Best Waterproof Backpack

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Why you need one

When you are outdoors, you are always at the mercy of Mother Nature’s elements. Thus, a waterproof bag should be an essential part of your outdoor gear list, be it hiking, camping or when you are out in the water. It helps drive away rain or water from your important gear , such as your fish finder during your fishing trips.

You have a peace of mind knowing whatever the weather brings, your warm dry clothes and your valuables will be safe. You can use it on wet days in the city or on your adventures in the rivers. 

These water resistant backpacks usually come in the form of heavy-duty material, which are easier to wipe clean. The surface of the body contains elements that repel moisture, which otherwise usually disintegrate on non-waterproof backpacks.

When not outdoors, it can even be used as a gym bag to lock in the smells, as it is airtight. In emergencies, you can use the dry bag backpack as a water bucket when the time calls. For the survivalists, you can keep your important documents and carry it along during a natural disaster, like a flood. For some, they find it as the best computer backpack.

 

As there are so many options out there, we have narrowed the selection to the top five waterproof backpacks. If you are hard pressed for time, and want to get the best waterproof backpack, we recommend the YETI Panga as the best choice in the market.

Top 5 Waterproof bagpacks

Table of Contents

How to choose a waterproof backpack

Best waterproof backpack

Size

Depending on your needs, you need a bag large enough to store your necessities and lightweight to bring anywhere. If you plan to camp, the bag should be able to fit your tent, sleeping bags, toiletries and extra clothings. Remember the bigger size it is, the less easy it is to get it into the boat.

Weight

The ideal weight for the bag is dependent on your body weight. In general, it is between 10% to 20% of your body weight, which works out to be around 20 to 40 pounds. If you workout less than 3 hours a week, then your backpack should stay under 20% of your body weight. If you are actively working out all the time, you can max out till 30% of your body weight. So when you choose the bag, take into consideration the original weight of the bag itself. It should be able to take in the weight of your essentials.

Waterproof versus Water-resistant

waterproof water-resistant

Waterproof offers the highest level of protection from water, it offers a complete barrier to water. Water-resistant offers a lower level of protection. Being Water-resistant depends on the thread count, if it is tightly woven, water struggles to get through. Water resistant sheds water, they are only able to resist the penetration of water to a certain degree.

Material

Check to see whether your backpack is waterproof or water resistant. It can mean the difference between wet clothes and dry clothes. Usually waterproof materials are made of nylon and coated in silicone, acrylic or polyurethane to make sure that water does not leak through.

Seals

Stitched seams will not prevent water from seeping in, as it can seep through the seams. Welded seams are preferred options to keep the bag durable from the inside.

Closure

Waterproof Zippers

You can put drones, camera gear, tripods and other things that you do not trust in this type of bag. When you have a zipper involved, you will feel more secure as the zippers are made watertight by being tucked beneath a waterproof covering. Imagine your SOT (Sit On Top) kayak rolls over and your bag goes floating down the river. When you find it later, your stuff is still safe and dry in it.

Roll-top type

Roll-top closures can be latched and sealed using water resistant Velcro. This is great at fighting off moisture when it is tossed around.

Submersion

submersion

This determines the true waterproofing especially for activities such as kayaking. So far, most roll top bags cannot be submerged, they will leak slowly and you will find your bag full of water after an hour.

Straps

One of the most important things to consider is comfort and fit. You may be lugging your bag around for days. Some backpacks come with Carry handles, which are great for throwing into the trunk of your truck. Shoulder straps help to keep the bag from slipping off the shoulder. They can be padded to avoid it from digging into your shoulders and  absorb the brunt of the weight you are carrying. Hip straps and hip padding allows the weight to be supported by the muscles at your thighs and hips. This balances out the load on your shoulders by shifting the center of gravity, which is good for your back.

This is a heavy duty bag, which can withstand a beating yet stay waterproof. This is due to its thickskin shell made of high-density nylon and thick TPU lamination. If there is a word to describe it, it would be “Reliable”.

Some users have dragged this beach backpack through sand, tossed it overboard and let it toast in the hot sun. And yet it does not affect the waterproofing or damage exterior material. It is perfect for those who headout to the outdoors for mountain climbing, fishing, kayaking or cycling on your roadbike. Its Dryhaul backpack straps makes it extremely comfortable to carry this duffel bag around. It can be considered the best sling bag here.

 

For travellers, its size fits into the overhead compartment perfectly. Unlike roll-top dry bags, you do not need to remove everything to get to the bottom of the outdoor bagpack. Its innovative designed zippers allows you to unzip and take what is at the bottom of the bag and zip up.

Its Hydrolok zipper (which is one of the most durable zippers in the market), keeps all moisture away from seeping at the seams, ensuring the bag will be 100% dry inside. U-dock at the terminal end of the zipper, ensures that it is completely airtight seal, making it submersible. This feature sets it apart from other bags. It is great as a waterproof backpack for college too.

After getting soaked in water, it’s great to be greeted with your dry towel, dry clothes, important equipment and working car keys, all dry and intact. It can be used as a waterproof laptop backpack.

 

Pros:

  • Legendary toughness
  • Submersible zippered backpack (rare to find in the market)
  • Totally waterproof
  • Duffel bag

 

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Less affordable

 

This is a roll-top dry bag and a backpack together.  The body of this bag is made of thick abrasion-resistant, 600D TPU laminated waterproof fabric. Users have tested it on difficult terrain with sharp rocks and have it to be abrasive and tear resistant. Even with extended use in extreme cold or blistering heat, the durable backpack holds up well.

Together with its welded seam construction, it makes it waterproof from the outside. Its well designed TPU roll-top closure with innovative interlocking channels prevents water from getting inside, and also ensures nothing falls out.

But it is not entirely waterproof. It cannot be held underwater. It is suitable for water sport activities with protection against splashes or short immersions, but any further than that may find water seeping in. 

 

Its built-in backpack straps and a hip belt, distributes the weight effectively. This makes it suitable as a waterproof hiking backpack to hike in a storm or when cycling in the rain. Your contents of your pack will stay nice and dry, despite being in terribly wet and dirty conditions.  Its 35 liters capacity enables you to store a 3 liter water bladder fruits, snacks, a life jacket and clothes. Alternatively it can also keep a general paddle in.

It weighs 2 lbs 4 oz without anything inside. Its harness is removable, which makes it easier when you go into the waters. When you want to transport heavy items, then having the harness on makes it easier to carry them around.  However, it is not easy to access, as you need to dig everything out to get the content at the bottom of the bag. Cleaning the bag is super easy as you need to turn on the water hose and spray it off.

 

Pros

  • Built in backpack straps and hip belt
  • Removable harness strap
  • 600D TPU laminated waterproof fabric

 

Cons

  • Not easy to access
  • Not submersible

 

This is a submersible waterproof duffle bag. Made of 420D textured TPU material and sealed with YKK Aquaseal Zipper, it is 100% completely airtight and waterproof. There is a tube zipper lube that comes along with it to maintain the dexterity of the high end waterproof YKK zippers.

It performs flawlessly with its welded seams, keeping out elements of heavy rain, sun and deep snow to keep your contents bone dry and clean.

It comes with a One way purge valve, which lets out extra air to compress your bag after you put in all your items. This makes it convenient to store, when you have limited space especially when using a locker for luggage.

Alternatively, when you are not using it, you can compact it down and store it under your seat. Or you can even use it as a pillow when zipped up! They are available in 3 sizes 40, 60 and 100 liter sizes.

 

 

It is easy to carry around as it has a solid carrying handle and removable shoulder strap with neoprene padding. Webbing outside of the bag, together with its reflective contrast stitching, makes it easy to spot your bag at night, or when it goes overboard.

There are slip pockets for your items you need accessible, yet not care about keeping it dry. It is like a Mary Poppins bag, as the size is large enough to hold all the camping gear you need, including a tent.

The bag is designed to make it easy to sort and find your items, with 2 interior zippered pockets and an interior mesh dividing pocket. It is perfect for riding the backseat of your motorcycle, making it a great waterproof solution for a motorcycle luggage.

Pros

  • Waterproof YKK zippers
  • More affordable
  • Submersible
  • Duffel bag

 

Cons

  • Pockets on the outside holds water
  • Pull handles for the zipper

 

 

This is a roll-top back sealed with a quick clip closure, which is a heavy securing clamp, so water isn’t getting in even if you blast the bag with a hose. It is a backpack that can handle adverse weather conditions.

It can afford a quick submersion, but no longer than that.  Thus, you do not need to worry about your laptop in the bag when standing in the rain at the bus stop. This bag will float if dropped in the water due to its roll-down closure and burly, welded, PU-coated fabrication. 

This bag is one spacious bucket without much compartments for organization. There is a zipped pocket on the outside for small items like your car or house keys.

Its shoulder straps are broad and adjustable to make it comfortable to carry for longer periods. It is useful especially in hot weather as its vented back and shoulder pads allows you to feel the air flow getting to your back.

It makes a good waterproof cycle backpack. The waists and chest straps help distribute the weight and keep your bag down so that it does not bounce when you are cycling on bumpy roads. This helps when you have heavy stuff like your laptop or books in the bag. It is a great go to bag for moving around or activities outdoors, as it is lightweight.

 

Pros

  • Tough
  • Breathable shoulder straps
  • Lightweight

 

Cons

 

  • No organizational compartments

This duffel bag doesn’t let any water or moisture in and is 100% airtight. It is made from top quality TPU/ Nylon material which can take serious abuse, as it is abrasion resistant and puncture resistant. It is great for extreme adventure as it keeps all your gear bone dry even when it is plunged into a river or soaked in torrential rain.

Before you go into the water, just give the bag a squeeze as hard as you can to check if there is any air leaking. Once the bag is airtight, you can leave some air in it. It will serve as a nice back rest or a place to sit on, when there is no place to sit.

There is an exhaust valve to remove the air, once you are ready to store it.There are 5 sturdy cushions at the bottom of the bag to withstand exposure to outdoor elements.  

 

There are multiple options for carrying such as the removal shoulder strap as well as 2 sides haul grip handles. It has great points for tying it down, just hoop two bungee cords through its 4 duraflex D rings installed at the base of each strap. It comes in 3 size options, 40L, 70L or 90L. 

There is 1 mesh zipper pocket inside and 1 waterproof zipper pocket outside. Some users find the opening of the bag a little small to put in larger objects. Its airtight zipper is a little tight when you first use it.  It comes with a tube of seal repair paste, to maintain the seal’s quality for long term usage. 

You will save lots of money instead of getting a hard top case for your motorcycle luggage. It is easy to clean, just spray water on it.

 

Pros

  • Airtight and waterproof
  • Loops on the outside to connect things to
  • 5 sturdy cushions at the bottom
  • Multiple options of carrying 

 

Cons

 

  • Opening of the bag is a little tight for larger object

Summary

If you are looking for a better way to protect or transport your survival gear, YETI Panga is the one you are looking for. It is one of the best durable backpacks. This bag will see you through every travel adventure. You can attach this bag to your kayak and let your bag float alongside you. It is robust, lightweight, and versatile, making it perfect for the outdoors.

What's Next

Are you a survivalist, travel adventurer or just need ready to go back for your essentials? Check out our recommended Bug Out Bags.

I hope you enjoyed this review and if you have questions about any of the top 5 Waterproof Backpack, or want to leave your own personal review, feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

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