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So, what exactly makes a backpack waterproof? It’s not just about slapping on a rain cover or hoping for the best. A true waterproof backpack is designed with materials and closures that prevent water from getting inside, even if you decide to take a spontaneous swim across a lake (backpack on your back, of course). But here’s where it gets a bit technical—there’s a difference between waterproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant backpacks can handle a light drizzle, but give them a proper shower, and they’ll start to soak through. Waterproof backpacks, on the other hand, laugh in the face of such challenges. Made from materials like PVC or TPU and featuring seals and closures that keep water out, these backpacks are ready for anything from a torrential downpour to a quick dip.

Our Pick of the Best Waterproof Backpacks

Discover our top picks for the best waterproof backpacks that seamlessly blend style and functionality. These backpacks feature cutting-edge waterproofing technologies, ensuring your belongings stay dry in any weather. From outdoor adventures to urban commuting, our curated selection offers a range of options, each meticulously reviewed for capacity, comfort, and organizational features. Choose a reliable and stylish companion for all your activities with our handpicked collection of the best waterproof backpacks.

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Rugged and durable, the YETI Panga excels in durability, offering a robust solution for outdoor enthusiasts seeking reliable waterproof storage.

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Prioritize security with the Mission Darkness Dry Shield Faraday bag, designed to block signals, making it ideal for securing electronic devices during travel.

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Tailored for heavy-duty storage needs, the SealLine Pro Pack ensures your gear stays dry and protected, making it a trustworthy companion for demanding adventures.

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Embrace versatility with the Fishpond Wind River, a pack that seamlessly transitions from fishing to everyday use, providing a well-organized and adaptable storage solution.

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Optimize your storage with the Plano Atlas 3700, offering organized compartments for efficient storage, making it an excellent choice for anglers seeking order in their tackle.

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Best for Durability

YETI Panga

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The YETI Panga is best suited for outdoor enthusiasts who need a durable and completely waterproof solution to protect their gear in the most demanding environments. Whether you’re fly fishing in Belize, kayaking through choppy waters, or embarking on a wet and wild adventure, the Panga’s design ensures your belongings stay dry and secure.

Summary

The YETI Panga stands out as a premium choice for adventurers who demand the utmost in waterproof protection and durability for their gear. Its robust construction, coupled with the Hydrolok zipper and tough shell, offers unparalleled security against water and damage. While its weight and price point may deter some, the Panga’s performance in keeping contents dry and secure in extreme conditions justifies the investment. Ideal for boating, fishing, or any adventure where water exposure is a concern, the YETI Panga ensures your gear remains safe, dry, and ready for whatever comes next.

Main Key Features

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Absolute Waterproofing: Keeps gear dry in all conditions, even when submerged.
  • Durability: Resistant to punctures, abrasions, and impacts, ensuring long-term use.
  • Comfortable Carrying: Designed for ease of transport, whether by hand or on the back.
  • Versatile Use: Ideal for a wide range of outdoor activities where gear needs to stay dry.

Cons

  • Weight: May be considered heavy, especially when loaded, making it less ideal for extended treks.
  • Price: High cost reflects its premium build and features but may be prohibitive for some.

Best for Security

Mission Darkness Dry Shield Faraday

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The Mission Darkness Dry Shield Faraday Backpack 40L is designed for individuals requiring the utmost in data security and privacy, particularly in outdoor or unpredictable environments. It’s ideal for military and law enforcement, government and executive travel, personal data security, and EMP/CME protection. This backpack excels in keeping electronic devices shielded from external RF signals, ensuring privacy and security.

Summary

The Mission Darkness Dry Shield Faraday Backpack 40L is a robust solution for those needing to secure electronic devices from unauthorized RF signals, ensuring privacy and data security in any setting. Its military-grade construction and waterproof capabilities make it an unparalleled choice for outdoor use, tactical operations, and travel. While the price and weight might be higher than standard backpacks, the unique features and security it offers justify the investment for users with specific needs. Whether for professional use in law enforcement and military operations or personal data protection, this backpack provides peace of mind by keeping devices completely isolated from external signals.

Main Key Features

  • Military Grade Faraday Dry Bag: Ensures instant signal isolation for a wide range of applications, confirmed by MIL STD 188-125 and IEEE 299-2006.
  • Waterproof and Weatherproof: Made with durable and waterproof 500D PVC with welded seams and TitanRF Faraday Fabric for interior shielding.
  • MOLLE System: Features adjustable straps and MOLLE webbing for customizable attachments.
  • RF Signal Shielding: Blocks WiFi, Bluetooth, cell signals (including 5G), GPS, RFID, and radio signals up to 40GHz.
  • Large 40L Capacity: Accommodates extra-large and bulky electronics with dimensions for open and closed configurations provided.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Versatile Signal Isolation: Effective against a wide range of RF signals for comprehensive device protection.
  • Durable and Secure: High-quality construction materials ensure durability and security for valuable electronics.
  • Waterproof Design: Keeps devices dry and secure in any environment, including rain, snow, and near water bodies.
  • Large Capacity: Ample space for storing multiple large devices and accessories.
  • Tactical Features: MOLLE webbing and adjustable straps enhance functionality and customization.

Cons

  • Price: The high cost may be a barrier for some potential users.
  • Weight: At 5.6lbs (2.54kg), it may be considered heavy for long-term carry.

Best for Heavy-Duty Storage

SealLine Pro Pack

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The SealLine Pro Pack is best suited for serious outdoor adventurers who need reliable, waterproof storage for river running, portaging, and extended expeditions. Its design focuses on durability, comfort, and waterproofing, making it an ideal choice for those who demand the most from their gear in challenging environments.

Summary

The SealLine Pro Pack stands out as a top choice for outdoor enthusiasts who need a reliable, waterproof backpack for their adventures. Its robust design, combined with a comfortable and adjustable harness system, ensures gear stays dry and secure, regardless of the conditions. While the price reflects its high-quality construction and features, the investment is justified for those who regularly face challenging environments and need the best protection for their equipment. Whether for river running, portaging, or extended expeditions, the SealLine Pro Pack offers a blend of durability, comfort, and waterproofing that is hard to match.

Main Key Features

  • Waterproof Design: Fully adjustable and waterproof, ideal for long trips and adventure travel.
  • Supportive Harness System: Features a full-length frame sheet for optimal load support, transferring weight to the padded hip belt.
  • Adjustable Fit: Harness with 3 length settings to accommodate different torso sizes.
  • DrySeal Closure: Easy-to-use roll-top closure provides a secure waterproof seal.
  • Attachment Points: Multiple lash points for easy attachment to rafts, canoes, and cargo racks.
  • Capacity and Weight: Available in 70-liter and 120-liter sizes, with the 70-liter version weighing 4.7 lbs.
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Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Optimal Load Support: Designed for comfort with a supportive harness system, making heavy loads manageable.
  • Versatile and Adjustable: Fits a wide range of body sizes and can be adjusted for different torso lengths.
  • Durable Construction: Reinforced bottom for maximum protection against rocks and sand.
  • Waterproof Reliability: Keeps gear dry in wet conditions, suitable for various water sports and activities.

Cons

  • Price: Higher price point, reflecting its premium features and durability.
  • Size and Bulk: Large sizes may be cumbersome for shorter trips or for those requiring less gear.

Best for Versatility

Fishpond Wind River

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The Fishpond Wind River backpack is likely designed for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly those interested in fishing and adventure travel. Fishpond is known for its high-quality, durable, and environmentally friendly outdoor gear, making their products suitable for carrying fishing equipment, clothing, and accessories in wet and rugged conditions.

Summary

The Fishpond Wind River backpack is an excellent choice for anglers and outdoor adventurers who need a reliable, durable, and eco-friendly bag to protect their gear from the elements. Its waterproof construction and ample storage make it ideal for day trips or longer expeditions in wet environments. While the price point may be higher than some alternatives, the quality of materials and construction justifies the investment for serious outdoorsmen. The commitment to environmental sustainability is a significant plus for eco-conscious consumers. Despite its size, which may be too large for minimalists, its comfort and versatility make it a top choice for those who prioritize gear protection and organization in their outdoor adventure

Main Key Features

  • Durability: Constructed with high-quality materials to withstand harsh outdoor conditions.
  • Waterproof: Features like a roll-top closure to ensure contents stay dry.
  • Eco-Friendly: Often made from recycled or sustainable materials, aligning with environmental conservation efforts.
  • Versatility: Designed for a variety of outdoor activities, not just fishing.
  • Comfort: Ergonomic design with padded straps and back for comfortable wear during long periods.
  • Storage: Ample space and organizational pockets for gear, tackle, and personal items.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High Durability: Resistant to wear and tear, offering long-term use.
  • Environmental Responsibility: Made with eco-conscious materials.
  • Comfortable to Carry: Even when fully loaded, designed to distribute weight evenly.
  • Waterproof Design: Keeps gear dry in wet conditions.

Cons

  • Price: May be considered expensive compared to other brands.
  • Size: For some, it might be too large or bulky for short trips.

Best for Organized Storage

Plano Atlas 3700

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The Plano Atlas 3700 is an innovative tackle storage solution designed for anglers seeking a blend of durability, portability, and convenience. It’s best suited for fishing enthusiasts who require a reliable and versatile backpack to organize and transport their tackle and accessories efficiently, whether for freshwater or saltwater fishing. This backpack combines the robustness of a hard-sided tackle box with the flexibility of a soft-sided bag, making it an excellent choice for anglers on the go.

Summary

The Plano Atlas 3700 emerges as a top-tier choice for anglers looking for a comprehensive tackle storage solution that marries the protective features of a hard case with the mobility of a backpack. Its waterproof and anti-skid base, combined with EVA construction, ensures your gear remains safe and dry in various fishing conditions. The innovative Dropzone magnetic top and versatile storage compartments, including three 3750 StowAway boxes, provide ample space and easy access to your fishing essentials. While the backpack’s weight and side pocket design might pose minor drawbacks, the overall functionality, durability, and comfort make the Plano Atlas 3700 a valuable asset for any fishing trip.

Main Key Features

  • Waterproof and Anti-Skid Base: Ensures the backpack stays dry and in place.
  • EVA Construction: Offers a durable yet lightweight design.
  • Patented Dropzone Magnetic Top: Provides quick access to tools and lures.
  • Versatile Storage Options: Includes internal zippered pockets, molded side pockets, and 3 3750 StowAway tackle boxes.
  • Comfort and Portability: Features padded backpack straps with a sternum strap for comfortable carrying.

Pros

  • Durable and Water-Resistant: Built to withstand harsh fishing environments.
  • Convenient Access to Gear: Magnetic top and various compartments for easy organization.
  • Comfortable to Carry: Ergonomic design with padded straps.
  • Versatile Storage: Ample space for lures, lines, and tools.

Cons

  • Weight: At 7 pounds, it may be considered heavy when fully packed.
  • Limited Side Pocket Functionality: Not ideal for small, loose items due to potential for items to fall out.

Benefits of Using Waterproof Backpacks

Why go waterproof? First off, protection. Whether it’s a laptop, camera, or just a change of clothes, keeping your gear dry is crucial. But it’s not just about safeguarding your stuff; waterproof backpacks are incredibly versatile. Heading out for a hike, kayak trip, or even a city adventure during the rainy season? Your waterproof backpack is your best friend.

And let’s talk durability. Waterproof backpacks are built to withstand not just water, but wear and tear. Investing in a good one means you’re set for years of adventures, without the fear of your backpack giving up on you when you need it most.

Choosing the Best Waterproof Backpack

When it comes to picking the perfect waterproof backpack, it’s all about knowing what to look for. Material matters—a lot. Look for backpacks made from high-quality, durable materials like nylon or polyester with a waterproof coating. These materials not only keep the water out but also stand up to the rigors of outdoor adventures.

Size and capacity are next on the checklist. Think about what you’ll be carrying. Day trip? A smaller backpack might do. Week-long adventure? You’ll need something that can carry all your gear without breaking your back. Comfort is key, too. Padded straps, a breathable back panel, and a design that fits your body will make all the difference on longer treks.

Don’t forget about the closure system. Roll-top backpacks are a favorite among waterproof enthusiasts for their simplicity and effectiveness. Zippered waterproof backpacks offer convenience but make sure those zips are sealed or covered to keep water out.

And then there are the extras—pockets for organization, straps for attaching gear, and maybe even a built-in whistle for safety. These features might not make or break your decision, but they can certainly enhance your backpacking experience.

Types of Waterproof Backpacks

Diving deeper into the world of waterproof backpacks, you’ll find a few different types. Roll-top backpacks, as mentioned, are a solid choice for their simple yet effective design. Roll down the top, clip it shut, and you’re good to go—waterproof and secure.

Zippered waterproof backpacks offer a bit more convenience, especially if you’re constantly reaching into your bag. Just make sure those zippers are up to the task of keeping water out. Some backpacks come with waterproof zippers, while others have protective flaps to add an extra layer of defense.

And for those who aren’t ready to commit to a fully waterproof backpack, there’s always the option of a backpack cover. These handy accessories can be thrown over your existing backpack to provide a layer of water protection. It’s a quick fix, but remember, it’s not quite the same as having a backpack that’s waterproof from the get-go.

Maintenance and Care for Waterproof Backpacks

Got your waterproof backpack? Great! Now let’s keep it in tip-top shape. Cleaning it properly is crucial—no harsh detergents, please. A gentle wipe or a rinse with freshwater should do the trick. And when it’s not in use, store your backpack in a cool, dry place to keep it ready for your next adventure.

Beyond the basics of cleaning and storing your waterproof backpack, there’s a bit more to ensure it stays in prime condition. Regular checks for wear and tear, especially along seams and closures, can prevent small issues from becoming big problems. And when it comes to drying your backpack after a wet adventure, let it air dry away from direct heat to maintain the integrity of its waterproof materials.

FAQs on Waterproof Backpacks

A truly waterproof backpack is designed with materials that repel water, along with construction techniques that prevent water from entering. This includes the use of waterproof fabrics, sealed seams, and closure systems like roll-tops or waterproof zippers that ensure no water can seep in.

While many waterproof backpacks are designed to withstand heavy rain and splashes, not all are meant to be fully submerged. If you need a backpack that can handle submersion, look for one with an IPX rating that indicates its ability to be submerged, typically found in dry bags used for water sports.

Consider the duration of your trips and the type of gear you’ll be carrying. For day trips, a smaller backpack (20-30 liters) might suffice. For longer adventures, you might need something larger (40-70 liters). Always check the dimensions and capacity in liters to ensure it meets your needs.

Yes, there are waterproof backpacks designed with specific activities in mind. For hiking, look for backpacks with comfortable straps and good weight distribution. For kayaking or other water sports, dry bags or backpacks with high IPX ratings are ideal, as they’re designed to withstand submersion.

For minor tears, waterproof patches or repair tape designed for outdoor gear can be an effective solution. For larger issues, you may need to contact the manufacturer for repair options or consider professional repair services to ensure the backpack remains waterproof.

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