Wet Totes: The 8 Best Waterproof Backpacks

On the road, whether just riding your commuter bike to work, or heading up the side of Mount McKinley, your gear is your life. When the snow flies or the rain starts to fall, you must protect your equipment at all costs, lest you find yourself with a ruined laptop, a soggy sleeping bag, or damp drawers. That requires a waterproof backpack that is durable enough to stand up to the rigors of action and adventure without puncturing or perforating; while also being comfortable enough to wear.

Getting your stuff stowed is no easy feat if you’re using the wrong bag. Each of the backpacks is tailored to fit your specific needs. We’ve found packs for bikers of both the standard and motor variety, those that will keep your electronics safe, items for hikers and campers, and basic bags for students just looking to keep their costly books intact. From the compact to the extreme, here’s the 8 best waterproof backpacks.

OverBoard Pro-Sport

OverBoard Pro-Sport

Pro: Roll-top design
Con: Limited pockets

Action Bag: Use it for going to the gym, walking in a rainstorm, or toss it into your dune buggy. This is the sport bag for those who play hard and play wet. Made from 600D nylon and PVC, you’ll never have to worry about water being able to soak through. Each seam is welded shut for maximum impermeability. A large front mesh pocket with bungees can hold the gear you don’t care about, while everything else can go into the 20L interior. Inside is a hanging zippered pocket so your cell phone and wallet won’t sink into the gloomy, grimy depths along with your worn sneakers or reeking workout gear. Mesh backing, padded straps, extra lumbar support, and a basic waist belt allow this to double as a daypack should the need arise. [Purchase: $75+]

Timbuk2 Spire

Timbuk2 Spire

Pro: Can access laptop pocket from back zipper
Con: Small overall size

Student Satchel: Going to college is hard enough without adding the worry of your term paper getting soaked. If you are on a campus where gloom prevails and rain falls in torrents from time to time, the Spire is your solution. A separate padded pocket can hold laptops up to 15-inches in size along with your favorite tablet. A waterproof flap with a roll-top design keeps water from getting in the top while the lining fights anything seeping up from underneath. Interior pockets for pens, pencils, or your phone keeps things organized, and a front pocket for other necessary accessories adds a touch more storage should you need it. Comes with a special place for U-style bike locks, a nice added bonus. [Purchase: $78+]

DryCASE Basin

DryCASE Basin

Pro: 2-way purge valve
Con: Deep central pocket

For Boating Bikers: This is technically an all-sport bag since it can be inflated or deflated via a valve in the event you need to strap it to a fishing kayak or paddleboard. What we like it for is going rogue on a motorcycle. On the inside is a zippered pocket for your necessities while extra clothing and layers can go into the main compartment. Padding is abundant on both the shoulders and the waist strap for easy carry. The slender 20L body is marine grade vinyl and fits down your back easily without interfering with your range of arm motion. Plenty of zippered pockets, bungee straps, and a side holder for a reusable water bottle makes the Basin a whole package for bad weather or adventure on the high seas. [Purchase: $90]

Ortlieb Velocity

Ortlieb Velocity

Pro: Removable inner pocket
Con: No external pockets

Best for Bicyclists: The wrong pack can not only make bicycling difficult, but downright dangerous. If it doesn’t fit snug to your body and interferes with your over-shoulder visibility, you’re asking for trouble, particularly if using a road bike to get around during rush hour. Straps secure this to your shoulders, chest, and waist to keep it from jostling around and the whole outside is streamlined with no external pockets to deter thieves. An attachment lets you put on a light for night missions on busy streets. 20L of space with a removable inner pocket and a nice, broad width allow you to put in clothes and a work laptop for pedaling to and from the office, or for taking your your mountain bike further afield. [Purchase: $115+]

Sea to Summit Rapid Drypack

Sea to Summit Rapid Drypack

Pro: Comfortable for long, arduous hikes
Con: Bottom isn’t reinforced

Day Hikers: You probably aren’t going to head up a hill during a downpour, but if you want something that works as an EDC or a “Just-in-case” waterproof backpack, you can’t go wrong with the Rapid Drypack. 420D nylon makes it plenty tough with TPU lamination for extra water protection. The buckles are 7075 Aircraft alloy that won’t rust, corrode, or break under duress. The seams are sealed in case you find yourself needing to take a dip. White coating on the entire 26L interior allows for easy identification of items and less digging. Each strap is perforated for ventilation and it’s held in place securely by chest and waist straps. [Purchase: $170]

Lowpro Dry Zone 200

Lowpro Dry Zone 200

Pro: Floats
Con: Uncomfortable to carry for long periods

Camera Case: True photographers go where the action is, whether that means into the teeth of a storm or slogging through the Amazon basin. The Dry Zone 200 is partly a camera bag and partly a waterproof backpack. Customizable insides with foam inserts lets you pack around a 35mm DSLR camera along with up to 5 lenses, or can be arranged to suit your needs as an organized daypack. Dump it into the water and it will float for easy retrieval should you plan on a boating trip. With a SlipLock attachment you can add other gear or accessories as needed to this buoyant beauty. The bulge and balance makes it poor for long hikes. [Purchase: $263]

Mission Workshop VX Sanction Rucksack

Mission Workshop VX Sanction Rucksack

Pro: Stylish
Con: Laptop compartment is not padded

Laptop Guardian: You can’t walk the streets looking like some grade-schooler. You need a professional-grade backpack that is as sleek and modern as you are. The Sanction is the answer. It has 20L of storage space on the inside that carries multiple weatherproof compartments for all of your gear, gadgets, and gizmos. A zippered pocket fits a 15-inch laptop comfortably, keeping it protected from the elements, but sadly doesn’t pad it. Made with Mission Workshop’s own VX fabric complemented with a PTFE waterproof membrane, this is military grade function for the urbane gentleman. Machined aluminum Arkiv clasps and a lifetime warranty make this a smart investment for years to come. [Purchase: $279+]

Patagonia Stormfront

Patagonia Stormfront

Pro: Extremely comfortable to wear
Con: Expensive

Raft & Hike: Start with some 800-denier TPU fabric with double polyurethane-coated nylon, close it up with a zipper made for a wetsuit, and this will protect anything and everything you put into it. Go ahead, take it on that whitewater rafting trip. While you’re braving the rapids, grab the bag and head up the nearest hill. The cushioned waist belt, padded shoulder straps, and snug but pliable chest strap will move right along with you for hours without wear, chafing, or fatigue. 28L of storage give you all the space you need for all your outdoor gear, or a small sleeping pad if you’re going somewhere overnight. [Purchase: $299]

Get The Goods

HiCONSUMPTION'S DAILY NEWSLETTER

Sign up for HiConsumption The Goods

© HiConsumption | DMCA

Back To Top