Gear Review: Outdoor Products Amphibian Weather Defense 20 Daypack

In constant downpour, the impermeable thermoplastic, PU-coated nylon material of this pack kept our tester's gear bone-dry.

[best waterproofing]

On a stormy dayhike through Tennessee’s Shiloh Military Park, our tester fully challenged the Amphibian’s waterproofness. “The weather was awful,” she says. “I wanted to get photos of the famous battle sites, but was afraid my camera and maps would get soaked.” But even in a steady downpour, the pack kept her gear bone-dry—thanks to its impermeable thermoplastic, PU-coated nylon material. “This is a drybag masquerading as a daypack,” she reports. Indeed, with its roll-top closure, the pack is fully submersible, as one tester found during 10 days of hiking and stand-up paddleboarding along Hawaii’s Na Pali Coast: The pack went for a swim, but its contents remained dry. In terms of payload, the pack is best for light duty, due to its thin, mesh-and-foam shoulder straps and a hipbelt suitable for carrying loads up to about 10 pounds.

Twin vertical foam pads cushion the back but provide little load support. In terms of features, the pack is strictly minimalist. Two waterproof, zippered pockets on the outside stash an old-fashioned flip phone or car keys (but are too small for an iPhone). There’s also a small mesh zip pocket on the outside front that’s perfect for GU Chomps, sunblock, and lip balm. The main compartment accommodates a day’s worth of water and food and a rainshell, but lacks organization. $60; 1 lb. 8 oz.; 20 liters; 1 size;