Best cycling backpacks: Our pick of the best rucksacks for your commute

Best cycling backpacks

(Image credit: Courtesy)

Transporting your belongings has always been a challenge, but with our guide to the best cycling backpacks, you can safely and securely transport yourself and your lunch to work, the store, or wherever else you need to go. We cyclists often get caught up in details like frame weight, wheel depth, tyre width, and power transfer, and we forget that bikes are a fantastic mode of transportation. Then, once you’ve arrived, consult our guide to the area.

will keep your horse safe while you’re out and about.

Furthermore, if you obtain one of the It’s good for the environment and even better for your physical and mental health to get some fresh air, avoid crowded trains and buses, and spend less time cooped up in a single-occupancy vehicle.

best waterproof cycling jackets

, you can keep this up all year round.

‘The’ If you’re traveling long distances or carrying heavy loads, it may be more convenient to put the weight on your bike rather than your back. There are various types of cycling backpacks for various riders; factors such as the type of ride, duration, and weather conditions will influence your decision. best commuter bikes Pannier racks are frequently used for this purpose, but if that isn’t your style, the best bikepacking bags You’ll also be able to carry a lot of stuff.

A great cycling backpack, on the other hand, can be a great solution to your cargo-carrying conundrum for ease of use and additional off-the-bike versatility, so scroll down to see our favorite bags for everyday riding or jump straight to the bottom for a rundown of our favorites. things to look for in a commuter bag.

Best cycling backpacks

(Image credit: Courtesy)

Patagonia Black Hole 25L

The last commuter pack you will ever buy

Waterproof fabric:

Yes | Waist belt: No | Capacity: Yes | RRP: £100 / $129 / AU$179.95

The brand gets called ‘Patagucci’ for a reason

A top zippered pocket organizes small items, while stretch mesh pockets on either side allow you to carry a water bottle and a coffee thermos. We’ve put the Patagonia Black Hole 25L backpack through the wringer, from bike commutes to day hikes to air travel, and it still looks brand new. It’s made of a burly ripstop and TPU-coated polyester mix that repels abrasions and rain; inside, there are two padded sleeves, one of which can fit a 15-inch laptop.

Even better, if you manage to wear a hole in your bag or bust a seam, you can take it to a Patagonia store and have it repaired. When you get to your destination, the daisy-chain loops on the front of the bag are great for clipping on a helmet, and the air-mesh panel keeps you cool and comfortable.

(Image credit: Courtesy)

Osprey Archeon 25L

More technical features than a Swiss army knife in a fashionable roll-top backpack.

Waterproof: No | Waist belt: Yes | Capacity: 25L

Expandable capacity with roll-top 
Adjustable harness
Limited colour options

The Osprey Archeon 25L roll-top bag is made of recycled nylon canvas and looks great while performing even better. It’s available in both men’s and women’s sizes, has water-bottle pockets on both sides, and a stretch pocket on the front for shoes, wet clothes, or other items you might need on the go.

The mesh-covered ‘Airscape’ back panel works to prevent the dreaded sweaty-back patch, and the harness is size adjustable and can be fitted to your specific torso size. The front of the Rolltop has a zipper that allows you to fold the upper sleeve of fabric to see what’s inside; there’s also an internal sleeve and a zippered pocket on the side with a key keeper.

(Image credit: Courtesy)

Timbuk2 Especial Medio 30L

If you absolutely must bring everything, including the kitchen sink,

Waterproof fabric: Yes | Waist belt: No | Capacity: 30L | RRP: £175.99 / $179 / AU$N/A

Huge capacity 
Water-resistant front panel
Only comes in black

The top-loading bag fits a 15-inch laptop and has dual external water bottle pockets, as well as a TPU front panel and water-resistant zippers in case you get caught in the rain 10 minutes from home. Timbuk2’s Especial Medio backpack is ideal for habitual over-packers, with an expandable front panel and compression straps.

The shoulder straps are thickly padded but have vents to allow airflow, and the back panel is perforated to keep you cool and comfortable. It’s only available in black, so it’ll hide dirt and grime while still having reflective logos so you’ll be seen on the road.

(Image credit: Courtesy)

Altura Thunderstorm City 30

Ideal for cyclists who require a snorkel during their commute.

Waterproof fabric: Yes | Waist belt: Yes | Capacity: 30L | RRP: £79.99 / $N/A / AU$N/A

Completely waterproof
Expandable capacity 
Laptop sleeve
Bag lacks structure when fully loaded

The roll-top closure allows you to customize the size of the bag based on how much you need to carry. It’s fully seam-sealed to keep its contents dry on even the most treacherous commutes. The Altura Thunderstorm City 30 is a 30L backpack with an IPX6 waterproof rating that weighs only 600g empty.

It’s also reflective and high-vis to help in low-light situations. Despite the fact that it’s essentially a drybag with backpack straps, it still has a padded laptop sleeve and a zippered pocket, so you won’t have to look for your keys. To keep the load stable, the harness is well padded and includes a sternum strap and waist belt.

(Image credit: Courtesy)

Brooks Pickwick Daypack

Best for the fashionable commuter

Waterproof fabric: No | Waist belt: No | Capacity: 12-26L | RRP: £190-215 / $240-260 / AU$N/A

Build quality 
Two-year warranty

The majority of the bags on display are extremely technical, with expandable this, suspended-ventilated that, and hidden X, Y, and Z. However, for some people, a simple, attractive backpack will suffice, and the Brooks Pickwick Daypack checks all of those boxes.

It’s also available in 12L and 26L sizes. The roll-top closure reveals a cavernous main compartment while allowing the capacity to be expanded, and the bag is made in Italy from water-resistant cotton canvas. There’s also a dedicated tool pocket where you can keep your spare tube and tyre levers. The shoulder and sternum straps are both adjustable, and the attachment points are leather-reinforced to prevent a blow-out.

(Image credit: Courtesy)

Thule Pack ‘n Pedal

Expandable, IPX4-rated, commuter rucksack

Waterproof fabric: Yes | Waist belt: No | Capacity: 24L | RRP: £130 / $159.95 / AU$249

Removable laptop sleeve 
Bright-blue interior makes gear easy to see 
Lots of organisation pockets
No waist strap

A removable padded laptop compartment with a tablet sleeve and mesh cable pockets is included on the inside; it’s designed to sit on top of the bag rather than against your back for improved comfort. The Pack ‘n Pedal bag from Thule has a utilitarian design that translates into a highly functional rucksack. The roll-top backpack has an IPX4-rated main compartment that keeps your belongings dry in the rain, as well as a stowable rain cover for added moisture resistance.

Both the front of the bag and the rain cover have reflective detailing, as well as a clip that can be used with any of the rain covers. A crushproof ‘SafeZone’ pocket on the side holds sunglasses and your phone, while mesh sleeves, a key keeper, and an internal zippered pocket keep your small items organized in the front pockets. best bike lights.

(Image credit: Courtesy)

Osprey Radial

The most feature-packed commuter pack available.

Waterproof fabric: No | Waist belt: Yes | Capacity: 26-34L | RRP: £130 / $180 / AU$236.86

Expandable volume
Pockets for everything 
Internal volume is unaffected by the raised mesh back panel.
Removable hip belt
Heavy empty weight

It’s far from basic, with features like the LidLock helmet clip, U-lock storage, and a separate pocket for dirty clothes or shoes, as well as a rear light attachment, sunglasses pocket lined with non-scratch fabric, and an integrated kickstand. The Osprey Radial, now in its second generation, is one of the most feature-rich bike commuting bags available.

The Radial has an integrated rain cover and borrows the suspended mesh back panel seen on the brand’s heavy-duty expedition packs. Its capacity is expandable from 26L to 34L, and it has a suspended mesh back panel seen on the brand’s heavy-duty expedition packs. A padded laptop sleeve and a separate magazine/document pocket are located on the inside, while a stretch bottle sleeve and a ride-accessible zippered pocket are located on the outside.

(Image credit: Ortlieb)

Ortlieb Commuter Daypack City 21L

Just a great backpack with complete waterproofing and a classic design.

Waterproof: Yes | Waist belt: Yes | Capacity: 21L | RRP: £125 / $175 / AU$279.95

Expandable capacity with roll-top 
Fully waterproof
Removable chest and waist straps
No water bottle pockets

The Ortlieb Commuter Daypack is a roll-top bag made of durable nylon fabric that looks good and performs even better. It has a unisex fit, back padding with ventilation channels, and a reinforced underside to prevent scuffing when placed on the floor. It’s fully waterproof (with the exception of the front zippered pocket, which is only water-resistant), and it comes with adjustable chest and waist straps to help you get the perfect fit.

Along with the spacious main compartment, there’s a padded laptop sleeve and a couple of organiser pockets. Lock loops, for example, can be used to attach your helmet, a rear light, or pretty much anything else that can be strapped down, freeing up your hands when you’re not riding.

(Image credit: Courtesy)

Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag

Durable, waterproof, and with an integrated bottle opener

Waterproof fabric: Yes | Waist belt: No | Capacity: 27L | RRP: £160 / $160 / AU$300

Room for a ton of gear 
Quick-release strap
Left shoulder only

Chrome Industries’ mid-sized Citizen Messenger Bag is about as good as it gets for that. The Citizen Messenger is made of 1000 denier Cordura with an 18-ounce truck-tarp liner, making it completely waterproof and extremely durable. Unless you’re a bike messenger, you probably won’t need to ride with large boxes containing God-only-knows-what, but you might need to bring more than just a change of clothes.

The bag has a floating liner that allows you to separate wet and dry items, as well as stow-and-go organizational pockets on the front for easy access to essentials. The Citizen Messenger Bag features the brand’s signature seatbelt chest strap – a load-stabilizing strap – as well as an integrated bottle opener.

What to look for in a cycling backpack

How much do you intend to transport? Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out what you need to look for. Will you be cycling in the rain all year? What kind of harness will be the most comfortable if you’ll be in the saddle for a long time? There are several factors to consider when selecting the best cycling backpack for your needs.

Cycling specific?

While any backpack will perform admirably when used on a bike, it’s worth noting that the best cycling backpacks are designed specifically for cyclists and include features that make our lives easier.

The way your body is positioned on a bicycle, for example, differs significantly from how it is positioned when walking. Many cycling backpacks have breathable padding where the backpack meets your back, as well as a hip belt to keep you from twisting. When you’re hunched over on a road bike, your back is at an angle, so the rucksack’s weight falls into you rather than being carried by your shoulders. This can cause a rucksack to flop to one side while riding, putting uneven twisting pressure on your back, as well as increase the heat buildup on your back.

Places to clip a rear light, improved waterproofing, and strapping to carry your helmet when you arrive at your destination are all included as extra features.

How big?

A smaller, lighter bag will suffice if you only need a place to put your change of clothes, whereas a larger bag with a hip belt may be preferable if you’re carrying a laptop, lunch, spare clothes, shoes, and equipment you’ll use throughout the day. Backpacks come in all shapes and sizes, and the size you need will largely depend on your destination.

We’ve discovered that a volume of 20L to 30L seems to be about right. You’re either a bike messenger or you need to rethink what you’re bringing on your commute if you need something bigger.

Keep in mind that some features, such as suspended mesh-back panels or padded sleeves, may reduce your bag’s overall capacity or make larger items fit awkwardly.

What are you carrying?

Is your work attire a t-shirt and jeans, or do you need to change into a pressed, wrinkle-free shirt when you arrive at your destination? When you arrive at your destination, bags with a larger main compartment will leave your clothes less crushed. Many bike commuters carry a laptop these days, so if you do, look for a bag with a padded inner sleeve to protect your laptop.

A 90 per cent chance of rain?

Still, you’ll want something with a suspended mesh back that prioritizes airflow between your body and the bag. Do you call Bristol or Brisbane home? Waterproofing is a must-have feature for the former, while a removable rain cover would suffice for the latter.

Think about the harness

When you’re loaded up with your essentials, a backpack or messenger bag that digs into your shoulders isn’t going to make commuting by bike fun, so pay attention to the harness.

At a minimum, well-padded straps and a sternum strap will help to balance the bag on your back, while a waist strap will further stabilize the load and take some of the weight off your shoulders.

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