Best Cycling Backpacks of 2023: Carry All Your Belongings with Ease
Cycling backpacks are accessories tailored specifically to make your life easier when you ride.
The features of cycling bags differ greatly between manufacturers and intended purposes. Things you should consider before you choose a cycling pack include:
- How you like to ride
- The size/weight of what you need to carry
- The duration of your trip
- The terrain
- The weather conditions where you live
Premium cycling bags should be waterproof or water-resistant, lightweight, breathable, comfortable, and durable. The best commuter backpacks will be larger than regular cycling backpacks, as they require a padded pocket to protect your laptop.
The right backpack should be compact, yet have enough space for all of the gear you need for the ride. This includes basic repair tools, water, clothes, work equipment, your laptop, and more. Size and features vary, so make sure to choose one big enough and with the right spec for your needs.
What features should a good cycling backpack have?
- Stable when loaded
- Padded straps
- Chest and/or hip closure
- 15-25L volume
- Variety of pockets
- Hydration (off-road)
- A laptop pocket (commuter)
Looking for waterproof commuter bags?
The waterproof cycling backpack we have covered in this article is the Thule Pack’N’Pedal. This stylish backpack is covered in more detail below. Most of the other packs have waterproof rain covers that can be pulled over the pack when needed.
In the rest of this article, we cover a range of the best-reviewed and most popular cycling backpacks. Whether it is a mountain trail or the daily commute to work, we’re going to help you choose the right bike backpack for the job.
Best Cycling Backpacks
1. Osprey – Raptor Hydration Pack (14L)
The best osprey backpack for mountain biking!
- 14L gear carrying capacity
- 84.5oz liquid carrying capacity
- Strap magnet holds bite valve
- LidLock helmet and Blinker light attachment points
Osprey is the maker of premium backpacks and they back that up with a lifetime repair guarantee. Their Raptor cycling backpack easily delivers on all of that renowned quality.
They have designed the Raptor to be feature-rich. These features range from a lightweight sternum strap magnet for easy access to water to scratch-free electronics and sunglasses zippered hip-belt pockets.
The main pocket has a removable roll-up tool belt to keep your maintenance tools organized. The capacity of the bag is 14 liters, leaving room for 84.5 (2.5L) of liquid.
Finally, the Raptor backpack is especially comfortable to ride with. A ventilating ‘AirScape’ back panel paired with a padded hip belt for stabilization makes the bag joy to use even when fully loaded.
2. CamelBak – Chase Protector Vest Hydration Pack (6+2L)
CamelBak is a brand that makes some of the highest-quality cycling products, famous for its thermal water bottles. The CamelBak Chase Protector cycling backpack has a two-liter hydration pack and six-liter gear storage with organizational pockets, stretch overflow pockets, and a secure place for your phone and other valuables.
Other unique features of this pack include the 3D ventilated mesh harnesses with adjustable sternum straps, exterior clips for carrying armor and your helmet, and all-weather abrasion resistance.
- Weight: 1 lb 12 oz
- Great organization
- Mud and muck resistant
- 8 compartments
3. Osprey – UL Stuff Pack (18L)
- Weight: 0.2 lbs
The Osprey UL Stuff Pack is an ultra-light cycling commuter backpack at a very competitive price.
This 18-liter bag is built with bright yellow material for maximum visibility. Weighing just 0.2 lbs, the UL Stuff Pack is the lightest on the market, but this means the design is basic with no extra straps for stability. However, it’s still durable and comes with Osprey’s lifetime guarantee.
Finally, this cycling backpack also has ample storage of 18L despite its compact size. Osprey designed this cycling pack to fit into its own bag, perfect for neat storage on bikepacking or touring trips.
4. SealLine – Urban Pack (26L)
Best waterproof cycling commuter backpack
- Weight: 3lbs
- Fits up to 15″ laptop
- Made of waterproof materials
- External bike light attachment
SealLine is a specialized bag brand that prides itself on its versatile products. The Urban Pack is a premium-quality cycling commuter backpack that delivers on that promise.
This innovative bag is constructed with waterproof material with welded seams, finished with a roll-top opening and QuickClip flap closure. A notable feature is its color-coded interior with a padded laptop pocket.
This pack has a unique suspension system that includes soft padded straps and a breathable padded back panel to make your commutes extra comfy.
5. Camelbak – Mule Commute (22L)
The urban model of Camelbak’s famous Mule pack
- Fits a laptop in a weatherproof sleeve
- 3L hydration pack available as an extra
Camelbak is one of the widely recognized cycling backpack brands. Their Mule commuter bag is of exceptional quality and highly functional, like all of their products.
This commuter backpack is designed with innovative features including an Air Support™ back panel with Body Mapping Technology that cushions the back without sacrificing ventilation.
For storage, 2 large mesh pockets help keep your cargo organized, including a weatherproof laptop sleeve and Command Center shoulder strap pockets for quick access to small valuables and electronics. This bag can also fit a 3L hydration reservoir for days spent on the trails.
To protect you this bag has 360-degree reflective accents and an attachment point for a light.
6. Tomshoo (20L) cycling backpack
Tomshoo cycling backpack
- Mesh cover to hold helmet
- Removable pouch on shoulder strap for cellphone
The Tomshoo backpack is one of the best small cycling backpacks available. It is also a budget-friendly option packed with many of the features seen in its premium competing models.
It’s got a 20-liter capacity, more than enough for you to take all the essentials you need for a day on the mountain trails. This bike bag is made from lightweight, waterproof, and tear-resistant nylon fabric, making it durable and resilient. It also includes a rain cover.
The Tomshoo lightweight cycling backpack is designed for sports and outdoor activities. It also functions perfectly for light daily usage. It features a hydration system with a convenient tube attachment.
The porous mesh design allows for maximum breathability and comfort, even on hot summer days. Ergonomic and padded shoulder straps also help provide extra back support while you ride.
7. Osprey Siskin 8 Hydration Pack (8+2.5L)
- Weight: 1lb 7oz
- 2.5L water resevoir
- 8L U-zip storage compartment and front fabric pocket
- Bike helmet attachment
- Zippered slash pocket
The Osprey Siskin 8 hydration pack is an innovative cycling backpack with unbeatable durability and Osprey’s lifetime guarantee.
This riding backpack fits tightly with an upper-side compression to balance and secure your load. A sternum strap magnet holds the hydration pack bite valve for easy drinking on the move.
Atilon foam in the backpanel evenly distrubutes load across the entire back panel for a more comfortable fit. In addition, the soft-edged harness provides comfort and stability by contouring the shoulder.
Finally, the Siskin 8 has three pockets for storage, totaling eight liters. These include the main compartment, and easy-access front mesh one, and a scratch-proof pocket to protect sunglasses and electronics.
8. Ortlieb – Velocity PS Pack (17L)
- Weight: 1lb 12oz
- Roll-top closure with hook and loop fastener
- Removable inner sleeve
The Ortlieb Velocity PS Pack is a solid urban commuter option with a simple, streamlined design and look.
This bicycle backpack is lightweight, yet comfortable and durable. It is designed to be extremely convenient to use with roll-top closing. When closed, you can secure the bag further with a hook and loop.
The Velocity PS has one main pocket and an inner removable sleeve for separating files or a laptop. The straps make for a comfortable, stable, and secure fitting. It has a foam back, ergonomic shoulder straps, and a removable hip belt.
Finally, the back rear corners are reinforced for extra durability and the IP64 material is resistant to water splashes and light rain.
9. The North Face Borealis Women’s (27L)
Best women’s backpack for everyday cycling
- Weight: 2lbs 1oz
- Comfortable, supportive design
The Borealis is a premium sports backpack centered around a highly breathable and comfortable design that makes it a pleasure to use.
This pack comes with articulated shoulder straps, a rounded back panel, and soft fabric for a comfy all-day feel. In addition, The North Face us a FlexVent suspension system to support your back.
The pack is made with recycled RipStop nylon and has two external water bottle pockets a front pocket with internal organizer pockets, and a laptop sleeve in the main compartment.
Finally, you can take advantage of the external bungee cord system to attach a jacket to the outside of the bag.