The 10 Best Bags for Surviving the Elements

Come hell or high water, they’ll keep your stuff safe and dry

October 5, 2017 9:00 am

Welcome to Buy Choice, in which we pick one everyday item, cut out all the noise, and present you with nothing but the best options on the market.

Normally when we write about bags, we veer toward leather.

(Looks, smell, patina, hand-me-down-ability, etc.)

But sometimes you need a bag that’ll keep your stuff dry, and your person alive.

So today, we’re abandoning leather to showcase our 10 favorite bags for surviving the elements.

All good-looking, affordable and waterproof (or close enough).

One’ll survive an explosion. Another heals itself. And one’s so robust you can throw it behind your boat, drag it down the river and cool your beer in it.

For replacing your cooler: YETI Panga
Available in three sizes (50, 75 and 100L), these submersible bags will cool your brews as you’re paddling down the river (since the Panga is not technically an insulated cooler, you’ll want to be dragging those through cool river waters to achieve frosty brew levels). Plus, the six quick-grab handles make ‘em easy to pick up and carry. 

For visibility: OverBoard Pro-Vis Backpack
Orange and yellow 20L bags that are surprisingly light and not ugly. Great for backpackers, the company also makes like-minded 60L duffels for longer adventures.

For commuters: Especial Primo Messenger Bag
A welded, reflective messenger bag from Timbuk2 with an external neoprene pocket for your water bottle or bike lock. Also currently $60 off.

For athletes: Scull & Sweep 
Available in 36 and 47L sizes, these lightweight, crew-inspired duffels (from a company co-founded by Dr. Howard Winklevoss) feature no-stitch, rip-stop nylon construction and multiple interior pockets.

For looks: Paravel Grand Tour
A canvas exterior (with Italian leather details) that’s stain-proof, waterproof and lightweight, this might not be your bag for white water rafting … but it’s going to look damn handsome during an afternoon rainstorm in the city.

For validation (and price): Earth Pak
A roll top, waterproof pack in an array of colors that comes with a waterproof phone case. Tim Ferriss is supposedly a fan, the bags top out at $35 and they’re the highest-rated dry bags on Amazon.

For portability: Matador Transit 30L Duffle
A 30L pack built from waterproof, puncture-resistant siliconized Cordura ripstop material …that packs down into a palm-sized bag when not in use.

For magical healing properties: Wolverine Pack
A self-healing, water-resistant utility bag, you repair cuts or punctures by simply rubbing the fabric together. Also packs down into the size of a cell phone. Now taking pre-orders at $59, a nice discount from the $95 future retail price.

For America: GORUCK GR1
Inspired by Special Forces medical rucks, with a bombproof laptop compartment and a false bottoms so you can these bad boys down anywhere. And hand-built in the USA with a lifetime guarantee, too. You can’t submerge these, but they’re rainproof and can survive a warzone.

For fishing … and explaining yourself: Patagonia Stormfront
Look, the shoulder harness and (removable) waist belt make this good-looking nylon pack a comfortable fit — plus, you can attach it to Patagonia’s Convertible Vest and your fishing needs will be solved. But let’s get the marketing department on that name, ‘k?

Nota bene: If you buy through these links, InsideHook may earn a small share of the profits on some items

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