Once you have found your perfect backpack, there is one accessory you need: a rain cover. It is an overlay made of thin, durable fabric that protects your pack from the elements. Not only does it protect your backpack and hiking gear inside of it from water, it also offers protection from dust. Since rain covers fulfill several different functions, keep reading this short guide and learn what to look for in a rain cover, especially if you are shopping for your Osprey backpack.
Why do I need to buy a rain cover for my backpack?
When you buy a hiking backpack, most of them will come with a rain cover that fits the pack’s dimensions. However, after some use the cover might get lost or maybe it got a rip while on the trail. If something happens to the original rain cover that came with your pack, you don’t have to invest in a new backpack – you can just buy the cover separately.
Waterproof vs water repellant rain covers
One thing to look out for: whether the rain cover you have set your sights on is waterproof or water repellant. Waterproof materials do not soak up any moisture and therefore will hold up even in heavy rain. However, water repellant covers can only protect your belongings from light rain. Hence, they are good for hiking in dry weather. If you are unsure about what weather conditions to expect, go for a waterproof rain cover.
Osprey rain cover’s sizing and weight
Osprey waterproof rain covers are compatible with Osprey backpacks, although you can make it work with different packs as well given the measurements match. However, it is best if rain cover is the same brand as your backpack so that it is the right shape and fit.
Osprey rain covers come in five sizes from XS to XL accommodating backpacks with capacity from 10 to 110 liters. They are ultralight and can be folded to fit into a small carry case that will hardly take up any space.
Osprey backpack rain covers
Osprey Ultra Light High Vis Raincover XS
This extra small rain cover is made for the smallest backpacks in Osprey family with just 10 to 20-liter capacity. It only weighs 80 grams and is so lightweight that you can pack it down roughly to the size of a tennis ball. It is made of high-quality nylon that does not rip easily.
Rain cover is made from bright yellow high-visibility material with reflective graphic printing. This pack also has an attachment point for a LED light for even more visibility in dark and extreme weather conditions.
Osprey Ultra Light High Vis Raincover S
Size small rain cover can accommodate backpacks with the capacity of 20 to 35 liters. It weighs only 110 grams and comes in a small pouch that is only a little bigger than a tennis ball.
All other features – from high-visibility material and reflective logos to attachment point for a LED light – are the same.
Reflective graphics are for your protection in the dark or adverse conditions.
The blinker light attachment allows for quick light attachment for high visibility in the dark.
The raincover folds up into its own case to make room for other objects while not in use.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover M
Osprey’s ultralight rain cover in size M is best suited for packs with the capacity of 30 to 50 liters. It has a full wrap-around cinch attachment, as well as secure hip belt and harness attachments to keep your backpack fully covered even in harsh conditions.
Although the bigger rain cover sizes are not made from high-visibility fabric, they have reflective graphics and a blinker light attachment to make sure you are visible in dark or extreme weather conditions.
This rain cover weighs just 80 grams, is made from durable nylon and comes in a small pouch.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover L
Size L is the best choice for packs that have 50 to 75-liter capacity. Made from 40D Nylon Ripstop, the ultralight rain cover series is durable and can be used in rough and unknown terrains.
The rain cover itself only weighs around 90 grams and can be packed down to fit its small pouch that will not take up too much space when you are not using it.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover XL
Size XL is the biggest rain cover in Osprey family and fits 75 to 110 liter packs. Just like sizes M and L, it has a wrap-around cinch feature that securely covers the body of your backpack and keeps it dry. Due to reflective logos and light attachment point, you will be visible in dark.
This super lightweight rain cover only weighs about 100 grams and can be folded down to a very small size. It is a great choice for those who like to pack light.