What makes a good cycling backpack? The answer is very simple: a backpack that has water-resistant or waterproof features, lightweight, comfortable, durable and affordable. Whether you are looking for a compact cycling backpack that can carry your laptop and a few belongings, or a bicycle backpack that can fit a lot more, like water, clothing, rain gear, tech gadgets and notebooks, there is definitely a pack just for you.
Not sure which backpacks for biking to get for your cycling journey every day or your next biking adventure? There are different types of cycling backpacks depending on the type of your ride, what you need to carry and weather conditions where you are, these factors might affect your choice. If you are going on a long trip and need to carry loads of stuff, then you might want to put all the weight on the back of your bike rather than carrying it on your shoulders. However, if all you need is a backpack for biking on a daily basis, then read on to find out what you need to look for in a good bike commuter backpack.
In this article, we at CabinZero will cover the shopping guide to the most ideal cycling backpack for your needs, as well as our 8 top picks at various designs, functions and prices, which will help you choose the right biking backpack for yourself.
Benefits of a Good Cycling Backpack - Why Do You Need a Quality Rucksack for Biking?
Breathability in a Good Bike Backpack Makes Comfortable Journey
A good cycling backpack is made of features and technology that can make your cycling journey a lot easier. For example, it would be nice for the biking bag to have the built-in mesh air system on the panel area that interfaces your back, as it allows air to flow through that gap and prevents sweating.
Bicycle Backpacks Can Offer Versatility with its Compartments and Pockets
An ideal cycling backpack should not be attached to only a simple use. These backpacks can be used for hiking, travelling, carrying your clothes, etc. If you wear it comfortably for other reasons, you will probably get the same comfort and functionality of it as a bike commuter backpack too.
A Good Biking Backpacks Ensures Stability and Safety
Whether you are carrying the rucksack on your back or hang it on your bicycle rack, a good cycling backpack can really make your ride much enjoyable. This is why the sternum strap and waist strap are there on most of the best cool backpack for biking, to stabilise and balance your body. Moreover, stable means safe!
Having a lot of adjustment options is also important when riding a bike. A good road biking backpack does make a big difference for your back and shoulders when it comes to the padded waist and sternum straps.
A Simple Guide to a Good Cycling Backpack - What to Look for in a Bike Backpack?
There are various features that can turn a backpack into a good cycling experience, but the basics are simple. If you’re looking for a cycling backpack that accompanies you on day-to-day journeys, look for those that are compact, lightweight yet have enough space for all the gear you carry, including your work equipment, laptop, clothes, water, personal items, and more.
If you are on the hunt for a good bicycle backpack for your next biking adventure, there are some extra add-on features to note. Premium cycling backpacks should be waterproof or water-resistant, lightweight, breathable, durable and comfortable.
Waterproof and Weatherproof Biking Backpacks
Choose a bag with durable materials and waterproof/water-resistant features. This very first and fundamental rule you don’t want to go without when you are shopping for every kind of backpack, not limited to backpacks for biking only. A well-made cycling backpack should be weatherproof as you may experience bad weather during your journey, and you don’t want your belongings to be soaked with water, especially if you’re carrying your electronics items with you. Don’t forget to always keep an eye on the fabric and material that the rucksack is made of.
Choose a Bike Riding Backpack with a Good Ventilation System
Whether you go on the daily commute to work or a mountain trail, it is important to note that a good ventilation system can make the journey much more enjoyable. Look for a cycling backpack that has an airflow system on the back panel and shoulder straps as it will help with the breathability of the backpack itself.
Check the Padded Shoulder Straps and Chest/Hip Straps of the Bike Backpack
Your morning commute can turn into a nightmare if the bulk you carry on your shoulder is unpleasant, which is why you should definitely go for a cycling backpack with quality padded shoulder straps for extra comfort.
Stability is another thing to bear in mind. Look for a backpack with a good chest/hip strap that is closely and comfortably attached to your body, which will prevent twisting and help with extra security and stability on the road. The sternum strap will keep things balanced with your back and body, while the waist strap will stabilise the load on your back and move some of the weight off your shoulders.
Variety of Pockets/Compartments - A Versatile Bike Backpack
Think of all the other times you would use your cycling backpack for other activities, such as travelling, hiking or sports. Backpacks that offer a good variety of compartments and pockets are generally ideal to keep your belongings more organised.
Many commuters nowadays carry a laptop with them, which is why it is necessary to get a biking backpack with a padded laptop sleeve for your laptop.
Choose a Cycling Rucksack with Enough Capacity and Storage
Cycling backpacks come in all shapes and sizes. The capacity of the biking backpack depends on various factors, such as how you like to ride, what stuff you need to carry and the duration of your trip. The basic capacity for a biking backpack should be at 20-30L volume, which would allow you to store all of your stuff comfortably. However, if you are doing a more intense biking trip or mountain trail and would like to carry more heavy loads with you, then go for the biking rucksacks that provide 40L of capacity or more.
>> Check out: Best 30L Backpacks
Our Top 8 Best Cycling Backpacks and Rucksacks
CabinZero Classic Pro - A Minimalist’s Choice for a Cycling Backpack
If you’re looking for a lightweight cycling backpack with a minimalist and versatile design that can well accompany you on every journey, the CabinZero Classis Pro is what to aim for. This is the most basic backpack that has all the features you will need for a good and affordable bicycle backpack. It has a front-loading main compartment, a quick-access front panel zip pocket, and a water bottle holder, which will come in handy for your morning commutes.
The air mesh back panel and shoulder straps with an airflow system will keep your journey comfortable, plus the waist strap providing stability. Inside, there is a padded laptop sleeve and other small compartments, along with a spacious main compartment, this road bike backpack will keep your belongings nice and neat on the journey.
Weight: 1235 g / 2 lb 12 ounces | Capacity: 32L | Water-resistant: Yes | Colors: 4 | Material: 600 Denier Polyester Fabric with water-resistant coating
Incase Icon Backpack - A Smart-looking Biking Backpack Choice
The Incase Icon Pack is a very well balanced biking backpack that holds everything beautifully and tightly on your body. The padded compartment can accommodate a 15-inch laptop or an iPad Pro, while the main compartment is big enough to carry your tech gadgets and other accessories.
Made from durable nylon fabric and having the compartments inside designed for better organisation, this cycling backpack is best for minimalists who carry a mobilised office on their shoulders every day. Put your large items and documents in the main compartment, while tech accessories and other small items in the second compartment, and you’re all set!
Weight: 789 g / 1 lb 11 ounces | Water-resistant: Yes | Colors: 1 | Material: Nylon
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CabinZero Military - A Resilient Cycling Rucksack
For adventurous folks, the CabinZero Military is a good companion whether in tough terrain conditions or a day-to-day cycling backpack. It has the features that a cycling backpack needs, with comfortable straps, a water bottle holder and a laptop compartment. Made with nylon fabric and equipped with an airflow system on the rear panel and shoulder straps, this backpack is also durable and breathable for commuters.
This lightweight cycling backpack is made of durable nylon fabric, with top and side grab handles - those features will come in handy whether you carry it on your back or hang it on your bicycle rack.
Weight: 850 g / 1 lb 14 ounces | Capacity: 28L | Water-resistant: Yes | Colors: 5 | Material: 1000 Denier nylon fabric with water-resistant coating
Nomatic Bicycle Backpack with Durable Nylon Material
With 20 litres of storage capacity, a side handle and a thick waterproof shell, the Nomatic backpack is a cycling backpack that will quickly become your best companion. Equipped with an RFID safe storage compartment, magnetic water bottle pockets and weighs only 4 pounds, this backpack is a good choice for bicycle commuters.
What’s cool about this bicycle backpack is that it has a patent-pending strap system that allows you to turn it into a suitcase for a more professional look. With a sleek and minimalist design, this Nomatic biking backpack will give you the confidence to commute in style.
Weight: 4.16 lbs | Capacity: 20-30L | Water-resistant: Yes | Colors: 1 | Material: 1000 Denier nylon fabric.
Osprey Escapist 18 Cycling Backpack - The Best Choice for Mountain Biking
The Osprey Escapist 18 backpack is a sleek and stylish bicycle backpack that’s one of the best in the game of road biking backpacks - holding handy features including a lightweight turn signal clip, stretched mesh side pockets, a lined pocket for your sunglasses, a built-in rain cover, a zippered shoulder strap pocket and many more.
This backpack is one of the top ones with the best cycling backpack reviews. Made of 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop, with the capacity to 42L yet only weighs 0.8kg, this backpack is resilient and supportive for mountain bikers.
Weight: 800g / 1 lbs 12 ounces | Capacity: 48L | Waterproof: Yes | Colors: 2 | Material: 210D Nylon Mini Hex Diamond Ripstop
Henty Wingman Backpack - A Rolling Backpack for Biking
The Wingman is an innovative rolling bicycle backpack that is ideal for business suits, sport uniforms, wetsuits, work attire and more. The designers at Henty’s didn’t create another laptop rucksack, but rather a sleek and versatile rolling backpack for either cycling or walking, or even taking it to the plane.
This clever cycling backpack is made for versatility. Whether you are a runner, cyclist, traveller, or walker, this backpack makes your journey comfortable and easy with its weatherproof materials and padded shoulder straps.
Weight: 1.7kgs / 3.7lbs | Capacity: 18L | Weatherproof: Yes | Colors: 1
Pelican Mobile-Protect Cycling Backpack with Durable Nylon Fabric
Sometimes all you need is a laptop and a cellphone. Other times you need a laptop, an extra pair of running shoes, a rain jacket, water, snacks, a bike pump, a U-lock and much more. For those times, the Pelican Mobile Protect Backpack is what you need - with its 35-litre capacity, large main compartment with organisational pockets.
The Pelican cycling backpack is created to take you and your gear to the destination with full protection from however harsh the weather might be, even without a rain cover. With its large main compartment and extra organisational pockets, it keeps all your stuff neat in one place.
Weight: 1.1 kg / 2.43 lbs | Capacity: 35L | Water-resistant: Yes | Colors: 1 | Material: 1000D Nylon Outer Shell
Brooks England Pickwick Leather Cycling Backpack - Keep Your Morning Commutes in Style
With a simple profile, unadorned shoulder straps, a single entry point and a canvas shell, the Brooks Pickwick Leather will transport your gear in a stylish manner. This roll-top backpack is made with durable vegetable-tanned leather and the design that keeps your belongings safe and secured. Look no further as this small cycling backpack is top of the line for those minimalist and stylish commuters.
Weight: 1.13 Kg | Capacity: 26L | Waterproof: Yes | Colors: 3 | Material: durable vegetable-tanned leather
That’s a wrap on our cycling backpack shopping guide and top picks on the best biking backpacks with a well minimalist design, superb fabric materials and features. If you are in doubt, our advice is to go for the ones with water-resistant or waterproof features, lightweight, comfortable, durable and versatile.
Is your favourite on the list? If not, what are the best backpacks for biking that we have missed in this article? Please let us know in the comments below.