When the heavens open (and don’t close for months) and you still need to get out and about, you need a waterproof backpack. Cotton canvas isn’t going to cut it when the rain hits and your laptop isn’t worth risking. Whether trekking along alpine trails or just trying to make it from work onto the bus with your notes and electronics in one dry piece, a waterproof backpack is an essential piece of kit. 


We’ve compiled a list of our favourite pieces on the market including those for daily commutes, avid cyclists and off piste adventurers. Here’s our pick of the best ones out there to keep your valuables dry.

What to look for in a waterproof backpack

Needless to say when it comes to a waterproof backpack, you want something that will keep your things dry. Be that a laptop or your clothes and supplies for a hiking trip. For a day to day backpack a waterproof nylon or PU-style fabric will do the job. Zips will ideally be coated and protected or the bag will simply use a rolltop closure.

For more rugged activities, welded seams and technical materials are a must. Snag and abrasion-proof materials are also effective because unsurprisingly if you get a hole in your bag it’s no longer waterproof. Away from waterproofing, the same applies for all bags. Handy storage internally and externally is helpful, especially a good hidden zip pocket on the exterior so you don’t have to go rooting around inside. Comfortable straps, attachment options and sport-specific features, be that reflective materials or dry bag options are also worth looking out for.

Best waterproof backpacks in 2024

Rains Texel Tote

The Rains Texel Tote is a handy waterproof backpack hybrid option for short travel. Part backpack, part functional tote, integrated padded backstraps keep it comfortable on the shoulders and a padded tote handle makes it easy to grab on the go. Two front utility pockets are ideal for storing travel essentials like a passport or charger. Inside there’s zip and mesh pockets as well as a generous central compartment. A strap allows the bag to be attached to your suitcase pull handle and side compression straps allow for tightening the bag for cabin use.

Rains MSN Bag

A classic minimalist Rains design inspired by the humble school backpack. The MSN waterproof backpack is a contemporary chic day to day option for city commutes. A sleek silhouette features minimalist details including two adjustable carry straps and two carabiner fastenings for access into the main compartment. Inside there’s plenty of room including space for a laptop. The bag is made from Rains’ signature waterproof PU fabric.

Mismo M/S Escape Bag

It’s the ballistic nylon outer that keeps this Mismo waterproof backpack bone dry on the inside. The M/S Escape bag channels a refined cycling pack silhouette with a roll top closure with flexible closing mechanism and barrel shaped body. Useful pockets throughout are ideal for easily accessing essentials on the go, including a padded laptop sleeve. The ballistic nylon is designed for heavy duty wear and compliments the black bridle leather trim and gunmetal details.

Tropicfeel Waterproof Daypack

Tropicfeel’s waterproof daypack is a versatile option for travel. Protected from the elements with a 12L capacity inside and modular attachment options to the brand’s Shelter backpack, it’s the ideal daypack for rugged on the go travel. The roll top opening makes access extremely convenient whilst keeping items protected. A lightweight construction and padded straps make it a friend to tired shoulders.

Patagonia Stealth Pack

The Stealth pack is a serious Patagonia waterproof backpack. Made for would-be adventurers from a brand that’s rooted in enjoying and protecting the great outdoors, versatility is key. Ergonomic, lightweight and body-conforming, the build is comfort-minded and made for use on longer treks when carrying extra gear is essential. Inside there’s a large main compartment, with quick access exterior pockets and a top stash pocket.

The North Face Borealis

The Borealis from The North Face is one of the brand’s biggest sellers. It’s a waterproof backpack that’s versatile, doing the job out and about in daily life but equally dependable in tougher environments. The signature bungee cord system on the exterior means added attachment and storage, whilst inside there’s laptop storage and plenty of capacity. Nice touches include 360 degree reflectivity, Flexvent suspension tech for comfort and waterproof exterior.

Arc'teryx Micon

A serious waterproof hiking backpack from Arc’teryx that also lends itself to big mountain skiing and similar alpine pursuits. Lightweight, streamlined and exceptionally durable, the Micon is a highly weather-resistant 16L pack developed for minimalist expeditions. Critical seams are taped for extra waterproofing and the high tenacity N210r HT nylon pack cloth is tough and light, whilst ultra durable N400r-AC² nylon 6 ripstop waterproof fabric is used in areas exposed to snow and moisture. It’s an all weather beast.

Yeti Panga

You’ve seen their coolers and camping gear, now here’s the waterproof backpack. The Yeti Panga is a 28L waterproof aimed at those that like their adventures close to or on the water. Fisherman and kayakers unite. Described as an ‘airtight citadel’, the backpack packs drybag smarts with ultimate comfort and can keep your stuff dry even when submerged. The Thickskin shell is puncture and abrasion resistant and QuickGrab lash points allow for easy attachments.

Altura Thunderstorm City

If you’re on the hunt for a large capacity rolltop waterproof backpack that also lends itself to cycling, look no further. Altura have got just the bag. The Thunderstorm City 30 is a traditional cycle commuting bag that’s waterproof, durable and highly visible. Weighing in at a mere 600g, it offers 30 litres of storage with ultimate waterproof peace of mind, even on the wettest days and a back vent system that will keep you cooler when the temperatures rise. The zipped pocket is handy for easily accessing keys and essentials.

Finisterre Drift

Finisterre’s Drift waterproof backpack is made from recycled heavy duty nylon with welded seams and a host of technical features. The bag has been reintroduced to the brand’s range after some improvements and upgrades for a sustainability-minded, durable rolltop bag for whatever adventures lay ahead. Two side bottle pockets, dry bag capabilities and adjustable chest and shoulder straps and a showerproof front pocket make it comfortable and practical.

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