Comfortable Portage Pack First Look: SealLine Updates Dry Bags for 2019

The longtime dry bag developer revamps its line of portage packs for everyone from the urban traveler to the serious paddler.

Portage packs aim to get you from point A to point B with a boat on your shoulders. The main objective rests in keeping gear dry over a short distance, but comfort has often taken a back seat among these hefty packs. Enter the coming line of SealLine Portage Packs.

With updates on all three options for the Portage Pack, SealLine is shooting for affordable and comfortable packs that double down on dry bag capability with the brand’s welded technology. The latest design ensures both a tight seal and durability for the long term.

SealLine Portage Packs suspension system

All the harness systems are removable. This adds versatility, as the bag will stow better this way when harnesses aren’t needed.

Another minor change that makes a big difference: The inside of the new models is white, not black. The light-colored interior throughout the system makes it much easier to find things inside the pack.

SealLine Portage Pack Pro Review

This summer, on a combined backpacking and canoe trip in North Cascades National Park, I packed all my beloved belongings into the 2019 120-L Portage Pack Pro. Initially, the massive size of this beast of a pack seemed almost comical. But the application for portages makes complete sense for the long-distance boater.

SealLine Portage Packs

Our trip began with a short hike down to the lake, and I was surprised just how comfortable this pack was to carry. The suspension system is solid, and the straps are comfortable. I have a short torso and was able to adjust my pack to the small setting, which alleviated a lot of pressure points.

The pack proved durable, and I appreciated the white interior when digging for gear. My only point of contention was that the pads on the hip belt felt small in comparison to my backpacking pack. But for utility’s sake, the pads worked for the shorter backpacking portions of the trip. And this most definitely isn’t the pack I’m going to pick for a five-day trek in the Rockies. But a five-day canoe trip on the Green River? This will be my go-to.

SealLine’s portage packs will come in a few options. Suss out your needs on the water; one of these packs likely has you covered.

SealLine Boundary Dry Pack, $105-135

SealLine Boundary Dry Pack

The Boundary Dry Pack is the entry-level Portage Pack for the series. With options for 35-, 65-, and 110-L packs, it’s easy to find the right size.

This is a great option for shorter-distance portages or an infrequent need for a harness system. The smaller option is also a great deal for the photographer or urban traveler who might face inclement weather on the job and on the go.

SealLine Black Canyon Dry Pack $115-150

SealLine Black Canyon Dry Pack

This midlevel pack fills in the gap for affordability, comfort, and hauling capacity. The Black Canyon goes a step further in your harnessing system. It marries a padded shoulder and lumbar system with both suspension and padded hip and shoulder straps. Additionally, this option comes in both 65 and 115 L.

SealLine Pro Dry Pack $199-250

SealLine Pro Pack

The 2019 Pro Dry Pack makes up the biggest overhaul of the three coming down the line. The new external frame suspension system provides full padding from shoulders to lumbar. And it’s coupled with a suspension system that will rival your backpacking gear.

The entire harnessing system can also be adjusted from a size small to a size large. This enables each pack to fit a wide range of carriers. The added padding also provides an extra layer of comfort for the hauler. Another update to the Pro Series is its larger capacity across the board. It will be available in both 70- and 120-L options.

The updated SealLine Portage Pack Series will be available in stores and online in January 2019.

Nicole Qualtieri

Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. She also serves as a Board Director for Orion the Hunters Insititute, a non-profit promoting fair chase and hunting ethics nationwide. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.