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There are many reasons why you might need a waterproof rucksack. You could be transporting your laptop to work in the rain, or cycling and not want your possessions to get wet.
Going off on a hike is another situation where you would definitely be considering something to keep everything dry – have you ever tried sleeping in a wet sleeping bag? Don’t, it’s awful. Waterproof is the way forward, but with so many backpacks to choose from, which one is the right one? That’s where we come in.
To help you find the best waterproof rucksack, we have put this guide together, compiling all of the relevant waterproof rucksack reviews in one place, so you can find the best one for your next trip or commute.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks for the best waterproof rucksacks
Best Waterproof Rucksack - Comparison Table
1. V-Call Climbing Backpack
Best Waterproof Rucksack for Travel
Whether you are off hiking or just to see the sights, there is a lot of sense in bringing a rucksack that you know will be able to withstand any weather conditions. Have a read of the reviews below to see if this is the right rucksack for you.
This rucksack is perfect for travelling, and will make the perfect companion on any hike. It comes in a sleek black colour that won’t show up any dirt or grime collected on your travels, and it is completely waterproof so that all of your gear and belongings are completely protected.
Plus, the nylon material is also very breathable, so the air circulates while you are on the move. It has a brilliant range of compartments that vary in size, so just about everything can be carried around in a secure pocket.
The shoulders are padded for comfort, and the waist straps keep everything in place as well as keeping weight evenly distributed.
The Not So Good
Some customers found it to be a little heavier than expected.
- Brand : V-call
- Material : Nylon
- Waterproof : Yes
- Capacity : 40L
- Ideal for : Hiking Back Pack
This affordable model of rucksack is great for every trip, and is sure to serve you well on each of your travels. While some have found it to be a little heavy, it has a brilliant range of features that make it well worth the extra weight.
With a brilliant selection of compartments and a large capacity, it can carry everything you need it to and more. It really is the perfect travel companion.
Q: What's the capacity of the multiple -use rucksack?
A: 40L, and there are some other pockets, you can hold many things.
2. The North Face Backpack
Best Waterproof Rucksack for Bike Riding
Cycling to work or just to get to a friend’s can sometimes mean heading out in the rain. When this happens, you want to have a waterproof pack on you, otherwise, you are met with despair and annoyance when you realise all your stuff is soaked. Have a look and see if this rucksack will do the trick.
This backpack has a 28L capacity, so it can carry the majority of your belongings around comfortably and compactly.
The pockets are really easy to access, so if you need to pull over for a quick drink, you don’t need to fumble around for access to your pack. Plus, there is a fleece-lined pocket for your more delicate items, like electronics.
To keep your visible at all times, it features a 360-degree reflective bike loop, as well as shoulder strap webbing, so you don’t have to go unseen and can stick with road safety.
The overhauled suspension system and padded straps make it comfortable to carry while you ride. There is even internal organisation so that you can keep everything where it needs to be.
When testing out this product, I was pleased with the size and how much it could hold. It has a laptop compartment and tons of other bays, great external webbing storage for a waterproof and two bottle pockets. It would be perfect for travelling. Substantial construction should last forever! Looks pleasant and relatively subtle, which is a bonus when your laptop is in there!
The Not So Good
Some customers have found this model to be a little heavier than expected.
- Brand : North Face
- Material : Nylon
- Waterproof : Yes
- Capacity : 28L
- Ideal for : Riding a Bike
This rucksack is available at a decent price, and while there have been some concerns with regards to the weight, these are few and far between when compared to the numerous positive reviews this product has received.
Comfortable and accessible, it is easy to get into when you have to pull over, and also comes with reflective strips to help keep you safe when you are cycling on the road. Plus, it has all the pockets and compartments you could possibly need.
Q: Would this bag be big enough for a cycling commute? It needs to fit clothes, shoes, towel, lunch etc.
A: Yes, this pack has 28 litre capacity which is enough for most day activities.
Q: Are there side pockets where you can store water bottles? If so, are these bottles deep - would a 500ml bottle stay there or fall out easily?
A: The backpack has 2 side pockets to contain 500 ml bottles without the possibility of falling.
3. Osprey Ultralight Stuff Rucksack
Best Waterproof Rucksack on a Budget
If you are looking for a rucksack that does a great job but does not cost a massive amount, then you might not need to look any further than this. Take a peek at the reviews below to see if this rucksack suits your needs.
This rucksack comes in a great range of colours, so you are sure to find one that suits you (and your personal style) perfectly.
With a cool design, it has a modern appearance that goes with just about any situation. With a deluxe and breathable harness, it is comfortable and prevents chafing, so you don’t end up with sore arms.
It features zippered panel access and a stash pocket, leaving everything easy for you to access when you need it most. Plus, the stretch mesh pocket on the side means that your water bottle is always within your reach.
The seams are just as waterproof as the fabric, and there is even reflective printing for safe travels. To make things better, it can even pack into its own carry case.
When testing out this product, I was pleased how handy this back is for travel, weighs nothing, can easily fit in your pocket if not needed and pull out when required. Straps are comfortable for light loads, separate zipped pockets for keys etc. Easy to pack away.
The Not So Good
There have been no issues with this product so far.
- Brand : Osprey
- Material : Fully waterproof coated fabric
- Waterproof : Yes
- Capacity : 18L
- Ideal for : Sports - Lightweight
This cheap rucksack is perfect for those who are on a budget, or who want to spend less on something that is just as sturdy and reliable as the more expensive models and brands.
With waterproof fabric, a range of pockets, and a comfortable harness, it really does have everything you need for a good and trustworthy rucksack. You can take it anywhere, and you know it will be resilient.
4. Walffepack Metro Backpack
Best Waterproof Laptop Rucksack
If you want something reliable and sturdy for your laptop (that is also waterproof), then Wolffepack is probably the brand you should be going for. Don’t let the price shock you, read the reviews below and discover how great this rucksack can be.
This rucksack for your laptop features a revolutionary and award winning orbital design, which means you can swing your gear around to the front while the pack is strapped to your back.
It provides extreme comfort while being carried, while also offering you the easy access that normally comes with a satchel or messenger bag.
It has a padded computer slot, so you can pack your laptop away carefully, and also take advantage of the orbital design to prevent potential theft.
In total, it has two main compartments, as well as multiple zippered pockets, sleeves, a document wallet, and even space for keychains and pens. Made from carbon fibre and Kevlar, it’s not just waterproof, it’s also incredibly strong.
The Not So Good
You do need to learn how to use it properly before you can take full advantage of it, and the price is a little high.
- Brand : Walffepack
- Material : Polyester
- Waterproof : Yes
- Capacity : 22L
- Ideal for : for Laptops
This backpack really is amazing once you get used to it. There is no doubt that it requires a little work to start using it properly, but this does not take long, and it is definitely worth it.
With a one-year warranty, and some seriously revolutionary features, this is the backpack of the future, and where safer to store your laptop than a rucksack that is made using Kevlar? It’s worth the price, and the time taken to learn more about it.
Further Models of Waterproof Rucksack
Here are some further models of waterproof rucksack, just in case the ones above do not quite meet your requirements
5. Mountaintop 80L Hiking Backpack
This hiking backpack comes in a range of great colours, so you can pick your favourite or even match it with the rest of your gear. It features eight compression straps so that you can secure all of your gear and evenly distribute the weight of your pack to avoid aching joints.
There is a hydration system located on the side of the pack, as well as a front zipper for easy and quick access when it is needed most.
Water resistant, this affordable backpack is made of a material that will have water sliding off it instead of penetrating it and reaching your gear. Even the bottom pocket is protected.
6. OverBoard OB1142 Waterproof Backpack
This affordable waterproof rucksack comes in three bold colours, so you are sure to find something that suits your look and personal tastes. With a roll-top to keep your things safe, it is completely waterproof, so there is no risk of your belongings ending up soaked if you get caught in the rain. It even protects the contents from sand, dust, and dirt as an added bonus.
The straps are lightweight with ventilation to prevent chafing, and they are also padded for lumbar support while you walk. With reflective patches, and the addition of rings for attaching extra gear, it’s a great option to go for.
Waterproof vs Water Resistant
There is a massive difference between these two terms, and that’s why this is at the top of the list. It’s easy to confuse them and, quite honestly, not enough people realise that there is one, so they end up a little cheated when they purchase their bag. If the bag you have chosen is water resistant, it will be able to withstand light showers effortlessly, and the contents won’t get wet.
However, if you take it out in torrential rain, you are going to end up with everything being completely soaked. A waterproof bag is able to cope with heavy rainfall and will ensure that everything inside your bag remains dry. In fact, they are even able to withstand being submerged in water completely without risking the safety of your valuables. Waterproof is usually the best way to go if you will be in remote areas or our hiking.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
There are a few features that you should keep in mind when you are searching for the perfect backpack. You need something that is going to be perfectly suited to your needs, and this section is here to ensure that you are able to create a list of things you pack needs to have, and those you aren’t too concerned about.
This is probably the most important thing, because you need a backpack that can hold everything you are planning on bringing. You will find that the majority of backpacks have a capacity between 5 and 35 litres, which is quite versatile. This means that you should have an easy time picking something that works with your planned activities and trips.
Something that should be noted is the fact that the capacity does not always refer to how much of it is waterproof. There are quite a few backpacks that only have certain sections waterproofed, and the rest of it is made from regular material. This means that you need to take extra care when you are packing your belongings in them. Always check to see if the whole thing is waterproof first.
Pockets and Storage
If your backpack can’t fit all of your gear inside, then it isn’t worth having. It’s a simple fact, and you don’t want to end up stuck because half of your kit can’t be squeezed in. Your dream backpack should be covered with pockets and other additional storage so that you have more than enough space to ensure that every situation is catered for.
If you have zipped interior pockets, you can keep specific gear separated and nicely organised so that you know where everything is. The outer pockets are essential for quick and easy access to important items. This could be things like food, medicines, and even small first aid kits. There is usually a mesh pocket on the outside that you can store your water bottle in as well which is handy.
Weight and Size
Recent advances in technology mean that you don’t need to be sceptical about the weight of the material. Even the most lightweight material can be used to hold masses of weight when you are out and about, reducing your load so that your shoulders don’t feel quite so sore by the end of it. Even better is the fact that you can also put more gear in it as a result. It doesn’t matter if the backpack has a frame either; these are also often made from lightweight materials that you can barely feel.
This is essential if you are going to be hiking long distances with your pack, because if it is not comfortable, you won’t be walking very far at all. Or, you could end up with some seriously sore shoulders by the end of it. One of the best ways to determine if a bag is going to be comfortable is the straps. Look for ones that are padded so that they are soft on the shoulders while you walk.
This will also stop them from digging into your shoulders while you are out, which also prevents soreness and potential bruising. That’s not an exaggeration either, I’ve been there with bruised shoulders from a bad pack. The frame should be comfortable and padded as well to stop it digging into your back while you hike. Ventilated straps are a big bonus too to prevent damp spots caused by sweating.
It might not be the most important feature, but you do need to take your budget into consideration. I have kept this in mind when selecting the best backpacks, because I know all too well that not everyone has the cash to spend on a £100 bag for their next hiking trip. While I would recommend spending an average of £50 on a good backpack, there are cheaper ones out there that are just as good in terms of quality.
I know that there are some pressing questions about waterproof backpacks, and it’s often good to have answers before you go ahead and buy one. So, without further ado, here are the more frequently asked questions about waterproof backpacks.
Are Waterproof Backpacks Washable?
Yes, they definitely are. Washing them actually tends to be quite good for their overall health and longevity. It removes particles of dirt and oil that build up, removing the waterproof membrane and making it more susceptible to leaks. You must not do this too often though, as frequent washing can break down the materials used to waterproof.
As a quick note, the best way to wash a waterproof backpack is by hand. Grab a bowl of hot water and add some dish soap to the mix, but not a massive amount. Before you wash the bag, make sure to shake it out to get any debris off it. Take a clean cloth, dip it into the mix, and gently wash your bag. This is a quick and effective way of getting it all clean.
Where Should the Belt Sit?
It’s actually pretty shocking how many people don’t know how to wear their backpack. It’s not as simple as throwing it on and then clipping the belt together where it sits. If you’re doing this, you’re doing it wrong. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know what the belt is for.
Its whole purpose is to relieve some of the weight from your shoulders so that there are less stress and strain on them. The belt should never be across your stomach as this could injure you and also make things feel heavier. It should instead be secured over your hip bones, and this is usually where your trousers are resting. This is a safer way to carry it, and also means the pack will feel lighter.
Can You Patch a Waterproof Pack?
Yes, you can patch up your backpack if something happens to it. I would recommend avoiding iron-on patches though as if the iron is too hot it can melt the fabric and make things worse. You should always carry a roll of duct tape with you in your backpack, as this is the best way to fix a hole when you are on the move. Otherwise, you can pick up a nylon repair kit as these also work well.
Can You Fly with it as Carry-on Luggage?
Most of the time, you should be fine to use your waterproof backpack as carry-on luggage. The important thing to remember is that every airline is different, so you will need to check with them before you decide to take it with you. A lot of the time you’ll find the weight limit is 30kg, which is actually pretty tricky to reach.
Additional Waterproofing Tips
There are a couple of other ways you can ensure that your pack remains waterproof for as long as possible. Take a look at my quick tips for safeguarding your belongings:
- Use a waterproof spray to replenish the coating on the pack from time to time
- Try to ensure that zips and seams are coated to prevent leaks
- Use waterproof casings inside the bag for electronics, money, and valuables
- Check to see if your bag has waterproof and non-waterproof areas
Read More: Best Rucksack for Walking and Hiking
Hopefully, this guide has helped you to find the best waterproof rucksack for your next trip, or even just for regular use. There are so many to choose from when you go to search, and we hope that this guide has made the process easier.
With a range of prices, there is a choice here that just about anyone can go for, and from a variety of brands too. Whether you need it for storing your laptop, or you are off on your next hiking trip, we have you covered.
What did you think of our waterproof rucksack guide? Are there any that you would have liked to see or recommended?
We love hearing from you, so make sure to leave us a message in the comments below.