When buying a backpack – especially an outdoors backpack – it’s important to consider how the backpack will withstand the elements. The durability of a bag can make all the difference between whether electronics, documents, and running shoes get damaged or not. It’s worth having a good waterproof backpack on your side, so we put together our waterproof backpack buying guide to make it easier.
In general, there are three main categories of waterproof backpacks; water-resistant, water-repellent, and completely 100% waterproof. We’ll look at the different kinds and what you need to consider before buying one.
Water-resistant backpacks are made from durable materials, in particular high grade polyester, or cordura nylon. The items in a water-resistant backpack are fine if walking through a light shower or biking in the rain. Water-resistant bags stop water from getting through, but persistent rain will inevitably soak through.
These water-resistant backpacks have become popular, so there’s a lot of choice when it comes to these. They make for excellent everyday backpacks because of their natural durability and basic resistance.
A good water-repellent backpack is a vital tool if you plan on spending time out in the elements, such as going on a hike or cycling through persistent rain. Items kept in water-repellent backpacks should be safe as long as the pack isn’t completely submerged in water. If you do drop your bag in water be sure to pull it at as soon as possible to minimize the risk of moisture getting in.
When choosing a water-repellent backpacks, it’s important to consider the material they are made from. They are generally made from burly fabrics that contain polyurethane, or they are coated with durable water repellency (DWR) treatments and laminated using TPU. These materials and treatments ensure that water pools up on the surface instead of soaking through. High quality water-repellent backpacks also have waterproof zippers and taped seams to ensure that there are no weak points.
Why Consider Buying a 100% Waterproof Backpack?
Purchasing a fully waterproof backpack means you have the equipment to handle a range of activities. They are built for rigorous activities such as camping and white-water rafting; times when you can’t just leave your bag in the safety of the tent. If you commute by bike and it’s a long commute, you may find the extra protection worth it.
Completely waterproof backpacks are sealed perfectly airtight and float in water. This powerful protection is typically achieved with an airtight roll-top closure. Some of these bags also come with external compartments for storing helmets and having quick access to other items, making them a good fit for bikers. Heavy duty fabric and zippers is another way to achieve full waterproofing with a backpack.
The Bottom Line
Which kind of waterproof backpack is right for you depends on your own needs. Do you want something for everyday use? Do you need something to take with you on a camping trip? You might commute through the rain a lot, or just need something with a bit more durability. No matter your needs, we hope our waterproof backpack buying guide has made it easier to choose a good backpack for you.