12 Best Waterproof Backpacks in 2018
Backpacks can come in many forms. There are bags that are built for school use and others that can handle the trail. Let’s not forget all those casual packs as well including ones geared for travel and business. Yes, there are dozens of variations of the classic backpack although one feature should be common across the board – but it’s not.
That feature is water resistance or waterproofing and there is a huge difference between the two. Nobody wants to have their belongings get drenched in a downpour as that kind of defeats the purpose of the pack. As you might suspect, some bags claim they are “waterproof” but you will quickly find out they are not when you pull out your soaked gear.
This led us on a quest to find the best waterproof backpack on the market. After a considerable amount of digging, we have compiled a list of 12 backpacks that made the cut. Some are far more waterproof than others, but all will offer up a measure of resistance from the elements if you happen to get stuck out in a downpour.
Top 12 Waterproof Backpacks Comparison Table
|Design||Name||Capacity||Multiple Colors||Rating (1-5)|
|1. BackSak Waterproof Backpack: 500D PVC, 35L||35 Liters||Yes||4.8|
|2. FE Active – 30L Eco Friendly Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack Great||30 Liters||No||4.6|
|3. Aqua Quest Stylin 30L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack||30 Liters||Yes||4.6|
|4. Outdoor Foundry 100% Waterproof Backpack||35 Liters||No||4.5|
|5. Rockagator GEN3 RG-25 40 Liter Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack||40 Liters||Yes||4.5|
|6. Aqua Quest Sport 30L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack||30 Liters||Yes||4.5|
|7. HEXIN Rated 20L/33L Lightweight Waterproof Foldable Backpack||Varies||Yes||4.4|
|8. Voli Dry Bag Backpack 20L||20 Liters||Yes||4.4|
|9. Aqua Quest Sport 25L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack||25 Liters||Yes||4.3|
|10. Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack||22 Liters||No||4.2|
|11. Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Premium Waterproof Backpack Dry Bag||25 Liters||Yes||4.1|
|12. Koolerpek Waterproof Business Backpack for Laptop||Varies||Yes||4.0|
A great backpack can save you time and keep your belongings safe, but only a select few can keep your precious valuables dry.
- What Will You Carry? – Before you start looking for the best waterproof backpack, consider what you plan on carrying first. If you are just heading to school or need a casual bag to carry, plenty of options fit the bill as you won’t necessarily need something specialized. You may need something sturdy however if you are carrying a heavy load.
On the other hand, if you bag is full of tech, you will want to ensure you get something will full waterproofing. A bag of this nature can be a little harder to find, but “should” keep your precious tech protected from a light rain to a downpour. There are exceptions to what a normal backpack can do, however, which brings us to our next section.
- Waterproof – As far as we have advanced technologically, it is still tough to make something completely waterproof without altering its appearance. When it comes to backpacks, things are tricky as you have seams and zippers to deal with on all bags, and some will have more enclosures than others. Even if the material can send water in a different direction, it could send it into a pocket if the build quality or design is poor.
If you need something that is 100% waterproof, you need a dry bag. These are designed to offer up a full measure of waterproofing can even be submerged in some cases. While built mainly for outdoor use, hiking and kayaking, some models are stylish enough to be used casually as well.
- Water-Resistant – All of our picks are waterproof as deemed by the manufacturer. As mentioned, you cannot always believe the hype and have to dig a little deeper at times. In this case, you will find that some bags billed as “waterproof” are actually only water-resistant. That means your items can still get wet depending on the circumstances.
For our list, we chose bags that only have the highest degree of water-resistance because, let’s face it, not everyone needs a rubbery dry bag. These type of backpacks can definitely deal with a light soaking or rain, but if you are caught in a downpour for an extended period of time, water “may” get through.
- Submersion – Some of the bags on our list can be submerged which is outstanding if you happen to fall into a river or are going to be on the water with your gear. That said, how long they can actually stay submerged will vary depending on the bag. In other words, fill your backpack full and sink it until you find out how long it can stand to be underwater or you could be in for a rude surprise. Check the ratings first, as submersion and waterproofing are two entirely different things.
Top 5 Best Waterproof Backpack Reviews
Our first pick may not win too many beauty contests, but it is arguably the most waterproof bag on our list. The BackSak Waterproof Backpack is built for the surf and sand, which means it can withstand more than a little drizzle if you happen to be caught out in the rain. It’s tough as well considering it’s made from 500D PVC with welded seams.
This waterproof backpack is rated at 35 liters, so it will be large enough to handle almost anything you want to tote. It can also be closed in two different ways. You can roll the top down and use the top clip if you want to carry it with a handle or it can be slung across your back the old fashioned way. If you go with the latter, you will be pleased to know this pack has a sternum clip and is padded on its backside for comfort.
You won’t have to worry about your gear getting wet inside of this sack, and the outer pockets are pretty nifty as well. There is a “splash proof” pocket where you can put things you need to get to quickly while the zippered inner pocket keeps thing separated inside. The BackSak is available in one size but with three different colors with Blue, Pink, and Yellow.
The FE Active Eco is one of the sassier semi-submersible backpacks to make our best waterproof backpack list and it is also considered a full-fledged “Dry Bag.” That means it is 100% waterproof as our top choice is and a perfect fit for the outdoors, especially if you are going to be near the water or on it. At 30-liters it is of average size, but still big enough to tote anything from a laptop to books or gear for the slopes.
You will find PVC construction on this bag as well, but it lives up to its namesake as the Eco is said to be environmentally safe despite the materials used. The PVC Tarpaulin is made from 5mm thick marine grade material and sports the popular welded stitching to boot. The usual amount of padding is present on the back along with padded shoulder straps to help ease your load.
In regards to the storage, the inside is spacious, but the outside can hold some gear as well. There is mesh laundry bag style pouch with a drawstring on both sides of the bag that can hold quite a bit but will let water out due to its netted nature. This back is only available in one color and size but a fine option for outdoor enthusiasts that need to keep their belongings dry.
Now for something a little more traditional. The Aqua Quest Stylin is a good-looking backpack that actually looks like something anyone would wear out and about. While it does have an odd top, it is not made from PVC or another other exotic material that would stand out in a crowd. Instead, you will get a tough bag with 320D Ripstop fabric with double bar tacked stress points for additional strength. As for the waterproofing; that comes courtesy of TPU Lamination and DWR coating.
While you can’t submerse this backpack for extended periods of time and expect your goods to stay dry, it will do the job in the rain. If your bag falls into the drink, you’re good to go as long as it is properly closed. On that note, the outer pocket is not totally waterproof, but it is splash-resistant. This bag is very comfortable on the back and more for general use than some of our other specialized bags. It is also available in Red, Charcoal Grey, and Black & Reflective.
Need to carry a load and want some additional support? The Outdoor Foundry Waterproof Backpack can certainly provide that with a support system that looks like it belongs on an internal frame pack. The sternum strap is present along with the padded shoulder straps, but you’ll get a waist belt as well. Needless to say, you can adjust until you have the perfect fit which makes the 35-liter bag easy to manage.
Thanks to the 500D PVC and welded seams, the Outdoor Foundry sack can handle rain, the ocean, the lake or whatever comes its way. It can stand “brief” immersion according to the company and will also float if it happens to go into the water without you. Unlike other bags of this nature, you will get specialized pockets including a padded laptop sleeve and pen pockets. That pocketed liner zips out as well which is a nice additional perk.
Rockagator has produced one of the bigger dry bag backpacks around with the 40-liter Gen3 Backpack. From a distance, it looks like an ordinary dry bag although you will quickly find out it has some cool extras on the inside and outside. It is built for the water but is also an amazing all-around sack if you need a great backpack for general use.
The Rockgator Gen3 has an internal zip pouch and a laptop storage pouch that can be removed for easy cleaning. There is also a carabineer loop strip to help you keep things in place. That’s just the inside however as the outside can handle water bottles and other goodies with large mesh pockets on both sides. This bag is rated for quick submersions and available in four colors with Reflect, Original, Covert, and Camo.