12 Best Backpack Rain Covers Camino de Santiago

Are you an avid hiker? If so, you know how problematic sudden storms can be. Unexpected rain can and will soak even the best backpack and all the gear in it. In other words, your extra clothes, snacks, and electronics will end up soaked and potentially destroyed.

How to combat this? One option would be to carry a dry bag or a waterproof backpack. However, a lot of these products lack features you’d want to have in your lightweight backpack, particularly in terms of capacity.

The other – and much better – option would be to simply get yourself a quality backpack rain cover. Here’s everything you need to know about the market’s most popular offerings:

Best Backpack Rain Cover – The Reviews

Mountainsmith Rain Cover

Mountainsmith Rain Cover

 

Specifications:

  • Weight: 4.32 ounces
  • Sizes: L, M, S, XS

Although one of the best small backpacks on my list, the Mountainsmith Rain Cover has a pretty decent size range – from L to XS. With a couple of different sizes to choose from, you shouldn’t have any issues with finding a variant that suits your needs.

This model is made out of a material called 190T taffeta nylon. It’s a heavy-duty material that allows rugged use, while at the same time giving the backpack’s user peace of mind when it comes to potential leaks. The bag’s seams are taped and sealed for additional protection.

Another great thing about this model is its hook and loop closure system. While it may sound complicated, I found this feature incredibly easy to use – whether I was in a rush or not. The cord attachment points, on the other hand, are angled, while the model’s full circumference drawcord allows for a tight fit.

I also liked the fact that this is one of those backpack rain covers that come with an integrated stuff sack – I never had to worry about losing it during my backcountry adventures. In addition, this waterproof rain cover can be folded up when it’s not in use.

For even more (light) protection from poor weather, consider getting yourself the best rain poncho for hiking.

PROS:

  • Decent size range
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Hook & loop closure system

CONS:

  • Not many extra features

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Sheelokhwui Rain Cover

 

Sheelokhwui Rain Cover 

Specifications:

  • Weight: ‎4.16 ounces
  • Sizes: XL, L, M, S

Another backpack rain cover I tested recently is the Sheelokhwui Rain Cover, constructed from abrasion-resistant 210D ripstop nylon.

Dual-coated in silicone and polyurethane for waterproofing, the durable shell boasts a 3000mm water pressure rating to keep pack contents protected in wet conditions. Weighing next to nothing, the cover stuffs into an included pouch for compact transport.

An adjustable top buckle and elasticized drawstring allow a customized, secure fit stretched over packs from 15L daypacks to 90L expedition haulers. Once deployed, two anti-slip cross buckle straps ensure the minimalist black cover won’t budge in wind or downpours. A subtle reflective logo boosts after-dark visibility for travel safety too.

After getting caught hiking and biking through intense Scottish rainfall over several weeks, I was extremely impressed by how well the Sheelokhwui protected my gear from moisture, while resisting tears and abrasions across brushy trails. As an affordable but hardcore rain barrier built to last, it’s a simple win.

PROS:

  • A very water-resistant rain cover
  • Doesn’t budge in downpours or win
  • Very affordable

CONS:

  • Plenty of unused space in the carry pouch


Osprey Ultralight Rain Cover

Osprey Ultralight Rain Cover

Specifications:

  • Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Sizes: XL, L

Once it begins to rain, you don’t want to find yourself struggling to hide your stuff. This is precisely where Osprey Ultralight Rain Cover comes in. It combines harness attachments and a secure hip belt with a wrap-around cinch attachment to protect your essentials from the downpour.

Made out of nylon ripstop fabric (40-denier), this backpack cover easily endures daily wear and tear out in the backcountry. The model is also quite lightweight – it won’t put additional weight on your back when you’re using it.

Although not really colorful, this rain cover for the backpack also sports some reflective graphics. Obviously, this feature can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation as it ensures high visibility. Osprey Ultralight also comes accompanied by a convenient carry case, allowing easy transport and storage.

Made out of a durable material and coming at a reasonable price, this backpack cover is certainly one of the best currently available on the market. Plus, it comes from Osprey, which is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most renowned manufacturers of trekking accessories.

PROS:

  • Durable – easily handles wear & tear
  • Comes with a carry case
  • Features reflective graphics

CONS:

  • Can be difficult to tighten down

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Unigear Rain Cover

Unigear Rain Cover

 

Specifications:

  • Weight: 3.04 ounces
  • Sizes: XXL , XL, L, M, S

The Unigear Rain Cover is constructed from durable 70D and 210T nylon. Despite its minimalist design, the model kept my pack contents protected through heavy downpours thanks to the beading fabric exterior. A small drain hole also allows moisture buildup to quickly escape.

Available in 5 sizes fitting 10L to 90L packs, the cover features an elasticized rim that hugs the pack while two adjustable anti-slip buckles ensure a tight, customized fit that won’t slide around, even on blustery trails. Weighing practically nothing, the cover stuffs into an integrated pocket pouch featuring a double zipper for quick access.

After thoroughly testing this cover for a few weeks, I’ve been impressed by its straightforward performance – it had no trouble protecting my gear from external moisture. The basic nylon shell lacks bells and whistles but offers genuinely reliable water resistance. For an affordable, compact and unfussy rain barrier tough enough for the long haul, Unigear delivers.

PROS:

  • 5000mm waterproof rating withstands heavy rain
  • Packs ultra small into attached pouch
  • Durable nylon construction

CONS:

  • No bells & whistles


Gregory Accessories Rain Cover

Gregory Accessories Rain Cover

Specifications:

  • Weight: 3.8 ounces
  • Sizes: XL, L, M, S

The next rain cover for backpacks on my list is made by Gregory Accessories. It’s a simple but convenient model that’s perfectly sized to protect all of your trekking essentials from water and moisture.

Available in simple grey or colorful “tropical forest” variant, this is one of those backpack covers that come with a reflective logo. As such, the Gregory Accessories Rain Cover keeps its user visible to those around him, even during the worst weather conditions.

The main material used in the manufacture of this waterproof backpack cover is polyurethane-coated nylon (210-denier). Just as I expected, all of the model’s seams are taped – you’ll never have to worry about water getting inside the bag where it could soak your maps, clothes, food, or the sleeping bag.

This rain cover also has a strap that kept it tight to my bag and a stuff sack that allows easy storage and transportation. No matter which size you get, you can rest assured that not even the strongest wind will be able to shift it over.

PROS:

  • Durable 210-denier polyurethane-coated nylon
  • Comes with a strap & stuff sack
  • Sports a reflective logo

CONS:

  • Somewhat bulky compared to other rain covers


Lama 2-Pack Rain Cover

Lama 2-Pack Rain Cover

Specifications:

  • Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Sizes: XL, L, M, S, XS

Lama’s 2-Pack Rain Cover is made out of abrasion-resistant nylon. Despite its budget-friendly price, this particular rain cover kept my pack contents protected even in heavy rainfall thanks to a polyurethane coated inner layer delivering over 2000mm of water resistance.

An adjustable top buckle allows a customized, secure stretch over packs of various sizes, while an elasticized rim hugs the backpack to prevent sliding. Weighing just 4.2 ounces, each of the two covers that you get stuffs into an included pouch for compact transport. I tested the model in genuinely poor weather and was quite impressed by its straightforward performance – it protected all of my gear from external moisture without any issues.

And while it’s true that this no-frills nylon shell lacks vents or a reflective logo, it offers reliable water resistance at an unbeatable value. For an affordable, lightweight and unfussy rain barrier tough enough for years of heavy use, Lama delivers.

PROS:

  • 2000mm waterproof PU coating
  • Folds down tiny into attached pouch
  • Heavy-duty abrasion-resistant nylon

CONS:

  • No venting leads to interior condensation


Hycoprot Hi-Visibility Rain Cover

Hycoprot Hi-Visibility Rain Cover

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.82 ounces
  • Sizes: XXL, XL, L, M, S, XS

The next model on my list – Hycoprot Hi-Visibility Rain Cover – is constructed from 190T polyester coated in durable silicone. Despite its budget-friendly price, the model is more than capable of keeping one’s belongings dry even in torrential downpours thanks to a waterproof rating exceeding 2000mm.

An adjustable top buckle and elasticized rim ensure a tight stretch over packs from 10L to 85L. Moreover, a 1.2-inch reflective strip also boosts after-dark visibility for travel safety. The cover can also be stuffed into an included pouch for compact transport.

Just like the model I reviewed above (Lama 2-Pack Rain Cover), this is also a no-frills shell without any of the fancy features. However, it offers reliable water resistance at a good value, which may be exactly what you’re looking for.

PROS:

  • 2000mm waterproof polyester coating
  • High visibility reflective strip
  • Folds down tiny into attached pouch

CONS:

  • Exterior fabric lacks durability


M-Tac Rain Cover

M-Tac Rain Cover

Specifications:

  • Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Sizes: L, M

Constructed from heavy-duty nylon coated in durable polyurethane, the M-Tac Rain Cover is yet another product of this type that deserves a spot on my list. Although rather cheap, the cover does exactly what it’s supposed to do: with its waterproof fabric, it kept everything I had in my backpack completely dry.

Like most other rain covers in this roundup, M-Tac also comes with an elasticized rim and an adjustable top buckle. It stuffs into an included pouch with an attachable strap for lashing it to a pack or belt, and it ensures a tight stretch over packs from 20L to 60L. The militaresque design of this rain cover is an added bonus – it looks like a much more serious piece of outdoor gear than most of the other rain covers on this list.

One downside is the lack of reflectivity for low light conditions. Still, this is an affordable, lightweight and unfussy rain barrier that just works, which, in the end, is the only thing that matters.

PROS:

  • Fully waterproof polyurethane coating
  • Folds down tiny into attached pouch
  • Heavy-duty abrasion-resistant nylon

CONS:

  • Lacks reflective elements for visibility


Frelaxy Rain Cover

Frelaxy Rain Cover

Specifications:

  • Weight: 3.6 ounces
  • Sizes: XXl, XL, L, M, S

This triple-layered shell – Frelaxy Rain Cover – uses an abrasion-resistant exterior coated in polyurethane along with an inner polyurethane layer and delivers 5000mm of water resistance.

The Frelaxy Rain Cover is constructed from 190T nylon. A tight stretch over backpacks ranging from 15 to 90 liters is ensured by the presence of an elasticized rim and adjustable top buckles – a standard when it comes to rain covers. The weight stands at 3.6 ounces, with the cover coming accompanied by a waterproof pouch with a clip for attaching to a backpack.

This thoughtfully designed nylon cover managed to keep my essentials totally dry through more than a few torrential downpours, mostly due to the beading fabric exterior and fully taped seams. All in all, it’s an affordably priced rain barrier capable of withstanding years of heavy use in wet conditions.

PROS:

  • 5000mm waterproof rating withstands heavy rain
  • Just 3.6 ounces for maximal coverage
  • Folds into attached waterproof pouch

CONS:

  • Color is not as vibrant as pictured


The North Face Rain Cover

 

The North Face Rain Cover

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.82 ounces
  • Sizes: S, XS

Everybody knows about The North Face – it’s one of the world’s most reputable outdoor apparel brands. Their latest rain cover is just as good as the rest of their products, but that’s something I’ve totally expected.

The main material used in the manufacture of this backpack cover is 190T taffeta fabric (70-denier) which is combined with a 2000mm PU coating. Due to this effective (and expensive) construction, the North Face Rain Cover keeps the backpack dry – there’s no question about that. To eliminate leaking, the company has equipped this model with fully taped seams.

Due to its elastic closure, slipping this waterproof cover is incredibly easy, even in a heavy (and unexpected) downpour. The model’s drain hole, which is located at the bottom, is there to let out any water that could accidentally end up between the cover and the backpack. In other words, you’ll never have to worry about puddles of water soaking your bag’s lower area.

The XS variant of this water-resistant model is particularly convenient and works great with small backpacks. It is, in addition, extremely lightweight (check out my guide on the best lightweight rain jackets, too).

If you’re thinking about getting yourself a TNF bag, have a look at my article on the best North Face backpacks. If you already have a TNF pack, see my tips for washing a North Face backpack.

PROS:

  • 70-denier fabric & 2000mm PU coating
  • Easily to slip on in a downpour
  • Features a drain hole

CONS:

  • Some folks may find it too small


Joy Walker Rain Cover

 

Joy Walker Rain Cover

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.82 ounces
  • Sizes: XXL, XL, L, M, S

Once you find yourself in the middle of a downpour, the last thing you need is having to deal with a bunch of straps. In heavy rain, it takes only a minute for the bag’s contents to get soaked – by the time you slip the cover on, it will be too late. This is precisely where the Joy Walker Rain Cover comes in.

As it uses a simple but functional elastic rim, slipping this waterproof cover over the backpack can be done in seconds. In addition, the model is very durable – its 300D nylon material is highly resistant to sand, dirt, and scratches. The model’s inner material is waterproof as well and will keep the contents of your backpack safe from moisture caused by snow, fog, as well as heavy and light rain.

In terms of portability, this is one of the best rain covers out there – it packs down to the size of a cell phone. Size-wise, there are 5 options to choose from, so finding the ideal fit for your backpack shouldn’t be an issue.

PROS:

  • A very durable, waterproof rain cover
  • Easy to slip on and take off
  • Available in a variety of colors & sizes

CONS:

  • Runs a bit small

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Uxney Rain Cover

 

Uxney Rain Cover

Specifications:

  • Weight: 2.11 ounces
  • Sizes: L, M, S, XS

The very last model in my roundup is the Uxney Rain Cover, made out of 190T polyester and intended for use with backpacks sized 15L to 25L.

The model managed to keep all of my belongings protected even in blinding downpours thanks to a 1500mm waterproof rating and splash-resistant exterior. Moreover, making campsite arrivals safer, vertical reflective strips of this rain cover increase visibility along dim trails.

However, the protection offered by this model extends beyond moisture – the polyurethane-coated fabric also blocks UV rays to prevent pack fading and resists scratches from brush and gravel.

The Uxney might lack flashy features, but it nails the basics: delivering straightforward waterproofing tough enough for years of heavy backpack use. For an affordable and unfussy rain barrier that gets the job done, Uxney checks the boxes.

PROS:

  • 1500mm waterproof rating
  • Reflective strips for visibility
  • Resists UV fading and abrasions

CONS:

  • No venting system


Best Backpack Rain Cover –  The Buying Guide

A quality rain cover is an essential piece of hiking gear, especially if you’re planning on walking a long-distance trail like the Camino de Santiago (make sure to check out my guide on the best backpack for the Camino de Santiago).

You will, therefore, want to take all the important factors into consideration while shopping for a rain cover. They are as follows:

Materials

When it comes to these products, they are usually made out of either nylon or polyester. While both of them sport a low weight, each material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Since it’s very stretchy and durable, nylon is the most popular material. It is effortless to clean in case it gets dirty, and it easily resists stains, mildew, mold, abrasions, and water. Although stronger than polyester, it is susceptible to fading when exposed to sunlight and it’s not recyclable.

Polyester, on the other hand, is just as durable but not as stretchy. However, it is recyclable and doesn’t fade so easily. Furthermore, it dries very fast and it’s just as resistant to mildew, mold, and water.

Durability

Low weight and resistance to elements are important features of every good rain cover. The best ones, however, are also very durable and wear-resistant. In other words, they can be used repeatedly in all conditions and environments without exposing your gear to damage.

The best rain cover needs to be scratch-resistant, i.e. you shouldn’t be left with a large tear in case you brush the bag against sharp rocks or pointy branches. Many models are seamless, too, removing the need to worry about threads coming loose and exposing your belongings to rain and snow.

Waterproofing

Obviously, this is the most important feature of every product of this type. When a backpack rain cover is waterproof, rain glides over its surface instead of getting inside of it.

When shopping for a rain cover, one needs to consider the activity he’s planning to use it for as well the season during which he’ll be using it. If you’re someone who often hikes in dry areas where it doesn’t rain that often, you don’t really need to go for a heavy-duty and fully waterproof model. While it’s good to have some protection in case of unexpected showers, buying the most expensive and most water-resistant option would be overkill.

Longer backcountry escapades are an entirely different matter, though. During these, the weather can always surprise you with a sudden downpour. That is precisely why serious hikers need to consider investing in quality, brand-made, fully waterproof models. Speaking of that, check out my poncho vs rain jacket comparison if you’re unsure which one of these types of garments is a better option for you.

Size

Just like backpacks that they’re used for, these products can be obtained in many different sizes. No matter the weight and capacity of your hiking bag, there’s probably a rain cover of an appropriate size for it.

However, just because a particular model claims to fit your bag perfectly doesn’t mean that it actually does. Make sure to open it up and slip it over your bag to see if it fits correctly. If the fit is too snug, for example, feel free to get one size larger. Getting a rain cover that’s too tight is bound to leave some sections of your bag exposed to rain and moisture.

In addition, try to get a model with plenty of drawstrings and straps – these will make it much easier to tighten the cover to the backpack for a tight and secure fit.

Best Backpack Rain Cover – The Verdict

So, you’ve decided to get yourself a quality backpack rain cover. Best products of this type are all over the market, making the task of choosing just one of them quite intimidating.

As far as I’m concerned, all of the rain covers I’ve analyzed above are good in their own ways. If I had to choose just one, however, that would probably be the Osprey Ultralight Rain Cover. With features such as durable outer shell, reflective printing, handy carry case, and the overall low weight, it’s a model that easily withstands rough use and keeps the user’s belongings safe from the elements.

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