If you’re planning to go hiking and backpacking, you’ll most likely be looking for gear that will suit your terrain and environment. And if you’re out in the backcountry, keeping your stuff safe and dry is as crucial as keeping yourself safe. That’s why you need a good waterproof hiking backpack.
One of the most frustrating things while hiking is to reach your destination and find all your belongings soaked through. Whether it’s because of sudden rain, crossing a creek, or passing a waterfall, water can easily seep through your stuff in the wilderness. This is why it is crucial to have a reliable waterproof backpack to store your gear.
With thousands of rain backpacks and hiking bags in the market today, it can be hard to settle for one. Since each hiking backpack comes with different designs, comparing one with the other becomes a lot of work. Fortunately, we have compiled this list of the best waterproof hiking backpacks to help you decide.
The first yardstick with which these bags are ranked is, naturally, their resistance to water. Depending on your environment, you may need backpacks that repel some water or bags that can submerge completely with no seepage inside.
Hiking backpacks come with different capacities. Whether you need to carry a lot of gear or want less load, there’s a backpack for you on this list.
Backpacks can offer a wide variety of accessories and features. Whether you want additional zippers or a bottle pocket, we’ve got you covered with the right brands.
For some hikers, comfort is also an essential quality in backpacks. If you’re exploring tough terrain, you need your gear to be as comfortable as possible.
The Best Waterproof Hiking Backpacks
1. The Overboard Pro-Sport
The Pro-Sport by Overboard is a light-weight and compact waterproof backpack that is ideal for most hiking trips. With Seamless PVC construction, this backpack will keep the water out even if you place it in a puddle. Although it lacks in capacity, it compensates in comfort with padded back and lumbar design. With a price tag of about $100, the Pro-Sport is one of the more expensive items on this list.
- Seamless PVC and Air-design give it both water resistance and ventilation
- Additional zipper inside to carry small items like keys, wallets, etc.
- With a maximum of 20 liters, this hiking backpack does not have as much space as the others.
2. Backsak by Skog A Kust
Made by the high-end Swedish outdoor gear brand, this rain backpack scores high on water resistance. The 500-denier PVC ensures all-round protection from not just rain, but other elements too. Padded with EVA foam and weighing only over two pounds, this hiking backpack provides top-notch comfort. At $59, this hiking backpack is an excellent value for money.
- Available in both 25 liters and 35 liters capacity.
- Interior pockets are spacious enough for smartphones and small towels.
- Excellent water and weather protection.
- Lack of hip strap makes the bag feel heavier when packed to capacity.
3. Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Premium
This hiking backpack scores really well on all aspects, and it doubles as a great sports backpack too. It’s one of the few backpacks that can promise 100% water protection. The fabric is designed to float even if dropped in water bodies. With a 2-way sealing design, it has excellent finishing and protects the contents from both dust and dirt too. At just around $60, it’s also one of the best deals on this list.
- The front webbing is an elastic material and gives high comfort.
- Reflective patches on the straps and front make it ideal for use in the dark.
- Air-flow design keeps it well ventilated.
- Weighing over 6.5 Pounds, this backpack is on the heavier side.
4. Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack
Along with the Phantom Aquatics, the Chaos Ready is one of the most efficient waterproof hiking backpacks on this list. Not only will this backpack float on water, but it can also undergo a quick submersion without water seepage. The 500-PVC tarp keeps it light and mesh pockets work together for comfort and air-flow. With a $40 price tag, this hiking backpack is a low-cost but effective option.
- Submersible and 100% Waterproof interior
- Simple and unique buckle system with tri-fold design
- Easy to clean and low-maintenance
- The small external pocket is not 100% waterproof.
5. Friendly Swede Waterproof Backpack
This waterproof hiking backpack is as resilient to weather as it is to water. The PVC material is built for extra strength, and the heavy-duty tarp can endure the harshest environment. The waist, shoulder, and chest bands are all ergonomically designed with fully-adjustable straps. Additional features include a padded sleeve inside and dual mesh pockets on the outside.
- Risk-free purchase with a lifetime warranty.
- Emergency whistle attached to the chest lock
- Organizing and browsing through your stuff in the main compartment is a bit inconvenient.
6. Mountain Hardware Scrambler
The Mountain Hardware Scrambler is another efficient waterproof hiking backpack that is loaded with features. The fabric is made of Watertight Out-dry construction that provides both resistance and protection. The adjustable sternum and padded straps make the weight evenly spread as you carry it.
- Rich in additional features.
- Loop feature to carry pick-ax, trekking poles, etc.
- The main compartment is well protected with top lid, as well as a roll-down cover.
- With a capacity of 21 liters, it may be inadequate for long getaways.
7. Outdoor Master Hiking Backpack
The Outdoor Master is not a completely waterproof hiking backpack in interior design. This feature comes from the Waterproof rain cover that goes over the bag. The Outdoor Master is a great multi-purpose and utility option while hiking in the wilderness. If you want a bag with the convenience of a normal hiking pack, but that also can survive the elements, this is the choice for you.
- With a 50-liter capacity, this hiking backpack is the most spacious on this list
- Priced below $40, it’s also one of the least expensive items.
- Bulky design and not waterproof without the rain cover.
Although these waterproof hiking backpacks each come with varying features, it’s up to you to make a choice. Think about the terrain and conditions under which you will be hiking. Also, comfort and utility features can be handy in different situations.
Once you’ve assessed these practical elements, you can choose the one that fits your requirement the most.
Note: Prices mentioned here are current, but may change depending on your location and source.