Best Waterproof Backpack for Camping in 2018
Finding a great waterproof backpack can take some time—but it’s time well-spent. Since hiking backpacks protect the items inside of it, choosing a pack that fails you as it isn’t water resistant, puts a lot at risk. To help you make the best possible selection regarding a waterproof backpack for camping, we’ve put together some tips and a few picks for our favorite packs available in 2018.
Waterproof backpacks are great for a variety of reasons. They can be used by active outdoor enthusiasts and are a necessity when you’re biking, hiking, or camping. The goal is to protect anything you store in your pack from rain and other elements while also providing you with functionality for carrying those items and keeping you comfortable.
What’s the Difference between Waterproof and Water-Resistant?
When going outdoor hiking, people often confuse waterproof and water-resistant, which can result in a mess if you aren’t careful. This is, in part, because so many manufacturers are vague about the benefits and drawbacks of waterresistance (welded seams and nylon fabric or similar). They want you to assume their product offers complete protection from water damage, at a lower price point than waterproof bags, and you’re left with damaged items because you wanted to save money.
If you’re shopping for an ultralight backpack that is waterproof, make sure it is labeled “waterproof” and meets the official criteria of the definition. This means it keeps water out completely. There’s no seepage and the items you’ve packed stay dry. Different companies offer different guarantees regarding waterproof but, in general, a backpack for camping that is waterproof features a membrane that can tolerate a certain amount of cylindrical water pressure—usually 7000 millimeters or more—and there are taped or laminated seals on the seams. The zippers on a waterproof bag should also feature some type of weather guard.
Waterproof bags aren’t 100 percent guaranteed to keep water out in every single condition, but they should come close. For instance, you might not be able to submerge your bag in a pool for hours at a time, but dropping it briefly in a river or walking through a heavy rain with it shouldn’t be a problem.
That said, there are bags that claim to be 100 percent waterproof. These bags are designed to stand up to harsher conditions like you might experience kayaking or water rafting. This type of bag protects against situations where your bag is sure to take a weather beating and be submerged for longer periods of time. There are certain conditions you could subject a 100 percent waterproof bag to that would result in some seepage but, for the most part, the usual recreational activities and common mishaps involved aren’t going to be an issue.
It might also be a good idea to look for a backpack that also offers weatherproofing. This means it protects what’s inside from dust and dirt, in addition to water. Keep in mind, a weatherproof bag isn’t necessarily waterproof, but a bag that offers both will keep items dry and clean.
Our Picks for Best Waterproof Backpack for Camping
We’ve tested a few waterproof backpacks for camping and come up with a list of packs we think are the best available in 2018. Here are our picks:
This tent is made from ultra-strong nylon coated with silicone and weighs less than 3 ounces. It comes in three colors and features easy close access. All you need to do is press to release excess air fold the bag at the top, snap, and buckle it closed. It comes with an aluminum carabiner that makes it easy to attach to other gear. We also love the fact Sak Gear offers a full refund if you aren’t satisfied with the bag.
The Exped Black Ice 45 is one of the toughest backpacks on the market. It’s made from 420 denier rip-stop nylon that is reinforced with thermoplastic polyurethane laminate. This is what makes the bag waterproof. This is a favorite among campers, kayakers, and rafters and has impressed more than one owner with its ability to prevent water from seeping into the pack.
This pack is designed for people who like to bring along their cameras for their camping trips. It’s a great option for photographers, but also vloggers and blogger who like to take pictures and video and share the outdoor experiences with the internet.
Bringing your camera along on a camping trip means you need to have storage for it to keep it protected. The K&F Concept Backpack has space for your DSLR camera. It’s a smaller backpack made from 100 percent waterproof nylon materials. There’s plenty of storage for cameras, as well as a tablet, accessories, tripods, and other gear.
The Boreas Monterey is great for campers. It’s water-resistant and lightweight, which means it’s also great for hiking back to a site or climbing. The narrow frame and EVA panel on the back makes the bag comfortable and cool. It also features a double-hulled dry bag on the inner container to that ensure everything inside stays dry.
Fjallraven has a 50-year history of making reliable packs. This bag features a waterproof, breathable Eco-Shell made from sustainable hard-shell fabric that’s treated with a water-repellent layer. We love its sleek look and the fact that it can hold up to 55L of items. It’s one of the pricier bags on our list, but it’s worth considering it as it offers everything you need.
This bag is made of 500D PVC. It has a comfortable padded back and straps support, so you can carry it long distances without a problem. It’s lightweight, but durable, and provides plenty of space for everything you need on a short or long camping trip.
This bag features padded shoulder straps and corded exterior and mesh netting that gives you increased carrying ability. It’s made from eco-friendly PVC vinyl and includes a mesh side netting that can hold water bottles as you travel. There are high-strength buckles that make the bag even more secure. This bag is well-loved by many, including professional athletes, professional climbers, and camping enthusiasts. In addition to camping, this bag is great for paddle boarding, boating, climbing, rafting, kayaking, surfing, and fishing.