Best Waterproof Backpack: Keep Your Gear Dry
When you’re out on the trail, your backpack is your best friend. Everything you need goes inside, and any small problem with your bag will quickly become a major issue. Also, it is how you protect your stuff, from your clothes to electronics, making finding the best waterproof backpack the top priority for anyone looking to spend time in the outdoors.
But with so many different options available on the market, it is easy to buy the wrong pack and get stuck with an overpriced piece of junk. So to prevent you from spending your hard-earned money on something that will disappoint you, we set out to find the best waterproof backpack.
We read hundreds of reviews, compared countless specifications and tested some bags out ourselves. This rigorous review process led us to recommend the Flyhawk 40/30L Tactical backpack as the best waterproof backpack on the market. It’s got plenty of space, fits comfortably, is fully waterproof and doesn’t cost a fortune.
To get the best waterproof backpack available on today’s market, get the Flyhawk 40/30L Tactical backpack now.
- Why You Should Trust Us
- The Importance of Finding the Best Waterproof Backpack
- How We Conducted Our Review
- Testing Results
- Best Waterproof Backpack
Why You Should Trust Us
Among those of us at Cicero Magazine, we’ve done it all. Whether its multi-day treks in the Cambodian jungle, week-long hunting trips in the Alaskan forests or simple weekend trips with the kids to Boy Scout camp, we’ve done it.
And through these experiences, we’ve gotten to know what works and what doesn’t. We’ve learned what you need to have a good outdoor experience and what is overkill. But all of us can agree that a quality backpack is one of if not the most important piece of gear you can have with you.
So our recommendations come from our desire for you to have the best experience possible. We know how important it is to have the best backpack. Therefore, we only recommend the products we would use and that meet our tough criteria.
But that isn’t the only reason you should trust us. Our rigorous review process is the best in the business. We read hundreds if not thousands of reviews, compare the top options using a strict set of criteria and then test out those that make the final cut ourselves.
This time-consuming yet worthwhile process leads us to make confident recommendations we believe in. This guide details the review process we went through so that you can see for yourself where our recommendation for the best waterproof backpack comes from.
The Importance of Finding the Best Waterproof Backpack
As we mentioned earlier, having a backpack you can trust is one of the most important things you need for any outdoor activity. You need to know it won’t break on you and that it will protect your belongings through thick and thin.
Also, wearing your backpack for long periods of time can put a lot of stress on your back. Using any old bag is a good way to lead to prolonged shoulder or back pain. This can ruin any trip very quickly.
However, beyond durability and fit, it is vital to find a backpack that will protect your stuff from the elements. So much of our lives today depend on electronic equipment. Whether it is a phone, GPS or camera, you are likely to want or need to carry some delicate electronics with you on the trail. The last thing you want is to ruin them when an unexpected rainstorm comes.
Also, if you are going to be spending time in cooler climates, you need to keep your clothes dry. Should you get wet for any reason and be without a dry change of clothes, you could be putting yourself in serious danger.
Making sure you have the best waterproof backpack is really the only way to ensure you won’t run into these problems on the trail. As you will see, it is a minor investment that will save you tremendous hardship down the road.
How We Conducted Our Review
As with all our reviews, the first step we took was to look at what other people are saying. We eliminated any product that had consistently negative reviews. Then, we set out to compare some of the top options using our criteria for the best waterproof backpack.
From there, we were able to narrow the list down to about four to five for each category. We then tested these ourselves. This led us to the overall best waterproof backpack, as well as the best backpacks for specific uses, such as day trips and leisure.
Here are criteria we used to help find the best:
Waterproof vs. water resistant vs. weatherproof
As with anything, you must remember that marketers like to get creative. They will use similar-sounding names and descriptions to try and trick you into buying something that is not what you want.
One great example of this is the waterproof/water resistant/weatherproof problem. At first glance, you might easily think these all mean the same thing. But they do not.
To make it simple, waterproof is the only one that really means waterproof. And that’s it. Bags certified to be waterproof will allow no water inside, no matter what. Water resistant bags usually are coated with some chemical to help repel some water, but after just a half hour of moderate rain, the bags will begin to let water seep through the fabric.
We’ve all experienced this with other products, such as rain jackets. Some of them stay dry no matter what, while others will soak through after a short while, rendering themselves pretty much useless.
Weatherproof is a somewhat new term that sounds fancy but that still is not as good as waterproof. This designation refers to products that can resist other things such as dirt, mud or wind. These are certainly good qualities, but much like water resistant products, they will eventually give way to sustained exposure to water.
To avoid any confusion, stick with waterproof bags, and don’t mess with anything else.
Building on this, finding the best waterproof bag has a lot to do with finding something made from the right fabric. Typically, bags that are truly waterproof will be made from nylon, or some version of it. Lots of bags out there are made from polyester, and while this is a great fabric, it is not waterproof.
Nylon bags might take some getting used to. The fabric is a bit rougher and perhaps not as attractive. But nothing beats its performance.
This is a very important thing to consider when buying any type of bag. What are you going to use it for? A common thought is to always go bigger, but this is often a mistake. Having a bigger bag is incentive to bring more stuff, which leads to a heavier pack, something you will most certainly regret later on.
Bags are measured in liters. Typical day packs are usually no more than 30L, while multi-day travel bags range from 40-70L. As a rule of thumb, knock off 1o liters from what you think you need. When hiking, camping or doing any other outdoor activity, remember: less is more.
You bag will almost become another part of your body, and you want it to feel that way. You’ll have to sling it over your shoulders hundreds if not thousands of times, and you don’t want this to be a moment of dread.
The bottom of the bag should fit snugly to the small of your lower back. This places the weight on the part of your body most prepared to carry it. You want your shoulders bearing as little of the load as possible, as they will tire quickly, causing you to make painful compensations.
This is another spot where the smaller is better logic applies. The lighter the load is, the more comfortable the pack will be. But remember, even a small bag can become hard to carry if it doesn’t fit well.
One last thing to consider when looking at backpacks is extra features. How many small pockets does it have? Is there a special space for phones or laptops? Are there places to clip things on? Water bottle holders? Hydrations system?
Manufacturers often get very creative and many offer things that help make the bag far more useful and effective.
The first step in our review process was to eliminate anything that had less than a 3.5-star rating on Amazon. We took a look at why these products got these reviews, and when there were legitimate concerns, we threw the bag out of the running.
The next step was to use the criteria we listed above to eliminate some of the top-rated options we didn’t consider worth it.
This narrowed the list down quite a bit. We were then able to test five ourselves, leading us to the best waterproof backpack on the market.
Here are the results:
Elimination Round 1
The first thing we did was eliminate top options that were not waterproof. Some of these bags advertise themselves as such, but when you dig deeper into the specifications, you realize this is a bit of an exaggeration.
We don’t want you to fall victim to this type of false advertising, so we eliminated these options right away. Some of the more well-known choices we tossed out because of this were the Mardingtop Tactical Backpack, the Artfurt 40L Hiking Backpack and the Huwaijianfeng 50 L Hiking Waterproof Backpack.
Elimination Round 2
We eliminated the next group of bags because of their design. They either had too many pockets, which reduced the amount of space you have, or the pockets made it so that the weight distributed unevenly or uncomfortably.
We threw out some top options because of this. Some examples include the CVLIFE Outdoor Tactical Backpack, the SKORCH Original Dry Bag and the Seibertron Falcon Water Repellent Hiking Camping Backpack.
Best Waterproof Backpack
After applying our criteria, we were able to reduce the list of potential best backpacks down to just a few for each category. From there, we tested some out ourselves, and this led us to find the best waterproof backpack.
Here are the results and our recommendations:
96/100—Flyhawk 40/30L Tactical Backpack (Best Waterproof Backpack)
This bag has it all. It’s a perfect size for both short- and long-term trips, its completely waterproof, fits great and is reasonably priced. Here’s a little bit more about why we love the Flyhawk 40/30L Tactical Backpack.
One of the best things about this bag is that it is adjustable. Its MOLLE external expansion system means you can customize your pack as you see fit. You can add on new compartments or take on others to accomodate your needs. Additionally, the material on this bag stretches, allowing you to fit more stuff inside.
Also, this bag is entirely waterproof. It is made of 600D Nylon and has a waterproof coating. You won’t have to worry about anything inside getting wet.
One other thing to love about this bag is its pockets and compartments. They are big enough to allow you to fit plenty of stuff inside, but there are also plenty of small pockets to help you store stuff you need to access quickly.
Lastly, this bag fits comfortably. Even with a full load, the bag sits nicely on your lower back, allowing you to carry it with relative ease. Plus, it comes with adjustable waist and chest straps so that you can secure your bag to your back easily and comfortably. And at just under $50, this bag will get you all you need for a reasonable price.
While this bag expands nicely, it still might be a bit too small for extended trips. If you are going to spend a week out on the trail in cooler weather, you may run out of space with this bag.
When full, this bag ends up being a bit boxy. This isn’t a huge deal, but if you are planning on bringing it on an airplane, you may have some troubles. You can always pack the bag a bit differently to try and prevent this from happening.
If you are looking for a waterproof bag that combines functionality, quality and affordability, get the Flyhawk 40/30L Tactical backpack now.
90/100—Blue Lion Outdoor Climbing Backpack (Best Day Pack)
For some of you, day trips are the extent of your hiking adventures. If this is the case, you do not need to have as big of a bag. You could (and should) take something much smaller. For this, the Blue Lion Outdoor Climbing Backpack is the best waterproof backpack you can buy.
Here are some of the details about this backpack:
Made from nylon, this back is also completely waterproof. You can store cameras and phones inside without worrying about them getting wet.
This bag is also great because it is so small. It weighs under a pound by itself and fits comfortably on your back. But just because it is small does not mean it is not effective. It has several compartments to help you organize your stuff and is still big enough to fit what you will need for a day hike.
The bag is also plenty durable. The nylon is the stuff they make parachutes out of, and the metal zippers will prevent any frustrating rips and tears.
This bag is really small. If your day trips involve a towel or blanket or any other large item of clothing, you might have a hard time fitting everything inside. While this is definitely an upside of this bag, it limits its uses.
It can also be a bit expensive. The materials used fetch a fair price, sometimes driving the price close to $100. But again, its durability and top-of-the-line waterproofing help make it worth the price tag.
If you are looking for a small backpack to take with you on day trips that is both durable and waterproof, get the Blue Lion Outdoor Climbing Backpack now.
85/100—Gysan Lightweight Waterproof Backpack (Best Travel Waterproof Backpack)
Waterproof backpacks are not just for hiking and camping. There are other uses, such as your day to day commute to work or business travel. It is commonplace to carry your laptop or other electronics around, and to protect them, the Gysan Lightweight Waterproof Backpack is the perfect bag.
This bag combines a professional look with the waterproofing of a tactical/hiking bag. It is made of composite water resistant nylon, but it also has a polyester cotton lining to help protect your electronics.
It also comes with several zippered compartments to help you store more stuff, and there are two water bottle compartments for added convenience.
One of the downsides of this bag is that it is small. It isn’t really designed for multiple days or for anything other than a work bag. Because of this, it can’t really double as a hiking bag or anything else.
It can also only fit a 15” laptop. While this is the most common size for laptops, it limits the versatility of the bag.
Also, it can be a bit expensive. If you don’t find it on sale, it can cost close to $70. But this is pretty typical for a bag you would bring to work and that protects everything inside, making it worth what might seem like a higher price tag.
If you want a waterproof work bag to keep your electronics safe no matter the weather on your commute to work, get the Gysan Lightweight Waterproof Backpack now.
There are countless different backpacks out there. To find the best waterproof backpack for you, you would need to spend countless hours reviewing and comparing all the different options on the market. But you don’t. Because we did it for you.
We combed through all the different bags available and have determined the Flyhawk 40/30 L Tactical Backpack to be the best waterproof backpack on the market. It’s large, fully water-proof, durable and affordable. It’s got everything you need in a waterproof backpack and more.
To get the best waterproof backpack available on today’s market, get the Flyhawk 40/30L Tactical backpack now.