Waterproof Gear: 5 Essentials You'll Want this Summer
Do you have the right gear to withstand the wet elements of the great outdoors? From dry bags to waterproof socks, we've got you covered.
Have you ever been caught in a sudden downpour and not been prepared? Or sat on the ground only to realize it was soaking wet? Outdoorsmen and women encounter situations like these all the time. With the right waterproof gear though, you don’t have to let water mishaps put a damper on your adventures.
It can be hard to find top-quality items that will truly protect you and your belongings from the water, so I’ve done the dirty work for you. I tested an assortment of products, and here are my top picks for best waterproof gear.
1. OtterBox Yampa 35 Dry Duffle
The waterproof backpack of your dreams has arrived.
When we say waterproof, we mean it. This bag is fully submersible! Featuring waterproof sealed seams and waterproof zipper, no water will damage your belongings in this pack. The Yampa Duffle comes in three sizes: 35, 70 and 105 liters. I tested the 35 and was able to fit a good amount of gear inside (three outfits, a sweatshirt, shoes, a speaker, a lantern, a pillow, a blanket, toiletries, a flashlight and some campfire sticks). It was easy to zip the fully-loaded bag closed and the two interior pockets were useful for the small items like keys and headphones. Needless to say, the pack is spacious.
You’ll also notice the Yampa is convertible. Use it as a backpack or duffle bag based on the trip you need it for. The padded backpack straps provided incredible support and were easily adjusted as I hiked to my camping spot.
If you like the Yampa, make sure to also check out the Drybox 3250 Series from OtterBox. This nifty waterproof box will keep your stuff dry and protected from any impact. When testing how much the Drybox can hold, I was able to comfortably fit an iPhone X, credit cards/cash/ID, a portable USB charger, USB cord, a GoPro Hero5 Session camera, wired Apple headphones, and a pair of sunglasses.
- Weight – 4.64 pounds (35 liters)
- Sizes – 35, 70, 105 liters
- Waterproof – protects from water up to rushing rapids
- TPU coated nylon
- Includes backpack straps, tie down clips, strap adjustment to covert to duffle (does not include cross body strap)
- Open-celled foam exoskeleton to protect belongings
- MSRP: $249.99
2. BEARZ Outdoor Pocket Blanket
We’re not kidding when we say this blanket is literally the size of an iPhone when packed up. That being said, the BEARZ Outdoor Pocket Blanket is the ideal item to pack when you’re limited on space, especially if you use the included carabiner to hook it to the outside of your bag!
The 55” x 60” blanket can fit two people comfortably lying down and four people (or your fellow furry friends) sitting. As well as being waterproof and protecting your bum from wet ground, this pocket blanket is puncture resistant and sand/dirt proof. Don’t let the lightweight material fool you – its durability is unmatched for Earth’s elements!
The most interesting part about the BEARZ Outdoor Pocket Blanket is its multi-purpose use. Yes, it’s an outdoor blanket, but it can also be used as a tarp under your tent, rainfly, waterproof barrier to protect your possessions, beach mat, etc. We can’t forget to mention the corner pockets too – you can throw sand, dirt, rocks, or even your phone in them if you don’t have stakes to hold down the blanket.
- Pouch size: 4.5” x 3.5”; Blanket size: 55” x 60”
- Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Colors: blue, green, red, yellow, pink, digital camouflage
- Corner loops and corner pockets
- Includes blanket, matching pouch and matching carabiner
- MSRP: $24.99
Contact: BEARZ Outdoor
3. Coleman 360° Sound and Light Lantern
We know how hard it is to choose which lantern to buy, so save yourself the time and get the Coleman 360 Sound and Light Lantern. It’s a 2-in-1 light and Bluetooth speaker, rechargeable and IPX4 water resistant.
With three light modes, this modern lantern is truly the way to go. The brightness of the LED lights up the area as needed and has up to 40 hours of run time on the lowest setting (which is still a great brightness level). It also comes with a USB charging cord, so no more searching for those extra batteries. I plugged mine into a USB portable charger when camping and it worked great.
The other half of this 2-in-1 lantern is, of course, the Bluetooth speaker. Some speakers make it an impossible puzzle to pair your device, but not this one. We were able to pair an iPhone on the very first try. One would also think a “lantern speaker” would have low quality audio, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth with the Coleman 360. You can easily adjust the volume as well as control the music with play/pause, skip and go back buttons on the top of the lantern. And the best part about a 360-degree speaker? Music at all angles!
- Light Modes: High, Medium, Low
- Lumens: 400L (High), 175L (Medium), 80L (Low)
- Water Resistance: IPX4
- Lantern Run Time: 7 hours (High), 16 hours (Medium), 40 hours (Low)
- Speaker Run Time: up to 20 hours
- USB charging
- MSRP: $49.99
4. Oceas Waterproof Blanket
Need an outdoor blanket with a little more insulation? Look no further. The Oceas Waterproof Blanket is lined with soft Polar Fleece on one side and Ripstop Polyester on the other. In other words – it’s fuzzy and insulated while also waterproof on the outer side!
Whenever you are in need of an extra layer, you are going to wish you had this. The generously sized blanket comes in at 79” x 58”. It can be used for warmth, but I laid it down in my tent while camping as a bottom cushion and it provided that extra comfort I needed.
Along with coming in a carry pouch making it easy to travel with (I was able to tie mine to the outside of my backpack), there is an attached elastic belt on the blanket that is extremely helpful for storage. We all know how frustrating it can be when you can’t pack a blanket or sleeping bag back into the original pouch, but the Oceas Waterproof Blanket makes it an easy process. They even have their own version of the Pocket Blanket with corner stakes that you have to check out!
Quality products come from quality companies, and we know that Oceas is one of them based on their initiative to better the earth. Teaming up with One Tree Planted, Oceas plants a tree for every blanket sold. So, what are you doing? Go save the earth!
- Size: 79” x 58”
- Waterproof Polyurethane Coating
- Completely machine washable
- 1-year replacement warranty
- Front: Polar Fleece; Back: Ripstock Polyester
- Includes carry pouch
- MSRP: $29.99
5. Showers Pass Waterproof Socks
Most people cringe at the idea of getting their socks wet, but we couldn’t wait to step in the water with this pair! The Showers Pass Crosspoint Waterproof Mountain Socks are constructed with three different layers that make them completely waterproof (and windproof). You may think the multiple layers would make the sock extremely thick, but that is quite the opposite! I was able to slip on my regular shoes and walk comfortably without my toes feeling too squished.
Showers Pass designed the socks to be more ergonomic than other waterproof socks on the market, giving you the wide range of foot motion you need on outdoor adventures. The layers have a breathable membrane which is an important factor when you are trying to keep the water out, but still maintain air flow.
From hiking on a muddy trail to fishing on the edge of a stream, Showers Pass offers multiple styles of waterproof socks that are perfect for whatever you’re doing. In addition to the Crosspoint Mountain Socks that I tested, their line includes Lightweight Waterproof Socks, Waterproof Crew Socks, Hi-Viz Crew Socks, and Reflective Torch Socks. The various colors, designs and sizes available for men and women make these socks perfect for everyone!
- Available sizes: SM/MD, MD/LG, LG/XL, XXL
- 3-D laminating process
- Inner: 39% Merino Wool, 39% Acrylic, 13% Polyester, 7% Nylon
- Outer: 80% Nylon, 14% Polyester, 4% Lycra, 2% Spandex
- Machine washable with cold water
- Made with Merino Wool
- MSRP: $45.00
Contact: Showers Pass
No matter your outdoor escapade, be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you by packing top-notch waterproof gear. Having waterproof items such as blankets, dry bags, and socks better equips you for any unexpected weather that comes your way. Don’t let the rain stop your adventures this summer, let your gear stop the rain!