20 Best Cycling Backpacks (Review) in 2021

Brad Robinson
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If you’re a cyclist or a runner who’s training for marathons, you understand the importance of a good backpack. Just like how a weightlifter needs a solid pair of chalk bags to keep his grip strong, or a baseball player needs a chest protector for safety during batting practice, backpacks are a crucial part of the cyclist’s gear.

There are many types of backpacks for different uses such as commuting, transporting picnic baskets, or toting supplies. And for cyclists, backpacks are a leading cause of accidents due to poor fit or a misunderstanding of how to properly carry them.

The following are our 20 best cycling backpacks of 2021, and as such, they are the best to accommodate gadgets, athletic clothing, and personal items. They are also perfect for the marathon runner who needs a reliable and supportive pack while running!

NameCategoryProduct
Timbuk2 Spire BackpackBest OverallTimbuk2 Spire Backpack
Banjo Brothers Commuter BackpackBudget PickBanjo Brothers Commuter Backpack
NOMATIC BackpackUpgrade PickNOMATIC Backpack

1. Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Our rating: 9 / 10

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

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Pros:

  • Comes close to your body when running
  • Includes a safety whistle
  • Lots of compartments for storage
  • Reflecting material for increased visibility
  • Nice fit and weight distribution
  • Lots of storage for essentials

When you need a comfortable backpack that can be worn while running, biking or just casually walking around the city, getting yourself the Thule Spire 60 is recommended. It comes with a storage compartment for different items such as water, keys or wallet, and it can also carry a laptop.

This backpack is designed to be adjustable, so you can adjust the length of its straps depending on your body. It will ensure the pack keeps you in the most comfortable position.

This backpack is available in three color options and is made of polyester. It has lots of reflective stripes for increased visibility, which are particularly important when running at night.

2. Weatherproof Backpack

Our rating: 9 / 10

Weatherproof Backpack

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Pelican is a name that is synonymous with the best when it comes to waterproof cases because of their lifetime guarantee. Now you have a Pelican waterproof backpack you can enjoy wherever you want to go. With primary and secondary compartments, two side pockets, and zippered front pocket, you can easily take whatever you need.

This is an excellent backpack for a cycle commuter. The generously sized main compartment is designed to fit laptops and other electronics, although the padded compartment may be a bit tight for some users, and the inside zipper for the main compartment is barely large enough to fit a laptop in.

The Pelican also has a laptop compartment that will fit a 15” laptop (and in some cases 17” laptops). The underside of the backpack features a layer of thick padding, which makes the backpack more comfortable to wear. It also features a useful compartment for accessories.

3. Brooks Pickwick Day Pack

Our rating: 9 / 10

Brooks Pickwick Day Pack

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Pros:

  • Lots of storage space
  • Lightweight

This is the perfect pick for cyclists who are looking for a day pack but want to go a little cheaper than most. It is never a bad idea to have a spare for longer trips.

The Pickwick Day Pack can store enough for a medium-length trip. It also has a lot of pockets for smaller bags and accessories. It is made for smaller cyclists, but bigger ones can still get a nice day out of it.

This backpack is surprisingly durable despite its affordable price. It is made of a good quality fabric that is sturdy and not unforgiving.

4. Timbuk2 Rogue Laptop Backpack

Our rating: 9 / 10

Timbuk2 Rogue Laptop Backpack

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Pros:

  • Low price
  • Many sizes to choose from
  • Very durable
  • Adjustable straps
  • Well-structured
  • High-quality materials

Cons:

  • No lock
  • Bulky
  • Not waterproof

Timbuk2's Rogue Laptop Backpack is just large enough to fit your 13" laptop, or other essentials for school or work. This is a classic Timbuk2 bag, and it's a great value.

Timbuk2 Rogue Reviews:

The Rogue laptop backpack from Timbuk2 is a large backpack that you can use for carrying around your essentials in a stylish way. It is a bag for people who want to look good while keeping the rest of their stuff in order, and it does this job beautifully.

5. Incase ICON Laptop Backpack

Our rating: 8 / 10

Incase ICON Laptop Backpack

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Pros:

  • Summary: A little on the expensive side but a great product in case you're looking for something high-quality.

Incase Icon changes gears with a fresh technology upgrade and real-world details. Easily fit a 15-inch laptop, notebooks and tablets with the padded, soft new lining and pockets.

This specific product has a volume of 16-liters, which means you can carry almost anything you would need. Plus, it looks great.

The laptop compartment is padded and the 15-inch laptop can be laid flat at the back. You get a ton of pockets for cables, pens, and other things you want to keep on hand. The whole bag is bigger than it needs to be, and that's just fine because the details are great like the stitching and accents. It's a great backpack bag that can carry everything.

6. Velo Transit Men's Edge Pro 30 Waterproof Laptop Cycling Backpack

Our rating: 8 / 10

Velo Transit Men's Edge Pro 30 Waterproof Laptop Cycling Backpack

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Pros:

  • Hidden pocket for cycling-specific tools
  • Waterproof and durable
  • Very lightweight
  • Perfect laptop size (16”)
  • Great laptop protection & padding
  • Reflectors on three sides that are highly visible

Cons:

  • No side pockets for water bottle
  • Not suitable for iPhone

The Velo Transit Men’s Edge Pro Backpack has a large dedicated compartment for your laptop with a protective flap and strap. There’s a mesh compartment inside for a hydration system.

It has a two-way zip opening that ensures you can access your laptop quickly. Velo Transit claims that their backpack can accommodate a laptop with a screen of at least 16”.

This backpack is made from durable, waterproof nylon, and comes with a reflective trim to keep you visible. The main compartment has a waterproof one-way zipper that is quite tricky and small. Fortunately, you’ll still be able to access your laptop through the top flap.

7. NOMATIC Backpack

Our rating: 8 / 10

NOMATIC Backpack

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Pros:

  • Updated version v2 of this backpack version
  • Holds 20L of items inside
  • Waterproof and made with recycled nylon
  • Assemble and dissemble within a few seconds
  • Laptop compartment fits up to a 15.6 inch laptop
  • Adjustable shoulder straps

This bag securely holds your laptop with a removable velcro strap. There is an interior side pocket that can hold a tablet or small laptop. Aside from that, there are two front pockets for holding your phone, keys, and other small items. Inside the bag, there is a laptop compartment, a mesh water bottle pouch, and a mesh pouch that zips up. There is an added bonus of holding keys or a phone thanks to the small loop.

This bag is made from a recycled material that makes for a durable backpack. It is water resistant. Even when it holds all of your belongings, it will still feel light on your back. It is versatile enough to function as a work bag, a camping bag, or even a kayaking bag. It is so versatile that you can even use it as your survival pack during an emergency with the waterproof material.

8. Thule Paramount 24L Daypack

Our rating: 8 / 10

Thule Paramount 24L Daypack

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Pros:

  • Good value for the money
  • Durable
  • Water repellent
  • Many compartments
  • Can hold a laptop
  • Good for daily use as well as travel
  • Stylish design

Cons:

  • Minimal water resistance
  • No side pockets
  • No USB charging cords

The Chicago-based company Thule is widely known for their performance backpacks. The Thule Paramount 24L Daypack is one of their most popular backpacks.

This backpack is meant for daily use or traveling. It comes with a USB charging port and many different compartments for storing your little essentials.

When we talk about the compartments of this backpack we really mean them. This backpack will have two large pockets on the front, one zipped pocket on the top, and two zipped pockets on the side. The back of the pack will have a large compartment where you can carry anything you want. This compartment also has a zip.

9. Proviz Sports Reflect360 100% Reflective High-Viz Highly Water Resistant Backpack/Rucksack

Our rating: 8 / 10

Proviz Sports Reflect360 100% Reflective High-Viz Highly Water Resistant Backpack/Rucksack

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Pros:

  • Adjustable chest straps
  • Adjustable waist harness
  • Reflective design
  • Can be worn as a waist pack
  • Comes with a removable ipod/phone pocket
  • Can be folded for easy carrying

Cons:

  • The waist straps are very long
  • Handle on the bottom is used for carrying and opening/closing the bag

Walking or Running.

The Proviz Sports Reflect360 is a very brightly reflective high viz backpack that will illuminate your whole upper body when you’re on the move. These backpacks were designed to keep you safe while you’re out on your bike at night, but of course you can also use them for jogging and walking so much more.

The backpacks in this series are the perfect way to stay safe when you’re biking on the roads. They’re made up of polyester fabric which is waterproof. The bags aren’t waterproof, but they’re made from waterproof material. The fabric is breathable, which means that you won’t suffer from too much sweating when you’re using it. It is machine-washable, but you’re probably fine to just hand wash it instead.

10. Velomacchi Giro Backpack 35L Ballistic Quilted

Our rating: 8 / 10

Velomacchi Giro Backpack 35L Ballistic Quilted

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Pros:

* Sturdy

This bad boy is the largest computer backpack in this series. It is also the only one that actually has a separate, padded computer compartment, so if you need extra protection while commuting this is great. It is also made with ballistic-nylon material, making it able to withstand any kind of weather and tougher than any other computer backpack. The main compartment is loaded with pockets of all sizes to carry any kind of items you would normally need while riding your bike. The shoulder straps are very nicely padded so that the backpack stays comfortable even if you carry heavy items. The backpack also has a lot of reflective areas and hooks, making it safe to use in low vision hours.

11. Henty Wingman Commuter Suit Bag

Our rating: 7 / 10

Henty Wingman Commuter Suit Bag

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This Henty suit bag is made of waterproof material, so you don’t have to worry about carrying your laptop bag in the rain. It’s a perfect bag for professionals who like to work outside since it has room for everything you’d need for “life on the road.” “Life on the road” is just a euphemism for “working from bicycle,” an increasingly popular choice among professionals.

The Henty Wingman has a total of 15 pockets, making it easy to separate your belongings. Some of the best features include a side pocket that comes with a rain cover to keep your shoes dry, another pocket that can hold your helmet, a large main compartment with a removable sleeve, and a mesh drink pocket.

When it gets warmer, you can even take off the bag’s rain cover; it’s attached to the bag with magnets. Then you’ll have a completely open back panel for hot days.

12. Osprey Packs Escapist 18 Daypack

Our rating: 7 / 10

Osprey Packs Escapist 18 Daypack

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Pros:

  • Simple and lightweight
  • Durable

The Osprey Escapist 18 is a quality 3-pound backpack made of durable material. Osprey is one of the industry leaders known for its durable and comfortable packs. The Escapist 18 is its low-end model with a capacity of 18-liters but it gets most things right.

This is a simple bag with a no-frills, no-hoops design. It’s designed for day hiking and not multi-day trips. While it’s relatively comfortable, we would have liked to see a little more shoulder padding for a pack of this size.

The pack has an organized front pocket with a laptop sleeve and an internal water bladder pocket. The main compartment has a little mesh organizer with a single pocket, which is not ideal for packing. The top compartment is designed for an extra layer that we’ve found to be sufficient.

13. Deuter Giga Bike Commuter Backpack

Our rating: 6 / 10

Deuter Giga Bike Commuter Backpack

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No. 5 in our list is backpacks for bicycle commuters. For many people, simply using a backpack to carry their stuff is enough, but sometimes it’s just not enough. In that case, it may be better to go for an actual cycling backpack. Designed specifically for bike commuters, such as students, professionals, and other urban commuters, bags that are designed to be used for biking tend to have a few things in common. Usually, they all have a lot of compartments to keep your stuff organized, and a lot of ways to attach this stuff to your bike. That said, each bag is going to be different, and it’s important to know exactly what you need when you’re looking for the perfect commuter bicycle backpack for your needs.

The Giga Bike is a classic commuter backpack from Deuter. First, it’s got a ton of storage space. It comes with a huge main compartment. There are three additional pockets on the front, and one more on the top. It also has one underneath. This is plenty of space to be able to fit everything you need in one place, which is perfect for those cyclists with way too much stuff to store on their bike.

14. Ortlieb Velocity Backpack

Our rating: 6 / 10

Ortlieb Velocity Backpack

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Pros:

  • Handlebar-bag system allows you to carry a lot of weight
  • Small bags, large bags, extra-large bags
  • Top quality zippers

This black backpack is the final word in waterproof mountain biking packs. Made in Germany, not only do you get Ortlieb’s lifetime warranty on this one but its outstanding waterproof ability and comfort.

The Ortlieb Velocity packs are available in three sizes and several colors, they are waterproof, tailormade for mountain biking, they are very comfortable, and they can carry all your equipment. The pockets are easy to access, and lid pockets are also huge.

If you tend to carry a lot of stuff or are heading out for a long ride for example, the Velocity is the ideal choice. You can easily strap it to your back thanks to the self-sealing buckles and strong seams. The selection of pockets is great as well, and there’s room for your tools and equipment, and a whole lot more.

15. Manhattan Portage PARK SLOPE DAYPACK

Our rating: 6 / 10

Manhattan Portage PARK SLOPE DAYPACK

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Pros:

  • Has bungee straps on the sides for holding umbrellas or water bottles
  • Has a water bladder sleeve in the back, which can be accessed from the back zipper
  • Reflective tape at the bottom for enhanced visibility
  • Made of canvas, so it is extremely durable
  • Has a full padded back
  • Has a laptop sleeve
  • Has a sunglasses pocket
  • Comes in various colors and patterns
  • Shoulder straps can be hidden

Cons:

  • Going over one shoulder can be difficult, as it’s a very big backpack
  • Not waterproof

One Size.

This retro-style backpack is stylish, functional, and comfortable.

It’s a full-sized laptop backpack that can hold everything you need for a day on the campus or even for an extended multi-day trip.

16. Oakley Men's Enduro 22 Backpack

Our rating: 5 / 10

Oakley Men's Enduro 22 Backpack

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Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Made of lightweight material
  • Great security features
  • Spacious

Oakley brings you a design that is ideal for the commuter. This product is made of waterproof material called Enduro, which is an ultradurable laminate that keeps your stuff dry. The Enduro design is reinforced with a mesh backing and pull straps and connectors that makes it versatile. You can also carry it easily as there are multiple grab handles and a stowable waist belt.

The main compartment is spacious enough for laptops and tablets as well as clothes. When carrying a lot of stuff in your backpack, you would not want to inconvenience others.

You can leave the backpack hands-free thanks to the swing-away self-locking hip belt, which leaves the trolley handle free for your smooth strolling.

17. Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack

Our rating: 5 / 10

Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack

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This backpack from Banjo Brothers is designed for walking, but it’s perfect for biking, too, thanks to its capacity. It has plenty of storage, including a big water bottle holder. Plus, the bag features dual zippers that make it easy to get in and out, even while you’re wearing it.

This backpack holds up to 20 lbs, which is more than can be said for most of the bags out there. The manufacturer designed the bottom to be tarpaulin-like, which means it’s durable and will last for a long time.

18. Ortlieb Messenger Bag

Our rating: 5 / 10

Ortlieb Messenger Bag

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Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • Stylish
  • Even has a camera lens pocket!

For Mountain Biking

With its elegant design and excellent build quality, the Ortlieb bag is a huge favorite among mountain bikers. It comes with numerous pockets, providing plenty of room for all of your daily necessities. With its flexible mounting system you can easily secure your bag to your bike and it’s even waterproof!

Some clever design features make this Ortlieb perhaps the most practical backpack on the market. For instance, the camera pocket has an exit point in the front, so you can still charge the camera without taking out the unit. And there are loops on the shoulder strap so you can securely attach a mobile phone or music player.

19. PRVKE Travel and DSLR Camera Backpack

Our rating: 5 / 10

PRVKE Travel and DSLR Camera Backpack

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Pros:

  • Fits various DSLR and Mirrorless camera sizes
  • Padded interior for sensitive equipment
  • External pockets to keep equipment organized
  • Exterior mesh pockets for water bottles or other items
  • Padded shoulder straps and back padding for carrying comfort
  • Ventilated shoe compartment
  • Has water bottle pockets
  • Two-way protection from the elements with water resistant fabric
  • Has a rain cover for the backpack
  • Two-way Main Compartment Access (via U-shaped Zipper)

The PRVKE backpack from Mindshift Gear has everything that you need for a day of shooting and a little more. The backpack is 100% waterproof, even with the zipper open thanks to the water-resistant fabric it’s made from. It has a ventilated, padded shoe compartment, side-entry water bottle pockets, removable padded laptop sleeve, and heavy-duty dividers.

Because the backpack is so well organized and protected, the inside of the backpack is very nice. The space is soft, plush, and very large. In addition, the backpack offers superior comfort, thanks in part to the padded back and shoulder straps which helps to take some of the load off of your shoulders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best cycling backpack?

A cycling backpack is an easy and convenient way to carry over your hydration, your phone, and of course your beer after a long bike ride.

A good cycling backpack can take the burden off your shoulders and transfer it to your hips or upper back. This allows you to use your chest to regulate your breath while pedaling instead of being hunched over with your hands on your hips.

The best cycling backpack should accommodate for your hydration bladder and be easily accessible. It should also be able to carry all the important items that anyone would want on them riding on their bike.

The list below includes some fantastic biking backpacks that you can check out!

Can you cycle with a backpack?

Absolutely! Cycling with a backpack means you will have an easier time access your water bottles. Plus, a backpack is where many cyclists keep important items like their cellphones and keys.

However, you should never cycle with a backpack while riding on the road. The backpack will be a hindrance to you and other cyclists. If you plan on cycling with a backpack on a daily basis, I suggest you invest in a bag that is designed to be clipped on your bike.

What is the most durable backpack brand?

For decades, Hi-Viz is the best known brand in the cycling industry. They have always provided high standards and performance backpacks to their consumers. Recently, Eddie Bauer, an iconic brand in the outdoor market, has entered the cycling market with their first cycling back pack. Their high quality products has made many consumers look at them with positive eyes.

Generally, expensive brands are usually known to have higher quality backpacks than less expensive brands. There are many other manufacturers, such as Dakine, Topeak, and Arcteryx but these three brands do not fall within the top. They all have several positive reviews, but most of the time, their products fall short from the performance of the higher end branded products, especially when we are talking about waterproof capabilities and durability.

What size travel backpack should I get?

Backpack sizes are usually measured in liters. Sizing is calculated based on how much your backpack can hold. They’re typically measured by the number of liters the backpack can hold for example 50L. The more space you want the more you have to pay.

If you don’t know how much your backpack will need to carry, a good rule of thumb is to take an inventory of everything you want to carry when you’re traveling and add it to the backpack calculator (don’t forget luggage and camera).

Additionally, some backpacks are specifically designed for longer trips, which is usually called a travel backpack. It’s an important decision to know if your backpack is made for weekend retreats, vacations, a regular commute or those who are traveling light.

Conclusion

Why is a cycling backpack so important, you may ask? It is a fact that you will need to do a lot of grocery shopping when preparing for your trip. While you could carry your groceries in your hands or in a bag, it is suggested that you use a cycling backpack. Attach the extra bag on the bike and walk to your destination. Now, choosing a backpack for cycling may be a daunting task. Here are some tips that will help you select a backpack for cycling.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Timbuk2 Spire BackpackBest OverallTimbuk2 Spire Backpack
Banjo Brothers Commuter BackpackBudget PickBanjo Brothers Commuter Backpack
NOMATIC BackpackUpgrade PickNOMATIC Backpack