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Do you ever wonder how to keep your gear dry while hiking? One simple solution is a rain cover. These waterproof pieces of material fit around your pack keeping it dry and clean. They are an essential item to put on your multi-day hiking packing list for wet weather. But how do you know what are the best backpack rain covers for your needs?

One of our big goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to gear shopping. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose a backpack rain cover and show you our selection of the best models of the year.

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Backpacks

hiking gift guide
Hiking Gift Guide

 

Quick Answer - The Best Backpack Rain Covers

  1. Osprey UltraLight Rain Cover
  2. Camelbak Rain Cover
  3. Gregory Pro Rain Cover
  4. Sugoi Zap Pack Cover
  5. OUTAD Rain Cover
  6. Mountainsmith Rain Cover
  7. Jepeak Nylon Rain Cover
  8. Joy Walker Rain Cover
  9. Tinksky Foldable Rucksack Protector

 

Comparison Table - The Best Backpack Rain Cover

PictureNameVolumeWeightMaterialPriceRating
Osprey UltraLight Rain Cover30-50 L0.18 ozRipstop Nylon$$4.7
Camelbak Rain Cover16-25 L2.09 ozCoated Nylon$4.6
Gregory Pro Rain Cover65-75 L4.4 ozPolyester$$$$5.0
Sugoi Zap Pack Cover10-25 L1.0 ozPolyester, Micro-glass Beads, and Polyurethane$$$4.0
OUTAD Rain Cover55-80 L6 ozPolyester Oxford$4.3
Mountainsmith Rain Cover15-30 L3.8 ozNylon Taffeta$4.4
Jepeak Nylon Rain Cover35 L4.3 ozWaterproof Nylon$4.3
Joy Walker Rain Cover40-55 L4.4 ozNylon$4.4
Tinksky Foldable Rucksack Protector15-35 L0.3 ozNylon$4.3
PictureNameVolumeWeightMaterialPriceRating

MULTI-DAY HIKING PACKING LIST

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Reviews - The Best Rain Covers for Hiking Backpacks

Osprey UltraLight Rain Cover

Specs
  • Material: Ripstop Nylon
  • Volume: 30-50 L
  • Weight: 0.18 oz
Features
  • Drawstring closure
  • Hipbelt and harness attachment
  • Taped seams
  • Comes with its own carrying case

BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT RAIN PROTECTION

PROS: Harness attachment & lightweight

CONS: May rip easily

Camelbak Rain Cover

Specs
  • Material: Coated Nylon
  • Volume: 16-25 L
  • Weight: 2.09 oz
Features
  • Drawstring closure
  • Reflectivity for low-light conditions
  • Easy-to-use attachment points

BEST FOR: LIGHT COVERAGE FROM RAIN

PROS: Bright color makes you visible on the trail

CONS: Water resistant, but not waterproof

Gregory Pro Rain Cover

Specs
  • Material: Polyester
  • Volume: 65-75 L
  • Weight: 4.4 oz
Features
  • Drawstring closure
  • Dual point attachment system
  • Included stuff sack
  • Drainage point

BEST FOR: LARGE BACKPACKS NEEDING COVERAGE

PROS: Drainage point on bottom & seam sealed construction

CONS: Expensive

Sugoi Zap Pack Cover

Specs
  • Material: Polyester, Micro-glass Beads, and Polyurethane
  • Volume: 10-25 L
  • Weight: 1.0 oz
Features
  • Reflective
  • Drawstring closure
  • Waterproof

BEST FOR: NIGHT HIKES

PROS: PU coated for water protection & reflective

CONS: Only fits packs under 25 L

OUTAD Rain Cover

Specs
  • Material: Polyester Oxford
  • Volume: 55-80 L
  • Weight: 6 oz
Features
  • Double-sided bottom
  • Includes drawstring bag
  • Compact and foldable
  • Elastic design for versatility

BEST FOR: HEAVY DUTY HIKES

PROS: Rip-resistant & inexpensive

CONS: One of heavier rain covers on the market

Mountainsmith Rain Cover

Specs
  • Material: Nylon Taffeta
  • Volume: 15-30 L
  • Weight: 3.8 oz
Features
  • Drawstring closure
  • Integrated stuff sack
  • Angled cord attachment point

BEST FOR: SMALL BACKPACKS UNDER 30L

PROS: Full circumference draw cord & integrated stuff sack

CONS: Not for medium to large sized backpacks

Jepeak Nylon Rain Cover

Specs
  • Material: Waterproof Nylon
  • Volume: 35 L
  • Weight: 4.3 oz
Features
  • Adjustable
  • Folds into a carrying pack
  • Drawstring closure

BEST FOR: HIKING IN HEAVY RAIN

PROS: Waterproof & easy to adjust

CONS: Design doesn’t cover top of shoulder straps

Joy Walker Rain Cover

Specs
  • Material: Nylon
  • Volume: 40-55 L
  • Weight: 4.4 oz
Features
  • Buckle strap for keeping backpack in position
  • Comes with storage pouch
  • Double-layered construction

BEST FOR: HIKERS ON A BUDGET

PROS: Waterproof & tear resistant

CONS: Doesn’t cover packs under 40 L

Tinksky Foldable Rucksack Protector

Specs
  • Material: Nylon
  • Volume: 15-35 L
  • Weight: 0.3 oz
Features
  • Ultralight
  • Flexible
  • Portable and foldable design

BEST FOR: SMALL BACKPACKS

PROS: Dustproof & waterproof

CONS: Not suited for heavy duty hikes

Hiking Gear Course
Hiking Gear Course

 

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BACKPACK RAIN COVERS

WATERPROOF VS. WATER REPELLENT

There’s two types of protection against rain – waterproof and water repellent. Waterproof means the rain will glide down the material and won’t soak into the fabric. Water repellent material only protects from light rain, but won’t hold up in a downpour.

If you’ll be doing light hiking during very dry seasons, you might be okay with water repellent backpack rain covers. Waterproof covers are recommended for longer backpacking trips in unpredictable weather to protect your gear. The last thing you want is all your clothes and any electronics soaking wet when you arrive to camp.

 

PROTECTION AGAINST DIRT

Even if you’re not concerned about rain while hiking, chances are your backpack will get dirty one way or another. Walking on dusty trails all day or putting your pack down on the ground during breaks means it’s bound to collect mud. Backpack rain covers protect your actual backpack from getting dirty, and you can easily wash it later.

Some backpack covers are labeled as dustproof, so they will repel dust and dirt. If you’re planning to do some desert hiking, consider investing in a dustproof backpack rain cover. This way you won’t have to worry about washing your cover each day to prevent the dust from getting on your backpack.

 

SIZE OF YOUR PACK

Do you plan on using a day hiking pack or a backpacking pack? Backpack covers come in a variety of sizes from extra small to large. Some cover packs that are only 10 L, while others cover up to 75 L backpacks. Check which size range your backpack is when it comes time to buy a rain cover for it.

Before buying one, make sure the cover can fully fit your backpack. If the size of your backpack is right on the edge of recommended sizes, go up one size to ensure the cover fully surrounds your pack. The cover won’t be very useful if it’s too small and only fits a portion of your backpack.

 

EXTRA GADGETS

Not all backpack covers are made equal. While some have the sole purpose of protecting your pack from the rain, others have extra pockets on them. This allows you to quickly grab something during your hike instead of having to stop, take your cover off, and open your backpack.

 

TYPE OF MATERIAL

Each rain cover will be made out of different material, so choose one according to your needs. Nylon covers tend to resist tears better, which you’ll want for long trips or where you’ll be setting your pack down often. They also stretch well, making it easier to put over the backpack.

Backpacks that are labeled as seamless make it harder for liquid or dirt to get in. If you know your backpack will be getting dirty, this type is recommended. Seamless covers also protect against rain better.

READ MORE

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About The Author

Hiking Expert

Marissa lives in Seattle and has been hiking all over the Pacific Northwest since she was young. She loves finding hidden routes not often seen to the public and enjoying the solitude. Making a weekend of it and setting up camp is even better. Rain or shine, you’ll find her out on the trails.

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