The clever Aquapac Wet & Dry backpack is far more than just a dry bag – it's a comfortable rucksack that boasts design features that make it easy to store wet kit separately from dry. So can it manage to be one of the best dry bags and one of the best backpacks in general, at the same time? Read on for our full Aquapac 25 litre Wet & Dry backpack review.
- Browse the best hiking backpacks
- Check out the best inflatable paddle boards
- ... and the best wetsuits to buy now
Aquapac 25 litre Wet & Dry backpack review: design and features
Why buy a backpack and a separate dry bag when Aquapac's Wet & Dry rucksack combines them both? This design's name comes from the fact that there's a removable, water-resistant compartment inside, making it easy to separate wet and dry kit after a rainy hike or a water sports adventure (or just for storing smelly gym kit in). The inner bag comes complete with its own mini waterproof pocket, which is made of clear plastic and comes in handy for storing your phone, car keys or other gadgets that you need to keep 100% dry. The whole inner bag can also be completely zipped off and removed.
Unlike some other dry bags with rucksack straps, the Wet & Dry also has a back panel, but it's on the thin side and is only really comfortable for shorter walks. It's removable though, and doubles up as a seat pad on wet ground.
The front of the backpack features an attachment point complete with a carabiner, which is very handy for attaching extra kit to the front of the pack or for clipping on a bike light when you're on the go. The neutral black colourway of the Aquapac also makes this rucksack work well as a daily commuter bag, although there's no laptop pocket.
Aquapac 25 litre Wet & Dry backpack review: performance and comfort
A dry bag rucksack lives or dies by how waterproof it is – and the Aquapac really stands up here, keeping kit dry even in heavy rain. You can happily fling the pack into a river or the ocean from a boat or a stand-up paddleboard and it'll keep its contents dry (it floats, too) making it ideal for water sports, fishing, wild swimming trips or just for taking all your belongings to the beach with you.
We liked how lightweight and pliant the outer material of this pack is – and despite not weighing you down, the pack is still tough enough to withstand bumps and scratches. The roll top is pleasingly quick and easy to fold down and secure when you're on the go.
The shoulder straps have decent padding but aren't really designed for long distance hiking – We liked using the Aquapac for more casual hikes, for cycling and for water sports. Another nice design feature are the two huge mesh side pockets, which will hold the biggest water bottles or even a map or a thin jacket with ease.
Our only niggle with the Aquapac Wet & Dry? It's a pity that the removable compartment inside isn't a dry bag in its own right (despite sometimes being described as one) – it can't be rolled down to render it fully watertight, which would have been the icing on this rucksack's cake.
Aquapac 25 litre Wet & Dry backpack review: verdict
Aquapac calls its Wet & Dry rucksack 'tough, waterproof and affordable', and it's hard to argue with that – this is a high-performing and reliable weatherproof dry bag that's been given the design treatment to make it work as a wear-anywhere rucksack, complete with comfortable, breathable shoulder straps and extra pockets and handy compartments for storing and separating your stuff. If you want a pack that's as happy on a walk or taken to work as it is on a kayaking or surf trip, this is a solid choice.