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12 Best Waterproof Backpacks: Your Buyer’s Guide

best waterproof backpack

Whether you’re setting out on your favorite outdoor activity, or just heading into work, owning a reliable waterproof backpack can save your day when the weather or conditions are wet. With so many effective and affordable waterproof backpack options available, there’s no reason your gear should be getting soaked.

Whether you’re looking for a true dry bag that can withstand full submersion in water, a specialized option for fishing or hunting, or simply a backpack that won’t get soaked on your way to work or class — we’ve got you covered with some awesome 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: $56.97 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: $79.60 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
fishpond thunderhead backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fully submersible
  • Built remarkably tough
  • Sharp looking aesthetic
Price: $299.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
chaos ready waterproof backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Convenient exterior pockets
  • Adjustable straps
  • Quite affordable
Price: $38.99 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: $79.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Vitchelo 30 Liter Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Fully submersible and buoyant
  • Water bottle sleeves on sides
  • Nice quality strapping for bearing heavy loads
Price: $37.90 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: $39.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Big Agnes big joe Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 420D high-tenacity nylon with fusion welded seams
  • 45, 80 and 110 liter options
  • Super high gear capacity
Price: $179.95 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: $31.99 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: $29.99 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: $49.99 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: $59.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. COR Waterproof Dry Bag Roll-Top Backpack

    • 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
    • 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 making it 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 as 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. 2. Phantom Aquatics Premium Waterproof Backpack

    • 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
    • The elastic exterior storage space is of course not waterproof and may or may not be suitable for your needs
    • Fairly low gear capacity at 25 liters
    • 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. 3. Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack

    • Fully submersible
    • Nice quality strapping including a hip belt and chest strap
    • Super tough construction, this bag is essentially bulletproof
    • Sharp looking aesthetic
    • Equipped with features intended for fishing
    • Expensive option
    • Zippers can get stiff if not occassionally lubricated
    • Lacks side sleeves

    Here’s a high-end, fully submersible backpack intended for fishermen that’s a top performer when it comes to keeping gear organized and dry.

    The Thunderhead Submersible Backpack is a phenomenal waterproof option from our list of the best waterproof fishing backpacks. While it’s certainly expensive, it still comes at a great value considering its nearly indestructible build and totally waterproof, zippered (rather than roll-top) design.

    This bag is intended for fishing purposes, so it has external attachment points for fishing tools and rod tubes. It’s also designed with a hip belt and chest strap for assistance carrying heavier loads. This backpack is equally awesome for travel and everyday use, especially considering its totally cool aesthetic.

    One water-resistant external zippered pocket is perfect for stashing keys or a phone, while the main compartment is totally waterproof. This is a go anywhere, do anything type of backpack that you’ll own for many, many years of whatever it is that you love to do! 


  4. 4. Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack

    • Truly water, dirt and dust proof
    • Convenient exterior pockets for stowing excess gear
    • Quite affordable
    • Adjustable straps are good quality for this style pack
    • 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 highly 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 airtight, 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.

  5. 5. BackSak 35L Waterproof Backpack

    • 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
    • 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, but this unit offers a higher gear capacity.

    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 to carry weight long distances.

    There are 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 storing 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.

  6. 6. Vitchelo 30 Liter Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack

    • Fully submersible and buoyant
    • Nice quality strapping for bearing heavy loads
    • Water bottle sleeves on sides
    • Includes a waterproof phone pouch
    • Folds up super compact for easy storage
    • Lifetime limited warranty
    • No color options
    • Lacks external storage/organization
    • Roll top design might be frustrating for some

    Here is an excellent value dry bag for more intense water sports that’s built impressively tough!

    Vitchello has built a totally submersible waterproof backpack with this surprisingly affordable option. The rip-stop tarpaulin, roll-top design makes it both completely waterproof as well as super foldable and compact when not in use. This unit packs really well as part of your essential gear taking up very little space, and can then be deployed in seconds when you need it.

    There is a main interior pocket totaling 30 liters, side sleeves, and an external gear cinch with this bag giving it a pretty good gear capacity without becoming too cumbersome. There’s unfortunately little organization potential, but that’s typical of most roll-top style bags.

    Vitchello even offers a lifetime limited warranty with this pack so you can buy in confidence. All in all, for the cost this is one killer waterproof backpack option that should last you many seasons of use! 

  7. 7. The Friendly Swede 33L Dry Bag Backpack

    • 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
    • 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

    This drybag style backpack by The Friendly Swede is a 33 liter option with several neat additional features for the cost!

    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 a pretty highly functional backpack for most purposes.

    Chest and waist straps, as well as adjustable shoulder straps, aim to maximize the 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!

  8. 8. Big Agnes Big Joe Waterproof Duffel Bag

    • 420D high-tenacity nylon with fusion welded seams is super tough and won't let any wetness in
    • 45, 80 and 110 liter options - the bigger bags are awesome high-capacity travel options
    • Strapping can be configured as a duffel, backpack or for side carry
    • Great quality zippers and hardware
    • You can REALLY load this one up regardless of the size for those gear-intensive adventures
    • Multiple color options available
    • Minimal organization potential
    • When loaded up really heavy, you might miss the high-quality strapping for load distribution you'd expect with a hiking pack
    • Fairly expensive option, but well worth the cost considering the durability and quality of these bags!

    Here’s an awesome waterproof backpack option that doubles as a duffel bag making it perfect for travel, road trips and off the beaten path adventure in general. 

    The Big Joe Duffel Bags by Big Agnes are built remarkably tough and have excellent water resistance. I was recently sent an 80-liter model to test in the field, and I’m super impressed with its capabilities after traveling with the bag for a few months while fishing and exploring in Mexico! This bag is built TOUGH against wetness, abrasion, and puncture so there’s really nothing that can stop it.

    The 420D high-tenacity nylon with fusion welded seams won’t leak on you even in a pouring rain – this bag means business. 

    The Big Joe is a simple pack with little interior or exterior organization that comes in several different sizes up to 110 liters! The idea of this duffel/backpack hybrid is to get you and ALL of your gear and apparel wherever it is that you’re going.  Loading this unit up with a ton of gear is made easy just based on the inherent shape, and there are at least a few zippered pockets and sleeves on the inside and outside of the pack for stashing smaller items and travel gadgets

    Big Agnes offers the Big Joe Duffel in several different color options so you can choose the one that suits you best. For a high capacity, bulletproof waterproof travel bag, this is without a doubt one of the top options on the market!


  9. 9. ArcEnCiel 25L Waterproof Military Backpack

    • Thoughtful interior compartments and exterior pockets
    • Somewhat breathable while maintaining waterproof capability
    • Includes a rain cover for those really heavy rains
    • Very affordable pack
    • 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.


  10. 10. HotStyle 936 Plus College Backpack

    • 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
    • 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 effectively 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 a 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 are also a few color options to choose from. For the cost, this is truly a great value buy.

  11. 11. Pisfun Tactical 40L Camping Backpack

    • 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)
    • 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 has a totally tough aesthetic on top of being impressively water-resistant.

    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.

  12. 12. HapTim Waterproof Picnic Backpack

    • 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
    • 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 picnic 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.