Waterproof Backpacks (2023)

Waterproof Backpacks Buying Guide (2023)

Purchasing a waterfall backpack is not an easy process, you have to admit it. There are a lot of things you have to consider before making your final decision. Capacity, additional storage, color options, price range, and comfort are things of great importance that would determine whether the backpack you’ve chosen is worth it or not.

We will take an in-depth look at every aspect of this buying guide. That way, you can leave this page with confidence that you will be able to make the right buying decision and get the best waterproof backpack for your personal preference.

Price Range of Waterproof Backpacks

The first and most important thing before even looking at any backpack is that you should define yourbudget. Give it a specified minimum and maximum, so you don’t find yourself exceeding your spending limit greatly. However, don’t be afraid to add some additional bucks over your maximum edge.

Usually, a decent waterproof backpacks range from $50 to $100. But you can also find some great options under $50 and some amazing ones over $100 that will definitely leave you impressed.


Another essential thing that you should keep in your mind is thebackpack’s capacity. The capacity you select depends on your purpose for using the waterproof bag. If you’re going to use your back only for daily tasks, you may want to consider a bag that is not large in capacity. Yet, it has supplementary storage such as padded sleeves for your laptop. This will keep your stuff organized and easy to access.

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At the same time, if you have intentions to use your waterproof backpack for hiking purposes, then you should choose a larger size. Especially if you are mapping out a more extended trip. That way, you’ll be able to put all your gear and equipment in your backpack without any headaches.

Another crucial thing that concerns the capacity of the bag is that not every part of your backpack is water-resistant. And you should be careful what stuff you put and where you place them in the bag. Usually, the most abundant compartment of the back is waterproofed, and you can keep some of your important stuff there. Typically, additional pockets and compartments are not waterproofed. So keep this in mind when you put something there during heavy rain, you will find it soaking wet.

Additional storage

Additional storage and pocket optionsare the other things that will make a difference when buying a backpack. Keep in mind that acquiring a pack that is not capable of handling all your things is just not worth having it. That’s why the more additional storage your waterproof bag has available, the better. By purchasing a water-resistant backpack with more than average pocket options, you ensure that your things are going to fit in the bag effortlessly.

Outer pockets can also be available, and they are most frequently seen as mesh-designed pockets. They are best for handling water bottles. But avoid putting anything there during rainy weather unless it is additionally covered.


The next thing that is essential in your buying process is thecolor. Of course, that would be a personal preference. However, there are some primary colors, such as black and green, that most travelers stick to. But, if you are keen on some other color, go for it.

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There are some tricks when you pick the color of your waterproof backpack that you should be aware of. If you are traveling at tropical places, escape dark colors because they attract sunlight and can heat your stuff. And you definitely want to avoid that if you are carrying tech parts such as a camera or a laptop with yourself.

Brighter and fluorescent colors are always a great pick. That is because this ensures your back will be slightly more visible, which is essential when you are exploring the outdoors. If you place your back somewhere forget where that place was then the bright colors will do their job by increasing your backpack’s visibility.

Is It Waterproof Or Is It Water-Resistant?

You might be wondering what the difference between waterproof and water-resistant backpacks is. They might sound similar but considering waterproof the same as water-resistant can be fatal. That’s because water-resistant bags protect your stuff only from the light rain that doesn’t make a big difference in the weather. However, they can’t be used on heavy rainy days because your stuff will go soaking wet.

On the other side, a waterproof backpack will keep your things safe and protected during heavy rains. The water-resistant bag we will not be able to handle those harsh weather conditions. This allows you to bring some more sensitive stuff like a laptop or any other kind of technology with yourself.

Comfort of Waterproof Backpacks

Comfort defines whether you are going to use your waterproof backpack for more extended periods. Or you are going to equip yourself with it only for one trip. Understand that if you don’t get a convenient pack that you feel well on your back and shoulders…

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There is no way for you to build a long-term relationship with this bag.

A key thing here that you should be aware of is the design of the frame. Try putting your backpack and test it before making your final decision. Some companies design waterproof backpacks with additional foam and padding that spread the weight of the bag, ensuring you feel it comfortable and well.

When speaking of comfort, it’s worth mentioning the weight of the backpack. Your primary focus should be on lightweight bags. A back that doesn’t weigh too much can be extremely comfortable. This ensures that you will be using the backpack for more extended periods.

Lightweight bags are great for hiking. If you’re planning a trip to the mountains, make sure you’re back is pretty lightweight and you will find yourself putting even more stuff in it. It’s crucial to select one of the lightest bags if you are mapping a long trip that may take you a few weeks. That way, you ensure your journey will be comfortable without any excess inconveniences.

Waterproof BackpackVersatility

And the last thing we want to mention is the bag’sversatility. It is vital to know the weather conditions of the country or region that you’re going to travel in. That way, you will understand what waterproof backpack suits you better.

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If you’re heading to particularly wet climates and rainy forests…

Then you should want to select a waterproof backpack that is completely covered and sealed. On the other side, if your main trip is covering hot countries and beaches…

Then a bag with a lot of additional pocket options is the case that will suit you best since you will be able to keep water bottles in your hands reach.

And since you’ve made it this far, you now have comprehensive knowledge best waterproof backpacks on the market at this moment.

We’ve made it easy for you so you can directly jump to any camping-related store and get one of the listed bags above. However, if you have something else in mind, with this buying guide, you will make sure that whether buying the bag is right or wrong decision to make.

(Video) $139 Waterproof Backpack vs $310 Waterproof Backpack

If you already have a waterproof backpack or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with it.


Are waterproof backpacks really waterproof? ›

A waterproof backpack, is of course 100% waterproof, but will also often be a bit heavier and have fewer features. Whereas a water-resistant backpack, hence the name, will only keep some water out. These work well in the rain, but that's it.

How do I know if my backpack is waterproof? ›

If your bag is waterproof you can submerge it underwater for a long time and, once you take it out of the water and open it up, everything inside will be bone dry. No water will have penetrated the bag. Simple.

Should backpacks be waterproof? ›

Most people should aim for a water-resistant bag, just in case of rainfall, but only the real sportspeople should invest heavily into a waterproof bag.

What makes a backpack waterproof? ›

The best way to waterproof a backpack is to use a waterproof pack liner on the inside of your bag. You can also place important items in dry bags to provide them with extra protection from the rain and the snow.

Do waterproof backpacks work? ›

The Bottom Line. A high-quality, water-resistant backpack will keep your stuff safe and dry in a rainstorm. If you throw a water-resistant backpack into a lake, however, your laptop may not fare as well. If you're kayaking, bring a truly waterproof dry bag.

What is the difference between waterproof and water repellent backpack? ›

Water-resistant: able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely. Water-repellent: not easily penetrated by water, especially as a result of being treated for such a purpose with a surface coating. Waterproof: impervious to water.

Is your skin 100% waterproof? ›

Skin is a waterproof, flexible, but tough protective covering for your body. Normally the surface is smooth, punctuated only with hair and pores for sweat. A cross-section of skin shows the major parts. It is divided into three layers.
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Is a Jansport backpack waterproof? ›

Water Resistance

While the exterior fabric is pretty tough, it's not waterproof. The zippers are covered, which slows water from leaking inside the bag.

Is a waterproof bag the same as a water resistant bag? ›

Waterproof bags are welded ultrasonically to resist water while water resistant and water repellent bags have needle hole allowing the entrance to water. Waterproof bags also have roll top closure system, which is an add-on protection to water.

What are the benefits of waterproof bags? ›

A water-resistant bag can only resist water splashes and won't work in heavy downpours. To avoid sticky situations like unexpected rain or storm, a waterproof bag is your best bet because it keeps all the items from getting wet.

Why are backpacks not waterproof? ›

The problem with "waterproof" backpacks is primarily the seams, then secondarily the strain put on the various fabrics. The seams are made up of a series of holes poked through the waterproof fabric with thread poked through them. It invariably makes a waterproof fabric not waterproof any longer.

What's the difference between waterproof and water resistance? ›

In short, “water resistant” describes an item's ability to resist water penetration to a certain degree but perhaps not entirely. On the other hand, “waterproof” technically means that it's impermeable no matter how much time it spends in the water.

What bag material is waterproof? ›

Manufacturers generally make Waterproof bags with PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) or TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane).

What is the best material for a backpack? ›

Popular Fabrics for Backpacks
  • Nylon. Waterproof backpacks are essential today which is why untreated nylon is rare now. ...
  • Rip-Stop Nylon. Rip-Stop nylon does just that, the material is made with a grid pattern of durable threads sewn closely together. ...
  • Polyester Pack Cloth. ...
  • PVC Fabric.

Are backpack rain covers worth it? ›

A rain cover is recommended because it keeps your backpack and all its contents (inside and outside of your pack) from getting wet when hiking in the rain. Combining a rain cover with a waterproof pack liner and dry bags is the best method for ensuring your gear stays dry during heavy downpours.

What is the disadvantage of waterproof bag? ›

Cons: Waterproof pouches and dry bags don't come with the same drop or shock protection as a case, and they can be much bulkier.

Is waterproof better than water repellent? ›

Spoiler alert: “Waterproof” beats “water resistant” and “waterproof/breathable” will make you the driest of them all. The technology in a jacket can be incredibly sophisticated.

What is the heaviest body part? ›

Answer and Explanation: The heaviest organ is the skin. This makes sense as the skin is also the largest organ of the human body. With an average weight of about 4.5kg or nearly 10lbs, the skin is much heavier than the second heaviest organ, the liver.

What is the heaviest body organ? ›

The largest solid internal organ is your liver. It weighs approximately 3–3.5 pounds or 1.36–1.59 kilograms and is about the size of a football.

Which organ is the biggest? ›

The skin is the body's largest organ.

Are 100% polyester backpacks waterproof? ›

This is the process used for the majority of outdoor clothing and water-resistant backpacks made of polyester. So, is polyester fabric waterproof? The answer is no, but it is one of the most popular materials used to make water-resistant products.

Can you wash a waterproof backpack? ›

For machine wash, do it on a gentle cycle in cold water. Always remember that not all waterproof backpacks can be machine-washed. In fact, it should only be a last resort for cleaning or maintaining your pack. When in doubt, always go back to its manufacturer's instructions.

Is Ikea backpack waterproof? ›

The backpack fabric is water-resistant.

Can you swim with waterproof bag? ›

Whether you're planning to go for a swim or not, a waterproof bag is a great option for the beach as it protects your items not just from any splashes of water, but also from sand and dirt. Waterproof bags are secure, easy to use, and durable so last for ages. It's also easy to carry them while doing any watersports.

Do waterproof bags work? ›

Basically, yes, dry bags are “waterproof” do work, so long as you keep them in good condition and understand their limitations. Would we use just one on its own for a kayaking trip? Definitely not.

Why is waterproof important? ›

According to the BCA, waterproofing of wet areas in buildings is important for health and amenity. The aim is to prevent water penetration that could cause: Unhealthy and dangerous conditions or loss of amenity for occupants; or. Dampness and deterioration of building elements.

What are the benefits of waterproof? ›

It prevents mold and mildew from getting into the walls and floor. This makes waterproofing essential to structural integrity and health. It reduces maintenance costs and clean-up. With waterproof structures, you have a lot less work to do when cleaning up after a heavy rainstorm or flood.

Are dry bags fully waterproof? ›

The bags are still watertight in most conditions and the difference would really only be seen in total immersion situations. Dry bag holdalls are very popular for motorcycling and can often bee seen secured to the back of a motorbike whilst on tour.

Does rain proof mean waterproof? ›

Truly waterproof gear means you can submerge the product under water and no moisture will get inside.
And there are two ways to seal seams:
Waterproof Rating (mm)Water Resistance ProvidedConditions
20,000+Rainproof and waterproof under high forceHeavy rain, wet snow, some force
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Is water resistant good enough? ›

Is water resistant good enough for rain? The short answer; yes. Water resistant jackets are designed for wet-weather conditions but only drizzle to light showers. They are designed to be completely impervious but over time, the water resistant qualities start to wear and let water in causing water damage.

Which waterproof rating is fully waterproof? ›

IP68: The Top IP Waterproof Rating

Since 8 is the highest number on the IP water rating scale, any IP enclosure with a rating ending in 8 offers the best possible waterproof protection. However, IP68 is usually acknowledged as the most protective IP waterproof rating in common use.

Is there anything truly waterproof? ›

Plastic, glass, even solid steel are all permeable to a small degree. From a purely scientific point of view, it is correct to say that nothing is absolutely waterproof. The American Concrete Institute agrees.

What is the strongest waterproof material? ›

1. POLYURETHANE. Polyurethane is considered one of the best waterproofing materials.

What fabric repels water? ›

Polyester and Nylon

These synthetic fabrics have been around for years in everything from clothing to waterproof pads. Polyester and nylon material has a tight weave making it water-resistant.

How do you water proof a bag? ›

One of the easiest ways to waterproof your canvas bags is to use waterproofing sprays and seam sealers. You can usually find them at outdoor and camping supply stores. If you will use your canvas bag a lot in an outdoor environment, you may want to sun-proof it as well by buying a spray also containing UV protection.

What material is waterproof but breathable? ›

Waterproof breathable fabrics consist of an outer layer called the “face fabric”, usually made of nylon or polyester, and a laminated membrane or coating, usually made of ePTFE (expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon®) or PU (Polyurethane).

What do you call the waterproof bag? ›

A dry bag is a type of flexible container which seals in a watertight manner. Dry bags are often used in kayaking, canoeing, rafting, canyoning, and other outdoor activities in which sensitive items would otherwise get wet, as well as extreme sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

What should I look for when buying a backpack? ›

Big-time travel blogger and New York Times best selling author Nomadic Matt says that for him the most important features of a backpack include: water-resistant material, Lockable zippers, Multiple compartments, Internal frame, Padded hip belt, Padded shoulder straps and Contoured/padded back.

What are the 2 types of backpacks? ›

15 Types of Backpacks: A Guide to Different Backpack Styles
  • Standard Backpack. The standard backpack is as simple as it gets, and probably the one backpack we're most familiar with. ...
  • Sling Bag. ...
  • Skate Backpack. ...
  • Functional Backpack. ...
  • Rucksack. ...
  • Hydration Backpack. ...
  • Laptop Backpack. ...
  • Knapsack.

Which is more waterproof nylon or polyester? ›

Whether for commercial or industrial use, a fabric's ability to resist the elements influences its selection. Both nylon and polyester resist water, but polyester resists it better than nylon. Additionally, polyester's water-resistant properties increase as the thread count rises.

Is Gore Tex truly waterproof? ›

Waterproofness, windproofness and breathability. Every product in the original GORE‑TEX products range is waterproof, windproof, and breathable and many come with additional benefits.

Why aren t backpacking packs waterproof? ›

There aren't more packs marketed as waterproof because designing one to have seams that can fit in a seam taper is difficult. There aren't more packs made with more weatherproof fabrics because most people don't hike in the rain (winkwink).

What is the difference between a dry bag and a waterproof bag? ›

Dry bags are made with waterproof materials like PVC or rubber-coated nylon. They're designed to keep your things dry in wet conditions, whether you're kayaking downstream or caught in a rainstorm. On the other hand, waterproof bags are made with waterproof materials like TPU or PVC-coated polyester.

Do waterproof bags float? ›

And while there are multiple types of dry bags to choose from, they all use a flexible, waterproof outer material with sealed seams. Many dry bags also float so that if you do capsize, you'll be able to grab your belongings quickly, and they won't get lost beneath murky waters.

What are the disadvantages of Gore-Tex? ›

One drawback of GORE-TEX is that you need to keep it clean to keep it waterproof—and clean it properly. Over time, as perspiration from your body escapes out through the material, it can cause a buildup of surfactants (detergent-like chemicals) that reduces the effectiveness of the waterproofing.

Why is my Gore-Tex no longer waterproof? ›


When water no longer beads and runs off after washing and drying, you'll need to reapply a durable water repellent (DWR). Use a water repellent spray for textile gloves. Or, water based leather care product for leather gloves.

Why did Gore-Tex fail? ›

Failure Point #1: Loss of Breathability

Even in good conditions, Gore-Tex doesn't allow sweat to pass through faster than you produce it, especially when you're exerting yourself. This is especially true for your feet, which are the second sweatiest part of your body after your armpits.

Where do you pee when backpacking? ›

It's important that you pee 200 feet away from water sources, trails and campsites to avoid impacting the natural environment or risk spreading illness to fellow outdoor adventurers. If you're on a slope, pee facing downhill so it flows away from you and not back down onto your feet.

Do navy SEALs wear backpacks? ›

Some packs offer dedicated weapon storage compartments, while others allow you to add weights. It is important to note that Sailors are only allowed to wear black or navy blue backpacks in uniform. Below are the top 15 Backpacks / Rucksacks Navy SEALs Use.

What should you not bring backpacking? ›

To help you pack light, here is a list of things you should consider not packing for a trip.
  1. Jewelry and Valuables. ...
  2. Heavy Zoom Lenses For Your Camera. ...
  3. Extra Toiletries. ...
  4. Too Many Cotton Clothes. ...
  5. More Than One Pair of Jeans. ...
  6. Those Nice Shoes. ...
  7. Hiking Boots. ...
  8. More Than One Heavy Jacket.
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