Cycling is becoming an increasingly popular way to commute to either work, school, or anywhere for that matter. Unlike walking, riding a bike tends to shave a fair bit of time off your commute and much unlike riding a car, carbon emissions are kept to practically non-existent levels.
Even taking the train doesn’t seem as attractive when you compare it to cycling – the breeze against your face, being able to squeeze even through the tightest openings during traffic, not needing to be packed like sardines in a can with your fellow commuters in some hot, smelly train car. The only drawback to cycling is that it can be tricky to balances yourself while carrying around your daily necessities like your textbooks, laptop, and more.
This is where cycling backpacks come into play. Designed specifically for the bike rider, these backpacks come with unique features with bike commuting in mind including reflectors to boost visibility during the night, being crafted out of durable materials, and being lightweight.
So, if you’re in the market looking for a backpack for your bike commute, look no further and refer to our list below.
Best Backpack for Bike Commuting
Osprey Daylite Daypack
Built out of light yet durable mesh nylon, the Osprey Daylight may be small but still packs a punch at a fantastic price. It holds one large compartment that’s easily accessible thanks to its zipped panel and will store a small laptop along with other daily necessities.
Look deeper and you’ll also find an interior sleeve that doubles either as a hydration reservoir or a storage space for tablets! You’ll also be able to quench the evitable thirsts during long bike rides by storing water bottles on its side mesh pockets. And if you’re in need of a little extra space, its front pocket paired with its mesh organizer has got you covered.
Most importantly when it comes to the actual cycling, the Osprey Daylight’s space mesh shoulder straps will keep the backpack close and fastened to your back so even during the fastest of rides, it won’t ever slip.
LOCALLION Cycling Backpack Bike Pack Outdoor Daypack Running
Coming in almost as many colors as the rainbow from green to orange to blue and to red, Locallion’s Cycling Backpack provides the ideal pick for anyone involved in intense outdoor activities including not just cycling but hiking and running.
Ergonomics is taken to the forefront with this backpack that provides not just a secure fit on your shoulders and back but also provides adequate ventilation on your (inevitably sweaty) back via its mesh material.
Better yet, the straps are designed in such a way as to distribute the weight from shoulder to waist which does not minimize the strap on your back but prevents any shaky feelings during any bike ride.
You’ll also be easily noticed during night thanks to the reflective strips. Now when it comes to storage, you shouldn’t find want for more. Its main compartment is more than capable of storing piles of books, clothes, and tablets while its middle and front pockets, your smaller amenities.
There’s even a semi-closed pouch along with two side mesh pockets if you need the extra space.
Burton Prospect 2.0 Backpack Mens
Lined with high-grade polyester and with a capacity of 20 liters, the Burton Prospect 2.0 offers any cyclist a streamlined product that’ll keep your belongings organized.
Open this backpack up and you’ll find a sizeable main compartment that opens up wide enough to provide seamless access to all your belongings without the hassle of having a million unnecessary compartments.
When cycling you’ll be grateful that it comes fitted with ergonomic shoulder straps with an adjustable sternum clip that’ll align itself tightly to the contours of your back. This highly improves stability and minimizes the chance of it slipping.
It also happens to come in a range of unique color schemes. Ranging from tandoori twill (red) to grey heather and even to true black, there’s always an opportunity to express your individual flair here.
G4Free Lightweight Packable Shoulder Backpack
Priced at a more than generous price point and designed for commuters who are looking for something small, compact, yet effective, the G4Free Lightweight Backpack is designed with mobility in mind.
Constructed out of light, tear resistant nylon and coupled with SBS metal zippers, this compact backpack would probably be best referred to as a pouch.
We say this because when emptied, folding it up allows it to be easily stored anywhere without hogging space. It’ll still be able to store all your daily necessities though through its two zippered compartments, from clothes to notepads, to smaller tablets.
And if you want to also bring a bottle and an umbrella, you’ll be able to do so thanks to its two side mesh pockets.
Osprey Packs Raptor 10 Men’s Bike Hydration Backpack
While higher on the rung of the price than most backpacks on our list, the Osprey Raptor provides any bike commuter their full money’s worth. A premium backpack made out of light yet durable fabric; this backpack is designed specifically for cycling.
This can be clearly seen through its contouring AirSpace back panel and harness that follows the lines of your back while you’re cycling. This means you won’t feel a single moment of instability with the Osprey. It even comes with a 2.5 lire hydration sleeve along with a hose that’ll make sipping on water while cycling a breeze.
Its LidLock attachment will also allow for easy helmet storage while its blinker lights will keep you highly visible even on the darkest roads. Compartment wise, there’s nothing unusual about the Osprey until you look below.
You’ll notice a lower compartment that is specifically designed to store bike tools for whatever they may be needed for.
Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack
Another equally high-quality backpack by Osprey is their Daylight Plus which will be suitable for commuters looking for something slightly cheaper and smaller yet larger than the standard Daylight. With a total carrying capacity of 20 liters, this polyester backpack provides a do-all option for just about anyone – from the cyclist to the hiker.
It comes with a standard large main compartment with a pair of mesh pockets on its side along with comfortable Spacermesh straps. But what sets this Osprey product apart is how its interior sleeve can be repurposed to either serve as a hydration sleeve or be used for storing your tablets.
And best of all, if you find yourself in need of more space, the Daylight Plus can be attached to a range of other Osprey products to give you more space. This includes their Sojourn Series, Porter Series, and Shuttle Series.
NOMATIC Backpack- Slim Black Water Resistant
Slick and clean might of the first words that come to mind when looking at the Nomatic Backpack. This formal looking backpack is much more than a pretty looker though.
Made out of Kodra 500D tarpaulin along with waterproof zippers, this is the sort of backpack that’ll last for the long years to come and will even survive the occasional fall or two. To add icing to the cake, it comes with lifetime warranty.
Storage-wise, it’s expandable interior reveals a 20 to 24 liter carrying capacity which is more than enough for the average commuter. And on its side is a strap system that’ll allow you to carry the Nomatic as if it were a briefcase which we think is stylish and appropriate for those working in offices.
There’s a pocket for everything here: one for your phone, another for your laptop, and another for your wallet.
Herschel Little America Laptop Backpack
With a slick aesthetic that practically screams classic, the Herschel Little America brings old designs to modern times. With a carrying capacity of 25 liters and weight just 2.18 pounds, this pure polyester backpack should provide more than adequate space for biker commuters.
It’ll effortlessly store 15-inch laptops in its fleece-lined sleeve while its ergonomic shoulder straps ensure both stability and comfort during the longest of rides.
One thing to note though is that its external material contains leather, so we don’t recommend using the Hershel when it’s raining outside!
Henty Wingman Commuter Suit Bag – Backpack
Versatility is taken to the forefront with the Henty Wingman. Cyclists, joggers, hikers, climbers, all will find something to long for in this all-sport backpack.
Its lightweight and large internal capacity makes this ideal for commuters especially. Rain or shine, this water-resistant backpack will keep your precious belongings dry and if that wasn’t enough, it’ll also keep clothes wrinkle-free even while moving thanks to its unique support system.
Clothes-wise, you be able to easily fit in a full suit along with dress shoes. Besides this, it’ll accommodate wetsuits, chef’s aprons, school uniforms, and so much more.
Brooks Pickwick Day Pack
Elegant, simple, yet effective are the tenets the Brook Pickwick lives by. Meticulously crafted by artisans in Italy using century-old techniques and the finest quality leather in the market, this blue sign certified backpack is pretty, water-resistant, and feels premium to the touch.
It doesn’t come with a zip and instead, it comes with a neat looking roll-top closure that only adds to the pristine aesthetic.
But don’t mistake tradition for being outdated. Its chest straps can be secured to your chest with a lock and its shoulder straps are designed to maximize stability while cycling. On it inside, you’ll be able to store tablets, a laptop, books, and even bike tools in a dedicated tool pocket along with smaller amenities in its rear pocket.
A Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Best Backpack for Bike Commuting
Depending on your daily needs and occupation, the size of your backpack should directly reflect your situation. If you intend to commute from home to the gym and only need to carry a set of clothes, opting for a smaller backpack would be a good idea.
However, if you’re a student or an office worker and need to carry a laptop along with countless books, we suggest you opt for a larger backpack for comfort’s sake.
Being exposed to the elements is an unfortunate reality all cyclists have to deal with. This problem is compounded by the fact that as commuters, you’re carrying essential belongings on your backpack that can be damaged by water.
Accordingly, you should look for backpacks that are resistant to water. If you stick to our list, you’ll find that most of our picks are, but should you look elsewhere, always keep this in mind.
Cycling at night can be dangerous as at times you may not be as visible to the motorist’s eye if it were daytime. Because of this, backpacks that come fitted with reflective details are hugely important. Not all do this though so make sure you keep this in mind and if they don’t, we highly suggest you purchase separate reflective details!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can’t I just use a regular backpack for bike commuting?
Absolutely! However, bear in mind that normal backpacks aren’t designed with the bike commuter specifically. This means that it won’t always feel as comfortable on the shoulders or even as stable while cycling.
This can be quite dangerous when you’re on the move as you risk falling down. Furthermore, cycling backpacks are also often water resistant and extremely light unlike regular backpacks.
Are expensive backpacks better?
It depends. Usually for the more expensive products you’re paying for superior materials and additional features (e.g. larger capacity, more pockets).
And at other times, you’re just paying for the brand name. This of course plays directly into what you’re looking for: fashion or function. Just know that this doesn’t mean that cheaper products are inferior necessarily, just different.