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Waterproof backpacks

Traveling to Scotland in October. I feel like having a waterproof backpack is important.

I’m looking at the Patagonia and Osprey brands. Is there a brand that is recommended?

Thank you

Posted by
3984 posts

When my adult son added a bike segment to his SF commute last year I looked in surf shops for waterproof backpacks. I was fortunate to be on Oahu at the time so I looked in O’Neill and Billabong shops for a real waterproof backpack and found some. I’m not sure you will need such protection but you could extend your search to these types of backpacks too. I think I’d also look at a poncho that could be worn over a regular backpack or a slim cross body front pack that could be worn under a good quality rain coat.

Posted by
2475 posts

I like Osprey, but I’m sure Patagonia is good too. Is there an REI or similar store near you, where you can try them on and talk to the staff about them?

Posted by
180 posts

We have REI backpacks that have rain shields that you can add. Worked well when we needed them.

Posted by
531 posts

Another option is to Scotchgard a backpack that isn't waterproof per se. Ahead of each tour, I take my convertible backpack and day bag outside to Scotchgard them, then let them dry for a few days.

I typically travel in the fall, and it generally rains a few times, and this has worked well for me.

Posted by
22 posts

I am heading to Scotland in mid-September. My research brought me to the Outlander 100% waterproof backpack on Amazon.
I think the above is the link. Otherwise, Outlander 100% Waterproof Hiking Backpack Lightweight Packable Travel Daypack, is the name.
Since I haven't taken my trip as of yet, I don't have a review to give.

Posted by
14175 posts

What kind of activity are you going to be doing? Will you be hiking some of the long distance paths or will you be in/out of your car or trains with some time each day in the outdoors?

I'm going to Orkney and Shetland soon. I'll be on a small van tour so in/out of the van to see various sights and do some short-distance walking. I've got a waterproof cover for my day pack that I'm taking. It's just a generic one I purchased several years ago from Cabelas but I've used it in Yellowstone before and it does keep my pack dry. I was not long-distance hiking, just sitting on geysers with intermittent rain.

Posted by
6851 posts

I have the Cotopaxi 35L Allpa backpack, which comes with a waterproof cover (and the fabric itself is water resistant) and I love it! If you want something smaller, they have a 28L that is similar. That said, I was in Scotland for 3 weeks in May and didn't have any problems with my backpack getting wet.

Re: Patagonia, just an FYI, they are having a 30% sale on some of their products through August 22nd.

Posted by
1305 posts

Hi LaurieDi -

I’ve hiked in the Highlands of Scotland in frankly appalling conditions (one time it was so cold my rucksack straps froze solid) and although I have several packs none of them are waterproof. I’m not big on waterproof covers as in high winds they tend to get whipped off, so I use a selection of dry bags in my pack to keep stuff dry (I tend towards smaller capacity ones in different colours so I can remember what’s in which dry bag). In extreme circumstances you can buy ‘rucksack liners’ which are either a huge version of the roll top dry bags, or cheaper, heavy duty plastic bags, but I see no reason why you couldn’t use refuse bags from, say, pedal bins. If they are the thin ones, just double bag ‘em!

I think you’ll find that most walkers in Scotland have normal non-waterproof packs, but, hey, it’s your trip, and money, so if you feel you must…..

Have a great trip!


Posted by
2213 posts

I'm with Jill. I use Cadillac brand Shield and spray my backpack as well as shoes, jacket, umbrella, hat and so forth. It has served me well over 20 trips.