Store And Pack It In One Of The Best Surf Backpacks (2019-2020)

When the surf’s up, you may be filled with the compulsion to grab your board and nearest bag or pack on your way out the beach.

But a little advance preparation can help you have a more enjoyable time, which is why it pays to invest in a high-quality surf backpack.

Surf backpacks come in a dizzying array for styles, shapes, capacities and capabilities. This may be great for helping you pick out exactly what you want and need, but it can also prove kind of confusing, especially if you’ve never been in the market for a surf backpack before.

Quick answer: What are the best surf backpacks for the money?

Last update on 2020-04-04 at 09:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Here’s an introductory overview to help guide you through some essential questions and considerations as you shop for the surf backpack that best suits your needs.

What Is a Surf Backpack?

As the name suggests, a surf backpack is a backpack designed especially for the needs of surfers.

But even the name doesn’t tell the whole story, since surf backpacks can prove equally useful for sailors, hikers, kayakers, campers, and everyone else who needs portable storage for their sports gear.

You may even want your surf backpack to double as your everyday backpack for school or work — especially if you bike to and from your destination, commute on foot or are otherwise exposed to the elements on a regular basis.

The key advantage of a surf backpack over more general-purpose backpacks is that it’s designed for some degree of water resistance.

Surf backpacks also typically include numerous external hooks, loops and other attachment points for outdoor tools and accessories.

When you own a surf backpack, you’ve got an all-weather bag that can accommodate all kinds of situations and activities.

In fact, your surf backpack may turn out to be the only light travel bag you ever need, making it a tremendous value at any price.

What to Consider in Your Search for the Ideal Surf Backpack

If there are many kinds of surf backpacks to choose from, how do you narrow your search to the specific features you want? Start by thinking about how each backpack on your list addresses the following considerations:

Water Resistance

Surf backpacks come in three major categories when it comes to water resistance: Wet, dry, and wet/dry. Wet surf backpacks, also known as wetsuit backpacks, are so named because they have waterproof compartments in them for stashing a used wetsuit, swimsuit or towel.

A truly waterproof wet surf backpack can actually be filled with clean water and used to soak dirty or salty gear. By contrast, a dry surf backpack’s focus is on preventing outside water from seeping in.

You can surf with a dry backpack on without worrying that the contents inside it will become soaked — although you may find it hard to surf with your usual skill while wearing one. More commonly, dry surf backpacks come in handy when you’re paddling to a distant sand bank or beach break.

Wet/dry surf backpacks combine the best features of both of these categories. In addition to keeping your stored gear dry, they also boast waterproof internal compartments for storing wet gear without dampening your other possessions.


What size of surf backpack should you look for? Many products typically offer two or more size/capacity options to accommodate different body sizes and storage needs.

Keep in mind that some surf backpacks are designed to be extremely soft and expandable or collapsible, while others have a more rigid, molded construction.

Selecting a surf backpack with a width narrower than your own shoulder span will help to prevent your arms and elbows from bumping into it or rubbing against it all the time.


A typical surf backpack may weigh anywhere from 2.5 pounds (1.13 kg) to 4 pounds (1.81 kg), depending on its overall size and the way it’s constructed.

Most of the weight you’re lugging around will be from the items you’ve stashed away, not from the backpack itself, no matter what kind of model you select.

With this in mind, however, you might decide to go with the lightest backpack you can find if you know that you’ll be stuffing it with as much gear as it can hold, if only to balance the scales by an extra pound or so.


Different surf backpacks feature different arrangement of interior and exterior pockets.

Check carefully to make sure that the product you’re looking at offers the right number and sizes of pockets for your purposes — including waterproof laptop storage, if you intend to carry your computer along.

If you like to have ready access to your water bottle or other handy devices, examine the product description and accompanying images closely to determine whether you’ll have all the hooks, loops and/or Velcro strips you’re likely to need.


Style is a completely subjective criterion, but you want to have a surf backpack that not only reflects your own personal style but will also suit the various environments you plan on using it in.

For instance, if you’re solely interested in using your backpack out on the open waves, a bright solid color that reflects plenty of sunlight makes an obvious first choice.

On the other hand, if you think you might also be bringing your back with you to seaside restaurants, upscale camping centers or your office workplace, you might be better off selecting a backpack in classic black or an understated gray.

Some products come in multiple color options, while others offer two or three colors — and still others come in only one color.

As for other styling questions, you may want to choose a more streamlined, elegant style for a backpack that doubles as everyday luggage, and a more pocket-bedecked “function-first” style for purely recreational usage.

Top Surf Backpacks Reviewed

Now that have a little better idea of what to look for in a surf backpack — it’s time to do some looking!

Here are four fine examples of good-looking, highly-functional surf backpacks to help you get the right product for your budget, style and purposes.

1. Rip Curl Men’s F-Light Surf Molded Backpack

The Rip Curl Men’s F-Light Surf Molded Backpack comes in one color (midnight black) and one size (12″ x 15″ x 6″) — but you find won’t find it limited in its usefulness in your surfing adventures and everyday life.

Rip Curl Men's F-Light Surf Molded Backpack, midnight, 1SZ
  • SPACIOUS BACKPACK: The Rip Curl Surf Molded Backpack is durable enough for your biggest trips. Get ready for your next adventure with our F-Light lightweight backpack. A great surf backpack for men and women for use as a carry on or just for everyday
  • LIGHTWEIGHT + DURABLE: Suitable for international travel, easily fits as an airplane carry on. Super lightweight and made with 100% polyester. Compression straps help keep belongings intact and compact with a zippered closure for secure carrying
  • COMFORTABLE SURF PACK: The perforated dual density shoulder straps are breathable and lightweight, and a sternum strap helps fight shoulder fatigue. The 450D ripstop body and 600D molded EVA front panel make for an extremely lightweight & durable surf pack
  • WATERPROOF FABRIC: Made with waterproof, durable material that’s built to last. The wet compartment is fully welded and waterproof with a roll-and-click top closure. Hand wash only to keep your bag functional, clean and as good as new
  • EASY ORGANIZATION: Easily fits all of your travel necessities. Surf specific pockets store fins, sunblock, wax, and a large insulated side pocket will keep food and drink cold. Interior laptop sleeve or tech pocket designed for your devices

Last update on 2020-04-04 at 09:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This wet/dry backpack sports a number of pockets and inserts.

You get a fleece-lined pocket for your sunglasses, a fin organizer pocket, an external pocket for ready access to sunscreen or wax, and even sleeves to accommodate a laptop and tablet with its 36L of capacity.

The molded front panel helps to protect your sensitive gear against bumps and jolts.

2. Dakine Cyclone II 36L Dry Pack 2020

Here’s another 36L surf backpack that could make a lot of sense for your all-purpose needs.

Dakine Men's Cyclone II Dry Pack 36L Cyclone Black OS
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • A true leader in the world of bags, packs, and accessories, DaKine has a reputation for the best Surf Accessories in the biz. After celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, DaKine continues to pride itself on developing products for the top professionals in every board sport and building its reputation for innovation and quality for over a quarter of a century.

Last update on 2020-04-04 at 09:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Dakine Cyclone II 36L Dry Pack 2020 boasts the classic looks and lines of a regular backpack.

The current version of this dry backpack comes in two colors: “Cyclone Black” (sometimes listed simply as “Black”) and a light-green option called “Cyclone Arugam.”

The backpack is built to last, with durable construction and metal zippers; it also features breathable, ergonomic nylon shoulder straps to ensure comfort.

The soft front panel allows for considerable flexibility. As for accessibility, you get a pair of water-resistant resistant stash pockets, a mesh side pocket, and an internal pocket for your laptop.

3. DAKINE Cyclone Roll Top 32L Backpack

If the 36L DAKINE option seems like a little more backpack than you really need or want, take a look at the DAKINE Cyclone Roll Top 32L Backpack.

DAKINE Cyclone Roll Top 32L Backpack (Cyclone Black)
  • Waterproof welded construction with roll top closure
  • Welded stash pocket with water resistant YKK PU coated zipper
  • Breathable ergonomic shoulder straps and backpanel
  • Mesh side pocket
  • Adjustable sternum strap

Last update on 2020-04-04 at 09:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This lightweight backpack offers similarly sleek styling to its big brother, while also featuring superb water resistance thanks to its roll top design, coated Cordura Ripstop and waterproof welded construction.

It’s available in “Cyclone Black,” the light-green “Cyclone Arugam”, and a “Cyclone Camo” camouflage color scheme.

Even with its relatively minimal, affordable design, you get plenty of utility thanks to a roomy main compartment, a mesh side panel, and a water-resistant welded side pocket.

Whether you’re hitting the beach or roaring along the highway on your motorcycle, this backpack stands ready to help you enjoy your outing.

4. Skog Å Kust BackSåk Waterproof Floating Backpack with Exterior Zippered Pocket

The Skog Å Kust BackSåk Waterproof Floating Backpack with Exterior Zippered Pocket is a backpack for all seasons — and all activities.

Skog Å Kust BackSåk Waterproof Backpack | 35L Black
  • RUGGED ALL-WEATHER PROTECTION: BackSak is made from heavy duty 500-denier PVC to seal out the elements with watertight, welded seams and a roll-down top. Keeps your gear protected & dry in a variety of outdoor sports and activities.
  • COMFORT & CONVENIENCE: Sternum clip & padded back support help relieve pressure on muscles. Thick, cushioned straps adjust for custom comfort. Handy D-rings at sides hold water bottles & other gear.
  • 2 EASY WAYS TO CLOSE: Simply fold the roll-down the top at least 3 times, then click the top clip to create an instant handle. OR use the side clips & adjust for a snug, compressed fit – it’s main compartment is IPX-6 waterproof either way!
  • ZIPPERED, PROTECTIVE POCKETS: Spacious interior pocket keeps electronics & other valuables separate from wet towels & swimsuits. Splash-proof outer pocket safely holds keys, IDs, more.
  • 25 LITERS & 35 LITER SIZES: Both our 25L and 35L sizes feature our sleek, simple design - no tacky slogans or garish logos. Available in a variety of colors and backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee

Last update on 2020-04-04 at 09:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

According to its product description, the backpack is recommended “for Kayaking, Rafting, Boating, Swimming, Camping, Hiking, Beach, [and] Fishing.” It comes in two size options, 35L (measuring 19″ X 12.5″ X 6″) and 35L (measuring 16″ x 11.5″ x 6″).

You also have no fewer than 8 different color options to choose from: Black, DigiCamo, Grey, Mint, Navy Blue, Pink, Yellow and White.

While there isn’t a dedicated laptop sleeve inside this backpack, its 500 Denier Waterproof PVC body (complete with high-frequency welded seams) is superbly flexible, giving you lots of room for all of your gear.

The exterior sports a splash-proof pocket, mesh pockets, a key clip, and D-rings to hold your trusty water bottle. This backpack makes an especially smart choice if you’re planning on being out in low-light conditions, thanks to its reflective patch and zipper trim.

As you can see, you can get some amazing versatility, colorful good looks, and everyday practicality out of a good surf backpack. Take you time to peruse these options and decide which features are most important to you. Then place your order, wax your board, and get ready for the tide to roll in!

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