The Best Waterproof Backpacks

Whether you’re the adventure type, someone who camps, or you just walk outside for any portion of your commute to work, a waterproof backpack can be a life-saver. You can bring it while rafting or pop your laptop in it between classes while you’re trekking through a downpour. If you have possessions you can’t afford to have soaked,  a waterproof backpack can fix a potential problem you may not have realized you have. You can’t ever really be 100% on the weather and always being prepared is just good practice.

We looked at dozens of waterproof backpacks to find the best of the best. We considered straps and fabric along with comfort and size to pick the most likely candidates to best fit your needs.

Top Pick
Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

If you absolutely positively cannot get your things wet, the Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag is the bag for you!

$18.99 USD

Throughout our research, we kept coming back to the Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag. It stood out as the clear winner of our top pick for so many reasons, but the biggest is how reliably waterproof it really is. When the manufacturer named it a “Dry Bag” they were not kidding. You put your things in this bag and they are not getting wet.

The 5 Top-Rated Waterproof Backpacks for 2018

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallEarth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag4.8
Runner UpHikpro 20L Packable Backpack4.7
Best Budget BuyFreegrace Waterproof Dry Bags4.7
Best Waterproof Hiking Backpack PickOutjoy Backpack for Men and Women4.7
Best Small Waterproof Backpack PickMARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag4.6

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag is an easy to operate bag that will keep your things dry no matter for what you use it. You could leave it in the rain or drop it in a river and the contents will remain dry. The fabric is made of a PVC material that will not let any water soak through and the opening is secured with a Velcro fastener. After Velcro-ing shut, you’ll roll it down to provide additional security and as a final KO for leaks, buckle the two sides together.

Depending on the size, you’ll either get a shoulder strap (that you can obviously wear across your chest or back, as well), backpack straps or both. This means that, not only will you get to pick between 8 colors and 5 sizes, you’ll get to pick how you carry it, too. The shoulder strap comes in all sizes, and is removable so you could also use that strap to secure it to other things besides you; your raft for example.

The numbers for this speak for themselves. There are nearly 3,000 customer reviews on Amazon and they’ve awarded this bag an impressive 4.8 stars. If you’re looking for a dry bag, you won’t want to overlook this one.

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag Key Features:

  • 8 color choices
  • 5 size options
  • Includes bonus waterproof phone case

Our Runner-Up Pick: Hikpro 20L Packable Backpack

Our Runner-Up Pick
Hikpro 20L Packable Backpack

The Hikpro 20L Packable Backpack is the perfect backpack for everyday use and to keep your things dry.

$16.99 USD

The Hikpro 20L Packable Backpack is made with a water resistant nylon fabric on the exterior but it is also lined with a durable waterproof fabric on the interior that will keep the contents dry. With its doubled-up fabric along the bottom, where the most wear and tear will be, you will likely have this backpack for years to come.

The seams, zippers and fabric are reinforced in 14 different places and the two side mesh pockets for your water bottles are made with a tear-resistant material. Besides those two pockets, it has a large main compartment, with an interior zippered pocket for your valuables such as cash and an exterior front zippered pocket that can hold your smaller items.

This is a widely appreciated backpack with an overall rating of 4.7 stars on Amazon with nearly 3,000 customer reviews. It’s perfect for your everyday use or for your slightly more rustic adventures.

Hikpro 20L Packable Backpack Key Features:

  • Lightweight; weighs only 7.5 oz
  • 9 color options
  • 3 zippered pockets and 2 mesh

Best Budget Pick: Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bags

Best Budget Pick
Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bags

With this set of dry bags from Freegrace, you’ll be getting 3 bags and saving big!

$14.99 USD

The Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bags are a set of three dry bags to carry anything you could want to take on your adventures. You’ll get a shoulder backpack, a waist pouch, and a phone case – all waterproof. The waist pouch could be called a fanny pack, or a lumbar pack, depending on your mood or your preference and the phone case comes with a rope cord that will allow you to secure it to another one of the bags or to wear it around your neck.

The backpack comes in three size options: 5L, 10L or 20L. It will securely close at the top with double zip lock seals and then you’ll roll and latch it closed with a durable buckle. There’s also a grab handle that will allow you to carry it one handed and the shoulder strap is removable and adjustable. You will secure the strap to the bag at a reinforced stress point so you needn’t worry that the weight will tear the fabric. This set is entirely waterproof; you can even submerge it fully under water, which makes it the perfect bag to take onto the water.

With close to 1,000 customer reviews earning this set an overall rating of 4.6 stars, you won’t be surprised to find it’s also Amazon’s Choice for waterproof accessories. And you get all that for under $20, so you’re not going to break the bank getting all you’ll need for your next venture into the great outdoors.

Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bags Key Features:

  • 3 bags; waist pouch, cell phone case, and shoulder back pack
  • 3 size options available
  • 8 color choices

Best Waterproof Hiking Backpack Pick: Outjoy Backpack for Men and Women

Best Waterproof Hiking Backpack
Outjoy Backpack for Men and Women

The Outjoy Backpack for Men and Women has everything you’ll need in a hiking backpack and so much more!

$56.99 USD

The Outjoy Backpack for Men and Women is a bag that will benefit you, no matter in what scenario you find yourself. The polyester fabric is a durable and water resistant but the bottom of this bag has an attached waterproof rain cover that will allow your trek in the countryside (or up a mountain) to go without poor weather impacting the supplies in your backpack at all. As they say, there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. In this case, only inappropriate “clothing” (or cover) for your bag.

There is a padded compartment that is meant for your electronics so you can keep them safe as you trek through a swamp (or anything else you decide to get into). It may be meant for your laptop (so you can bring that, or you can also use this hiking backpack for your day-to-day as well), but we love the idea of keeping your handheld GPS, a sat phone and a rugged digital camera here so that you won’t smash it or lose it among your other supplies.

This backpack has plenty of pouches, pockets and zippered compartments for any and everything you’ll need for your hiking escapades. And with an impressive overall rating of 4.7 stars on Amazon, we think this will more than fit the bill for your hiking needs.

Outjoy Backpack for Men and Women Key Features:

  • Anti-shock padded electronics pouch
  • Water resistant Polyester and included waterproof rain cover
  • Ventilated and padded back for comfortable extended use

Best Small Waterproof Backpack Pick: MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

Best Small Waterproof Backpack
MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

If you’re looking for a compact and functional waterproof backpack, then look no further than the MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag.

$16.99 USD

The MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag is a compact bag that will keep its contents dry no matter where you choose to go with it. The bag itself even floats, so you won’t need to worry about your bag going overboard and sinking, never to be see again. The bag is made with rip-stop tarpaulin and each seam is welded for extra durability that will prevent tears and leaks for years to come.

There are five sizes that allow you to customize exactly how much your bag will hold and the bigger you get, the more (and more durable) the straps. The smallest bag is the 5L and, along with the 10L, comes with a single shoulder strap, allowing you to adjust it to fit across your chest or tossed over your shoulder. The 20L and 30L come with two adjustable and removable straps that will allow you to carry it like a more traditional backpack while the 40L will give you padded and non-detachable dual backpack straps.

With over 300 customer reviews earning this bag a 4.6 star rating on Amazon, it’s no surprise this is Amazon’s choice for Marine Dry Bags. And we have every confidence this can be the bag to satisfy all your criteria, as well.

MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag Key Features:

  • 5 size choices, 12 color options
  • Wipe clean with ease
  • Waterproof guarantee

Who Should Buy a Waterproof Backpack

Getting a backpack in general is almost certainly a task you should complete in your life. As long as you have things, you’ll need a way to carry them. And more often than not, your load will be lessened by choosing a way to carry those things hands-free. If some of the contents of your bag are valuable or electronic, then you’ll want to take into consideration the risk of water getting through the bag and onto your possessions. For college students walking across campuses, there’s always a risk of rain soaking through their bag. Same for the commuter walking to his office or even just from the parking garage across the street. Consider that if you have papers or a laptop, you’ll want to protect them from even the smallest window of opportunity for wetness.

Probably the most obvious (and our favorite) market for picking up a waterproof backpack is the adventure enthusiast (Or maybe just an occasional adventurer). Not only is rain a risk, but so is the ocean, lake, pond, creek, or river, if you plan on going out on any of those. So anyone participating in fishing, boating, rafting, kayaking, or floating could definitely benefit from a waterproof backpack. But also anyone camping, climbing, or hiking near those bodies of water or during a rainy season. Keep in mind that even sweat can create enough moisture to ruin some items, so if you’re planning on physical exertion of any kind (or high temperatures or hot sun), you’d also probably benefit from a waterproof backpack.

We could even turn this question back to those asking: If you’re going to get a backpack, why wouldn’t you get a waterproof one?

Top Pick
Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

If you absolutely positively cannot get your things wet, the Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag is the bag for you!

$18.99 USD

Important Features to Consider

A waterproof backpack should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a waterproof backpack:

  • Water resistant vs. waterproof. Different types of materials offer different levels of protection from water. Some will temporarily withstand the water, (resistant) while others won’t allow water within them no matter how much water they’re exposed to (waterproof). Resistant will absorb and eventually allow water to seep through and onto your belongings. Waterproof can be submerged into a body of water and still keep its contents dry. Waterproof is often made of less comfortable fabrics though, so if you don’t plan on using the backpack for your adventure sports and such, you may want to consider a more comfortable padded strap and breathable bag for your daily use.
  • Reinforced seams. If you have a truly and completely waterproof bag, it will likely have a feel of some sort of plastic or rubber. That type of fabric doesn’t typically hold thread very well and under pulling pressure, it can tear. So if you plan on being rough on your bag, then you’ll want a bag that’s seams are reinforced in some way; either they’ve been welded or bonded together at the seams, they have a double layer of protection or something of that nature.
  • Compartments and pockets. You may want to consider what you’re taking on your hikes and outdoor exploits. For example, if you plan on taking some electronics, you may want a special pouch for them to keep separate from any other items to keep them a bit more secure. You’ll also want to make sure the main compartment will fit the larger items you’ll need to take. For example, you’ll want to have a compartment big enough to comfortably fit your sleeping bag, should you be camping. An insulated pouch will keep your lunch cool for the afternoon on your hike. The more specialized compartments are, the better they will handle any specific needs you may have for your items.
  • Closures. There are two primary closure types for waterproof backpacks. The type that will zip or the type you roll. Because there’s no real way to waterproof the zipper itself, beware of zippers that aren’t covered with a waterproof material. (Obviously if they’re covered with waterproof material, they’re more secure.) The more common closure for a waterproof bag is a roll-down closure that will allow you to close the top and roll it down before latching it closed. Velcro works decently well as a water seal on its own, but even better when combined with a roll-down. The drawstring closure is the least effective, but the simplest and easiest to replace should it need maintenance.
  • Straps. You may want to consider how not waterproof straps typically are, despite the waterproof nature of the bag itself. That won’t affect the contents of your bag, of course, but it may become uncomfortable for you. You could chaff skin with wet straps and if it’s cold outside, you could potentially suffer from keeping wetness strapped to your chest and back for an extended period of time. Plan accordingly.
  • Bright colors. If you’re taking this bag out on the river or in deep woods, you should keep in mind how much more difficult it is to loose a bag when it’s brightly colored. You aren’t going to miss a hot pink bag that floats in the river, even from a long distance. But if you opt for a dark colored bag, you could miss it just leaving it on the bank while you rinse your hands in the creek.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean a waterproof backpack?

Most truly waterproof materials aren’t machine washable. Not only will the water of the washing machine not penetrate it to wash, but the machine may end up damaging it. Particularly if you wash it with heated water, you could melt or warp the material. Therefore, most waterproof bags are hand wash only and you’ll simply use a wet (or maybe soapy) rag to wipe it clean.

If your bag is only water resistant, there is a chance you can pop it in the washer and let it lay flat to dry, but you will always need to check the cleaning instructions before you attempt any method.

Is nylon water resistant or waterproof?

A lot of manufacturers will claim their nylon backpacks are waterproof. But what they really mean is rain proof or water resistant. Unless it’s coated or lined with another layer, then nylon is only water resistant. There are some varying degrees of resistance, though. The higher the thread count, the more resistant the nylon is; but plain nylon will not keep your possessions dry if the backpack falls into the river. However, a large portion of nylon backpacks are coated in a silicon, acrylic or polyurethane to make it more waterproof. Each of these covers will lend to the nylon becoming a more durable and impenetrable fabric that will not allow water to leak through. Once coated, it can even be so waterproof you can submerge it fully into water without the contents becoming wet.

What is a rain cover?

A rain cover is an umbrella you’ll secure over your backpack to protect it. You’ll pull it out of either its pouch or compartment if it’s part of the backpack. They’re most often made of the same fabric that an umbrella is made; a high thread count nylon. If the rain cover comes with your backpack and is connected, then it may be designed with connections that secure it to your bag snugly. If you purchase a quality rain cover separately for you backpack, then it will likely have elastic to keep it gripped upon your bag.

Which material is waterproof?

There are a few different materials that waterproof bags are made from, the most common being nylon. Like we mentioned above, it will need to be coated to be completely waterproof, but even a nylon with just a high thread count, has an impressive resistance. After all, that’s what most umbrellas are made with and they protect your head just fine. Rubber is waterproof, but it’s difficult to make a bag with that due to tearing along the seams and heaviness. Vinyl is the second most common fabric for waterproof backpacks. It can also be called PVC vinyl fabrics or just PVC. It will feel somewhere between fabric and plastic and will be easy to just wipe clean. Oxford fabric is water repellent and then lined with a polyurethane coating on the back, making it waterproof, as well.

Other Waterproof Backpacks We Reviewed

Top Pick
Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

If you absolutely positively cannot get your things wet, the Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag is the bag for you!

$18.99 USD

We looked at 20 other waterproof backpacks. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best waterproof backpack list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for you. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Adventure and Hiking Waterproof Backpacks

Acrodo New Waterproof Dry Bag

Acrodo New Waterproof Dry Bag

This transparent backpack will allow you to see your items so that you won’t need to go digging through everything just to find one thing.

Key Features:

  • 5 color options
  • 2 size choices
  • Roll-down closure

Cost: $20

CARQI Sling Bag Waterproof Shoulder Backpack

CARQI Sling Bag Waterproof Shoulder Backpack

This compact backpack is slung over your shoulder and worn across your chest so it’s perfect for your shorter jaunts into the wilderness.

Key Features:

  • 4 compartments
  • 2 size choices
  • 8 color choices

Cost: $20

Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack

Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack

Not only is this backpack 100% waterproof, its design will also keep it afloat should it fall into a body of water.

Key Features:

  • Made from PVC Tarapaulin
  • Welded seams for durability
  • Roll-down closure

Cost: $45

Doubmall Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack

Doubmall Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack

This backpack is based on an ergonomic design and its shoulder straps are a breathable mesh with sponge padding for extra comfort.

Key Features:

  • 2 color choices
  • 2 size options
  • External USB charging port

Cost: $20

HEXIN Waterproof Rated Foldable Backpack

HEXIN Waterproof Rated Lightweight Foldable Backpack

When you’re not using this lightweight backpack, it folds into it’s own zippered pocket, taking up virtually no space.

Key Features:

  • Made with water resistant
  • 2 size options
  • 7 color choices available

Cost: $20

Luckroute Waterproof Dry Backpack

Luckroute Waterproof Dry Backpack

The reflective band along the side allows you to see this bag even at night and the fact that it will float means you’ll be able to see it for longer, should it float away.

Key Features:

  • Several smaller compartments for optimal organization
  • 2 size options, 2 color choices
  • Roll-down closure

Cost: $30

ORICSSON Unisex Rated 35L Durable Lightweight Foldable Backpack

ORICSSON Unisex Rated 35L Durable Lightweight Foldable Backpack

The chest strap on this backpack includes a whistle buckle that will keep the chest strap secure and allow you to signal for help in case of emergencies.

Key Features:

  • Reflective strips
  • 15 color choices
  • Lifetime warranty

Cost: $20

Outdoor Foundry 100% Waterproof Backpack

Outdoor Foundry 100pct Waterproof Backpack

This backpack is 100% waterproof and is made with PVC fabric and welded seams so you can be sure it won’t leak or tear.

Key Features:

  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Roll-down closure
  • 1-year warranty

Cost: $45

OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack

OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack

This water resistant nylon backpack comes with a waterproof rain cover that has its own compartment so you’ll never be caught unprepared.

Key Features:

  • Breathable padded straps and back
  • 7 color choices
  • 6-months product guarantee

Cost: $40

S & P Safe and Perfect Outdoor 35L Sport waterproof Lightweight Packable backpack

S & P Safe and Perfect Outdoor 35L Sport waterproof Lightweight Packable backpack

The stress points on this backpack are reinforced with bar tracking to make sure you’ll have it for years to come.

Key Features:

  • Reflective belt and glow-in-the-dark printing
  • Safety whistle in chest strap buckle
  • 8 color choices

Cost: $20

Såk Gear BackSak Waterproof Backpack

Såk Gear BackSak Waterproof Backpack

This roll-down closure dry back has padded straps and a splash proof outer pocket to make this a convenient bag that will absolutely keep its contents dry.

Key Features:

  • Made with PVC and welded seams
  • 7 color choices
  • 2 sizes available

Cost: $60

Seibertron Roving Motorcycle Riding Street Dirt Bike Waterproof Rucksack

Seibertron Roving Motorcycle Riding Street Dirt Bike Waterproof Rucksack

This bag has plenty of space and compartments as it is, but if you buy it with the attach bags (one on each side), or each separately, you can almost double that space!

Key Features:

  • 2 color choices
  • Non-slip, breathable shoulder pads
  • Waist belt

Cost: $40

Sky people Premium Waterproof Hiking Backpack

Sky people Premium Waterproof Hiking Backpack

This backpack is a lightweight and durable bag – that only costs $5!

Key Features:

  • Reflective strips
  • 2 color choices
  • Folds into itself for easy storage

Cost: $8

WolfWarriorX Military Tactical Assault Backpack

WolfWarriorX Military Tactical Assault Backpack

This backpack is tactical and practical for the wilderness enthusiast or anyone who just wants a hearty backpack that will last for years.

Key Features:

  • High cushioned back and shoulder straps
  • 8 color choices
  • Lifetime warranty

Cost: $40

Casual Waterproof Backpacks

Gysan Waterproof Travel Laptop Backpacks

Gysan Waterproof Travel Laptop Backpacks

This backpack may seem simple from the outside, but the interior has a pocket for everything you’ll need from class to business.

Key Features:

  • Specialized pockets; water bottle, umbrella, laptop, and more
  • 13 color choices
  • Secure, hidden pocket along back

Cost: $25

HITOP Preppy Style Casual Unisex Waterproof Oxford School Backpack

HITOP Preppy Style Casual Unisex Waterproof Oxford School Backpack

This backpack has a laptop sleeve which will allow you to secure your computer and the waterproof material will keep it dry.

Key Features:

  • Made with waterproof oxford fabric
  • 6 color choices
  • Reinforced bottom seams

Cost: $25

HITOP Waterproof Drawstring Sport Bag

HITOP Waterproof Drawstring Sport Bag

This simple backpack is lightweight and convenient for any number of activities and it comes with a 100% money back guarantee.

Key Features:

  • Drawstring closure
  • 10 color choices
  • Double layered water resistant nylon

Cost: $15

KOLAKO Business Laptop Backpack

KOLAKO Business Laptop Backpack

This backpack is excellent for your school or business use, but also durable enough for your hiking or travel, as well.

Key Features:

  • External USB charging port with included cable
  • 10 color choices
  • Theft-proof combination lock

Cost: $25

Laptop Backpack, Business Anti Theft Waterproof Travel Backpack

Laptop Backpack Business Anti Theft Waterproof Travel Backpack

This is intended for a college student but is ideal for anyone who utilizes several electronics – including if you want a little music while you’re on your hike!

Key Features:

  • External USB charging port and included cable
  • 2 color choices
  • Integrated headphone jack

Cost: $30

MAYZERO Waterproof School Bag Durable Travel Camping Backpack

MAYZERO Waterproof School Bag Durable Travel Camping Backpack

This nylon backpack is water resistant and great for school or camping, and so much more.

Key Features:

  • Several compartments
  • 15 color choices
  • Padded shoulder straps

Cost: $25

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