Mountain biking is loved by a lot of outdoor enthusiasts not only because they get a full-body workout but also because they get too appreciate mother nature. Mountain bike rides can take several hours to or days to complete. Therefore, it is vital that such rides regardless of the duration is well prepared. Preparation could include carrying equipment, such as rain gear, for any mechanical problems, bicycle tubes, food, water, and even extra clothing.
More notably, a rider should have a good quality backpack which is specifically designed for mountain biking. The choice of a place for holding the supplies and carrying a large volume of water speaks for itself. Studies also say that cycling with hydration packs results in higher drinking volume and greater hydration relative to using a water bottle. That’s because a hose is much easier to reach and use than a water bottle.
In a Hurry? The test winners after 9 hrs of research
A good mountain bike backpack comes with two things: hydration and storage. On the other hand, the best mountain bike backpacks will provide those two things and will not knock you off balance when you blast a trail down. So in this guide, we give you the best mountain bike backpacks available on the market as well as a buying guide on features to look for when purchasing one.
The Osprey Packs Raptor 14 Men’s Bike Hydration Backpack is a high-performing pack for high-performing riders that carries it all without weighing you down. With winged shoulder straps that contour to the shape you’re in when you reach for your handlebars—delivering superior stability. AirScape suspension evenly distributes weight and a mesh-covered foam backpanel leaves you well ventilated.
An included 2.5-liter reservoir slides into its own dedicated compartment and another devoted space at the base of the pack houses a Tool Roll for your mini-pump and tools. The hydration sleeve comes with direct-zip access and hose path for easy loading. Another thing that makes this pack the best is the LidLock attachment that can easily and securely carry your bicycle helmet.
Dedicated hydration compartment with included Osprey Hydraulics LT 2.5L Reservoir by Hydrapak
Included removable roll-up tool pouch keeps tools handy and organized
Lid Lock bike helmet attachment
Lightweight sternum strap magnet for easy access to water
Scratch-free heat-embossed zippered slash pocket for sunglasses and electronics
Dimensions: 19″ H x 10″ W x 9″ D
Weight: 1.75 lbs
Good for quick rides (not too big) and good for longs one that you can take some clothes, food and water
Feels very sturdy and rugged
Pockets are fantastic and the roll up tool pouch is a nice addition
The bladder has its own designated zip up spot unlike other packs
There isn’t any system to isolate the hydrabag inside the bag, just for your back
Energize your tour cycling and trans-alp riding with the Deuter Trans Alpine 30. Designed to sit perfectly while riding a bicycle. Spring-steel frame is built to give your pack structure and shape while also transferring the load to the hip belt. Deuter’s Airstripes System is secure and snug while offering effective ventilation; 2 contoured, air-channeled foam profiles are encased in a breathable Wide AirMesh lining that reduces contact with your back. It is made from Ripstop 210 and Macro Lite 210, this bicycle touring backpack delivers lightweight, high-performance durability.
Designed for serious cyclists, this pack holds all your essentials with an air pump holder, reflective holder for a safety light, elastic side pockets, versatile front pocket for helmet or jacket, and an accessible zippered stash pocket for smartphones. It also comes with a large, zippered front pocket that features an organizer and internal compartment for valuables. The divisible main compartment has compression straps for volume regulation
Internal sleeve designed for 3-liter hydration packs
External helmet holder with strap adjustment
Airstripes® system that provides both comfort and breathability
Padded shoulder straps with mesh lining
Adjustable sternum strap
Dimensions: 21.3″ H x 11″ W x 9.4″ D
Weight: 2.68 lbs
The zippers are well made as is the entire pack
Useful helmet attachment on the front of the pack
The bottom pocket is large and can hold a good size first aid kit
The zippers on the main pocket snap together to prevent opening while in use
While the air flow is adequate, other packs has much better air flow
For those searching for superior hydration in a practical mountain biking backpack, CamelBak provides an exceptional solution. The CamelBak M.U.L.E. Mountain Biking Hydration Pack is the perfect biking backpack to add to your mountain biking equipment list. It features a narrow-gauge design that keeps it lightweight and exceptionally maneuverable. Even when this lightweight backpack is fully loaded for mountain biking, it won’t get in your way.
This M.U.L.E. hydration pack is built around a revolutionary Crux reservoir, which is easier to load and refill and delivers 20% more water with every sip. It also includes a self-sealing bite valve and an ergonomic cap. We’ve also added a Magnetic Tube Trap that keeps the tube secure and accessible when you need it. There’s a reason this is one of the bestselling, longest-running packs: It’s got everything you need and nothing you don’t. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best hydration running packs.
Includes a Crux reservoir, which delivers 20% more water per sip
Includes a magnetic tube trap that lets you stow your drinking tube in place with one click
Air Director Back Panel provides superior ventilation
Removable stability belt keeps everything in place during bumpy rides
Dimensions: 17.9″ H x 8.9″ W x 8.7″ D
Weight: 1.37 lbs
Fits like it should; the bladder detaches fairly well
Every spot/pocket of the bag serves a purpose
The air ventilator design on the back really helps reduce sweat accumulation
The tool compartment has good pockets to keep your tools/keys/wallet from sliding around inside and works great to evenly distribute your things
Although the bladder doesn’t leak when you remove the hose, any water in the hose can (and will) come out
The Hydro Flask 10 L Hydration Backpack with Cold Flow technology was made to help keep you cool while on the go — the harness system has an articulated back panel that lets air flow between you and your pack to avoid trapping body heat or transferring warmth to the water inside. So even when you still have miles to go, you have what you need to beat the heat and enjoy the journey.
Valve self-seals after each sip and features a twist on/off bar to prevent leaks when not in use. It also features a removable magnetic hose clip for easy access to water on the move. Durable coated waterproof fabric with taped seams and coated zippers helps keep moisture out, leaving your items dry. This pack features a molded padded back panel with center mesh for added ventilation, and fully adjustable shoulder, sternum, and hip straps.
Cold Flow system keeps 3-liters of water cold for over 4 hours
Articulated back panel
Valve self-seals after each sip and features a twist on/off
Durable coated waterproof fabric
Brand: Hydro Flask
Dimensions: 20″ H x 11.5″ W x 8″ D
Weight: 3 lbs
The straps are padded and adjustable
The bag arcs away from your body to keep your body heat from warming up the water inside the pack
The zippers have some kind of coating or material covering them so that they remain waterproof to keep moisture out of the bag
The bag itself feels incredibly well made – the material is thick and sturdy
It would be better if the larger pocket didn’t extend down into the bottom smaller pocket
It can be difficult to find time to ride your mountain bike between work and social life, but a little fast-paced activity in the workplace will leave you only enough seconds to admire the trails between your legs and the Deuter Race EXP Air Biking Backpack behind you. This little backpack has an expandable capacity when you find a full day to pedal down the steeps quickly.
This pack is made with an aircomfort backsystem of airy mesh tensioned on a flexible frame of elastic spring steel creates maxiumum ventilation on three sides resulting in 25% less perspiration, ergonomically shaped wide AirMesh shoulder straps and an athletic V-cut shape for extensive freedom of movement. Other features of this pack include a loop for a safety light, a detachable rain cover, and mesh hip wings for stability.
Aircomfort backsystem of airy mesh tensioned
Ergonomically shaped wide AirMesh shoulder straps
Large two-way zip top opening
Integrated detachable rain cover with reflector logo
Dimensions: 20″ H x 11.5″ W x 8″ D
Weight: 1.93 lbs
Does a good job of creating a pleasant airflow over your back
The tool compartment at the front of the pack is just big enough for the basics
Generouse size for the main compartment
A couple of metal poles hold the load clear of your back
The Sunhiker Small Cycling Hiking Backpack is a cool little backpack that sells at a low price. While it won’t be a perfect backpack for camping overnight or long journeys, it’s nice for what it’s made for: mountain biking. It has multiple compartments offering enough place to save your belongings and 2 bottle holders on both sides.
It is made from highly tear-resistant and water-resistant nylon. If you plan to use it around traffic at night, it also features a MatReflective stripe that will help keep you safe. It also features breathable mesh shoulder straps which helps relieve the stress of shoulder. This backpack is perfect for hiking, camping, climbing, biking, commuting, and cycling. Make sure you also check our selection of the best cycling backpacks.
Padded mesh back panel and shoulder straps
Mesh pockets at both sides
Dimensions: 15.8″ H x 9.4″ W x 5.9″ D
Weight: 0.77 lbs
Easy to adjust chest strap – up and down as well as tighten and loosen
Shoulder straps were mesh covered with the nylon fabric – padded and comfortable
Lightweight and comfortable
Holds a normal amount of supplies compared to similar bags
Osprey Packs Viper 9 Hydration Pack is designed for cyclists who like to push the limits. The foam framesheet spreads your load across a ventilated mesh backpanel for all-day comfort. The BioStretch shoulder harness provides a contoured fit and the webbing hipbelt is removable to shave ounces.
You can slip small items into the dual side mesh or harness pockets or stash a layer in the front fabric shove-it pocket. There’s even a scratch-free slash pocket for your shades. Other bike-friendly features include a Hydraulics LT 2.5 liter reservoir with magnetic bite valve retention, internal bike pump storage loops, and the LidLock helmet attachment.
Upper side compression straps stabilize the load
An elasticized lid lock helmet attachment system
Front Shove-It Pocket
Blinker Light Attachment
Dimensions: 18″ H x 9″ W x 7″ D
Weight: 1.21 lbs
Lots of pockets for storage
The zipper pocket to access the reservoir is very nice
Even on a hot day it keeps your back pretty ventilated and it is not uncomfortable
The helmet mount is a nice addition
The Osprey hose disconnects, but it is very tough to pull off and leave the spout wide open
The TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack is an 18-Liter day pack that comes with its own 2-Liter hydration bladder and so much more! It’s designed with a low-profile cut that fits comfortably. You’ll get the best fit with the adjustable shoulder, chest, and waistbands. Shock-absorbing chest strap works with the rest of the harness to reduce bounce. Take it hiking, cycling, camping, backpacking, and anywhere you may need a bit of gear and a lot of on-demand water.
The comfort-taped straps with high-density notched foam stabilizer and mesh covering means you can wear this pack for hours! Integrated rain cover keeps your pack (and the gear inside it) dry when it rains. Comfort features include an air mesh back panel that allows for airflow to your back while adventuring.
2-liter hydration bladder
Integrated rain cover
Air mesh back panel
Brand: TETON Sports
Dimensions: 18.5″ H x 10″ W x 7″ D
Weight: 0.65 lbs
The pack is light and has several well placed pockets as well as points to secure any gear
The rain fly is useful during showers
It is comfortabe to wear for hours on end
Large enough for an extra layer or two, snacks, and water
The LOCALLION Mountain Bike Backpack is an ideal sport backpack for mountain biking, made of waterproof nylon fabric for temporary rainproof. It comes with a breathable back material that is specially padded with mesh for maximum comfort and heat dissipation. Adjustable mesh shoulder straps with plentiful sponge padding help relieve the stress from your shoulder. The waist straps are designed to facilitate stress release and to ensure stability while cycling.
The front and shoulder straps have reflective strips to keep safe in the night. With a whistle on the chest strap, you can use it in events of emergency. All of those designs are going to make you have a nice and safe trip. The helmet net can old a bike helmet for convenience as well. There is a side mesh pocket, within which you can put your water bottle.
Built-in net pocket where water bladder can be placed
Two side mesh pockets
Semi-enclosed pouch on the back
Dimensions: 18.1″ H x 8.7″ W x 6.7″ D
Weight: 1.2 lbs
The straps are padded without the thick pads/fabric
Looks compact but actually can hold a lot of stuff
Rubber band bottle holder on both sides
Massage padding on the back, they feel quite hard but it’s pretty comfortable once you wear it
The chest strap is held on by a clip that holds to a cord
The Evoc Stage Technical 18L Backpack equips you with all of the space you need to bring your mini-tool bench with you on the trail. It features ample organization pockets, with sleeves for your hand pump and spare tube, and mesh pockets that you can see through to make getting to the right tool a breeze. To keep you comfortable under a load of all of your gear, Evoc constructs the Stage with a Brace Link back, which adapts to your individual shoulder width, while a wide, padded waistband helps support the weight.
Airflow contact system adds a boost of ventilation to your back, with channels for cool air to enter, and sweat to escape. And on the flip side, along the back of the pack, you’ll find a helmet carry, compatible with both half-dome and full-face helmets, and a gear carry for carrying along with bulky knee pads on the climb. On the inside, you’ll find a large hydration reservoir compartment for adding a reservoir to the pack. Last, but certainly not least, you’ll find ample external pockets to keep your wallet, keys, phone, and sunglasses secure and scratch-free.
Support/Suspension: Air Flow Contact system
Shoulder Straps: Brace Link adjustment
Removable waist belt
Made with 210D nylon Ripstop
Dimensions: 19.7″ H x 11″ W x 4.7″ D
Weight: 2.2 lbs
There are a lot of pockets in the bag
The straps on the bottom dedicated for knee/shoulder pads is great
There is just a big, empty open space and a small mesh pocket in there for a wallet/phone/keys
Material feels thick and durable
The grab strap for the zippers to open this said pouch/pocket can get snagged by a branch or anything
The first thing you need to worry about on your biking trip is how much gear you take along with you. Extra layers of clothes, equipment, food, spare tires, and so on just to name a few. If you’re only going on short rides, you’ll probably only take a few tools but in all-day mountain drives, you will most likely take more. Based on these circumstances, you will know how much capacity you’ll need.
Some backpacks use a specialized compartment into which you can stick your helmet. Manufacturers like OSPREY, use a LidLock system that is essentially a well-placed bungee cord to strap your helmet in.
Not only will you find it annoying if a pack swings around or rocks from side to side, but you will also find that the pack’s weight will take you off balance in corners with potentially dangerous results. Search for a pack with plenty of adjustable straps to tailor the fit and the way it fits on your back. The bag weight should be spread over the back and be supported by a hip strap. Thick padding on the shoulder straps will also help to keep you comfortable.
How much you’ll drink on your daily trip, or how much you’ll need to take to make it to the next source of water. The water reservoir in your bag has to carry the amount of water you’ll need. If the pack comes with a reservoir, then that is not a problem. Sometimes you’ll need to buy a reservoir separately so make sure to check that your pack will have enough. Unfortunately, not all reservoirs included are of exceptionally good quality. If you need to buy one, don’t get the cheapest possible because reservoirs that are poorly constructed appear to leak or even burst, which is less than optimal when you’re riding in the mountains.
None of the backpacks here are inherently waterproof. Most of these have materials that offer a certain degree of water resistance, but nothing more than a slight drizzle and your pack’s contents may get wet. This is why we recommend purchasing a rain cover if there is a need for on worst cases.
Frequently Ask Questions
Are mountain bike backpacks waterproof?
Most of the materials provide some degree of water resistance but little more than a mild drizzle, and your pack’s contents can get soaked. Luckily this dilemma is a simple remedy, and it’s called a rain cover. These lightweight and reversible covers allow you to render your bag waterproof in seconds, and they are typically designed especially for the style of the pack, which ensures you can still get a perfect fit.
Are mountain bike backpacks machine washable?
Yeah, all of the packs we’ve included in our list are completely machine washable, however, you’ll want to make sure you pay attention to washing and maintenance guidelines since certain packs can need extra care to keep them running properly.
Can it carry a ski helmet?
Although a ski helmet can still be buckled to one of these bags, it is unlikely if either of the LidLock systems would operate on a ski helmet. This is because the system depends on the built-in ventilation of the bike helmet, which travels through the helmet all the way. On the other hand, ski helmets are sturdy all the way around so there will be no need to employ a ski helmet LidLock system.
Will mountain bike backpacks work for motorcycles?
There’s no excuse all of these packs wouldn’t fit as good on a motorcycle as on a mountain bike. Motorcycling, though, typically needs much more security than mountain bikes, so those packs are unlikely to be wide enough for that reason. Moreover, most bikes have on-board storage that can be used instead of a bag, since the additional weight isn’t too much of a challenge for automobiles and motorcycles. So we would recommend picking one from our guide on the best motorcycle backpacks instead.
We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best mountain bike backpacks as well as our guide on features to look for in a mountain bike backpack. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.