Whether you’re traveling, camping, hiking, or commuting to work, a backpack is the most effective and convenient way to carry the things you need. For the best experience, you need a bag that is built to last and, depending on where you’re venturing, it should be waterproof too.
Waterproof backpacks are also an essential piece of travel gear. A backpack that can withstand adverse weather conditions, as well as general wear and tear, is an investment you will not regret.
While high-quality waterproof backpacks are great for keeping your gear and belongings safe and dry, some bags just do not do as good a job. To ensure there is no moisture seeping into your bag and breaking your electronics – as well as making your sandwich mushy – here are the best waterproof backpacks available online.
12 Best Waterproof Backpacks for 2021
If you’re short on time and just want a quick list to choose a high-quality waterproof backpack, here is a summary of my top picks.
- Best Overall Waterproof Backpack: Yeti Panga Backpack 28
- Best Women’s Waterproof Backpack: Mammut Ducan Spine 28-35 Women’s Backpack
- Best Men’s Waterproof Backpack: Timbuk2 Robin Pack
- Best Budget Waterproof Backpack: Matador Freefly16 Packable Backpack
- Best Lightweight Waterproof Backpack: Sea to Summit eVent Dry Compression Sack
- Best Commuter Waterproof Backpack: Showers Pass Transit Waterproof Backpack
- Best Waterproof Backpack for Hiking: Mountain Hardwear Scrambler Pack 25
- Best Waterproof Dry Sack: Osprey UltraLight Dry Sack
- Best Waterproof Daypack: SealLine Urban Dry Daypack
- Best Waterproof Backpack for Fishing: SIMMS Dry Creek Z Backpack
- Best Waterproof Travel Backpack: The North Face Borealis Classic Backpack
- Best Small Waterproof Backpack: Fjallraven Ulvo 23 Daypack
Best Overall Waterproof Backpack
This 100% waterproof backpack serves as the ultimate fortress for all your gear. Combining the durability of the Panga duffels with a backpack design for comfortable carrying, the Panga Backpack is perfect for any adventure.
With its ultra-strong construction, the Panga Backpack is the ultimate outdoor travel companion. Whether you’re faced with roaring rapids, torrential downpours, or rocky terrain, this bag is sure to keep your valuables far from jeopardy.
The U-Dock and Hydrolok Zipper ensures a completely airtight seal, keeping your belongings bone-dry, no matter the weather. The ThickSkin Shell, made from high-density nylon and thick TPU lamination ensures the bag is puncture and abrasion-resistant.
In addition to these are many other unique features which make the Panga Backpack my number one pick on this list.
- Ergonomic, durable DryHaul shoulder straps and removable hip belt and chest strap ensure the backpack is stable and secure throughout your trek
- ThickSkin shell is able to resist punctures and abrasion
- HydroLok zipper is extremely effective at sealing out water, ensuring that your valuables remain dry at all times
- Internal sleeves and mesh pockets keep your valuables secure, dry and organized
- Only available in one color (Storm Gray)
- The bag is not the most lightweight option available
- The bag only comes in one size, which may be considered large by some
Yeti Panga Backpack 28 Specs:
|Dimensions:||20 x 7 x 12.5 inches|
|Fabric:||High density nylon/thermoplastic urethane lamination|
Best Women’s Waterproof Backpack
The Mammut Ducan Spine is the perfect hiking backpack for women. The bag is specifically cut for the female frame. It features a suspension system with patented Active Spine Technology designed to support a natural gait.
The Duncan Spine has anatomically shaped, soft padded shoulder straps and well-positioned pockets, allowing you to organize and distribute your gear more evenly. By allowing you to effectively organize your heavier and lighter items, you end up with a backpack that’s weighted in a way that’s natural to the human body.
Another feature which I like is the air suspension system which allows for adequate ventilation, keeping your back sweat-free, even after hours on the trail. Moreover, Mammut’s backpack takes into account sustainability, using PFC-Free (a non-biodegradable compound) DWR.
With its many innovative features, the bag does a great job catering to your travel needs. The backpack comes available in three colors – namely dragon fruit/black, galaxy/black and granit/black.
- Lightweight and tailored specifically to the female anatomy, allowing for optimal comfort
- Active Spine Technology allows for more freedom of movement, greater comfort and reduced fatigue
- Well-positioned pockets to allow easy access to your gear while walking or hiking.
- Includes 2 trekking pole holders
- Rain cover included for added protection in case of downpours
- Only one size option available – may be too big for some
The Mammut Ducan Spine Backpack Specs:
|Dimensions:||11 x 22.5 x 12.2 inches (Length x Width x Height)|
|Fabric:||91% Polyamide, 9% Polyester|
Best Men’s Waterproof Backpack
Need a stylish, yet functional, everyday men’s backpack? Then the Timbuk2 Robin Pack is a great option. Chic, nimble and designed to withstand even the heaviest of downpours, this backpack will have you looking good while keeping your gear safe.
The Timbuk2 Robin Pack features a coated nylon flap and removable, reflective rainfly. This ensures that your belongings are properly protected at all times. Moreover, the bag has a magnetic closure, making your gear easily accessible. This is especially helpful if you’re always on the move. While this bag does a fine job at keeping your gear safe, I find that it is not able to store much.
Two features which I quite like are the reflective mesh panels and the hidden vista loop for attaching a blinking light. This allows for increased visibility when traveling, making it perfect for anyone commuting – be it by foot or bike. It is also a great option for many other travel adventures.
- Adjustable magnetic sternum strap keeps the bag secure and allows for an even weight distribution
- Incognito reflective panel illuminates when hit with direct light, allowing for improved visibility
- Includes a tuck-away rainfly for extra protection in case of downpours.
- Secure magnetic closure
- Some users have reported that there are not enough pockets
- Only one size option available
Timbuk2 Robin Pack Specs:
|Dimensions:||10.83 x 5.31 x 19.69 inches|
|Fabric:||940-denier Cordura nylon|
Best Budget Waterproof Backpack
The Freefly16 Packable Backpack is part of Matador’s “Advanced Series”. This range of products is designed for the traveler who pushes further, hikes longer, and enjoys the unexpected. Moreover, it is the lightest, most compact and weatherproof gear around.
The Freefly16 is designed for quick and easy access in variable conditions. It is ultralight, water-resistant and packs down to fit into your palm. I have found this to be quite a lifesaver, especially when on longer excursions where packing light is best.
Made with waterproof Cordura fabric with sealed seams and sealing zippers, this bag protects your gear from all elements. In addition to keeping your belongings safe, this bag offers plenty of storage, including side pockets to hold your water bottle. The buckle cinch straps are a nice addition, keeping your bottle in place. Overall, I find that the Freefly 16 is the most ideal backpack for lightweight travelers.
- Waterproof 30D Cordura fabric with sealed seams and sealing zippers for optimal protection from all elements
- Adjustable shoulder straps for effective weight distribution
- Detachable, roll-top storage bag – optimized for fast pack up
- Packs down small for travel
- 16L capacity – cannot hold too much
- Fabric used could be stronger
Freefly16 Packable Backpack Specs:
|Dimensions:||11 x 8 x 17 inches|
Best Lightweight Waterproof Backpack
Another great lightweight, waterproof backpack is the award-winning eVent Dry Compression Sack. Using innovative permeable eVent fabric, the bag pushes air out, while stopping water from getting in.
The eVent Dry Compression Sack is made from a tough 70D polyurethane fabric and has double-stitched, fully-taped seams. Along with a breathable base and non-wicking roll-top closure, this bag is sure to keep all your gear safe and dry. Much like the previously mentioned Freefly 16, the eVent Dry Compression Sack has impressive compression capabilities. This ensures that everything is compact, saving you tons of space on your travel adventures.
If you’re an outdoor lover like myself, then this bag is an item worth investing in. With this stylish, compact dry sack, safely store your sleeping bag, clothing and other gear.
- Made of 70-denier nylon fabric with reinforced stitching, the bag is highly durable
- With its polyurethane coating, the bag is completely waterproof and can withstand all weather conditions
- Compact and lightweight design, making it perfect for any adventure
- Variety of sizes to choose from (XS, S, M, L, XL)
- Only one color option available (Gray/Gold)
- Some users have reported leaks, however, this is rare
Sea to Summit Waterproof Backpack Specs:
|Dimensions:||XS (6 x 14”), S (7 x 16”), M (8 x 18”), L (9 x 20”), XL (10.5 x 23”)|
|Fabric:||PU-coated 7-denier nylon (body), 40-denier nylon (base)|
Best Commuter Waterproof Backpack
This tough, rugged waterproof backpack is defined by its protective, durable design and is perfect for cyclists on their daily commutes. Safely store your lunch, books, and gadgets as you travel between destinations, be it home, work, or your local coffee shop. Regardless of your destination, the Transit Waterproof Backpack is sure to keep all your belongings secure and dry.
The fully waterproof, weather-resistant backpack, with its self-supporting construction, provides optimal protection through all conditions. Moreover, it has some especially useful features for anyone who’s always on-the-go. I find that the adjustable strap bucks do a good job keeping the backpack secure at all times. The 4 LED beacon lights are also a lovely addition, as it allows for high-power visibility at night, ensuring your safety.
- Ballistic nylon and waterproof coating protects against all elements
- Adjustable waist and chest straps allow for optimal stability and comfort
- Large compartments and multiple pockets to keep your gear organized and secure
- Includes 4 LED beacon lights, providing improved visibility at night
- Only available in one color (Gold/Black)
- Only available in one size which may be big to some
- Not very lightweight or compact
Showers Pass Transit Waterproof Backpack Specs:
|Dimensions:||13.75 x 20 x 8 inches|
|Fabric:||100% ballistic Nylon|
Best Waterproof Backpack for Hiking
Mountain Hardwear believes that performance means products purposefully designed using the highest quality materials and technologies. In addition to this, it means providing users with a better experience through fit, weather protection, moisture management and temperature regulation.
The Mountain Hardwear Scrambler Pack 25 encompasses all of the above. It’s rugged, 4-layer Dimension-Polyant X-Pac fabric provides optimal protection. No matter the weather, your bag and your belongings inside will be kept safe.
Moreover, the bag is durable and light, making it a dependable pack for day hikers, trad climbers, and off-trail scramblers. My only wish for this backpack is that it came in a smaller size, as some trails require more mobility which a larger bag does not quite allow for.
- Dimension-Polyant X-Pac fabric provides a high level of protection from punctures, abrasion, age and general wear and tear
- Dual-density shoulder straps offer optimal comfort and support
- Internal gear loop ensures your gear is kept organized and easily accessible
- Lightweight framesheet dries quickly, supports loads and reduces overall pack weight
- Only one color option available
- Only one size option available – may be big for some
Mountain Hardwear Scrambler Pack 25 Specs:
|Dimensions:||21.3 x 11 x 6.3 inches|
|Fabric:||57% nylon, 43% polyester|
Best Waterproof Dry Sack
Through relentless innovation, Osprey aims to ease your journey and inspire travel. One of the products through which the brand wishes to achieve this is the Osprey UltraLight Dry Sack. This compact, lightweight waterproof backpack is designed to keep your gear organized and protected and easily fits into your travel luggage.
To keep your gear as safe and organized as possible, the bag features a roll-top closure and is made from durable, waterproof materials. It features a color-coded interior, making packing and accessing all the more simple.
So before placing your gear into your travel luggage, use the Ultralight Dry Sack as it allows you to pack more efficiently. Moreover, you will be able to easily find and grab the gear you need, when you need it.
- Available in many sizes and colors
- Rectangular shape allows for efficient packing
- Highly durable as it is made from 40D Ripstop nylon
- Osprey offers a lifetime warranty on all their bags, for all wear and tear
- Some users have reported leaking, however, this is rare
- Does not have its own strap and needs to be placed within another bag
Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack Specs:
|Dimensions:||6L (11 x 7 x 4”), 12L (16 x 9 x 5”), 20L (17 x 10 x 6”), 30L (20 x 11 x 6”)|
|Fabric:||40-denier ripstop nylon|
Best Waterproof Daypack
SealLine’s waterproof dry bags are made to meet the most demanding standards of gear protection. Among their remarkable waterproof bags is the Urban Dry Daypack. This is a 100% waterproof bag designed for comfort while commuting or traveling. Not to mention, it is able to safely and securely hold all your gear.
Some of the bags nifty features include its QuickClip flap closure, providing an optimal seal, as well as padded laptop sleeves. If you’re heading to a coffee shop or your local library for the day, this daypack is a great option. Moreover, the narrow, burrito-style roll-top allows for improved over-the-shoulder sightlines while riding.
- QuickClick flap closure creates an optimal seal, keeping your gear safe and secure
- Waterproof materials and includes welded seams to ensure the inside of the bag remains bone-dry
- Light-colored interior allows for easy identification of contents within the bag
- A bike light can be easily attached for improved visibility when commuting
- Only available in a single size
- Not many handy options for separating items
SealLine Urban Dry Daypack Specs:
|Dimensions:||21 x 12 x 7 inches|
|Fabric:||500-denier polyurethane-coated polyester/nylon|
Best Waterproof Backpack for Fishing
Simms truly believes in the joy of fishing and is committed to making everyone’s experience all the more worthwhile. Through their innovative products, the brand aims to lower the barriers between the world’s lakes, rivers and open waters, and those who hear their call.
The Simms Dry Creek Z Backpack is a rugged, waterproof backpack and is perfect for anyone who enjoys fishing. Hard-to-reach fish require strategy and stamina. The Dry Creek Z easily endures the effort, tolerates heavy loads and keeps your gear, tools and layers safe and dry.
The Dry Creek Z Backpack is truly waterproof, net-friendly and provides quick access to all your gear. Whether you’re an experienced guide or a beginner taking your first cast, this bag is sure to have you covered.
- Tru Zip waterproof self-healing zipper offers 100% submersible protection in all conditions
- Roomy, water-resistant exterior pocket for quick access to key items
- Centered net holster for scoop-ready performance
- External hook and loop field for flies and accessories
- Could have more features given its price
- Only available in one size – 35L
Simms Dry Creek Z Backpack Specs:
Best Waterproof Travel Backpack
Stash your gear and hit the road with this modern, rugged backpack by The North Face. The Borealis Classic Backpack is a 28-liter backpack offering updated features and an improved suspension system for all-day comfort. As such, it is one of the best waterproof backpacks for travel.
Pack in your 15-inch laptop, books, lunch and any other essentials before heading out to enjoy the day. A hoodie or jacket can easily be stuffed in the elastic bungee system on the front of the bag.
The breathable bag has a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish, making it ideal for adverse conditions in the backcountry. Moreover, it ensures that all your belongings are kept dry and secure at all times, even if you find yourself floating down a river.
- Highly comfortable, padded backpack with spine panel and PE sheet for extra back support
- Plenty of internal and external pockets to keep your belongings secure and organized
- Removable waist belt and sternum strap for extra security when moving around.
- Integrated, reflective bike light loop (bike light not included)
- Many color options available (Horizon Red, Sweet Lavender, Asphalt Grey, and more)
- The bag is top-heavy and does not have a flat bottom so it tends to fall over when set down
- Users have reported that the bag cannot hold a lot as it does not extend very far out
The North Face Borealis Classic Backpack Specs:
|Dimensions:||19 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches|
|Fabric:||420D nylon (body), 1680D ballistic nylon (boot)|
Best Small Waterproof Backpack
The Fjallraven Ulvo 23 Daypack is a versatile, packable backpack, great for light treks, traveling, and everyday commuting. The bag’s innovative Fjallraven Bergshell fabric is made from 100% recycled nylon and is completely water-resistant. This way, you’re able to keep all your daily essentials safe and secure while you travel.
One of this waterproof daypack’s biggest draws is its chic, minimalist design. And while the bag sure offers a great aesthetic, it is also functional. With many smartly hidden pockets and compartments, you will be able to safely store your laptop, books, lunch, layers, and more.
Moreover, the backpack has lightly-padded shoulder straps with ventilating air mesh at the shoulders and bag for added comfort. In addition to this, a sliding, adjustable chest strap and side compression straps to keep your gear packed down. For those who are always on-the-go, and do not want to sacrifice style for functionality, I definitely recommend checking this backpack out.
- Versatile daypack made from waterproof, durable and recycled Bergshell fabric
- 23-liter main storage compartment – can easily hold a 15” laptop and more
- Attachment for a bike light along the front for increased visibility at night
- Chic, minimalist design
- Raincover not included
- Only available in one size
Fjallraven Ulvo 23 Daypack Specs:
|Dimensions:||17 x 11 x 4.9 inches|
|Fabric:||400D 100% Polyamide|
Waterproof vs Water Resistant Backpack?
If a backpack is labeled as waterproof, it suggests that the bag will not let any moisture inside, even when submerged into a body of water. It goes beyond simply withstanding a rainstorm, and optimizes for more extreme conditions.
Backpacks are considered waterproof if they have certain features that ensure moisture is kept out. This includes waterproof fabrics, waterproof zippers, seals and more.
Note that waterproof should not be mistaken for water-resistant as the two have different implications. Water-resistant does not suggest that the bag is entirely waterproof, and may only withstand light drizzles or, if you’re lucky, downpours. A high-quality water-resistant backpack will keep your gear safe and dry in a rainstorm. If thrown in a lake, however, your gear may not fair as well.
Waterproof backpacks are therefore best. You can walk through waterfalls or white water raft without having to worry about your gear getting wet.
Why Should You Invest In a Waterproof Backpack?
Waterproof backpacks possess a number of qualities that make them stand out against other travel backpacks. From being able to withstand even the harshest of conditions, to providing a safe space for all your gear, there are plenty of reasons to purchase one.
Detailed below are four key reasons why you need to invest in a waterproof backpack before your next adventure.
As is probably clear by now, the main benefit of a waterproof backpack is just as the name suggests – it is waterproof. As such, the bag is able to keep all your gear safe from any damage that may be caused by water.
With a waterproof backpack, you will be able to explore the outdoors without having to worry about being hit with unexpected rainfall. Whether you’re traveling, hiking, camping or engaging in any other outdoor activities, these bags are perfect.
Built to Last
Waterproof backpacks are generally manufactured using materials that are so durable and high-quality, you should be able to use them for a long time. Moreover, the materials used are waterproof, from the fabric to the zipper. Along with some high-end technologies, these bags offer complete protection for your belongings.
Waterproof backpacks are often made using tightly woven nylon or polyester fabrics. Moreover, they usually have an outer coating, be it PU (polyurethane), PVC ( polyvinyl chloride) or TPE (thermoplastic elastomers).
This ensures that the bag is not only waterproof, but able to withstand the elements. For this reason, waterproof backpacks generally last longer than cheaper backpacks.
In the past, waterproof backpacks were often big, bulky, and fairly uncomfortable. Today, manufacturers are able to produce waterproof backpacks that are just as (if not more) comfortable than your everyday bag. This is thanks to advances in technology and innovative designs.
With high-quality waterproof backpacks, everything from the straps to the weight is designed with the user in mind. This way, you’ll get the benefits of a waterproof bag, as well as premium comfort and an incredible user experience.
Easy to Carry
A simple benefit of a waterproof backpack is that they are BACKPACKS. While totes, duffel and shoulder bags are spacious and easy to grab, carrying a heavy one for too long can be detrimental to your natural gait.
When carrying an over-the-shoulder bag, there is generally more weight placed on one shoulder, which causes the other arm to work harder. This can easily throw off your balance, leading to muscle and back pains.
Backpacks, however, generally have two adjustable straps which allow for an even weight distribution. Moreover, it makes them super easy to carry. When heavily loaded, however, some backpacks can cause problems. So, for optimal comfort, it is important to pick a high-quality backpack – much like the ones outlined in this post.
Capacity, Compartments and Organization
Another great benefit of a waterproof backpack is that they are generally able to hold quite a bit inside of it. As it is able to store quite a bit, you will not have to worry about taking along a second backpack on your adventures. Hold everything including your gear, clothing, lunch, water, and more, without having to worry about anything getting damaged.
Waterproof backpacks also come equipped with plenty of pockets and compartments to provide users with the ultimate organization experience. Oftentimes, different compartments are designed to hold specific items. This way, the bag allows for efficient organization and easy access to all your belongings while on the move.
An often overlooked benefit of waterproof backpacks is their versatility. Traveling, hiking, climbing, camping, kayaking and motorcycling are among the many adventures where these are useful. Some lightweight options are even great for running.
As they are built to last and are weatherproof, they can easily withstand just about anything. Moreover, they are able to hold almost everything, from your laptop and notebook, to your fishing or climbing gear. For those who love adventure, a waterproof backpack is the ultimate companion.
Final Thoughts on the Best Waterproof Backpack
With a waterproof backpack, you will be able to fully enjoy each and every adventure. No more worrying about accidental soakings or submersion, as these bags optimally protect your gear. With high-quality, durable materials, these backpacks will ensure your belongings stay safe and dry, for years to come.
Note that quality and durability often come with a higher price tag. For a high-quality waterproof backpack, you can expect to pay up to as much as $300. Luckily, there are several more cost-effective options on this list that still guarantee a great user experience.
So before your next outdoor adventure, be sure to pick up one of these amazing waterproof backpacks!
I hope that from this list you have found your perfect waterproof backpack to accompany you on your next adventure. If you’re interested in any other useful travel gear, check out the informative options below.