Your phone. Your DSLR camera. Your e-reader. Your travel documents. No matter what you’re carrying in your backpack, you’ll want to make sure it’s protected from unexpected rainstorms while you’re out traveling the world. The following waterproof backpacks for travel come in a variety of sizes and styles, but they all offer excellent protection for any weather.
This list also includes a few water-resistant backpacks that perform well in rainy conditions but might not stand up to an all-day downpour or a tumble into a lake. These can still be useful travel backpacks if you won’t be spending significant time outdoors.
Patagonia Stormfront Pack
If you’re looking for a waterproof backpack that will keep your stuff dry even if it’s submerged, consider the Stormfront Pack. Made of sturdy nylon that’s coated with thermoplastic polyurethane and durable water repellent, this 30-liter waterproof hiking backpack is ideal for outdoor adventures. It’s comfortable to wear thanks to padded straps and a removable waist belt, and at 21 x 12 x 9 inches, it fits most airlines’ carry-on size requirements. The exterior pocket is the only part of the backpack that isn’t fully waterproof, but it’s still a useful place to stow items such as a poncho or car keys.
Miggo Agua Versa Backpack
With its versatile design and storm-resistant exterior, which protects fragile cameras and lenses from even heavy rain, Miggo’s Agua Versa may be the best waterproof backpack for photographers. You can carry the bag three ways: as a standard backpack, slung over one shoulder, or as a backpack with straps in an X position to make it easier to grab your camera. Inside is a padded, detachable bag to hold your camera and lens, plus compartments for a laptop, tablet, and power bank. There are also several external pockets for quick access to small items. The bag’s sturdy lycra and tarpaulin exterior will hold up to most inclement weather conditions.
FE Active Cloudbreak Backpack
The Cloudbreak from outdoor retailer FE Active is a dry-bag backpack that’s made of eco-friendly PVC tarpaulin for full waterproof protection during activities like hiking, camping, and kayaking. It’s got two netted side pockets for water bottles and a corded exterior to hold a jacket or other items. This roomy backpack can hold a laptop and multiple changes of clothes; when it’s completely full, however, you may have to check it rather than carrying it on a flight.
RAINS Waterproof Drawstring Backpack
The Waterproof Drawstring Backpack from RAINS is a small, chic waterproof daypack that’s perfect for city sightseeing. It’s large enough to hold the basics—a wallet, a water bottle, a tablet or book—without weighing you down. The main compartment has one interior pocket for your phone, and the bag is made of waterproof polyester and polyurethane.
Earth Pak Summit Dry Bag Backpack
Another heavy-duty dry-bag backpack, this 35-liter bag from Earth Pak is ideal for travelers who don’t want to worry about water damage during their outdoor adventures. It’s roomy enough to pack for a weekend but small enough to use as a carry-on, and the sturdy PVC material protects everything inside, from camera equipment to clothing. Sternum and waist straps help you balance the load. Bonus: The bag comes with a waterproof case that fits smartphones up to 6.5 inches (measured diagonally).
Chrome Urban Ex Daypack
Designed for commuters, the Urban Ex Daypack is also a good bet for business travelers seeking a waterproof laptop backpack. It has a 13-inch padded sleeve for your computer and keeps you organized with waterproof interior and exterior pockets. This waterproof travel backpack is comfortable to wear, thanks to plenty of padding and a chest strap to balance the weight, and it’s small enough to carry as your personal item on a plane.
Matador Freerain24 Backpack
When you’re carrying all your belongings on your back, the last thing you want is a heavy bag that adds a lot of extraneous weight. That’s why I like the Freerain24. At just 5.5 ounces, this waterproof hiking backpack won’t weigh you down as you’re scrambling up mountains or wading through streams. It’s got two side mesh pockets for water bottles, as well as a water-resistant front exterior pocket to hold items you need to access quickly. Between trips, you can fold it up into its own small sack for easy storage.
Kopack Waterproof Laptop Backpack
Despite its name, the Kopack Waterproof Laptop Backpack is a water-resistant backpack rather than a waterproof one—it’s made of water-repellent nylon that can handle spells of light to moderate rainfall. The laptop sleeve, which holds computers up to 17.3 inches, is located in a separate compartment against your back so it’s more difficult to break into, and there’s a smaller anti-theft compartment at the bottom rear of the bag where you can stash your phone or passport. Numerous other pockets keep small items like keys, sunglasses, and pens organized.
Skog A Kust BackSak
The sleek BackSak, which comes in 25- and 35-liter options, closes in two different ways. Once you’ve rolled the top of the bag down a few times, you can clip the two ends to each other to create a carry handle on top of the bag; or you can attach them to the bag’s side clips to help you compress the load. Either way, this backpack is fully waterproof (though the company doesn’t recommend extended submersion). The bag has an interior and an exterior pocket, as well as reflective patches so you can see the bag in the dark.
Gruv Gear Club Bag
Travelers looking to stay organized will appreciate the Club Bag, which has removable shelves and drawers that let you compartmentalize your gear. There’s also a hidden passport pocket, an overhead clip for headphones or glasses, and a “glove box” at the top of the bag for small items you want to access quickly. At six pounds, this water-resistant backpack is heavier than the others on this list, but you can lighten the load by using only the drawers and shelves you need.
Geckobrands Waterproof 30L Backpack
Though it’s not intended for full submersion, Geckobrands’ 30-liter backpack is otherwise fully waterproof as long as you tightly roll down the top at least three times before buckling. This dry bag backpack makes a handy companion on outdoor adventures, with sturdy chest and waist straps to help you balance the load when the bag is full. There are four carabiner spots on each shoulder strap as well as two bungee cords to let you attach extra gear.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 6 Hybrid Duffel Backpacks That Will Change the Way You Pack
- How to Pack a Backpack: 5 Essential Tips
- 7 Modern Travel Backpacks That Will Update the Way You Travel
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