Unless you reside in a desert and only see precipitation a handful of days a year, dealing with rain and adverse weather is just a normal part of day-to-day life. Whether it’s on your daily commute or while you’re hiking through the Rockies, getting caught out in the rain is never fun. And that’s not just because it’s unpleasant, but also because rain makes things wet — obviously. This is especially bad news if you’re carrying a smartphone, laptop, camera or non-waterproof electronic devices. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to make sure the bag you’re carrying is waterproof. Thus, we present to you the 10 best waterproof backpacks.
Exactly what constitutes a “waterproof backpack” is in part down to the activity, situation and water source to which you’re going to be exposing the bag. For example, a backpack for your daily commute likely only needs to withstand rain from above and won’t need to be submerged at any point. This type of backpack only needs to be water-resistant.
However, waterproof backpacks for beach days, watersports and travel may very well become totally engulfed in water, meaning their waterproofing needs to be far more reliable, and, you guessed it, watertight. If this is what you need, look for a fully waterproof backpack.
We’ve put together a list of the 10 best waterproof backpacks, with a few water-resistant backpacks for good measure. Options include backpacks made for commuting, school and other everyday activities as well as fully watertight models which are better for watersports, travel. These backpacks create an impenetrable barrier to keep your belongings safe, even in the wettest environment.
1. YETI Panga Pack 28
BEST FULLY WATERPROOF BACKPACK
The YETI Panga Pack 28 is a versatile waterproof backpack that can be trusted to keep your belongings dry. Whether you use it for your daily commute or want to take it on the most water-filled adventures, this tried-and-tested backpack creates a 100% waterproof fortress to keep water away from your things. The ergonomic backpack includes durable DryHaul™ shoulder straps and hipbelt to deliver a secure and comfortable fit. Additionally, the HydroLok™ zipper and U-Dock™ terminal end ensure the bag is both water and airtight, so that even the heaviest downpour won’t cause a problem – inside the bag at least. Even better, it comes from Yeti, a trusted brand.
2. Ozark Trail Spring River Waterproof Backpack
If you’re after a budget-friendly way to keep your belongings dry when everything else is getting wet, consider the Ozark Trail Spring River Waterproof Roll Top Backpack. It features a padded back pad and shoulder straps for comfort, while the adjustable sternum strap ensures it’s secure, too. The bag is finished with an eye-catching vector camo design which makes it ideal for outdoor adventures. Furthermore, the bag’s 20-liter capacity means you get plenty of room for all the belongings you need to keep dry. You’ll also find a range of side buckles for fastening in other larger items or keeping your bag secure during kayaking or other boat based-activities.
3. Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack
BEST FOR WATER SPORTS
The Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack is ideal for water sports. If you surf, water ski, snorkel or scuba dive, this 100% waterproof bag is a trustworthy choice for keeping your stuff dry, even when it unexpectedly takes a dunk. The roll-up top with a buckle closure makes it easy to securely seal the bag, while the resulting side handles and straps provide a range of carrying options. For smaller items, the bag includes additional pockets on both the inside and outside. The external pocket sports a splash-proof zipper, making it great for the items you want close at hand. Finally, the bag is available in a range of different colors, including blue, green and black.
4. The North Face Explore Fusebox Backpack
BEST FOR ADVENTURE
The North Face Explore Fusebox Backpack is another well-reviewed option if you’re searching for a reliable waterproof backpack. It sports North Face’s recognizable brand across the back and comes in a bright blue color, meaning it never takes long to find your bag when you set it down. The versatile design can be used for all kinds of activities, including travel, sports and even day-to-day use. The bag’s exterior is coated with a water-resistant PVC layer, meaning the bag can handle any unexpected downpours, while the adjustable straps and chest belt ensure a secure and comfortable fit.
5. Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack for Everyday
BEST FOR SCHOOL KIDS
The Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack is made from 100% Vinylon F, which is dirt-resistant, water-resistant and wipes clean, making this a smart choice for your kid’s school bag. It’s available in over 30 different colors and sports a zipper closure which keeps your belongings safe inside. A rain flap further adds additional protection. The bag includes both ergonomic shoulder straps and top-mounted, dual top-snap handles to give a choice of carrying options. Perhaps best of all, the bag comes with its own sitting pad and storage pocket, meaning you’ve always got something to sit on when things get a bit wet.
All that said, don’t think the classic Kanken is just for younger kids. For any older students out there looking for a bag, the Kanken makes a fantastic college backpack.
6. L.L.Bean All-Conditions Waterproof Day Pack
BEST DAY PACK
This L.L.Bean All-Conditions Waterproof Day Pack has everything you need in a small backpack and promises to keep your belongings safe and dry, even in the most unpredictable weather. The lightweight bag is built from super-tough 210D TPU-coated ripstop nylon with waterproof YKK zippers at every opening. In addition, the bag has been awarded an IPX6 waterproof rating, meaning it can deal with rain, snow and mud without a problem (although full immersion in water is not advised). The roll-top closure creates a waterproof barrier, while all interior seems are taped and sealed for reliable waterproofing and durability.
7. Fjallraven Abisko 35 Hiking Backpack
BEST FOR HIKING
The Fjallraven Abisko 35 Hiking Backpack is a solid choice for users who love nothing more than spending time with nature. This lightweight and flexible backpack offers 35 liters of storage space and can be folded nearly flat for easy storage when it’s not in use. There’s a side-mounted zipper for easy access to the main compartment and pockets on the front and top for smaller items. The lightly padded straps and hip belt provide a comfortable and secure fit, while the external straps and pockets offer storage space for ice axes, walking sticks or other bits of bulkier hiking gear. Furthermore, this impressive backpack is hydration system compatible and comes with a full rain cover.
8. VICTORINOX SWISS ARMY® VX Touring Backpack
BEST EVERYDAY PACK
With its compact and durable design, the VICTORINOX SWISS ARMY® VX Touring Backpack ticks all the boxes most people look for in their everyday backpack. It features padded shoulder straps, a chest belt for a secure fit and a top-mounted carrying handle. The water-resistant exterior keeps anything inside safe from the elements, while the exterior zippered pockets are ideal for items you want close at hand. In addition, you’ll find an interior sleeve in the back for a laptop or books and two bottle holders to boot. There are also a number of braces on the bag’s exterior for attaching larger items when required.
9. Ortlieb Commuter Daypack
BEST FOR COMMUTERS
If you value style as much as you value waterproofing, the Ortlieb Commuter Daypack may be the choice for you. Turning up to the office with this on your back doesn’t just get your things to the office without the need to fear adverse weather, it also makes you look super fashionable, too. The backpack is available in either pepper or coffee colors and sports a roll-top closure to keep the 21 liters of internal space separate from the outside world. You’ll also find a handy carrying handle, reflective strips, an easy-access front pocket and removable chest and waist straps that deliver a secure fit.
10. Showers Pass Transit Waterproof Backpack
BEST FOR CYCLISTS
Urban cycling can be a difficult enough task without worrying about unpredictable weather ruining your belongings. With the Showers Pass Transit Waterproof Backpack on your back, there will never be a reason to worry, as this heavy-duty pack provides all the protection your belongings need in wet conditions. It’s constructed from ballistic nylon with a waterproof coating that is capable of repelling even the most unpleasant storms. Furthermore, the backpack’s self-supporting design makes it easy to pack, while the internal pockets and main compartment provide plenty of space for your office essentials. In addition, the adjustable waist and sternum straps ensure the bag fits securely and comfortably during use.