I'm heading off on an 11 month RTW and am looking to buy the Catalyst 60 pack from north face. I've been tring to find out if it is water proof material or at least water resistant? If not anyone have some suggestions on a pack for around 70 Liters of space and good water proofing? Thanks.
I don't know, but I suspect if it was, they'd have included it in the features (or at least linked the types of nylon in the "fabric" item to an explanation of how weatherproof these'd be, similarly to how MacPac does it for their AzTec and Quadra materials (MacPac packs would be my recommendation for water-resistant packs, but I don't know if those are available in the USA)).
'course, the northface people could just be bad at marketing with this pack actually being pretty water-resistant. You could try their "contact us" link, or even asking in a real world store and hoping you get someone knowledgeable. (Or maybe someone else will look in here and know.)
All my packs (Dana & Osprey) have water-resistant coating on the inside surface of the fabrics. When rained upon, the outside will get damp but the inside remains dry. The seams are not sealed so under heavy, long rain, water will seep through. Both Osprey & Dana provide pack covers for those rainy scenarios.
Look into "winter" packs if you want the best waterproofing. These usually have many fancy, water-tight zippers.
BTW... don't limit yourself to North Face when it comes to packs. I bet pack makers like Arc'Teryx, Osprey, Gregory, Mountain Smith and Dana Design (now Marmot) are better value for the money.
If you find a backpack that you really like and are not sure about the waterproofness of it, you could try spraying it with a silicon spray (made for shoes, but works for most things)
Ill look into those other bags. I Do however like that ides about the silicon spray. Thanks for all the help!!!