Yeti Panga Backpack Review: Waterproof and Indestructible

In-depth Yeti Panga Backpack review: Uncover the waterproof, virtually indestructible features that set it apart. Is it worth your investment?

Yeti have long been known for their incredible coolers and drinkware.

The brand actually produces many other awesome products though that are designed to be taken out into the wild on all of your outdoor adventures.

One product you might not immediately associate with Yeti is the Yeti Panga Backpack.

This is a very tough, waterproof bag, and, while it might not be a cooler, it’s still one of Yeti’s best outdoor products.

YETI Panga Backpack 28 Review

YETI Panga Backpack 28
YETI Panga Backpack 28
YETI Panga Backpack 28
Our Score

The Yeti Panga Backpack 28 is waterproof, tough, durable, and built for outdoor life.

It can protect your outdoor gear if you get caught in the rain, but it can also be a great addition to your kayaking or fishing kit.

The shoulder straps are ergonomically designed for comfort and the removable waist belt is a great feature as this gives you the option to have fewer straps and hoops on show that could easily get caught on branches, rocks, and alike. Having a waist belt on your backpack can be useful at times though so it's great that Yeti have all bases covered.

With a 28 liter capacity, you can comfortably carry everything you need for a day out in the wild.

There's even an interior sleeve to help keep all your gear organized as well as dry.

  • The ThickSkin shell is made from high-density nylon and thick tpu lamination which makes the Panga Backpack puncture and abrasion-resistant
  • A hydrolok zipper makes a watertight seal as you close your backpack making sure everything inside stays completely safe and dry
  • The U-Dock feature gives the zipper a base to sit in forming an airtight seal once the Panga is fully zipped up

More on Key Features of the Yeti Panga Backpack


The Yeti Panga Backpack measures in at 7” × 20” × 12 1/2” so it is a decent-sized backpack without being cumbersome to carry.

It weighs just under four pounds when it’s empty which makes it a great option if you like to carry a lightweight backpack with you on your travels. That being said, there are lighter options out there but you will likely struggle to find a backpack this tough at lower weights.

Materials and Construction

As always with Yeti products, the Panga Backpack has been extremely well-made.

Its outer shell is made from high-density nylon and thick TPU lamination that makes it resistant to abrasions and punctures.

When out in the wild, your kit will likely take a bit of a beating so it’s always reassuring to know that a backpack like this can offer good levels of protection during rougher parts of your adventure.

The shoulder straps are ergonomic but still impressively strong. Backpack straps need to be able to withstand carrying the weight of lots of outdoor kit while still being comfortable enough to be worn for long periods of time.

Yeti clearly understands this as the Panga Backpack straps fit right in with the needs of outdoor adventurers.

If you like taking specialist gear with you on your adventures, you can be confident that they will stay dry and protected inside the Panga Backpack.

Grab Handles

Grab handles are more useful than some people might realize.

When out in the wild, you’re not always able to reach for your bag and grab your backpack straps perfectly which can make it difficult to get your hands on what you need.

Yeti has made sure you can get to your kit as soon as you need it with multiple grab handles all around the body of the Panga Backpack.

As an added bonus, there are two attachment points on the two side grab handles. These are ideal for attaching extra kit to the outside of your bag.

The Waterproof Zipper

Yeti Panga Backpack uses waterproof zippers making them well-equipped and is pretty much impenetrable to water.

One of the weak points many waterproof backpacks have is their zipper.

That’s why Yeti has made sure the Hydrolok Zipper seals your backpack completely airtight so there is no risk of water getting inside.

When heading out into the wild, you need a waterproof backpack that can keep its contents completely dry.

Some outdoor adventurers take expensive camera gear with them, while other outdoor enthusiasts have a kit that they simply don’t want to get wet.

As Yeti has been using waterproof zippers on their line of coolers for a long time, they are well-equipped to make sure a waterproof backpack is pretty much impenetrable to water.

The zipper on the Yeti Panga Backpack is a bit stiff. That being said though, all waterproof zippers tend to be. This makes sense if you think that they need to be able to create a tight seal preventing any water from getting inside.

Yeti have used their Hydrolok Zipper on the Yeti Panga Backpack 28 which helps seal the backpack completely airtight.

If you want a reliable and high-performing waterproof backpack, a tight zipper seems like a fair compromise to make.


Yeti has included an internal sleeve inside the Panga Backpack.

This is actually quite a rarity as most waterproof backpacks don’t have internal compartments. This sleeve can comfortably hold a laptop or tablet which can be useful if you like to take these out into the wild with you.

There is also an internal mesh pocket that zips up. A mesh pocket like this is perfect for holding your keys, wallet, or phone.

The Yeti Panga Backpack 28 doesn’t have any external pockets. This may seem like a negative but, again, it makes complete sense when you think that this is a waterproof backpack.

Keeping things outside of its waterproof compartment will result in your kit not being properly protected.

If you like extra external carrying options, the Yeti Sidekick Dry could be a solution as it is a waterproof pouch that can be attached to the outside of your Panga Backpack.


The Yeti Panga Backpack is one awesome bag and will be highly useful on many outdoor adventures.

The Yeti Panga Backpack 28 comes with a three-year warranty.

When it comes to waterproof bags, you want them to be in their best condition at all times so having a long warranty like this gives you confidence that this Yeti backpack will be one you can rely on.

If anything does happen to go wrong though, Yeti can quickly resolve any issues and you can spend more time enjoying being out in the wild.

Yeti Panga Backpack Competition & Alternatives

Despite being an awesome bag, the Yeti Panga Backpack does have some competition.

The Simms Dry Creek Simple Pack is a 25-liter waterproof backpack. Its main difference compared to the Panga is the way in which it closes.

Simms have used a roll-top closure. This gets rid of the need for a zipper which makes the overall design quite a bit simpler.

Another alternative to the Yeti Panga Backpack is the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack.

If you’re just looking at build quality, then the Thunderhead is very close to the Yeti Panga.

If price is a key consideration then the Simms Dry Creek Simple Pack is considerably more budget-friendly than both the Yeti Panga and the Fishpond Thunderhead.

Final Thoughts on the Yeti Panga: Outstanding

It’s no secret that we love Yeti products and the Yeti Panga Backpack 28 is no exception to that.

Yeti has made the Panga to exceptionally high standards and its ability to keep your gear dry no matter what is a big win.

From its removable chest strap and waist belt to its ergonomic shoulder straps and Hydrolok Zipper, the Yeti Panga Backpack is one awesome bag and will be highly useful on many outdoor adventures.

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Rob Harvey is an experienced outdoor writer with a passion for using and writing about all the gear that makes camping, hiking and fishing fun. He's been a freelancer writer for more than five years and loves sharing his experiences with readers.
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