The 10 Best Waterproof Backpacks of 2023

Yeti’s durable Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack earned our top pick.

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Best Waterproof Backpacks

Travel + Leisure / Danie Drankwalter

Backpacks offer convenience and versatility for all types of travel, from daily commutes to weekend getaways and outdoor adventure. While many backpacks can serve multiple uses, waterproof backpacks let you go almost anywhere without worrying about your belongings getting drenched.

Plenty of waterproof backpacks are made to block out moisture, accommodate outdoor gear, and store valuables for safekeeping, but our favorite waterproof design is the Yeti Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack. This incredibly durable backpack comes with a secure harness system and stays waterproof even when fully dunked underwater. Since each type of trip has its own considerations, we’ve also included top picks for different activities as well as backpack styles and sizes.

Brave the elements with one of these top picks for the best waterproof backpacks:

Best Overall

Yeti Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack

Yeti Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack
Yeti Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack.

Brian Kopinski

Why We Love It: Designed for durability and lasting comfort, this backpack keeps your gear dry even when underwater.

What to Consider: It only comes in one size (28 liters) and is the priciest backpack on the list.

Perhaps best known for their coolers, Yeti is also leading the pack in protecting gear and essentials from the elements. The Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack delivers airtight fortification against water and moisture in any condition, from torrential rain to crashing waves. The interior includes a main compartment and mesh pocket for storing smaller items. Meanwhile, the backpack’s exterior features Yeti’s ThickSkin Shell — a high-density nylon and thick TPU lamination that’s been developed to be puncture-resistant on top of waterproof. Securing the U-dock end of the HydroLok zipper makes the backpack leakproof. It has an IPX7 rating, indicating protection from submersions up to one meter for 30 minutes. This level of waterproofing lends itself to a host of water-based activities, including fly fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, and rafting. Additional gear can be attached via multiple QuickGrab loops, furthering the Panga 28L’s versatility for different outdoor pursuits. Ergonomic shoulder straps and removable chest straps and waist belt can be adjusted for comfort and stability wherever adventure takes you.

Price at time of publish: $300

Dimensions: 12.5 x 7 x 20 inches | Weight: 3.9 pounds | Capacity: 28 liters | Material: Nylon, TPU

Best Overall, Runner-up

Skog Å Kust Skog Å Kust BackSåk Pro

Skog Å Kust BackSåk Pro
Skog Å Kust BackSåk Pro Waterproof Floating Backpack.

Brian Kopinski

Why We Love It: Its solid waterproof rating, secure roll-top design, and tactful pocket organization make this a versatile backpack for a range of uses, from hitting the trails to city commutes.

What to Consider: Though waterproof, this backpack isn’t intended to withstand extended submersion like the Yeti Panga 28L.

Meaning forest, creek, and coast in Swedish, Skog Å Kust created a backpack geared for a variety of outdoor activities. It’s constructed with rugged 420-denier ripstop nylon coated with TPU and welded seams to keep out water and moisture. The external front pocket is easy to access and boasts an IPX7 rating. Two elastic side pockets can hold water bottles or trail snacks for a day’s adventure. The 35-liter main compartment offers ample storage for day trips or weekend getaways, plus a key clip and elastic mesh pocket aid in interior organization. The interior storage is secured with a roll-down top and clips, and has a solid IPX6 rating to withstand heavy rain and splashes. An internal laptop sleeve and reflective design elements on the exterior make this a commuter-friendly choice, too. And the BackSåk Pro’s durability doesn’t come at the cost of comfort. The back and shoulder straps have breathable EVA foam padding, while adjustable straps along the waist and sternum help distribute the pack’s weight.

Price at time of publish: $140

Dimensions: 20 x 14 x 7.5 inches (main compartment) | Weight: 2.3 pounds | Capacity: 35 liters | Material: TPU-coated ripstop nylon

Best for Camping

Sea to Summit Hydraulic Daypack

Sea to Summit Hydraulic Daypack


Why We Love It: This sturdy dry bag and backpack hybrid is great for canoe camping and being carried on land.

What to Consider: This versatile backpack comes at a steep price point for more casual campers.

The Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack combines the durability and protection of a classic roll-top dry bag with the utility of a backpacking pack. Its fabric achieves waterproof status with 10,000 millimeter hydrostatic head rating — a measurement of how much water pressure a material can take before leaking. Welded seams and the roll-down top’s interlocking system help keep the backpack’s 65-liter interior dry. The EVA foam and mesh harness system delivers comfort and ventilation while hauling camping gear. The back length and straps can be adjusted for different heights or removed to secure the pack to a raft or canoe. To avoid any fumbling, a diagram on the welded patch outlines the steps for detaching the harness system. The Hydraulic Daypack is also available in 35-, 90-, and 120-liter sizes.

Price at time of publish: $399

Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 33.5 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Capacity: 65 liters | Material: 600D TPU-laminated heavy-duty waterproof fabric

Best Sling

Pakt Anywhere 5L Sling

Pakt The Anywhere 5L Sling
Pakt The Anywhere 5L Sling.

Brian Kopinski

Why We Love It: This durable sling-style pack has versatile uses, from outdoor adventures to air travel.

What to Consider: While suitable for many activities, this pack doesn’t have the highest level of waterproofing.

The Anywhere 5L Sling by Pakt offers water-resistant protection for on-the-go essentials. Its crossbody strap can be easily adjusted for a secure fit to avoid chafing on day hikes or urban exploration. The strap also tucks neatly into the back panel to use as a toiletry bag. Inside, the pack includes a mesh zip pocket to safely stow smaller items, while the main compartment offers up to five liters of storage. This Anywhere 5L Sling also stands out for its eco-conscious accolades. The exterior fabric is made from recycled single-use plastic fibers, while Pakt’s packaging has earned a SeaHive seal for using earth-friendly, non-plastic materials.

Price at time of publish: $95

Dimensions: 7 x 3.5 x 11 inches | Weight: 0.6 pounds | Capacity: 5 liters | Material: Recycled polyethylene terephthalate exterior

Best for Commutes

SealLine Urban 26L Dry Daypack

SealLine Urban 26L Dry Daypack


Why We Love It: Its watertight design and ventilated padding make for dry and comfortable commutes.

What to Consider: At 3 pounds, this backpack is a bit heavy for longer trips.

Designed with welded seams and a QuickClip roll-top closure, the SealLine Urban Pack will protect work essentials from the elements. The backpack’s full exterior features a polyurethane coating for superior waterproofing. Fitted with a laptop sleeve to accommodate computers up to 15 inches, this backpack lends itself to commuting to work or class. With 26 liters of storage, there’s still plenty of room for other belongings in the main compartment and external zip pocket. The neon Hi-vis color and reflective elements increase visibility for bike commuters, while the graphite gray and malt color schemes offer a subtler look to complement work attire. Padded shoulder straps and back panel ventilation enhance comfort and wick away sweat.

Price at time of publish: $190

Dimensions: 12 x 7 x 21 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Capacity: 26 liters | Material: 500D polyurethane-coated polyester/nylon

Best Lightweight

Sea to Summit Ultra-sil Ultralight Daypack

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Ultralight Daypack


Why We Love It: This featherweight backpack is water-resistant and compresses to a pocket-size bundle.

What to Consider: The thin material doesn’t maintain much structure, which can make carrying irregularly-shaped and dense items less comfortable.

It’s easy to take the Sea to Summit Ultra-sil Travel Day Pack with you anywhere, from day hikes to the beach. The 2.5-ounce backpack compresses to an impressively small package — about the size of a tennis ball — to stow in your luggage or the glove compartment for when you need to travel light. Still, this minimalist pack has a 20-liter capacity and holds up to 15 pounds comfortably. It’s constructed with 30D siliconized fabric and reinforced straps to keep out water and endure wear and tear, respectively.

Price at time of publish: $45

Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 19 inches | Weight: 0.16 pounds | Capacity: 20 liters | Material:  Siliconized Cordura nylon

Best With a Laptop Compartment

Timbuk2 Spire Laptop Backpack

Timbuk2 Spire Laptop Backpack


Why We Love It: It’s designed to safeguard and organize electronics and everyday essentials when you’re on the go.

What to Consider: The water-resistant exterior fabric isn’t the most weatherproof on this list.

Commuters, digital nomads, and business travelers can rest assured their laptop and work items are shielded from the elements with the Timbuk2 Spire Laptop Backpack. It’s constructed with hardy Oxford nylon and a bottom boot to repel water. The padded laptop sleeve accommodates devices up to 17 inches long, and is readily accessible thanks to the pack’s expandable volume and top-loading design. The main compartment is easily secured with an adjustable buckle and offers ample room for a jacket, books, or other belongings. The front pocket has interior pouches and another zip pocket to stay organized and stash valuables.

Price at time of publish: $109

Dimensions: 18.5 x 12.2 x 5.7 inches | Weight: 2 pounds | Capacity: 26 liters | Material: 630D Oxford nylon

Best for Hiking

L.L. Bean Adventure Pro Waterproof Day Pack 26L

L.L. Bean Adventure Pro Waterproof Day Pack 26 L

L.L. Bean

Why We Love it: The waterproof design and roll-top compartment keep your belongings dry and readily accessible on the trail.

What to Consider: It has minimal padding along the shoulders and back.

Keep extra layers, snacks, and valuables dry while hiking with the L.L. Bean Adventure Pro Waterproof Day Pack. The backpack’s exterior is constructed with TPU-coated ripstop nylon and welded seams for full waterproofing that’ll serve hikers well while wading across streams or amid heavy rain. Its roll-top and hook and loop closure system also boast 100 percent waterproof protection. An external mesh pocket as well as dual side straps and daisy chains are great for attaching extra gear.

Price at time of publish: $129

Dimensions: 12.5 x 7 X 20 inches | Weight: 1.75 pounds | Capacity: 26 liters | Material: TPU-coated nylon

Best Floating

Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack

Chaos Ready Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack


Why We Love It: This watertight backpack has long-lasting durability and floats if dropped overboard.

What to Consider: The hook and loop closure front pocket doesn’t offer the same waterproofing as the main compartment.

Prepare for the unexpected with the Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack. This dry bag-style backpack is designed to hold up against abrasions, tears, and, of course, water. Its floating ability provides peace of mind that your valuables and gear will stay safe while exploring open water, especially while rafting or canoeing. The 22-liter interior features a standard roll-top closure to ensure waterproof protection. Two mesh side pockets and a front hook and loop closure pocket can accommodate water bottles and personal effects like keys. When packing, take note that the front pocket is only water-resistant, not waterproof.

Price at time of publish: $39

Dimensions: 12 x 20.9 inches | Capacity: 22 liters | Material: 500 PVC tarpaulin

Best Packable

Matador Freerain 28L Waterproof Packable Backpack

Matador Freerain28 Waterproof Packable Backpack


Why We Love It: It boasts durable materials and gear-oriented features on top of being incredibly packable.

What to Consider: The back doesn’t have any built-in ventilation.

The Matador Freerain28 Waterproof Packable Backpack reduces to 4 x 4 x 5.5 inches for easy storage in its complementary compression sack. Between the reinforced nylon construction, roll-top closure, and sealed seams, the main compartment has solid waterproof defenses. Whereas many packable models are sparse on features, this backpack has multiple equipment loops, speed hook captures for climbing gear, and hydration compatibility. A comprehensive harness system, including a hip belt, sternum strap, and ventilated shoulder straps helps distribute the pack’s weight. It maintains more structure than most packable designs, too, including the Ultra-sil Travel Day Pack.

Price at time of publish: $125

Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 21.5 inches | Weight: 0.77 pounds| Capacity: 28 liters | Material: UTS-coated nylon

Tips for Buying a Waterproof Backpack

Consider your access and organizational needs

Though there’s been much discussion of waterproof exteriors, how pockets and internal compartments are designed and configured is essential for a functional backpack. For instance, having loops and straps to hold camping gear may be a must-have to streamline packing for your next trip. Perhaps you want a small pocket to easily pull a phone from to snap photos while hiking or kayaking. Jason Brewer, design lead at Pakt, advises that external pockets receive extra scrutiny for waterproofing. “If you have to have external pockets, look for ones with hooded covers so the water rolls off,” says Brewer.

Look for a high IPX rating

An IPX rating refers to how well something is protected from liquids. A backpack with a rating of IPX1 or greater offers some level of water resistance. But for quality protection, look for backpacks with at least an IPX6 rating, which means it can resist high-pressure water sprays. Seeking out an IPX7 rating is recommended if you need a backpack that can withstand submersion.

Pick tightly woven fabrics and durable coatings

Nylon and polyester are frequently used in waterproof backpacks since they naturally repel water. However, they require incorporating more durable materials or treatment to prevent water from leaking through or getting absorbed. Keep an eye out for mention of polyamide or polyethylene, as these fabrics may be interwoven in for extra protection. For top-notch waterproofing, Levi Wegleitner, field operations manager at Blue Sky Utah, suggests looking for polyurethane or thermoplastic polyurethane membranes. On water-resistant backpacks, he adds, “they tend to be coated with durable water-repellent (DWR) finish, which makes them highly resistant to water but not submersible.”

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What’s the difference between waterproof and water-resistant?

    The difference lies in the fabric and materials used. Water-resistant backpacks often can withstand rain and splashing, but they cannot afford the same protection if fully submerged underwater like waterproof backpacks do.

  • How big of a bag do I need?

    It can be helpful to think of backpack size in terms of trip length. For instance, a daypack between 10 and 30 liters is adequate for packing snacks, water, and an extra layer for a day on the trails. Whereas an overnight trip with a change of clothes, toiletries, and some gear usually warrants a 30–50-liter backpack. Multi-day trips or activities with lots of gear (e.g., camping), often require a 50–65-liter bag. Finally, a 65-liter-plus backpack may be necessary for extended trips, winter camping, or carrying gear on behalf of others (i.e., camping with young kids).

    Wegleitner notes that it’s helpful to have multiple waterproof backpacks of differing size to accommodate different situations. “I prefer duffle-style backpacks to transport gear and store at basecamp, then utilize a smaller waterproof bag for daily activities and adventures,” says Wegleitner.

  • What materials should I look for in a waterproof backpack?

    For top-grade waterproofing, Wegleitner advises looking for puncture-resistant materials with an IPX7 rating. “Usually, the most waterproof backpacks are made from nylon or polyester with a polyurethane or thermoplastic polyurethane membrane,” he adds. Backpacks with ripstop materials (often containing nylon), are also recommended for durability. This fabric stitching method creates reinforced, interwoven squares that, if ripped, do not spread much beyond the tear.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Kevin Brouillard is a contributing writer at T+L, specializing in outdoor gear and apparel. He researched dozens of waterproof backpacks, interviewed experts, and used his experience as a travel writer to curate this list.

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Updated by
Kendall Cornish
Kendall Cornish is an e-commerce editor and digital producer. She previously worked as an e-commerce editor for the Dotdash Meredith brands including InStyle, Real Simple, Health, Travel + Leisure, and People.
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