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Rucksack rain covers

My new rucksack is made from quite lightweight material compared to the 28 year old Berghaus jobby I’d been using. This means it doesn’t need much rain before it starts letting in. This shouldn’t be a problem as it comes with an intergrated rain cover. It’s a natty blue colour and is both attached to the bag so it can’t get lost and elasticated so it fits well even when you have a fishing rod stuck in the side.

So where’s the problem? Well the rain cover is not particularly waterproof either! Sure when it’s on it takes longer to get the inside of the bag wet. The rain this weekend was exceptionally lumpy and was driven sideways by a good 25mph+ wind. Even so I’d expect a rain cover to keep 99.9% of the water out, not about 80%. Most of the things I carry are in side their own waterproof carriers so it’s not a big problem other than the bag takes a day to dry out. But it does seem daft having a rain cover that doesn’t keep out the rain. So I’m looking for recommendations for covers that do the job properly. Any suggestions?


In reply to MM0FMF:

Black bin liner inside the rucksack?

In reply to MM0FMF:
Hi Andy,
We have a product called Scotchgard with which I treat my foul weather gear annually. The 20th. century version would have met your 99.9% standard and was only mildly mutagenic. The reformulated product would bump you up to 90% resistance for sure. It all only delays the inevitable…

In reply to MM0FMF:

Detach said raincover from bag and leave it at home.

I use a waterproof roll top rucksack liner inside the bag. Sounds like you’ve got your bag contents well wrapped up so me personnally I wouldn’t worry about the bag getting wet. Besides which I think rucksack covers can act like a bit of a sail in windy conditions.

Iain, M3WJZ

Hi Andy,

I use Exped roll top bags in my 'sack. Ok, the water gets into the rucksack but at least the stuff in the dry sacks stays dry! I have a special rucksack sized dry bag in which I place everything before rolling down the top and fastening. I also have a few smaller dry sacks which contain first aid kits, spare hat and jumper etc, etc.

The system is 100% reliable and pretty lightweight. I find the only negatives are the fact that it is harder to locate your stuff within your sack and it can be quite a lot of effort to fasten the dry sack only to find you need something else out or need to put something back in!

One day I’d been for a walk and all my stuff got totally soaked. I decided I needed to do something, so went to the shop and got the dry sacks, I’ve never had wet stuff since. I’ve tried bin liners, but they’re super flimsy, very easy to puncture.

I hope you find a good solution to your problem. The Vango range of rucksack covers in bright orange seem very popular and seem to be commonly available. Osprey make some nice looking rucksack covers, but I think they’re too expensive.


In reply to M3WJZ:
Ditch the raincover. If your sac liner is of an adequate quality, is packed and folded correctly there will be no ingress of water into the the inner lining. You should be able to submerge your sac in a river or stream for a minimum of one half of one hour without water penetrating the inner sac.

Many commercial liners are available. Sheep fodder plastic bags from the farmer are great and they cost nowt.

I also use Exped drybags. You can get them in different colours, so you can soon memorize what is in what colour bag for locating etc. I am intending also buying a rucksack sized one for the outer shell.

“Waterproof” rucksack covers, and so-called rucksack liners from the high street stores are rubbish. Exped drybags are the only way to go.


In reply to M1EYP:

Well I have an Exped drysack and I wouldn’t be without. After you’ve seen how well they work then plastic bags and bin liners etc. are simply things you don’t bother with anymore. What bugs me is why the rain cover seems so naff and I think I’ll have to look into that further as a Google search shows many rain covers are made just the way mine is. As I said I already have the radio gear in waterproof containers and the extra clothes I take are in the Exped. So really there’s just bits and bobs in the various pockets that need protecting. The easiest solution will be a few more small Exped bags. Plus some playing with the rain cover and the hose pipe!


Exped drysack

Other manufacturers are available :slight_smile: Sea2summit, Outdoor designs, Ortlieb and Pod spring to mind and all do their own versions which are all pretty much of a muchness as far as quality goes. Exped just managed to get a great distribution deal I guess which I imagine is why you see them in most gear shops.

Iain, M3WJZ