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July 25, 2022 17 min read

Waterproof Backpacks

Woman walking with a GILI teal roll top backpack

The weather can be extremely unpredictable, and no hiker wants all their gear soaking through in the event of a downpour. Luckily, waterproof backpacks were invented to help keep all your gear dry no matter what the weather. 

If you’re on the hunt for a comfortable hiking backpack that is suitable for all weather conditions, keep on reading as we’re going to delve into 11 of the best waterproof backpacks for hiking so you can keep all your gear dry and remain comfortable while doing so!

What to Look For When Purchasing a Waterproof Backpack

Woman holding a teal roll top waterproof backpack

To find the right waterproof backpack, you need to consider a few different factors, such as the size of the bag, how comfortable it is to wear, and the materials it’s made from. 

Size

Firstly, you’ll need to think about the bag’s capacity and how much gear you wish to take on your hiking trip. A bag that is too small won’t be able to hold all of your belongings, whereas a bag too big will be uncomfortable and interfere with your movements. 

Comfort

Comfort is an extremely important factor when it comes to hiking backpacks. As you’ll be wearing your backpack for long periods of time, you want it to be as comfortable as possible on your shoulders and back. 

Look for a backpack with adequate shoulder strap padding and back support. Some backpacks also come with a waist strap that helps to transfer the pack's weight from your shoulders to your hips. For those extra long hikes, this support makes all the difference.

Materials

When you’re searching for a waterproof backpack, you, of course, want it to be waterproof. That’s where the materials come in. 

Backpacks can fall under one of two categories, water resistant and waterproof. Water resistant materials such as nylon or polyester keep out most water, but not all. For a completely waterproof bag, you want to look at dry bags made from vinyl.

Vinyl backpacks will keep out all water, so your belongings remain dry no matter what the weather. Some bags will even float when placed in water - that’s how waterproof they are!

GILI’s Top Picks: By Budget

Best Budget
Orange Piscifun waterproof drybag backpack with waterproof phone case
Piscifun 20L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack

Thanks to its durable waterproof materials, versatile design, and large storage capacity, the Piscifun 20L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack made it onto your top budget pick.

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Best Mid-Range
Blue GILI roll-top  waterproof backpack
GILI 28L Waterproof Backpack Roll Top

The Waterproof Roll Top Backpack by GILI has ergonomic shoulder straps, D-rings to clip on additional gear, and a roll-top closure to keep all water out.

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Best Premium
YETI  panga airtight gray waterproof submersible bag
YETI Panga Airtight Waterproof Backpack

YETI’s Airtight Waterproof Backpack is submersible as well as being puncture and abrasion-resistant. The included removable waist and chest straps add extra support when you need it most, and the interior pockets keep your belongings organized and easy to access.

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11 Best Waterproof Backpacks for Hiking

GILI 28L Waterproof Backpack Roll Top

GILI’s 28L Waterproof Backpack is made from 500D PVC tarpaulin that keeps your gear dry when you go hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, or camping.

The roll-top closure on the backpack is easy to unbuckle and gives you access to the bag’s 28L storage capacity. 

GILI even added a front zippered pocket and mesh side pockets to separate your smaller items so they don’t get lost in the main compartment. The large compartment also has a laptop sleeve and small interior pockets to help organize your belongings and keep everything separated. 

GILI created their backpack in a 28L, 35L, and a 55L capacity to hold large amounts of gear with added D-rings on the shoulder straps for further storage and security. 

When wearing the backpack, the ergonomic shoulder straps will distribute the pack's weight, while the sternum strap provides crucial back support. This back support will make all the difference when hiking over long distances, especially with heavy items on your back.

Blue GILI roll-top  waterproof backpack

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Available in teal, black, blue, and yellow
  • Also available in a 35L or 55L version
  • Made from  500D PVC tarpaulin
  • Interior and exterior pockets
  • Interior laptop sleeve
  • Shoulder strap D-rings
  • Padded shoulder straps

What we love:

  • GILI designed their bags in three different sizes, so no matter if you carry a few items or lots of items, there will be an option for you.
  • Interior and front zippered pockets, as well as an interior laptop sleeve and side mesh pockets, provide ample storage for smaller items that could get lost in the main compartment.
  • D-rings on the shoulder straps give you even more storage space and help keep essential items close by and easy to access.
  • The ergonomic shoulder straps help to distribute the weight of the pack giving your back the support it needs during long hikes. 

What we don't love:

  • We would like to see a pink or more natural/muted tone color option. 

YETI Panga Airtight Waterproof Backpack

The Yeti Panga Airtight Waterproof Backpack made it onto our premium top pick for a few different reasons. 

Firstly, the design of the backpack is sleek and smart. The heavy-duty wide zip gives it an almost robust feel, while the black accents add texture and dimension to the plain gray surface. 

YETI designed their Panga Backpack to be airtight and waterproof. So waterproof, in fact, that the bag can be submerged in water and still remain dry inside. The hydrolok zipper, no matter how torrential the weather gets, will lock out all water keeping your gear bone dry and safe while hiking. 

Not only is the high-density nylon and thick TPU lamination shell waterproof, but it is also puncture and abrasion-resistant, meaning this bag can take a beating and won’t fall apart in the process.

For comfort, YETI included ergonomic dry haul shoulder straps, removable chest straps, and a removable waist belt so you can adjust the backpack and make it as comfortable as possible on long journeys. 

Inside you’ll find a sleeve and stowaway mesh pocket for organization purposes and to keep your gear in place while walking. The loops on the front of the bag also give you space to clip on additional small accessories that are easy to access.

YETI  panga airtight gray waterproof submersible bag

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • 20” x 12.5” x 7”
  • Light gray color with black accents
  • Made from high-density nylon and thick TPU lamination
  • Top and side carry handles
  • Ergonomic shoulder straps with removable waist and chest straps
  • Hydrolok zipper
  • Interior pockets

What we love:

  • The sleek and smart design.
  • The fact that the backpack is waterproof and submersible, so your gear will remain dry no matter what the weather.
  • The ergonomic shoulder straps and removable waist and chest strap so you can customize the bag and increase the overall comfort. 
  • Inside, the bag is incredibly simple, making it easy to see and fit in all your gear. 
  • Yeti designed the bag to be abrasion and puncture resistant, meaning it can take a beating and still remain in good condition. 

What we don't love:

  • It only comes in one color.
  • It is extremely pricey for a backpack.

Sea to Summit Hydraulic 65L Heavy-Duty Backpack

The Sea to Summit Hydraulic 65L Backpack is designed to fit many items, making it the perfect bag for long hiking journeys where you require extra gear. 

Sea to Summit designed their dry bag from waterproof TPU laminated 600D nylon, which is incredibly durable and abrasion-resistant.

To improve the bag’s waterproof abilities, the seams were welded together to permanently seal them and keep water out. Many dry bags like the Hydraulic 65L have roll-top closures that prevent water from entering the bag.To close them, you simply roll the top down and clip it in place with the buckle. 

One of the coolest features of the bag is that the straps, including the shoulder straps, are entirely removable, meaning you can transform the bag into a hiking backpack or a simple dry bag for water activities. To fasten the straps in place, you hook the strap fasteners onto the heavy-duty lash loops, and away you go!

The harness is a combination of mesh and foam to improve airflow and also provide comfort to your back, shoulders, and waist. 

Although we specifically mentioned the 65L Hydraulic waterproof travel backpack, they also have a 35L, 90L, and 120L for those who want more or less storage space while hiking. 

Blue Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • 65L Backpack - 33.5” x 14” x 10”
  • Available in blue, yellow, or black
  • Also available in a 35L, 90L, and 120L version
  • Made from waterproof TPU laminated 600D nylon
  • Top carry handle
  • TPR roll down closure
  • Removable backpack harness with mesh and foam-padded shoulder, waist, and chest straps

What we love:

  • The removable harness is a nice touch because you not only can use it as a waterproof backpack but also a dry bag for water activities like paddle boarding or kayaking.
  • If the 65L is too big or too small, you can purchase one of Sea to Summits smaller or larger Hydraulic Waterproof Backpacks. 
  • The materials the company used in the creation of the backpack are heavy-duty and abrasion-resistant. 
  • The harness has shoulder, waist, and chest straps to evenly distribute the weight across your back, making the backpack more comfortable for long hikes. 

What we don't love:

  • Although the 65L backpack can hold a large amount of gear, the items placed at the bottom of the bag would be extremely hard to get out due to the bucket-style design. 

Skog Å Kust 25L Waterproof Floating Backpack

If plain “boring” backpacks aren’t your thing, then look no further. The Skog Å Kust Waterproof Floating Backpack comes in eleven colors, with some having solid bold colors and others having funky patterns and designs. 

Skog Å Kust designed their roll-top waterproof backpack with 500D PVC and welded seams to seal out the elements and keep your belongings safe and dry no matter what outdoor activities you participate in. 

The roll-top can be rolled down three times and clipped together with the buckle to create a top handle, or you can clip the roll-top into the side clips and adjust the straps to compress the 25L compartment. 

The bag features pockets in both the interior and exterior, which are zippered and spacious, providing you with enough room for your electronics, valuables, and easy to lose smaller items. D-rings on the side also make the perfect space for items such as water bottles or wet gear

Skog Å Kust didn’t skimp on comfort; they added a padded back panel, and shoulder supports as well as a sternum clip to relieve pressure on your muscles. If the 25L backpack is too small for you, they also have a 35L version.

Palm BackSåk Waterproof Floating Backpack

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • 25L - 16” x 11.5” x 6”
  • Available in eleven bold and vibrant colors
  • Also available in a 35L version
  • Made from 500D PVC
  • Two-way roll down closure
  • Interior and exterior pockets
  • D-rings for additional accessories
  • Padded back and shoulder support

What we love:

  • The vibrant and classic color options mean there is a design for everyone. 
  • The roll-top closure, as well as the 500D nylon, will keep your gear protected from water and other debris. 
  • The roll-top can be secured as a carry handle or clipped down to compress the contents.
  • Interior and exterior pockets help divide up essential and important items from the remainder of your gear. 
  • You can clip on other accessories to the side of the D-rings.

What we don't love:

  • Similar to the bag mentioned previously, the bucket design makes reaching items at the bottom fairly difficult. It would be nice to see a waterproof zip access area along the sides or bottom. 

Earth Pak 35L Waterproof Backpack

The Earth Pak 35L Waterproof Backpack is another roll-top waterproof backpack created specifically for outdoor activities when rain or water contact is likely. 

As with other roll tops, you can fasten the top to create a handle or buckle down the straps to the side to compress the contents and secure them in place. The 500D PVC bag has an exterior zippered pocket that is large enough to hold phones or similar-sized items and an interior pocket with an attached key ring for more important essentials.

D-rings on both shoulder straps act as anchor points that you can use to either attach items to or so you can clip your backpack onto a bike, boat, or paddle board. 

Earth Pak added a padded back panel, reinforced contoured shoulder straps, a heavy-duty waist belt, and a low-profile sternum strap for ultimate comfort and weight distribution. 

The Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack also comes in a 55L option, and you can choose from five solid color options.

Green earth pak waterproof backpack

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • 35L - 19” x 14” x 9”
  • Available in five solid block colors
  • Also available in a 55L version
  • Made from 500D PVC
  • Roll-down top closure
  • Interior and exterior zippered pockets
  • Shoulder strap D-rings that act as anchor points
  • Padded back support
  • Comfortable shoulder, waist, and sternum straps

What we love:

  • The zippered interior and exterior pockets act as fantastic storage spaces for smaller items such as keys, phones, and sunglasses.
  • The D-rings on the shoulder straps can serve as anchor points to attach the bag to a bike, paddle board, or kayak. 
  • Earth Pak added a back support panel as well as padded shoulder, waist, and sternum straps for ultimate comfort.
  • The bag comes in a larger size for those in need of more storage space.
  • The bag also comes with a free waterproof phone case.

What we don't love:

  • The buckles aren’t the best quality and need to be upgraded.

Diamond Candy Waterproof Backpack

A completely different type of bag to the ones we’ve looked at before is the Diamond Candy Waterproof Backpack. Although it says waterproof, the backpack itself is actually water resistant, and the included waterproof rain cover is what makes the bag waterproof. 

The water resistant backpack is excellent for outdoor activities and has multiple compartments to separate different gear. Diamond Candy even included a hydration system with a drinking hole, bladder hook, and clamp. 

The bag has a 40L capacity, but this space is split between four zippered compartments. An extra compartment can hold a 16-inch laptop, and small hip and side pockets are the perfect storage solutions for small items, water bottles, and snacks.

Diamond Candy also included a whistle, compression straps, and trekking pole loop attachments to keep all your gear organized and securely fastened in place. 

When wearing the backpack, you won’t need to worry about comfort as the padded back mesh material increases airflow, and the padded shoulder, sternum, and waist straps distribute the water resistant backpacks total weight. 

Army green Diamond Candy waterproof hiking backpack

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • 22” x 13.8” x 7.8”
  • Available in nine colors
  • Zippered compartments
  • Interior and exterior pockets
  • Included hydration system
  • Interior laptop compartment
  • Included whistle
  • Padded back panel
  • Padded shoulder, waist, and sternum straps

What we love:

  • The bag comes in a range of simple colors.
  • It is lightweight and easy to carry, especially with the padded back panel and shoulder straps.
  • Diamond Candy includes a hydration system that is perfect for long hikes. 
  • Sections of the bag are split up into different compartments, which is great when you want to keep certain items separate. 
  • Small features such as a whistle, trekking pole loops, and latching loops also come in handy when hiking.

What we don't love:

  • The bag isn’t entirely waterproof until the rain cover is placed on top. 

FE Active 30L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack

FE Active released their own 30L waterproof hiking backpack that is made from marine grade 5mm eco-friendly vinyl and is welded together with high-frequency stitching. The dry bag backpack is so waterproof that it can even be used as a scuba diving bag.

The bag has padded mesh-lined shoulder straps that increase airflow and work as a support system for your back and shoulders. Other features of the bag are built-in pouches for small essentials, mesh side pockets for water bottles, and a roll-top closure to compress the bag and keep it watertight.

The company also added front bungee cords to hold supplies such as outdoor survival kits, camping gear, and fishing supplies. FE Active has also said you can use the bag as a cooler; just throw in some ice packs, and you’d be good to go.

Black FE Active dry bag

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • 26.7” x 12.6”
  • Only available in black
  • Made from marine grade 5mm eco-friendly vinyl
  • Interior pouch compartments
  • Front bungee cords for storage
  • Mesh padded shoulder pads
  • Mesh side pockets
  • Roll-top closure

What we love:

  • The hiking backpack is a decent size and can even be used as a scuba diving bag.
  • The front bungee cords are an excellent storage space for additional gear.
  • FE Active used mesh padding for the shoulder straps to increase airflow and comfort. 
  • The interior zippered pocket is a great storage space for important items. 
  • You can even use the bag as a cooler with the help of some ice.

What we don't love:

  • It’s only available in black, which isn’t up to everyone’s tastes.
  • It could have an exterior zip pocket for easy to reach essentials.

IDRYBAG 20L Waterproof Backpack

The IDRYBAG 20L Waterproof Backpack was created from 500D vinyl coated woven polyester and heavy-duty welding to create a waterproof, tear-resistant, and abrasion-resistant backpack.

The roll-top seal is easily secured in place with the plug buckles, and the stretched strap which runs over the top will compress the contents while also keeping them dry. Although the backpack is waterproof, the front pocket is only splash-resistant, so it's important to only store items that are able to get wet.

For items that can’t get wet, you can store them in the deep inside zippered pocket. Water bottles can slot into the foldable side pouch, and there are a further two interior pouches to section off your important gear and essentials.

IDRYBAG decided on two removable straps that clip onto the top and bottom of the bag. These straps can comfortably sit on your shoulders to form a backpack, or they can be removed so you can use the bag as a dry bag. 

Black iDrybag waterproof backpack

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • 23.8” x 9.8” x 7.1”
  • Available in four colors
  • Also available in a 30L version
  • Made from 500D vinyl coated woven polyester
  • Interior zippered pocket and pouches
  • Exterior splash resistant pocket
  • Side water bottle holder
  • Removable backpack straps

What we love:

  • There are numerous interior and exterior pockets throughout the bag to give you ample amounts of storage space for all your different belongings. 
  • The straps are removable, so you can use the bag as both a backpack and a dry bag. 
  • It can be used for scuba diving thanks to its extremely waterproof qualities. 
  • The design is simple and smart. 
  • It comes with a smaller 2L dry bag.

What we don't love:

  • The front pocket is only splash-proof instead of waterproof.
  • Some people have claimed the bag didn’t actually include the smaller 2L dry bag. 

Oak Creek Canyon 30L Waterproof Backpack

The Oak Creek Canyon 30L Waterproof Backpack is a great waterproof backpack budget option that doesn’t skimp on any of the features of a more premium bag. 

Oak Creek Canyon designed its waterproof hiking backpack with heavy gauge PVC to keep all your belongings dry no matter the weather. The roll-top bucket has a reinforced strap that not only keeps water out from the bag but also acts as a carry handle for easier transportation. 

For comfort, the company padded out their shoulder straps and included back padding and a waist strap to help even out the weight of the bag once it’s placed on your back. Oak Creek Canyon added a front zippered pocket to give the wearer easy access to essentials, a side mesh pocket for water bottles, and a bungee cord exterior for additional items. 

Gray Oak Creek Canyon Falls waterproof backpack

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • 18” x 12”
  • Only available in the gray 30L version
  • Made from heavy-gauge PVC
  • Reinforced roll top strap
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Back padding
  • Front zippered pocket
  • Side mesh pocket
  • Front bungee exterior

What we love:

  • Oak Creek Canyon created an affordable bag with all the features of a more premium option. 
  • The roll-top closure can also turn into a carry handle. 
  • The back padding and padded straps give the wearer added comfort. 
  • There are numerous pockets throughout the bag for smaller items that need to be in easy-to-reach places. 

What we don't love:

  • It only comes in one color.

Acrodo Floating 15L Waterproof Backpack

The Acrodo Floating Waterproof Backpack is on the smaller side at 15L, but this could be a huge benefit if you only travel light when hiking. 

Acrodo used the roll-down top design to ensure the contents of the backpack will remain dry during downpours or when the bag comes in contact with any type of water. If you leave a small amount of air in the bag, it’ll even float on the surface of the water, making it a fantastic waterproof backpack that is versatile and can be used for a wide range of activities. 

A unique feature of the bag is side buckles that you can attach additional Acrodo Floating Backpacks to. This feature doesn’t exactly come in handy when hiking, but if you were to also use your bag in the water, you can attach them all together so they remain in one place. 

The overall bag design is fairly simple. Acrodo included two removable straps that you can use to transform this bag into a dry bag or a backpack. The straps, however, aren’t padded, so they may not be the most comfortable on long hikes, especially if you have heavy gear inside. 

Gray Acrodo floating waterproof dry bag

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • 15L capacity
  • Available in black, grey, or green
  • Roll-top closure
  • Floating abilities
  • Side buckles to attach additional Arcodo bags
  • Removable straps

What we love:

  • The bag is extremely versatile and can be used for a range of different activities. 
  • It comes in at a low price point.
  • It’s smaller than most bags on our list, which could be a benefit to those who only carry the essentials. 
  • It has floating capabilities. 

What we don't love:

  • The straps aren’t padded, which may be uncomfortable when carrying heavy gear over long periods of time. 

Piscifun 20L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack

The Piscifun 20L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack made it onto our best budget pick because of its low price point, sleek design, and high-quality materials. 

Piscifun created their versatile 500D PVC waterproof backpack to be able to withstand the elements and repetitive abuse while out in the wilderness. They fully welded the seams to improve the waterproof construction and included a solid roll-top closure that makes an ideal water-tight seal. 

The backpack has adjustable straps with padding that can be removed and altered for different style fits. Whether you want to use it as a carry bag, a backpack, or a cross-body bag, the straps allow you to do this while also remaining comfortable across your back and shoulders. 

For additional storage, Piscifun included an outer mesh pocket and bungees to attach and secure items that don’t need to be kept dry. 

The backpack comes in nine different colors, and you can also purchase it in a 5L, 10L, 30L, or 40L version. 

Orange Piscifun waterproof drybag backpack with waterproof phone case

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Available in nine bold colors
  • Also available in a 5L, 10L, 30L, or 40L version
  • Front mesh pocket
  • Front bungees
  • Adjustable and removable straps
  • Included waterproof phone case

What we love:

  • The bag is extremely budget-friendly, so you don’t need to break the bank in order to keep your belongings dry.
  • It comes in nine different colors and different sizes, so you can find a bag variation suitable for you.
  • The straps can be removed and changed so the bag can be worn crossbody or as a carry bag. 

What we don't love:

  • Although the straps have padding, they may not be the comfiest on long journeys. 

FAQ’S

🏆 What is the best waterproof backpack for hiking?

The best waterproof backpack for hiking will come down to your personal opinion. Some people travel light and will only need a small bag, and some people carry a large amount of gear, ultimately requiring a larger bag. As it’s difficult to determine the “best” waterproof backpack, we compiled a list of 11 that’ll be sure to suit everyone’s taste, needs, and budget. 

  • GILI Waterproof Backpack Roll Top
  • YETI Panga Airtight Waterproof Backpack
  • Sea to Summit Hydraulic Heavy-Duty Backpack
  • Skog Å Kust Waterproof Floating Backpack
  • Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack
  • Diamond Candy Waterproof Backpack
  • FE Active Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack
  • IDRYBAG Waterproof Backpack
  • Oak Creek Canyon Waterproof Backpack
  • Acrodo Floating Waterproof Backpack
  • Piscifun Waterproof Drybag Backpack

👍 How do you keep things dry when hiking?

The easiest way to keep your belongings dry while hiking is to purchase and use a waterproof backpack. 

Just like any other backpack, you can store a large number of items inside and carry them comfortably on your back, keeping your hands free and your belongings with you at all times. 

Waterproof backpacks come in many shapes and sizes and are usually made from waterproof polyester or vinyl.


🏝️ What is the best size backpack for hiking?

The size of your backpack ultimately comes down to how much gear you have and the amount of weight you can comfortably carry on your back. Some people only require a water bottle, snacks, and a few other accessories while hiking, so for them, a small backpack would be sufficient. 

However, if you’re hiking as a family or have more gear than average, you would need a larger backpack to fit it all in. With that being said, having a backpack too large and too heavy will slow you down while hiking and cause discomfort from the added weight.

Megan Bryant
Megan Bryant

Based in Bali, her favorite SUP spot is the GILI Islands themselves. Travel is another passion of hers - she dreams to see the entire world one day.


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