The 11 Best Waterproof Backpacks of 2022

Keep your essentials dry with the SealLine Skylake Dry Daypack

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TripSavvy's Pick

Our top pick is the SealLine Skylake Dry Daypack. It's waterproof, lightweight, and has removable shoulder straps. If you're looking for something to pack around town, go with the Matein Mlassic Travel Laptop Backpack. It's durable, comfortable, and has plenty of pockets so that you can organize all of your belongings.

Backpacks are more ubiquitous than ever—you’re just as likely to see people toting backpacks in the streets of New York or Los Angeles as you are on trails in national parks, for instance. Decidedly more stylish than the bulky school bags of our youth, the backpacks of today come in sleek commuter-friendly styles, cute and compact designs for travel, and all manner of utilitarian styles for hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and more. Best of all, it’s not hard to find a pack that’s either fully waterproof or extremely weather-resistant, so you never have to worry about your belongings getting soaked or destroyed in the rain.

Read on for our picks for the best, coolest, most functionally waterproof backpacks available.

Best Overall: SealLine Skylake 18L Dry Daypack

SealLine Skylake 18L Dry Daypack

Backcountry

What We Like
  • Ultralight

  • Multiple carrying methods

What We Don't Like
  • On the smaller side

The Skylake 18L Dry Daypack keeps the water out thanks to welded seams, a roll-top closure, and a spray-shedding PU coating. Made of a durable polyester nylon blend and weighing in at 13.5 ounces, it is one of the lightest backpacks on our list. The lightly padded shoulder straps provide a comfortable carrying experience even when you need to stuff it to the brim and can be removed to convert the Daypack into a compact dry bag. A stretch mesh pocket on the front provides easy access to a water bottle or extra layers. Whether you're headed out for a rugged day trip in the mountains or biking through rainy Pacific Northwest cities, the Skylake Dry Daypack is an excellent choice.

Price at time of publish: $109.95

Weight: 13.5 ounces | Capacity: 18 liters | Dimensions: 10 x 6 x 21 inches

Best Budget: MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag

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What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Available in five sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Not particularly stylish

It's not often that a product comes so highly reviewed with a price tag that'll have you buying them as gifts, but that is the case with the MARCHWAY Floating Dry Bag. Its durable ripstop tarpaulin fabric protects your belongings in the wettest conditions, including an accidental fall in the lake, although it should not be submerged underwater. Here you'll find another roll-top closure with a clip to keep everything in place. Sleek and simple, you can take your pick of 18 punchy shades. Venture out on paddleboards and kayaks without fear, just leave some air in the bag, and it will float.

Price at time of publish: $20.99 for black 20L

Weight: From 0.9 to 1.63 pounds | Capacity: 5, 10, 20, 30, or 40 liters | Dimensions: From 6.9 x 15 inches to 11.9 x 26 inches

Best Lightweight: Sea to Summit Rapid 26L DryPack

Rapid Backpack

Backcountry

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Comes in various colors

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note hip belt could have more padding

The ideal size for various outdoor activities—be it hiking, bike commuting, or traveling—the Sea to Summit Rapid 26L DryPack is definitely on the lightweight side, at 21 x 6 x 15 inches and 27 ounces. This impressively-made pack boasts waterproof, abrasion-resistant, TPU-laminated, 420D nylon fabric construction, so you can rest assured that it’ll survive the elements. Other features include a waterproof roll-top closure with side straps and the brand’s Field Repair Buckles.

Price at time of publish: $199.95

Weight: 1 pound, 11 ounces | Capacity: 26 liters | Dimensions: 21 x 6 x 15 inches

Best for Commuting: Rains Backpack

4.8
Rains Backpack

Rains

What We Like
  • Comes in various colors

  • Has a two-year warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Limited pockets than other options

Whether commuting on a super-packed subway, in a car, or by bike, the Rains Backpack is a gorgeous, highly practical pick. The ultra-modern design and chic color selection (think pale yellow, olive green, navy, and slate, among others) would already make this bag a standout, but the sturdy water-resistant fabric and storage features put it over the edge. There’s a main compartment, a 13-inch laptop pocket, an inside zippered pocket, and an outer phone pocket, complete with magnetic closings and carabiner details.

Price at time of publish: $110 for black

Weight: Not listed | Capacity: 13 liters | Dimensions: 18.9 x 11.8 x 4.7 inches

Best for Laptops: Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

Matein Travel Laptop Backpack

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes in various colors

  • Affordable

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note zippers tend to slide open

Crafted from durable, water-resistant polyester fabric, the Matein Travel Laptop Backpack provides the perfect vessel for toting your laptop to and from work or the coffee shop. The separate laptop compartment has space for a 15.6-inch computer, plus there’s a front compartment with multiple pockets. Comfy, sturdy, and breathable, this pack also has a multi-panel ventilated body, so you get maximum back support.

Price at time of publish: $45.99

Weight: 1.68 pounds | Capacity: 28 liters | Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 7.8 inches

Best for Hiking: Yeti Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack

Yeti Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack
Yeti Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack.

Brian Kopinski

What We Like
  • Durable

  • HydroLok zippers

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

For all of your wet, rough-and-tumble adventures on the trail, the YETI Panga Backpack 28 has you covered. The high-density nylon and thermoplastic urethane laminated ThickSkin shell resists abrasion, while the HydroLok zipper seals out water, so your gear stays dry. Add to the list the comfy, durable DryHaul shoulder straps, removable webbing chest strap, and hip belt, and you’ve got yourself one mighty, secure, and comfy-fitting daypack.

Price at time of publish: $300

Weight: 3.9 pounds | Capacity: 28 liters | Dimensions: 7 x 20 x 12.5 inches

Best for Biking: BackSåk Waterproof Backpack

BackSÃ¥k Waterproof Floating Backpack

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes in various colors and sizes

  • Padded shoulder straps

What We Don't Like
  • Exterior pocket is not waterproof

For technical outdoor functionality, comfort, and durability while you bike, it’s tough to beat the Skog A Kust BackSak. This lightweight-yet-sturdy pack features 500-denier PVC to seal out the elements with watertight, welded seams and a roll-down top. The sternum clip and padded back support help relieve pressure on your muscles. And the thick, cushioned straps adjust for custom comfort.

Price at time of publish: $69.95 for 25L

Weight: 2.5 pounds | Capacity: 25 or 35 liters | Dimensions: 16 x 6 x 11.5 inches or 19 x 6 x 12.5 inches

Best for Paddling: Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack

Hydraulic Dry Pack

REI

What We Like
  • Welded seams

  • UV light-resistant

  • Comes in various colors and sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

If you’re going kayaking or canoeing, getting a pack that can withstand being submerged is essential, and the Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack fits the bill nicely. Solidly designed in every way, this pack effectively keeps your gear nice and dry while you’re on the water, thanks to its rugged, laminated fabric and welded seams (which are also resistant to UV light and cold temperatures). Handily, you can haul your stuff backpack-style off the boat using the attachable harness.

Price at time of publish: $99.95 for blue, typically $240

Weight: 2 pounds, 4 ounces to 3 pounds, 15 ounces | Capacity: 35, 65, 90, or 120 liters | Dimensions: 13 x 8 x 28 inches, 14 x 10 x 33.5 inches, 16.5 x 11.8 x 39.5 inches, or 18.5 x 12.6 x 44.5 inches

Best for Travel: Fjallraven Ulvo 23

Ulvo 23

fjallraven

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Made from recycled materials

  • Great storage capacity

What We Don't Like
  • Limited color options

Whatever foreign city you’re zipping around, the Fjallraven Ulvo 23 makes for the ultimate travel companion. Equal parts stylish and functional, this backpack is made from super-sturdy, recycled ripstop nylon with a durable Bergshell fabric that’s water-resistant to handle most (potentially wet) situations. The comfortable back panel and shoulder straps have ventilating air mesh, too, and there’s plenty of storage, with a zippered main compartment, zippered front pocket, and two side pockets.

Price at time of publish: $124.95

Weight: 1 pound, 6.9 ounces | Capacity: 23 liters | Dimensions: 17.7 x 11 x 4.9 inches

Best Style: Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

Fjallraven Kanken Backpack

Urban Outfitters

What We Like
  • Comes in various colors

  • Durable

  • Padded back

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note colors don't match website pictures

A true cult-fave backpack, the Fjallraven Classic Kanken is on everyone’s wish list, beloved for its boxy-cool shape, comfortable fit, and sizable capacity. This pack is also made from hard-wearing Vinylon F fabric that successfully withstands dirt and wetness. The bag’s most distinctive feature (aside from that adorable fox logo, of course) is the included PE foam cushion, which prevents the contents of your backpack from poking against your back.

Price at time of publish: $80 for deep red

Weight: 0.7 pounds | Capacity: 16 liters | Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 4.5 inches

Best Expandable: Northbound Gear Voyager Expandable Backpack 26L/38L

Northbound Gear Voyager Expandable Backpack

Northbound Gear

What We Like
  • USB port for on-the-go charging

  • Multiple carrying methods

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky when fulled expanded

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material and waterproof zippers allow the Voyager Expandable Backpack to keep the elements at bay. We love the organization of the bag, which features 16 total wet/dry separation pockets, including a 17.3-inch laptop compartment. Use the smaller 26-liter capacity for everyday life or quickly expand it to 38 liters for travel. Speaking of travel, it is designed to fit the maximum dimensions for IATA flights and has a convenient security pocket making it the perfect carry-on. And it comes with a built-in raincoat poncho in case of an unexpected downpour.

Price at time of publish: $244

Weight: Not listed | Capacity: 26 or 38 liters | Dimensions: 11.8 x 17.7 x 7 inches or 11.8 x 17.7 x 10.6 inches

What to Look for in a Waterproof Backpack

Size

How you plan to use your bag will determine what size to get. Are you looking for a streamlined bag for commuting, a light daypack for hiking, biking, or kayaking, or a roomy (and therefore bulky) backpack for multi-day treks in the backcountry? Proper weight distribution is key, so make sure your pack is appropriately sized for whatever adventure you're taking it on. For most single-day activities, there's no need to go over 30 liters; most likely, 20 liters will suffice.

Style

No matter what activity you’ll be doing, there’s a backpack style for you. A stylish mini-backpack or rucksack are both excellent options if you’re just looking for an everyday bag for running errands or something to carry while traveling. Want a backpack for commuting to work? Get a bag that can fit a 13-inch laptop and the rest of your workday essentials. Then, hiking backpacks generally come in three types: frameless, internal-frame, and external-frame—frameless packs are best for carrying light loads, internal-frame packs can handle medium to heavy loads, and external-frame packs are for carrying heavy loads.

Pockets

Depending on the type of bag, the size and placement of pockets will differ. For example, travel and commuter bags tend to have organizational features like a laptop sleeve, dividers, and organizer panels for holding smaller items. On the other hand, a good hiking backpack should have stretchy side pockets for water bottles, a spacious main compartment, multiple interior and exterior pockets, and ideally, pockets on the shoulder straps or hip straps (a handy feature for storing your phone or snacks). Look for a bag with ample organized storage, whatever you’re getting.

Price

Splurging on a good backpack is worth it if you’ll use it every day or often. On the other hand, if it’s your first hiking backpack and you don’t plan on hiking more than a few times a year, you probably don’t need to get a top-of-the-line pack. Going cheaper is totally fine.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What's the difference between waterproof and water-resistant?

    If a bag is labeled "waterproof," this means you can fully submerge it in water without getting any moisture inside. "Water-resistant" bags are usually made from nylon with a durable water-resistant (DWR) coating and/or coated zippers. This type of bag can generally repel some water, but you shouldn't get caught in a rainstorm with it (that's what rain covers are for).

  • How should you clean your backpack?

    Never put your backpack in the washing machine, and always consult your bag’s specific instructions before washing. For most backpacks, mild soap and a soft sponge should do the trick just fine.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Justine Harrington is a freelance writer who covers travel, food, lifestyle, and more. She has been writing for TripSavvy since 2018, and her work has appeared in many publications like Travel + Leisure, Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, Forbes Travel Guide, and more. As a frequent traveler, she's always looking for the best waterproof backpack.

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