Venturing into wild canyon landscapes isn’t just about personal grit; your gear also needs serious resilience. Durable, reliable gear isn’t merely a convenience—it’s a requisite for the rough scrapes and water immersions that come with the territory of canyoneering. And while you might have the most sturdy boots or ropes, have you given enough thought to what to haul them in?
Canyoneering backpacks are designed for just such rugged adventures. They’re engineered to shield your gear, providing immediate access when you’re out there tackling steep rock faces. What’s more, they’ve been refined over years by outdoor equipment professionals, ensuring purpose-built gear that matches your hardiness.
So let’s dive into which brands are at the top, our personal favorites, essential features to consider, and why these backpacks could turn a challenging venture into a smooth experience. After all, those extra pieces of equipment for extreme situations need a home too!
What is the Best Canyoneering Backpack?
Below you’ll find the list of the top 7 Best Canyoneering Backpack. We compiled this list from canyoneering backpacks we have used, asked others about, and researched further to give you the best possible roundup. With many years of experience with backpack for canyoneering you can be assured that this article will give you what you’re looking for.
We also wrote a buying guide and answered some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the end of this article.
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The Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack is a simple and stylish product that can withstand a beating in the wilderness and protect your canyoning gear as well as all of your essentials. The roll-down top, when set up correctly, ensures that water stays out of the bag, and protective pockets inside the main compartment guarantee that your phone will survive a rough trip through a river canyon. Not only is it very protective, but it also looks fantastic. Often the main aim of canyoning and canyoneering backpacks is to protect their contents from vast amounts of water, which often comes at the price of a little comfort. While there is a waist strap on the Earth Pak, it could benefit from a bit of extra padding, and you will have to be careful when organizing your gear to ensure that the overall weight is evenly distributed. The product is best used when canyoneering, and for longer backpacking trips, we would recommend something with a more refined framework to protect your back better.
- Completely waterproof design,
- Simple and intuitive,
- Comes with free waterproof phone case,
- Available in a variety of colors
- Heavy bag with uneven weight distribution
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The Skog Å Kust BackSåk Waterproof Floating Backpack is a resilient necessity for thrill-seekers who partake in canyoneering. This pack boasts a clean, yet functional design that mirrors its competitive counterpart—Earthpak, but amplifies it with distinctive and user-friendly additions.
For flexibility in securing content, this backpack utilizes a roll-down top that can be sealed in two distinct ways. This helps in maintaining the pack’s compact form or to accommodate more gear as needed. Nested within are internal pockets designed to safeguard your essential gadgets, effectively expanding its lifespan amidst rugged adventures. The simple yet stylish design caters to every individual’s style preference by offering an array of colors and styles.
Offered in two capacity options—compact 25L and more sizable 35L, this bag addresses varying luggage requirements. While the smaller version offers greater portability, the larger model accommodates enthusiasts seeking more space for their gear. There have been isolated instances of straps and zippers giving way under intense situations, the bag nonetheless, tenaciously retains its waterproofing competence, ensuring your contents stay dry at all times.
- Varying closure options,
- Compact variation for lighter travel,
- Diverse design choices, Internal compartments for gadget protection
- Durability concerns under extreme use, May be undersized for heavy gear transportation
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The FE Active Dry Bag is a great, compact backpack with many uses, for both outdoor adventures and daily life. It has an IPX8 rating which means it is a fully waterproof submersible backpack and can be used, even for scuba diving. The design is fully waterproof and comes with plenty of external storage through an elasticated bungee cord and some external mesh pockets. The design of the product is not as clean and simplistic as the previously listed backpacks, which may appeal to some people but may be a little too much for others. Additionally, some users have reported that the strap is simply not big enough, so while the strap would otherwise provide better weight distribution and comfort, it is often rendered useless.
- Budget-friendly option,
- Fully waterproof design,
- Bungee cord and external pockets for additional storage,
- Lightweight design- only 2lbs
- Waist strap is quite tight
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The PETZL Alcanadre backpack is for more serious canyoners out there. With streamlined features for a climbing rope, this extremely durable and lightweight backpack is great for holding your essential canyoneering gear, and nothing more. The bag itself is not waterproof, so you will only be able to take gear that you can get wet unless you pair it with a dry-sack. With that being said, the bag does quickly drain when filled up with water, and so you will not be carrying around the extra weight of half of the river with you.
- High quality, premium product,
- Extra durable aluminum buckles,
- Quick draining,
- Loopholes for attaching the ends of a rope to
- Not a waterproof product
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The IDRYBAG Waterproof Dry Bag is a dynamite product for outdoor escapades, seamlessly blending aesthetics with functionality. Its vibrant exterior not only adds to your social media appeal but also works as a highlight in emergencies, aiding prompt location by professional rescue crews. The backpack is available in various sizes, allowing you to customize your pick according to your needs.
This cleverly designed product presents an external splash-resistant pocket, ideal for quick access to tools like a compass or knife. However, remember that this pocket offers water-resistance and might not fully protect against extreme water exposure. That said, the well-protected inner pockets reliably secure your smartphone, safeguarding it from the elements.
The backpack boasts construction from sturdy, scratch-resistant, waterproof PVC, designed to guard against water penetration. However, it’s worth noting that some users have reported minor issues with the seams’ stitching. Occasionally, these flaws may lead to water ingress, effectively nullifying the superior waterproofing. So, make sure to check your bag thoroughly to prevent water damage to your essential gadgets. Thankfully, the company’s commendable customer service is swift in replacing faulty products.
- Constructed with robust, scratch-proof, and waterproof PVC,
- Available in multiple colors and sizes,
- Includes external splash-resistant pocket and safe inner pockets
- Potential weaknesses found in the seam stitching
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Capacity: 30 liters
Size: 26.8 x 12.6 x 7.1 inches (68.1 x 32 x 18 cm)
The Vitchelo Floating Storage Bag is a reasonably priced and completely waterproof backpack. The eye-catching and functional design comes complete with plenty of external storage using a similar bungee cord and mesh pocket setup to the FE Active Drypack. The backpack is highly functional, however, it is lacking in comfort and could benefit from some additional padding on the shoulder straps and back and a robust waist strap instead of the flimsy sternum strap provided. Furthermore, the bold design may be a little too bold for some users.
- Complimentary watertight phone pouch,
- Comfortable fit and carry,
- Large capacity for your gear,
- Buoyant even when full,
- High-quality construction
- Comes with a heavy chemical smell,
- No internal pockets for small items,
- Would benefit from a waist strap
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Capacity: 30 liters
The Oak Creek Canyon Falls Backpack 30L is an ideal choice for those pursuing outdoor excursions, thanks to its well-thought-out design. This waterproof dry bag draws appeal from its generous 30L main compartment capacity, with additional storage options such as mesh side pockets and a handy zippered front pocket. These provisions ensure you have adequate room for all your outdoor essentials.
At its core, this canyoneering backpack boasts a robust heavy-gauge PVC structure, fortified by completely reinforced seams. This construction maintains the bag’s dry interior, effectively protecting your gear from the elements. The addition of padded straps enhances user comfort, allowing you to endure lengthy hikes without taxing your shoulders.
One distinct feature of the Oak Creek Canyon Falls Backpack is the incorporation of a roll-top design. This attribute offers added assurance of dry contents, sealing in your essentials for weather-proof adventures. However, despite its proactive design, this backpack does have slight room for improvement. Its glued seams don’t possess the same longevity as welded seams, which might diminish the bag’s overall waterproofing abilities over time.
- Ample 30L capacity for gear storage,
- Reinforced, heavy-gauge PVC construction,
- Comfort-added padded straps,
- Roll-top design for extended dryness
- Glued seams might weaken over time,
- Waterproof ability could be compromised
Based on all of our experience with backpack for canyoneering, we found that Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack is the best canyoneering backpack available today.
Our Premium Option is PETZL – ALCANADRE, 45L Pack for Canyoning Equipment with all the best features and high-quality materials, but that’s only if you have more money to spend.
However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the FE Active Dry Bag Waterproof Backpack as an affordable alternative.
Our other reviews you may find useful in your research:
Questions and Answers About canyoneering backpacks
Is Canyoneering Backpack essential?
If you are joining an organized canyoneering tour, it is likely that the tour leaders will have everything that the group requires to make it from one end of the trail to the other, and so a backpack would not be essential. If you are going out on your own, you won’t want to carry everything with you on a harness at all times, and if you consider that your backpack is going to get as wet as you are, a waterproof backpack to protect your safety equipment and daily essentials is probably worth the investment. It doesn’t have to be a streamlined canyoneering backpack, however, these come packed with helpful features and quick and easy access to your equipment, so will make your tour that little bit easier.
What’s the difference between Waterproof Backpack and Canyoneering Backpack?
Not all waterproof backpacks are canyoneering backpacks, but most canyoneering backpacks are waterproof. You will find that many “waterproof” backpacks are certainly waterproof when worn in a downpour, but may not function as expected when literally held underwater. Additionally, they are often not as robust or durable as canyoneering backpacks, which are engineered to survive under the most difficult of circumstances.