5 Best Surf Backpacks for 2023

Daniel Lofaso

The surf backpack is more than a place to lug your stuff around, it’s a practical bag that allows for the adequate storage of fins, wax, leashes, and of course, a freshly used wetsuit or boardshorts.

Due to the demand for wet wetsuit storage, we have made our recommendations based on surfer backpacks that contain a waterproof compartment, because without that, it’s just a backpack.

Here are the six best surf backpacks for 2023 chosen by our editorial team.

Our pick for

Best premium waterproof backpack

Dakine Cyclone Hydroseal 36L Backpack

If you are looking for a trusted name in the surf pack industry and a durable, waterproof, versatile backpack to enjoy for years to come, look no further than the Dakine Cyclone Hydroseal 36L Backpack.

This is basically Dakine’s most well-rounded surf pack that they make. It features welded and waterproof zippers to isolated wet trunks or wetsuits, an integrated board carry system to complement your Dakine boardbag, and 305D Cordura® HP Coated Ripstop, one of the most highly soughtafter waterproof materials on the market.

What do John John, Jack Robo, and Carissa Moore use when traveling? This backpack is it.

Our pick for

Best multi-purpose surf pack

Billabong A/Div Surftrek Storm Backpack

Ever wonder what Ethan and Italo use to get around the world? A surf pack from the Billabong Adventure Division of course.

This could possibly be the best all-around wet/dry backpack on this list due its water resistant features and simple design. The welded seams ensure no water gets in and a nifty roll-top design makes it easy to put a soaking wet wetsuit in easily. It also has dual water bottle sleeves for keeping you hydrated from the hike to the car to the beach.

Our pick for

Best mid-sized waterproof backpack

Dakine Cyclone II 36L Dry Backpack

Dakine is famous for surf travel gear and their Cyclone II 36L Dry Backpack lives up to the hype. It’s no wonder why pros like John John Florence trust Dakine for their surf travel needs.

This bag features a roll top closure and is sized for everyday travel strikes up the coast or on the tonga. It’s ideal usage is for day-to-day gear that needs to remain dry while also providing ample storage space for smaller items such as phones, fins, and other smaller surf accessories.

Our pick for

Best day trip surf pack

Quiksilver Sea Stash 20L Medium Surf Backpack

Our editorial team loves this pack because of its approachable pricetag and numerous features. It comes with a bunch of pockets for your electronics, surf accessories, and a nifty water bottle holder.

Our pick for

Best heavy packer surf pack

Rip Curl Surf Series Locker 40L

If brining your wetsuit, camera, GoPro, and lunch is more your speed the Surf Series Locker may be a viable option for you. It holds up to 40L of your gear, making it ideal for the surf photographer or traveler who a bit more room than the traditional backpack.

This bag is highly durable, exceptionally water resistant, and travels well on the airplane or the boat.

Considerations for Choosing the Best Surf Pack

Many surf packs can serve multiple purposes outside of just keeping your gear dry or looking cool at the airport. Here are some things to consider when choosing your next surf pack.


It’s very easy to end up with two or more surf packs if you have different needs for your travels. However, it may be feasible to have one backpack that can do it all which is why you need to consider your utility needs first and foremost. Ask yourself: Will I also be using this bag on non-surf travels? What will I be packing? What needs to stay dry? What can get wet? How many different compartments do I want?


The size, generally measured in liters, is an important factor as well. Are you looking for a surf pack that you can take on week-long trips or are you just looking for something to throw in the car for daily trips up the coast with friends?

Waterproof vs Water Resistant

Waterproof is a technical term for a pack that is impereable to water, while water resistant means your surf pack can resist water, but not entirely. If you are looking for something that can handle a little rain or splash from boat wake, you are probably ok with a water resistant pack. If you need something that absolutely keeps your gear dry from the inside and out, you’ll want to invest in a waterproof backpack.


Most of the surf backpacks on this list are under $150, with some under $50. Cheaper doesn’t always serve utilitarian use cases though, as cheaper goods tend to be smaller or contain less technical materials. Be sure to read all the fine print about what you are getting to make sure it is a good deal.

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