10 Best Waterproof Backpacks: Your Buyer’s Guide (2018)

best waterproof backpack

Wetness can be the bane of any daily activity or wilderness excursion. Whether you’re setting out on your favorite outdoor activity, or just heading into work, having a reliable waterproof backpack can make all the difference in your day. With so many effective and affordable waterproof backpack options available, there’s no reason your gear should be getting soaked.

We’ve put together a top list of the best waterproof backpacks currently available so you can ensure your next outing stays dry. Whether you’re looking for a true dry bag that can withstand full immersion in water, or just a backpack that won’t get soaked on your way to work or class — we’ve got you covered with some pretty cool options that are sure to keep your life drier.

What Are The Best Waterproof Backpacks?

cor waterproof backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Tough 500D PVC Tarpaulin
  • Offered as a 25 or 40 liter pack
  • External zippered pocket
Price: $42.97 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
phantom aquatics dry bag Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Floats when properly closed
  • Sternum and waist straps enhance support
  • Reflective accents
Price: $49.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
chaos ready waterproof backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Convenient exterior pockets
  • Adjustable straps
  • Quite affordable
Price: $45.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
sak gear dry bag Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Two different ways to close
  • Reflective patch and trim
  • Includes a chest strap
Price: $64.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
the friendly swede dry bag Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Safety whistle and reflective accents
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great intermediate size
Price: $56.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
arcenciel waterproof backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes a rain cover
  • Thoughtful interior compartments
  • Very affordable pack
Price: $32.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hotstyle waterproof backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Light, stylish and comfortable
  • Awesome array of pockets
  • Faux leather bottom
Price: $28.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
beaspire camera backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Specially built to house camera lenses
  • Huge potential for organization
  • Tripod strap has versatile function
Price: No price available Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
haptim picnic backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes cutlery and dining necessities
  • Tough nylon material will hold up
  • Interior is highly customizable
Price: $49.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
pisfun waterproof backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Mindful pocket schematic
  • Tough nylon material
  • Great intermediate size at 40 liters
Price: $55.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. COR Waterproof Dry Bag Roll-Top Backpack

    Pros:
    • Really effectively combines the traits of a good dry bag AND a good backpack
    • Effective use of compartments and pockets for good organization potential
    • Tough 500D PVC Tarpaulin construction makes this bag strong and flexible
    • Reflective patches are a nice added safety feature
    • Offered as a 25 or 40 liter pack
    Cons:
    • Front zippered pocket is not waterproof in the event the pack gets submerged
    • Customer reviews insist this pack feels a bit smaller than advertised
    • Only two color options available

    This dry bag style backpack by COR might be my favorite pack of this style included on this list. It offers all the benefits of a traditional dry bag, but really strives to provide the comfort and storage capacity of a good backpack. This unit will float if dropped in the water, this bag could be perfect for rafting, paddle boarding and other watersports.

    There’s an interior padded laptop sleeve so you can stow your electronics knowing they will be both dry and secure. The air mesh padded back panel and shoulder straps create pretty good lumbar support, so this pack is a fine option for longer and more strenuous hikes. It’s challenging finding a true dry bag that will also behave and operate like a nice backpack, so this pack really has it going on.

    Reflective patches on the front of the pack also add to its safety stats when riding a bicycle at night or when trying to signal for help. Perhaps the best feature that’s bound to come in handy is the large water resistant zip side pocket, allowing you to effectively organize the contents in this pack.

     

  2. Phantom Aquatics Premium Waterproof Backpack

    Pros:
    • Solid, well built shoulder straps
    • Sternum and waist straps for added support
    • Truly waterproof pack that will float if dropped into the water
    • Has reflective accents as an added safety feature
    Cons:
    • The elastic exterior storage space is of course not waterproof and may or may not be suitable for your needs
    • Only a 25 Liter pack
    • Some customer complaints that the stitching on this pack is prone to failure — you might want to be a bit gentler with this one

    This roll-top backpack by Phantom Aquatics is another solid option for a dry bag backpack. This bag is designed to safely float, so it’s another good choice for boating and other water sports.

    The large outer elastic storage space as well as the mesh side pocket allow you to store some gear on the outside of the pack. This bag also has two methods of sealing depending on what you’re trying to do with your pack. The back panel is constructed with an air flow design to minimize the uncomfortable heat and stickiness that some packs can generate.

    Adjustable sternum and waist straps make this bag as comfortable as possible. I think the straps on this pack are some of the best included in this review, scoring this bag some major points in my book. Good or bad strapping is often the main factor in how long your backpack will last, so I think the tough straps on this bag really make it a good option.

  3. Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack

    Pros:
    • Truly water, dirt and dust proof
    • Convenient exterior pockets for stowing excess gear
    • Quite affordable
    • Adjustable straps are good quality for this style pack
    Cons:
    • The main compartment has a 22 Liter capacity, so you may need a bigger bag for those more serious excurions
    • There is no chest or abdomen strap for assistance bearing heavier loads
    • The main compartment has no dividers, so it may be frustrating to locate what you’re looking for if you pack a lot of smaller items

    This dry bag style backpack by Chaos Ready is a great example of the affordable and effective waterproof packs available. Constructed with heavy duty 500 PVC tarpaulin with high frequency welded seams, this pack is super durable but still remains flexible.

    The material of this bag allows it to fold and store nicely, and it also wipes clean with ease. A few mesh side pockets and a front pocket (not waterproof like the main compartment) are great places to stow a water bottle or other gear that can get wet. The 22 Liter main compartment is truly water and air tight, so fear not if this bag gets tossed overboard while boating — it will float and remain dry inside!

    Chaos Ready offers a lifetime warranty on their products, so you can purchase with confidence. This style pack is ideal for excursions that you can expect to really get wet.

  4. BackSak 35L Waterproof Backpack

    Pros:
    • There are two different ways to close and secure this pack depending on your needs
    • Zippered and interior pockets allow for at least some gear organization
    • A reflective patch and trim will make you visible at night, a simple but potentially life saving feature
    • Includes a chest strap for assistance bearing heavier loads
    • Seven different color options
    Cons:
    • Pack can become uncomfortable when carrying particularly heavy loads
    • Quality of the chest strap is low, customer complaints about the clip and strap not holding up
    • Low quality zips and clips

    This dry bag style backpack made by BackSak is another great option for keeping your gear bone dry. A bit bigger than the pack by Chaos Ready (35 Liter capacity), this bag may better suit your needs for those more intense outings into the wilderness.

    This pack also has a chest strap and padded back support which will really help carrying weight long distances. There’s two different ways to close the bag — roll and clip to create a handle, or use the side clips for a more compressed, snug fit. Two interior waterproof pockets allow you to organize your gear effectively — perfect for stowing electronics and other wet-sensitive items separate from wet towels or swimwear.

    Reflective trim on this pack will make sure you’re visible at night, which is a great added safety feature in my opinion. There’s a variety of color options to choose from depending on if you want a pack that stands out or is a bit more subtle.

    Between the variety of pockets, relatively high capacity and tough PVC design, this is a great pack for rafting or hiking through some wet conditions.

  5. The Friendly Swede 33L Dry Bag Backpack

    Pros:
    • Includes survival features like a whistle and reflective accents
    • Main compartment is a true dry bag
    • Side pockets and front pocket are great for keeping things organized
    • Has both chest and waist straps for added support
    • Lifetime warranty
    Cons:
    • The chest and waist straps are not padded and may become uncomfortable if carrying a lot of weight
    • The one grey color option is kind of boring if you’re looking for a hip and stylish backpack
    • Not a high capacity backpack despite its better than average organization potential

    Another dry bag style backpack. This bag by The Friendly Swede is a 33 Liter pack with a few neat features to go along with it. Reflective details, as well as an easy access survival whistle, make it a good piece of equipment for wilderness treks where you want to maximize safety.

    Two mesh side pockets can fit a thermos or water bottle effectively and a front velcro pocket (not totally waterproof) also adds to this packs storage abilities. There’s a padded laptop sleeve on the interior of the bag too, so it’s pretty highly functional backpack for most purposes.

    Chest and waist straps, as well as adjustable shoulder straps, aim to maximize comfort of this pack. The roll top closure of this pack is what keeps your gear dry in rain, snow or splash, so just make sure it's properly clipped shut and get out there!

  6. ArcEnCiel 25L Waterproof Military Backpack

    Pros:
    • Thoughtful interior compartments and exterior pockets
    • Somewhat breathable while maintaining waterproof capability
    • Includes a rain cover for those really heavy rains
    • Very affordable pack
    Cons:
    • Not a ton of space for bulkier gear - only a 20-25 Liter capacity
    • Requires the rain cover when it’s seriously wet out to be actually waterproof
    • Side mesh pockets are too tight for larger water bottles/nalgenes

    This military style backpack by ArcEnCiel is a highly effective pack for both outdoor use or regular backpack use. Its array of interior pockets allow for comfortable storage of a laptop or school books, so this could make a great pack for your rainy daily commute as well as time spent in the wilderness.

    It’s a bit on the small side with just a 25 Liter capacity, but the interior compartments coupled with its exterior pockets should ensure that there’s room to bring plenty of gear along. This pack is designed with good air permeability using a thickened sponge on the back of the pack and also sports adjustable shoulder straps. It’s a water resistant pack as is, but if you want to really ensure your gear stays dry it comes included with a rain cover.

    The higher quality nylon buckles of this pack should hold up for the long run as well as the rot resistant material of the pack itself, so with the proper care plan on having this one for years to come.

     

  7. HotStyle 936 Plus College Backpack

    Pros:
    • Awesome array of pockets and compartments for organization
    • Light, stylish and comfortable — this pack is great for everyday use
    • Faux leather bottom makes this bag sit nicely when placed on the ground
    Cons:
    • This bag is highly water resistant but don’t expect it to be totally waterPROOF if it’s essential your belongings stay bone dry
    • Zippers are not of the highest quality, perhaps prone to breaking early
    • Shoulder straps are uncomfortable for some larger built users

    This trusty backpack by Hotstyle is a sweet little water resistant pack great for everyday use. Its water resistant polyester surface coupled with the faux leather bottom make it pretty suitable for keeping your belongings dry as long as you’re not really soaking this pack.

    Sporting a 26 liter volume, this bag is pretty spacious for the size and contains a nice array of pockets and compartments, including an effective padded laptop sleeve. The main compartment has seven organizational pockets, so keeping track of all your things is made easy with this bag. There’s even a port for feeding headphone wiring out of the pack — pretty neat! This bag is less than one and half pounds, so it’s a highly portable option for using as a wilderness daypack (where conditions aren’t going to be totally soaking wet) or as an everyday commuter.

    The shape of this backpack is both comfortable and stylish, and there’s also a few color options to choose from. At just $30 this one is truly a good buy.

  8. Beaspire Waterproof Camera Backpack

    Pros:
    • Huge potential for organization with all the customizable dividers in the main compartment
    • Nice quality strapping including a detachable waist strap
    • Mesh back pads add to the air permeability of this pack for added comfort
    • Tripod strap on the back of this pack could be used for a variety of purposes
    Cons:
    • Really oughta use the rain cover to ensure your electronics stay safe during heavy weather
    • Only one color option available
    • Zipper quality is not impressive

    This is a solid option for any photographers out there looking for a reliable waterproof backpack. Constructed with high density durable nylon, this pack is built to last.

    When using the rain cover, your electronics are safe from the wetness. The main compartment of this pack can hold quite a bit of camera equipment or be can be used as a normal backpack with super high organization potential.

    Padded customizable dividers really make this pack ideal for stowing gear of all shapes and sizes. The shoulder straps as well as waist and chest straps are all well made, so hauling your equipment around is made as easy as possible.

    If you plan on carrying lighter loads and want a slightly less cumbersome pack, the waist strap is conveniently removable. All in all, this is a pretty professional backpack that comes at a very reasonable price given its features.

  9. HapTim Waterproof Picnic Backpack

    Pros:
    • Includes a huge set of cutlery and dining necessities - even cotton napkins and a picnic blanket!
    • Nylon material is built tough, so this pack should hold up well
    • The inside of the pack is customizable, so you can get creative with how the inside of this bag is configured and with what you want to bring along for your picnic
    • VERY reasonably priced given what’s included with this backpack
    Cons:
    • Only one color option
    • Zippers appear to be a bit on the delicate side
    • Won't perform great as a hiking pack or as a true dry bag

    We included this unique backpack in this review because it’s well….seriously awesome. If you love to outdoor picnic then this bag is a must have. Made of high quality nylon fabric, this backpack has high wear and deformation resistance on top of being pretty darn waterproof.

    The oversized main storage compartment is built with premium insulation lining for keeping your food and drink either hot or cold. A detachable wine bottle holder is also compatible with the side of this pack. I really love how Hap Tim configured the cutlery set, it’s truly an effective bag for hiking into your favorite lunch spot to dine in style.

    Hap Tim even includes all the cutlery, wine glasses and other dining necessities pictured! Customer reviews rave about the quality of the included picnic blanket. With all the included gear, this bag is truly an incredible value and will make you the envy of your camping and hiking pals.

  10. Pisfun Tactical 40L Camping Backpack

    Pros:
    • Constructed with tough nylon material and good quality buckles and straps
    • Lots of well thought out pockets and compartments — high capacity for gear
    • Great intermediate size at 40 liters
    • Customer reviews claim this pack is capable of carrying fairly heavy loads (30+ pounds)
    Cons:
    • Water resistant, NOT truly waterproof
    • There is no support strap to clip across your abdomen if you want some support carrying heavier loads
    • Some might not like the tactical, military type aesthetic

    This 40 Liter tactical backpack by Pisfun is a pretty badass pack. Pisfun claims all of the stitching and webbing on this pack are military grade, and customer reviews support that this is a tough backpack. There’s a great array of pockets for stowing all kinds of gear when trekking into the wilderness.

    The material of this pack is highly water resistant, so if you want to go out in some rain it shouldn’t be a problem, but don’t plan on letting this bag fall overboard, it won’t keep its contents dry in the event of a full soak. The material won’t rot or mold if it gets saturated which makes it a great choice for an outdoor bag. The buckles and strapping are very rugged, so plan on having this bag for years.

See Also:

10 Best Packable Rain Jackets: The Ultimate List (2018)

5 Best Waterproof Fishing Backpacks (2018)

11 Best Waterproof Hunting Pants: Compare & Save (2018)

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.

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