Choosing a Waterproof Backpack

Waterproof backpacks are stiff, may be hard to zip up, and they’re not cheap. Most backpackers won’t even need them, regular backpacks are much more comfortable too. But if you find yourself in damp and wet places, where water and rain is usual occasion or water sport is your favourite hobby, then having one, which will keep all your belongings dry and in working order, is not bad idea at all. Although there are dry bags and backpack covers, a truly waterproof backpack is what will give you confidence, performance and more comfort in really wet conditions.

What is waterproof backpack good for?

Waterproof backpacks are great not just for the adventurous traveler, but also for those with expensive electronics to protect. Like holidays or water sports at the beach, where you’re spending most of your time in the water, but also want to have your equipment with you. Waterproof backpacks are made from tough materials, but bare in mind that inside of the pack often is quite basic and doesn’t have much bolstering to protect your gear from shock. However, there are also a few very well designed packs and gear specific bags where this is less a problem

Advantages and disadvantages

+    The biggest advantage having a waterproof backpack is ability to keep your hands free, while carrying your gear on your back safe from water, mud and dirt. It is also more convenient to use a waterproof backpack, rather than backpack cover

    One disadvantage you may experience while using waterproof backpack is a potential condensation on inside of the pack, if used in hot weather and not ventilated properly, and second is that generally they are not as comfortable to use as regular packs since tougher materials are used to make the pack waterproof

Outer pockets

Waterproof backpacks often will have mesh pockets on the outside, which are useful for storing gear that can get wet and doesn’t need to be protected against water. They’re also useful for temporarily storing gear that you need fast access, like map or water bottle

Is it really waterproof?

Some bags are sold as splash proof or water resistant, which means that they’re not waterproof. They are coated with water repellent materials which improves bags water resistance properties, but longer exposure to heavy rain or direct water will make them get wet.  There are also some advantages on water resistant bags, like their breathability, but if you’re really looking for a pack that will cope with seriously wet conditions, make sure that it is sold as waterproof

Two shoulder straps or one?

While waterproof backpack with one shoulder strap may be more fashionable, it is not as practical as pack with two shoulder straps. It may be best used in the beach, where you don’t carry it around too much and you want it to look good. Packs with two shoulder straps are much more suitable for hiking and outdoor activities, where you want to have a benefit to have your hands free

Buying advice

It may be difficult to select one waterproof backpack between many different styles and brands you possibly never heard before. Your best way of choosing one is read the reviews on different styles and brands and see what other people say about their waterproof properties and reliability. If you have a outdoor shop close to you, which sell waterproof packs, then try them on and see how you feel. Feeling comfortable with your pack on your shoulders is very important for a good outdoor experience.

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