How To Waterproof Your Backpack

How To Waterproof Your Backpack? Best Guide-2023


If you are traveling for hiking, camping, trekking, or mountaineering tours you will want your belongings to be safe and dry in your backpack. Usually, every backpack has water-repellency capability instead of waterproofing ability, in this regard, you have to make your backpack waterproof so that your stuff might be safe and rain does not be the reason to stop you from exploring the world but here the question is how to waterproof your backpack.

In the given blog post, we will be discussing different methods to waterproof your backpack and other tips and tricks that may help in this process.

Read About  What Size Backpack Do I Need For Hiking?

Things To Know Before Waterproofing Your Backpack

Before discussing the mainstream topic it is necessary to consider certain factors before waterproofing your backpack to avoid any uncertainty, inconvenience, or irritation during the waterproofing process and, further, to save your money and time in case of any damage to your backpack.

1. Waterproof Backpack

First, it is advisable to buy a completely manufacturer-made waterproof backpack if you want to carry a waterproof backpack but these packs have loopholes that we have discussed in detail at the bottom of this blog post

2. Material-Friendly Waterproof Spray For Backpack

Before opting for spraying to enhance the waterproofing or water-repellant capability of your backpack then prefer a material-friendly spray for your pack to avoid damage to your pack

3. Adding Lower Weight Waterproofing Method

If you traveling for an extended period and you are carrying a lot of stuff then it is recommended to adopt that method which does not add weight to the belongings that you are carrying.

Such as if you are carrying a lot then you prefer a spraying, lining, or wax method instead of opting for using rain cover, dry bags, or dry sacks which will add more weight to your belongings and will be uncomfortable in carrying your stuff.

But if using rain cover, dry bags or dry sack is necessary to carry then you can carry it to save your belongings from getting wet.

4. Even Application Of Waterproofing Products

Apply the waterproofing spray or wax in an even manner across the surface of the backpack because in many cases zig-zag application may leave some of the area of the backpack through which water can seep into the backpack.

Ensure that seams, zippers, and other potential entries are completely covered.

5. Protection Of Non-Fabric Parts

If your backpack has non-fabric parts such as leather patches or other metal substances, protect them while applying a waterproofing product

Why Is It Important To Waterproof Your Backpack

Here are the following reasons why is it important to waterproof your backpack 

  1. The first is to secure your belongings from getting wet or damaged such as expensive items, personal items, clothing, documents, etc.
  2. It is uncomfortable to carry a wet backpack while carrying a wet can damage your health
  3. To save your electronic devices inside the backpack from any type of damage, personal use devices and navigational electronic tools such as cell phones, cameras, laptops, etc while GPS or a headline.
  4. Moisture in the backpack can lead to the growth of mildew or an unpleasant odor, waterproofing helps to resolve this issue.
  5. Waterproofing a backpack can be life-saving because the wet condition of the pack causes hypothermia or other health risks, so keeping your backpack dry through waterproofing can help resolve this problem.

How To Waterproof Your Backpack

A backpack can be waterproofed in two ways internal backpack waterproofing method and external backpack waterproofing techniques, the former method Includes lining the inside of the pack while the latter includes using a rain cover, putting the pack in a dry sack, using waterproofing spray and seam sealer, and a completely waterproof backpack.

Here we will discuss all the above methods in detail

1. Internal Backpack Waterproofing Method

1. Lining The Inside Of The Pack

In the pack liner method, a dry or plastic bag is placed on the inside of the backpack to protect the inner content of your backpack from rainy water. The pack liners are also durable bags that can protect your items from the water.

Pros Of Pack Liner

  1. A pack liner is a strong fabric bag that helps protect the inner content of your backpack.
  2. It is a cost-effective solution
  3. A pack liner does not blow away in heavy wind or stormy weather
  4. Lightweight

Cons Of Pack Liner Technique

A pack liner is good for a backpack having one large main compartment because it is difficult to line every pocket of the pack if you are using a multiple-compartment backpack

Suitable For

A pack liner technique is mainly suitable for hiking and biking

2. External Backpack Waterproofing Methods

This category consists of the following method, wherein, the techniques are discussed in how to waterproof your backpack externally 

1. Waterproofing Of Backpack Using Rain Cover

Rain Cover is one of the most popular methods, used by the majority of people for waterproofing their backpacks. In this method, a rain cover is used to wrap around your backpack and fit it correctly to save your pack from getting water into your backpack 

Using a rain cover is a preferable method for waterproofing your backpack in which a thick fabric such as polyester, or ripstop nylon is used to stop water from getting into your pack to protect your belongings safe and secure.

Choose a rain cover that properly fits your backpack having a drawstring and hooks to tight it correctly.


  1. You can use your favorite backpack which is not waterproof for the activity that you want to do while securing it from getting water into your pack by using a rain cover.
  2.  A rain cover is easy to carry because it can be folded up into a small space


  1. A rain cover can not provide protection when the backpack is fully submerged in the water.
  2. It can not bear a strong high wind if it is not correctly fit to your backpack
Suitable For

Rain cover is best for kayaking, bicycling, hiking, and backpacking.

2. Putting A Backpack In A Dry Sack

A waterproof sack that is used to keep your backpack in it and can be rolled down from the top to seal your pack in correctly to secure your backpack from getting water into your backpack.

A dry sack bag is not a backpack it does not have a shoulder or other straps rather it is only used to keep the backpack from seeping water into it

What Dry Bags Are Best

A dry bag which is made from Nylon and vinyl is considered the best dry bag which is durable to bear the rugged, rainy, and stormy weather even if it is submerged in the water it does not seep into the backpack.

For carrying lighter stuff Nylon dry bag is sufficient to fulfill your needs but if you are carrying heavyweight items then vinyl bags are ideal for bearing the heavyweight stuff.


A dry bag is very helpful when traveling for kayaking or in rainy weather because it secures all your belongings from seeping water into your backpack.


The dry bag does not provide easy to access facility to belongings

Suitable For

A dry bag is suitable for water traveling such as canoes, kayaks, rafting, etc

3. Applying Waterproofing Spray, Wax And Seam Sealer

Applying spray does not waterproof your backpack rather it helps to enhance the water resistance capability of your pack and helps to prevent the seeping of water into your backpack up to a certain extent but it is not effective in severe downpours and stormy rainfall weather.

In this method, a water-resistant spray or DWR( Durable Water Resistant) is applied on the entire backpack to prevent the seeping of water into your backpack. This is the easiest and cheapest method.

During the spraying process, take care of the seams and zippers of the backpack, to do this, use a seam sealer to seal the small holes in the shape of what seems to be covered with a seam sealer


It is an easy and cheapest method


This method is used to water resistant your backpack not waterproof it.

Suitable For

This method is best for hiking, trekking, camping, etc

4. Ziploc Bag

To save your valuable items such as cell phones, cameras, tablets, wallets, cash, and other personal stuff the Ziploc bag is the best choice to keep all your valuable items safe and secure.

Ziploc bag is usually kept inside the hip belt pocket or other pocket, further, it can also provide easy access to your items whenever you need it.

Is a Fully Waterproof Manufacturers-Made Backpack Good?

Most of the backpack in the market comes with a water-repellant capability because people do not like the manufacturer’s fully waterproof backpack for the following reasons, further,  you should also keep this in mind before considering a fully waterproof manufacturer-made backpack.

1. Dont Have Multiple Pockets

Dry sacks only have a few pockets to store your items in an organized manner as these gear have only one large main compartment with a roll-down closure at the top.

2. Lack Of Comfortable Features

A completely waterproof backpack lacks important comfort features such as they consist of shoulder straps, waist belts, and back panels but are not padded which would be uncomfortable in carrying the gear during your traveling if you are boating or kayaking then padding does not matter.

3. Waterproofing Backpack Does Not Breath 

A fully waterproofing backpack fabric does not because it won’t water let in or out and the moisture does not come out of the inside of the pack, this may cause a smell inside the pack which will grow mild and mold inside the backpack.

Pro Tips To Waterproof Your Backpack

We practically and after research have picked out the following tips and tricks to help you waterproof your backpack.

  1. If you want to buy a completely waterproof manufacturer-made backpack and if it looks like a traditional pack with lots of zippers and pockets then think before buying this pack because a complete sack consists of only one large main pocket with fewer zippers so that water may not leak into the backpack.
  2. Make sure to clean your backpack before applying any kind of wax or spray so as to effectively waterproof your pack
  3. If you are opting for spray or wax then apply it in multiple thin layers rather than in one thick layer because the fabric will slowly and gradually absorb the waterproofing spray or wax to absorb it more effectively.
  4. After applying the spray or wax, place your backpack in the open air for drying.
  5. Check the different waterproofing product reviews and feedback of the previous customer on Amazon or their website


I hope by profoundly looking into all the discussion above regarding how to waterproof your backpack, you will be now able to waterproof your backpack by following any of the above methods to waterproof your backpack correctly and considering other tips and tricks for waterproofing your pack. We have described all the methods with their pros and cons and it depends on which method best suits you and your needs.


1. Can you make a bag waterproof?

To make a waterproof bag, first decide which layers you’d like to make water-resistant. Lining your bag with water-repellent or waterproof fabric will keep it secure from spills from food and drink, and dry and easy to clean if you’re carrying damp objects.

2. Why are backpacks not waterproof?

They often have a waterproof treatment, but even the best backpacks for hiking aren’t necessarily waterproof. It’s difficult to waterproof seams, and water can get into zippers, cords, or holes for headphones or hydration packs. The more features a hiking backpack has, basically, the more difficult it is to waterproof.

3. What makes a backpack water-resistant?

Waterproof backpacks are often made of special materials such as PVC or TPU, which are water-repellent and prevent water from entering the backpack. Some waterproof backpacks also have special zips or seals to ensure water does not enter.

4. What material makes a bag waterproof?

Manufacturers generally make Waterproof bags with PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) or TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane). Standard fabrics are usually woven and have tiny pores in the weave. That is why they are not waterproof but water-resistant.

5. How do you waterproof a luxury bag?

Waterproof Your Bag

The next step is to provide a waterproofing agent to your bag. If using a spray-based waterproofer, then spray evenly over the leather, making sure every part is coated. If using a cream or liquid-based waterproofer, use the same technique as used for cleaning or conditioning your bag.

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *