Best Water Resistant BackpackIn addition to being the best backpack for urban travel, thanks to elegant design, top notch organization and ergonomically designed weight distribution, the Outbreaker collection of backpacks and accessories is water resistant. Made from high end, waterproof sailcloth, these bags provide the very best first defense against the elements while you are traveling. The Outbreaker travel backpack comes in two sizes, and the daypack is perfect for out and about adventures, rain or shine.
Best Waterproof Travel GearWhen you’re shopping for waterproof gear there’s only one metric to look for—IPX Rating. This rating tells you exactly how waterproof and/or dust proof gear is, and it’s actually one of the easier to understand consumer product ratings.
How to Read IPX Waterproof Gear RatingsThere are two types of IP ratings—one for water resistance (waterproof) and one for particle resistance (dust proof). IPX labels are always written in one of three ways, and each rating means something different:
- Waterproof Rating: IPX5 — The “X” is a placeholder for the dust rating (aka “none”)
- Water & Dust Rating: IP56 — The particle protection is rated “5”, and the water protection is rated “6”
- IPX0-IPX2 is zero to minimal water protection
- IPX3 provides some protection at certain angles (weird)
- IPX4 protects from “splashes, IPX5 from strong splashes, and IPX 6 from “powerful jets”
- IPX7 is the only true “waterproof” IPX rating, aka “submersible up to 1 meter
Best Waterproof Gear: Dry BagsI carry a lot of video and camera gear when I travel (it’s kind of my job), so I always pack a dry bag. If you only take one piece of advice or gear recommendation away from this article, please let it be this: Always pack a dry bag. A well-made dry bag is insanely useful, cheap, and easy to pack—they’re designed to roll down for cryin’ out loud. When buying a dry bag look for ones made out of nylon (nylon is more durable than vinyl). Also, my personal preference is for Hypalon Roll Top closures vs. zipper seals, even if they’re treated. The roll top closure is just a great physical barrier to water that doesn’t rely on so many moving parts and chemical treatment.
Waterproof Phone CasesWaterproof phone cases have come a long way since those crappy sandwich bag pouch looking things your uncle used to wear around his neck at Raging Waters (“Where the 10, 210, and 57 meet in San Dimas,” shoutout to all my SoCal peeps). Today, everyone has a smartphone, and everyone wants to take their phone everywhere. Waterproof phone cases have adapted in this competitive market. Nearly every waterproof phone case is rated at least IPX68 (that’s the max dust proof, and “beyond” the max waterproof), which means it really just comes down to price, availability (not every case will fit your brand phone), and style.
Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers
Waterproof HeadphonesYes, waterproof headphones are a thing, and yes they’re expensive and niche. However, if you’re a swimmer, a runner, or a rainforest researcher, the freedom to wear these water (and sweat) proof headphones anywhere—including the pool—is worth the extra cash.
Best Waterproof Gear: Cameras
- Voice command
- 2” inch LCD display
- 1-button easy controls
- Advanced video stabilization
- Wi-fi and Bluetooth for sharing
- 4K video
- And oh yeah… IPX8 waterproof rated up to 10 meters!
Honestly, I looked at a lot of other cameras to include in this list—action cameras, mirrorless cameras with housings, and rugged point and shoots—but I can’t recommend any of them. The high-end DSLR cameras with housings cost thousands of dollars, not to mention being bulky as hell. Other budget options, including rugged waterproof cameras like the Panasonic DMC-TS30A LUMIX ($138) have terrible specs, bulky builds, and just aren’t worth buying for such a narrow purpose when you have an incredible option already in the GoPro.
Waterproof FlashlightsIn my opinion, you should just put a great waterproof case on your phone and skip packing any extra gear, but for those looking to explore the great outdoors, or maybe just put together an emergency kit, here are two great waterproof flashlights.
Best Waterproof Gear: ClothingEven the most hi-tech fabric is still a weave of fibers, meaning that inherently clothing isn’t waterproof. There are exceptions, like sailcloth and seam-sealed clothing, but by and large most clothing is merely water-resistant or hydrophobic thanks to special treatment and new materials. But treatments wear off, and some of these space age non-permeable materials aren’t built for everyday wear and tear. Just remember the best you can get with fabric is extremely high water resistance. As such, the waterproof ratings for clothing are a little different than the IPX rating for tech and gear. Evo put together a great chart showing the two rating factors for clothing—water-resistance and breathability. If you want to get into the nitty gritty of waterproof fabrics, look for clothing rated about 16,000mm.
Nothing sucks more than soaking wet feet. The cool thing about waterproof socks is that they’re always working for you—you don’t have to “gear up” when you see a storm coming. Pop these on in the morning and you’re protected from sudden showers, spilled coffee, and even puddles.
Best Waterproof Jackets
Best Waterproof Travel Pants
TL;DRGreat waterproof gear is all about one simple thing—dependability. You’re trusting this gear to protect some of your most valuable and fragile stuff, including irreplaceable things like photos, documents, and your passport. Make sure you know what conditions your waterproof gear is rated for, and remember, you get what you pay for.
- IPX7 is the only real waterproof gear
- IPX4 is where gear starts becoming actually water-resistant
- Always pack a dry bag. Always
- Ziploc bags are the ultimate budget dry bag
- No clothing is completely waterproof, at least not for long