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Best Waterproof Backpack for Hiking

by | Jun 6, 2017 | Reviews

No matter how coordinated your weather dance is, and no matter how many times you cross your fingers hoping for clear skies for your next camping trip, when Mother Nature wants rain – it’s going to rain. You can’t do anything about that, but there are some things that can control…

Preparing for The Worst Lets You Get the Best from Your Trip

Being prepared for anything that nature may throw at you is all about recognizing what you can control, what you can’t control, and that whatever happens will usually fall somewhere in the middle.

A storm can be exciting and invigorating when you’re dry and inside of your tent and all of your supplies are also dry, but what’s worse than being out in the thick of it with soaking wet gear? It can really put an – ahem – damper on the whole experience.

Having things like rubber boots for camping and water proof matches is a good start, but you’ll have a lot of gear that simply doesn’t exist in a water proof version – so that’s where a waterproof backpack for camping is essential.

This allows you to take your crucial belongings with you on the trail without worrying about them getting soaked, so if you’re caught out in a storm you can make it back to your tent, dry off the outside of the backpack, and you’re all set. It’s much better than dealing with a water-logged backpack in the middle of a storm.

Summary Tables




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Internal Frame

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Rain Cover

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Kayaking Bag

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Water Resistant

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Rating4.7 Stars3.9 Stars4.4 Stars5.0 Stars4.2 Stars
Weight0.46 lbs9.6 oz3.5 oz23 ozNot specified
MaterialNylon420D Polyester300D Oxford fabric 500D Double-coated PVC tarpaulin210D high tenacity nylon
ProsLightweight and durableLots of pockets, light, nice suspension systemLight, tough material, great colors, reflective/shiny materialDurable material, airtight seal, strong buckles and hardwareRain cover, hydration port
ConsThin material, no back paddingIssues with the zipper. Possibly people are overloading the bag.Not a fan of big branding from their logo. NoneSingle stitches, thin material

The Best Waterproof Backpack Buyer’s Guide!

The term “best” can be subjective, so let’s take a look at a few different sizes, price points, and levels of quality. Everything on this list is a good choice, we don’t feature any duds, it’s just a matter of choosing what fits your budget and adjusting your expectations accordingly.

1. Outlander Daypack


Our Rating:  4.7 Stars (4.7/5)
Durable  Water and Rip resistant
Weight  0.5 lbs

We need to preface this by saying that this bag isn’t 100% water proof, but it’s water resistant and a lot of the time that’s good enough. It’s versatile, light, and can even fold up into itself. We’re featuring it first because it’s very affordable, well made, and has thousands of 5 star reviews. It’s available in two sizes, 20L and 33L. Now, if you need something that’s completely water proof, you’ll want to check out some of these other options, but for a lot of people – this is going to be a solid choice, especially if they’re not looking to spend a lot of cash. This isn’t the best bag on the list, but it’s very, very good for what it is.

2. OUTAD Hiking Daypack

40L Waterproof Internal Frame

Our Rating: 3.9 Stars (3.9/5)
Rain Cover  
Capacity  6.6 gallon (25L)
Weight  9.6 oz

This pack is loved by campers and hikers a like. It includes a suspension system which makes it a lot nicer to wear when you’re carrying a heavy load. It holds 40L worth of whatever you can throw at it. It’s made with 420D polyester, which is waterproof, and also includes a rain cover that goes over top to further keep the water out.

This bag has a lot of storage pockets, including a safe place to put your cellphone. It usually retails for well over $100, but you can find it on sale for a lot less than that sometimes – so keep an eye out, because it’s definitely worth grabbing when it’s on sale, if not at full price.

Next up, let’s take a look at an alternative before we head into the home stretch.

3. OUTAD Rain Cover

Our Rating: 4.4 Stars (4.4/5)
Material 300D Oxford Fabric
Rip Resistant Polyester  
Weight  3.5 oz

If you already have a backpack that you love for camping, but it doesn’t hold up great in the rain, consider just purchasing a cover for it. This cover will repel the vast majority of rain, but it doesn’t cover the straps. None the less, if your pack isn’t already waterproof or water resistant, you should really consider tossing this inside – just in case!

It won’t take up much room at all, and it could make a huge difference if push comes to shove. The nice thing about this cover is that you can use it while you’re wearing your backpack, but if you just want a completely water proof bag, and aren’t as concerned about wearing it, check out the next option.

4. OUTAD Kayaking Dry Bag

30L (7.9 Gallon)

Our Rating: 5 Stars (5/5)
Waterproof Rating  IPX7 Rated
Double Air Valve  
Weight  23 oz

Granted this isn’t exactly a backpack, it’s the most waterproof bag that we’re going to feature today. It can survive being fully submerged in up to 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes without letting a single drop inside. You can compress the air inside of it, to have it take up less space, which is great for clothes or sleeping bags. You can also blow air into it, and it seals air tight so that it will float.

A bag like this is popular for kayakers, because if they flip over, the bag will float and keep dry so they won’t lose all of their stuff. It’s also great for camping.

5. Kimlee

Water Resistant Day Pack

Our Rating: 4.2 Stars (4.2/5)
Material  210D High Tenacity Nylon
Hydration Port  
Kimlee Speed System  

Here’s a great pack for hiking, camping, and the like. It’s not ideal for everyday use, it would be a bit much, so if you’re just looking for something for school – this won’t be your best bet. For hitting the trails and the campground, however, this is an excellent choice with great reviews and many happy owners.

The material is very light weight, which is what you want when you’re carrying it around on the trail, but it might not last as long if you’re using it every day to carry around books, etc. It has very comfortable straps and breathable mesh, and includes a free rain cover for extra protection from the rain. It weights under two and a half pounds, and has plenty of compartments for organizing your belongings.

Final Thoughts

As you’ve likely noticed, there’s always going to be trade-offs. If you want something completely, 100%, dunk-it-underwater-and-it’s-fine waterproof, it’s not going to be as functional or practical as a regular backpack. If you want external zippers and to be able to wear it, you’re going to be making certain sacrifices in terms of how waterproof it is. A regular waterproof backpack like the Kimlee or one of the other models we looked at is a solid option for most people, and you can’t go wrong with any of these choice. Just choose the one that fits your needs, shut off the computer, and go enjoy nature after patting yourself on the back to take a little time to do some research first.

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