A DROP OF DRY: No matter how many totes, pouches and bags debut each season marketed as improvements on previous incarnations, few are all that innovative; even fewer impress as really neat, new and (most important) useful travel storage concepts. What a pleasure, then, to welcome the Droplet XL Dry Bag, a multi-talented stash-and-carry solution from the folks at Matador. Inside what looks like a little rubber buoy is a big, featherweight 20-liter dry bag that unfurls from a slot in its hollow silicone host. The 22-inch by 15-inch by 6-inch-deep waterproof bag, made of the same nylon material as ultralight tents, seals tight with three taut folds of the roll-top, clip-buckle closure, which forms a convenient carry handle. The bag is great for the beach, boating or anywhere you want to protect clothing, magazines, cameras or other gear from wet conditions — a rain shower comes to mind. The empty silicone housing can be used as a handy holding spot for keys and other small items — though the entry/exit slot doesn’t close, so won’t keep the elements out. When not in use, the Dry Bag stuffs easily back into its soft silicone home, which has an integrated aluminum carabiner for clipping to a backpack or belt loop, or doubling as a key holder. For more minimal storage needs, Matador makes the Droplet Wet Bag, a 3-liter water-resistant bag (with a less water-tight drawstring closure) that is housed inside a diminutive silicone housing, also with an integrated carabiner. While both models will keep contents dry in a dousing or downpour, neither is rated submersible.
Matador Droplet XL 20-liter Dry Bag is about $40; 3-liter Droplet Wet Bag, $15; at www.matadorup.com.