Any athlete who spends a considerable amount of time outside has undoubtedly had a run-in with the elements a time or two. Rain, snow, or even just your run-of-the-mill fall into a puddle can have devastating results when it comes to loss of food, electronic equipment, or a dry change of clothes. Many who enjoy the outdoors choose to purchase the best waterproof backpack for outings in inclement weather.
Top 10 Waterproof Backpack Reviews
Below, we will review ten of the best waterproof backpacks on Amazon to determine the best, according to our pre-set factors is. These backpacks include:
- Aqua Quest Himal Backpack
- Aqua Quest Stylin
- Over- Board Waterproof Pro- Sport Backpack
- Seal Line Urban
- Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack
- Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25
- 50L Ox- King
- 8848 Unisex Travel Hiking Backpack
- Sea to Summit Rapid 26L
- Rockagator GEN3 RG- 25
So which is the best for you? Let’s take a look.
Aqua Quest Himal Backpack
Feature #1: Heat-Taped Seams
This backpack is designed with heat-taping on the seams for double sealing. A double-sealed seam will do twice the work of keeping moisture outside of the pack because there are no openings in the stitching as you would normally find in a cloth accessory. The bag is made of nylon and the seams are actually melted over with an additional taping of Nylon to help the bag hold tight even under duress. The stitching will never come apart leaving gaps for water to find its way in. You can rest easy knowing that all of your seams are 100% closed.
Feature #2: Rip Stop Fabric
Going right along with the intelligent design of the heat sealed seams, this backpack is also equipped with rip-stop fabric. The backpack will not rip open if caught on a tree limb or other potentially hazardous item while being worn out on the trail, nor will it rip from the inside out if a hunting knife or other tool should attempt to puncture through. This will save you from a bag that bursts open, injury, or any number of “freak occurrences” that we sometimes face when we are trying to take in nature.
Feature #3: Two- Year No Worries Warranty
When you’re looking at packing a bag, it helps to know that the manufacturer stands by their product. A warranty is a good indication that the product has been carefully tested and the manufacturer is sure that it will withstand any test that it receives while out in the “real” world. The manufacturer in this case is glad to refund or replace any backpack that is found to leave their facility in sub-par quality and will even help repair the bag if any of the safety features fail. You can feel confident paying for this bag because you know that the manufacturer is confidently putting their own money and reputation on the line to guarantee its worth.
Real Users Feedback
The Aqua Quest Himal rated 4.7 Stars of 5 on Amazon with a total of 123 reviews. Most reviews were glowing reviews of its durable and lightweight design. Others heralded its ability to block out moisture. One brave reviewer used the backpack as a flotation device for several hours and noted that everything inside of it stayed dry. Overall, it looks like there are very few real- world complaints about the product, minus a couple of people who stated that it was not very comfortable on their shoulders. Other reviewers were quick to comment, however, that the shoulder straps may not have been adjusted properly.
Pros of the Aqua Quest Himal Backpack
Cons of the Aqua Quest Himal Backpack
- Potentially hard on the shoulders
Aqua Quest Stylin
Feature #1: TPU Lamination
TPU refers to Thermoplastic Polyurethane. Plastics of this compound have many qualities to boast including elasticity, resistance to oil, transparency, grease and water resistance, and anti- abrasive qualities. The lamination helps add a layer of protection against moisture, so you are not only relying on the poly-nylon blend of the backpack’s material, itself to keep water out. It also protects against abrasions and other types of tears. All- in- all, this special feature presents a host of great assets for purchasers of this bag design.
Feature #2: Wet or Dirty Pocket
Bad things happen on the trail. If you get muddy or wet, you don’t have to worry about drying your clothes before packing them to move on. You also don’t need to carry an extra bag just in case. This backpack design includes a special pocket that totally seals moisture in, preventing it from getting to other parts of the bag. This is a great place to carry wet or dirty clothes that you would otherwise be stuck trying to figure out a place for should you find yourself in a compromising position thanks to the elements or a graceless faux paux.
Feature #3: Contoured Straps
The contoured straps work together to alleviate some of the pressure on your back. This provides an ergonomic way to wear the backpack without setting yourself up for a visit to the chiropractor in the near future. Also, when your back and shoulders are aligned correctly, the hike itself becomes more enjoyable. Being comfortable increases your stamina and the time you are able to spend out doing something that you love. When it comes to your comfort and more hours out in the peace and quiet of the open wilderness, what more could you want?
Real Users Feedback
This bag has a rating of 4.5 of 5 stars on Amazon after 96 reviews. Unfortunately, not all of the reviews are favorable of the backpack’s design. While the size seems to be great and the wet or dirty pocket does its job well, other parts of the bag’s manufacturing seem to literally unravel when it comes to usefulness in the real world. The contoured straps, for example, aren’t seeming to be as comfortable as promised on paper. Furthermore, the stitching of the bag comes apart if the bag is carrying too much weight, which seems to be less than the advertised weight limit.
Pros of the Aqua Quest Stylin Backpack
- Efficient Pocket Design
Cons of the Aqua Quest Stylin Backpack
- Manufacturing Issues
- Not Durable
Over Board Waterproof Pro- Sport Backpack
Feature #1: Floats if Dropped
Imagine you’re on a fishing boat, when suddenly you get a nibble on your line. At the time you noticed the nibble, you were looking through your backpack for your iPod. When you notice the tug on your lure, you stop what you’re doing and begin to reel in your fish. As you pull the fish onto the boat, it flops its tail, knocking your backpack- and all of its contents- overboard. How upset are you? Don’t be. This backpack is designed to float, meaning your iPod, clothes, car keys, or any other items you have stored aren’t lost to the bottom of the lake. Great feature, isn’t it?
Feature #2: Strong Base
The base of a backpack can be viewed as its skeleton. If the base of the backpack fails, the rest of the backpack will have trouble standing up to its expectations. This backpack is made with a super strong PVC base that is almost impossible to break. If your backpack rolls down a hill, falls off the tree branch you hang it from, or any other unforeseen mishap occurs, this bag has a better chance than most of holding strong.
Feature #3: Electronics Compartment
When you think of items that you want to keep free from moisture, your electronic devices are probably the first things that come to mind. If you’re like most people, you have nightmares of your phone or tablet or even your laptop becoming soaked and unusable. This backpack provides an extra layer of protection for your electronic devices by including their own pocket. Not only does this help keep those devices easy to locate, but you also have yet one more barrier between the elements and the devices you hold most dear.
Real Users Feedback
This product rates 4.3 of 5 on Amazon with a total of 14 reviews. Most complaints were that this backpack is falsely marketed. Although it is water-resistant, it is far from waterproof, making it a poor choice for boating to begin with. The reviewers that seemed to enjoy the product all said they took it with them on hiking outings and the strong frame held up well. However, the backpack itself is heavy, so not a great choice if you are out of shape or suffer from back pain.
Pros of the Over Board Waterproof Pro Sport Backpack
- Great for Hiking
Cons of the Overboard Pro Waterproof Pro Sport Backpack
- Not Waterproof
Seal Line Urban
Feature #1: Roll Down Closure
This backpack has a roll- down closure, which is sort of the Holy Grail when it comes to waterproofing. The closure is a long flap of fabric that actually rolls the backpack into itself to prevent items from falling out or moisture from going in. The closure works better than buttons or zippers, which are built with gaps that even closure flaps can’t always help seal. Also, the roll- down closure design is effective in providing an extra amount of security to the items that are being carried inside the bag. While a button or zipper can break, the backpack has to take on a mind of its own and roll itself out to fall open from this closure design.
Feature #2: Environmentally Friendly
If you’re a fan of the outdoors, you’re probably also a fan of preserving it for future generations. This backpack is made of 100% recycled and environmentally friendly materials to decrease its manufacturing impact on the environment. Seal Line has taken an oath toward environmental friendliness in recent years and is holding their commitment to the cleanliness and health of our planet very seriously. You can feel good wearing this backpack knowing that it was made with the future in mind.
Feature #3: Accepts Add-On Attachments
Attachments are necessary when you are planning a long outing in the great outdoors. You want to be able to bring along a canteen, a tent, food, extra clothes, a camera, and any other items that might be beneficial to you on your trip. Obviously, not everything can fit in one backpack. Purchasing a backpack with attachment options means you can bring along more, stay longer, and enjoy your time more thoroughly out in the woods. Being prepared is key when you are planning time away from home and having everything you need to make the trip fun and safe is the best preparation there is.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack received a rating of 4.3 stars on Amazon with a total of 29 reviews. While the star rating was not bad, the written reviews were very mixed. Again, this backpack seems to be mis-marketed as waterproof when it is indeed only water-resistant. The backpack is also very large, which makes it a difficult pack for many to carry. When attachments are added, it naturally becomes even more difficult to maneuver, making the bonus points provided by the feature completely invalid. The best thing about the backpack seems to actually be the versatility in colors that are available, making it a fun and fashionable purchase for many.
Pros of the Seal Line Urban
- Fun Colors
- Attachment Points
Cons of the Seal Line Urban
- Too Large
- Not Waterproof
Chaos ready Waterproof Backpack
Feature #1: Padded Shoulder Straps
The padded shoulder straps of this design help maintain comfort and security while carrying the pack through rough terrain, adverse weather, or a long stretch of miles. The extra padding on the shoulders prevents slipping and the straps from digging in should the pack become heavy. It’s a must- have feature for anyone that carries a lot for long hauls.
Feature #2: Mesh Side Pockets
The mesh side pockets keep keys, phones, and other supplies easily accessible and allow for air flow in the areas of the backpack that are closest to the body. While the side pockets aren’t waterproof or even water- resistant, they are convenient, allowing for easy reach of must-have items without having to first set the backpack down or dig.
Feature #3: Rugged Design
Let’s be honest. Not everyone cares about the super colorful designs that some backpack manufacturers seem to think are necessary to market to a wide audience. Many backpack shoppers are looking for something a little more.. well.. tough looking. The rugged design of the backpack suits both men and women, without looking like something discovered in the kid aisle.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack received a rating of 4.1 out of 5 on Amazon after 72 reviews. According to real-world users, the backpack does a great job of staying dry, but is heavier than expected. The straps and air-flow mesh side pockets make for a comfortable wearing product, but the bulkiness of the bag leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to hiking long distances or uphill.
Pros of the CHAOS Ready Waterproof Backpack
- Stays Dry
- Comfortable Straps
Cons of the CHAOS Ready Waterproof Backpack
Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25
Feature #1: 2-Way Sealing System
This backpack features a two- way sealing system. The backpack seals through both velcro and zipper, making closures doubly protected against moisture leaking in and ruining your stuff. You may be familiar with the old adage – “When it rains it pours?” Well, we all know how true that can be. Rain doesn’t just fall from one direction. Having multiple barriers in place can go a long way to keep the moisture at bay when you’re packing precious cargo. Do you want your laptop ruined because your otherwise waterproof backpack was closed with a zipper and water leaked into a microscopic hole? Me, either.
Feature #2: Lumbar Support
Lumbar support keeps strain off the lower back. Carrying this backpack is made more comfortable and better for your spine and back muscles thanks to its ergonomic design. For consumers who suffer with regular back pain or previous back injury, this product’s design will do a lot to make its use worth the money- especially when it comes to expensive chiropractor bills or pain alleviating medication.
Feature #3: Easy to Clean
This backpack is made from a special coated nylon which makes it easier to clean. The backpack can be used for fishing, hiking, hunting, or anything imaginable, then cleaned up to good- as- new condition without much effort at all. The manufacturer promises that this backpack will remain looking brand new for the life of the backpack. To the neat freaks browsing Amazon, this is invaluable.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack received a 4.1 rating of 5 after 95 reviews on Amazon.
Reviewers were pretty impressed with the efficiency of the product, stating that it worked very well- but only for as long as it lasted. Apparently, the promise to keep the backpack looking new for as long as it lasts isn’t all that great a guarantee since the backpacks don’t seem to last long at all. The seams fall apart, the zipper breaks, and the straps separate from the bag fairly quickly, leaving a lot of customers unhappy with the overall purchase- and we can’t say we blame them.
Pros of the Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Backpack
Cons of the Phanton Aquatics Walrus 25 Backpack
- Falls Apart Fast
50L Ox King Waterproof Backpack
Feature #1: Padded
This backpack features padded straps and pockets to keep you and your belongings safe and comfortable. The straps won’t dig into your body as you hike long distances or climb, saving you from discomfort and injury. Additionally, if you manage to drop your backpack down a hill, your camera, laptop, and other valuable belongings won’t be a complete loss. Thus, paying a little more for a backpack that provides a little more protection is a wise investment for anyone that plans to pack expensive gear or accessories.
Feature #2: Many Pockets
Having several pockets for your gear makes for easier organization. Easier organization means you will find what you need faster. This is an invaluable feature if you are spending a lot of time on the trail or just walking to work or school. Not having to dig through your backpack to find a pen, your phone, or whatever other item you might need unexpectedly will save you time and reduce the risk of losing an item or leaving it behind in the frantic pursuit of something else.
Feature #3: Versatile Design Options
We are all different and we want to show off and embrace our differences. With this backpack, you can find almost any color combination you can think of and purchase a bag that truly speaks to your own individual sense of style. You can match your backpack to your local cycling club colors, organize track team members by colors, or just show off the wonderful sense of fashion that makes you who you are!
Real Users Feedback
This backpack received a rating of 4.6 of 5 stars on Amazon after 18 reviews, and some weren’t kind. While the backpack seems to work well functionally, and there were a number of reviews stating that the 50 L Ox King is comfortable to wear and maneuver around the trail in, several complained that it looks cheaper in person than it does in online advertising. While some won’t care about the aesthetic appeal of a bag as long as it’s functional, others lose confidence if they don’t look their best. This is a consideration that each shopper will have to make for themselves.
Pros of the 50 L Ox King Backpack
- Works Well
Cons of the 50 L Ox King Backpack
- Looks “Cheap”
8848 Unisex Travel Hiking Backpack
Feature #1: Magnetic Strap Closures
Magnetic closures on the Straps mean that you are able to adjust the straps as you go. Additionally, with enough force, the backpack will come off easily, saving you from potential disaster if your backpack gets hung up while you’re trying to climb or if the backpack begins to weigh you down into a fall. Whenever faced with the decision to sacrifice your gear or yourself, having the option to lose the gear quickly is literally life- or- death level seriousness.
Feature #2: Modern Unisex Styling
Unlike the previously reviewed backpack, this backpack only comes in one stylish design. However, the design works well for men, women, and anyone in between and is aesthetically appealing enough to keep everyone happy without having to provide a vast array of colors and designs. This backpack doesn’t scream originality, but it is classy and stylish without going overboard, which is what most adults who shop for a new backpack are looking for, anyway.
Feature #3: 15” Laptop Sleeve Pocket
You can carry your laptop in this backpack without fear of anything else pushing against it or creating a problem. There is a 15” sleeve specially designed to hold your laptop on its own, free from scratching or crushing of other items. The sleeve is completely waterproof, as well, protecting your computer from damage due to moisture. This is a must for students or anyone who carries a laptop on the hiking trail for work purposes.
Real Users Feedback
The backpack received a rating of 4.4 of 5 on Amazon with a total of 141 reviews.
While the backpack was said to be very roomy and well-made by most, the main compliments were in regards to the stylish design. A lot of customers loved how the backpack was designed to be effective, but the style of the bag was not forgotten in the process. The backpack has a classy look without looking out of place on a trail or in the sporting world. It is great to carry whether you are reporting to class, walking into a board meeting, or hitting the trail. For some, the backpack can be used in all three settings. Isn’t that convenient? One complaint, however, was in regards to durability. The bag just didn’t measure up long-term to meet consumer expectations. In addition, the backpack is water resistant- not waterproof.
Pros of the 8848 Unisex Travel Hiking Backpack
- Laptop Pocket Included
Cons of the 8848 Unisex Travel Hiking Backpack
- Not Durable
- Not Waterproof
Sea to Summit Rapid 26L
Feature #1: Removable Waist Strap
The removable waist strap can help provide added support for heavy backpack loads, but can also be removed if it becomes uncomfortable or is not needed. This adds versatility to the backpack’s design that is guaranteed to be an appreciated bonus for a lot of users who may not always have a heavy load to carry when they are on the trail.
Feature #2: Roll Top Main Chamber
The roll top main chamber could serve as a place to carry wet or dirty clothes or items that need to be more easily accessible without digging through the main chamber of the bag. The options are pretty limitless- use it however you want- the main benefit is just that the roll closure is not wasted. It’s put to good use by providing an extra place to store gear.
Feature #3: 7075 Aircraft Alloy Buckles
The buckles of this backpack are strong and efficient, made with the same alloy material found in aircrafts. Pretty neat, right? As a result, you don’t have to worry about these buckles getting caught and breaking while on the trail. They have you covered, no matter what you encounter!
Real Users Feedback
This backpack received an overall review of 4.5 of 5 stars on Amazon after 6 total reviews. The backpack itself is well- reviewed. Many were impressed with the overall durability of the design and surprised to find that the backpack is actually waterproof, despite only being marketed as water- resistant. The size was great, allowing for just the right amount of gear to be packed comfortably without going overboard or running out of space. The one main gripe about the product was that the alloy buckles don’t leave a way to lock the backpack, which is a key feature on most outdoors designs.
Pros of the Sea to Summit Rapid 26L Backpack
- Great Size
- Unexpectedly Dry
Cons of the Sea to Summit Rapid 26L Backpack
- No Lock Feature
Rockagator GEN3 RG-25 Backpack
Feature #1: 40 Liter Capacity
This backpack features a lot of room. In fact, you can carry more in the large design of this pack than you can with others. This includes the ability to carry a blanket, extra clothes, food, or anything else you could imagine. Just be careful that you aren’t packing too much- everything has weight as well as size. Sometimes having the ability to carry more can give us an “eyes bigger than our stomach” perception of how much we really need to be bringing along with us on the trail.
Feature #2: Removable Laptop Pouch
Like the Sea to Summit model, this backpack features a laptop pouch. The difference is that this laptop pouch can be removed if it’s not going to be used. This frees up extra space inside of the backpack for other items without having to worry about separating items between pouches. It’s a smart and versatile way to use space.
Feature #3: Interior Key and Phone Pouch
This pouch makes it easy to find your keys and phone without risking water damage to your fob or phone by keeping them in a more vulnerable outer pouch.
Real Users Feedback
This backpack received an overall rating of 4.6 of 5 stars on Amazon with a total of nine reviews. The reviews state that the backpack remains remarkably dry, although it isn’t exactly a waterproof option since some moisture does leak in after prolonged exposure. The design is attractive, which adds a few points, but the design lacks durability which quickly negates those points.
Pros of the Rockagator GEN3 RG-25 Backpack
Cons of the Rockagator GEN3 RG-25 Backpack
- Lacks Durability
- Not Waterproof
Comparison between All 10 Models
So, after doing a thorough review placing all ten of these items alongside each other, which has done best in the comparison review? Do you have your own ideas? Let’s go over everything and see if we agree.
Factor #1: Resistant Vs. Proof
The 8848 Unisex model, the Overboard backpack, and the Seal Line turned out to be only water-resistant, not waterproof.
Factor #2: Materials Used
Almost all of the backpacks were made with Nylon or Nylon/Poly blends.
Factor #3: Durability
The most durable bag seems to be the Aqua Quest Himal. Many reviewers stated held up well, despite some rough use.
Factor #4: Price
The lowest priced on the list was the 8848 Unisex Travel Hiking Backpack at $32.43, however it was also fraught with issues regarding durability and the strength of its “waterproof” design.
Final Verdict for the Best Waterproof Backpack
I know that was a lot to take in, but not really informative in terms of comparing all ten. You’re probably no clearer after reading the last ten reviews than you were before you started. It’s almost impossible to keep track, as you’re reading, of which backpacks are standing above the rest. Don’t worry, though. The four factors are where it’s at and, thankfully, if you weren’t keeping track, I was for you.
The Aqua Quest Himal is the clear victor when it comes to these ten competitors in the waterproof backpack review comparison and there are a few very good reasons why. To start with, the real world reviews were lacking any major complaints, except for one minor nag about the comfort of the straps. That complaint, however, was all but squashed by other reviewers who said the straps felt fine to them and suggested that perhaps that particular user had not adjusted their straps properly, which seems completely likely to us.
Winning features of Aqua Quest Himal
Thanks to the rip-stop nylon design, the Aqua Quest Himal is ‘indestructable’. This backpack is guaranteed not to fail or break open as a result of bulky or sharp contents. The heat strip seam closure is another ingenious way to reinforce the bag’s durability and also keep moisture out. This will definitely protect the contents that it has been entrusted to carry. The backpack is designed to withstand the pressures of its environment with not only safety, but durability and efficiency in mind.
The backpack, in “real world” scenarios has held up quite well to actual customer reviews and scrutiny. They have heralded the bag as incredibly durable and lightweight, yet still able to carry the necessary supplies without issue. The waterproofing of the backpack has also been well-reviewed. It was even tested in actual scenarios and found to be totally effective. Even when used as a flotation device, the backpack managed to keep its contents dry and safe.
The backpack is priced competitively on Amazon and guaranteed for up to two years by its manufacturer. The guarantee protects against design failures, offering full money back or refund if the backpack is found to be defective. The manufacturer will also help in certain instances where backpack repair is needed. Overall, the quality of the backpack as well as the manufacturing company is to be admired. The Aqua Quest Himal seems like a great backpack to spend your money!