Your backpacks needs to be able to travel the world with you. To do this, it needs to be built to last and depending on your travel style, it should be waterproof, too. A backpack that can handle adverse weather conditions, as well as the usual bumps and knocks of overseas adventures, is well worth its weight in gold.
Why Use a Waterproof Backpack?
Backpacks are a popular choice with the modern-day global explorer, and they offer a highly efficient way to carry your stuff while still being able to keep your hands free. Because you want to explore the world in the most hands-on way possible, you certainly won’t want to be held back by luggage that under-performs when it really matters.
Protect your clothing, your electronics, your laptop, and your other valuables from water damage by choosing a backpack that guarantees protection against the dampest of conditions. From wet days in the city and quick trips on soggy beaches to adventures in mountain blizzards or tropical rain forests, your waterproof backpack will quickly become your new best friend.
Poor weather, accidents around water, or indulging in aquatic activities all come with a risk of a good soaking, for both you and your precious belongings.
An effective waterproof backpack will protect everything in it from water damage, leaks, and spillages. These types of backpacks will also usually be easier to wipe clean and are often made from fabrics. That can repel moisture, including the sweat from our bodies. Which can disintegrate and damage lesser bags eventually.
Things to Consider With Waterproof Backpacks
Not all waterproof backpacks offer the same levels of protection. If you want to be certain that your belongings will be safe, consider the following before you commit:
Backpack Size and Capacity
You will need a bag that is big enough to carry all of your stuff, yet small enough to remain lightweight and easy to take anywhere. Most backpacks come in a variety of sizes, and whether you choose a daypack, a weekend backpack, a multi-day backpack, or even a full-size expedition backpack, there are plenty of waterproof backpacks out there to suit your requirements.
As a basic guide, a waterproof backpack comes in the following sizes:
Daypacks usually range from 20-35 liter capacity and are designed to carry an extra layer of clothing, water, food, and essentials for days out both at home and away.
Weekend backpacks range from around 40-50 liter capacity and offer you much needed extra space to stow sleeping bags, toiletries, and extra clothing. These are suitable for a few nights away, or as an addition to your daypack.
Multi-day backpacks offer 50-70 liters of backpack volume and come with harnesses to help carry the extra weight of enough gear to last you up to a week.
Expedition backpacks are heftier, heavier, and designed for full-on adventures. Offering 70-95 liter capacity, as well as lots of options for additional storage space, these are perfect for around the world adventures.
Material and Durability
Waterproof bags can be made from a variety of different materials, but by far the most common is nylon. When nylon fabric has a high thread count, it can be impressively water-resistant on its own, but for guaranteed protection against wet conditions, an additional waterproof coating is often added.
Bags made from PVC vinyl, PVC, or rubber also offer excellent protection against water damage.
Wearing your backpack for long periods can be uncomfortable. Most reputable backpack manufacturers provide various features to help alleviate discomfort for more extended periods of wear. These could include:
Adjustable shoulder straps to position the backpack high on your back for maximum comfort. These should also be padded to prevent them from digging into your delicate shoulder area.
Waist straps or hip belts distribute the weight load to the hips and help to relieve pressure on the shoulders. These should also be padded and adjustable to ensure the most comfortable fit possible.
Torso measurements may affect fit more than your height. Different makes and brands of backpacks come in various lengths, so have the length of your torso measured before you invest.
As waterproof backpacks are far more likely to take a plunge in a body of water than other types of bags would be. They must be easy to see and identify from a distance. While sleek black suitcases may be the trend for business travelers, bright colors are your friend when it comes to more outlandish adventures.
Rule number 1 when it comes to using a backpack is to never make it too heavy. Lumbar supports, chest straps, and compression systems can help to take the strain off your back, but the heavier the backpack, the harder it is to carry.
You should be able to comfortably carry your bag on your shoulders for. A decent amount of time if you want to be able to use it when traveling. Your fully loaded backpack should not weigh more than about 20% of your body weight, while your day hiking. Pack should not weigh more than about 10% of your body weight.
There are lots of different ways to comfortably carry your backpack with you wherever you are headed. Larger backpacks usually offer a combination of ways to carry. Your gear with you, while smaller ones may only have simple shoulder straps to keep your stuff close on the go.
Backpack straps — the most recognizable of all baggage handlers, backpack straps sit across your shoulders. And are simply designed to hold the pack against your body.
Sternum straps — designed to help distribute the weight of the backpack and prevent. The shoulder straps from sliding off of your arms when moving.
Shoulder straps — not to be confused with backpack straps, despite them both being carried on the shoulder. This long, single strap is used to carry the backpack horizontally. Think gym bags and shopping totes — these are useful for moving quickly.
Carry handles — vital for quick grabs and careful throwing, when you may need to move your backpack. Qquickly to get it out of the way, throw it into the trunk of a car. Or pick it up from the luggage carousel.
Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant
Many manufacturers may claim that their backpacks will survive the heaviest of downpours. When in reality they are simply water-resistant and not fully waterproof. Take caution, as this could mean the difference between wet clothes and a waterlogged laptop, or not.
Waterproof backpacks are usually made of nylon and are coated in silicone, acrylic, or polyurethane. To ensure that no water leaks through their layers. Once coated, these bags are designed to keep your gear safe even when submerged.
Water-resistant backpacks, on the other hand, can offer varying degrees of resistance depending on the individual thread count. They may be able to deal with a bit of drizzle, but plain nylon will not be able to. Keep your possessions dry if you are caught in a storm or your bag falls into a river.