Top Notch Protection With The Best Waterproof Backpacks In 2022


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It’s not worth risking an expensive laptop or other electronics:  Protect your valuables in the rain or snow with a waterproof backpack.

Whether you need it for paddleboarding, kayaking, or walking to work, there are plenty of options available. We’ve rounded up the best waterproof backpacks and explained how to take care of them.

The best waterproof backpacks

Editor’s choice: WOW Waterproof Backpack

  • Heavy-duty 500D PVC tarpaulin constructionwow waterproof backpack
  • Roll-top closure backpack with 35L capacity
  • Adjustable backpack strap
  • Six pockets

Pros

  • Large enough for a whole day’s worth of supplies
  • A multitude of organizational pockets
  • Spacious main compartment

Cons

  • Quite large and bulky
  • No sternum or waist straps

I love the WOW Waterproof Backpack for full days outdoors, and that’s why it earned its spot as our best waterproof backpack. The spacious main compartment, multiple pockets, and ease of use make this an all-around product. The roll-top closure seals out water and the heavy-duty 500D PVC tarpaulin construction can stand up to brutal outdoor days.

There are plenty of pockets. Around the bag are five mesh pockets, three of them zippered, and a front Velcro pocket. The side pockets are perfect for carrying water bottles without taking up extra pack pace.

Overall, this is a great hiking backpack for both men and women and will stand up to years of use thanks to its rugged construction.

See WOW Waterproof Backpack on Amazon

See WOW Waterproof Backpack on Walmart

Great for watersports: Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

  • Made from ripstop tarpaulinmarchway floating dry bag
  • Comes in 10L or 20L
  • Removable straps can be adjusted for cross-body carrying
  • Waterproof constructiona  with top closure system for a watertight seal

Pros

  • Perfect for sailing, boating, paddling, or kayaking. Easy to clean thanks to its smooth surface
  • Multiple size options

Cons

  • Size options are still relatively limited
  • No storage on the outside of the pack
  • Carry straps could be better

Built from ripstop tarpaulin, with robust welded seams, this is a durable choice.

This dry bag is excellent for any water activity. It features a robust roll-top closure system, which keeps your valuables secure.

See Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag on Amazon

See Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag on Walmart

Most durable: Skog Å Kust BackSåk Waterproof Floating Backpack

  • Made from heavy-duty 500-denier PVCskog å kust backsåk waterproof floating backpack
  • Sternum clip and padded support
  • Duraflex brand clips and hardware
  • Two secure closure methods: top clip and adjustable side clips

Pros

  • Highly waterproof materials
  • Lots of internal space
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

Cons

  • No compartments for easy organization
  • Zippers are not waterproof like the body itself
  • No padding for back support

This dry bag backpack is rugged. It is watertight, featuring welded seams made from woven polyester and coated with vinyl. The thick, well-cushioned sternum strap is adjustable, taking the pressure off your muscles.

This bag is closed in two ways, the first is by using its side clips and adjusting for a compressed and snug fit. The second involves folding the roll-down at least three times and creating a handle by clicking the top clip. Either way, the bag remains waterproof.

See Skog Å Kust BackSåk Waterproof Floating Backpack on Amazon

Best backpack style: Yeti Panga Airtight Waterproof Bag

  • Made of high-density abrasion-resistant nylonyeti panga airtight waterproof bag
  • Hydrolock zippers for maximum protection
  • Ergonomic shoulder straps
  • Removable waist belt for added security and stability
  • In-built sleeves for protecting smaller valuables

Pros

  • Durable construction with waterproof zippers
  • Comfortable to carry for long periods
  • Plenty of organizational compartments
  • Awesome style, available in multiple colors

Cons

  • One of the most expensive models out there
  • A bit bulky for shorter trips

This Yeti Panga Waterproof Bag is made from the best waterproof materials. This is a submersible, airtight, and water-resistant unit designed for the outdoors. It is ergonomic and comes with adjustable shoulder straps, a removable waist belt, and chest straps. The shell is made from thick TPU lamination and high-density nylon, which makes it resistant to abrasion and punctures. It’s one of the best small waterproof backpacks available.

See Yeti Panga Airtight Waterproof Bag on Amazon

See Yeti Panga Airtight Waterproof Bag on Yeti

Best for camping: Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack

  • IPX8 certified waterproof phone case includedearth pak waterproof backpack
  • 24-42 inch single shoulder strap
  • Sternum strap for added stability
  • Backpack-style shoulder straps

Pros

  • Ergonomic padded back panel makes it comfortable to carry
  • Pockets on both the inside and outside
  • Good quality for a low price

Cons

  • Smallish in size
  • Weight distribution is not great
  • Could use more pockets

Aside from the main compartment, this pack is adorned with a single additional zippered pocket on the exterior and a mesh pocket and zippered pocket on the interior. This is excellent for outdoor activities and can even be used as a camping pillow when the need arises. As it’s not too bulky, it’s one of the best women’s waterproof backpack models out there.

See Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack on Amazon

Great for heavy-duty travel: OverBoard Waterproof Pro-Sports Backpack

  • Roll-top 20L capacity backpackoverboard waterproof pro-sports backpack
  • Made of super tough PVC tarpaulin
  • Suitable for quick submersion
  • 100% snow, dust, and sand-proof

Pros

  • When rolled up correctly, it is entirely watertight
  • Comfortable construction of the shoulder and chest straps
  • High visibility thanks to reflective strips

Cons

  • On the heavy side because of the materials
  • Dark interior makes identifying items difficult in dark

With its intelligent roll-neck sealing system, this dry bag provides its users with easy access to all their gear. It’s made from waterproof materials with welded seams, so it is extremely durable and wear-resistant. All of this, in addition to the fact that it can be spotted at night, makes it ideal for hikers.

There are multiple pockets, including mesh pockets and zippered pockets, compression straps, a whistle, a vented back panel, padded shoulder straps, sternum straps, and a spacious main compartment.

See OverBoard Waterproof Pro-Sports Backpack on Amazon

Great for rafting: Unigear Floating Waterproof Backpack

  • Made with polyurethane-coated nylonunigear floating waterproof backpack
  • Welded seam construction
  • Extra long removable, adjustable shoulder sling
  • Sizes: 2L, 5L,10L, 20L, 30L, 40L

Pros

  • Great for all kinds of activities
  • Protection from water, dust, dirt, and sand
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Shoulder straps are only available for people who buy larger capacities
  • Seal of the bag is penetrated when the container is submerged for long periods
  • Colour options are dependent on the capacity

This lightweight rainproof backpack is easy to carry and is one of the cheapest backpacks on this list.

See Unigear Floating Waterproof Backpack on Amazon

Best set: Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bag Set

  • Set of three: dry bag, waist pouch, phone casefreegrace waterproof dry bag set
  • 27.6in-49.6in adjustable and removable shoulder strap
  • Backpack style shoulder and sternum strap for stability
  • Additional waterproof opaque black pouch (9.0in X 6.7in)

Pros

  • Multiple dry containers will keep all your gear and gadgets safe and dry
  • Can be submerged in water, thanks to double zip lock feature
  • Main bag is roomy enough for a change of clothes and a towel

Cons

  • Pouches cannot be purchased separately, only in a set
  • Sealing can be tricky due to double zippers
  • Extra care must be taken when sealing the additional phone case

The Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bag Set is made with top-notch waterproof materials and features a double zip-lock seal. It provides all the necessities of a fantastic waterproof backpack: it’s incredibly durable, comfortable to wear, and comes at an affordable price.

The Freegrace set includes a dry bag, waist pouch, and phone case, so all your gear and gadgets should be covered. The bag has comfortable shoulder straps and a waist belt, as well as a clear window to see into the bag. However, there are no exterior pockets.

See Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bag Set on Amazon

All-rounder: Skog Å Kust DrySåk Waterproof Floating Dry Bag

  • Waterproof 500-denier PVC construction
  • skog å kust drysåk waterproof floating dry bagDuraflex brand clips and hardware
  • Detachable and adjustable nylon shoulder strap
  • High-frequency welded seams
  • Quick-access outer slip pocket

Pros

  • True IPX-6 protection rating
  • Foldable, so easy to pack into another bag or suitcase
  • Can be worn over the shoulder or attached to a kayak

Cons

  • Size options are limited to only 10L and 20L
  • Long-distance walks with this bag may be uncomfortable since it has a single unpadded strap
  • Zipper pockets aren’t waterproof

The Skog Å Kust DrySak Bag features tough waterproof fabric construction and is developed to last a lifetime, even though it feels very lightweight. At night, the reflective trim included in the pocket zipper will make you and your bag clearly visible from a distance.

See Skog Å Kust DrySåk Waterproof Floating Dry Bag on Amazon

Why trust us

I’ve spent much of my life in and on the water and always need waterproof backpacks. I’ve been through many of these fully waterproof bags in my time and am happy to dive into the subject to help others make the right choice.

Who this is for

This guide is for anyone looking for the best waterproof backpack or dry bag for their next adventure. We have a variety of colors, capacities, shapes, and sizes.

How we picked

Selecting the best waterproof backpacks was mostly a matter of market research and customer reviews. We spent days researching the best of the best to ensure we were only recommending waterproof backpacks that had been put through the wringer.

How we tested

We tested our favorite waterproof daypack with a trip to the lake and some paddleboarding adventures on nearby rivers. The river days were shorter, but our lake day was an all-day outing where we packed everything we might need for us and our friends, had to hike it from the car to our spot, and loaded our bag on our paddle board and floated it around with us while we explored. I am happy to report it held up wonderfully.

waterproof backpack

Features to look for in waterproof backpacks

Capacity & comfort

The best dry bag backpacks should have a wide opening, adjustable straps, and back padding. Padded shoulder straps will make carrying the backpack easier, as will chest straps and a waist belt. These tools help distribute weight and secure the load.

Additional storage and pocket options

You may have last-minute things to pack. Extra pockets are handy. We love options like a front mesh pocket, a water bottle pocket, or a laptop sleeve.

Water resistant or waterproof?

A bag can be called waterproof if it doesn’t allow the entry of moisture into its compartments when submerged. Some pricier bags are made fully from waterproof material, including waterproof zippers, however, many bags are just water resistant rather than totally waterproof.

When choosing a backpack, find out about its submersion and the material used in its construction. IP65 rating, for example, means that a bag has the highest level of dust protection and can stand up to low-pressure water jets; IP66 rating means the bag is protected against dust and strong jets of water and is briefly submersible; IP67 rating means the backpack is truly waterproof and can be submerged for longer periods.

woman wearing waterproof backpack

Waterproof backpack FAQ

Q: How do you wash a waterproof backpack?

Waterproof backpacks must be cleaned manually and will require lukewarm water, a mild soap, a washcloth, a nylon-bristle brush or an old toothbrush, and the manufacturer’s instructions on how their bag should be cleaned. Some brands allow deep cleaning and machine washing of their bags, whereas others don’t. Before you clean your backpack, empty all the pockets and shake the bag to get rid of dirt and sand. After cleaning, dry your bag indoors or in the shade, avoiding direct light. This is because some fabrics can fade when exposed to UV light for prolonged periods.

Q: What activities would I need a waterproof backpack for?

Waterproof backpacks are perfect for outdoor activities like skiing, kayaking, rafting, canyoning, and snowboarding. Another use of a rainproof backpack is to store sleeping bags and extra clothing during a camping trip. Also, these bags help keep electronics away from water.

These bags can be used as emergency pillows and can also save a lot of luggage space. You can place your clothes in a waterproof travel backpack, compress it, and make space in your suitcase for souvenir shopping.

Q: What is the general lifespan of a waterproof backpack?

This varies, but a few years is to be expected. However, it depends on the care you provide. If you leave your waterproof backpack in the sun, it will degrade. If you buy a poor-quality backpack and don’t clean or take care of it, it may also fall apart. With proper care and even a few minor repairs, you could make your waterproof dry bag backpack last for three to five years.

Q: What’s the difference between waterproof and water-resistant backpacks?

A waterproof backpack is exactly that: no matter whether it is rained on or dunked in water, if it is properly sealed, its contents should be fully protected from water. However, water-resistant backpacks can withstand some rain or water, but the interior contents will eventually become wet if the bag is exposed to water for long periods. If you need a truly waterproof backpack, look for models with IP66 and IP67 ratings.

Sources:

  1. The Difference Between Waterproof And Water-Resistant Fabric – MasterClass

Tuesday Kirby Kahl

Tuesday Kirby Kahl is a native Texan now residing in Portland, OR. In addition to her work as a writer, she’s a competitive climbing coach for youth and adult athletes. When she’s not working, you’ll find her rock climbing, exploring, skiing, and paddle boarding all over the Cascades. When at home, she’s usually tending to her collection or houseplants or painting with a cup of tea in hand.