Getting stuck in the pouring rain with a bag full of precious contents is frustrating. But there's a simple solution: backpack rain covers. They're designed with strong waterproof materials, and they can do a good job of keeping your bag dry without you having to spend much money at all.

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Many hiking backpacks come with a raincover included, so make sure your kit needs an added layer of protection before browsing the waterproof covers.

We've found our favourite waterproof bag covers, so read on for our top picks.

Do I need a backpack rain cover?

It depends on how often you're out in the rain. For avid walkers, hikers and adventurers, a backpack rain cover is an essential. They take up barely any space and weight in your bag, so it makes sense to have one on you just in case.

They're also particularly useful for cyclists, or for anybody who often has to commute by walking or cycling. If your bag and its contents can be easily damaged by water, it's best to be on the safe side.

How does a backpack rain cover work?

Backpack rain covers work by fastening around your rucksack. They can have different attachment styles, from elastic drawstrings to hook and loop closures, but they essentially provide a waterproof coating around your bag. They have an opening around the harness so you can wear your bag as normal.

Best backpack rain covers to buy in the UK

Unigear Rain Cover

Unigear Rain Cover

This backpack rain cover from Unigear is a strong choice for protecting your bag and its contents from rain, snow and hail. It has a maximum water pressure of 5000mPa, meaning it can withstand up to 5000mm of rain.

The cover is made from 70D, 210T nylon - a lightweight fabric that shouldn't contribute too heavily to your carry weight. At the bottom of the cover is a ring eyelet, helping to avoid water accumulation by allowing moisture to leave the bag.

The zips are double sided for further rain protection and the cover has adjustable straps to ensure it fastens securely to your bag. The covers range in sizes from 10L to 55L.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover

Osprey Ultralight Raincover

Osprey have become a dependable name when it comes to bags and travel packs. This backpack cover, for rucksacks between 30L and 50L, should be to the same standard as the rest of their range. Plus, it comes with a storage pouch that keeps the cover compact when it's not being used.

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The North Face Pack Rain Cover

The North Face Pack Rain Cover

Weighing only 57g, the Pack Rain Cover from The North Face is a lightweight solution to keeping your gear dry. It has a water-repellent finish on top of the already 2000mm PU, 70D nylon material.

An elastic drawcord can help you quickly secure the waterproof bag cover when it starts to rain. The covers range in sizes from XS to XL.

Salzmann 3M Reflective Rucksack Cover

Salzmann 3M Reflective Rucksack Cover

If you're often on the lookout for more visibility, whether that's when trekking in the dark or late-night cycling, the backpack rain cover from Salzmann is an ideal choice. It has a highly reflective outer, made from 3M Scotchlite that also promises to be waterproof and weather-proofed.

The contrast between the fluorescent yellow and orange will help you be spotted by any vehicles on the road, as well as providing an easy way for your group to find you should you ever get separated. The Salzmann bag cover can come in a range of sizes and hi-vis colours. The cover can fit backpacks up to 36L.

Deuter Raincover Ultra

Deuter Raincover Ultra

Made from 100% polyamide at 40 denier, Deuter's Raincover Ultra is PU coated with taped seams to keep your contents as dry as possible. The waterproof bag cover weighs only 75g and is particularly suited to Deuter's range of bags from their Aircontact Ultra series.

Camelbak Rain Cover

Camelbak Rain Cover

Using three attachment points and a cinch system, the Camelback Rain Cover attaches with a hook and loop closure with a drawstring. The pack has a bright yellow outer which is ideal for daytime visibility as well as being reflective at night.

The covers range in sizes from 16L to 38L.

Forclaz Basic Rain Cover

Forclaz Basic Rain Cover
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In a bright, reflective colour and big enough for bags that are 40L to 60L, it's a great choice for keeping your bag dry in the rain. It's a more affordable option than most, but should provide your pack with a decent layer of protection.

Authors

Dan Fauzi
Dan FauziDigital Writer

Dan works across a range of Our Media's special interest brands. With a keen eye for what makes a product great, their expertise comes in handy when writing for publications like Countryfile, Science Focus and YourHomeStyle. Outside of work, their passion for creative culture pushes them towards music and the arts.

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