Best Waterproof Backpacks

Waterproof Backpacks - Reviews & Guides For 2024

Our Top Waterproof Backpacks

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Waterproof Backpacks buying guide

A backpack is an indispensable need for a hike. Whether you are planning for a small picnic or long expeditions, these bags come handy in every situation. But be aware. The regular bags can bow down against rains and water damage.

With the advancement of technology, waterproof backpacks are here to provide a simple solution to this problem. These bags are capable enough to protect your essential items from any water damage. You can rely on these bags even in the extreme rainy seasons.

However, you have to consider different factors that define its usability and performance. Referring to a buying guide provides all the necessary information on these factors. This allows you to funnel down the best product quickly.

Also, you can find answers to different questions in the guide. So without any further delay, let us start by getting into a brief introduction to the product.

What do you mean by waterproof backpacks? Why is it important to have it?

A waterproof backpack comes without any water leakages, so you can submerge them underwater completely. These backpacks are not only protected from rain and water, but also they work effectively in extreme weather conditions.

If you are interested in outdoor activities like kayaking or camping, you must need a waterproof backpack. You may find it less important initially, but when you are stuck into a rainstorm, you will appreciate how essential it is for you. It will also be beneficial for long distances bike journeys.

A 100% waterproof backpack can float on water. So most of the bags come up with durable zippers and heavy-duty fabric. It means you can easily carry your essential gear and camera in this backpack for outdoor journeys. You can also have some backpack models designed with an external pocket to store a helmet and other essential items.

Also, some backpacks have two different parts. The outer part is water-resistant, and the inner part is a waterproof dry tube which helps you keep the clean clothes separate from dirty ones easily.

You may wonder why you need a waterproof backpack for your outdoor adventures. But if you are experienced, you will know that investing for a 100% waterproof backpack will make you ready for outdoor activities. It will also keep your bag safe even inside the tents.

Why read a buying guide before selecting a waterproof backpack?

With a plethora of brands advertising their products in the market, you can blindly invest your money into any one of them. You have to look into different features to strike down the best one.

A buying guide provides you with sufficient knowledge of all the characteristics of the product. With such a massive pool of information, you can quickly evaluate all the products and sort out the best one according to your requirements.

Let us now start with this comprehensive guide to make an informed decision.

Water-resistant vs. Waterproof

Many people think that water-resistant and waterproof are the same thing, but it is vital to understand they are different in several ways.

Durable materials like Cordura nylon or strong Polyester are used to make the water-resistant backpacks. If you are traveling during the light shower, you can easily choose a water-resistant pack. It helps to prevent the water from soaking inside the bag.

But when it comes to heavy rains, water-resistant backpacks are not able to withstand that completely. These backpacks are usually designed with several smaller pockets besides a larger compartment.

However, if you are planning for hiking in a remote place, you should go for a waterproof backpack instead of the water-resistant model. Waterproof backpacks work in a significant way to keep your gear dry and protected from the rain.

Therefore, you can use them while walking through a heavy rainstorm or going river rafting without any hassles. Thus it is easier for you to carry and maintain your dive computer and diving cameras effortlessly.

Things to deem about while selecting an appropriate Waterproof Backpacks


The first and foremost thing you should consider while choosing the waterproof backpacks is the capacity. You must decide why you need the pack in advance, so you are able to select the backpack's size accordingly.

If your primary purpose is to use the backpacks for daily activities, you should look for the model having a smaller capacity. This type of bag is designed with some additional storage compartments where you can keep your essential stuff organized for easy accessibility.

But when your plan is to take the waterproof backpack for hiking, you should select a model that has a larger capacity. In the case of some extended trips, you will find it advantageous to have a large capacity backpack as it is able to carry all the essential equipment and gear hassle-free.

One thing you should always remember that each and every part of the backpack does not come water-resistant, so you must keep your gear accordingly. Generally, the larger compartment of the pack is made waterproof, so it will be better to keep your essential stuff in this large part instead of the smaller pockets.


When you are about to buy a waterproof backpack, you should check the color of the bag beforehand. Usually, most of the travelers are likely to have a black or green color.

But color is all about your personal preference, so you can stick to the fashionable colors or get something else according to your choice.

You should be aware of a few tricks that come handy while picking up a color for your backpack.

When you plan to travel through a tropical region, you should escape deep and dark colors to reduce the heat. Dark colors are prone to attract sunlight, which can heat the technical equipment, including laptops, cameras, etc. very quickly.

Brighter colors come with better visibility. So if you choose a fluorescent color, it will be visible from far away, which is an excellent plus for outdoor journeys. The bright and vibrant color of the backpack will help you to trace it quickly in case you forget where you have kept your bags.


  1. Cotton canvas

Canvas is a material that is obtained from rough weave cotton. It is very lightweight and comes with a combination of both natural and synthetic materials. It is very useful to increase the waterproof properties of the backpacks. Also, you can find this material in a pocket-friendly range.

  1. Pack-cloth Nylon

This is one of the very common backpack materials which comes shiny and slick in nature. It can enhance the waterproof capabilities of the waterproof backpacks.

  1. Corduba

Corduba is a particular type of Nylon fabric material that has air in it. Therefore, this material is very lightweight, and it can protect the backpacks from abrasion, which is why many models are designed with this material.

  1. Rip-stop Nylon

If you want your backpack to last long with additional protection, you can go for this material. It is lighter in weight and increases the waterproof capabilities significantly.

  1. Polyester

Polyester is better than nylon in terms of UV ray protection. It is highly resistant to UV rays and provides maximum strength to the backpacks. Besides, Polyester is cheaper than many other materials so you can afford it easily.


Another critical factor that you should consider is the size of the waterproof backpacks. It is a no brainer that you should select a size that is able to carry all your necessary items conveniently.

The primary purpose of using a waterproof backpack is to keep and protect all the essential gear during your outdoor activities. Hence, only the right size bag can serve this purpose properly.

The bag volume is measured in liters, so you should check it in advance from the manufacturing guide available with your waterproof backpack.

A large size backpack is a good option for a long trip. For longer hikes or extended traveling, bigger bags will be very convenient to use. If you want to go for a one-day hike or a short trip you can choose the smaller size without any doubt.


You should never ignore the ergonomics of the waterproof backpacks. For sure, you do not want to have a pack that feels heavy on your shoulder and back. If you want to avoid the constant back pain during your adventures, it will be wise to consider all the essential features regarding comfort.

The first thing you should look for is the padded straps. These straps are required to keep the backpack aligned with the body. It helps to transfer the weight to the ground without any efforts.

If you buy a backpack that is designed with the combination of shoulder, waist, lower back straps, it can provide the highest support to relieve your pain from the back and shoulders.

Additionally, lightweight backpacks enhance comfort. A pack equipped with a metal mesh backrest can help in ventilation so that you can use the bag without any discomfort.

You should always remember that making compromises with the ergonomics can reduce your comfort and safety, so always choose the features accordingly.


When you have a comfortable backpack, you will use it for long years without any replacement. Otherwise, it will be just for one-time use. The comfort of the bag ensures that you will have less strain on your back and shoulders, which is very crucial for enjoyable outdoor activities.

The comfort of the backpacks is closely related to the frame design, so you can test this backpack before taking it to your house.

You should look for a waterproof backpack that is designed with comfortable padding and foam. It helps to distribute the weight properly so you will be able to carry all your essential belongings in the backpack hassle-free.

You should also focus on the weight of your backpack. Lightweight backpacks are always an excellent choice for hiking. You can carry more gear in the lightweight bag while traveling to the mountain in order to have a journey without any discomfort.


The waterproof backpack you are choosing needs to be versatile in nature. When you decide to take a trip to a particular area, you must be aware of the weather conditions so that you can choose your waterproof backpack according to the weather.

For wet climates, you can go for waterproof backpacks that are covered as well as sealed appropriately.

When you are traveling to hot countries or beaches, you will need a waterproof backpack designed with some extra pockets where you can keep essential items organized within your reach.

Therefore, you should pay attention to your waterproof backpack's versatility to make sure you can use it conveniently throughout your journey.


When you invest in your waterproof backpack, you will not be ready to compromise with the features you intend for. Before that, you have to get it clear why you exactly need the backpack.

Your preferred activities have a significant role in determining the performance of the pack.

It will be unreasonable to look for the general fitter for a waterproof backpack. Needless to mention that different manufacturers design the packs depending on the customer's preferences.

It means you will find different types of backpacks that can have a wide variety of uses, including fishing, hiking, kayaking, traveling, rafting, cycling, and more.

If you can define the purpose successfully, it will not be complicated to get the waterproof backpack matching your choices.


The arrangement of pockets and compartments of the waterproof backpacks also has a significant role that you should not overlook.

While you are on a trip, you should keep your essential belongings within reach of your hands to easily access them whenever needed.

If you pick up a waterproof backpack designed with more pockets, it will allow you to keep your stuff in the right place, which will save your time effectively.

It is recommended not to choose a backpack which does not offer more compartments for longer trips. Keep it inside your head that when you are hiking on a mountain or camping, you will be in a remote place, and then only keeping your equipment organized smartly can help you in the best possible way.


Last but not least, the cost of your waterproof backpack does matter. You will be spending your money on the best quality backpack with a view to getting the true value for money. With a higher price range, you will get to have a better quality backpack packed with all the essential features.

However, you should decide first how often you are going to use your waterproof backpack. If you are looking for a waterproof bag for casual purposes, you may choose not to go for something costlier. You can buy a good quality backpack within $50 that will meet up all your basic requirements.

For extended journeys or adventurous outdoor activities, you will need some additional features. Accordingly, you will need to invest some more money for it. The higher price of the backpacks ensures that you are about to get higher durability and higher longevity.

It is suggested not to set a too high or too low price and try to find a bag with all the integral features without having a hole in your pocket.

Tips to consider while using a waterproof backpack

Before you start using your waterproof bag, you should know about the additional tips that are very effective in maintaining the waterproof backpacks properly.

When it comes to safety, you should better look for shoulder straps, waist straps, and lumbar straps so that the weight can be distributed precisely. Moreover, padded straps are also very comfortable to use for long journeys.

Although the backpacks are built waterproof, you can apply a waterproof spray along with the gear to add an extra waterproof layer for better protection.

Sometimes, some of the compartments do not come with waterproof features, which means you may need some waterproof gear additionally. You can use a waterproof case where it will be easier to keep electronic devices, keys, relevant documents, etc.

Some people are likely to carry Ziplocs, water bottles, dry bags for safety. You must lubricate the zippers frequently so that they can work smoothly.

You should use the backpack carefully to increase its longevity. Also, it will be wise to clean and wash your waterproof bag after regular intervals. You can go for light cleaning after every time you use the backpack, and deep cleaning is required after a certain break.

You should never keep your backpack somewhere, which can cause damage to the coating. On the other hand, carrying some spare parts like zippers will be very useful for emergencies.

How to clean and store a waterproof backpack

You must clean and store your waterproof bag in the correct way as it determines the lifespan of the pack besides functionality. There are some simple factors that you should focus on, and it will help you to achieve your goal in an effective manner.

The rule of "20/80"

When it comes to washing the waterproof backpacks, most of the backpackers are likely to follow the 20/80 rule, which indicates that after completing 20 washes, the packs can retain the water repellency up to 80%. If you follow the right process, it will not be challenging to get your job done quickly.

Before washing

You should never go beyond the manufacturing instructions related to cleaning. You can either hand wash your backpacks or go for machine washing. That entirely depends on the size of the bag. Check the pockets properly and remove the straps for handwash.

If your backpack is designed with metal frames, you must remove them before washing. Furthermore, you can use a vacuum cleaner or a regular brush to remove the dirt and debris from outside and inside of the backpack.

There might be any strain or spills which cause mold and fungus, so you should clean them by using detergents. It will also help you to avoid bugs.

During washing

For light cleaning, a mild soap, a regular brush, and some lukewarm water will be enough. Gently scrub the outer part of the backpack with a sponge. You can do the same for the interiors as well.

Deep cleaning is a little more tedious than light cleaning. You will need to fill a large bathtub with lukewarm water. Always use a non-detergent soap. In case you are using detergent, make sure that that does not contain any dyes or chemicals.

Keep in mind that regular detergent can harm the build material of your waterproof backpack, which you never intended. You should clean the stomach straps properly to remove the grime.

Clean the zippers occasionally but keep them lubricated. You should not scrub hard. Otherwise, it will damage the protective coating.


After cleaning, you should dry the whole backpack. Do not use the dryer to dry it. Also, do not put the wet packs under direct sunlight to keep it protected from the UV rays.

Better hang your backpack in a well-ventilated place. The pack needs to be dry thoroughly prior to storing it. Otherwise, the moisture will help to grow molds and may cause odor.

You can use the rucksack liner to maintain the backpack effectively. It will be better If you wipe both sides of the pack regularly so that it will prevent the gathering of dirt and debris. Also, do not leave your bag in bushes or thrones when you are hiking.


  1. What should I opt for water-resistant or waterproof bags?

Basically, it depends on your own preference. All you need to know is that the water-resistant property will only save the items in mild rains. In contrast, the waterproof feature will keep your supplies safe even if your bag falls in different water bodies.

  1. Should I clean my waterproof pack? Can it damage anything?

Cleaning the bag properly will enhance its life. However, it would be best if you did not do it often as it can damage the fabric and waterproofing membrane.

  1. I am looking for a budget-friendly backpack. Which material should I opt for?

Polyester and cotton canvas both possess fantastic waterproofing capabilities and come with a low price tag that will fit your budget easily.

  1. Are fully or 100% waterproof bags worth their name and price?

Yes, these bags can save your supplies even in the harshest conditions. They are fully capable of protecting your essentials and return the value of the many invested in them.

Summing up

Waterproof backpacks provide a simple yet efficient way to protect your gear and equipment from any water damage. With all this information, all you have to do is arm yourself with an elite bag, and you are all set to carry your essential items safely.

In this guide, we have presented all the pointers to look out when purchasing the product. Go through them and make an informed decision. / - © Copyright 2020