A waterproof backpack is becoming more and more common among outdoor enthusiasts. Wet weather is only a thunderstorm away from ruining your day so understanding the key benefits of a waterproof hiking backpack should be a high priority. Becoming familiar with the terms waterproof and bags that are only ‘water resistant’ is also important information to acquire. A waterproof backpack comes with distinctly different features and identifying them will help you determine the right choice for you.
Your Gear and Electronics Will Thank You
The benefits of a waterproof backpack go beyond keeping your clothes dry. Although a dry set of outerwear can save your life, we suspect a little rain or proximity to water won’t jeopardize your life very often. The best waterproof backpack benefit is its ability to keep essential and expensive gear and accessories moisture-free. Matches, firestarter, maps, and flashlights don’t work properly or at all if they are wet. In addition, hundreds of dollars worth of electronics could be flushed away (pun intended) if your bag gets drenched in a sudden downpour. Many cameras, smartphones, and MP3 players have met their demise at the hand of a wet water crossing. All of which could have been avoided with use of a waterproof backpack.
Waterproof versus Water Resistant
There is a big difference between a bag that is water resistant and one that is waterproof. First, water resistant does not mean that it is waterproof. As the word implies, a water resistant bag only keeps the water shedding for a brief period of time before the soaking commences. The engineering of a waterproof backpack is such that even under the most extreme conditions the contents of the bag should remain dry. Walk under a waterfall, stumble into a river, or tromp through a rain storm, the results should be the same, a dry interior.
Features of a Tight Bag
The best waterproof backpacks possess several key and unique features. The material technology of a waterproof backpack is such that it is designed to not only hold out water for a long period of time but to allow no water or moisture through at all. All waterproof packs will have welded or taped seams. Zippers are specially designed to seal the bag tightly. A waterproof backpack is typically much thicker and beefier than a normal pack. The weight is attributed to the stronger and waterproof material designed into the pack, including combinations of PVC, nylon, and polyurethane.
Peace of mind knowing your gear is safely stowed and protected from the elements is arguably the greatest benefit of a waterproof backpack. Once you become familiar with the features of this type of pack you’ll be able to readily identify the differences between a waterproof and water resistant bag. If you are a day hiker or outdoor enthusiast that is frequently exposed to wetter environments, we recommend a waterproof backpack be added to your armory of gear.