Best waterproof outdoor gear

By Arran Wallace

The good news? We're halfway through April, and spring has well and truly sprung. The bad news? Those pesky April showers, getting everything soggy and wet. Don't let the rain, well, rain on your parade! Take a look at this fantastic waterproof gear to make sure your spring glamping adventure as dry and as comfortable as possible, keeping you going until you catch the first sight of those May flowers.

Phone cases

On the left is Ounne's iPhone case, and on the right is Vansky's universal case.

We'll start with the most important thing to keep dry on holiday…your phone! From simple things like Instagramming that delicious pão de queijo in the streets of Rio to making an emergency phone call to your friends because you got lost in Yosemite National Park, there are hundreds of situations where you'll want to make sure your phone is in working order. These waterproof cases will keep them that way!

iPhone owners can look good while protecting their devices, thanks to Ounne's sleek and translucent shockproof case made from TPU-based materials that allows phones to be submerged under 6 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, everyone can enjoy Vansky's universal floating phone case, which can survive depths of 100 feet for up to 30 minutes—all while keeping its touchscreen functionality, the ability to plug in headphones, and a wrist strap for extra security. Now go and get that kayaking selfie!

Passport holders

The WITZ Waterproof Passport Locker in black.

Perhaps the only thing more important than your phone, especially if your travels take you abroad, is your passport. This, as well as various other travel documents, like boarding passes and insurance documents, can turn into a nightmare if damaged or lost. Where possible, these should be left somewhere secure and dry to be collected later, but if you have to take them with you, keep them safe with this waterproof passport locker from Witz. Not only is it completely waterproof and crush resistant, but it also floats!

Camera cases

This waterproof bag for SLR and DSLR cameras is one of the highest-rated on Amazon.

While most of us are happy to take snaps of our travels on our smartphones, others prefer the customizable settings and features of traditional SLRs (or DSLRs), as well as the wide variety of effects they can produce. These cameras need love, too, and are often much more susceptible to damage than your average phone, due to the different removable parts.

Cases like the one above from waterproof bagLuniquz protect both the camera and the lens from water with durable and scratch-resistant TPU and PVC materials. While it will protect water from entering if dropped into a lake, for example, it is not recommended for underwater photography. It offers similar protection against snow, dust, and sand, however, so you really can take your camera everywhere!

Bags and backpacks

This Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag was named #1 by gearhungry.com

Where are you going to put your brand spanking new waterproof gadgets while you hike through the rainy Hoh Rainforest? In a waterproof bag, of course! The yellow bag you see above is the Waterproof Dry Bag by Earth Pak and uses a roll-top design that is popular with hardcore kayakers, due to its small size and ability to float. It's by far the best option for any activities taking place on a body of water, like sailing or whitewater rafting.

It's not the biggest, however, and its single strap is a turn-off for people who will be carrying their bags long distances, so another, more ergonomic option might be the Overboard Pro-Sports Waterproof Backpack. Featuring the same roll-top design as the Earth Pak, it boasts two straps so it can be worn with ease, has a 20-liter capacity for all your stuff, and features various inner and outer pockets sealed with watertight zips.

Bluetooth speakers

Waterproof with a 40-hour battery life, this waterproof bluetooth speaker is perfect for any trip.

The sun is setting, and you've arrived back at your safari tent after a day of hiking, cracked open a well-deserved beer, lit up the barbecue, and sat down for a few minutes. As the conversation (and beer!) begins to flow, you begin to realize something is missing... music! If you're anything like us, you can't play the guitar, and music playing from a tinny phone speaker just doesn't cut the mustard. With a waterproof bluetooth speaker, like the one above from FUGOO, you can listen to your tunes anywhere in the world—without worrying about water damage from heavy rain, waves, or waterfalls.

Jackets

On the left, the Marmot PreCip for women, and on the right, the Outdoor Research Foray for men.

We've been looking at ways to waterproof your valuables, but now we're going to look at protecting the most precious thing of all...you! There's nothing worse than the feeling of being soaked and sodden—wet clothes clinging to your skin, slowing you down, and making you cold and miserable. A good waterproof jacket provides your vital organs with defense against both the pounding rain and howling wind, as well as is absolutely essential for most travels. Of all the waterproof garments available, they are rivaled in importance only by a good pair of boots.

The Marmot PreCip for women boasts one of the best quality-to-price ratios on the market, offering a breathable and water-resistant shell for around $100. It also packs away neatly, so when the sun starts shining again, you can easily stow it away in your bag.

The Outdoor Research Foray for men comes in with a heftier price tag of around $200, but rest assured, you will be buying a top-of-the-line garment. Adjustable hood and sleeve cuffs seal off all entry points , but moisture and heat can be vented, thanks to its armpit vents on the sides, which offer superior water resistance while remaining extremely breathable.

Boots

These Timberland White Ledge waterproof boots are both practical and stylish.

As the connection between your body and the earth, your feet are going to bear the brunt of the elements, including rain, streams, and mud, to name just a few. Just a few hours of exposure to cold and wet conditions can lead to cases of blisters, frostbite, and even trench foot, causing major discomfort. A good pair of waterproof boots will prevent all of this, enabling you to enjoy your journey to the max and go wherever the wind takes you.

These boots by Timberland don't just protect your feet from water, they look good, too! They boast the classic Timberland style, while utilizing a waterproof seal and rubber soles for traction in slippery conditions. For more extreme and muddy conditions, you might want to consider a pair of wellington boots. What you lose in portability, you more than make up for in practicality, as evidenced by their popularity among those in agriculture—a famously wet and muddy profession. Check out Hunter Boots for some stylish options.

Tips and tricks

To end with, let's look at a couple of home remedies for waterproofing your belongings, which are perfect if you're not in a position to shell out for new gear, but also don't want to stop exploring. It must be noted that these tips are no substitute for quality waterproof gear; they're just a temporary fix.

The first is a simple trick for waterproofing your bag by using a large trash bag. Simply cover your bag and secure it so only the straps are visible, and the bag can still be worn normally...voila! If the opening of the trash bag doesn't fit around the bag, simply use it to line the inside, and once it is packed, tie it shut. In this case, the bag isn't waterproof, but everything inside of it will stay dry.

Unlike the trash bag trick, which can be used whenever, this next trick for waterproofing your shoes will require some foresight, as well as a wax candle and a hairdryer. Take a wax candle and rub it all over your shoes, ensuring a white waxy layer is visible on the specific areas you want to be waterproofed.

Once this step is completed, take a hairdryer, put it on high, and blow dry your shoes! Candle wax melts at about 115°F, so after roughly 30 seconds, you will begin to see the wax disappearing. This is because it's melting and seeping into the top layer of your shoe. Did I mention candle wax is waterproof? Like some kind of boring power up from Super Mario, your shoes are now temporarily waterproof!


Looking for some places to put your new gear to the test? Find out the best national parks in the world here and check out some amazing rentals on Glamping Hub!