8 Best Cycling Backpacks in 2020

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There’s no arguing that bikes are a great way of getting around. Yes, bikes come in different designs, including specially made options for athletes, hikers, and the average Joe. But at the end of the day, when you think about it, bikes are, at the very basic level, modes of transport. However, bikes aren’t just perfect for moving you from point A to B. They can also be used to haul stuff. Here’s where the best cycling backpacks come in.

A sturdy and large-capacity cycling backpack can help you carry small items like a lunch box and other supplies on the road. Backpacks are the focus of our review today so stick around and you’ll learn some useful stuff.

What is the Best Biking Backpack?

So, as you can probably guess, there are thousands of backpack brands out there. Deciding which ones offer the best value for money can be quite hard.

The good news is that you don’t have to. We have done some extensive research for you and came up with some of the best cycling backpacks out there.

1. Timbuk2 Especial Cycling Backpack

The Timbuk2 Especial Medio is made from waterproof Cordura nylon fabric to give that extra bit of durability.

The bag also has an internal drop liner and seam tapes all round for outstanding quality. It features a large breathable design with plenty of ventilation and extra padding on the back and along the shoulder straps for extra comfort.

You also get superb storage options. The pack has several internal pockets, including special places for small items like pens, keys, phones, and other electronics.

The pack is also highly breathable and offers additional foam padding on the back and along the shoulders for all the comfort you need. This road cycling backpack has special pockets for a water bottle too.

Pros
  • Features a special pocket for water bottles
  • Highly durable construction that will last long
  • Excellent built quality and durability
  • Padded straps for added comfort
  • Comes in two colors
Cons
  • The pack doesn’t stay upright for long

2. Skog Å Kust BackSåk Floating Backpack

The Skog Å Kust BackSåk is one of the few backpacks in our list made specifically for intense outdoor activities like hiking and off-road biking. In fact, the backpack’s Swedish name translates to forest, creek, and coast, something that tells you it’s made for outdoor use.

The backpack is 100% waterproof too. It’s super durable thanks to its 500 denier PVC outer layer. You’ll also love that these packs come in two main options. The first one is the smaller 25 Liter bag and the second one goes up to 35 Liters.

You also get a padded and well-ventilated back for comfort, a large separate pocket inside the bag for small electronics, and special pockets as well for keys or any small item you may be carrying with you.

This backpack is available in a wide range of colors. If you’re looking for the best cycling commuter backpacks, you won’t find a better option than this one.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty 500 denier PVC construction for long-lasting service
  • Padded back support for extra comfort
  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • Sleek and modern design
  • 100% waterproof bag
  • You can pick between a 25 L and 35 L option
Cons
  • The overall quality of the pack is not at par with other brands on our list

3. Ortlieb Commuter City Maroon Backpack

The Ortlieb commuter backpack is a unisex roll-top pack that combines durability and practicality to a great extent.

First, the pack is constructed from highly durable nylon fabric and comes with a reinforced underside for extra support. The pack is also waterproof and comes with a properly ventilated back padding for extra comfort.

You’ll love that the manufacturer includes a removable chest and waist strap. These straps are extremely important when carrying relatively heavier stuff. They simply allow you to perfectly fit the pack around you, especially for long commutes.

There’s also a padded laptop compartment inside and several small pockets that should easily help you organize your stuff. The backpack is also fitted with some lock loops that you can use to attach a helmet, a safety blinker light, or anything else.

Pros
  • Comes with an expandable storage capacity
  • Removable chest and waist straps are included
  • It’s a waterproof backpack
  • Excellent roll-top design
Cons
  • Doesn’t include pockets for a water bottle

4. PRVKE Travel and DSLR Camera Backpack

The PRVKE Travel and DSLR Camera Backpack is a specialty backpack designed for your camera.

It should be a great option for outdoor photographers but it also has a compartment for a laptop or iPad. The interior compartment is customizable and features several smaller pockets for camera accessories including lenses.

However, the bag is still a great option to carry additional stuff around. First, the capacity stands at around 5 L, which should be enough to stuff in a camera, laptop, and a few other things.

The great news though is that the storage is expandable so you can get 5 more liters if you need to. In its own simple and practical way, this pack is no doubt one of the best biking backpack brands for outdoor lovers.

Pros
  • Easy access to your items inside the bag
  • Highly durable and rugged for extensive outdoor use
  • Comes with secure pockets for camera lenses, passports, and other delicate things
  • The storage can be expanded for a further 5 L
Cons
  • Too expensive even for its features

5. Thule Pack-n-Pedal Commuter Backpack

The Thule Pack-n-Pedal Commuter Backpack is a roll-top backpack designed to deliver maximum utility for people on the commute.

The bag has a waterproof main compartment that will keep all your stuff dry during rain. But that’s not all. It also has an array of specialty pockets designed for several things.

First, you get a removable padded laptop compartment with advanced shock-absorbent features to protect your computer from any hits. You also get a crushproof pocket on the sides for sunglasses or your mobile phone.

The backpack has special pockets for your keys and comes with its unique rain cover as well. As for safety, it’s fitted with additional reflective detailing for enhanced visibility. It’s indeed one of the best backpacks you can buy.

Pros
  • Comes with a handy removable laptop compartment
  • Offers excellent storage capacity thanks to its amazing variety of pockets
  • Well organized backpack
  • Waterproof compartment to keep your important stuff dry
Cons
  • Doesn’t include a waist strap

6. Henty Wingman Commuter Suit Bag

The Henty Wingman Commuter Suit Bag is more or less a suitcase on your back. It features a patented support system designed to hold your clothes without wrinkling them.

The bag also offers excellent storage capacity and comes with a special external pocket for a 15-inch laptop.

It’s also 100% water-resistant and features an innovative design that can be collapsed while in transit for ease and convenience.

The Henty Wingman Bag is, however, a higher-end option. It costs relatively more than most backpacks in our category but it’s worth the money.

Pros
  • Comes with a patented support system that keeps packed clothes wrinkle-free
  • Excellent storage capacity with additional laptop and tablet storage options
  • High-end brand with a bit of luxurious feel to it
  • Water-resistant design to keep your clothes and other stuff dry and clean on transit
Cons
  • Some parts don’t ship together with the pack and you may need to spend extra money to get them

7. Proviz Sports Reflect360 Backpack

The Proviz Sports Reflect360 is an extremely versatile backpack that offers the ultimate combination of safety, excellent design, and outstanding utility. First, the bag comes with a water-resistant design that should keep most of your stuff dry.

Additionally, the bag is well ventilated too, especially around the back to ensure it feels comfortable even on hot days. But it’s the safety of this backpack that makes it stand out. The backpack is made from 100% CE EN 20471, a highly reflective fabric that makes you completely visible on the road.

It delivers superb storage thanks to its 30 L capacity, including an additional laptop or tablet compartment. You’ll also love that it features adjustable waist and chest straps too and it’s fully compatible with a 2 L hydration bladder.

This may not be one of those small backpacks but it’s super light and very practical for anyone to use.

Pros
  • Offers excellent fit and stability
  • Constructed from a highly reflective fabric for safety
  • Properly ventilated
  • Waterproof design
  • Comes with adjustable waist and shoulder straps
Cons
  • The bag leaks a bit of water even though the manufacturer rates it as waterproof

8. Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag

As you can guess from its name, the Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag is designed for messengers. But you can still repurpose it for your use thanks to several features. For example, the bag is constructed from 1000 denier Cordura, a waterproof material that keeps everything inside dry.

The pack also features outstanding durability and should last for so many years. There are several pockets on the front for quick easy access and a standard seat belt chest strap that should keep it secure on the road.

Additionally, the manufacturer has included a feature called the floating liner which is designed to separate dry and wet items. This is the ultimate traveling bag and is big enough too.

And just as an add-on, you also get a built-in bottle opener in the bag. As far as features go, this is one of the best backpacks for cycling today.

Pros
  • Waterproof design
  • Comes with quick-release straps
  • Extra-large with an immense storage capacity
  • Durable construction that will last for years
Cons
  • Only has one strap for your left shoulder

How to Get the Best Cycling Backpacks

Biking backpacks come with an array of features. However, not all packs are going to work for you.

If you’re going to pick the best cycling backpacks, then there are several factors you need to keep in mind just to be sure you are buying something that works.

Here are some of these factors:

Ventilation

The comfort of your pack depends on a whole lot of factors.

But breathability is a huge part of it, especially for people who ride under warm conditions. For this reason, always pick properly ventilated backpacks.

Pockets

Let’s face it, the organization of your backpack will entirely depend on the number of pockets available. Most backpacks will typically have one extra-large main compartment.

However, this isn’t always enough. You still want a pack that has several other smaller pockets to help you organize your stuff better.

Padded Straps

Speaking of comfort, it’s also important to choose packs that feature some padding along the straps. You don’t want to put too much pressure on your shoulders.

A padded shoulder strap provides extra cushioning between the backpack and your shoulders. This then eases the pressure, making it easier for you to carry heavier loads with ease.

The stability of your backpack is also very important. This can, however, only be achieved if you have a perfectly fitting pack.

Well, shoulder straps aren’t always enough to guarantee this. Always pick the best backpacks for biking that offer either removable or non-removable chest or waist straps.

Reflectivity

Safety is also a key part of riding a bike since you’ll mostly be sharing the road with motorized vehicles and other bike users.

Using a backpack with a reflective surface can help you stay visible for all people to see you.

Waterproof

If you’re going to use your backpack for the daily commute, then you have to make sure that it’s waterproof.

We all know that it can rain from nowhere. You don’t want your stuff to get wet. Waterproof backpacks offer the perfect solution for this.

Size

It’s also important to go for a backpack that has enough storage capacity to carry what you need during your commute or from one place to the other.

Conclusion

Getting the best cycling backpacks should be easy with all the models available.

But in case you want something that offers huge value for money, go for the Timbuk2 Especial Cycling Backpack. The pack comes with a wide range of pockets that should make it easier for you to get organized with your stuff.

It’s also a highly durable and waterproof backpack that works great in any type of weather. It’s indeed worth your money.

James is a passionate bicyclist who has done about every kind of biking there is. He loves the wind in his hair, the sun over his shoulder and maybe even the bugs in his teeth. No, just kidding about that last item. He isn’t crazy about road burns, either, but acknowledges that to have the good there is the occasional tumble. James feels that his bike is the place where he can unwind, leave troubles alongside the road, meet new people, go new places, and live the life of adventure that he loves. He is ready to share the ride with you.

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