Phones, clothes, shoes, camping accessories – no matter what you carry in your backpack, you want it protected from water. Whether it’s crossing a river or unexpected rainstorms, waterproof backpacks go a long way in keeping your gear protected. Today, there’s a great range of waterproof hiking backpacks that come in a variety of styles and sizes. That said, you need to know the difference between water-resistant and waterproof backpacks. Water-resistant ones keep water away from the backpack, but they’re not effective in heavy weather conditions. That is, if water pressure is high enough, it exerts pressure on the bag. So, the water can make its way through the material. In extreme weather conditions, you need waterproof bags that don’t only keep water away but don’t let it in.
Thus, if you have a high-quality backpack at hand, you can enjoy your activities in peace knowing that your gear is protected. To that end, here are the 13 best waterproof hiking backpacks for you.
How to choose the best waterproof hiking backpacks
Naturally, the first, no-brainer element to look for in a waterproof backpack is its waterproof nature. What you need to know is that the waterproof nature of backpacks varies from one to another. Some backpacks are only waterproof as regards to stuff that falls from above, like rain and snow. On the other hand, some backpacks can withstand being completely submerged and are perfect for canoeing or kayaking. Thus, you need to think about the kind of outdoor adventure activities you usually engage in. That’ll give you an idea about the waterproofing levels you need in your backpack.
For canoeing and kayaking, you’ll need a 100% waterproof backpack. That’s because there’s a high probability of the pack being dunked in water. For dry-ish, land-based activities, your backpack needn’t necessarily be submersion-proof. Broadly, PVC-like materials are what make the packs of the submersion-proof variety.
Whether a hiking backpack is waterproof or not, you’d want it to be comfortable on your shoulders and back. You need to look for features such as chest strap, ventilation panels, and padding on the back and the shoulder strap. Also, you need to check how evenly the weight is shared across your waist, back, and shoulders.
Size and weight
It’s but obvious that the lesser the weight of your bag, the lighter the load on your back. It also translates to the more amount of gear you can potentially carry. One particular feature you need to check in this regard is the bag’s closure system. In case it has a roll-top closure system, you need to make sure that the capacity isn’t affected. Additionally, some packs offer both roll-top closures and alternatives like side clips.
Another important feature you need to look for in waterproof backpacks is organization. Although the main compartment is a huge space, zippered/mesh pockets are handy for stashing quick-access items. Whether it’s flashlights, tissues, or water bottles, you need pockets to quick access.
Earth Pak Summit Dry Bag Backpack
The Earth Pak Summit Dry Backpack is the perfect choice for anyone who indulges in wet outdoor activities. The heavy-duty 35-liter dry-bag backpack is ideal for keeping water damage at bay. Additionally, it’s also available in a 55-liter choice.
The waterproof hiking backpack is bold, bright, and spacious enough as a carry-on or as a weekend backpack, both. To begin with, it’s constructed from 500D PVC. That, along with the single reinforced strip and roll-top closure, protects your gear from getting wet. Coming to the organization, the bag has a huge roomy main compartment supported by an ergonomic padded back panel. It also features extra zippered and mesh-compartments for storing quick-access and wet-dry stuff. Also, there’s a splash-proof large frontal zippered pocket for flashlights or first-aid kits. Everything comes together with the side-cinching waist and sternum straps. They ensure carrying comfort and provide latch points during specific adventurous activities.
Moreover, there’s even a bonus perk of an included waterproof case that can fit even the larger Android smartphones.
- Superb waterproof protection.
- Waterproof cellphone case.
- Comfortable, paddled support.
- The seal between the main compartment and the front pocket is low on durability.
Vitchelo 30L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack
The Vitchelo 30L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack is a dream for design enthusiasts. The dry bag boasts a sleek design and is perfect for adventure hiking. Whether you walk in the rain or stand under a waterfall, the snug Vitchelo backpack has your belongings covered.
The hiking backpack offers impressive waterproof protection. This is due to the vinyl tarpaulin exterior, complete with a robust, welded seam. That, combined with a roll-top closure essentially seals the bag in a watertight system, keeping your belongings drier. What’s more, the nifty little backpack even floats on water! So, if you’re crossing a river, you can simply float your bag alongside you to take the weight off your shoulder, and your stiff is still protected.
Besides the main compartment, it has mesh side pockets and elastic front webbing for extra storage. What makes it an easy carry is the many amazing padded straps. Padded waist and chest straps help limit side-to-side movement when you’re walking. In addition, the reinforced one-handed strap takes the weight off of your shoulders. To top it all, the straps are breathable, preventing sweat buildup and allowing for ventilation.
- The bag is lightweight, buoyant, and foldable.
- Includes a separate waterproof touchscreen phone case.
- Breathable and padded straps, waist, and chest belts.
- Made from robust vinyl tarpaulin with a welded seam that is both abrasion-resistant and waterproof.
- No internal pockets.
FE Active Cloudbreak 30L Waterproof Backpack
If you’re eco-conscious, then you’ll like the 30-liter FE Active Cloudbreak Waterproof Backpack. The waterproof, dry-bag hiking backpack is constructed from fully-certified, eco-friendly PVC tarpaulin. The marine-grade PVC tarp is not just sustainable, but also offers complete waterproof protection for a gamut of outside fun.
The waterproof bag is an organization nutter’s dream. Weighing just less than two pounds (0.9 kg), the backpack has an impressive 30-liter capacity. Not only can it carry multiple changes of clothes, but it can even fit in a laptop if you were wondering. A corded exterior is ideal for holding extra jackets that you don’t want to carry in your hands. It can also be used to attach extras like yoga mats, camping gear, or even extra clothes. Also, two netted side pockets are perfect for storing water bottles. It’s extras like these that make the bag so amazing for its price.
Despite its size, the dry bag makes a comfortable carry thanks to the strap system. An in-built mesh lining on the back helps keep you sweat-free and ensures better airflow. Furthermore, padded shoulder straps ensure that the bag sits comfortably on your shoulders.
- Padded shoulder straps and mesh panels keep sweat at bay.
- Marine-grade waterproof design protects your belongings.
- If you’re going on a longer trip, the capacity might be a bit less.
Diamond Candy 40 L
If you’re an avid trekker or hiker, then you can’t go wrong with the Diamond Candy 40-liter Backpack. This inexpensive backpack is spacious enough to handle stuff for a two-three day hike. Above all, it’s lightweight, which makes carrying it an absolute breeze.
The waterproof hiking backpack is constructed of ripstop, waterproof nylon. It keeps water at bay and doesn’t let it soak your belongings. For additional protection, it even comes equipped with a rain cover that’s stored in a small pocket at the bottom. It’s extremely useful for providing an extra layer of waterproof protection to your backpack. On the inside, the massive, 40-liter space allows you to store everything from clothes to even shoes. In fact, you can fit in a lot of gear sans any hassle.
What’s more, the backpack has four zippered compartments as well that keep all your stuff organized and easy to access. A padded back panel and breathable mesh shoulder straps ensure maximum carrying comfort for long hikes. Finally, the backpack boasts inimitable durability and will last for years to come.
- Exceptionally lightweight.
- Four zippered compartments.
- Breathable shoulder straps and back panel.
- Its appearance might feel less attractive as compared to other backpacks.
Matein Waterproof Wheeled Travel Backpack
Does your work take you places where it rains constantly? Is your work such that you want to carry your laptop along? Do you want the ease of handling? If the answer to everything is yes, then the Matein Waterproof Wheeled Travel Backpack is the answer to your prayers. The waterproof backpack on wheels offers comfort, space, style, and then some. They’re what make it one of the best wheeled backpacks for travel.
The backpack is constructed from durable, waterproof polyester along with metal zippers. In fact, its bottom portion is also waterproof with abrasion-resistant corner guards. Adjustable and breathable straps ensure carrying comfort. Plus, they can be neatly tucked away when not in use. When being wheeled, the sturdy telescoping handle and smooth rubber wheels ensure maneuverability.
The compact yet roomy backpack features a 38-liter capacity and even has an in-built laptop sleeve that can hold a 15-inch laptop. Moreover, the main compartment can also fit in clothes, shoes, etc. for overnight trips. In addition, there’s a zippered compartment for books and files. On the outside, a frontal organizer pocket is ideal for sashing quick-access stuff, while water bottles can go in the side mesh pockets. Better yet, there’s even a back pocket for tissues, sanitizers, and maybe a small flashlight.
- Easy to wheel with telescoping handle and sturdy wheels.
- Ergonomic design with well-ventilated straps.
- Waterproof and durable, and yet stylish.
- Not recommended for heavily wet areas.
SealLine Black Canyon Boundary Pack
If you’re on a budget and looking for a waterproof backpack, then the SealLine Black Canyon Boundary Pack will quite fit your needs. The durable, yet reasonably lightweight and inexpensive dry bag also happens to be huge; it has a capacity of a whopping 115 liters!
The rough-and-tough backpack is a worthy competitor in the fully-dunkable dry bag class. At 115 liters, this backpack is the largest on this list and can store in more stuff than you could possibly want. Straying from tradition, it uses side-cinch buckle closures to maintain complete waterproof protection. After the top is rolled, the side straps and closure buckles secure to create a super- tight seal. Besides reducing volumes, they also ensure a comfortable fit. Finally, two frontal vertical straps can be tightened to reduce volumes, lend stability, and reinforce the seal. What’s more, the backpack is PVC-free, which makes it an eco-friendly choice.
If you’re headed into the wettest of adventures, then SealLine Black Canyon can handle everything thrown its way. It makes for a fabulous pack-and-forget dry bag backpack.
- Can be dunked in water.
- Lightweight for its massive 115-liter capacity.
- None, really.
XTPower Hiking Solar Backpack
Even if you’re hiking in peak summer, not all your walking will be dry. In fact, rivers and streams will be in spate. In such instances, the adventurer in you will love the ultra-cool and uber-useful XTPower Xplorer Camouflage 38. The nifty hiking bag is one of the best solar backpacks in the market. Plus, it comes in a very stylish camo exterior, that bodes well for your hiking stint.
The hiking backpack features five-watt solar panels. With conversion rates of up to 22%, the backpack produces more energy as compared to others. If that wasn’t enough, the solar panels even have scratch-resistant surfaces. Aside from that, they’re fastened to the backpack by being sewn into a PVC cover. Besides, the panel is detachable, so you can take it off the module and place it under direct sunlight while you rest in the shade.
The hiking backpack does very well on the organization front too. It features an ergonomic design with breathable and padded shoulder straps. So, your body doesn’t sweat during longer, humid hikes. Finally, it features many smaller pockets and two large compartments, fitting all your stuff easily.
- Stylish and attractive design
- Solar panels with high efficiency
- Cushioned and breathable straps
- Big size
- The solar panels can be removed and stored when not in use
- Unless you don’t like camo, there are none.
Sea To Summit Flow 35L
The Sea to Summit Flow 35-liters is for multi-sport adventurers looking for a versatile waterproof hiking bag. The backpack is also available in 65, 90, and 120-liter capacities. The backpack has the waterproof capacity of a canoe pack, along with the functionality of a hiking backpack. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also one of the best ultralight backpacks around.
The backpack is constructed from 600D, TPU-laminated, sturdy, and heavy-duty waterproof fabric. The waterproof, UV-resistant and PVC-free fabric is ideal for colder environments too. What makes the backpack so comfortable to carry is that the adjustable sternum straps and waist belt, that support the heaviest of loads. Finally, a removable harness allows for easily attaching a whole lot of extras.
Also, this waterproof backpack has quick-drying technology, whether it’s soaked in water or sweat. The air mesh and the open construction of EVA foam not only allows for rapid drying but also tons of airflow. Topping it off is the non-wicking roll-top closure, which keeps water damage at bay.
- Very comfortable.
- Hydration sleeve included.
- A white interior makes it easy to see inside.
- The waterproofing quality is excellent.
- Extremely expensive.
Ortlieb Velocity Backpack
If you’re a cycling enthusiast, you have a specially designed backpack too. Enter the Ortlieb Velocity Backpack, which offers an excellent option to go off the beaten path on wetter adventures. The versatile, lightweight backpack has a 20-liter capacity and a laundry list of waterproofing capabilities.
The biggest plus point of the backpack is its weight of just 37 ounces (1 kg). This makes it ultra-lightweight and very easy to carry while cycling. A carrying handle at the top makes it easy to lift the pack onto and off the bike. Furthermore, the well-ventilated back panel and the foam-padded shoulder straps help in keeping the sweat at bay. Whether you ride, run, or walk, this lightweight backpack is your friend that rests lightly on your shoulders.
Just because its lightweight, the backpack doesn’t skimp on the organization. The strap loops at the back are handy for attaching rear safety lights in case you ride in the dark. What’s more, there’s a zippered pocket on the inside for protecting smaller items.
- Detachable waist belt.
- Handy inner pocket.
- Rear form padding is great for ventilation.
- For its size, it’s a bit heavy at 1 kg (2.2 pounds).
IDrybag Roll Top Dry Bag Backpack
IDRYBAG brings a new generation of backpacks to the table with the IDRYBAG Roll-Top Waterproof Backpack. The waterproof hiking backpack has a multipurpose design perfect for all outdoor activities. The bag is constructed from 500D waterproof fabric offering waterproof protection for on-the-go. It even has heavy-duty watertight and welded seams and vinyl-coated woven polyester exterior.
The main compartment of the bag features a roll-top seal with woven tape and a plug buckle. What’s more, a cinching strap helps you compress the bag, lending it stability and making it more comfortable to carry. Moreover, it features comfy, padded straps to take the strain off your shoulders and back.
The most unique thing about the bag is its inner and outer pockets. The splash-proof zip pocket can store a flashlight and other odds and ends. The internal pocket, on the other hand, has lots of space for most personal belongings. Finally, you can stash quick-access items like knives and flashlights in the exterior pocket.
- Multi-purpose use for outdoor activities.
- Highly comfortable.
- Great inner and outer pockets.
- It might not be as durable as other bags on the market.
YETI Panga Airtight, Waterproof, and Submersible Bags
The YETI Panga Airtight Bag is the perfect waterproof hiking backpack for water adventures and long weekends in the wild. The state-of-the-art backpack features a gorgeous design with lots of storage options and is tough as nails. If that wasn’t enough, its excellent waterproof resistance prevents water from seeping into your gear.
When it comes down to comfort, that of the YETI Panga Airtight is unmatchable. It features a Thick skin shell made of thick TPU laminate and high-density nylon. They’re not just abrasion but also puncture-resistant. A specially-designed Hydrolock zipper keeps the water away from your possessions. Furthermore, the ergonomic and detachable waist belt and chest straps make hiking all the more secure and comfortable. The straps even help evenly distribute the weight of the belongings, adding stability.
One of the highlights of the bag is its zippered pockets. The zip not just moves smoothly, but repels water due to its Hydrolok design. Finally, the interior stowaway sleeves and pockets keep your belongings safe.
- Excellent organization.
- Highly comfortable.
- Particularly waterproof.
- It’s not exactly lightweight.
Umpqua Tongass 1800 Waterproof Backpack
The Umpqua Tongass 1800 Waterproof Backpack boasts a laundry list of features. It features a gamut of amazing features, including excellent compartmentalization and complete dunk-ability! If you’re a keen hiker or backpacker, then the UT 1800 will definitely be love at first sight.
As compared to other high-end backpacks, the UT 1800 provides equally excellent waterproofing. Also, it offers more versatility, useful features, and comfort. An internal hanging pocket is great for stashing small stuff that can be easily lost within. What’s more, it can even be clipped on outside or on the inside. Additionally, the bag also has web tool attachment points on the shoulder straps, water bottle pockets, and waist belt pockets.
Even though all that goodness comes at a high price of $169, it’s well worth it. And for that extra dough, the UT 1800 goes a lot further than most of its rivals.
- Durable and rugged.
- Very heavy at 3.8 pounds (1.72 kg).
Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
Marchway Floating Dry Waterproof Bag is a durable, lightweight, and waterproof backpack for hiking. The backpack is constructed from ripstop tarpaulin and has a carrying volume of 20 liters. It provides adequate protection enough from splashes and is a great way to keep wet clothes separated from the dry ones. What’s more, the bag is shaped like a flat bottom cylinder. So, it not only stands upright unattended but is also easy to pack. Finally, the roll-top closure is easy to use and simple, and the dual webbing carry-straps make it easy for it to be carried as a backpack.
Moreover, the bag comes in a whopping 12 different color options and 5 different sizes. You must know that the 5 and 10-liter ones come with a single shoulder strap, while the rest have double shoulder straps.
- Available in various sizes and colors.
- Simple and straightforward design.
- It might not be large enough to handle heavy gear.