Backpacks Buyers Guide Survival Gear Waterproof Gear

Best Waterproof Backpacks for Outdoors and Camping

Written by Survival Gearist

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If you love spending time outdoors and adventuring into the wilderness than you know, that sooner or later, you will get caught in the rain. After all, even after planning, preparing, and researching weather forecasts, we are at mother natures mercy.

Having the right gear to keep your supplies and equipment dry can mean being safe and sound vs. dangerous survival circumstances. Whether it is keeping your fire starting supplies dry in the back country or protecting your valuables from the elements while traveling, having a waterproof bag is a must.

This guide will explain everything you need to know about some of the best waterproof backpacks and help you choose the best model.

Why are Waterproof Backpacks Ideal for Outdoors?

For adventurists who love to spend time outside and in nature, having the right gear matters. When you are under the unpredictable grip of mother nature you need to be prepared and protected. Whether it’s just a small rain shower or relentless days of downpour, having a bag to keep your gear dry is a must.

Waterproof backpacks are built tough with durable, waterproof materials with seams that do not allow water to enter the bag. The best bags out there can withstand hours, if not days, of rain without getting the contents inside wet.

If you are someone who likes to head out on adventures no matter the weather forecast, you’ll find that investing in a quality waterproof backpack is well worth it.

When a hard rain comes you’ll be glad that you have more than just a lightweight daypack or bag that gets soaked within minutes.

I’m sure you’ve all been there…on a long adventure where there’s no turning back when weather comes!

How to Choose the Best Water Proof Backpack

Consider these factors when selecting the best waterproof backpack:

High quality seams. To ensure the backpack is fully waterproof you’ll want to look for high quality taped seams. Taped or welded seams are a must for waterproof bags since they seal off the seam and keep water from leaking through the small holes created from stitching.

Waterproof fabric. Fully waterproof material insures that your stuff stays dry and the backpacks lasts trip after trip. The best option is high-denier ripstop polyester or nylon that is both durable and waterproof.

Lightweight. A Lightweight backpack makes it’s more comfortable to carry on your back when fully loaded. Plus, it’s easier to pack and carry when not in use.

Style. Depending on how you plan to use your bag, you may want to get a more versitile bag. A backpack that can do double duty and work in both in the wilderness and city is ideal. And let’s face it, style is important to some people.

Packable. A foldable or packable backpack makes it possible to store in inside larger bags when not in use.

Pockets/storage. Having sufficient pockets and storage compartments for all your gear is vital. Some people like to keep all their gear and gadgets separated, others prefer one large compartment for everything.

Best Waterproof Backpacks 2017

I’ve chosen some of what I think are the best waterproof backpacks on the market that are both ready to handle any outdoor adventures as well as function in the urban jungle.

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack 

Timbuk2 makes some of the sleekest waterproof bags out there, it’s almost like they had some boardroom meetings with Apple to strategically designed this waterproof pack. The Timbuk2 Spire Backpack is built to fit a 15″ Mac Pro in the main storage compartment plus an iPad in a separate second pocket. It was designed specifically for techies looking for a durable and waterproof bag to transport there tools. You never know when rain when fall and this bag will keep all your valuable electronic gear gear dry and safe.

Key Features:

  • Ventilated back panel
  • Under $100
  • Small zip pockets to store small items
  • Daisy chain for securing accessories
  • Adjustable straps including removable front sternum strap
  • Organizer for pens, phones, and other gadgets
  • Built in bottle opener on strap
  • Lifetime warranty

Specs & Details:

  • Volume: 32L capacity
  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 18.7 x 12.4 inches
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Material: Canvas
  • [Get it on sale here]

Timbuk2 Rogue Laptop Backpack 

Another great Timbuk2 backpack to fit all your electronic carry needs, whether you are in the urban jungle or heading into the wild. The Rogue Laptop backpack is perfectly designed to store your laptop and keep it dray and secure. It’s made to fit up to a 15″ laptop. Additional features includes a convenient front zip pocket to store small items and well thought out organizer compartments for keeping small gadgets organized.

Key Features:

  • Large main compartment
  • Comfortable padded shoulder straps
  • Stretchy, high quality air mesh laptop sleeve
  • Daisy chain for strapping gear (helmets, tripods, etc)
  • Removable front sternum strap
  • Expandable side pocket for water bottles or gear
  • Built in bottle opener
  • Lifetime warranty

Dimensions & Details:


Patagonia Black Hole Pack

The Black Hole Pack made by Patagonia is among my favorite all-around waterproof packs. It’s built ultra-tough and at 25 liters is the perfect size for daily adventures. The pack is designed with serious adventurers in mind and will last for years of daily abuse. The price is on the higher end for waterproof packs, but quality is top notch. Of course, with all Patagonia products, the environment is kept in mind and the pack is constructed with textile products that are as eco-friendly as possible.

Key Features:

  • Top access compartment with flap
  • Waist belt and front sternum strap for added stability while hiking
  • Padded shoulder straps for comfort
  • Haul handle on top of backpack
  • Stretch side pocket for water bottles, etc
  • Daisy chain points for storing extra gear

Dimensions & Details:

  • Volume: 25L capacity
  • Dimensions: 7.87 x 11.81 x 15.75 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Material: 450D polyester ripstop
  • [ Get it on sale here ]


Boreas Echo Pack 

The Boreas Echo Waterproof Backpack is a well designed pack that shows in it’s details. This pack is unique as it offers everything you want from a backpack, yet it offers the full capabilities of a dry bag. It’s double hull construction allows you to keep your gear dry in one part and store wet gear in another. When weather is unpredictable and storms are expected, the Boreas Echo is the perfect pack and it’s tough build will last for years of the harshest use and conditions.

Key Features:

  • Roll close top
  • Well-padded shoulder straps
  • Adjustable front sternum strap
  • Molded EVA foam backpanel
  • Roll out waterproof cover
  • Hidden daisy chains for gear storage
  • Lifetime warranty

Dimensions & Details:

  • Volume: 25L capacity
  • Dimensions: 4.72 x 13.46 x 21.89 inches
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Material: 210D & 420D nylon ripstop kiss coat with TPU coating
  • [ Get it on sale here ]


Sea to Summit Rapid Day Pack

Sea to Summit is known for making some of the most rugged waterproof outdoor gear. Their Rapid Day Pack is no exception. It’s a great waterproof backpack for day trekking, but also big enough to to pack all the essentials for overnight stays. It offers a built-in hydration compartment to store a bladder for drinking on the go. The bottom line is that this backpack is the ultimate mix of functionality and convenience.

Key Features:

  • Ventilated shoulder straps
  • Abrasion resistant material
  • Top loading with roll top cover
  • White interior helps identify contents of bag
  • Aircraft alloy buckles
  • Stretchy mesh side pockets for storage
  • Built-in hydration compartment
  • Internal pockets to store smaller items

Dimensions & Details:




Filson Dry Day Backpack

Compact and versatile the Filson Dry Day Backpack is designed to keep your gear dry in the wettest conditions, yet allow you to move quickly. It stylish with it’s simple and classic design, which makes it a great option for city excursions. The size is perfect to day adventures and can store all your essentials, but is likely too small for overnight trips. Stylish and durable, this is clearly one of the best waterproof backpacks on the market.

Key Features:

  • Front sternum strap for stability
  • Adjustable side straps allows variable size loading
  • Roll-top access and loading
  • Oval base for easy packing
  • Sleek and classic design
  • Sompact shape and size

Dimensions & Details:

  • Volume: n/a
  • Dimensions: 7 x 13 x 19.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.1 Pounds
  • Material: Vinyl-coated polyester
  • [ Get it on sale here ]


Outlander Packable Daypack

The Outlander Packable Daypack is the perfect piece of gear to carry along with you while traveling. It’s small enough to store in your larger luggage.  It’s a basic backpack, but provides water resistant protection for day outings and is built extremely durable for years of daily use.

Key Features:

  • Highly rip and abrasion resistant material
  • Bar tacking reinforcement at pressure/stress points
  • Light and durable
  • Affordable price point
  • Breathable straps for comfort
  • Multiple compartments for organization
  • Lifetime warranty

Dimensions & Details:

  • Volume: 20L or 30L capacity
  • Dimensions:
    • 20L: Unfold: 16.92×10.63×7.08 inches, Fold: 6.29×5.90×1.97 inches
    • 33L: Unfold: 19x13x8.2 inches, Fold: 6.29×5.90×2 inches
  • Weight: 0.46 pounds (20L) 0.5 pounds (33L)
  • [ Get it on sale here ]

Millican Smith Roll Laptop Backpack

This beautifully designed and sleep pack is a definite head turner whether your on the hiking trails on in the city. The Millican Smith backpack is one of the best looking, yet classic waterproof packs for everyday use. It’s built with durable materials and offers a good mix of storage compartments, including a built in lap top sleep and a hidden pocket behind the back padding.

Key Features:

  • Roll top access with adjustable strap
  • Minimal seams means extra durability
  • Matt finish
  • Adjustable sternum strap for stability when moving
  • Large side pockets for storage
  • Hidden pocket behind the back padding for security
  • In-built laptop sleeve (15″ capacity)

Dimensions & Details:

  • Volume: 25L capacity
  • Dimensions: 20 x 11 x 7 inch
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Material: Bionic canvas (38% cotton, 57% recycled polyester, 5% high-tenacity polyester), paraffin wax treatment, [lining] recycled polyester
  • [ Get it on sale here ]

Wrap Up

Waterproof backpacks are an essential piece of outdoor gear for anyone who enjoys adventuring no mater the weather forecast. Mother nature is unpredictable and even with the best planning you may run into rain. I’ve been using a waterproof backpack for my EDC pack for years now and would never swap it out for a less durable option that can’t defend my gear from the wet.

If you’re not prepared and carrying electronics this could mean damaging or destroying your valuables, which is the last thing you want. Having a durable and functional waterproof backpack for everyday use and adventures is the way to go to ensure your gear stays safe and dry.

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