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Storage Review

Staying dry on the go with the "Eureka!" Dry Doc, a 100% waterproof bag for your fishing outings

Date: 7/8/04
Tackle type: Storage
Manufacturer: "Eureka!"
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.41

Introduction: Protect your precious belongings with the "Eureka!" Dry Doc, a 100% waterproof high-capacity storage bag that is designed to keep your gear from getting wet on all your fishing adventures. We take a closer look on how this dry bag performs, and what fishing applications it can be effectively used for.

"Eureka!" Dry Doc Specifications

Capacity 3283 cu. in.
Weight 3 lbs. 5 oz.
Size 24" height X 17" width X 10" depth
Material 250D 0.5mm StormShield Vinyl
Additional Features 4 clip attachments, gear stabilizing compression straps, web reinforced daisy chains, removable Suspension System, meshed water bottle pocket
Price $169.99


About "Eureka!": Founded in 1895, "Eureka!" started its outdoor venture by producing quality tents for outdoor adventurers. Today they focus on developing innovative products rather than your average everyday commodity outdoor items. "Eureka!" is now a Johnson Outdoors, Inc. company and their line card of offerings includes tents for every application including the military, day use shelters, packs & bags, and more.


Introducing the 100% waterproof "Eureka!" Dry Doc backpack


Impressions: The "Eureka!" Dry Doc is divided into 2 compartments plus an external mesh pocket that's ideal for holding a water bottle. The waterproof backpack is massive and can store up to 3283 cubic inches of gear, and a plethora of straps provide stability and compression. At first it seems like the pack had too many straps, 10+ in total, but trust me, for an outdoor backpack, the more the better.


StormShield: "Eureka!" has applied StormShield Vinyl to their products for years to provide outdoor adventurers with a dry and durable solution.  Now they have brought it to their line of dry bags. The 250D 0.5mm StormShield fabric has gone through much testing in Eureka's labs and the results of the implementation were outstanding. The radio frequency welds are very solid, the tear strength exceeded industry standards, and survived both extreme hot and cold temperatures; this is a quality material designed specifically to produce a durable waterproof pack material for rugged bags.


The main compartment has a huge capacity and is great for carrying all your gear while fishing from shore

Real World Tests:
The "Eureka!" Dry Doc is an extremely versatile bag and anglers can use it for many type of applications throughout all four seasons. Pack everything you need for your fishing trip into this waterproof backpack and take it onto the water without fear of ever getting anything wet either it's splashed or dropped right into the water. To test the waterproof pack we tested it in both fresh and saltwater applications from full fledged boats, kayaks, and the shore.


Removable Suspension System: The "Eureka!" removable Suspension System plays a big role in the Dry Doc. To understand how, we'll first take a look at all the features this section of the bag has. The shoulder straps are one of the most important parts of a backpack and must be ergonomic and comfortable especially when worn for extended periods.  These two tapered straps are fixed in height and padded with 12mm PE foam. On these straps there are a few additional features but one that really came in handy was the adjustable sternum strap. I found this supportive strap extremely important especially when trekking to those fishing holes on long trails or shore fishing, keeping the backpack tight to your body helps distribute the pressure of the shoulder straps evenly across your chest so you can carry more gear in comfort, and will not prohibit blood circulation on shoulders. The inner side of the shoulder straps also provide additional comfort due to the air mesh wrap that aids in moisture evaporation on those hot days in the beating sun.


The straps are air meshed for better moisture evaporation.  Also notice the Suspension System as it's removed from the Dry Doc


The Dry Doc's removable Suspension System doesn't end there. Aside from the comfort fitting shoulder straps, the system also sports a thick padded back pad. This pad provides terrific solace for your back especially when you put hard pointed objects into the backpack. The padded backing of the Suspension System is divided up into sections and provides a thicker padded section for critical areas on the Scapula, shoulder blades, and the lumbar area. This bag was definitely designed with ergonomics in mind.


The Suspension System on the Dry Doc is removable and it might be a good choice when you don't need to carry it too far, such as when boating. When pursuing big game and especially species prone to "mess" such as Tuna, it would probably be wise to leave the Suspension System at home. Even though the entire backpack is easy to clean, the straps and the padded back pad will require a little more work when washing up because of the air meshed design. The entire Suspension System is secured onto the waterproof yellow compartment via Velcro and additional straps. If you aren't the type that removes the System all the time, then you won't have this gripe we are about to mention. But if you are, we found that because the Suspension System is so well tied to the Dry Doc, it does take some effort to undo everything. And when trying to place the System back, you'll have to figure out exactly where each strap goes. For most situations, the angler can just use the Dry Doc as is, leaving the Suspension System attached.


A dry bag stands alone as the Suspension System is removed.  Carrying the dry bag can be done with the handle or straps


Waterproof: The main compartment of "Eureka!" Dry Doc is 100% waterproof, even when we loaded it with heavy tackle and clothing, then purposely threw the bag overboard during our field test. In the lake we allowed it to float and drift, and in the ocean we let the waves subject the bag to the "washing machine," and after retrieving it we didn't notice any water ever getting into the main compartment. The Dry Doc is protected from the water via its 250D 0.5mm StormShield vinyl, and employs a roll-down closure method to keep water out, a familiar method we've seen in most dry bags out there. To prevent any possibility of leaks, especially at the seams, "Eureka!" applies a welded seal that is resilient and provides a watertight construction.


If the Dry Doc falls overboard and it's not overload, the backpack will float and your belongings inside will remain dry


Even though the large main compartment is waterproof, sometimes it's hard to find small items in there, especially when loaded with many tackle boxes, clothing, and other gear.  So that's where the smaller front section comes in handy. This section of the bag isn't 100% waterproof, but does a good job at keeping water out. The only place that water can enter the small compartment is through the zippers, but "Eureka!" uses a water resistant zipper design that helps prevent water from entering in nearly all situations. When I was kayak fishing, the Dry Doc took on plenty of splashes without taking in any water through the water resistant zippers. The results were similar when pounding waves in the ocean where the Dry Doc was strapped to the bow of the Boston Whaler Montauk and was subjected to a good dousing. The only time we noticed water inside, which was minimal, was when the water resistant zipper was submerged under water for a few minutes. The pressure of the water forced itself in, as expected, but this dry bag wasn't meant to be trolled under water.


The smaller compartment sports water resistant zippers to keep water from entering


Application: Anglers can utilize the Dry Doc in many ways when they are out targeting their favorite gamefish. One of these ways is when kayak fishing. The Dry Doc is great for dry storage against spray and those fortuitous capsizes. With the Dry Doc, whatever's stored in the main waterproof compartment will remain dry throughout your paddling trip. The Dry Doc comes with 4 clip attachments to secure the bag to either the bow or stern of your kayak, either the sit in configuration or open tops. While attached to your kayak, you can use the compression straps to minimize the bag movements while fishing or moving about the water.


Boat anglers of all sorts will also benefit from the use of this "Eureka!" backpack. You might think offshore saltwater anglers will make the best use of the Dry Doc, yes, but anglers fishing on the lake with their skiff, aluminum, or bass rig will also take advantage of having a waterproof bag. Freshwater anglers usually run in mostly smooth waters, but at times the lake can become choppy and will result in a wet ride. For anglers who usually tag a ride along with one of their buddies, the Dry Doc can act like any backpack you might bring along with you to carry tackle or daily necessities without the fear of getting anything wet while you're fishing.


Either fishing from a kayak, pontoon, boat, shore, or wading in the water, the all-season multi-purpose waterproof backpack performs well for anglers


For conventional and fly anglers who wade in the water to catch their fish of choice, the Dry Doc is a good choice especially if you're used to carrying a standard run of the mill school backpack. Many times I've seen anglers go out and wade in rivers, and when they get too deep they worry about getting their backpack and what's inside wet. They can stay shallow, but when fighting a large fish running downstream or an accidental spill into the river, having a waterproof backpack like the Dry Doc will protect your goods, especially electronics like handheld GPS units and digital cameras.


While the "Eureka!" Dry Doc can fit those applications mentioned above, the 100% waterproof backpack is great for shore anglers as well. The backpack is durable and can be thrown on the ground when fishing from shore, making your way through thick brush to the untouched waters, and at the same time, keeping everything secure and dry, especially when fishing in the rainy season.  Also, have I mentioned that the Dry Doc is extremely easy to clean?  Since the main compartment is waterproof and the smaller section is water resistant, a spray at the end of the day can easily remove mud, fish blood and guts, slime, and if plain water won't do the job, some mild soap and warm water will take care of any other filth you might encounter.


The "Eureka!" backpack has many ways to attach additional accessories on the exterior such as the daisy chain shown.  There are also rings, hoops, and much more


Warranty: The StormShield Dry Doc backpack is extremely durable and like all "Eureka!" products, it carries a limited lifetime warranty. "Eureka!" warrants to the original purchaser that its product is free from defect in material and workmanship. The life of the product is determined from the date of purchase until such time as the product is no longer serviceable due to normal wear and tear.


"Eureka!" Dry Doc Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A well manufactured product that uses an extremely rugged proprietary vinyl and quality components to complement the backpack 8.5
Performance Backpack or dry bag, or both, the Dry Doc works great having the main large storage compartment that's 100% waterproof, and a smaller section for smaller goods that's water-resistant 9
Price For this price, some anglers might think the Dry Doc is just another yellow dry bag, but actually the material is much tough and can be used in any of your water adventures.  There isn't anything out on the market that compares to this design.  We have seen simpler designs that don't sport as many features 7.5
Features This backpack is feature packed to the top with many straps for compression, adjustments for that perfect body fit, and much more 8
Design (Ergonomics) Most dry bags aren't all that ergonomic in design, but this backpack is extremely comfortable to wear all day long, even with much fishing gear packed inside.  The Suspension System has great support in all major areas that's quite important for a backpack 8.5
Application This multi-purpose backpack is great for any outdoorsmen especially anglers.  The waterproof backpack can be used by anglers from shore or wading, on a boat, kayak, pontoon, and much more 9

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Waterproof L Pricey
J Durable L Many straps to take off to remove the Suspension System
J Comfortable fit  
J All-Season & Multi-purpose  

Conclusion: Rain or shine, the Dry Doc is an all-season multi-purpose backpack for outdoorsmen. When one thinks of a dry bag, most might have a picture of a yellow sack in mind, but the "Eureka!" 100% waterproof backpack is distinctive. With the removable Suspension System attached, the Dry Doc becomes a waterproof backpack that has ergonomic straps and backing, and when removed, the pack is now a straightforward dry bag, with a small compartment that sports water-resistant zippers. The Dry Doc is packed with straps to compress and fully adjust the backpack until you get that perfect ergonomic fit and compression, and has many places for you to attach fishing accessories on the outside. The bag is exceptionally versatile and can be used in multiple applications including fishing from shore, wading in the river, or from the deck of a watercraft. 100% waterproof, the "Eureka!" Dry Doc will keep all your gear dry when and wherever you're fishing, rain or shine.









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