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Protect Your Gear From the Elements With a Waterproof Backpack

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 downpours on your daily commute or when hiking through the Rockies, getting caught out in the rain is never fun — especially when you’ve your best backpack is full of prized possessions. You know, like your smartphone, laptop, camera or non-waterproof electronic device.

For this reason, it’s always a good idea to make sure the bag you’re carrying is the best waterproof backpack money can buy.

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 work 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 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. Activities in which a fully waterproof backpack may be a preferable choice include:

  • Beach Days
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba Diving
  • Rafting
  • Boating
  • Skiing
  • Spelunking
  • Traveling in Temperate/Arid Climates
  • Backpacking in Temperate/Arid Climates

We’ve put together a list of the 16 best waterproof backpacks made for commuting, school and other everyday activities as well as fully watertight models which are better suited for watersports and travel. These backpacks create an impenetrable barrier to keep your belongings safe, even in the wettest environment.

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1. YETI Panga Pack 28


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 a hip belt 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, one of our favorite brands at SPY.

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Courtesy of YETI


2. DVEDA Lightweight Packable Waterproof Backpack


The DVEDA Lightweight Packable Backpack is the answer to unexpected moments when you’re in need of a bag. When folded down, the backpack measures 7.8 by 8.6 inches, making it conveniently sized for carrying in your car, in your luggage or on your person until it’s needed.

When unfolded, the pack offers 35 liters of carrying space in the form of a central compartment and several additional pockets on the sides. The water-resistant nylon bag also includes a built-in whistle for just-in-case moments and breathable mesh straps to further aid your comfort.

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Courtesy of Amazon


3. 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.

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Image courtesy of Walmart


4. Rains Rolltop Rucksack


Rains’ Rolltop Rucksack is what everyone wants to have on their back in 2022. Because, who wants to sport an ugly waterproof backpack? We’re only looking at cool waterproof backpacks, people. This rolltop has a sleek, all-black exterior shell that doesn’t let water get anywhere near the inside. It’s ideal for commuting on foot or atop a bike or skateboard. If you are taking your bike, there’s an included D-ring to place your lock when it’s not in use. When it’s time to bring your MacBook into the office, easily throw your laptop right into the side laptop compartment for a smooth ride to work.

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Courtesy of Rains


5. Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag


When you own one, a dry bag, like this Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag, is the kind of item you wonder how you ever did without it. This versatile bag is both lightweight and compact with a single-strap, over-shoulder design. It can be used for all kinds of activities, from fishing and kayaking to hiking and all-around general adventure.

The bag comes in sizes ranging from 10 to 55 liters in capacity, and each one includes an adjustable buckle for greater security and comfort. Additionally, you’ll have eight different colors to choose from when purchasing this bag.

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Courtesy of Amazon


6. Gonex Waterproof Duffle


Sometimes a bag you can just chuck everything in and throw over your shoulder is easier. That’s why the Gonex Waterproof Duffle is worth your consideration. It’s ideal for everything from skiing and snowboarding to kayaking and motorcycling and comes in either 40, 60 or 80-liter capacities as well as six different colors, meaning there’s a size and a style to meet all needs. The bag itself includes high-quality, YKK buckles, tough side handles, a transparent cardholder and a detachable mesh pocket for storing your essentials.

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Courtesy of Amazon


7. W WintMing Molle Rucksack


The W WintMing Molle Rucksack is made from 600D Oxford fabric, which is water-resistant and more durable than the materials found in the average backpack. Combine this with its 70-liter capacity, and you have a backpack that is ready for adventure, whether that’s traveling, camping, hiking or other general activities.

The bag includes a handy MOLLE system for attaching bits of gear as well as a personal Velcro space for placing your name, flag and other identifying labels. And, to provide greater comfort during use, the bag boasts multiple adjusting buckles and a thick waist pad.

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Courtesy of Amazon


8. Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack


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 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.

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Courtesy of Amazon


9. BOPAI Super Slim Laptop Backpack


The BOPAI Super Slim Laptop Backpack beautifully balances style and function to provide a bag that looks great and keeps your laptop dry. It comes in two different sizes, accommodating either a 15.6 or 17-inch laptop. The bag itself only measures a super-thin three inches deep. It’s made from a microfiber leather and ballistic nylon mix, which gives the bag its waterproof finish and attractive appearance. You’ll also find a handy pocket for your phone and wallet and concealed zippers to deter thieves from targeting your pack. All in all, this is a great option for school, work and everyday carry needs.

Read more: Best Laptop Backpacks 

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Courtesy of Amazon


10. Skog Å Kust BackSåk Backpack


If there’s a good chance your bag is going to be completely submerged or dropped in water, you may want to choose a backpack that floats. In the Skog Å Kust BackSåk Backpack, you’ll receive a rugged pack that floats and can provide protection for your belongings in all kinds of weather. It’s constructed from a heavy-duty, 500-denier PVC with welded seams to ensure it’s water-tight. In addition, this bag is available in either a 25 or 35-liter capacity and comes in nine different color options.

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Courtesy of Amazon


11. Timbuk2 Robin Pack


The Timbuk2 Robin Pack is another well-reviewed option when you’re searching for a reliable waterproof backpack to wear as the night falls. But, no, that’s not because this backpack is decked in a number of lights to keep you safe from moving vehicles as you cross the road. Instead, it uses a secret mesh panel that reflects light so folks know you’re there when light hits.

In addition to this, the Robin Pack distributes weight easily, making it an ideal bag to wear when riding a bike. It’s got stretch pockets to fit water bottles and even an internal slip for a 15-inch laptop.

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Courtesy of REI


12. L.L. Bean Adventure Pro Waterproof Day Pack


If you’re looking for a user-friendly backpack to provide an easy way to move your stuff from point A to point B without the worry of it getting wet, the L.L. Bean Adventure Pro Waterproof Day Pack could be the answer. While seemingly simple in design, the pack is actually well-thought-out and includes a roll top with velcro and TPU film, delivering a closure that is 100% submersible in water. You’ll also find dual side straps, D-buckles and a front-facing, mesh shove-it pocket for bottle storage and gear attachment.

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Courtesy of L.L.Bean


13. Nelson-Rigg Gear Hurricane Backpack


Whatever you’re up to, it’s likely the Nelson-Rigg SE-3020 Rigg Gear Hurricane Backpack is fit for the purpose. This rugged-looking bag is constructed from a durable, UV-coated, tarpaulin PVC and includes heat-welded seams for greater security and waterproofing. The bag’s design boasts two side pockets that can hold 30-ounce bottles, and the bag boasts extra-large buckles to ensure your pack remains securely closed at all times.

In addition, you’ll find the bag has an inner sleeve for notebooks, tablets and laptops up to 15 inches in size and a handy, removable MOLLE panel for housing documents or maps.

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Courtesy of Amazon


14. Fjallraven Abisko 35 Hiking Backpack


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.

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Courtesy of Amazon


15. Showers Pass Transit Waterproof Backpack


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.

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Courtesy of Moosejaw


16. YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Cooler


The YETI Hopper Backflip 24 Cooler combines a little bit of everything to provide a backpack that is ready for every occasion. The bag itself is made from a high-density fabric that’s ultra-durable and resistant to water, punctures and UV rays. Inside, the bag is part cooler and part backpack, meaning you can carry all your hiking essentials as well as food and drink.

The cooler compartment is large enough to accommodate up to 20 individual cans with ice. Furthermore, this popular pack comes with five-star ratings from over 90% of Amazon users and is available in six colors, including blue, charcoal and coral.

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Courtesy of Amazon


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