Best Waterproof Backpacks

What do you carry in your backpack on a typical day? Your phone, keys, wallet, maybe a kindle or a tablet, a snack? Really, none of these things is something that you would like to get wet. Whether it’s for long journeys, short hikes, or a short commute to work, a waterproof backpack is a great accessory to have. A waterproof backpack can save you from that unexpected afternoon downpour, or even from the splash of the puddle that that car drove too fast in while you were waiting to cross the street. Of course, everyone has their own opinion of which is the best and there are literally millions of choices on the market. To help point you the right direction, we have rounded up the top 10 best that are available today.

Standout Picks

BackSåk Waterproof Dry Backpacks 25
Skog A Kust is a Swedish brand that produces high-quality products for outdoor adventures. The name of the brand is a combination of three Swedish words combined, Forest, Creek, and Coast. No matter what adventure you seek, this bag will fit right in. It is stylish enough to wear in the city and the backcountry.
Amazon Link
$64.95
Overboard Waterproof Pro-Sport Backpack
Those looking for a super-lightweight waterproof backpack to be used for a short period will definitely want to look into the Pro-Sport from OverBoard. The capacity is very small compared to others, but that is only an issue depending on how you use it.
Amazon Link
$132.29
Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack
When Chaos Ready states that this is a waterproof backpack, they mean it is waterproof. This backpack holds up tremendously to torrential rain and water but also has enough capacity and extra compartments to be suitable for most activities.
Amazon Link
$38.99
Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Premium Waterproof Backpack
The Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Premium is your go-to if you are looking for an excellent sports bag that is waterproof. This bag will protect your belongings from water, dirt, and sand while keeping them organized.
Amazon Link
$59.99
The Friendly Swede Waterproof Backpack
Looking past the fact that it can be difficult to view and organize your contents in the main compartment, The Friendly Swede backpack offers terrific resistance to water with its ultra-tough PVC design.
Amazon Link
FE Active - 30L Eco Friendly Waterproof Dry
This is an absolutely perfect backpack for all kinds of activities. Given its rating, it is not without its flaws and shortcomings. However, for what it is, it is a terrific pack that will keep your contents safe from water damage. Though, a quick note, this bag comes in black, even though the photo looks like it is blue.
Amazon Link
$44.99
Mountain Hardwear Unisex  Backpack
While the Mountain Hardwear does not have an enormous capacity, its waterproof design and an excellent amount of weight distribution more than makeup for it. For short trips or adventures, this is a suitable choice.
OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack
Some may wonder how the OutdoorMaster made a list of waterproof backpacks. Yes, the material itself is not waterproof but it does come included with a waterproof rain cover. As this is such a superb backpack, this makes for a great reason to include it.
Amazon Link
School Vaschy Unisex Classic Lightweight Water-resistant Backpack
This backpack will not only hold up against any water and keep your gear dry but also comes at a great price. This bag comes in a variety of styles to ensure that everyone can find the right one for them. If you are in the market for a waterproof backpack, this is definitely one to check out!
Amazon Link
$31.99
Timbuk2 Spire Backpack
This Timmbuk2 Spire is a commuter's best friend. If you hop on your bike to go to work and you are carrying your laptop, cellphone, or other electronics and it's drizzling out, this will be the go-to.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Water Resistance

The clear, number one aspect to analyze for waterproof backpacks is their waterproof capabilities. Just because a backpack is labeled or stated as waterproof, does not mean that every inch of it is indeed impervious to water. To start, make sure you are aware of how you plan to utilize the waterproofness of a backpack. For example, do you simply want your contents protected when it rains or do you want to literally submerge your pack in the water?

For some, they will be designed with water-resistant material to repel as much water as possible. In addition to this, they will include a waterproof rain cover. So, with the cover on, it is essentially waterproof. However, if you submerged it in water it may not necessarily prevent the contents inside from acquiring water damage. Of course, with backpacks constructed from ultra-tough PVC with high-frequency weld stitching, you could essentially get away with submerging it in water. This is because this type of PVC is both waterproof and weatherproof and serves as a barrier for water.

Comfort

It goes without saying that comfort is an essential component when analyzing whether a backpack is sufficient or not. However, because backpacks can sometimes be used for longer periods and hold an immense amount of weight, they need to stay comfortable for extended periods of time. To do so, there are three key areas of comfort that backpacks need to nail. Firstly, there needs to be an ample amount of comfort around your shoulders; which comes from the shoulder straps.

Not only do they need to be padded properly but they also need to be adjustable. Without enough padding, the straps will begin to tear into your shoulders and provide discomfort. The same goes for adjustability as not everyone’s shoulder sizes are the same. Next, the suspension system needs to adequately distribute the weight of the backpack and the back needs to provide support. As most have multiple compartments, it can quickly become a hassle when one side is heavier than another. Also, padding on the back aids in relieving stress. Finally, there should be a decent amount of ventilation. Whether this is through mesh lining or airflow channels, your back needs to breathe.

Capacity

How many days are you planning on using your backpack without the ability to refill or pack it? Once you answer this question you can then determine what capacity limit will suffice for you. Because if you never plan on backpacking for longer than a few days, you will never see the need for a massive amount of space. On the other hand, if you think for one second that you may be interested in week-long trips you may want to shoot for a higher capacity.

As you quickly noticed on this list, great waterproof backpacks are not reliant on their capacity. A 20-liter backpack could be much better than a 75-liter, it just depends on the design and craftsmanship. In general, you can take this into consideration. For backpacks that have 40 or fewer liters, they typically are best suited as daypacks. Anything from 40 to 65 liters would be suitable for weekend trips. Then, once you get in the 65 to 95 liters range you begin to discuss the backpacks that are ideal for week-long trips. As soon as you answer the question above, you will be able to determine an adequate size.

Features

Outside of the main compartment, backpacks need to have additional storage options for you to utilize. If they do not, then there is no way to organize your equipment and you can’t keep essentials within arm’s reach. However, most backpacks will vary from one another in this department. But, for all of them, you need to analyze both the inside and the outside. For the inside, it is convenient when there are additional options for storage outside of the main compartment itself.

For example, this could include small pouches inside for your keys and wallet, zippered pockets inside for easy access to accessories, and sometimes even a separate padded laptop compartment. Now, for the outside, this is all about mesh and zippered pockets. Mesh pockets provide you with a convenient location for your hydration, as you will probably get thirsty on your trip. Other zippered pockets can then be a great location for snacks and any key essential items you have. Finally, with backpacks that come equipped with a waterproof rain cover, you will also sometimes see a dedicated compartment for the cover.

Top Ten Waterproof Backpacks

1. Sak Gear BackSak

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$64.95
BackSåk Waterproof Dry Backpacks 25
Amazon Link

Skog A Kust is a Swedish brand that produces high-quality products for outdoor adventures. The name of the brand is a combination of three Swedish words combined, Forest, Creek, and Coast. No matter what adventure you seek, this bag will fit right in. It is stylish enough to wear in the city and the backcountry.

Read more

Water Resistance
Made out of an incredibly durable 500 Denier PVC, this bag can hold up to just about anything. To make it even more waterproof, the seams are welded and then top rolls down to keep out rain or snow. Even though this material is tough, it still has a soft feel and is easy to fold. Skog A Kust claims that the bag can withstand a brief swim but should not be submerged for long periods of time. It should also be noted that the front exterior pocket is only splash-proof, not waterproof.

Comfort
Unless you back this backpack full of rocks, this is a comfortable bag. The back of the bag is padded with EVA foam and the padded shoulder straps are adjustable. The entire bag weighs only 2.25 pounds and also has a sternum clip to take some of the weight off of your shoulders.

Capacity
The BackSak is available in two different sizes. There is a 25-liter version that is ideal for short trips, people with small frames, or children. The 35-liter version is ideal for an over-packer, a long weekend, or a person with a larger frame.

Features
This bag can be securely closed in two different ways. You can fold down the top and then insert the buckle pieces into their partner piece on the sides for a more traditional, compressed look, or you can roll down the top and attach the two buckle pieces together and form a handle. Either way, the bag is equally as waterproof.

As for pockets, there is one large exterior pocket, for easily accessible items, and an interior zippered pocket, along with mesh cubbies and a key clip. As mentioned, the exterior pocket is not fully waterproof. Additionally, there is a D-ring on each side of the bag to easily attach a water bottle or other gear.

Overall
This bag will keep your belongings safe, is easy to use, and is stylish. It is available in a wide range of colors and in two sizes. As long as you’re not looking for an underwater scuba diving companion, this bag is a great contender!

Amazon Link
$64.95

2. Overboard Pro-Sport

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$132.29
Overboard Waterproof Pro-Sport Backpack
Amazon Link

Those looking for a super-lightweight waterproof backpack to be used for a short period will definitely want to look into the Pro-Sport from OverBoard. The capacity is very small compared to others, but that is only an issue depending on how you use it.

Read more

Water Resistance
With a fully welded seamless construction of PVC and 600D nylon fabric, this is truly waterproof and you can even set the backpack in a puddle and the water will not seep through.

Comfort
Featuring padded shoulder straps and a padded back and lumbar system, you could not ask for more comfort. In addition, the back panel is designed in a way to maximize airflow.

Capacity
This makes or breaks this pack as it is only designed to hold 20 liters. Thus, do not expect to fill a week’s worth of contents in this pack.

Features
Included on the outside is a zippered mesh pocket perfect for accessories and hydration and an elasticized mesh pocket. Inside, there is an additional pocket with zipper closure.

While not loaded with color options, there are three to choose from including blue, yellow and black.

Overall
Again, if you can hold up with only 20 liters worth of space then you should jump all over this pack. The quality and makeup are truly top-notch and your contents will be safe inside at all times.

Amazon Link
$132.29

3. Chaos Ready

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$38.99
Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack
Amazon Link

When Chaos Ready states that this is a waterproof backpack, they mean it is waterproof. This backpack holds up tremendously to torrential rain and water but also has enough capacity and extra compartments to be suitable for most activities.

Read more

Water Resistance
The Class 3 main compartment is 100 percent waterproof and will is also resistant to dust, sand, and dirt. It is suitable for quick submersion underwater and will float if safely dropped. Overall, it is constructed from heavy-duty 500 PVC with high-frequency welded seams.

Comfort
To provide you with a superb amount of comfort, the shoulder straps are padded. Although, if you pack this as full as it can go the straps can begin to cause pain to your shoulders and body.

Capacity
Even though there is not a ton of room in the interior, with only 22-liters of space, all contents will be sealed with the fold system.

Features
There are mesh pockets on the side and a front pocket for easy access. However, it is worth noting that the front pocket is not 100 percent waterproof. Thus, it may be ideal to only place waterproof items inside if you plan on submerging the pack or are walking in the rain.

Thankfully, although gray is the only option, the lone color is ideal for anyone and will match essentially everything.

Overall
As far as using this for extended trips, you may want to look in a different direction. But, if you are looking for a backpack that will hold up perfectly to mother nature’s fits then this is undoubtedly the perfect choice.

Amazon Link
$38.99

4. Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Premium

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$59.99
Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Premium Waterproof Backpack
Amazon Link

The Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Premium is your go-to if you are looking for an excellent sports bag that is waterproof. This bag will protect your belongings from water, dirt, and sand while keeping them organized.

Read more

Water Resistance
The Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Premium is a great bag for sports goers and commuters alike. It is durable and the construction of it makes it waterproof. It is 100 percent waterproof and comes with a roll-top to ensure that your belongings are fully secure and dry.

Comfort
Not only is this bag highly functional for weather protection, but it is also very comfortable. It features padded shoulder straps and lumbar support. Not to mention, there is a lot of airflow and ventilation offered when you wear this bag, so you won't feel the heat of developing sweat on your lower or mid-back.

Capacity
This bag can hold up to 25 liters. This would be an ideal bag for short trips or day hikes.

Features
There is one large zippered pocket inside that roughly measures 7” wide and 10” deep. More pockets definitely would have been a plus, but in this case, you can create your own organization using packing cubes or ziplock bags.

As for the style, this bag is available in three different colors, including red, blue, and yellow. For safety, there are reflective patches on the backpack itself and the straps.

Overall
If you need a bag that is priced very reasonable, is durable, and is waterproof, this is a fantastic option. And it comes in various fun colors to boot.

Amazon Link
$59.99

5. Friendly Swede Dry Bag

Where to buy
Amazon Link
The Friendly Swede Waterproof Backpack
Amazon Link

Looking past the fact that it can be difficult to view and organize your contents in the main compartment, The Friendly Swede backpack offers terrific resistance to water with its ultra-tough PVC design.

Read more

Water Resistance
Indeed, an ultra-tough PVC and high-frequency glue welded seams provide a superb amount of protection to water. It even manages to keep your contents dry while running or hiking in the rain.

Comfort
This pack is designed to be as steady and sturdy as possible to provide the most practical experience possible. In addition, it features a fully adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist strap to adapt for multiple people.

Capacity
Not a bad capacity at all with a maximum output of 33 liters.

Features
On the outside of the backpack, there are dual mesh pockets that provide a perfect location to store your hydration. Inside, as a bonus, there is also a separate padded sleeve that will adequately hold your laptop.

While there is only one color option, the dark gray is a nice touch for everyone.

Overall
It may not be the most impressive in terms of storage, but its waterproof capabilities more than makeup for it. Simply put, this pack is built to withstand all the fits of Mother Nature.

Amazon Link

6. FE Active Waterproof

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$44.99
FE Active - 30L Eco Friendly Waterproof Dry
Amazon Link

This is an absolutely perfect backpack for all kinds of activities. Given its rating, it is not without its flaws and shortcomings. However, for what it is, it is a terrific pack that will keep your contents safe from water damage. Though, a quick note, this bag comes in black, even though the photo looks like it is blue.

Read more

Water Resistance
Being carefully constructed with thick marine grade 5mm eco-friendly PVC and high-frequency weld stitching, FE Active built this pack to withstand against the most rugged outdoor activities. In rainstorms, it will also aid in preventing water from penetrating the pack.

Comfort
Comfort is paramount here with both padded shoulder straps for pain relief and a mesh lining for a better amount of ventilation and airflow. Plus, there is also built-in padded support for your back to increase the comfort.

Capacity
If you stuff this pack as full as it can go, you can expect around 30 liters of room.

Features
For quick access to your key essentials or hydration packs, there is mesh netting on the sides. However, also included is a corded exterior that can hold equipment such as yoga mats and camping gear.

The lone color option, while it looks like blue, is in fact black. Black is not a bad color, but it does absorb heat from the sun and if you backpack on blistering hot days, this can quickly become a hindrance.

Overall
This is just another high-quality backpack, but one that may not necessarily take your breath away. Not that this is a bad thing as it accomplishes what it was set out to do with flying colors.

Amazon Link
$44.99

7. Mountain Hardwear Scrambler

Mountain Hardwear Unisex  Backpack
Amazon Link

While the Mountain Hardwear does not have an enormous capacity, its waterproof design and an excellent amount of weight distribution more than makeup for it. For short trips or adventures, this is a suitable choice.

Read more

Water Resistance
Using Outdry, this backpack is able to utilize a one-piece construction to maintain a waterproof and breathable barrier. All the contents of the main compartment will be safe from the rain as it is 100 percent waterproof.

Comfort
What really stands out here is the hardware suspension as this conforms the pack to fit perfectly on your back. This suspension will evenly distribute the weight in the pack to prevent a lopsided feel.

Capacity
With a capacity size of 30 liters, this is ideal for short trips and over-night stays. For extended trips, the interior may not be large enough.

Features
Conveniently integrated underneath the top pocket is a hydration sleeve for you to place any liquids that you have. In addition, there are also two deep side pockets that can hold any essentials that you want within arm’s reach.

The choice is yours from either a black, shark, dark compass, stone green or fresh bud color scheme.

Overall
For reliability and comfortability, the Scrambler is the way to go. Although the capacity may not be suitable for everyone, it should not take away from the sheer amount of brilliance in the design.

8. Outdoor Master Hiking

Where to buy
Amazon Link
OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack
Amazon Link

Some may wonder how the OutdoorMaster made a list of waterproof backpacks. Yes, the material itself is not waterproof but it does come included with a waterproof rain cover. As this is such a superb backpack, this makes for a great reason to include it.

Read more

Water Resistance
While the backpack is constructed from a durable and lightweight nylon fabric, the rain cover is what provides the waterproofness. When the rain is fast approaching, simply cover your pack with the cover and traverse along with no worries.

Comfort
The lightweight materials aid in comfort and the padded adjustable shoulder straps provide a customizable fit. There is also enough mesh to provide a sufficient amount of air and breathability.

Capacity
A liter capacity of 50 makes this an ideal choice for short and long trips alike.

Features
Included directly on the backpack are a dedicated compartment for the included waterproof rain cover, excess room for all your equipment and a padded laptop compartment.

Every single person, both male, and female should find a color for them with choices for black and gray, blue and gray, green and gray, orange and gray, red and gray, and purple and gray.

Overall
One key design feature to note is that this ideally fits women and smaller men. While it still will work for taller people, it can be difficult to align the waist-belt with your hips. Past this, everything else will provide the utmost pleasure.

Amazon Link

9. Vaschy Classic

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$31.99
School Vaschy Unisex Classic Lightweight Water-resistant Backpack
Amazon Link

This backpack will not only hold up against any water and keep your gear dry but also comes at a great price. This bag comes in a variety of styles to ensure that everyone can find the right one for them. If you are in the market for a waterproof backpack, this is definitely one to check out!

Read more

Water Resistance
To keep all your valuables dry, even in the rain, the material utilized is highly-resistant to water at low levels. If you are looking to submerge this bag in water than it will not hold up, but for daily use and downpours this is a great bag.

Comfort
The straps on this bag are reinforced and padded to ensure they are comfortable. The straps are also adjustable to ensure you find the perfect fit for you.

Capacity
This backpack is not as big as some of the others on the list but for a small day-trip its perfect. It is 17 liters.

Features
This backpack is fairly basic in design but has a laptop pocket and an external front pocket for smaller gear.

A variety of color and style options are available.

Overall
This bag is best as a small commuter bag. With only 17 liters, it has enough space to hold your necessities and maybe a jacket. However, this wouldn't be an ideal choice for a long hike.

Amazon Link
$31.99

10. Timbuk2 Spire

Where to buy
Timbuk2 Spire Backpack
Amazon Link

This Timmbuk2 Spire is a commuter's best friend. If you hop on your bike to go to work and you are carrying your laptop, cellphone, or other electronics and it's drizzling out, this will be the go-to.

Read more

Water Resistance
This bag is made of a durable 63D Nylon Canvas that will keep your belongings protected from the rain, so no need to worry when you head out with precious belongings and you sense a drizzle brewing. Along with the waterproof material, your belongings are further protected at the top with a zipper and a waterproof roll-top.

Comfort
To get the perfect fit, the Spire has outfitted this backpack with fully adjustable straps and a removable sternum strap. The back panel is also specially designed to create great ventilation.

Capacity
This backpack is available in 30 liters. This is a versatile size that is great for a daypack or functional for a light packer as well.

Features
This bag is notable in the fact that it was designed specifically for Apple, so the inside is custom fit for your Mac Book. It is also known for its organizational abilities.

Overall
If you are looking for a waterproof bag that will keep your Mac Book and iPad safe, as well as store other items safely from the rain, this is your bag.

Sources

  1. Clementine Rogers , How to Go Backpacking in the Rain,
  2. Sarah Schlichter, The 11 Best Waterproof Backpacks for Travel, Travel Site
  3. Quinn, The 12 Best Waterproof Backpacks, Buying Guide