.

Also bring along a lightweight 13L or 20 L dry bag which you can access easily on the paddle to camp and a small, soft sided cooler.

Packing the Bag

As with most top loading dry bags, there are no convenient compartments inside; pack your bag deliberately so you can easily access the contents.

Try using color-coded stuff sacks including one each for clean clothes, dirty clothes and toiletries and place smaller bags/items together in mesh bags so you see where everything is located. Practice packing your bag before your first big outing to discover what needs to be tweaked.

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