12 Best Cycling Backpacks: Reviewed For Bike Commuting
If you're a regular cyclist, whether for commuting, exploring or working, you need a good quality cycling backpack. There are so many brands and styles on the market designed especially for optimum functionality when cycling.
We have narrowed down the most common types of cycling and found the best backpacks to match. Read on to find a comprehensive list of the 12 best cycling backpacks for a variety of uses. They’re sure to help you find the best option for your needs, your budget, and your preference. We look at the cycling laptop backpack, bike pannier backpack, and hydration backpacks.
Cycling Backpacks Compared
No - Waterproof Roll Top
2.4 Lbs (Without Gear) + (30L)
Thule Pack N Pedal Commuter
Yes, Waterproof Cover
2.56 Lbs (Without Gear)
Osprey Daylite Daypack
No – Water Repellent
1 Lbs (Without Gear) + (13 Liters)
1.54 Lbs (Without Gear) + (18 Liters)
Mubasel Gear Hydration Backpack
No – Water Repellent
Ibera All Weather Bike Panniers
No – Water Repellent
4 Lbs (Without Gear) + (30 Liters, 15-L Each Bag)
Mubasel Hydration Backpack
No – Water Repellent
8 Lbs (Without Gear) + (2-Liter Bladder)
No – Water Repellent
Unknown - Very Light
Proviz Sports Reflect360
No – Water Repellent
1.7 Lb (Without Gear) + (30 Liters)
Rockbros Folding Bike Carry Bag
Yes - Waterproof Interior, Water-Resistant Exterior
5.46 Lbs (Without Gear)
Fancywing LED Bag/Backpack
⅓ Lbs (Without Gear)
Hikpro Lightweight Daypack
No – Water Resistant
½ Lb (Without Gear) + (20 Liters)
Reasons Why Cycling Backpacks Have Become Popular
Cycling backpacks have become popular in recent years because of the increase in biking as both a leisure choice and a transportation option for commuting. Instead of dealing with a regular backpack with unsuitable designs, features, and dimensions, you can and should treat your body, back and your bike to a specially-designed bag.
That's not to say that all cycle-suitable backpacks are the perfect choice, as there are some multi-purpose backpacks which are excellent for cycling... some of which you’ll see in the reviews list below.
Commuting to work
Cars are just not economically or environmentally-friendly, and parking can be expensive. Bikes remain a popular choice when getting to and from work. When cycling to work, you need a backpack which is big enough to carry all of your daily items like a laptop, clothes, spare shoes, food and books. We recommend choosing an ergonomic backpack with a smart design if you pedal to work.
Hydration when riding
When embarking on a long journey, you're often exerting yourself energy and need regular hydration. Stopping to open your pack and haul out a drink bottle is out of the question. That's why hydration backpacks are popular with long-distance cyclists. Hydration backpacks have a bladder nestled inside the bag, with a tube reaching from the bladder to your mouth so you can sip as you ride. These bags offer great value for money as they can be found for under $25.
Exploring the wild
The adrenaline of going fast and flying over bumps and rough terrain is an addictive one. The popularity of dirt bikes and
Delivering food or goods
Bike delivery is another emerging market where riders require a certain type of bag to deliver their goods. If you deliver food or goods via bike, you will need a pannier or messenger bag to attach to your bike. These allow maximum storage without weighing down the body with heavy or delicate goods.
Storing your bike after riding
Fold up bikes are a cool new option for cyclists. Especially for people who have to count subways and buses into their daily commute to the city. You can easily fold up these bikes to create a compact unit so you don't need to be the awkward commuter taking up space on crowded public transport vehicles. You still require a bag to carry the folded up version and luckily we have a great choice reviewed below.
What To Look For In a Good Bike Backpack
Before you make your selection, consider what type of backpack you need, according to your lifestyle and hobbies. The following list covers our top-rated picks and looks at 12 best cycling backpacks that will suit every type of bike and rider.
As stated previously, what you require your backpack for is the most important question to ask yourself. You don’t want to end up with a backpack designed for students when you’re out on the trails for hours. Similarly, a bag for long-distance road cycling is not ideal for mountain bikers.
Biking with a heavy load on your back is no fun at all. You need a backpack made of sturdy yet lightweight materials so when you load it up, it’s still light and comfortable as you ride. Backpacks on our list range from approximately - 1 – 4 lbs.
You need your cycling backpack straps to be well-fitted, not too tight, not too loose, and of course, comfortable. You don’t want to be shuffling or trying to adjust straps as you cycle as it will be unsafe on the road or trail. For extra security and safety, go for a backpack with shoulder, hip, and chest straps to avoid a slipping and falling backpack.
A waterproof material is also an important feature as you don’t want your laptop or important papers getting wet on the way to work. A waterproof cycling laptop backpack is always an intelligent choice. Not all backpacks are waterproof, but most are water resistant. This means they repel rain and light water such as a spilt bottle but wouldn’t be able to cope with being submerged underwater. Luckily, most people don’t go swimming and cycling at the same time, unless they’re a triathlete!
If you’re storing valuables such as a wallet, phone, watch, devices or keys then you need to consider security in your backpack. To avoid theft, think about locks, slash proof materials, and discreet access points. These options are widely available in modern bags, with innovative features being common.
If you’re likely to be cycling at night, or at dusk on the way home from a late shift or study, then you need to be seen. Some backpacks have light clip options, reflective stripes, and even LED features. These brands help keep you safe and visible for drivers.
Carrying a computer is common among professionals or students. A secure pocket, preferably with crush-proof casing or sleeve is vital in protecting an expensive Macbook, PC or Ipad. It's important to be aware of the size of your PC and ensure you get a bag that’s large enough for your particular device.
Style & design
Do you prefer a sleek, slim shape or a bit more bulk to give you extra storage room? Personal preference is always a key indicator in determining which bag to buy. We have added a wide variety of colors and styles of backpack so you can look awesome on the roads, trails or dirt.
Water backpacks are made especially for carrying hydration bladders inside the main compartment, with built-in straws which allow you to sip when riding. These are not necessary for short distances or commutes to and from work but if you're a keen mountain biker or hit the long-distance roads, you may need to think about a lightweight hydration pack.
12 Best Cycling Backpacks Reviewed For All Riders
1. Timbuk2 Spire Backpack
Best For Street Bikes/Commutes
This is my pick for the best cycling laptop backpack. I can see both professionals and students riding to work or school with their laptop, food and clothes in this pack. It's definitely not for any long-distances or intrepid biking but is ideal for shorter rides through urban streets.
It has a laptop pocket, a tablet sleeve, and a waterproof roll top to keep your stuff protected. However, do be aware that some customers have found the waterproof roll top to be less effective than advertised. Even so, for most people it’s sufficient.
The comfort level is high, with a ventilated back, and adjustable straps to get a perfect fit to avoid slipping and sagging when cycling.
Why is this the best cycling laptop backpack?
Timbuk2 has designed this backpack with apple macbook's in mind. These computers fit comfortably when riding to work and we love the extra protection of the waterproof roll top.
2. Thule Pack n Pedal Commuter Backpack
Best For Street Bikes
My pick for the best backpack for cycling to work is the Thule Pack n Pedal Commuter Backpack. It has a high-visibility rain cover stashed away to use whenever the weather turns sour or you need extra visibility for safety.
Just like the Timbuk2 Spire, Thule is another great option for protecting a laptops, tablets or papers, due to its internal and detachable compartment. We love the fact that this 'sleeve' is not fitted to the riders back and sits on the top area of the bag. We do however class this backpack as more of an 'overall' bag rather than a laptop only backpack due to its extra features.
It has an expandable helmet pocket on the exterior of the bag so you can neatly store your helmet post-riding. It has enough space (24 litres) for books, pens, spare clothes, and the previously mentioned dedicated sleeves for a laptop and a tablet.
Staying safe when biking home from late work or school sessions is another aspect this Swedish brand has covered. There is an attachment on the exterior of the rain cover so you can easily hang a light to warn motorists. Additionally there is space to hold your helmet after riding. This comes in the form of a secure attachment that rolls out and clips your helmet in place.
While some reviewers have found that the reflective strips peel after a while, this is a well-loved backpack for people who travel to work and school via bike.
Why is this the best backpack for cycling to work?
All the extras included in this smart design. High visibility rain cover, light attachment, portable laptop sleeve, and post ride helmet holding ability.
3. Osprey Daylite Daypack
Best For Street Bikes
The top pick for a small cycling backpack is the Osprey Daylite Daypack. It's not specifically a cycling backpack, but it may as well be. It has adjustable shoulder, hip, and sternum straps for secure wearing as you cycle.
It’s small and compact, yet roomy enough to carry enough daily items such as food, pens, and a small laptop or tablet. While it doesn't have a dedicated laptop sleeve, it has a sleeve which can be used for a tablet (or a hydration bladder).
Plenty of reviewers have mentioned it fits their 15-inch laptop too. It's ideal for light travelers and commuters, as it as organizer pockets for phones and hooking keys onto the key clip. We love it for cycling because it securely tightens to the chest and hip, keeping it locked to your body.
This isn't a good backpack for people who carry a lot of items or for those who regularly commute in wet weather conditions. Also, if you're super tall, I wouldn't go for this bag, the straps might be too tight and uncomfortable.
Why is this the best small cycling backpack?
Coming in at 13 liters and boasting shoulder, hip and chest straps means you will get a secure yet small day pack.
4. Lixada Waterproof Cycling Backpack 18L
Best For Mountain Bikes, Dirt Bikes
This is a quality choice if you’re searching for a waterproof cycling backpack. The Lixada waterproof cycling backpack has been designed for total cycling comfort, with a breathable back, adjustable shoulder, hip and chest straps, and is a compact size.
This 18L capacity bag is made with plenty of features such as double zippers, adjustable straps for the chest and hip, and a built-in whistle. It also has a mesh cover to hold onto your helmet when you’re not riding.
In terms of storage, there are plenty of options. Large and small pockets, open side pockets and secure zips hold everything you need. There is also a detachable pocket for your phone. It also comes with a waterproof rain cover for protecting against heavy rain. This bag is not ideal for students or work commuters carrying a laptop as the dimensions and storage areas aren’t quite right. But it’s perfect for mountain biking trips or outdoor days on the bike.
Why is this the best waterproof cycling backpack?
The waterproof nylon is not 100% waterproof but by coupling it with the rain cover it is our favorite practical backpack for cycling.
5. Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack
Best For Mountain Bikes
Our top pick for the best mountain bike backpack is awarded to the Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack. It has an insulated bladder compartment so you can keep your water pack cool as you ride. It’s advertised as "leak-proof", but there are quite a few mentions of leaking in customer reviews. However, the bag is so affordable that you could use your own hydration pack instead of the one supplied.
The 4 hour cooling period is especially great for summertime bike sessions. There's plenty of room for storing spare clothes, food, cameras, and smaller items for a long bike on the tracks. The stretchy mesh at the front is great for expanding to fit a helmet or jacket. The shoulder and waist straps are padded and adjustable, to keep you comfortable and slip-free during the ride.
Why is this our best mountain bike backpack?
Mubasel goes above and beyond with extra features. A 2 Liter FDA approved bladder is included along with a brush cleaner for cleaning purposes. The thermal insulation also provides extra cooling capacity for longer and this compact yet spacious design means room for all your necessities.
6. Ibera All Weather Bike Panniers
Best For Panniers, Food/Goods Delivery
The Ibera pakrak bike panniers (that’s a mouthful!) are a great choice if you need a bike pannier. They come in a set of two and are designed to fit with all pannier carrier racks. These pannier packs are mounted on the side of the bike by attaching them to your pannier carrier rack at three separate points to avoid swinging and shifting when riding.
There are plenty of large and small compartments for various items, and elasticated straps to hold down any overflowing items. Straps are also kept from flying into your spokes with its smart and slim design.
These pannier backpacks have reflective trim to keep you visible and safe on the roads. Waterproof materials and an extra cover will keep your possessions dry on rainy days.
Why is this the best bike pannier backpack?
The sleek and smart design and 1680D Nylon material help make this our top pick. It is quick and easy to release, slim when riding and also water resistant.
7. Mubasel Hydration Backpack
Best For Mountain Bikes, Road Bikes, Long Distance
The best hydration backpack for biking goes to the Mubasel Hydration Backpack. It’s super lightweight so it won’t bug you or strain you as you ride. It has an FDA-approved, 2-liter water bladder, and extra storage pockets for wallet, keys, phone, and even an extra clothing layer. This is a small backpack and suitable for hydrating when riding and not a lot else!
Some reviewers have noted that the straps can slip as they ride, and are most suitable for taller, larger frames. Another potential issue is that it has a plastic-like taste when drinking. Be sure to run it through warm water for an extended period before using. Apart from that, it’s a sturdy, affordable, lightweight, and comfortable hydration pack.
Why is this the best hydration backpack for biking?
It is small, compact and comfortable for riders. If staying hydrated and carrying essentials when riding is what you need then this bag is excellent value for money.
8. Waterfly Packable Sling Bag
Best For Dirt Bike
The top dirt bike backpack on our list is a little different, in the sense that it is a sling pack which crosses over the body. It's great for dirt bikes because it is very lightweight, doesn't have straps or tags to fling around. We love it because it straps tightly to the body for security. It has enough room for small items such as a phone, camera, wallet, keys, iPad, and a light jacket or layer.
It also folds up into itself when you're done with it which makes it even more compact. It's not for long trips or for people who need to carry a lot of stuff on their dirt bike ride. It's best for people who only need to take the necessities but don't want to stuff their jacket pockets. The material is thin, so heavy items aren't a great idea.
Why is this our best dirt bike backpack?
The extra waist strap keeps this small sling bag strapped even tighter to your body. This works well when off road as the instability of a ride wont affect the movement of your bag.
9. Proviz Sports Reflect360 Backpack
Best For Street Bikes, Road Bikes
If you need a high visibility backpack for safety reasons then the Proviz Sports Reflect360 Backpack is for you. We’ve chosen this one because it’s extremely reflective, which means super safety during night rides. It has a decent capacity, enough to fit a laptop, books, food, and clothes.
It would be great for students or professionals who often ride home after late shifts, classes, or gym sessions. The adjustable chest, shoulder, and waist straps ensure the bag doesn’t shift or slip as you ride. The 100% CE EN Certified material means you’re guaranteed a quality product.
Why is this best high visibility backpack for cycling?
The technology that Proviz has developed makes them the leader in visibility for cyclers. Stay safe on the roads with this bag!
10. Rockbros Folding Bike Carry Bag
Best For Fold-Up Bikes
A folding bike backpack has been a relatively new but fantastically designed product. The Rockbros folding bike carry bag is a great choice for anyone who commutes with a folding bicycle. It’s a simple design with a functional, well-made construction. You attach the bag to your handlebars as you ride, then pack the folded bike into the bag when you're done.
Sling it onto your shoulders and away you go. The interior is padded, waterproof, and designed to protect your bike from dust, moisture, scrapes, and hard knocks. The prices aren't too bad either, so you don't need to spend too much for a reliable back for your folding bike.
Why is this the best folding bike backpack?
The padding and the waterproof design help to seriously protect rather than just cover your bike. many other brands do not offer this level of protection.
11. Fancywing LED Cycling Saddle Bag/Backpack
Best For Street Bikes, Road Bikes
The winner in LED cycling backpacks is the Fancywing Saddle Bag/Backpack. While not technically a backpack, this is a great option for people who bike at night or early morning in high-traffic areas.
While not for people who need to transport large items such as laptops or clothing, it’s ideal for small items such as a phone, keys, and wallet. If you’re commuting to work or college, this isn’t for you. But if you’re a regular leisure or fitness rider, this will keep you and your items safe and secure.
Why is this the best LED cycling bag?
This particular bag is remote controlled and has the ability to give signals for drivers. We love this aspect as it promotes even safer practises on the roads and goes above and beyond in caring for riders.
12. Hikpro 20L Lightweight Daypack
Best For Street Bikes, Commuting
The choice for the best backpack for biking to college goes to this super-cheap option from Hikpro. Most college students have a very small budget, so this backpack is on the mark, price-wise. The backpack is made with durable yet very lightweight material to hold up during the college year. Biking to college usually means shorter distances and fewer items carried.
A laptop, a book or two, some snacks, and little items such as pens, a phone and keys are usually the maximum. This bag has more than enough room for these. Definitely not for long distances or wilderness excursions, but ideal for short trips to and from campus.
Why is this the best backpack for biking to college?
Its cheap, strong enough to carry books and laptops while also versatile enough for hiking, carrying gym clothes and everyday use.
Different Bags for Different Bikes
For riding long distances, you’re going to need enough room for necessities such as food, extra clothing layers, a hydration pack or water bottle. It also needs to be streamlined so that it won't slow you down. The best backpacks will be a light-yet-sturdy bag which won’t strain your back or shoulders.
Travelling into deep, rugged terrain can be isolating and dangerous at times. Things like: food, water, tools, maps, first aid items, are smart choices for riders. These need to be kept to a minimum as high speeds and changing direction are core aspects when going downhill.
This means you need a slim bike backpack with durable material, and preferably a hydration pack. Fit and comfort are also crucial, you don't want to chafe or deal with slipping straps when swooping through the trails.
Being fast and motorized, you need a backpack which doesn't have hanging straps and loose tags. A compact backpack with secure closures is ideal to ensure everything stays tucked away tight. You also need a backpack with adjustable shoulder and waist straps which allow you to move freely while ensuring that the bag remains tight to your body.
Regular everyday street bikes are great for short distances such as commuting to work or school. People often carry laptops and tablets so specific compartments, security features and waterproof materials are a good idea.
You don’t need a hydration pack, but you do need enough space for storing clothes, work documents, and potentially minimal groceries. A slipping backpack when navigating busy urban streets isn’t a safe idea, so well-fitted shoulder straps and a waist or chest strap are paramount.
Carrying a bike inside a bag is not easy. You need it to be compact yet simple to carry. Adjustable straps to fit comfortably to your back and shoulders are key. You also need a bag with padding so the bike is protected, and you don't suffer hard protrusions through the bag as you wear it.
Panniers can come in top-loading or side-loading styles. They’re designed to carry food and other items, usually for delivery. You’ll need a pannier rack attachment to attach to your bike. This will allow the pannier bags to be secured to the bike. Some pannier bags come with their own racks, while others are compatible with most racks.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Will my shoulders hurt when carrying a backpack on a bicycle?
If they’re properly fitted and tightened to your body, you shouldn’t experience soreness. If the backpack has a hip strap, the backpack can be suspended slightly to take the weight off the shoulders.
However, if the backpack is heavily packed or the straps are too loose or too tight, you may experience some strain after a long journey.
Will I sweat when riding with a bag?
Yes, especially if you’re riding in hot weather, and for long distances. It also depends on what you’re wearing. It’s not necessarily because of the bag, but because of the exercise itself. However, many backpacks are made with breathable back panels to increase the amount of airflow between the bag and your back.
Is a water repellent bag sufficient for commuting to work?
I would say yes, most of the time, but always take note of the bag’s water resistance before buying. Especially if you are commuting with a laptop, tablet, or phone in your bag. It’s not worth risking your devices becoming damaged by rain on the way to work. Go for a waterproof backpack if you want to be extra careful, or at least find a waterproof cover for your backpack.
Can you clean or wash a bicycle backpack?
Yes, you can sponge the backpack down with a damp cloth or sponge with a bit of gentle detergent for stubborn or wet stains. If the stains are dry, i.e. dirt or dried mud, a quick brush or dry wipe should suffice.
Where’s a good place to buy cheap backpacks?
Amazon is a great place to find a cheap backpack. There are often specials and sales on, so keep checking to find the best price at the time.
A good bike backpack will be the difference between a cumbersome commute, an irritating mountain biking trip or a painful road journey. Find the best biking backpack for your specific style, routine, preference, and environment.
The best way to nab the right one is to consider all of your needs, then match them up to the best cycle backpacks on the market. Use our guide and top 12 list as a starting point as this will find the perfect backpack for you.