Posted on by Beckworth & Co.

The Top 5 Waterproof Outdoor Backpacks for Spring Camping

Spring is already upon us and during these weird times where we can’t normally engage in typical springtime group activities, now is the best time to try and enjoy nature’s peaceful solitude by yourself or with a friend.  

The US has so much to offer in terms of national parks, forests and wilderness, it would be such a shame to not take advantage of these treasures at this time of year when everything is coming back to life. You won’t need to spend much to enjoy what nature has to offer, you can go hiking or even camping Bear Grylls-style with just the bare minimum. 

Even if you’re not the type to lug a mess of equipment, a reliable waterproof outdoor backpack is a must for every hiker or camper. Especially during spring when everything is still damp, you wouldn’t want to ruin your relaxing jaunt in the woods by getting your clothes and gadgets soaked and ruined. 

What to look for in a waterproof outdoor backpack

If this is your first time shopping for a waterproof backpack, you may get overwhelmed with all the different choices. But basically the bag you choose should fit your purpose: you don’t always need a dry bag that’s as airtight as a submarine, sometimes you can get by with a reasonably-priced bag that would keep your stuff dry from rain and occasional splashes. 


Water-resistant or waterproof?   

Are you planning on a simple walk in the woods or are you expecting to cross rivers during your trek? Most water-resistant bags are made out of non-porous or hydrophobic material that can keep moisture off but if you submerge or soak them, water may still get into the openings and seams. Waterproof bags on the other hand are typically designed to prevent water from leaking into the bag and these usually use waterproof zippers that can drive up the price. In short, not only the material, but the design of the bag is very important.   


Speaking of design, this is typically another factor that separates cheap bags from the expensive ones. An outdoor backpack should be comfortable for obvious reasons. It should grasp your trapezius, the part between your shoulder and your neck, snugly without digging into your muscles, causing strain. It should also be designed to follow the natural contours of your back, supporting it instead of bearing down on it. In short, the bag should be ergonomically designed.


Well-designed waterproof bags will definitely cost you, so you need to decide if it is worth investing in one. The difference between a high-end bag and a budget one can run up to more than a $100. For example, the 35 liter Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack will set you back $239.95 while the 30 liter FE Active Dry Bag Waterproof Backpack costs only $39.99. If you’re planning on hitting the trail in places that get a lot of water the whole year round, a high-end bag won’t let you down. But if you live in a dry place and are just planning on a casual hike now and then, a budget backpack is not a bad choice. 

The Top 5 Waterproof Outdoor Backpacks for 2021

While it’s hard to choose from so many cool backpacks out on the market this year, we’ve managed to narrow it down to five compelling choices to make it easier for you. Whether you’re an occasional hiker or a serious outdoors person, you’ll find a good waterproof backpack in our list below that will suit your needs and is sure to be worth every penny you spend on it.


Acrodo Floating Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack, 15L


This Acrodo waterproof backpack looks like a serious, high-end dry bag despite its affordable price tag. Although it doesn’t have pockets and other trimmings, the side buckles allow you to attach other bags and accessories. This one is perfect for newbies who are just getting into outdoorsing and don’t want to spend a lot on a decent waterproof bag. 

Compliments Complaints
  • Size is larger than expected 
  • Perfectly waterproof
  • Can float
  • Good price
  • Material becomes soft when left in direct sunlight
  • The seams where the straps are seem to be tearing or like they wouldn’t last much longer
  • The top part easily frays 
  • Not really a "true backpack"


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Vitchelo Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack, 30L


This dry bag backpack from Vitchelo seems to be a good compromise of everything. It’s decently priced, good capacity, has pockets and belts for attachments, looks high-end, and also includes a phone pouch! This is a good choice for those looking for a good-looking all around waterproof bag for activities like hiking, surfing, water sports.  

Compliments Complaints
  • Large bag for a great price
  • Completely waterproof
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Reasonable price
  • Doesn't have a separate internal compartment
  • The hooks on the exterior which hold the bungee cord material are fairly cheap
  • Stitching came loose after a few uses
  • Doesn't have a cellphone bag


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Diamond Candy Waterproof Hiking Backpack, 40L


Diamond Candy’s waterproof bag sports a more traditional backpack look which may be more comfortable for newbies. It also won’t look out of place as an everyday backpack but it may not keep water out if thrown into a stream unlike most others in our list. Still, it sports a bigger capacity and at its price, it is a good buy. This is best for those looking for an all-around bag for camping or hiking. 

Compliments Complaints
  • Lots of compartments
  • Good school backpack for kids
  • Good chest straps
  • Feels like a $150 bag
  • Lots of features overall
  • Inside pocket started tearing within months
  • Not very comfortable, can be too tight for tall people
  • Internal pocket for laptop is too small
  • Zippers are a bit flimsy
  • Not as water-resistant as expected


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Skog Å Kust BackSåk Waterproof Floating Backpack with Exterior Zippered Pocket, 25L & 35L

True to its Scandinavian origin, the Skog Å Kust BackSåk looks very minimal and sleek. Don’t be deceived, all the essentials are still there: it has a waterproof exterior pocket, D-rings for attaching accessories, even a reflective patch and trim. Just by looking at it, you’ll get an impression that it’s watertight AF and you can probably even use it as a flotation device, and it probably is given that it is made of 500 Denier Waterproof PVC with high-frequency welded seams. Understandably, it’s also going to be pricier, but you need a handsome and dependable waterproof dry bag, the BackSåk is hard to beat.  

Compliments Complaints
  • Good capacity
  • Perfectly waterproof
  • Material is thick
  • Has back padding
  • Front exterior pocket is not waterproof
  • Straps tend to dig into the armpit
  • No waist support belt
  • Shoulder straps are somewhat uncomfortable


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TOPSKY Sports Waterproof Internal Frame Backpack with Rain Cover, 70L

TopSky’s high capacity waterproof bag was definitely made for the serious backpacking camper who calls the wilderness home. This bag can probably carry everything including the kitchen sink: it has various compartments, pockets, straps and holes for attachment, etc. Built for carrying, it also has its own internal frame while the padded shoulder straps and hip belt, as well as various belts keep you comfortable even while bearing a heavy load. 

Compliments Complaints
  • Cushions on the shoulder straps and waist belts are comfortable
  • Feels light on the back despite its large capacity
  • Includes a rain cover
  • Material can survive a rough trip
  • Quite cheap
  • Might be too big to bring on a flight
  • Not as firm as expected
  • Shoulder straps started to come unsewn after 2 months


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