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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Waterproof Backpack for Hiking

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Find the Best Waterproof Backpack for Hiking

When it comes to hiking, having the right gear can make all the difference. One essential piece of equipment is a reliable backpack. But not just any backpack - a waterproof one. Here's why a waterproof backpack is a must-have for your hiking adventures and how to choose the best one.

Woman in the expanse of a waterfall in an enclosed area

Why Choose a Waterproof Backpack for Hiking?

Hiking often involves unpredictable weather conditions. A sudden downpour can soak your gear, potentially damaging your belongings. With a waterproof backpack, you can protect your essentials from the elements, ensuring they stay dry and safe.

Key Features to Look for in a Waterproof Backpack for Hiking

  1. Waterproof Material: The most important feature of a waterproof backpack is, of course, the material. Look for backpacks made from high-quality, waterproof materials like nylon or polyester with a special waterproof coating.

  2. Size and Capacity: Consider the length of your hike and the amount of gear you need to carry. For day hikes, a 20-30L backpack might be sufficient. For longer trips, you might need a larger capacity. Visit this site for a good way to measure.

  3. Comfort: Look for a backpack with padded shoulder straps and a supportive waist belt. These features can help distribute the weight evenly, making the backpack more comfortable to carry.

  4. Durability: A good hiking backpack should be able to withstand rough handling and harsh outdoor conditions. Look for features like reinforced stitching and heavy-duty zippers.

  5. Additional Features: Extra features like multiple compartments for organization, external loops for attaching gear, and a hydration reservoir can also be useful for hiking.

Our Top Picks for Waterproof Backpacks for Hiking

At Amphipak, we offer a range of waterproof backpacks designed with hikers in mind. Here are our top picks:

  1. The Karpathos 34L: With its spacious capacity and durable design, the Karpathos 34L is perfect for longer hikes.

  2. The Coqui 22L: Lightweight yet robust, the Coqui 22L is ideal for day hikes.

Remember, the best waterproof backpack for hiking is one that suits your specific needs and preferences. Consider the factors mentioned above, and you're sure to find a backpack that's perfect for your next hiking adventure.

Man wading through water on a hike and has a waterproof backpack to protect his supplies


How to Pack a Waterproof Backpack for Hiking

When planning a hiking trip, packing your backpack efficiently is crucial. A well-packed waterproof backpack not only keeps your gear safe from the elements but also makes your hike more comfortable. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to pack a waterproof backpack for hiking.

Understanding Your Waterproof Backpack

Before you start packing, familiarize yourself with your waterproof backpack. Understand its various compartments and features. This will help you decide where to place different items.

Distributing Weight

Proper weight distribution is key to a comfortable hike. Pack heavier items close to your back and towards the middle of the backpack. This helps maintain your center of gravity, making the backpack easier to carry.

Packing Essentials

When packing for a hike, there are certain essentials you should always include. These include navigation tools, first-aid supplies, food and water, and shelter or warmth items. Remember, a waterproof backpack will keep these items safe even in wet conditions.

Using Backpack Compartments

Make use of the different compartments in your waterproof backpack. Smaller compartments are perfect for items you need to access quickly, like snacks or a map. Larger compartments can hold bulkier items like clothing or a sleeping bag.


Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Backpacks for Hiking

When choosing a backpack for hiking, you'll likely come across two terms: waterproof and water-resistant. But what's the difference, and which one is better for hiking?

Understanding the Difference

Waterproof backpacks are designed to be completely impervious to water. They can withstand heavy rain and can often be submerged in water without any water getting inside.

Water-resistant backpacks, on the other hand, can only withstand light rain or splashes of water. They are not designed to be submerged in water.

Choosing the Right Backpack for Hiking

If you're hiking in areas where heavy rain is common or where you might have to cross rivers, a waterproof backpack is the better choice. It offers superior protection for your gear.

However, if you're hiking in areas with mild weather and little rainfall, a water-resistant backpack might be sufficient. They are often lighter and more breathable than waterproof backpacks.


Waterproof Backpacks in Hiking Safety

Hiking is an adventurous activity, but it also comes with its share of risks. One way to mitigate these risks is by using a waterproof backpack. Here's how a waterproof backpack contributes to hiking safety.

Protecting Your Gear

A waterproof backpack protects your gear from getting wet. This is crucial if you're carrying items that could be damaged by water, like electronics or important documents.

Ensuring Access to Essentials

By keeping your gear dry, a waterproof backpack ensures you have access to essentials like a dry change of clothes, a working phone, and a usable first-aid kit.

Preventing Hypothermia

In cold conditions, getting wet can lead to hypothermia. A waterproof backpack keeps your clothing and sleeping bag dry, helping you stay warm and avoid hypothermia.

Remember, a waterproof backpack is an investment in your safety and comfort while hiking. Choose one that fits your needs and enjoy your hiking adventures with peace of mind.

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