Best Backpack Rain Covers

Best Backpack Rain Cover

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This is a gear review on the best backpack rain covers for 2024.

When hiking and backpacking the last thing you want to open your backpack to find all the contents are wet. A wet sleeping bag can be more than an inconvenience, it can be dangerous.

While there are many waterproof ultralight backpacks on the market, most are not. This is where a quality waterproof backpack cover comes in.

Backpack rain covers are lightweight, compact, and simple to use and come in many sizes. So whether you are using a small hiking daypack or a large backpack they have you covered.

I have researched and tested many rain covers for backpacks over the years, so you don’t have to. Thus, I know what you should be looking for when purchasing your own rain cover. In this article, I’ll share with you my reviews of the best backpack rain covers for 2024.

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Best Waterproof Backpack Rain Covers 2024

The best waterproof backpack rain covers for 2024 are:

Best Backpack Rain Cover – Overall

Osprey Ultralight Rain Cover

Osprey Ultralight Rain Cover

> Durable material.
> Reflective graphics
> Lightweight
> Compact size
> Sizing issues.

To shield your backpack from the rain, the Osprey Ultralight Rain Cover blends harness attachments with a safe hip belt and a wrap-around cinching attachment. The design is also relatively lightweight, so using it won’t add to the strain on your back.

This backpack cover is made of nylon rip-stop fabric, which can withstand daily use in the wilderness. It is incredibly durable, while also coming in at an affordable price. And in case you are wondering, it works with all backpacks, not just Osprey Backpacks.

The Osprey Ultralight packs into a pocket which is integrated into the cover, making storage and transportation simple.

I’ve used and tested this product on many trails over the years including the Pacific Crest Trail. It always worked as expected and all my gear inside the backpack stayed dry.

Overall, the Osprey Ultralight Rain Cover is a great choice as the best backpack rain cover you should consider getting in 2024.

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Best Budget Backpack Rain Cover

REI Duck’s Back Rain Cover

REI Ducks Back Rain Cover

> Small drain hole.
> Various sizes.
> Elastic drawstring closure.
> Fit.

With silicone-coated rip-stop polyester and water-tight seams, the REI Duck’s Back Rain Cover has you covered. In case some water goes beneath your cover, the drain hole near the bottom will safeguard your possessions.

The REI Duck’s Back Rain Cover fastens to your backpack with the help of a clever elastic drawstring that you can draw tight and then secure with a hook across your back. There are five sizes available, ranging in capacity from 18L to 100L.

Hence, you may choose one that fits you well. The bottom panel of the REI Duck’s Back Rain Cover is robust and resistant to damage. Bright sulfur or steel gray are the two colors offered with this moderately priced REI rain cover.

Overall, you should consider the REI Duck’s Back Rain Cover as one of the best waterproof backpack rain covers in 2024.

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Sea To Summit Ultra-SIL Pack Cover

Sea To Summit Ultra-SIL Pack Cover

> Lightweight.
> Elasticated rim.
> Durable.
> Sizing issues.

The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Rain Cover’s compact size is one of its outstanding features. The largest version of this rain cover weighs just 4.6 ounces. Yet, the XS version weighs just 2 ounces.

Thus, Sea to Summit Ultra-SIL Pack Cover won’t add extra weight to your load, regardless of the size you choose. Sea to Summit Ultra-SIL Pack Cover is available in a variety of vibrant hues.

The draining hole found on the model’s base is a great feature if any water does sneak in. There is also a  mid-back strap, an elastic and adjustable border, and a hook, to keep this cover really secure.

Finally, this is a durable rain cover thanks to the 30-denier Cordura rip-stop siliconized design.

Overall, the Sea to Summit Ultra-SIL Pack Cover is a good lightweight backpack rain cover.

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Osprey Hi-Visibility Rain Cover

Osprey Hi-Visibility Rain Cover

> Reflective design.
> Blinker light connector.
> Can be packed away into the size of a tennis ball.
> Doesn’t always enclose around your entire backpack.

In addition to providing rain protection, the Osprey Hi-Visibility Rain Cover’s brightly colored yellow material encourages great visibility. The reflective patterns on the model’s back increase visibility.

The Osprey Hi-Visibility Rain Cover is similar to the other Osprey rain cover listed above, with the wrap-around belt attachment that the user can use to secure the cover to the backpack.

The hip belt and harness attachments provide additional security and reduce leakage risks. The Osprey Hi-Visibility Rain Cover can be compressed to a very small size, like a tennis ball.

This little package can simply be tucked away and used again when you next face a rainstorm.
Overall, thee Osprey Hi-Visibility Rain Cover is a good high-visibility backpack rain cover.

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Kelty Rain Cover

Kelty Rain Cover

> Webbing loops.
> Rain and wind protection.
> Easy to fold away.
> Doesn’t cover all the way around your backpack.

The 190T Polyester Taffeta Rip-stop material used to make the Kelty Rain Cover provides wind and rain protection. Keeping your items, such as clothes and a sleeping bag, safe from the wet weather. 

For any size backpack, you can tighten the Kelty Rain Cover with the drawstring at the rear. To add more security, you can easily link its interior webbing loops to your shoulder straps. The bag may be folded up into its own packing sack for storage, which is connected to the interior of the cover, thus it won’t get misplaced. 

The Kelty Rain Cover comes in two sizes—Medium, which fits 49-liter bags, and Large, which fits 49-110-liter bags—in a light charcoal color.

Overall, the Kelty Rain Cover is a great choice as a waterproof backpack cover.

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Best Backpack Rain Covers Buyers Guide

It makes sense to shield everything within your bag when you’re walking around in the rain. No matter how water-resistant your backpack is, water will still find its way inside through seams, pockets, and zippers.

Even during the heaviest downpour, a high-quality backpack rain cover will keep your belongings safe and dry. Also, a rain cover helps shield your backpack from dirt and mud splashing up on the bag.

When it comes to purchasing the best rain cover for you, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. I have created this quick guide to showcase everything you need to be aware of when browsing through backpack rain covers.


The reason you are purchasing a rain cover is to protect your backpack from water, thus the material has to be water-resistant or waterproof. A polyester, sil nylon or rip-stop nylon fabric is what you want because of its tight weave.

This weave prevents practically all water from penetrating into your backpack. For rain covers, I advise avoiding nylon without a rip-stop weave due to its decreased strength and its more prone to tearing.

Rip-stop nylon consists of a crosshatch pattern, which is durable and watertight. A silicone or polyurethane covering is also included on high-performance backpack rain covers.

Your backpack will be well-protected because the coating not only deters water but also boosts the fabric’s resilience to abrasion. These coatings should be sought after because they will last the longest.

Rain Cover for backpack
Testing how waterproof the Osprey Pack Cover is.


The best rain cover is seamless, meaning there are no seams that could potentially develop leaks. Unfortunately, this frequently results in the cover having a tremendous amount of additional material for larger packs.

Seams are frequently used to form the cover for a tighter fit. Look for the phrase “sealed seams” in the description if your cover includes seams, so you can be assured the seams won’t allow any water inside.


There are three different rain cover styles to choose from including fitted, semi-fitted and bag. Each one has its own pros and cons to keep in mind.

  • Fitted – A fitted cover is typically made to snugly fit a particular brand of backpack. It has taped or sealed seams and is shaped like the backpacks from that brand. The features of some branded covers will work well with the majority of other brands. Although, you do need to test this for your backpack, to ensure the right fit.
  • Semi-Fitted – A semi-fitted rain cover contains seams that give them a backpack-like form. The distinction is that they only have a snug fit when you tighten them around your backpack using the drawstrings and hook closures. By constructing the cover while maintaining a universal fit, this design aims to reduce the quantity of fabric weight.
  • Bag –  A bag rain cover is just a sizable piece of fabric that encloses around your backpack and is fastened in place using drawstrings or elastic. It happens to be the most versatile cover and the least expensive to produce. Although, the additional material adds a little extra weight.


The best rain covers will firmly fasten to your bag. A rain cover that merely slips over your pack is something you should avoid. It isn’t secure, since it could blow away or move while walking. In order to keep everything dry, there should be secure connection points.

Also, you want to have quick access to any necessary things for your journey. Every time you take a break for a drink, you shouldn’t have to continue to take the cover off fully.

Every rain cover attachment system starts with a border that you extend over your bag, either an elasticated or drawstring edge. A drawstring can be adjusted to the exact size of your bag and will change depending on how much you have packed for that specific occasion.

Other attachments to look out for are straps and clips. This is useful if you like to attach more stuff to the outside of your backpack. These clips are often sewn directly into the rain cover. The cover is pulled even tighter by straps, which are pressing against your back.

Yet, if that isn’t secure enough for you then, the most secure rain covers also have a waist belt and shoulder straps. This is normally in the form of ties or Velcro, yet you can be assured that the rain cover won’t be moving at all.

Waterproof Backpack Rain Cover.
Don’t forget to loop the elastic around the hip belt for a better fit!


While being waterproof is the main factor to consider, you also want a rain cover that is durable as well. The greatest rain covers are also extremely hard-wearing and resilient.

They may therefore be used frequently in all situations and conditions without endangering your equipment. The finest rain cover must be tear-resistant, meaning you shouldn’t end up with a significant tear if you accidentally graze the bag against pointed rocks or twigs.

Since a lot of rain covers are seamless, this helps to boost a cover’s durability, so it is definitely a feature to keep an eye out for.

Backpack Rain Cover attachment points


Get a rain cover that is lightweight and folds up into a small size because you won’t be using it constantly. Most backpack rain covers have built-in storage compartments. These are connected directly to the cover and the cover is stuffed inside.

While other rain cover’s storage is separate. The storage container would be a huge plus if it had a carabiner clip of its own, so you could quickly attach it to the exterior of your backpack. This is a good option when the rain stops and you have a wet rain cover that needs to dry off. Overall you want your rain cover to be packed away and take up as little space as possible.

Reflective Colors

The use of reflective colors and tape is one of those things that is frequently overlooked. Yet, the likelihood of mishaps on a trail increases if you are trekking during a downpour.

This will offer you comfort in knowing that if anything goes wrong, like a tumble or twisted ankle, someone might see you. Even if it isn’t raining, the pack cover becomes a part of your emergency supplies.


The best backpack rain covers in 2023:

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Another one of the Best Hiking Gear Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Backpack Rain Covers Worth It?

When hiking in the rain, a rain cover is advised since it prevents your backpack and all of its contents from getting wet. Even if your backpack is advertised as waterproof, a rain cover adds an extra degree of security in case the other layers are inadequate.

Do You Need To Use A Rain Cover And Backpack Liner?

Even though a backpack rain cover eliminates the need for a pack liner, it’s nevertheless a good idea to have one just in case your cover doesn’t work completely. For the preservation of your goods, using dry bags or a pack liner is a smart move.

You may add an extra layer of safety by doing something as simple as placing your gear in large zip-lock bags. In any case, many hikers prefer organizing their goods in zip-top bags or dry bags.

Finding what you’re looking for is made much easier by organizing bags for food, first aid supplies, and other items.

What Size Rain Cover Do You Require?

Your backpack’s size and the number of extra items you carry on your backpack’s exterior will determine how big your rain cover should be. Just like with your backpack, rain covers are rated in liters.

It’s simple to equal the liter size if you don’t have any additional equipment connected to the exterior of your bag. You should go a size bigger if you plan to carry items on the outside of your bag.

You may have to size up two sizes to achieve the length you need if you tie on sleeping bags. It is important to test the sizes to make sure you get the right fit for your backpack and what you intend to take with you.

Do You Have To Buy The Same Brand Of Rain Cover As Your Backpack?

Rain covers that are the same brand as your backpack will provide you with a far superior fit. However, there are different brands out there that will provide you just as good a fit and additional features as well that you can benefit from.

Thus, you don’t have to go with the same brand as your backpack, but it is important to do your research and shop around.

Best Rain Covers for Backpacks

BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process

The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs

BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.

The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.

BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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