“Water resistant” is a fairly loose term and can mean a few different things.
So, whats makes a waterproof backpack differ from a water resistant one?
Well, this depends on what you’re using it for because unlike “waterproof” bags which have a clear definition, “water resistant” is little vaguer.
A water-resistant bag may well keep your kit dry in light rain and equally well in a downpour. The two main factors that determine this are the fasteners – normally zips and fabric construction. Coated or covered zips indicate that your backpack or bag has been well designed as these are weak points where water leakage could occur.
Different fabrics perform differently and this is where things can get complicated. Some items marked ‘waterproof’ are made of tightly woven nylon coated with durable water resistant or DWR which is applied. This is okay, to begin with, but can often degrade over time with use. Any breach of this waterproof membrane means it becomes weakened and lets in water as it exposes the weave of the fabric. These so-called waterproof bags are unlikely to keep water out when submerged.
There are higher quality fabrics on the market such as sailcloth that have multiple coatings applied and are fairly resistant to wear and tear. However, these can be rather bulky and can still be vulnerable to leakage. Ultra Dry dry bags are a simple solution because they conform to IPX66 which means that they are capable of being plunged underwater for a few seconds at a time. However, our phone cases and pouches can go below 3 feet and can stay there a lot longer. They are guaranteed to keep water out when you’re on the water and will keep your things dry when they fall overboard. Our waterproof backpack also does the same. Everything will be dry when you need a change of clothing or need to use your phone.