Planning a hiking, camping, or water excursion in the future? You’re going to need a high-quality backpack that offers protection from the elements, including water, sun, dirt, and anything else that might compromise or damage vital gear or hydration crucial for taking on Mother Nature. We can help you find the perfect fit, with all the right bells and whistles, for your next outdoor venture.
Buying Guide for Waterproof Backpacks
Why invest in a waterproof backpack?
The biggest benefit is confidently having everything you need in one safe space. You won’t have to dig through an old-fashioned backpack with limited pouches, compartments, and—most importantly—protection. Waterproof backpacks allow you to carry more than 70L at a time, easily transporting gear like clothing, tents, and hammocks while keeping your hands free for exploring or maintaining your balance. With so many thoughtful designs and functions, you’ll have the freedom to focus on your adventure instead of the important items you had to leave behind.
What should you know before buying a waterproof backpack?
- Adjustability: Your waterproof backpack should feel comfortable, its weight evenly distributed across your back, to avoid strain or injury. It’s vital to invest in a pack with adjustable shoulder or chest/back straps (some backpacks offer detachable, customizable straps) to ensure your backpack fits your body.
- Padding: Make sure the backpack is padded and soft enough to contour to your back, or at least comfortably rest against it. This helps keep you strain- and injury-free on bumpy bike rides or hikes.
- Belt/No Belt: Heavier-duty models should include a waist belt for added security and support, whereas many smaller versions, like dry packs, don’t require a belt. Decide which option is best for you, depending on your needs.
What materials should a durable, high-quality backpack be made from?
It depends on what you’re looking for! If you need a simple dry bag to protect smaller essentials (like your phone, wallet, and water bottle), a more basic PVC backpack will do the trick. On the other adventurous hand, if you’re planning a 16-mile hike with potential challenges along the way, you’ll need a stronger waterproof material, like 600D oxford or puncture-proof tarpaulin, to protect vital essentials like water and shelter.
Our Picks for the Best Waterproof Backpacks
FENGDONG 40L Waterproof Backpack
An extra-thick and tear-resistant backpack for the outdoors.
Pros: No need to do a double-take on the price—it’s real, and it’s a steal. This tested-and-approved 40L waterproof backpack from FENGDONG is made from tough but lightweight polyester for extra resistance against water, wear, and punctures in rough environments. Its double straps and waist belt are thick and strong for added reinforcement and adjustable to help you find the most comfortable, pain-free fit. Leave no essentials behind! Your new backpack includes three zipper pouches, one zipper bag, a computer layer, and one side pocket for ultimate storage options.
Cons: The backpack’s material is waterproof, but that doesn’t include the two mesh pockets on the outside. Just be careful what you store in them.
Bottom Line: This is an excellent choice, especially for beginning adventurers needing an inexpensive, lightweight backpack. It comes at a great value and gets the job done.
Earth Pak Heavy-Duty Waterproof Backpack
A bag with an ergonomic padded back panel for comfort.
Pros: The “Earth Pak” name says it all. This heavy-duty, roll-top backpack is 100% waterproof and tough enough for loads of outdoor excursions, including kayaking, biking, camping, and fishing. Its ergonomically padded back panel and contoured shoulder straps are designed to evenly and safely distribute weight across your back. All you need to do is fasten the waist belt for ultimate comfort and pressure relief. Your new backpack is capable of carrying 35L or 55L, depending on the one you pick, and features hidden pockets for extra storage. Plus, every purchase includes an IPX waterproof phone case.
Cons: There are no dividers in this bag—the inside is comparable to a traditional backpack.
Bottom Line: Ready to hit the trail? Don’t forget your Earth Pak. Its strong build and roll-down top ensure your bag and everything in it stay sealed and protected from whatever you run into.
MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
Choose your ideal size and favorite color.
Pros: This backpack isn’t just waterproof; it floats, too! This MARCHWAY dry bag is full of features that other, larger, more expensive bags don’t include. It’s constructed from ripstop, watertight PVC with ultra-resistant polyester inner lining for complete protection, inside and out. Everything is sealed and held together with sturdy double sewing and high-grade thread. When rolled three to five times, the top buckles to seal in your belongings with no threat of damage. Choose from more than 10 colors and four capacity options up to 40L.
Cons: If you’re looking at the 10L bag, know that it only includes one shoulder or across-the-chest strap. You might want to size up if you want the double straps.
Bottom Line: This heavy-duty, customizable backpack will be your new favorite travel buddy. It offers more than the price suggests and will keep your belongings dry for years to come.
HEETA Lightweight Waterproof Dry Bag
Easily carry your gear without tiring your arms or shoulders.
Pros: A unique, see-through pack for water excursions, this waterproof dry bag from HEETA is a super-popular choice for a reason (or 10). Strap, buckle, and handle configurations differ depending on which model you choose—whether 5L, 10L, or even 40L. Every model offers thick, wide straps and reinforcement buckles for the most comfortable, adjustable experience. The bag’s high-quality PVC material stretches around the entire design and is sealed by three convenient handles for maximum carrying options, no matter the model. You’ll also receive a transparent dry bag for your phone, so you can easily read messages without risking damage.
Cons: Because of its grippy material, it can be tedious to remove sand, dirt, or dust from the inside of the bag. Try to keep it sealed on adventures and stored away at home!
Bottom Line: A cool, fun, and, most importantly, waterproof bag for any beach day, camping trip, or kayaking excursion. Use your new waterproof case to secure your phone before taking off.
Outdoor Plus Extra-Large Waterproof Backpack
Carry up to 85L without compromising durability.
Pros: This one’s the real, military-grade deal. The extra-large waterproof rucksack from Outdoor Plus is doubly durable with two wide and thick straps that support up to 85L—big and strong enough to hold clothing, shoes, cameras, tents, food, water, and whatever else your trip calls for. It’s quality-made with high-end 600D oxford material and certified KAM zippers and buckles (manufacturer of professional sports equipment). Your new rucksack features a roomy main compartment, two side pockets, and one front pocket for easy-to-access organization. It’s also frost-resistant for all you snow-lovers.
Cons: The bag ties closed with a thick drawstring instead of a zipper or Velcro strip, which some people might not prefer. It does include a top cap for added protection if that adds more confidence.
Bottom Line: It’s a totally worthy buy, especially for the low price. This Outdoor Plus bag considers every essential and potential environment, making it a thoughtfully made outdoor backpack.
Ready for that long-awaited hike or camping trip? You’re only steps away with any of these popular, superior-quality backpacks that protect against water damage and make room for all the essentials, whether it’s a three-hour tour or a day on the trail.