Best Waterproof Laptop Backpack 2020
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Finding a genuinely waterproof laptop backpack can be difficult. So many companies market their products as such when, in reality, they can only stand up to light splashing.
If you’re looking for a backpack that you can wear in torrential rain without getting even a drop of water on your laptop, you’re in luck. In this roundup, we’re going to take a look at the best options currently available.
Waterproof Laptop Backpack Overview
For many people, splash-proof backpacks offer more than enough protection. If all you’re doing is commuting to and from work, you don’t necessarily need a backpack capable of being submerged.
There are many of us, however, who require something more heavy-duty. Let’s explore the benefits of getting a truly waterproof laptop backpack if you’re among the latter group.
What Are the Benefits of a Waterproof Laptop Backpack?
Go Anywhere, Do Anything
It goes without saying that, as digital nomads, we travel a lot. That can lead to some pretty spontaneous adventures. For the best waterproof laptop backpacks, that’s not an issue. Whether your activities involve hiking through heavy rain or kayaking, your backpack will keep up with you.
Peace of Mind
Even though I know most backpacks can handle light to medium rain without issue, I still get nervous. After all, I frequently travel and work in parts of South America where I’d have a hard time getting a new laptop if my current one sustained water damage.
Good All-Around Durability
If a manufacturer has gone through the trouble of making a waterproof computer backpack, they’ve probably also included some other good durability features. For example, waterproof backpacks also tend to protect your laptop from impacts.
Waterproof laptop backpack manufacturers usually design their products with utility in mind. As such, they typically come with many more features than you’d find in a traditional backpack. Examples include:
- Built-in LED lights for cyclists
- Ergonomic features like lumbar pads
- Large side pockets for water bottles
While you might assume waterproof backpacks are super expensive, the truth is that they’re typically much more reasonably priced than many designer products.
As you’ll see in our roundup, there are many great options to be had well under $100. Products above that price point offer practical features you’re unlikely to find in conventional backpacks.
What to Look for in a Good Waterproof Computer Backpack
Let’s take a look at some specific features the best waterproof laptop backpacks offer. These are among the criteria we used when selecting the top products for this roundup.
1. True Waterproofness
I’ve had bad experiences with backpacks claiming to be “waterproof” before. They hold up to some light splashing but fail when you need them most.
True waterproofness is the bare minimum requirement for any bag in this roundup. Each product performs as advertised.
2. Dedicated Laptop Compartment
The best waterproof laptop backpacks have compartments capable of holding a standard-sized (15-inch or more) computer. These compartments shouldn’t be an afterthought, either. They should be padded enough to protect your laptop from impacts.
3. Build Quality
A waterproof laptop backpack is no good if it starts coming apart at the seams. The best products avoid this by employing strict quality control measures. Stitching is either minimal or very well executed.
4. Proven Track Record
There isn’t much room for error when it comes to waterproof laptop backpacks. Failure in the form of a leak can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars plus the hassle of recovering data from your ruined laptop.
To avoid this, stick to backpacks that have many good reviews. All products get the occasional negative review but you’ll rarely, if ever, find someone complaining about a good waterproof backpack leaking.
5. Solid Warranty
The best waterproof computer backpacks come with good warranty coverage. You should be confident in your ability to get a prompt replacement if the unit arrives defective.
This also means that preference goes towards backpacks produced by reputable companies. Even better if their products are fulfilled by Amazon.
6. Aesthetics That Match Your Style
You might be surprised to learn that waterproof backpacks are more varied in aesthetics than the rugged and ultra-sporty picture of them you probably have in your head.
Because this market segment is fairly large, you should have no problem finding a backpack that matches your style. As you’ll see in our roundup, there are even some good semi-formal options available if you need something you can also bring to the office.
Five Best Waterproof Laptop Backpacks for 2020
Now that you understand the advantages of a waterproof backpack, let’s look at the five best options on the market, based on our analysis.
Whether you’re seeking a waterproof laptop backpack for college or camping, I hope this roundup has been helpful for you.
All this considered, I’d rank the Pelican ProGreat S100 as the best option, with the A-LAB Model D coming in at a close second. To understand why I’ve reached this conclusion, let’s look at the backpack in terms of the desirable features I mentioned earlier.
There’s no denying that this backpack is waterproof. Its hard laptop compartment is, of course, non-porous. The rest of the backpack is made from thick nylon that is similarly reassuring as far as waterproofness goes.
Build quality is very good as well. While some users have reported issues with the strap connector, this isn’t widespread. Even if you do experience the issue, you can solve it with a simple DIY solution. There are no other durability flaws to speak of.
You can also be confident in buying this backpack thanks to its track record. It has numerous positive reviews on Amazon and is made by a reliable company; Pelican is known for producing rugged cases and bags.
As far as versatility, the Pelican ProGreat S100 looks equally at home while hiking and commuting to the office.
All things considered, you’d be hard-pressed to find another backpack that strikes as good a balance between universal appeal and utility.
The A-LAB Model D is not far behind; its smaller size is the primarily thing holding it back.