3 Best Backpacks for Cycling

Hey there backpack fans and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best backpacks for cycling for some comfortable two wheeled fun this year. As we know, cycling is a versatile activity and can be a mode of transportation, a form of exercise and even a way to connect with the family. And for many, it’s more than just a hobby; it’s a lifestyle.

One of the most essential items for any cyclist then is a well-designed, functional backpack. And when it comes to a backpack, cyclists need something lightweight yet durable, with adequate storage space and designed for the rigors of the road or trail. The wrong backpack can lead to discomfort, inadequate storage, and distraction from the enjoyment of the ride.

So to help you out, I have put together this comprehensive guide to the best backpacks for cycling. Let’s check them out…

My Three Recommended Backpacks for Cycling

I will review these in more detail below however if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience: 

11/28/2023 02:43 pm GMT

What Are Cycling Backpacks?

As the name probably suggests, cycling backpacks are a type of backpack specifically designed for cyclists. They are generally lightweight, durable and comfortable with specific features that cater to the needs of cyclists. One of the functional features of cycling backpacks is their aerodynamic design, which helps to reduce drag – which is especially important when cycling long distances or at high speeds.

Cycling backpacks also have functions that make them more comfortable to wear such as padded straps and back panels to help distribute weight evenly and reduce pressure points. This makes them more comfortable to wear for extended periods, which is important for cyclists who may be on the road for hours at a time.

Another important feature of cycling backpacks is their storage capacity with many featuring have multiple compartments and pockets, which allow cyclists to store essentials such as water bottles, snacks, and tools. This helps to keep everything organized and easily accessible while cycling.

Check out these: 3 Best Hydration Backpacks

backpacks for cycling - cyclist with small backpack

What Should You Be Looking For?

The following factors should be considered as you look around for a good backpack you meet your cycling needs.

  1. Size and Capacity
  2. Weight
  3. Comfort
  4. Ventilation
  5. Durability
  6. Water resistance
  7. Reflective detailing
  8. Additions

Size and Capacity

For obvious reasons, the size of the backpack determines how much gear you can carry, while the capacity determines how well the backpack can organize your gear.

It’s essential to choose a backpack that is the right size for your needs. If the backpack is too small, you won’t be able to carry all the gear you need for your ride. On the other hand, if the backpack is too big, it can be cumbersome and affect your balance while cycling.

The capacity of the backpack is also a crucial factor. A backpack with a high capacity can carry more gear, but it can also make it challenging to organize your items. A backpack with a lower capacity can help you stay organized and keep your items easily accessible.

When choosing the size and capacity of a cycling backpack, you should consider the duration and type of your rides. If you’re planning long rides, you’ll need a backpack that can carry a sufficient amount of food, water and repair tools. If you’re using the backpack for commuting, you may need a smaller backpack that can hold your work clothes and laptop.

Check out my post: How to Pack a Backpack for Cycling


When selecting a cycling backpack, a lightweight option is crucial as it can help reduce the amount of weight you’re carrying on your back, which can have a significant impact on your cycling performance and overall comfort. A heavy backpack can cause discomfort and fatigue and it can affect your balance and mobility while cycling.

To keep things lightweight, it’s important to look for backpacks made with materials such as nylon, polyester or other high-performance fabrics. These materials are known for their durability and ability to resist wear and tear, while also being lightweight.

A minimalist design with fewer pockets and compartments may also result in a lighter backpack, but this will depend on your individual needs and preferences.


An uncomfortable backpack can cause injury, fatigue and distract you from the joy of cycling. One of the most important aspects of comfort is the fit of the backpack and it should be snug and fit comfortably against your back with the weight distributed evenly. Look for backpacks with adjustable straps and padding to ensure a secure and comfortable fit.

The padding should be thick enough to protect your back and shoulders from the weight of the backpack, but not so thick that it becomes too heavy. Look for backpacks with breathable materials, such as mesh to help keep your back cool and dry as well.

backpacks for cycling - cyclist with backpack


When cycling, your body generates heat and sweat, which can accumulate on your back and cause discomfort. One of the main factors that contribute to ventilation is the material so look for backpacks made of breathable materials, such as mesh, which allows air to flow through and keeps your back cool.


Durability is an essential factor to keep in mind when selecting a cycling backpack as it can affect the longevity and functionality. A durable backpack can withstand the wear and tear of cycling, protect your gear and save you money in the long run.

One of the primary factors that contribute to durability is the material of the backpack. Look for options made of high-quality, durable materials such as nylon polyester, or Cordura. These materials are tough, abrasion-resistant, and can withstand the rigors of cycling.

The quality of the stitching and zippers is also crucial in determining the durability of the backpack. Backpacks with reinforced stitching, double or triple stitching or bar-tacked stress points are always a good choice. High-quality zippers, preferably YKK, are also essential to ensure that the backpack can withstand repeated use as well.

Water resistance

This factor helps to protect your gear from water damage and keeps your belongings dry during unexpected rain showers. Some of the common materials used in water-resistant backpacks include coated nylon, polyester or Cordura as these are designed to repel water and prevent it from seeping into the backpack.

Also look for options with sealed seams, waterproof zippers and roll-top closures to prevent water from seeping through the stitching or zippers and into the internal compartments.

It’s important however to remember that water resistance is not the same as waterproofness. A water-resistant backpack can protect your gear from light rain and moisture, but it may not be able to withstand prolonged exposure to heavy rain or submersion in water. If you plan to cycle in wet or rainy conditions frequently, consider investing in a waterproof backpack instead.

Reflective detailing

Reflective detailing refers to any material or design element that reflects light, making it easier for motorists and other cyclists to see you. This can include reflective strips, logos or other design elements strategically placed on the backpack to maximize visibility from different angles. Some backpacks may also feature reflective stitching, which helps improve visibility while adding durability.

Reflective detailing is especially important for commuters who cycle in low-light conditions, such as early morning or late at night. By making yourself more visible to motorists and other cyclists, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and improve your safety on the road.


Other potential additions include:

  1. Helmet attachment systems: A Helmet attachment systems to allow you to secure your helmet to the backpack when you’re not riding.
  2. Rain covers: Rain covers will keep your backpack and its contents dry, and ensure that you arrive at your destination with everything in good condition.
  3. Compression straps: These items are designed to compress the contents of your backpack to reduce its overall size and keep the weight close to your back.
  4. Hydration bladders, Some cyclist backpack options include a hydration bladder which can be filled with water for consumption whilst riding – much like a Camelpak.


What should I look for in a good cycling backpack?

A good cycling backpack should be lightweight and comfortable to carry for long periods. Look for a design with a good weight distribution, such as chest and waist straps, to reduce strain on your shoulders. It should be durable and waterproof to protect your belongings from the elements. Additional features such as reflective details for safety, multiple compartments for organization and a built-in hydration system can also be beneficial.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. LOCALLION Cycling Backpack

This first option is a great choice for cyclists who need a durable and reliable backpack with ample storage space, comfort and protection from the elements. It even comes with an affordable price meaning you’ll get more than what you paid for as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: LOCALLION
  • Material: High quality nylon fabric
  • Capacity: 10 liters
  • Dimensions: 2.73 x 8.58 x 17.94 inches
  • Weight: 15.5 ounces

Other inclusions:

  • Easy-drinking system
  • Reflective stripes
  • Mesh pad at the back

Why have I chosen it?

One of the most notable features of this backpack is its increased capacity from 6 liters to 12 liters providing more storage space for the user’s belongings. Additionally, the backpack comes with a rain cover to protect it from the elements, a zipper pocket on the waist belt for added convenience and a special thickened cotton padding pocket for sunglasses

The ergonomically designed double S-shaped shoulder straps fit the spine perfectly and can be secured to the body using the chest and waist straps to ensure the backpack remains stable while cycling, even when turning. The back panel has been replaced with a more breathable and comfortable sponge material, making it comfortable for long rides as well.

And finally, this backpack is waterproof, wear-resistant and tear-resistant making it suitable for all kinds of weather and terrain. The rain cover located in the bottom pocket of the backpack ensures that the user’s belongings stay dry and protected from rain and dust too.

2. Sunhiker Cycling Hiking Backpack

With its water-resistant coating, this backpack will keep your belongings safe and dry in light rain or splashes. It is both lightweight and durable with adjustable shoulder straps and breathable mesh back panel provide comfort and ventilation, making it ideal for long rides. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Sunhiker
  • Material: Nylon fabric
  • Capacity: 20 – 25 liters
  • Dimensions: 15.8 x 9.4 x 5.9 inches
  • Weight: 11.3 ounces

Other inclusions:

  • Available in 12 colors
  • High-quality zipper
  • Breathable shoulder pads
  • Adjustable front buckles
  • Computer compartment in main pocket

Why have I chosen it?

This options is perfect for those who prefer a smaller-sized backpack and only want to carry essential items while traveling light. It is made of high-quality nylon fabric, which has a waterproof coating, making it water-resistant and also has good abrasion resistance, making it durable and able to withstand wear and tear better than other fabrics of similar products. Additionally, it is lightweight, easy to clean, and has good breathability.

The backpack has a high-quality smooth zipper and a back and shoulder strap design with breathable mesh pads to help reduce pressure and fatigue caused by prolonged use. It also has adjustable chest and waist straps for convenience. Abd finally, there are three compartments and two mesh pockets on both sides, providing enough space to neatly organize essential items.

The main pocket also has a computer compartment, making it great for those who ride to work as well.

3. TETON Sports Oasis Hydration Backpack

This final backpack ticks all of the same boxes as those above and also comes with a 2-liter hydration bladder and a drinking tube that can be accessed without removing the backpack. It is large enough with a capacity of 18 liters and features multiple pockets to fit everything you may need as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: TETON
  • Material: 210d 2mm polyester honeycomb ripstop
  • Capacity: 18 liters
  • Dimensions: 10 x 18.5 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 32 ounces

Other inclusions:

  • Reflective print
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Expandable waist belt

Why have I chosen it?

With its rugged and durable ripstop construction, this pack is designed to last. One of the standout features of the Oasis 22L however is its ambidextrous design, which means that it features hydration ports on both the left and right sides. This allows you to drink from either side of the pack, so you no longer have to reach across your body to get to the water bladder.

In addition to its ambidextrous design, the Oasis 22L also boasts several other convenient features. The front-zip pockets are easily accessible, allowing you to grab what you need quickly and easily and it also comes made of reflective materials and fine mesh straps and backing for extra ventilation as well.

11/28/2023 02:43 pm GMT


There you have it, my three best cycling backpacks. As usual,  let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun


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