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Best Cycling Backpack [2020]

The ArcEnCiel 25L was originally designed to appeal to motorcyclists and mountain bikers who prioritize a tactical backpack that can support a solo rider for a day or longer. The exterior is made from highly durable nylon fabric that has been specially treated to give it superior water resistance. It also features versatile, tactical MOLLE webbing to add accessory packs and items.

The back panel of the ArcEnCiel is padded and breathable, as are the shoulder straps. This pack also has a secure chest strap to firmly secure the 25-liter load and keep it balanced during a long ride. When you get to your intended destination the straps on the exterior back panel can be adjusted to hold a standard cycling or hiking helmet.

The 25-liter interior has versatile tactical pouches. There is also a modest-size bag for quick access to important small items like a phone, wallet, keys or GPS device. There’s also room for a 2.5-liter hydration bladder with a port located at top of the pack which reduces the chances of the hydration tubes accidentally snagging on an errant branch as you ride by. However, this pack does not include the hydration bladder in the original purchase.

Rock Rain puts a great deal of effort into building a loyal customer base by offering quality outdoor products that are also backed by a dedication to customer service. They developed their WindSeeker backpack to cater to the needs of cyclists, hikers, and climbers who need a pack that can support their hydration and gear needs for a full day.

The WindSeeker has an insulated hydration compartment that keeps the 2.5-liter BPA-free, and FDA approved hydration bladder cold for four hours or more. The balance of the 18-liter interior has more than enough storage space to take care of a single rider for a full day or more.

The WindSeeker’s exterior is made from water-resistant nylon fabric. It has adjustable padded shoulder straps along as well as a chest strap and an adjustable waist strap. The padded back has “Air Flow” padding for superior comfort on a long ride. The ergonomic fit also keeps the pack balanced to prevent an accidental fall or mechanical injury.

Nomatic offers several cycling backpacks designed to cater to commuter cyclists. Their Slim 20-liter laptop backpack is compact right out of the box. Yet it’s also expandable for the times when you need to carry a great volume.

The laptop compartment is designed to hold a standard 15-inch laptop as well as other common office items. It has lockable security zippers to secure sensitive, high-value items. It also includes secure pockets, with a retractable key leash, as well as cord pass-thru ports that let you charge devices while keeping them in the back

The exterior is made from water-resistant Kodra 500D Tarpaulin fabric and it tastefully printed with reflective emblems. The adjustable straps can be removed to transform this cycling backpack into a stylish office briefcase. This is a great feature for times when you need to securely move your devices around the office or to a close-by the meeting.

How We Picked

Different cycling backpacks are geared toward different interests. This really keys in on the features as well as the overall size of the pack you need.

With a renewed interest in being “Green” and getting a little exercise, many people are riding their bikes to work and beating the commute. For this niche, we tried to look for things like a laptop compartment, as well as some type of protective space to hold office documents and other important items.

For day-trippers who want to spend a Saturday afternoon taking a long ride, we shied away from laptop compartments and document pouches in favor of hydration bladders. With some of these packs, the hydration bladder is included, which is nice. However, there are somewhere the hydration bladder is not included to let you choose one that best fits your preferred volume.

These packs also need to be able to carry other important items to support a cyclist throughout the day. There needed to be enough room to carry a reasonable size lunch, perhaps an emergency rain poncho, and if possible, an area to hold a helmet when the rider wants to take a little break. We also tried to keep an eye out for things like compartments to hold a smartphone or MP3 player for music along the way.

The next class up from these more modest-sized cycling packs answers the demands of the adventure cyclist or ecotourist who wants to take a mountain bike off the grid for one if not more days at a stretch. With these packs, volume was a key factor we looked for. Ideally, something over 20 to 25 liters.

Though there are some 18-liter cycling packs that had the kind of innovative interior compartments that a master-packer could use it for a solo camping trip. It not a simple overnight stay in the bush. These sorts of “Adventure Packs” also need to be able to accommodate a hydration bladder. If possible, one with an insulated compartment to keep the water cold for more than an hour or two on a hot day.

Safety features were also important. Most cyclists already have some level of reflectivity on their bike or their riding outfit. Still, we tried to also look for additional reflective straps, piping, or perhaps zippers that make it easy to attach accessory LED lights.

Security features were also something to keep an eye on. Especially for cycling commuters who need a pack to carry a laptop, sensitive documents, and other tech items. If you are even slightly concerned about securing the contents of your cycling backpack, then you should prioritize things like locking zippers, secure key leashes, and reinforced ports for charging wires.

Tactical features were also something we kept in mind. MOLLE compatible webbing and hooks or other attachment features allow the rider to bring additional items with them. They also make for customizable storage solutions, which might be helpful for expedition cyclists.

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Specs:

  • Made primarily from canvas fabric
  • A large primary compartment for books and document folders
  • Laptop compartment designed to hold a 15-inch laptop
  • Internal organizer for pens, keys, phone, and small items
  • Pocket for an i-pod or similar device
  • Side pocket for a water bottle
  • Exterior webbing for carabineers
  • A secure zip pocket for valuable items
  • A waterproof rolltop
  • Ventilated back panel

Timbuk2 recently partnered with Apple to create a line of affiliated backpacks. This includes the Spire cycling backpack, which was specifically designed to appeal to commuters who need a pack capable of holding the essential items that need to move between work and home.

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Technically, this pack was designed to fit a Macbook and Apple i-pod. Still, you can get just about any 15-inch laptop and similar size MP3 player to fit. The main compartment is also large enough to hold a book or to as well as things like document folders. The roll-top is waterproof for added peace of mind should a rain cloud decide to strike.

Interior Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Interior Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

There’s also an internal organizer that is designed to hold lightweight items like pens, keys, and a phone. For more sensitive or high-value items there is a secure zippered compartment. It also includes a small pouch for a water bottle.

What We Liked

The fact that the Timbuk2 Spire has a waterproof roll-top with an internal compartment capable of safely holding a laptop or other sensitive office items is a definite feather in this cycling backpack’s cap.

Overall

This is a straight-up commuter cyclist backpack, that you probably aren’t going to use for a weekend romp of mountain biking. Taken in that light, it has all the features you want for getting items safety back and forth between home or office. They do try to oversell how well Apple products fit in it but don’t let that lure you into thinking it won’t hold any other brand.

 

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

 

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

  • Waterproof roll-top
  • Designed to carry a 15-inch laptop
  • Designed to appeal to commuter cyclists

Incase Icon Pack

Incase Icon Pack

Incase Icon Pack

Specs:

  • Commuter cyclist pack
  • Lightweight 2.75 pounds
  • 800 denier heavy-duty ballistic nylon material
  • Pocket for a 15-inch laptop
  • Separate pockets for phone and MP3 player
  • Padded, breathable back
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps with sternum strap
  • Side ports for cables, chargers, or earbud wires
  • Stands upright for easy loading

The Icon by InCase is designed with features intended to appeal to the commuter cyclist or those people who simply want to take their essential tech when they travel.

Incase Icon Pack

Incase Icon Pack

It has three key compartments. One for a standard 15-inch laptop, another for a smartphone, and a third for a tablet or similar device.

Incase Icon Pack with open compartments

Incase Icon Pack with open compartments

It’s made from 800 deniers heavy-duty ballistic nylon. Not only does this material give it superior water resistance, but it also provides it with enough structure to stand up on its own when empty. This lets you load in your tech reliably and trust that it’s not going to catastrophically fall over if you step away.

model wearing the Incase Icon Pack

model wearing the Incase Icon Pack

It was designed with side ports that handle most wire leads. This is a handy feature for times when you might need to charge a device, but you don’t necessarily want to take it out of the pack.

What We Liked

When it comes to a backpack meant to reliably hold tech, the Icon has the compartments and the features that you need. The ports on the side for charger wires are also very nice. Still, you shouldn’t look past the fact that it has the structure to stand up on its own for convenient loading.

Overall

This is another high-quality commuter cyclist backpack that is tailored to people who need to take care of their tech. One knock on it is the lack of a dedicated water bottle pouch.

NOMATIC Backpack Slim Black Water-Resistant Anti-Theft 20L Laptop Bag

NOMATIC Backpack Slim Black Water-Resistant Anti-Theft 20L Laptop Bag

NOMATIC Backpack Slim Black Water-Resistant Anti-Theft 20L Laptop Bag

Specs:

  • 20-liter maximum capacity
  • Slim but expandable
  • Versatile strap system
  • Converts to a briefcase
  • Lockable security zippers
  • Cord pass-thru
  • Interchanging interior panels
  • Water-resistant
  • Holds a 15-inch laptop

Nomatic takes the idea of a commuter or office cycling backpack to the next level. Their Slim 20-liter laptop backpack is compact when you need it, yet expandable for the times when you need to carry more than your 15-inch laptop and basic office items.

Someone carrying the NOMATIC Backpack Slim

Someone carrying the NOMATIC Backpack Slim

The adjustable straps are versatile and can be removed to transform this cycling backpack into a sleek looking office briefcase. The exterior is made from Kodra 500D Tarpaulin fabric which is water-resistant. It’s been tastefully printed with a reflective pattern for times when you might be riding in low light. It even has a spot for a water bottle.

NOMATIC Backpack Slim in a cafe

NOMATIC Backpack Slim in a cafe

The interior has ample room to hold a 15-inch laptop, with arguably enough space to perhaps squeeze a 17-inch into place. It also has interchangeable interior panels. The lockable security zippers also mean that your items stay safe and secure on your back and can’t be snatched by a would-be thief or pickpocket.

This cycling backpack was designed with tech in mind. This includes secure pockets, a retractable key leash, and cord pass-thru ports which allow you to charge devices without having to take them out of the pack.

What We Liked

The Nomatic cycling backpack’s ability to transform into a stylish office briefcase certainly helps to set it apart from many other packs that lose their utility the minute you set them down in your office. At the same time, the security zippers and key leash are also nice touches that you give you peace of mind.

Overall

A great deal of thought was put into the design and material selection of the Nomatic cycling backpack. If you need a briefcase to keep all your essential office items as you go from meeting to meeting or place to place, you might just fall in love with this stylish, and secure unit.

Just bear in mind that it’s not really meant to be a weekend adventure pack. If you need a pack that can also take care of you on a long ride, this one will likely fall a little short.

ArcEnCiel 25L Tactical Motorcycle Cycling Backpack

ArcEnCiel 25L Tactical Motorcycle Cycling Backpack

ArcEnCiel 25L Tactical Motorcycle Cycling Backpack

Specs:

  • Nylon exterior with waterproofing treatment
  • 25-liter capacity
  • Accommodates a 2.5-liter hydration bladder
  • MOLLE compatible
  • Padded back and shoulder straps with sternum strap
  • Front helmet holder

The ArcEnCiel was designed for motorcyclists and mountain bikers who need a tactical backpack capable of supporting them for a day trip or an overnight camping trip.

ArcEnCiel 25L Tactical Motorcycle Cycling Backpack

ArcEnCiel 25L Tactical Motorcycle Cycling Backpack

It’s made from highly durable nylon fabric that’s been treated for superior water resistance and has external MOLLE webbing. This allows you to add accessory items or install hooks to hold a sleeping bag.

ArcEnCiel 25L Tactical Motorcycle Cycling Backpack

ArcEnCiel 25L Tactical Motorcycle Cycling Backpack

The back is padded and breathable, as are the shoulder straps. This pack also has a secure shoulder strap to keep the load secure and balanced during a long ride. The straps on the front of the pack can also expand to hold most standard cycling helmets.

ArcEnCiel 25L Tactical Motorcycle Cycling Backpack with helmet

ArcEnCiel 25L Tactical Motorcycle Cycling Backpack with helmet

The 25-liter interior is thoughtfully designed with tactical pouches. It includes an inner bag to give you quick access to important small items like a phone, wallet, keys or a GPS device.

It was also designed to hold a 2.5-liter hydration bladder. The port comes out near the top of the pack which reduces the chances of the hydration tubes accidentally snagging on an errant branch as you ride by. Just bear in mind that this pack doesn’t come with a 2.5-liter hydration bladder in the initial purchase.

What We Liked

The heavy-duty nylon material with waterproof treatment gives you the confidence to know that a random summer downpour isn’t going to ruin your trip. The helmet holder is also a nice touch that lets you keep your head protection close at hand when you stop somewhere.

Not to mention the versatility of the MOLLE webbing on the exterior. It lets you add accessories for a custom cycling backpack with truly functional tactical features.

Overall

This cycling backpack sits on the other side of the spectrum from commuter cycling packs. It’s not really meant to carry a laptop and other office items. The ArcEnCiel is a truly tactical cycling pack that will take care of you on a long ride and support you if you want to spend a night in the bush.

Local Lion Cycling Backpack

Local Lion Cycling Backpack

Local Lion Cycling Backpack

Specs:

  • 18-liter maximum capacity
  • Waterproof nylon material
  • Pouch for up to a 3-liter hydration bladder
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps with chest and waist straps
  • Breathable padded back
  • Versatile mesh pouches
  • Reflective striping
  • Can be set up to hold a cycling helmet

Local Lion is a fast-growing company in the outdoor backpack industry. This includes a range of versatile cycling packs like their 18-liter cycling and hiking backpack.

Local Lion Cycling Backpack and helmet

Local Lion Cycling Backpack and helmet

It was designed with comfort and ergonomic stability in mind. It features adjustable padded shoulder straps with an adjustable chest strap and optional waist strap. It also has a padded breathable back. There are several small external pouches and compartments for essential items that you might want to keep close at hand.

Local Lion Cycling Backpack

Local Lion Cycling Backpack

The nylon exterior is rated to be waterproof against rain. It also features reflective striping for added safety when riding in low light hours.

Biker wearing the Local Lion Cycling Backpack

Biker wearing the Local Lion Cycling Backpack

The 18-liter interior was also designed with small versatile compartments and optional pouches, which helps to comfortably distribute the load. Another optional mesh can be installed on the back to securely hold your cycling helmet when you aren’t riding.

It was also designed to accommodate a 2 to 3-liter hydration bladder. However, there isn’t a bladder included in the initial purchase. Still, a secondary bladder doesn’t cost that much at all. Check these CHERAINTI Hydration Bladder 2 Liter and LOCALLION Cycling Backpack.

What We Liked

The comfort in strap design and back padding with versatile exterior pockets is one of the things that helps this cycling pack jump off the page. Being able to customize the compartments and mesh pockets is also a nice touch. The helmet net itself is handy for times when you need to make a pit stop.

Overall

This highly versatile cycling backpack is lightweight, stable, and ergonomically comfortable. With some very careful packing, it might be able to support you for a full overnight cycling adventure. Still, it’s primarily meant to be a utility day pack for a long ride that might also turn into a vigorous hike.

One minor complaint to note is that while the nylon exterior is meant to be waterproof, the zippers are not. This means it can endure a modest summer downpour, it’s not going to handle immersion or being left out in a long nimbus rain.

Sale

 

Local Lion Cycling Backpack

 

Local Lion Cycling Backpack

  • 18-liter capacity
  • Can hold a 3-liter hydration bladder
  • Adjustable straps and padded back for ergonomic comfort

Clarke Outdoor Insulated Hydration Backpack

Clarke Outdoor Insulated Hydration Backpack

Clarke Outdoor Insulated Hydration Backpack

Specs:

  • Water-resistant nylon fabric
  • 2-liter hydration bladder included
  • Keeps water cool for 4-hours or more
  • Top-mounted hydration port
  • Tested for durability and comfort
  • Multiple easy-access compartments
  • Padded shoulder straps with waist and chest strap
  • Breathable mesh back panel

The Clarke outdoor insulated hydration backpack was specifically designed for hiking, running and cycling. It’s made from water-resistant nylon material. It has enough interior room to hold a 2-liter hydration bladder as well as other essential items for a long ride or a single day hike.

Clarke Outdoor Insulated Hydration Backpack

Clarke Outdoor Insulated Hydration Backpack

This backpack includes multiple easy-access pockets and compartments. It was designed and tested with comfort in mind. The shoulder straps are easily adjustable and padded for superior comfort. The back is made from a breathable mesh. It also includes a chest strap and waist strap to help keep the load perfectly stable throughout the day.

Water tank of the Clarke Outdoor Insulated Hydration Backpack

Water tank of the Clarke Outdoor Insulated Hydration Backpack

The hydration chamber itself is modestly insulated, which lets it keep the 2-liter hydration bladder pleasantly cool for up to 4 hours or more.

The hydration port is located near the top of the pack, which reduces the chances of the hydration tube snagging on something which can happen sometimes with side-mounted hydration ports. It also includes earbud holes to let you keep your music player or phone safe inside the pack.

What We Liked

It might not sound like a big deal at first, but the fact that this backpack comes with the 2-liter hydration bladder included is nice and not necessarily something you see with the nearest competitors. The insulation in the hydration compartment also helps keep the water cold, without having to load the bladder up with ice cubes.

Overall

This is essentially a hydration backpack with enough convenient features to support you for a long ride. There’s enough space inside to let you bring your lunch and a few other basic items with you. Being able to drink cold water in the middle of your ride is also helpful.

Just keep in mind that there isn’t enough storage space to use it as a camping backpack. This is a day trip bag with a focus on comfort and hydration.

ROCKRAIN WindSeeker With Insulated Hydration Bladder

ROCKRAIN WindSeeker With Insulated Hydration Bladder

ROCKRAIN WindSeeker With Insulated Hydration Bladder

Specs:

  • 18-liter storage capacity
  • 2.5-liter hydration bladder included
  • Insulated compartment keeps cool for at least 4-hours
  • Water-resistant nylon material
  • Flannel pocket for sunglasses
  • Storage space for a helmet
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps
  • Waist and chest straps
  • Airflow padded back

Rock Rain is a relatively new manufacturer in the outdoor products marketplace. They endeavor to build a loyal customer base by offering quality products backed by dedicated customer service.

ROCKRAIN WindSeeker with open compartments

ROCKRAIN WindSeeker with open compartments

Their WindSeeker backpack was designed for cyclists, hikers, and climbers who need to stay hydrated while bringing a significant amount of gear with you on a day trip. It has an insulated compartment that keeps the water in the 2.5-liter included hydration bladder cold for four hours or more. It’s also worth noting that the hydration bladder is BPA-free and FDA approved.

ROCKRAIN WindSeeker and helmet

ROCKRAIN WindSeeker and helmet

The 18-liter interior can hold more than enough gear to support you for a day-long ride. With careful packing, you could potentially use it for an overnight expedition. It even has a flannel pocket to safely hold your sunglasses.

The exterior of the WindSeeker is made from water-resistant nylon fabric. It has adjustable padded shoulder straps along with a chest strap, adjustable waist strap, and a special “Air Flow” padded back. All this translates into superior comfort when worn, as well as helping to balance the load to reduce your chances of an accidental fall or wipeout. There’s even a spot to store your cycling or climbing helmet.

What We Liked

The insulated compartment for the BPA-free, FDA approved hydration bladder means you can enjoy a cold drink during a hot ride. The strap configuration with padded airflow back also maximizes ergonomic comfort.

Overall

The Rock Rain WindSeeker is a well-designed backpack with a hydration bladder included in the purchase. It will definitely support you on a long ride, hike, or climb. A master-packer or a companion could bring enough additional gear for an overnight stay.

If there’s a small knock on this backpack it’s that it’s pretty light on reflective material. If you’re going to be riding between dusk to dawn, you might want to consider attaching safety lights to the zippers.

Cycling Backpack Biking Rucksack By ISIYINER

Cycling Backpack Biking Rucksack By ISIYINER

Cycling Backpack Biking Rucksack By ISIYINER

Specs:

  • 28-liter capacity
  • Tear and water-resistant nylon material
  • Accommodates a hydration bladder with ports for tube
  • Reflective straps with emergency whistle
  • Straps will hold most standard cycle helmets
  • Padded adjustable straps with waist and chest straps
  • Breathable back with “AirSpeed” system
  • Soft latching for tools

The 28-liter cycling backpack rucksack by Isiyiner was designed to appeal to adventure cyclists, outdoor enthusiasts, and hikers who need a rucksack capable of supporting them for a multi-day trip. It’s made from water-resistant nylon with a tear-resistant weave.

Cycling Backpack Biking Rucksack By ISIYINER

Cycling Backpack Biking Rucksack By ISIYINER

The interior will accommodate a large hydration bladder, with a hydration port and structure on the straps to secure a hydration tube. However, a bladder is not included in the purchase.

Cycling Backpack Biking Rucksack By ISIYINER

Cycling Backpack Biking Rucksack By ISIYINER

It also has copious reflective straps, which can be adjusted to hold most standard cycling and hiking helmets. There is also soft-latching for hanging lightweight hand tools.

Cycling Backpack Biking Rucksack By ISIYINER

Cycling Backpack Biking Rucksack By ISIYINER

The shoulder straps are nicely padded and include an emergency whistle. There are also chest and an optional waist strap to help comfortably balance what could be a heavy load. The padded back includes a breathable “AirSpeed” system for maximum comfort.

What We Liked

The 28-liter capacity is large enough to support a solo rider or hiker for more than one night off the grid. The little things like the padded, breathable back and padded strap configuration make it nice and comfortable for long rides or a deep hike into the wild.

You also have to give a little thumbs up to the superior reflective strapping that can also be used to hold your biking helmet.

Overall

This cycling backpack or rucksack is designed to take care of a biker for the long haul of a trip. It’s perhaps a little too large to multi-task as a commuter pack for a simple day ride. If you’re an ecotourist, or you simply love a good trip into the bush, then this is pack needs to be on your consideration list.

Buyers Guide

Cycling is enjoying a vigorous renaissance in the 21st Century for a variety of reasons. What was once a fun way for kids to make it back and forth to school has since evolved into a sensible way for millions of adults to commute as well as adventure.

For some their cycle is a means to get away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday grind. For others, cycling is a conveniently green way to commute to work without the headache of gridlock traffic. Then there are those who see it as a great way to get great exercise without the hard pounding that comes with jogging.

Of course, how you most often use your bike will influence the type of backpack you want. A commuter’s cycling pack might need waterproof pouches for documents and padded compartments for a laptop or other tech items. In contrast to that, a mountain biker might prioritize cargo compartments and hydration features for spending a night off the grid.

When finding the cycling pack that’s right for you, its best to start by breaking them down by type or primary use.

Adventure or Expedition Backpacks tend to have a high cargo capacity of 25-liters or more in volume. This gives the rider enough space to carry items to support them for a day or more. Most include things like padded or compression straps and might also have waistbands or sternum straps to help hold them securely. The compartment configuration can also be a priority, especially for mountain bikers who need the load on their back to remain in a comfortable balance.

Commuter Day Packs are increasingly popular with professionals who prefer to bypass the gridlock while getting a little exercise on the way to the office. These packs often have protective pockets for electronics, with structured compartments for documents and office materials. There are a few that also include other special tech features to let you listen to music.

Hydration Packs typically carry a water bladder or other drinking water compartments. These units are more popular with long-distance riders. They tend to be on the small size when it comes to cargo capacity but carry enough liquid and basic items to support a rider throughout a long day of pedaling without having to stop.

Mid-Size Utility cycling backpacks tend to be more multi-purpose. They have a cargo capacity around 20 to 25-liters and appeal to riders who might commute on a nice day but also need a pack that can support them for a cycling camping trip.

Key Cycling Backpack Features

Storage Capacity

The backpack industry generally notes storage capacity in terms of liters. Yet how the compartments and pouches are configured will also play into just how much “stuff” you can fit into it. Unless you are very experienced at strategically packing, chances are you aren’t going to get every last cubic inch of a 30-liter backpack fully loaded. Still, you can use the liter ratings to give you an idea of how much larger one pack is over another.

In general, 25 to 30-liters or more is enough to support a single rider with enough gear to support you for an overnight camping trip. These large packs tend to be a little too big for commuters and day trip riders who tend to only need around 10 to 15 liters to hold office items and utility items.

Pocket And Compartment Configuration

The general intention of how the backpack will be used will also influence the size and configuration of compartments. If you are looking for a cycling backpack to commute into the office on nice days, then you will likely prioritize a pack that will fit the dimensions of your laptop computer. You might also want to keep an eye out for one that will hold documents and manilla envelopes without having to fold the paper.

Hydration System

If you are just looking for a commuter cycling backpack, then you might need little more than a pack that holds a simple water bottle. If you are looking for an expedition backpack for mountain biking adventures or for marathon rides, then you will likely prioritize a cycling pack with some type of hydration system. This often comes in the form of a 2 or even 3-liter hydration bladder with hydration tube ports built into the structured fabric.

Straps And Padding

The importance of adjustable straps and padding starts with comfort. However, strap configuration and features are also important for safety. Something like a shifting load in a high capacity backpack can significantly increase the chances of suffering an accidental fall or mechanical injury.

Padding in the back and breathability are also very important throughout every cycling niche. If you are commuting to work, you don’t want to walk into the office with a sweat stain on your business casual shirt. The same is true for an adventure cyclist or marathon rider who might spend all day with a somewhat heavy pack pressing on their ribs.

Material And Waterproofing

Keeping the interior of your cycling pack reasonably dry or completely waterproof is a major factor for most cyclists. If you are commuting to work on your bike, you don’t want a rogue summer downpour threatening your laptop or soaking your contract documents. The same is true for an expedition mountain biker, who wants their next change of clothes to still be dry when they reach camp.

Some cycling backpack manufacturers will turn to naturally water-resistant materials like high-density nylon to imbue their packs with a reasonable measure of waterproofing. Yet there are others who will choose a lighter weight material, then add some type of waterproofing treatment.

Safety And Reflective Details

Cyclists often have to share the road with automobiles, which can put them at high risk in low light conditions. Things like reflective patches, piping, and tape on a backpack can help augment the sometimes minimal amount of reflective areas on the cycle or the rider.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do Cycling Backpacks Require More Care?

A: All backpacks require some level of care. Even your kid’s school bag can benefit from a wash every now and then. With cycling backpacks, proper care is an important part of maintaining what is a serious investment.

Of course, different materials have different care requirements. Some manufacturers will also apply special exterior fabric treatments to increase water resistance. It’s important to read the manufacturer’s care instructions in advance of washing it or attempting to add your own alterations like a secondary waterproofing spray.

Q: Can I Use An Expedition Pack To Bring My Laptop To Office?

A: There are times when the weather is perfect, the traffic is clogged, and the bike lanes are wide open. This encourages many riders to start taking their bikes to work instead of the car. There are some cycling backpacks that specifically cater to commuter cyclists with a special compartment for laptop, documents, tablets and important tech items.

If you happen to have a larger cycling pack for day rides and mountain bike camping trips, it might be a little too large for a ride to work. However, you might still be able to fill the compartment with enough padding to secure a laptop and other office items. The original box your device came in is an ideal insurance policy to help hold it stable. Then you can pack some other soft items around it to keep it from shifting.

Q: Is There A Way To Make A Water Resistant Backpack Waterproof?

A: Nylon material and various weave patterns can imbue a backpack with superior water resistance. Yet a prolonged rain or an accidental immersion problem can often start to saturate the interior. If the manufacturer hasn’t already treated the exterior fabric with a waterproofing agent, you might want to add an aftermarket spray like Kiwi Water Repellant.

They are relatively inexpensive and can take a cycling backpack’s water resistance up a notch.

While you are at it you might want to also add some additional waterproofing to the zippers. In fact, it’s often the zippers that are the first to let water through the often-thin fabric around the teeth. A thin layer of waterproofing wax is usually sufficient to bring the zippers up to par with the exterior fabric of the backpack.

Conclusion

How you will most likely use your cycling backpack will play a lot in the kind of features you prioritize. Laptop compartments, integrated tech features, and ports for charging cables are likely to be higher on the list for a commuter cyclist. Whereas an expedition cyclist will likely place a higher value on a large volume of storage space, an insulated hydration compartment, and features that keep it balanced.

Somewhere in between these two interests is the cyclist who needs a day pack for a long ride, with enough room for a hydration bladder and a modest lunch.

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2020-01-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API