Preparing to embark on an outdoor holiday, no matter how tame or extreme, requires careful planning and adequate gear. The most important item in your kit is the very thing that holds it all together and for most outside activities, a dry bag rucksack or backpack is a worthy investment.
The list of advantages to utilising a dry bag rucksack instead of an alternative such as a dry bag tube, a waterproof duffel bag, a waterproof cover, or a plain backpack made from waterproof fabric is a long one. The primary benefit of a dry bag rucksack over other types of waterproof dry bags is the ability to carry it over both shoulders.
Granted, if you’re travelling long distances, you’d want to remain comfortable and conserve energy – something that’s difficult when you’re lugging around a huge duffel bag. So if you’re looking for convenience, whether you’re hiking, trekking or camping, check out our top 8 best dry bag rucksacks for your journey.
Our Top 8 Best Dry Bag Rucksacks Reviewed
8. ITIWIT 20L Watertight Backpack
The ITIWIT 20L Watertight Backpack is ideal for various water sports such as kayaking or sailing, as it is resistant to several hours of splashing and spraying, as well as rainfall and brief immersion, but may be less suitable for activities involving prolonged immersion such as canyoneering or snorkelling.
This backpack is available in three colours – light grey, charcoal grey or orange if you prefer something with higher visibility.
It has ergonomic shoulder straps with foam padding for comfortable weight distribution and is made from a durable blend of thermoplastic polyurethane and polyester.
There’s also a convenient inner A4 pocket and a small zipped pocket for holding a wallet or similar sized object. The secure roll-top closure will keep your food, clothing, and other small objects protected from moisture, while the two compression straps can be used to secure the bag to your paddle board or kayak so you can enjoy your day without constantly checking on your dry bag rucksack.
7. Ortlieb X-Plorer Dry Bag Rucksack
One of the best dry bag rucksacks for travelling – whether you’re going long distances by motorcycle or bicycle, or simply heading to the waters – is the Ortlieb X-Plorer Dry Bag Rucksack. Available in 35L or 59L and in a choice of bold red, blue or yellow, the Ortlieb X-Plorer is lightweight, with a durable welded seam at the bottom of the bag.
The roll-top closure combined with its waterproof rating of IP64 makes it a practical choice for all types of activities in wet environments, such as caving and canyoneering. The padded shoulder harness is ergonomic and comfortable, and the handy D-rings and bottom loops are suitable for attaching to your bike or kayak.
While the Ortlieb X-Plorer Dry Bag Rucksack embodies the style of a tubed dry bag, it provides the convenience of a backpack.
6. Lomo High Visibility Dry Bag Rucksack
An ideal option for motorcyclists and night time hikers is the Lomo High Visibility Dry Bag Rucksack. Not only will this backpack keep all your gear dry as a bone, it will make sure that you’re seen by other drivers on the road, increasing your safety as well.
This 30L dry bag rucksack has padded shoulder and chest straps with a waist belt, providing you with a comfortable and secure carrying system, and its roll-down closure and welded seams will keep your things dry during all types of weather.
The bright retro reflective panels and high visibility yellow colour made of marine grade PVC is practical and comfortable enough for prolonged outdoor adventures, or for your daily cycling commute to work.
5. SKORCH Waterproof Backpack
For a versatile dry bag backpack that is ideal for a wide variety of activities, the SKORCH Waterproof Backpack may be what you’re looking for. The SKORCH dry bag is available in a few different sizes: 20L, 30L, or 40L, and is designed for a wide range of situations. from water sports such as kayaking and canoeing, to winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.
This dry bag is air and watertight, and is made from a durable UPVC material that is built to last for many years and outdoor holidays to come. While it is not intended to be completely submerged, this bag can easily survive being dropped in the water while protecting your gear.
Padded shoulder straps will protect you from strain if you’re carrying a few heavier items in your bag, and the front bungee cord system allow other travel essentials to be attached.
4. OverBoard Waterproof Backpack | OB1053
Designed for durability and multifaceted, the OverBoard Waterproof Backpack OB1053 is one of the best dry bag rucksacks around. Its welded seams and waterproof rating of IP66 mean that this 20L bag can withstand brief submersion while keeping the contents dry, and protecting against the intrusion of dirt and dust.
The closure system on this bag is unique, allowing you to either use the roll-up closure on the top, or the opening in the side which is secured via a snap buckle closure.
Another nice feature of the OverBoard bag is the inner zip pocket for smaller items such as a wallet or keys – a rare feature in dry bags. Additionally, you have two elastic outer side pockets for even more storage.
The bright yellow material and reflective front panel also provide added visibility. With its sternum strap, waist belt, and padded shoulder straps, this bag provides lumbar support for comfortable travel while also providing a convenient top carrying handle.
3. Ortlieb Velocity Waterproof Backpack
Taking a minimalistic approach is the Ortlieb Velocity Waterproof Backpack, available in a a range of 6 different colours. The breathable foam back panel is comfortable enough to wear all day while also providing an attachment for a helmet or bicycle light.
This 24L dry bag rucksack has a roll-top closure secured by Velcro, and a waterproof rating of IP64. There’s also a useful removable inner pocket for storing small accessories. A favourite among commuters and students alike, the Ortlieb Velocity Waterproof Backpack provides ample back support and chest and waist buckle straps for easier carrying.
2. Lomo Dry Bag Daysack | 30L
The 30 litre Lomo Dry Bag Daysack is a dry bag popular among motorcyclists, but is also an ideal backpack for outdoor activities like sailing or canoeing. This bag has durable welded seams; the roll-top closure has twin straps on either side for added weatherproofing, and the smaller front pocket is ideal for stowing away any wet items, or smaller objects that you’d prefer to keep handy.
The well padded shoulder straps combined with large adjustable chest and waist straps make for a snug, comfy carrying system. The simple aesthetics seen on the 30L Lomo Dry Bag Daysack makes it ideal for long outdoor adventures, or even as an everyday backpack.
1. OverBoard Classic Waterproof Backpack
Whether you’re opting for a 20L, 30L or 45L dry bag rucksack, each model of the OverBoard Classic Waterproof Backpack provides a single large compartment with plenty of room for storing your gear. Made of strong PVC material, it’s a great choice for camping trips, cycling, rafting, or any other intense water-soaked activity that you can dream up.
The top closure combined with the high-frequency welding on the seams enables a waterproof rating of an IP66 (class 3 rating) and if this bag should take a spill in the water, it will not only float, but can handle being briefly submerged while keeping the water out completely.
This bag has reflective strips on the front panel and the shoulder straps, an elastic mesh outer pocket for your water bottle, and three D-rings at the front and two on the shoulder straps provide you with multiple attachment options.
The OverBoard Classic Waterproof Backpack is everything you’d need in a waterproof backpack – durability, reliability and an attractive design.
Top Features | Best Dry Bag Rucksacks
When choosing the the best dry bag rucksack for your outdoor activities, it’s important to consider all the bag’s features. While the needs obviously vary from one user to the next, the topmost features to look for remain fairly consistent.
- Waterproof IP Rating/Class – The first thing to check is the bag’s waterproof class or IP rating. The Ingress Protection Rating is an international standard to classify the degrees of protection giving you information more specific than ‘waterproof’ to make your purchase. The higher the number, the more security for your cargo.
- Capacity – It’s necessary to ensure that your bag has the capacity that you’ll require. Most dry bag rucksacks range from 20 to 60 litres.
- Opening – Most dry bag backpacks will have roll-up closures at the top, but you may find others that have another opening at the side for better access.
- Outer Pockets – Unlike conventional backpacks that have a few outer compartments, dry bag models will be limited, but may have elastic pockets on the outside for things you won’t mind getting wet such as a water bottle.
- Inside Pockets – While not common, some dry bag rucksacks will have pockets inside the main compartment for your smaller items like a wallet or keys.
- Bungee Cord System – This is useful for fastening extra items to the outside of the bag.
- Chest and Waist Buckle Straps – These are important for distributing your load comfortably without straining your shoulders and back, as well as keeping the bag secured to your body.
- Reflective Patches – If you’re going to be hiking in the dark, reflective patches are essential for safety reasons.
- D-Rings – These are useful for binding your backpack to a boat or bicycle.