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YETI Panga 50 Review

This stand out bag is completely waterproof, exceptionally durable, and easy to open and close when you need
yeti panga 50 dry bag review
Credit: YETI
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $300 List | $300.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Super durable, completely waterproof, easy to open and close
Cons:  Expensive, rigid
Manufacturer:   YETI
By Sara James and Maggie Nichols  ⋅  Jul 11, 2022
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94
SCORE

RANK
#1
of 15
  • Waterproofness - 50% 10.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 9.0
  • Quality of Construction - 15% 9.0
  • Features - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Yeti Panga is a beast of a bag that scored in the top ranks for all our testing metrics, standing out for being completely waterproof and made of nearly indestructible material. The water-tight zipper is easy to open and close, making it our first choice when carrying camera equipment that we want to access easily but also keep sealed shut from the water. If we had to choose one model for a wide range of activities — from rainy commutes to overnight raft trips and international travel — this would be it. The only significant drawback to the Panga is its exceptionally steep price tag, yet with top scores across the board, it is easy to see why it is worthy of the price tag and our top honors.

Compare Similar Products

 
yeti panga 50 dry bag review
This Product
YETI Panga 50
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $300.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$27.69 at Amazon$25 List
$19.95 at Amazon
$15.00 List
$10.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
94
78
64
54
Bottom Line This stand out bag is completely waterproof, exceptionally durable, and easy to open and close when you needEasy to compress and simple to close, this is a great choice for your day trip essentials and moreFor backpackers and day hikers, this model is a packing cube dry bag hybridThese bags offer reasonable weather resistance at a great price but are not the most durable option
Rating Categories YETI Panga 50 SealLine Discovery... Osprey Ultralight D... Outdoor Products 3-...
Waterproofness (50%)
10.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
Ease of Use (25%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Quality of Construction (15%)
9.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Features (10%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Specs YETI Panga 50 SealLine Discovery... Osprey Ultralight D... Outdoor Products 3-...
Weight 68.8 oz 6.8 oz 2.0 oz 0.7 oz (2L), 1.0 oz (4L), 1.3oz (10L)
Tested Size (liters) 50L 10L 20L 2L, 4L, 10L
Closure Type HydroLok zipper Dual strip roll-top Roll-top Roll-top
Attachment Points 4 handles, 2 removable shoulder straps, 12 attachment points 1 plastic D-ring 1 fabric loop 0
Style Duffel Dual-strip fold down w/ purge valve Roll-top Roll-top, 3-pack
Material Laminated high-density nylon PVC free 12 oz polyurethane film body; 300D 18oz polyurethane-coated polyester bottom 40D ripstop nylon Polyurethane coated ripstop 60% cotton, 40% rayon

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Yeti Panga is 10 inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 23.5 inches long. It's made of high-density, laminated nylon, and when empty and dry, it weighs 5.2 pounds. This burly profile gives it the necessary heft to withstand some serious rough and tumble, and the innovative Hydrolock zippered closure system makes this bag utterly watertight. With removable backpack straps and a convenient duffel shape, this truly is the ultimate dry pack.

Performance Comparison


yeti panga 50 dry bag review - the quickness with which we could open and close this watertight bag...
The quickness with which we could open and close this watertight bag helped push this product to the winning position in terms of overall performance.
Credit: Sara James

Waterproofness


The ability to keep your gear dry is clearly the most important aspect of these products, and the Panga excels in this pivotal metric. It earns an elusive perfect score for its ability to not only prevent a single drop of water from getting inside the bag throughout all of our testing but for being completely airtight as well. To complete our submersion test, a 170-pound man had to sit on the bag to get it underwater, and after floating on it for a while, there was still no water inside. We frequently trusted this bag with our camera gear and didn't worry when we flipped in rapids.


The outer material of the Panga quickly sheds water when it is pulled ashore, and no matter how long you've had it in the water, the fabric never becomes damp. Water absorbent material is one of the primary problems with super-lightweight models, but not so with this watertight monster.

yeti panga 50 dry bag review - the air and watertight nature of the panga made submerging it a...
The air and watertight nature of the Panga made submerging it a serious undertaking.
Credit: Leslie Yedor

Our one complaint about the Panga in this category is that it has a relatively rigid shape and no roll-top closure system; this limits your ability to remove extra air from the internal cavity.

yeti panga 50 dry bag review - this model is completely impenetrable to water.
This model is completely impenetrable to water.
Credit: Leslie Yedor

Ease of Use


The Hydrolok zipper is incredibly straightforward to use, requiring no brain or muscle power. Unlike other styles of closure we tested, user error is not a likely issue when sealing this bag. The quickness with which we could open and close the Panga made it a popular choice for storing things we wanted to access frequently on the water (i.e., cameras or snacks).


A single midline zipper makes packing this bag a bit awkward. The zippered opening doesn't completely expose the inside of the bag, and thus things sometimes have to be pulled in and out to get to what you need. Or, since you can't visualize the entire inside compartment, you have to stick your hand inside and rummage around until you find whatever you are looking for. Fortunately, two zippered mesh pockets are located inside the main body, which are helpful for car keys and other small items.

yeti panga 50 dry bag review - the zip gives a reassuring click when it is fully sealed
The zip gives a reassuring click when it is fully sealed
Credit: Sara James

Handles on each end and removable backpack straps make for convenient and comfortable carrying options. They are also easy to remove if you want a streamlined bag for strapping to your watercraft. While the backpack straps are much appreciated over shorter distances, they aren't true backpacking straps like some of the other models we tested that have padded straps and a waist belt, facilitating longer, more comfortable carries. As simple, wide webbing straps, they help you move a heavy load from the luggage claim to the back of a waiting taxi but dig in uncomfortably after carrying for too long. How far you'll be comfortable carrying it will be even more reduced if you've loaded this 50-liter bag full of heavy equipment. But for short distances, these backpack straps are fantastically convenient.

yeti panga 50 dry bag review - backpack straps make it easy to move from point a to point b.
Backpack straps make it easy to move from point A to point B.
Credit: Leslie Yedor

There are a plethora of secure lashing spots available on this bag, giving you ample opportunity to connect this bag to your raft, kayak, or SUP. Testers also used these to connect water bottles or other items they wanted to keep close at hand.

Quality of Construction


This is another metric where the Panga really stood out from the crowd, earning a rare perfect score. It is made out of super durable laminated high-density nylon, which makes it resistant to scratches, abrasions, and slices. It also has an EVA molded bottom that provides added protection against whatever surface it's placed on or dragged over. The removable backpack straps attach to the main body via metal carabiner-type fasteners that are secured to a thick 2-ply webbing.


It is hard to imagine a more durable dry bag than the Panga. It's perfectly suited to handle the abrasive nature of adventure travels and is the appropriate shape and size for airline travel. It's more rigid design also help in keeping your contents both dry and secure no matter where you go.

yeti panga 50 dry bag review - this model is hardy enough to serve as a seat or a backrest in even...
This model is hardy enough to serve as a seat or a backrest in even the most rough and wild places.
Credit: Leslie Yedor

Features


Once again, we're pretty huge of the Panga. Its most unique feature is the Hydrolock zipper. This heavy-duty zipper is easy to open and close and works remarkably well to seal out water. The zipper locks into place when it is closed, which makes it easy to confirm that it has been completely sealed.


With six nylon webbing lash points, it's easy to attach this model to your boat or board, and the removable backpack straps are comfortable and durable when carrying it with manpower becomes necessary. Inside zippered mesh pockets help make it easier to store and find small items.

yeti panga 50 dry bag review - the zipper locks securely into place making it easy to confirm it...
The zipper locks securely into place making it easy to confirm it has been completely sealed.
Credit: Leslie Yedor

These many thoughtful design features are the main differentiating point between the Panga and other similar dry bags. The vast majority of dry bags out there have no internal organization at all and minimal options for carrying and attaching them, so we really appreciate all the features this bag offers.

Other Sizes
The Panga comes in two additional sizes, 75 and 100 liters. Yeti also makes a Panga Backpack that is 28 liters and has a slightly different design. While the Panga can be used as a backpack, it is primarily a duffel, but the Backpack is more ergonomically designed for regular backpack-style use.

Value


The very steep price tag of the Panga matches the exceptional quality. While it may seem like a hefty fee, it's worth the investment if you're aiming for absolute waterproof protection for your camera gear or other electronics.

yeti panga 50 dry bag review - a high price meets equally high quality and is worth the investment...
A high price meets equally high quality and is worth the investment when you're whole life is stored inside this bag.
Credit: Leslie Yedor

Conclusion


The Yeti Panga is a fantastic dry bag and is perfectly suited for adventure travel to soggy destinations, be they familiar or more remote. We love using it for transporting our camera gear, and its extreme durability gives us confidence in its protecting prowess. From horse packing to airline travel to multi-week adventures on the river, this model is ideal for keeping your gear dry no matter how far the distance you cover.

yeti panga 50 dry bag review - the duffel shape, burly material, and watertight design make this...
The duffel shape, burly material, and watertight design make this the perfect pack for traveling to wet and wild places.
Credit: Leslie Yedor

Sara James and Maggie Nichols

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