Looking for a truly waterproof backpack? You need to check out the Matador Freerain24 2.0 under their Advanced Series. The Freerain24 2.0 is an extremely lightweight, packable, backpack. It packs down to 5” by 3” and unpacked it has a volume of 24 liters, made with 30D Cordura ripstop nylon. And did I mentioned it’s waterproof!
The backpack is extremely lightweight, 6.6 oz, so you barely feel the pack on your back. The straps are designed to be breathable so you don’t get the sticky/sweaty feeling under the straps like most backpacks. The backpack has a main storage area which uses a roll-top construction to seal from the elements. The outside of the backpack has a waterproof zipper pocket for easy access while keeping the pack on one shoulder; this pocket is perfect for small items such as wallet, lip balm, or phone. Each side of the pack as a water bottle pouch which will fit a small water bottle with a similar size to a 12 oz Gatorade bottle. There are also straps to secure the bottles in place.
PaddleXaminer recently tested the backpack while paddling on Chatfield Lake just south of Denver CO. It was a warm (52 degrees F) sunny winter day in the Denver area so great for a winter paddle. I packed the Freerain with my shoes and some snacks and set-out to paddle. I barely noticed the pack on my back which is great when paddling; I’ve tested other backpacks but they are often too big or bulky for paddling, getting in the way of my paddle stroke. To test the waterproof aspect of the pack, I threw it in the water and let sit in the water for a full minute. I paddled over to pull my bag out of the water, undid the rolltop seal, pulled my sneakers out of the bag. Still dry!
Because the backpack is waterproof and so light, it would be great for any number of activities: paddling, hiking, commuting, or skiing. I wore it this past Friday on a massive powder day at Vail, the snow was puking most of the day, and my gear inside the bag stayed dry!