Why & When Use A Backpack Rain Cover

When it comes to outdoor adventures, comfort is key. Whether you’re scurrying up mountainsides, hammering tent pegs or wading across streams, it’s important to feel secure in both your clothing and equipment. Often, it’s the little things – smaller gadgets and tools – that make the biggest difference.

​Backpack rain covers, for instance, are inexpensive and simple. They’re little more than a waterproof bag designed to slip over a backpack or rucksack. Yet, they can make a huge difference to the comfort of those who regularly hike, hunt, camp or climb. When you’re out in the wilds, amidst Mother Nature, it pays to be prepared.

​So, let’s take a closer look at why and when to use a backpack rain cover. Should you buy one? Will it enhance your outdoor experiences? What type of rain cover is compatible with your backpack? We’ll answer these questions and more.

Even if you’ve currently got a water resistant backpack, it might be worth considering a backpack rain cover. They’re particularly useful for anybody who spends time outdoors in areas with unpredictable climates. While it’s true water resistant packs can hold off light to moderate rain, they’re not designed to be fully waterproof.

​If you get caught in a thunderstorm or torrential downpour, water resistance becomes redundant. You need full waterproofing to keep a backpack and its contents dry. Having a backpack rain cover to hand means you can adapt to changing weather. Just pull out the cover, slip it over your pack and stay dry all day.

Backpack rain covers are coated with a waterproof layer. Water touches it and gets instantly repelled. The likelihood of your gear and equipment getting wet is significantly reduced. You can carry clothing, snacks, portable devices, camping tools and more with confidence.

​How, Why and When to Use a Backpack Rain Cover

It’s very simple. If it looks like rain is due, take the cover out of its ‘carry sack,’ unfold it and put your whole backpack inside it. Your pack is now waterproof. Most covers come with a drawstring top. So, don’t forget to pull the top closed and stop water from reaching the backpack or its contents.

​You could, of course, set out with the waterproof cover already in place. This is advisable if you’ve looked at weather forecasts and know rain is likely. In fact, most outdoor excursions could, feasibly, come with a risk of rain, so putting a cover on your pack before setting off is just another example of being prepared.

​If you plan to buy a rain cover for your backpack, make sure it’s the correct size. Find out the dimensions of your pack and look for a cover that’s compatible. Rain covers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You should have no problem finding a good fit, whether you choose one from the same or a different brand.

​Some Other Considerations to Think About

It’s worth noting many backpack rain covers come in vibrant colours like yellow, green, red and orange. There are others in more muted styles (black, grey, navy blue, etc.) but we recommend you buy one in a neon shade. Outdoor gear is not coloured with these ‘loud’ shades for no reason. It serves an important purpose.

​If you’re out hiking, camping or climbing and you have an accident, bright colours make you more visible to rescuers and other people on the trails. In an emergency, it could mean the difference between a quick evacuation and a long wait for help. Even though a neon yellow backpack cover might be fashionable. It could save your life.

​Plus, there are bonus benefits to carrying a backpack cover on outdoor excursions. You could, for example, use it as a dry surface for sitting when there are no other options. If the ground is wet, it makes a handy ‘staging’ surface for packing and unpacking gear. Don’t put pegs, containers, bottles or climbing apparatus on damp ground. Place them on your cover.

​Final Verdict

​We recommend buying a backpack rain cover even if you only go on outdoor excursions a handful of times per year. They’re cheap to buy, widely available and extremely practical. Backpack covers are so light they’re practically weightless but, in any case, most come with their own mini carrying pouch.

​Clip this onto the outside of your pack and, when the weather turns, it’s easy to grab and open up into a waterproof protector. For the cost of a few lunches, you can ensure your outdoor gear never gets damp or soggy. We think it’s worth picking one up before your next big adventure. Just remember to keep it close to hand in case of a sudden downpour.

Daniel Sturm

I started this blog to provide the guideline, you towards a better and more comfortable hiking experience. I deliver more than hiking, camping and backpacking guideline.

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