If you’re in a hurry and are here to find out what the best 100% waterproof backpack is then we recommend the FE Active – 30L Eco-Friendly Waterproof Dry Bag as the best one.
Laptop, passport, cell phone, maps…your backpack carries all of your most important things when you travel. Rain can really put a damper on your day if it soaks through your bag and ruins your belongings! All bags are not created equal, and a waterproof backpack can be a big help if you’re going to be spending time outdoors while traveling – or just possibly being caught in heavy rain. This is why we set out to find the best 100% waterproof backpack on the market.
Here are the 100% waterproof backpacks that we will be reviewing:
- Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack
- BackSåk Waterproof Dry Backpack
- Ultra Dry Premium Waterproof Bag
- Vitchelo 30L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack
- FE Active – 30L Eco-Friendly Waterproof Dry Bag
Why Do I Need a Waterproof Backpack?
During our vacation in Edinburgh, it rained almost every day. That didn’t stop us from getting out and seeing the sights, but after getting caught in a particularly heavy downpour my mood was definitely soured when I opened my bag and found my cell phone sitting in a pool of water. (Quick tip: if this happens to you, cover your phone in rice and leave it there overnight, the rice will soak up the water!)
We had been using my phone to look up walking directions and things to do, but when it started raining I put it into my bag in an attempt to keep it dry. I found that the phone wouldn’t even turn on, which was a huge setback because we were so dependent on it to find our way around the city.
It wasn’t only my cell phone that was affected, either. My maps were soggy and my jacket was soaked. I was lucky that I’d left my laptop in the hotel room that day!
Even if you’re not vacationing in a country as wet as Scotland, if you’re sightseeing on foot there is always the chance that you’ll get caught in bad weather. There is no reason to risk ruining your belongings with a backpack that is not waterproof. I, for one, learned my lesson the hard way!
Waterproof or Water-resistant?
There are plenty of backpacks on the market that are “water-resistant.” In fact, most bags are. Water-resistant generally means that the item is made with a tightly-woven material that won’t easily allow water droplets to soak through, and is usually sprayed with a water-resistant coating (that won’t last forever.)
Light raindrops usually won’t soak through a water-resistant bag, but the bag cannot hold up to heavy rainfall or full water submersion. Even zippers on water-resistant bags might let raindrops through.
100% waterproof bags do not let any water droplets through their materials. They are constructed with 100% waterproof materials so that even if you find yourself standing under a giant waterfall, your laptop would stay safe and dry inside your bag (not recommended!)
What to Look for in a Waterproof Travel Backpack
Choosing the right waterproof travel backpack is an important step in planning your vacation. First of all, it needs to be big enough to hold the items that you’ll need on a daily basis, but small enough that it’s not bulky or uncomfortable to walk around with. Second of all, if you’re looking for a totally waterproof bag, you’ll need to make sure that it’s not just water-resistant. If the backpack is waterproof it can be completely submerged in water and not one drop will get inside the bag.
Totally waterproof material will have pores so small that no water can get through, or better yet, no pores at all. Most waterproof bags are actually welded together through a process called ultrasonic welding. This ensures that there are no needle holes that could allow water to leak through.
Look for bags that only have one access point with a roll-down top. Bags that are truly 100% waterproof typically will not have multiple access points, because with each opening the risk of water getting inside the bag increases.
Downsides of Using a Waterproof Backpack
Even with all of the benefits, waterproof backpacks do have their downsides as well. A few things to consider when choosing a backpack:
They can be bulky. Waterproof backpacks are often tube-shaped instead of shaped like a typical backpack. This can sometimes be uncomfortable so make sure you check out a few different styles to find the one you like the best.
Access is limited. Since waterproof backpacks only have one access point, it can sometimes be difficult to find what you need inside.
There are narrow design options. Since waterproof bags have to meet strict criteria, they are sometimes lacking in visual appeal. There is only so much that can be done for the design of the bag while keeping the waterproof aspect in mind. Many waterproof backpacks are quite simple and not visually appealing to everyone, but this comes down to personal taste.
We reviewed 5 different products to find the best 100% waterproof backpack on the market today.
Top 5 Best 100% Waterproof Backpacks
The Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack is a 100% waterproof bag with a roll-top closure and a reinforced buckle to ensure water stays out. It features several extra pockets both on the inside and out for maximum storage space and organization. This bag is available in both 35L and 55L sizes, so you have options depending on how much space you’ll need. For a simple vacation sightseeing in the city, the smaller option will probably be sufficient. If you are planning on using the backpack for overnight hikes or long kayaking trips, the bigger size might be better.
- 5 color choices to match your personal style
- 2 size options, 35L and 55L
- Easy to use roll-down top
- Closure and water-proofing reinforced with buckle
- Spacious interior pockets and extra exterior pockets for organization
- Padded shoulder straps for comfort when carrying
- No hip belt for weight distribution
- Can be heavy if filled
This backpack is made from heavy-duty 500-denier PVC with welded seams to ensure a waterproof seal. Its sternum strap and padded back support help relieve pressure on joints and muscles, making it comfortable to wear. Weighing in at only 2.5 pounds, it’s a lightweight bag. It’s available in 2 sizes: 25L and 35L, either of which should be more than enough space for light travel. This backpack looks sleek and stylish, something not all waterproof backpacks are able to achieve. You can also choose from 8 different colors!
- 8 different choices to match your style.
- Lightweight — only 2.5 pounds.
- Adjustable sternum strap to help better distribute the weight.
- Reflective trim for low-light conditions.
- Sleek aesthetic – sometimes rare in this field.
- Can feel uncomfortable when heavy.
This 100% waterproof bag is one of the most affordable on our list. It’s available in 10L, 20L, and 30L sizes, so if you would prefer a smaller bag this one might be a good choice. It has an extra-long adjustable and removable shoulder strap which makes it easy to adjust according to your height and build and is easy to carry. The bag is made from 500-denier waterproof polymer with welded seams, which makes it soft, flexible, and strong. There are 7 colors to choose from and this bag comes with a bonus dry case for your phone as well!
- 7 color choices to match your style
- 3 sizes to choose from, 10L, 20L, and 30L
- Great option for a smaller bag.
- Adjustable straps to carry it how you want.
- Soft, flexible, and strong.
- Comes with a bonus phone dry case.
- Uncomfortable shoulder straps
- No waist strap to evenly distribute weight
Made of vinyl tarpaulin with a sturdy welded seam, the Vitchelo waterproof backpack will keep your belongings nice and dry. This 30L bag is comfortable to carry and looks very much like a typical backpack, even though it’s 100% waterproof. It includes exterior pouches for water bottles and a touch-friendly phone pouch and external storage straps to carry equipment.
- Comfortable and sturdy.
- Lightweight — only 2.05 pounds.
- Includes sternum and waist strap for even weight distribution
- Stylish and looks like a typical backpack, thought 100% waterproof
- External storage straps (think kayaking paddle)
- Includes a touch-friendly phone pouch.
- Only comes in 1 size and color.
The FE Active waterproof backpack looks sporty and attractive. Like the Vitchelo, it looks very much like a typical backpack. It is constructed from thick marine grade 5mm eco-friendly PVC Tarpaulin with welded seams, making it sturdy and durable. It’s extremely light, weighing just under 2 pounds. It is a 30L bag so it’s very roomy, and it sports mesh exterior pouches to hold water bottles and accessories. It has a chest strap for extra security and padded shoulder straps for comfort.
- Sporty and stylish – again, rare in this category
- Sturdy and durable.
- Internal and external pockets for organization.
- Very lightweight — less than 2 pounds.
- Comfortable shoulder straps.
- Made from eco-friendly material.
- Only comes in 1 color and size.
- No waist strap.
Which Backpack Did We Think Was Best?
The FE Active – 30L Eco-Friendly Waterproof Dry Bag came away as the clear winner of this roundup. It is by far the most stylish of the 5 bags when it comes to aesthetic. It looks and feels just like a typical backpack, but with the added benefit of being completely waterproof. It’s made of high-grade materials so it’s sturdy enough to be used while camping, kayaking, surfing, or fishing, but will not look unusual to use while sightseeing on vacation. It does not have sizing options but 30L is spacious enough to hold everything you could possibly need, and it’s so lightweight the larger size is not a burden. It would have been a great product to have while on vacation in Edinburgh!
This backpack even overcomes the typical downfalls of waterproof backpacks. It’s not bulky, it has multiple interior and exterior pockets, and it’s very stylish in design. Overall, this bag might work best for you if you’re looking for a backpack that’s sturdy, lightweight, functional, and looks great!