Motorcycle Backpacks - A Guide to Shopping a Good Motorcycle Riding Backpack

No motorcycle road trip is perfect without a good motorcycle backpack. You can’t make a long trip without a backpack - yes, people can travel quite easily with a thin wallet and a phone in their pocket, but every now and then a trip might require a heavier load like food, drink and other essentials. 

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Our CabinZero team have picked out the 10 best motorcycle backpacks models that will help you keep things organised without having to change bags every time you plan to go out for a ride - and there’s one for every riding style and personal preference! 

Top 10 Best Motorcycle Backpacks - Our Top Picks for Every Motorbike Riding Style 

CabinZero Military 36L Motorcycle Backpack for Frequent Commuters 

The CabinZero Military backpack 36 litres is a good motorcycle backpack choice for riders as it is made out of the high quality 1000 Denier nylon fabric, easily adjustable shoulder straps, sternum straps and waist belt.  

What riders love about the backpack is the handy water bottle holder on the side, as well as the side compression straps for a better weight transfer. This motorcycle backpack is lightweight, easy to carry while you are not riding with the top and side handles, and comfortable on your back due to the airflow system on the rear panel as well as the shoulder straps. 

The spacious interior makes it easy to pack and organise your stuff - comes with a padded laptop sleeve that can hold a 12-17 inch laptop. With a capacity of 36L, this motorcycle backpack is suitable for a weekend trip ride.

Weight: 950g | Capacity: 36L | Material: 1000 Denier nylon fabric

OGIO Mach 5 - A Rider’s Motorcycle Backpack Choice 

OGIO is one of the most established and stylish brands in the biker backpack market and it has certainly kept its standard with the Mach 5. 

The OGIO Mach 5 is the latest remake of the very successful OGIO Mach 3, having received several improvements and additional features. You will notice when riding at faster speeds, the straps won’t pull over your shoulders, the bag won’t move in the wind, and you won’t be held back.  

This motorcycle backpack is extremely comfortable with padding at every point it comes in contact with your body. It also includes a small fanny pack attached to the waist strap where you can keep items like a wallet, phone, and keys so you don’t need to remove the bag to get them when you need them. It is also equipped with an integrated helmet strap and a separate sleeve for tablets and iPad. 

However, the OGIO Mach 5 motorcycle backpack is not recommended for longer trips as there is not much space for all the items you might need with the volume capacity of 22 litres. 

Weight: 1.68 kg | Capacity: 22L | Material: Carbon weave PU shell, 840D Jr. Ballistic Nylon, 420D poly

CabinZero Classic Pro 32L Backpack for Casual Motorcycle Riders 

The CabinZero Classic Pro backpack 32L is designed for adventurous riders that prefer a minimalistic look on their back. Sturdy, lightweight and comfortable, this motorcycle backpack will not let you down out on the open road. 

The Classic Pro backpack is a good choice for motorcycle riders because it provides the ultimate comfort on the road with the padded foam on every point it comes in contact with your body: the back panel, shoulder straps and waist belt. Additional features like the high-quality zippers and quick-access buckles make this backpack very easy to use - not to mention the stow-away waist belt and shoulder straps coming with the top and side handles that allow you to carry it the way you want when you are not riding. 

Weight: 1.24 kg | Capacity: 32L | Material: 600 Denier Polyester

OGIO Renegade RSS17 Motorcycle Backpack

The OGIO Renegade motorcycle backpack is a traveller’s best companion with large and protected storage pockets for glasses, phones, and laptops. 

This motorcycle rucksack has a dedicated armour-protected laptop compartment (up to 17 inches) and a crush-resistant tech chest pocket - making it one of the best motorcycle laptop backpacks. Additional features like strong zippered side pockets and double water bottle holders make this a great option for commuting. It is also a great option for frequent travellers on planes - with no problem fitting under the airplane seat during the flight.  

Alpinestars City Hunter Motorbike Rucksack

The Alpinestars City Hunter backpack is a motorcycle ultralight backpack made out of tear-proof 420D nylon to reinforce the lower part. It has a capacity of 25 litres and 2 waterproof exterior pockets on the front. 

Designed with a large main compartment with internal organisers, 2 main pockets and several storage compartments, this motorcycle backpack performs well to comfortably fit your stuff for a day trip - including a full-length 15-inch laptop compartment with zipper and protective sleeve. 

Weight: 900 grams | Capacity: 25 litres | Material: 420D nylon

JDC Frontier Motorcycle Backpack

The JDC Frontier Motorcycle Backpack is made with heavy-duty material and construction with 3 re-enforced adjustable front straps. The backpack has a capacity of 24 litres, but the main body can be expanded to 36 litres. 

The special feature that makes this model an ideal motorcycle backpack is a compartment for your helmet. It can fit a laptop up to 17 inches even when you carry a helmet on the exterior pocket. It also has a zippered pocket on the waist belt to store your necessities like a phone, wallet or keys for a better reach when you need them. The sternum strap, adjustable shoulder straps and waist belt make this backpack stable and comfortable on your rides. 

Weight: 1.1 kg | Capacity: 24 litres | Material: Heavy-duty fabric

Held Roll Dry Sack 40L Motorcycle Backpack

The Held Roll Dry Sack 40L is one of the best waterproof backpacks for motorcycles or other types of adventure. Held is a motorcycle backpack brand that offers stylish and practical packs for your time on the road. It is made of excellent quality, good safety colour and it’s very handy with both a carry handle and back straps. 

With a capacity of up to 40 litres, this motorcycle backpack is great for stuffing tents, sleeping bags or other camping gear you might carry on your road trip. These motorcycle backpacks can be rolled from the top and you can attach them to the back of the bike using bungee cords. 

Capacity: 40L | Material: 100% waterproof Tarpaulin with waterproof navy-style roll-top closure

Standard Issue 18-Liter Weather-resistant Motorcycle Backpack

The Standard Issue 18L motorcycle backpack is designed for the weekend warrior and the constant traveller. It is equipped with a spacious room for your gear as well as multiple compartments at different easy access points. 

This motorcycle backpack is great to provide maximum comfort for your back - including the ergonomic moulded padding and comfortable foam-grip carrying handle. You can fit a lot of gear with its roomy interior with multi-organisation dividers, multi-compartments and pockets and a fleece-lined top-loading tech locker. It has a dedicated side laptop access and storage that can fit a 13-inch laptop. 

Weight: 0.75 kg | Capacity: 18L | Material: Weather resistant materials

Held To-Go 11-20L Motorcycle Backpack for Different Purposes

The Held To-Go Backpack is another motorcycle backpack model from the Held Biker Fashion family. A sturdy and functional backpack for riders, it is built with various mesh side pockets for a better reach to your necessary items, as well as 2 external pockets for more organisation. 

This motorcycle backpack model is ideal for motorcycle riders because it provides the ultimate comfort during your rides - with the padded straps, chest click buckle and waist strap. It also comes with a built-in rain cover to fully protect your gear under any weather conditions. 

OJ Carry Motorcycle Backpack

This expandable motorcycle backpack from the OJ brand is a buckle-up closure model on the list. It is equipped with chest and waist safety straps for more secured and balanced weight distribution, while having an external pocket to keep your essential items close at hand.  

With a volume of 21-30L and an inner laptop holder pocket, there is plenty of room to store your gear in an organised way - especially if you prefer a backpack with an opening at the top with zippers. 

Capacity: 21-30L | Material: Polyester

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Backpack 

There are different criteria that can impact your choice of getting a motorcycle backpack just like when you’re shopping for a regular rucksack. We have sorted a list out for you of different aspects that you should consider, as well as some other features that are often overlooked by racers. 

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One of the first things to consider is the volume in litres of the backpack. Depending on the gear you carry inside the backpack, seek the option that best suits your needs. Don’t always go for the biggest choice of the backpack when you don’t need to carry that much stuff with you on the trip. 

The size of your motorcycle backpack should be compatible with your habits and style, and how you would use it for other purposes. A backpack can be useful in many ways. It can be used to carry a laptop to work, in such cases it should preferably have a padded laptop compartment and additional storage space to keep your wires and plugs. Features like internal storage pockets will come in handy if you plan to carry small items. 

If you plan to use your motorcycle backpack as a gym bag, it would be useful to have some space to store your sneakers and gym stuff. When choosing the size of your backpack for your motorcycle ride, think about what you plan to put in it. You might even prefer a bag that is big enough to keep your motorcycle helmet when you walk after a ride. 

Materials and Design

Consider when and where you ride. How often you ride should be a deciding factor when choosing a motorcycle backpack. If you plan to be on the road for long days, a strong and durable backpack is a better choice. 

Where you ride will also need to be considered. If you plan to take on the elements when riding with your backpack, you would want a waterproof and weatherproof motorcycle backpack. Some backpacks have a waterproof cover/rain cover that can be placed over the rucksack for rainy days - this is a must-have feature if you live in colder climates with harsh weather conditions. If the backpack you prefer doesn’t have a waterproof cover or a rain cover attached to it, you can always get a separate rain cover for your motorcycle backpack. 

A motorcycle backpack design should match the purpose of your riding. Some motorcycle rucksacks are designed to be aerodynamic and suitable for high-speed driving, while other backpacks are designed for off-road or long cross-country travel. 

Lightweight backpacks are a good idea for keeping your rides comfortable and as long as they’re made well with durable materials, you’re good to go. 


This is an important factor to consider when shopping for any kind of backpack, especially those you would wear on long trips. When you are on a motorcycle ride, you don’t want to be distracted by anything else and be 100% focused on the road, which is why it is necessary to have a comfortable backpack that offers good load distribution on your back. 

Take a look at the padded shoulder straps and waist belt, which will help to transfer the load from your shoulders to your hips. Also keep an eye on the sternum strap which helps balance and secure the pack, as well as the additional air mesh system to provide better ventilation on your back on hot days. 

Safety and Security

A motorcycle backpack must be able to protect the rider in the unfortunate event of falling or an accident. You should consider the safety standards before purchasing the bag based on your risk appetite and the conditions you plan to ride. Although accidents are never planned, riding a motorcycle contains risks, so you’d better be prepared for the worst. 

A good motorcycle backpack can serve as an extra layer of cushion, especially for your back if you’re out of balance. Also, if you plan to carry valuables like laptops, a hard backpack will provide the best protection. In addition, you can carry your first aid kit in your backpack. This can be very helpful in the case when you or someone else gets injured in an accident. 

Ease of Use

A lot of motorcycle backpack models are integrated with very handy features, such as zipper pullers that can be handled even with gloves on. The waist and the chest straps should be easy to unbuckle and fasten, and the bag should be easy to clean - especially if you’re riding in dusty terrain and the bag then should be able to withstand regular wiping. 

It’s also important to stay hydrated while riding, so a bag with an external bottle holder that is accessible while riding is a great idea. Also, the attachment points on the outside of the bag can be very useful for attaching different equipment such as a jacket or gloves when you are not riding. 

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>> You might also want to check out: Best Cycling Backpacks and How to Discover Your Favourite Cycling Rucksack

FAQs - Choosing the Best Motorcycle Backpack

How much does a motorcycle backpack cost?

The general rule that you get what you pay for is certainly true here. However, getting a good quality motorcycle backpack doesn’t mean you have to splurge. A good motorcycle backpack can last for several years if you really take care of it. 

There are big brands like Alpinestars or OGIO that are very well established for motorcycle backpacks. However, there are also many inexpensive motorcycle backpacks of decent quality that can perform well for your needs. 

What are the different types of motorcycle backpacks on the market?

Motorcycle backpacks can come in different styles and sizes. While backpacks are the most common, some people choose to ride with other options. We can put motorcycle bags into 3 categories: 

  • Motorcycle backpacks: It’s the backpack as we know it and those listed above belong to this category. It can be a backpack made specifically for frequent riders, or a basic minimal backpack with multiple functions. 
  • The shoulder bag: Here we are talking about sling bags or satchels. This type of motorcycle backpack is suitable for carrying light items as it does not really balance the load on the back as a backpack does. Some shoulder bags are designed for professional purposes so if you’re riding to work, these motorcycle sling bags are perfect.
  • The motorcycle suitcase: If you are looking for luggage for long-day road trips on a motorbike, the suitcase will offer greater capacity and it is made to be attached to your motorcycle. They are usually made in rigid metal shells, so your belongings will be protected at all times. 

When should you replace your old motorcycle backpack?

As long as your motorcycle backpack does not unstitch and can still close, it’s absolutely fine to continue to use it. A backpack’s life is like other parts of a rider’s equipment and is subjected to many factors. You can keep your backpack durable and clean by washing it correctly according to the care labels on each backpack. There are other simple ways to extend a backpack’s lifespan, such as correct use, not overloading the bag or putting very heavy objects in it, etc. 

If your current backpack for motorcycle rides is not really comfortable on your back when you’re riding, it’s time to consider getting a new and better one. 

We hope you find this guide useful in choosing the perfect motorcycle backpack for your next riding trip. Let us know if we’re missing your favourite motorcycle backpack models in the comments below, we would love to hear from you. Happy riding! 

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