Best Water Backpacks for 2020: My Review & Trial


Are you looking for a great water backpack to take to the beach or the boat? 

As the name suggests, a water backpack is a crucial item you’ll need to keep with you if you want to make sure you’re keeping your gear and items free from waterlogging and getting damaged by ocean spray. 

These aren’t bags that you can swim with, unfortunately – that simply wouldn’t work in practice – but they are fantastic and resistant against all kinds of waves and heavy weather.

One circumstance where you might need a water backpack, for example, is if you’re heading out into the ocean for a dive.  You’ll need to take a fair amount of equipment with you!  However, you’re going to want to make sure your gear is safe and dry on the boat.  These bags are great for the long journeys between the main diving boats and the mainland.

That’s why I’ve gone to the effort of looking for the best water backpacks and best waterproof backpacks in 2020.  These backpacks are all likely to serve you well no matter where you’re heading for dives and explorations.

Best Water Backpacks for Divers

  • Ultra Dry Adventurer 
  • Eneeko Roll Top
  • Supa Modern Waterproof Bag
  • Overboard Premium
  • Ultra Dry Adventurer Sack
  • Arteesol Dry Bag
  • Discovery Adventures Dry Bag
  • Zomake Ultra Lightweight
  • EastPak Summit Rucksack
  • Gonex 35-litre Dry Bag
5/5

What We Love

What We Don't

Looks aren’t everything, but you can at least personalise this water backpack a little on the way.  It’s great for helping to keep gadgets dry while you’re out and about in the wet.  The puncture proof technology is a great addition, and it’s extremely comfortable to wear. 

You should also get more than enough items packed into here for it to be worth your while.

Specifications

What We Love

What We Don't

ENKEEO’s IPX5 backpack should give you plenty of protection on route to a dive.  I found the volume and capacity to be great value – it’s certainly one of the better-priced backpacks on the market right now. 

It collapses down very easily and you should have no problem moving this around.  The main compartment and extra pockets will help you compartmentalise a lot of your gear.

Specifications

What We Love

What We Don't

I found this SUPA MODERN backpack to be more of a good all-rounder than any kind of specific water rucksack, however, it does still offer a lot of support if you are likely to be out in the wet a lot.  It’s even likely to support you well if you want to go out hiking in the rain regularly. 

However, I love it mainly for the design.  It’s a cute, classic look.  However, if you’re looking for a backpack that’s more likely to withstand barrages at sea, there are other picks on my list.

Specifications

What We Love

What We Don't

Overboard’s fantastic water and and-proof bag proves to be a real winner in the physical test, but whether or not it’s going to be the best value for everyone will likely remain to be seen. 

However, it’s 100% waterproof up to IP66, and what’s more, it’s likely to take a bit of a knock here and there.  It’s also really comfortable and lightweight to wear and carry around, which means it should be a pretty good all-purpose option.

Specifications

What We Love

What We Don't

Another Ultra Dry creation, only this one tends to be more for boaters and those who are really looking for a sack, more than a backpack.  This is likely to be pretty useful in boating situations, for example. 

Of course, your own tastes may vary.  However, I found this sack to be pretty durable in the wet, and what’s more, it’s really tough – meaning you can entrust it with rattling around a bit.

Specifications

5/5

What We Love

What We Don't

Arteesol’s main line of waterproof dry bags are likely to appeal to plenty of people looking to start diving.  It’s a neat little bag, and you can choose how big you want it to be – from 5 litres all the way up to 30. 

Strapping is nice and easy to adjust, and it should help to keep most of your items dry while on route to a dive.  During my tests, I certainly found this was the case!  However, it’s less likely to be an all-around backpack, and more a storage bag.

Specifications

4.6/5

What We Love

What We Don't

This Discovery Adventures backpack is a great travel companion if you’re set to head out to a dive spot any time soon.  It’s waterproof up to IPX8, and you’ll also benefit from popping your phone in the handy case provided alongside.  As a dry bag, it’s built more for adventuring and boating than walking around. 

However, my tests proved that it’s a durable system worth spending a little bit of money on.

Specifications

What We Love

What We Don't

ZOMAKE’s lightweight waterproof backpack is more likely to be a great all-around backpack system than it is a bag you can haul onto a boat.  However, I soon proved that this bag is actually really durable in such conditions. 

It’s not clear on the IP rating, but with plenty of protective pockets, and as one of the most comfortable fits on the list, it’s a clear choice to consider.

Specifications

4.5/5

What We Love

What We Don't

This Earth Pak backpack is likely to weather plenty of storms and splashes.  It’s a fantastic all-around choice, and in my experience, it’s very protective and durable while on route to dive boats. 

However, some people may prefer a backpack that’s likely to do more than just serve well on a vessel or two.  Earth Pak is likely to satiate that need.

Specifications

What We Love

What We Don't

Gonex’s fantastic backpack is waterproof to a solid standard, and it should offer plenty of volume. 

As it’s a roll top bag, it will also help you to keep out moisture and wet for longer.  In testing, this bag proved to be fantastic at holding off against splashing, dunking and more.  It’s likely to serve you well.

Specifications

When Should You Use a Water Backpack?

You might think that the answer to this question is obvious.  However, you are most likely going to need a water backpack when it comes to getting up and out on the ocean waves.  If you are going to take a fair amount of equipment and accessories with you on your trips, for example, it makes sense to stay as well-protected as you can. 

That’s why a waterproof backpack is likely to be a great purchase.  The best models I’ve reviewed here will offer a good level of splash protection as well as fantastic volume, meaning that if you do want to take technology or electrical equipment with you on a boat, you should feel well-guarded.

You should always use a water backpack if you think there is ever going to be a risk of you knocking your items overboard. 

The best backpacks on this list have great IP ratings, which means they should resist a fair amount of splashing and dunking.  However, I wouldn’t recommend you do it too often!

What Should You Look for in a Great Water Backpack?

A great water backpack is one which is, naturally, going to withstand the wet.  However, there are more than a few points you should otherwise keep an eye out for.  These, in no particular order, are…

Waterproofing or Water Resistance

Be careful buying backpacks which are purely water resistant.  These will only brush off a little bit of liquid here and there!  Look for a bag that is 100% waterproof for full protection.  You should also look for IP ratings, which will tell you how long a bag can submerge for.

Pockets and Linings

How many pockets do you need?  Which pockets are likely to benefit you best – outer pockets, or inner linings?  Look carefully at what’s available.

Capacity

Capacity is, of course, a big factor.  You will normally find backpacks that hold up to 35 litres online.  This tends to be more than enough before things start getting a bit too heavy!

Colours

Yes, the colours you choose are also important.  While you might appreciate dark blues and blacks, these are not going to help you in the blazing sun.  If anything, these bags will heat up your contents!  Choose a bag that’s bright, colourful, and easy to spot.

Compactness

You should also think about looking for waterproof backpacks which compact down into simple packages.  These are likely to be very easy to carry around and fit into tight spaces.  This is likely to be a great option for anyone who may already be light on storage!

A waterproof backpack is going to be an asset for anyone who is looking to start adventuring in wet and wild conditions.  Where better to put all your treasured possessions?  Make sure to take a close look at the various backpacks I’ve reviewed for you above, and to be careful when it comes to narrowing down between waterproof and water resistant!

Katy Jane

Thank you for reading. I started KatyJaneDives.com to share my passion for diving. I am an environmental educator, scientist and now an MSDT diver. This platform has been made to create, connect and share my knowledge in the world of diving.

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