If you’re on the market for an inexpensive waterproof backpack that just happens to be foldable, then you might want to check out the HEXIN backpack/daypack. Even if you’re not interested in a foldable item, the low price and waterproof qualities of this one should be enough to get you interested.
Why Get a Waterproof Backpack?
Why get any waterproof item? Why get a backpack at all, while we’re at it? Combine the answers to these two questions, and you’ll be pretty much on the money. Waterproof backpacks are ideal choice for people who’d like to keep their belongings dry, no matter the conditions, no matter the location. So, whether you’re hiking through the woods of Oregon, backpacking through Central America, canoeing down the rivers of New England or just lying around the pool, a waterproof backpack seems like a sensible choice to keep your wallet, ID, keys, clothes and other assorted whatnots from getting wet. Granted, you won’t be taking the same bag for different weather – some light drizzle won’t actually warrant getting a waterproof bag, you’ll get by using a water-resistant pack, but if you’re expecting heavy downpours, or negotiating plenty of creeks and streams, then you need something completely waterproof.
What Makes the HEXIN Backpack / Day Pack a Great Choice?
If you’re looking for a true, quality waterproof backpack, you must be ready to splash out (no pun intended). However, if you’re working within a budget, and quite a slim budget at that, you must be ready to make some trade-offs. That said, the HEXIN backpack could be considered waterproof, as it has no problems repelling water, and it will float when accidentally dropped into the water, but being submerged is where it draws the line, apparently. It feels to us the HEXIN was primarily designed to be durable and versatile, and it does a great job in this respect. You can take it with you on a variety of outdoorsy activities, from hiking, backpacking and trekking, through paddling, skiing and rappelling, all the way to daily commute or just for keeping your stuff dry while lying around the pool or the beach.
The cloth is RipStop nylon, so you know that won’t come falling apart in a hurry. On that note, the bottom doesn’t have any reinforcement, which we found slightly unnerving, but you can easily remedy this by adding a piece of cut up jeans or chamois and sewing it from the inside. Short of that, even duct tape could do (you’ve seen that episode of Mythbusters, right).
On a more serious note, the backpack is indeed quite durable, but it doesn’t lag in the way of comfort and convenience, either. There are two flavors in terms of capacity and seven in terms of color, which makes for 17 choices total (not a bad deal). You can go for either a smaller bag – 20L capacity, or a bigger one – 33L. Either way, you’ll be getting three zippered compartments, plus two mesh side pockets for water bottles or whatnot, as well as two very convenient tiny pockets on the shoulder straps themselves, with a reinforcement strap above each of them. The color variants include: Black (though looks more like charcoal gray), Blue (azure rather than navy), Green (olive), Orange, Pink, Purple (very subtle) and Red.
As you may’ve guessed, the HEXIN is incredibly lightweight (0.46 pounds for the 20L and 0.5 pounds for the 33L bag). With this in mind, the sentence “you’ll be carrying only the weight of the gear you pack” has never rang truer. While we’re talking numbers, it’s useful to note that the smaller bag measures 16.92 x 10.63 x 7.08 inches when unfolded, while the bigger one measures 19 x 13 x 8.2. Folded, both come down to about 6.29 x 5.9 x 2 inches. We particularly liked the fact that the pouch where you pack the folded backpack comes built-in into the bag itself, and you can use it as an additional pocket when using the daypack. When you’re done with it, simply fold it down neatly, pack it into the pouch, and use the little handle to carry it around (or simply put it away and forget about it until you need it again).
The waterproof part is the thin and elastic plastic coating that’s on the inside of the backpack, and it does its job admirably. Also on that note, all three zippers are coated to prevent leakage, but the bag probably wouldn’t hold up too well if it’s submerged. Accidental splashes, falling into the water, rainstorm, it might survive. However, the minute this protective plastic coating starts peeling off, you should start buying Ziplocs, and lots of them, if you want to keep your stuff dry in this pack. Up until that moment, it will keep everything bone-dry.
- Quite lightweight, won’t tire you down in a hurry.
- The pack can be folded into a pouch, which is great if you have limited space for packing.
- The pouch itself features a handle, which is quite convenient.
- The zippers are reinforced, so they won’t break down any time soon; they’re also coated, so they won’t leak.
- Has plenty of compartments (three zippered, two side mesh pockets, plus two tiny pockets on the shoulder straps with reinforcement straps above each).
- The straps are nicely padded and reinforced, so there should be no issue with comfort.
- Comes in 20L and 33L variants, plus seven colors (black, blue, green, orange, pink, purple and red)
- Comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Cheap as dirt.
- There is no reinforcement on the bottom, which is a bit disappointing (take note , HEXIN).
- Can’t be submerged.
This isn’t designed to be your main pack, but rather as a backup or a daypack. Alternatively, you can use it as your main storage unit for your daily commute, day-hikes or whatever else you can think of. The fabric is plenty durable, and should survive years of punishment. It will also keep your stuff nice and dry in most conditions, as long as the protective plastic coating inside the bag is whole.