Heading out on the water when you have travelled by car creates the problem of where to store your keys safely.
Leaving them unattended is a surefire way of getting them and your car stolen, but on the other hand water and electronic key fobs are not a good mix. Unless you have a mate who is prepared to sit around holding the key while you have all the fun, you need to come up with a better plan.
So, what’s the solution? In the old days, you could leave an electronic fob in the car while you take a spare cut key out with you. Unfortunately, many key fobs these days are far too technical with keyless entry and should never be left in an unattended vehicle.
I’ve just recently been on a surf trip to Fuerteventura and I can tell you having a waterproof pouch was so handy. I didn’t know what type of key our hire car would have, so went with the safe Aquapac option. The key fob was very wide and flat, so possibly the Kguard wouldn’t work, but thankfully the fob pulled apart to reveal the old school key option!
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Waterproof Key Storage Options
Choosing the right storage will depend upon what you are planning on doing, since different options suit different activities. Remember it’s not just about keeping your key dry, it’s also about making sure it won’t get lost when you are out on the water.
Swimmers can wear a waterproof bumbag around their waist, freeing up their arms and legs to ensure they have full movement. If you are wearing a wetsuit, a pouch like the Aquapac or Northcore will be great.
There are plenty of options for paddleboarders as they are less restricted, so they can secure waterproof gear to their board or buoyancy aid for their trips – You can choose pretty much any style you want.
Surfers, Windsurfers and Kitesurfers
You usually need a more specialised option for these activities. If you are wanting to surf in just boardshorts, you need the smallest lightweight option like the Kguard. Other keyholders like the Aquapac are designed to slip inside the wetsuit, which can go either under your chest zip or at the back of your suit.
It is essential to make sure your key will be secure when exposed to the waves and salt water. Duck dives and wipeouts are sure ways to increase the risk of losing your possessions even if they stay dry.
The Best Waterproof Key Holders and Pouches
It’s important to ensure that a product has a good reputation for being waterproof and secure for what you need.
I’ve taken a closer look at 6 products that can help keep your keys dry.
Aquapac is a world leader in the production of waterproof bags and cases. Since 1983 they have been designing innovative products that protect different gear in a variety of situations.
The Keymaster is small but big enough for a key fob and some cash or a credit card. It consists of a clear plastic pouch that is easy to use with a secure closure system. The hard plastic closure strip comes with two clips that keep it secure. There is also a handy lanyard.
The pouch is small enough to be stuffed inside your wetsuit and even when folded it seems to hold up to the water even when fully submerged. The plastic does feel flimsy, but the majority of users give this product a thumbs up for remaining waterproof. If you don’t want to stuff it down your wetsuit you do have the option to wear it as a lanyard which would be sufficient for many gentler water sports.
I think this one is an ideal mid-priced option for surfing in a wetsuit or paddleboarding.
· Small size
· Can fit a credit card
· Has a lanyard
· The plastic locking mechanism has been known to break, but very rarely (happened to my dad once whilst windsurfing)
Red Original Waterproof Pouch
From £64.95 – View on Red Original
Red is a popular British brand from Devon that started over 10 years ago to find solutions for paddleboarding having spotted a gap in the market for quality paddleboard accessories.
This larger pouch has been designed to hold all your valuables in one place so it’s big enough for your key fob, money and phone. What makes this stand out is the 100% watertight guarantee thanks to the patented Aquaseal zipper and welded seams.
As well as keeping things dry it comes with a Velcro attachment to secure it to your paddleboard or clothing. Easy access also means you can get to your valuables whenever you need to.
This premium product is perfect for paddleboarders who want to head out on a trip knowing they can rely on performance even when submerged. More of an investment than budget options but if you have the capacity for a larger bag, you will be able to relax knowing your things are safe and dry.
· Bigger size
· Can fit a mobile phone
· Patented technology
· Secured by Velcro
· Too big for surfing
Northcore waterproof key and phone case
From £8.50 – View on Wetsuit Outlet
Northcore is a British brand based in Lincolnshire that specialises in producing a range of outdoor accessories. Their foundations are built on providing products that withstand and survive any weather and conditions.
The waterproof key and phone case is big enough to hold a mobile and key fob. Northcore has improved this product with extra strong PVC and a double seal that has Velcro as a third layer of protection. It has been tested to a depth of 10m so it should withstand being fully submerged.
You want anything that is protecting your mobile to be reliable so this should be fine to use for your car key fob. Despite the ease of fastening, it seems to provide a very secure seal that will keep electronic keys safe. The PVC allows you to use the mobile without opening and this means you can take a photo while you are out on the water.
A great budget option that can be secured inside a wetsuit or strapped to your arm with a Velcro armband, making it a good choice for surfers, windsurfers or kite surfers. At this price level, it’s worth regular inspections to make sure the seal does not deteriorate.
· Great value
· Can fit a mobile
· Innovative secure seal
· Landlord or armband option
· Will need regular inspections
Kguard Waterproof Bag
Kguard is a brand that came up with the idea of an innovative bag for keeping a key fob dry in the water. Based in Spain they set up the brand in 2020 to launch this new design.
The Kguard waterproof bag is an unusual design as it is made from silicone in a bright turquoise colour and the closure is a fold and draw tie and toggle. This might not sound secure, but it has been tested under lab conditions where it earned an IX8 approval. This means it should have water resistance to the highest level.
This bag is perfect for holding just a key fob and the neat size means it can be popped inside a wetsuit very easily. It even has 2 different length cords to help you secure it in place to an appropriate zipper.
If you are looking for something reliable to hold just your car key and you want it to be unobtrusive then this is the one for you. Silicone is a strong material, and this mid-priced bag should last for many trips.
· Tiny size so great for surfing
· Extremely portable and lightweight
· IX8 Approval
· Only just big enough for a normal key fob
Drybags Waterproof Bum Bag
From £12.99 – View on Drybags
Drybags handpicks the best dry bag solutions. The staff understand the requirements of outdoor enthusiasts as they test the products themselves on their adventures.
The waterproof bum bag is the ideal size for popping personal belongings in, including a phone, keys and even a passport and wallet. This larger option is a great one-piece storage solution for those who are out on the water.
It is a lightweight design that features a triple seal to keep things dry. It’s easy to use as you just squeeze out the air then pinch closed the three seals before rolling and securing the flap. Attached to an adjustable clip belt, you can wear the bag at the front or back, for minimal obstruction when you are in the water.
This drybag is the ideal economical choice for someone who wants one bag for all their things. Its great for swimming, kayaking, or paddleboarding.
· Larger size
· Can fit a passport and phone
· Adjustable clip belt
Ocean and Earth Waterproof Key Pouch
Ocean and Earth are based in Australia and are one of the leading suppliers of surf gear and accessories.
This small plastic waterproof pouch is designed with a snap and shut fastening and a lanyard. Perfectly sized for a key, credit card and some coins. It is lightweight and easy to use with heat-welded PVC construction for extra security.
This is a budget option that is better designed for less adrenaline style sports as it might not hold up to the force of waves or regular submerging. It’s a great size for boardshort pockets and would be ideal for paddle boarding or swimming. With no guarantee, I’m not sure I would risk an electronic fob in this over the Aquapac or Northcore, but it would be fine for other keys.
· Small size
· Can fit a credit card
· No locking mechanism means less likely to go wrong
· No guarantee
About the author
Watersports Pro is managed by Ollie, who has been in the industry since 2007. A paddleboard and advanced windsurfing instructor, Ollie has travelled the world teaching these sports.
Now based on the South Coast of England, he shares his experience and knowledge on watersportspro.co.uk.