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The 11 Best Waterproof Backpacks for Traveling and Hiking

Your phone. Your DSLR camera. Your e-reader. Your travel documents. No matter what you’re carrying in your backpack, you’ll want to make sure it’s protected from unexpected rainstorms while you’re out traveling the world. The following waterproof backpacks for travel come in a variety of sizes and styles, but they all offer excellent protection for any weather.

This list also includes a few water-resistant backpacks that perform well in rainy conditions but might not stand up to an all-day downpour or a tumble into a lake. These can still be useful travel backpacks if you won’t be spending significant time outdoors.

Miggo Agua Versa Backpack

miggo agua versa backpack

With its versatile design and storm-resistant exterior, which protects fragile cameras and lenses from even heavy rain, Miggo’s Agua Versa may be the best waterproof backpack for photographers. You can carry the bag three ways: as a standard backpack, slung over one shoulder, or as a backpack with straps in an X position to make it easier to grab your camera. Inside is a padded, detachable bag to hold your camera and lens, plus compartments for a laptop, tablet, and power bank. There are also several external pockets for quick access to small items. The bag’s sturdy lycra and tarpaulin exterior will hold up to most inclement weather conditions.

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FE Active Cloudbreak Backpack

FE active cloudbreak backpack

The Cloudbreak from outdoor retailer FE Active is a dry-bag backpack that’s made of eco-friendly PVC tarpaulin for full waterproof protection during activities like hiking, camping, and kayaking. It’s got two netted side pockets for water bottles and a corded exterior to hold a jacket or other items. This roomy backpack can hold a laptop and multiple changes of clothes; when it’s completely full, however, you may have to check it rather than carrying it on a flight.

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RAINS Waterproof Drawstring Backpack

Rains waterproof drawstring backpack

The Waterproof Drawstring Backpack from RAINS is a small, chic waterproof daypack that’s perfect for city sightseeing. It’s large enough to hold the basics—a wallet, a water bottle, a tablet or book—without weighing you down. The main compartment has one interior pocket for your phone, and the bag is made of waterproof polyester and polyurethane.

Earth Pak Summit Dry Bag Backpack

Earth pak summit dry bag backpack

Another heavy-duty dry-bag backpack, this 35-liter bag from Earth Pak is ideal for travelers who don’t want to worry about water damage during their outdoor adventures. It’s roomy enough to pack for a weekend but small enough to use as a carry-on, and the sturdy PVC material protects everything inside, from camera equipment to clothing. Sternum and waist straps help you balance the load. Bonus: The bag comes with a waterproof case that fits smartphones up to 6.5 inches (measured diagonally).

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Chrome Hondo Backpack

Designed for commuters, the Hondo Backpack is also a good bet for business travelers seeking a waterproof laptop backpack. It has a 15-inch padded sleeve for your computer and keeps you organized with interior and exterior pockets. This waterproof travel backpack is comfortable to wear, thanks to plenty of padding and a chest strap to balance the weight, and it’s small enough to carry as your personal item on a plane.

Matador Freerain24 Backpack

Matador freerain24 backpack

When you’re carrying all your belongings on your back, the last thing you want is a heavy bag that adds a lot of extraneous weight. That’s why I like the Freerain24. At just 6.6 ounces, this waterproof hiking backpack won’t weigh you down as you’re scrambling up mountains or wading through streams. It’s got two side mesh pockets for water bottles, as well as a water-resistant front exterior pocket to hold items you need to access quickly. Between trips, you can fold it up into its own small sack for easy storage.

Kopack Waterproof Laptop Backpack

Kopack waterproof laptop backpack

The Kopack Laptop Backpack is a water-resistant backpack rather than a waterproof one—it’s made of water-repellent nylon that can handle spells of light to moderate rainfall. The laptop sleeve, which holds computers up to 17.3 inches, is located in a separate compartment against your back so it’s more difficult to break into, and there’s a smaller anti-theft compartment at the bottom rear of the bag where you can stash your phone or passport. Numerous other pockets keep small items like keys, sunglasses, and pens organized.

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Skog A Kust BackSak

Skog a kust backsak

The sleek BackSak, which comes in 25- and 35-liter options, closes in two different ways. Once you’ve rolled the top of the bag down a few times, you can clip the two ends to each other to create a carry handle on top of the bag, or you can attach them to the bag’s side clips to help you compress the load. Either way, this backpack is fully waterproof (though the company doesn’t recommend extended submersion). The bag has an interior and an exterior pocket, as well as reflective patches so you can see the bag in the dark.

MOS Blackpack

Travelers looking to stay organized will appreciate the Blackpack from MOS. This travel backpack comes with a built-in rainfly so your travel gear is safe from most weather conditions. With a 15.6-inch laptop pocket, dedicated tablet pocket, and mesh pockets, the Blackpack offers 27 liters of storage space. MOS also sells a power adapter that you can store in a special pocket to keep all your electronics charged while they’re in your backpack.

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Geckobrands Waterproof 30L Backpack

Though it’s not intended for full submersion, Geckobrands’ 30-liter backpack is otherwise fully waterproof as long as you tightly roll down the top at least three times before buckling. This dry bag backpack makes a handy companion on outdoor adventures, with padded shoulder straps that are comfortable to wear. The bag weighs just 0.6 pounds and folds up small when not in use.

Patagonia Stormfront Pack

Patagonia stormfront pack

If you’re looking for a waterproof backpack that will keep your stuff dry even if it’s submerged, consider the Stormfront Pack. Made of sturdy nylon that’s coated with thermoplastic polyurethane and durable water repellent, this 30-liter waterproof hiking backpack is ideal for outdoor adventures. It’s comfortable to wear thanks to padded straps and a removable waist belt, and at 21 x 12 x 9 inches, it fits most airlines’ carry-on size requirements. The exterior pocket is the only part of the backpack that isn’t fully waterproof, but it’s still a useful place to stow items such as a poncho or car keys.

What to Bring on Your Next Trip:

Looking for that perfect waterproof phone case for those days swimming or by the river? With full touch-screen functionality in the case, this is the perfect phone case for you. Tightly close the case to ensure that water doesn’t get in and sit back and enjoy your adventure.

More from SmarterTravel:

Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2019. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Codey Albers contributed to this story.

By Sarah Schlichter

Deputy Executive Editor Sarah Schlichter's idea of a perfect trip includes spotting exotic animals, hiking through pristine landscapes, exploring new neighborhoods on foot, and soaking up as much art as she can. She often attempts to recreate recipes from her international travels after she gets home (which has twice resulted in accidental kitchen fires—no humans or animals were harmed).

Sarah joined the SmarterTravel team in 2017 after more than a decade at the helm of IndependentTraveler.com. Sarah's practical travel advice has been featured in dozens of news outlets including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Budget Travel, and Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEditor.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A journal. Even years later, reading my notes from a trip can bring back incredibly vivid memories."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Road tripping and hiking through the rugged mountains of Patagonia."

Travel Motto: "'To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.'—Freya Stark"

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle. I get restless on long flights and like to be able to move around without disturbing anyone else."

Email Sarah at sschlichter@smartertravel.com.

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