Don’t leave home without it.
It’s your constant companion, your home away from home, and your most prized possession.
Before you set out on that awesome trip of a lifetime, you’re going to need an awesome waterproof backpack.
I know how hard it is to find a great pack. There’s a ton of brands, types, sizes, and more to consider when making that purchase.
If you’re like me, all of these options can just leave your head spinning.
That’s why I’ve done the work for you and found the best waterproof backpacks for travel. Keep reading to learn how to buy the perfect pack for you.
- Waterproof or Water Resistant?
- Few Things to Keep in Mind before Buying a Waterproof Back
- Top 10 Best Waterproof Travel Backpacks 2020
- Heavy Duty Roll Top Waterproof Backpack by Earth Pak
- Outdoor Foundry 100% Waterproof Backpack
- Cloudbreak Waterpoof Backpack by FE Active
- Aqua Quest Stylin Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack
- Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack
- OverBoard Waterproof Pro-Sport Backpack
- Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack
- Pelican U100 Elite Backpack with Laptop Storage
- Vitchelo Waterproof Backpack
- Phantom Aquatics Walrus Waterproof Backpack
Waterproof or Water Resistant?
Before you decide what type of backpack to buy, you first need to figure out what type of trip you’re taking.
The best pack for someone who will be going on week-long treks in the mountains is not the same as someone who plans to spend a month or two each in various cities across the globe.
This article focuses on the best waterproof backpacks for travel.
You may wonder: what’s the difference between waterproof and water resistant?
So, which do you want?
Well, as I said, it depends on what kind of traveler you are.
Will you be rafting through white water? Will you be hiking for days on end through remote terrain?
Or will you only have to worry about your pack getting wet on the walk from the train station to the hostel/hotel?
If you’re looking for the best water-resistant travel backpack, then we recommend the Tortuga Outbreaker.
This pack was made for travelers by travelers, and, with its water-resistant sailcloth design and durable full-length zippers, it’s a great option for travelers who don’t need to go full waterproof.
Few Things to Keep in Mind before Buying a Waterproof Back
Many of these waterproof backpacks are top-loaders, meant for removing the entire contents each time you want to set up camp because they’re made for this type of outdoor adventures.
For those who will need regular access to individual items from the main compartment of their bag, consider a design with a full-length zipper.
Another thing to watch out for is auxiliary pockets.
Remember, though your bag might be waterproof, some of the outside pockets may not.
You’ll want to check out all of the interior and exterior pockets to make sure that you can organize your gear and have quick access to important items.
Also, some models come together with additional smaller bags to keep some items completely safe. These are great to use to keep water away from electronic or your travel video camera.
This is one of the most important things to keep in mind when buying your new waterproof travel backpack because you need to make sure it can hold all of your stuff, but you also don’t want it to be too bulky.
The exact size will largely depend on the duration of your trip.
Still, I highly recommend going for a carry-on size backpack regardless of your trip length. This saves you money on checked baggage fees and means you don’t have to wait around at the baggage check when you get off the plane.
You get more time and money to travel!
You’ll want to check out the dimensions to make sure, but, in general, the maximum capacity for carry-on size is 46 liters.
Of course, you want a pack that’s built to last, but if you’re going to be keeping the pack inside a boat then you won’t require a design that’s quite as rugged as if you’re planning on spending extensive time in the wilderness.
All of these considerations ultimately factor into the price of the backpack.
If you are in need of an extremely durable pack that can be fully submerged underwater for an extended amount of time, it will cost more than a lighter and less capable pack.
Top 10 Best Waterproof Travel Backpacks 2020
Heavy Duty Roll Top Waterproof Backpack by Earth Pak
Earth Pak is a well-regarded brand of packs for all types of adventurers.
Their heavy-duty pack is ideal for extreme weather trekking or any type of boat trip because you can rest assured that its contents will stay dry as the Mojave.
- Comes in two sizes so you can find just the right size for you.
- The 500D PVC construction is completely waterproof and fully submersible.
- Additional water-resistant pockets.
- Mesh padded straps ensure a comfortable fit.
- Comes in various colors.
- Roll Top design doesn’t give easy access to contents.
- No dividers inside the bag.
Outdoor Foundry 100% Waterproof Backpack
Coming in at 35 liters, this best waterproof carry-on backpack is made of ultra-tough 500D PVC and even comes with an optional laptop compartment.
This bag is perfect for a trip on a river or a hike through the Pacific Northwest.
- Rugged design gives durability to the pack.
- Extra mesh side pockets for easy access to important items.
- Padded straps and back for extra comfort
- Can only handle a short submersion.
- Available in a single color.
Cloudbreak Waterpoof Backpack by FE Active
Featuring a military grade waterproof design, this bag can take a beating.
For those who love to push the limits, the Cloudbreak is the ideal companion for your travels.
- Rugged military grade 5mm PVC Tarpaulin can withstand complete immersion and any kind of weather.
- Great price.
- Padded mesh lining provides extra comfort.
- Nets for holding bottles on the sides.
- A little heavy
Aqua Quest Stylin Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack
This lightweight backpack is extremely durable, comfortable, and, most importantly, 100% waterproof.
As a 30-liter pack, this makes it one of the best waterproof carry-on backpacks around.
- Waterproof material protects from quick submersions and prolonged rainfalls.
- Weighs less than 2 pounds.
- Adjustable straps for maximum comfort.
- Splash-resistant side pockets for easy access options.
- Back isn’t ventilated.
- Can’t withstand prolonged submersion.
- More expensive than previous options.
Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack
If you’re looking for a daypack for shorter hikes or more convenience, the Chaos Ready stands out above the rest.
This 100% waterproof pack can carry up to 22 liters, making it perfect for an overnight trip or a day out on the water.
- Buoyant material floats if dropped into water.
- 100% waterproof 500 PVC tarpaulin withstands quick submersions.
- Mesh side pockets for easy access to bottles.
- Comfortable shoulder straps.
- Not ideal for a longer trip.
- Single compartment with no dividers.
OverBoard Waterproof Pro-Sport Backpack
This class 3 waterproof backpack is another great option on the smaller side. It has a capacity of 20 liters. The manufacturer also provides a compatible laptop sleeve.
- PVC coated 600D nylon provides superior waterproofing.
- Large mesh outer pockets on side and front.
- Padded shoulder straps and lumbar support.
- Not best for longer trips.
- More expensive than other options.
Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack
If you’re headed out into the wild unknown, meet your new best friend.
Because this pack is PVC free, it is able to withstand the cold much better than other bags.
Since you can purchase it in either 35, 65, 90, or 120-liter versions, you can find the perfect size for your purpose.
- 600D TPU laminated nylon is completely waterproof and withstands freezing temperatures.
- Easily removable and adjustable padded hip belt and shoulder straps provide comfort and versatility.
- Available in blue, lime, yellow, and black.
- Rock solid construction ensures that this pack won’t wear out on you.
- More expensive.
- A bit heavy.
- Doesn’t have a place to put a lock.
Pelican U100 Elite Backpack with Laptop Storage
Are you a digital nomad who relies on your laptop for your livelihood?
Don’t take a chance with your electronics getting ruined during monsoon season by choosing this Pelican bag.
- Crushproof and waterproof case keeps clothes, electronics, and everything else bone dry.
- Fits laptops up to 15” and Apple computers up to 17”.
- Fully submergible up to 30 minutes when 3 feet underwater.
- Only holds 16 liters in addition to the laptop case.
- Weighs 8.8 pounds, making it one of the heavier options.
Vitchelo Waterproof Backpack
Vitchelo is a company that is dedicated to making spending time in the outdoors easier and more accessible.
For this reason, they create high-quality packs, like this daypack, that are specifically tailored to the needs of outdoor explorers.
- 100% waterproof vinyl tarpaulin.
- Comes with a free waterproof phone pouch.
- Elasticated front webbing and side mesh give extra storage options.
- Durable, light, and maximized for spending time in nature.
- Not much padding on shoulder straps.
- No waist strap.
- Not compartmentalized.
Phantom Aquatics Walrus Waterproof Backpack
This company is well known in the water sports industry for making everything from bags to wetsuits to snorkels.
This bag is made for those who love to spend time on the water and want to make sure that their stuff stays dry.
- Waterproof bag floats if it goes overboard.
- Comfortable pads and mesh design.
- Outer elastic compartments perfect for wattle bottles.
- Comes in 5 colors including black, blue, yellow, red, and pink.
- Not the most durable option.
In summary, the type of backpack that you should purchase will be highly dependent on your purpose for it.
Do you need a pack to bring with you on a day trip or are you looking for something for long-term travel? Will you be trekking through the wilderness or using it on a boat?
No matter the answer to these questions, you will find just the right and best waterproof backpack for travel among the options presented above.
If you have any questions about finding the perfect pack for you, we’re here to help.
Please feel free to leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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