Best Cycling Backpacks

10 Best Cycling Backpacks in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: June 28, 2021)

A roll-top, zip-through, or messenger bag can be the best cycling backpack and you choose, it’s a must for bike commuting and long leisure rides. If you’re commuting to work, you’re going to have to carry your stuff with you a change of clothing, a tablet, packed lunch, etc. Of course, having the best backpack would do the job but a cycling backpack can make it easier if you frequently cycle to work, which would encourage many riders to see it and ponder how discerning and serious you are.

Cycling backpacks come with accessories including a lined laptop case, easy-to-access pockets, reflective lights, and locking loops for important items such as locks and lights. They should also include ergonomic belts to hold the backpack stable when pedaling and, as far as possible, will be designed with aerodynamics in mind. A cycling backpack is best at 20-30 liters as well. You may find mountain bike backpacks better if you’re into mountain biking.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 9 hrs of research

Timbuk2 Raider Pack

Timbuk2 Raider Pack – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • It is simultaneously compact and spacious
  • The pockets also move to the side very easy
  • The side bottle holders are deep enough and tight enough to hold an average size Thermos in place
  • As you zip the bag, you could throw in a few small items or light rain jacket

Brooks Pickwick Day Pack

Brooks Pickwick Day Pack – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • Dedicated pocket for your bike lock
  • Quick closure with hooks
  • Construction simple but well thought out in the sense of courier backpacks
  • No plastic, only fabric, leather and metal

Best Cycling Backpacks – Overview

Biking to work or to the park isn’t new. It is a perfect opportunity to have some cardio before work when helping to preserve the world. Obviously, a backpack is your strongest option for carrying things on a bike with you. It tends to spread the load weight on your back and does not travel about when you’re riding. Not just every backpack would do, however. Biking may be a sweaty task and is often prone to weather shifts. Not to mention, in dimly-lit circumstances, this may be a risky operation. So, you have to guarantee that your backpack protects much, if not all of your items.

Cycling Backpacks Reviews

1. Timbuk2 Spire Cycling Backpack

Timbuk2 Spire Cycling Backpack

The Timbuk2 Spire Cycling Backpack is a rugged roll-top pack for your laptop and tablet whenever you plan on carrying them on the way to work. Front zip pocket fits smartphone, wallet, and shades; Internal organizer for pens, phones, and other small stuff. Large main compartment for books, jackets, and other carry-on essentials.

There is also an on-strap bottle opener for party tricks and quick refreshment, exterior daisy chain webbing offers attachment points for carabiners, helmets, U-lock, etc., and an elasticized external side pocket for a water bottle.

Key Features:

  • Front zip pocket
  • Custom-fit strap design
  • Elasticized external side pocket
  • Ventilated back panel 

Specifications:

  • Brand: Timbuk2
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Dimensions: 18.7″ H x 12.4″ W x 5.1″ D
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs
Pros
  • Compact even when loaded
  • Roll-top is super handy to have
  • Front velcro holds bike lock in place
  • Solid comfort level when cycling
Cons
  • The outer velcro attracts everything

2. Osprey Packs Escapist 18 Daypack

Osprey Packs Escapist 18 Daypack

Grab the Osprey Packs Escapist 18 Daypack and play hooky from work this afternoon. Anchored by a BioStretch harness and hipbelt, this low-profile pack is designed to keep the load balanced when descending rough terrain. The Airscape mesh backpanel provides ventilation when you’re grinding up the pass. Access to the main compartment comes via a convenient zippered front panel so you can see your gear at a glance.

Additional features include a myriad of external storage options starting with three handy stretch mesh pockets—one on each side and another in the front. The hip belt has twin zippered pockets for snacks and there’s a phone-sized pocket on the shoulder strap. The external hydration sleeve makes for easy reservoir refills. You can find more day packs for hiking here.

Key Features:

  • Zippered external non-scratch pocket
  • Large front stretch mesh pocket for quickly stashing gear
  • An integrated rain cover
  • Blinker light attachment
  • Lidlock helmet attachment system

Specifications:

  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 18L
  • Dimensions: 19″ H x 11″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 1.75 lbs
Pros
  • The shoulder straps are made with mesh on both sides and foam with lots of holes cut into it
  • Protected sunglass/phone pocket
  • Secondary pocket is nice for smaller things, organizer for keys/wallet/hex wrench and more
  • Helmet clip
Cons
  • The zipless pockets which stretch out but do not go back and just stay hanging which makes it look shabby

3. Ortlieb Velocity Backpack

Ortlieb Velocity Backpack

The Ortlieb Velocity Backpack is the perfect bag for cyclists who want to bring the quality and convenience of their panniers with them for commuting, walking, and any form of travel. This versatile piece is a favorite with students. Featuring 20 liters of room for your gear and belongings, the Ortlieb Velocity Messenger Backpack provides you with a hassle-free way to carry all of your goods.

The waterproof bag is great as a compact day bag, a durable backpack for a short off-road ride, or a simple satchel for your daily commute. The corner protectors and feet help safeguard the bottom of the bag from damage and abrasion. Features a carrying handle at the top as well as a padded foam, ventilated back with shoulder straps. The interior sports a zippered pocket for protecting small items.

Key Features:

  • Waterproof
  • Corner protectors and feet
  • Handle at the top
  • Padded shoulder straps

Specifications:

  • Brand: Ortlieb
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Dimensions: 18.5″ H x 11″ W x 5.9″ D
  • Weight: 2.31 lbs
Pros
  • Simple design
  • The padding on the back is really nice
  • The straps are quite long
  • Chest and stomach straps for good weight distribution
Cons
  • The top of the bag stick out to its left and right

4. Timbuk2 Raider Pack – Best Value

Timbuk2 Raider Pack

Designed in collaboration with San Francisco’s Mission Cycling Club, the Timbuk2 Raider Pack frees you to get in a pre-work ride without weighing you down. Weighing less than a pound, the Raider Pack was named after Mission Cycling’s morning ‘raids’ up to the top of the Marin Headlands before work. Cooked up over a post-ride breakfast at a San Francisco neighborhood café, Timbuk2 and Mission Cycling were sweaty, tired, and sick of carrying their street clothes in bulky backpacks built for hiking.

Other features include a dual internal shoe pocket to quarantine your cleats, top zip pocket for securely stashing keys, mobile phone, and wallet, super-reflective bottom panel keeps you seen in low light. Lastly, the internal back panel duals as a folding board for keeping your office duds in shape.

Key Features:

  • Internal pocket fits laptop and iPad
  • Prevents your bottle from sweating. Genuine leather binding and trim
  • Double-wall keeps your water colder longer
  • Machine washable
  • Lightweight ripstop nylon fabric

Specifications:

  • Brand: Timbuk2
  • Capacity: 18L
  • Dimensions: 18.1″ H x 10.2″ W x 4.7″ D
  • Weight: 0.8 lbs
Pros
  • It is simultaneously compact and spacious
  • The pockets also move to the side very easy
  • The side bottle holders are deep enough and tight enough to hold an average size Thermos in place
  • As you zip the bag, you could throw in a few small items or light rain jacket
Cons
  • It does not retain its shape when not packed fully

5. Sunhiker Small Cycling Backpack

Sunhiker Small Cycling Backpack

The Sunhiker Small Cycling Backpack has been designed for use on the run. It comes as a surprise given its generous dimensions that it only weighs less than a pound. Being lightweight will not take something away from the quality of the fabric material. The lining is not only comfortable and protected against rips and breaks, but also durable so that rainwater is held away from within the bag.

You can use the D hook to adjust the shoulder strap. Although a basic feature, it can increase your comfort level exponentially while you’re wearing the bag. The sternum straps help you adjust the shoulder straps between your shoulders to better fit the back muscles. The back panel has multiple perforations and is lined. These features provide improved ventilation between the bag and the exterior while ensuring sufficient cushioning for you.

Key Features:

  • Made of nylon
  • Breathable mesh shoulder straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Bottle holder on both sides
  • Lightweight ripstop nylon fabric

Specifications:

  • Brand: Sunhiker
  • Capacity: 20-25L
  • Dimensions: 15.8″ H x 9.4″ W x 5.9″ D
  • Weight: 0.76 lbs
Pros
  • It is simultaneously compact and spacious
  • The pockets also move to the side very easy
  • The side bottle holders are deep enough and tight enough to hold a average size Thermos in place
  • As you zip the bag, you could throw in a few small items or light rain jacket
Cons
  • It does not retain its shape when not packed fully

6. Henty Wingman Backpack

Henty Wingman Backpack

The Henty Wingman Backpack is built to meet life’s on-the-go demands and carefully crafted to keep you looking your best when you get there. Easily access your gear without making a scene and keep the rain out with the roll-top seal. Rolled garments wrinkle less and the patented designed makes sure you look your best.

Power through the workday and don’t let a great commute keep you from looking your best. Unroll your Wingman Backpack and step into something that still looks like it is fresh from the dry cleaner. Dedicated storage for all of the gear that you need to tackle the day. Air mesh padding, comfortably stabilized against your back protects laptops up to 15″.

Key Features:

  • Roll-top quick access
  • Patented support system
  • Water-resistant
  • Dedicated 15″ Laptop and tablet storage

Specifications:

  • Brand: Henty
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 10″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 2 lbs
Pros
  • It really does transport clothes without wrinkling them
  • The bag is comfortable
  • The straps are well-positioned
  • Quality of materials and craftsmanship is top-notch
Cons
  • None of the straps have stays for the excess length

7. Brooks Pickwick Day Pack – Premium Pick

Brooks Pickwick Day Pack

Made in the Tuscan hills of Italy with upscale details and rugged materials, the Brooks Pickwick Day Pack is a modish, highly versatile pack designed for the contemporary commuter. Its water-resistant cotton canvas resists soaking and premature wear, while genuine Brooks leather injects richly appointed detail. A dedicated tool pocket separates your bike lock, spare tube, and compact tools from the pack’s main contents. Another rear pocket offers a safe haven for your wallet, phone, and daily essentials.

Built for the daily grind, the pack’s main compartment is roomy enough for work documents, electronic gadgets (i. e. tablets), and extra layers, with a secure roll-top closure protecting the main compartment from outside elements. The roll-top closure also expands its carrying capacity, accommodating extra items that otherwise wouldn’t fit inside the pack. Rounding things out, you’ll find a secure-closure buckle that cinches tightly over the main compartment, as well as sturdy shoulder and sternum straps to bolster this pack when you’re cruising through the city on your bike. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best travel daypacks.

Key Features:

  • Handmade in Italy
  • Water-resistant
  • Roll-top closure
  • Chest strap locks in the Pickwick
  • Vegetable-tanned leather

Specifications:

  • Brand: Brooks England
  • Dimensions: 19.7″ H x 12.2″ W x 5.5″ D
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
Pros
  • Dedicated pocket for your bike lock
  • Quick closure with hooks
  • Construction simple but well thought out in the sense of courier backpacks
  • No plastic, only fabric, leather and metal
Cons
  • Not a lot of interior organization

8. Proviz Sports Reflect360 Cycling Backpack

Proviz Sports Reflect360 Cycling Backpack

The Proviz Sports Reflect360 Cycling Backpack offers cyclists year-round comfort, style and waterproof protection from the elements. For additional waterproofing, the main opening and front pocket storm zips are seam sealed. It offers ample space and organization with a large zipped mesh pocket and multiple slip pockets inside the main compartment.

The Reflect360 Cycling Backpack provides an extremely comfortable and close fit to the body, aiding stability when in use. The integrated BES Beetle ventilation system helps to ensure good airflow between the cyclist’s back and the backpack to help regulate body temperature and avoid discomfort. The Reflect360 Cycling Backpack is designed using a reflective outer-shell. In the daylight, the backpack is a stylish and modest grey color. At night when the material picks up an external light source, such as vehicle headlights, the grey color transforms, providing ultimate reflectivity to other road users.

Key Features:

  • Using 100% CE EN 20471 certified reflective material
  • AquaGuard zips – 1500mm waterproof column
  • Adjustable waist/hip & chest straps
  • Beetle ventilation system
  • Compatible with a 2L hydration pack

Specifications:

  • Brand: Proviz
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
Pros
  • The interior has minimal pockets which is perfect to maximize space
  • Definitely very reflective
  • Solid construction but nice and lightweight
  • The sides have mesh pockets big enough for gloves, headphones, etc.
Cons
  • The back of this backpack has no ventilation

9. Altura Men’s Cycling Backpack

Altura Men's Cycling Backpack

The Altura Men’s Cycling Backpack has been specifically engineered for cyclists, providing on-bike comfort through the Altura draft venting back system and pre-comfort shoulder straps. External attachment points, strategically located reflective trim, and a unique u-lock storage system located close to the users center of gravity delivers essential ride luggage requirements.

Coupled with an internal organization designed around a cyclist’s needs, incorporating quick access pockets for tools and essentials, as well as larger, separate access, protected compartment for laptop and technology makes this pack the ultimate urban work-ready cyclists backpack. Large main compartment protective laptop and tablet sleeves fit up to a 15-inch laptop internal stationary organizer and external base u-lock sleeve LED attachment point.

Key Features:

  • Large main compartment
  • Protective laptop and tablet sleeves
  • Internal stationary organizer
  • External base U-Lock sleeve
  • Draft venting back system

Specifications:

  • Brand: Altura
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
Pros
  • Feels very sturdy
  • A great balance between pockets without being too prescriptive
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Dedicated u-lock system
Cons
  • It can be confusing on which zipper you are opening

10. Vibrelli Hydration Pack

Vibrelli Hydration Pack

Whether you’re day-hiking, on a back-country MTB trail, road biking, or day trips with the family, you need a hydration pack that you can rely on. Designed for the highest quality hydration experience. Vibrelli Hydration Pack is lightweight, designed for comfort, with multiple storage compartments, and a high-performance bladder.

The patented bite valve has an on/off locking switch to prevent water leaks and is designed to allow maximum flow while drinking. Made from high-quality medical-grade material – free from BPAs and PVC. It is coated with a special film so the water does not taste like plastic. Attached to the chest strap is a handy safety whistle in case you need to get attention in an emergency situation. With the additional bungee straps, you can easily carry your bike helmet or additional rain jacket.

Key Features:

  • Easy-twist mouthpiece
  • Made from medical grade materials
  • Multiple pockets
  • Free from BPA, PVC, Phthalates.

Specifications:

  • Brand: Vibrelli
  • Dimensions: 16″ H x 12″ W x 3″ D
  • Weight: 0.9 lbs
Pros
  • This pack is light
  • It is easy to fill, just enough Velcro in the right places to get the bladder in and out
  • It has ample storage
  • Handy key clip inside the pouch
Cons
  • The waist strap is very short

Buying Guide

Chest/Hip Staps

Durable straps at the chest and hips should hold the pack in position – you may notice the pack swings from side to side or hang off the back as you get on the drops without them. Ideally, these would be flexible, and certain manufacturers provide greater adjustability on different gender-specific packs such that the chest strap can be fastened under or over the bust based on choice for females.

Water Resistance

When you’re riding a bike, you know you’re vulnerable to weather changes and so are your stuff. That’s why you’re going to want a cycling backpack that will keep them nice and dry. Search for a backpack that uses water-resistant material and If the pack isn’t made of water-resistant material, a rain cover will work as well.

Breathability

Chances are your body temperature should increase when you are running. Hence, a decent cycling based backpack with channels at the back or the use of mesh or other breathable materials should compensate for this.

Pockets

A good cycling backpack has to have several numbers of pockets so you can keep the rest of your luggage away from your lunch. Sections built for tire-levers, tires, and a generator, as well as zipped compartments for valuables and side pockets for quick access, would also be useful. Whether you’re cycling to work, you may want to also search into a padded laptop pocket to keep your tech secure.

Hydration System

Most frequently than not, a prerequisite for mountain bikers might be a handy hydration system for a roadie who indulges off-road biking like cyclocross or dirt bike adventures. Most mountain bike-oriented packs may sometimes come with a bladder, whereas those that are more targeted at road cycling can only have a pocket that suits a bladder and a shoulder loop where a drinking tube may be placed when needed.

Frequently Ask Questions

What is a cycling backpack?

A cycling backpack is one that is built with the bike rider’s particular demands in mind. It should be aerodynamic, fit closely to the body so as not to affect the rider’s balance, be water-resistant or waterproof, and have pockets to handle anything from tablets to snacks, rain cover, phone chargers, sunglasses, and more. It should also be compact and have well-padded, supportive straps.

How much capacity cycling backpack?

Backpacks come in all shapes and sizes and the size you choose will mostly depend on where you’re going. If you just need to bring your change of clothes somewhere, a smaller, lightweight bag would be enough, but if you’re bringing a notebook, lunch, extra clothing, shoes, and supplies you’ll be using all day long, a bigger bag with a waist belt could be ideal. A capacity of 10-25L would be safe and perfect for bike riders.

What material is best for cycling backpacks?

Water-resistant nylon would suffice in most cases. If it rains a lot in your area, we recommend purchasing a backpack rain cover. A waterproof backpack would be overkill in a cycling situation as it just adds in additional weight.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best cycling backpacks as well as our guide on features to look for in a cycling backpack. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.