Top Backpacks for Cycling – Guide & Comparison
If you’re looking to find the best cycling backpack that can suit your needs, but you don’t have a lot of time at disposal, you have come to the right place. We have examined the quality, reliability, and value that some of the top-rated products in this line offer, and we’ve concluded that the one you should get is the TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack. This is a light and comfortable backpack that weighs only 2 pounds, and it offers a storage capacity of 1100 cubic inches. It also comes fitted with a free 70-ounce hydration bladder that has a large 2-inch opening. The backpack can also handle rain since it comes with a sewn-in rain cover to keep your gear dry. If you find that our first option is no longer available, we recommend you take a look at the Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack.
The backpack has a capacity of 1100 cubic inches, and it comes with multiple compression straps to reduce bounce and keep the gear inside safe when cycling. It includes a 70-ounce hydration bladder that’s tucked neatly inside the main compartment. The back panel features a breathable air mesh that will keep you cool when cycling in warm weather.
The way the tube of the hydration bladder screws makes it prone to leaking since it can’t spin freely, which can cause it to unscrew.
The low-profile cut allows this model to fit comfortably on your back, especially since it comes with adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist bands. It is also voluminous enough to fit all your essential gear.
This all-weather backpack is made from a water-resistant material that is soft and will dry quickly. It boasts three storage compartments, including an extra-large zipper compartment where you can store items that you need quick access to. Moreover, the straps and the backside are padded with a very soft foam that conforms nicely to the wearer’s body.
The bladder is said to be made of BPA-free materials, but it can still leave a plastic rubber taste even after multiple washes.
This is a practical backpack that features multiple compartments and a free 70-ounce hydration bladder. It is also fashionable since it is available in multiple colors that will fit both women and men.
Also To Consider
This model is very small so as not to weigh the wearer down but spacious enough to fit all the essential items one might need for cycling, camping, or hiking. It has a 1525 cubic inches capacity. It is made from water-resistant materials, and it features a padded back mesh panel designed to relieve stress on the shoulders.
The straps are quite short, which means that buyers with large torsos may have difficulties fitting the pack on their back.
It strikes a great balance between comfort and practicality since it is light enough to keep it on your back the entire day, but it also delivers plenty of storage compartments to organize and find your items easily.
9 Best Cycling Backpacks (Updated Reviews) in 2021
The rich variety of products available on the market can make selecting the best cycling backpacks a time-consuming task, which is why we have decided to do the hard work for you. We’ve taken into account criteria such as quality, reliability, and user feedback to compile a diverse list of products for you to consider. Take a look below if you have the time.
- 1. TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack
- 2. Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack
- 3. Sunhiker Water Resistant Cycling Hiking Backpack
- 4. CamelBak M.U.L.E. Mountain Bike Hydration Pack
- 5. Neboic 2Pack Hydration Backpack Pack
- 6. LOCALLION Cycling Backpack Bike Pack
- 7. NEVO RHINO Insulated Hydration Pack
- 8. LOCALLION Cycling Backpack for Outdoor Sports
- 9. Arvano Mountain Bike Cycling Backpack
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack
This 1100 cubic inches backpack is surprisingly capacious for its small size, and it includes features that are usually found in pricier alternatives, which makes it a good choice for anyone who’s on a tight budget. One such feature is the sewn-in rain guard that is stored in the Velcro pocket and will keep your belongings dry in rainy conditions.
It comes with a 2L/70-ounce hydration bladder that is stowed in a large pocket and kept in place using a Velcro strap. The superior comfort of this backpack is achieved thanks to the thick and soft padding on the back and on the chest and shoulder straps that make it possible to carry the pack for long distances comfortably.
The product is large enough to fit all the items that you will need for a one-day outing, including clothes, food, water, towels, and other essential items. Potential buyers may also be happy to know that the unit is large enough to fit a laptop.
The opening of the bladder measures 2 inches in circumference, which makes it large enough to place ice blocks inside to cool the water, and it also facilitates cleaning the interior.
The shoulder, waist, and chest straps are adjustable and padded with soft foam, which helps deliver superior comfort and stability.
The exterior fabric also comes with visible reflective trims that will get you noticed when cycling at night.
The backpack is designed with multiple compression straps that will let you tighten the pack for a great fit, and it will also reduce bounce.
The backpack comes with a built-in survival whistle, which is very loud.
The quality of the zippers could be improved since they remain the part of this backpack that is most likely to break.
The hydration bladder is prone to leaking since it isn’t secured very well, and when it moves, the motion can cause it to unscrew.
2. Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack
This lightweight backpack weighs less than a pound when empty, and it is sturdy enough to hold over 160 lbs. worth of items inside. It comes with three compartments, including a front mesh stretch pocket. Having access to multiple compartments will allow you to organize all your essential items to make it easier to get the one that you need at a moment’s notice.
It also comes with a 70-ounce hydration bladder that is stored in an insulated compartment, and this allows the drink to remain cold for up to four hours even when you find yourself cycling in scorching environments. The hydration bag is equipped with a tube so that you can drink water without having to slow down or get off your bike.
The backpack is made of durable, water-resistant materials, which means that it can survive a bit of rain, but you will still need a rain guard for anything more serious than that.
It comes with adjustable chest and shoulder straps that can fit chest sizes ranging from teenagers and kids up to adults.
It includes a useful elastic strap so that you can stuff more clothes, towels, or other things inside the backpack without compromising its stability.
The backside padding is very soft, and this allows the backpack to be used as a pillow for situations where you need to take a break and rest a little.
The product is available in over a dozen different colors, including some playful designs that are perfect for younger cyclists.
The hydration bladder doesn’t share the same high-quality construction as the rest of the backpack, and you might need to replace it sooner rather than later.
The waterproof material inside the backpack prevents airflow, which means that during long trips in hot weather, sweat will start to pool between your back and the pack.
3. Sunhiker Water Resistant Cycling Hiking Backpack
This is yet another great budget option that offers very good features for the price, with its main selling point being its high capacity of 1525 cubic inches or 25L. It comes with multiple compartments, including mesh pockets at both sides that you can use to store items such as water bottles, a compact umbrella, and more.
The backpack is also very light since it weighs just 0.76 lbs. when empty, and this makes it a great choice for cyclists, campers, or hikers who prefer to travel light. The storage capacity of the backpack is more than enough to fit all your essential riding items and gear.
To ensure long-lasting durability, the backpack is made of highly tear-resistant nylon that’s ideal for use in outdoor situations since it is also water repellent. You can also fix other tools to the backpack using the included wraparound compression strap. It is available in multiple fun colors, and you can select the one that will go best with the rest of your cycling gear.
It comes with a padded and breathable mesh back panel that offers cushioned comfort while also promoting air circulation to prevent you from sweating when riding in hot weather.
The shoulder and sternum straps are both adjustable, and the shoulder strap comes with a D hook that can be used as an attachment point for tools and other items.
The small front pocket is zippered, and it is ideal for storing small yet essential items, such as keys, a wallet, and more since it is secured, but it can also be accessed easily.
It is made of wear-resistant materials, and this makes the backpack perfect for a wide variety of outdoor activities and sports.
The straps are quite short, which means that it can be difficult for people with large torsos to enjoy a comfortable fit.
The quality of the zipper isn’t great since if you use the pack heavily, the zipper can start to fall apart within the first year.
4. CamelBak M.U.L.E. Mountain Bike Hydration Pack
The narrow-gauge design of this backpack keeps it light and maneuverable since it has a cargo capacity of 180 cubic inches, which makes it an ideal choice for cyclists who need a small and compact product. The entire product is built around the crux reservoir, which can fit 100 ounces of water to keep you hydrated for the entire day.
The hydration bladder comes with a self-sealing bite valve to prevent leakage. The valve will help you drink water on the go without having to stop the bike. You also won’t have to take your eyes off the trail since the backpack is fitted with a magnetic tube tap that lets you stow the drinking tube in place with one click.
For situations where you don’t need the hydration bladder, you can remove it and use the reservoir compartment to fit an iPad or similar tablets safely inside. The backside is also padded with segmented channels designed to promote improved airflow to keep you cool when cycling in warm weather.
This model strikes the right balance since it is big enough to carry the water and gear required for a full day on the trail but narrow and lightweight enough not to be a burden.
The included stability belt is very useful since it will help keep everything in place during bumpy rides so that you don’t risk damaging your gear.
The hose on the hydration bladder can be removed easily for cleaning purposes, and the cap features two plastic fold-out drying arms.
It includes multiple compartments, both small and large, so that you can easily organize your items for quick and easy retrieval.
To refill the bladder, you will need to take it out of the bag, which can be a pain since once full, it takes a bit of effort to fit it back in place.
It doesn’t have any insulation to keep the water cold, but thankfully, the bladder opening is large enough to allow you to fill it with ice.
5. Neboic 2Pack Hydration Backpack Pack
This compact backpack comes with a 70-ounce hydration bladder that provides an adequate quantity of water while ensuring that the pack remains light enough not to burden the wearer. The compartment that stores the hydration bladder is insulated, and this allows the water inside to remain cool for up to 4 hours regardless of the temperature outside.
The bladder comes with a wide-mouth opening that makes refilling it easy, and since it is wide enough to fit a hand inside, cleaning it is also much more manageable. The main focus of this backpack is on hydration, which means that it doesn’t feature many pockets, but it still offers enough storage capacity for your essential riding gear.
This model also stands out thanks to its impressive stability since it comes with adjustable straps that let you customize the fit to suit users of all sizes and ages. The backpack can be used comfortably by both children and adults.
The backpack is built to be light and slim, and it is perfect for activities such as cycling, hiking, or running since the built-in hydration pack will keep the wearers well hydrated.
It is very stable even when full of gear since the hip and shoulder straps are adjustable to ensure a custom fit without any unwanted bouncing.
Comfort is a big focus with this model since the backpack is made with breathable materials that allow good airflow to keep you cool when cycling.
It is very easy to refill the hydration bladder so that even younger cyclists can complete this step with minimal hassle.
The hydration bladder gives water a plastic flavor at first, but though unpleasant, this does go away after cleaning the reservoir several times.
As is the case with most hydration backpacks, it is a bit of a hassle to dry out the bladder.
6. LOCALLION Cycling Backpack Bike Pack
The small size and the use of breathable and durable materials make this a versatile backpack that can be used for many outdoor activities ranging from cycling and hiking to jogging and traveling. It offers a storage capacity of 730 cubic inches, and it features six different compartments so that you can organize all your items neatly.
The high-quality waterproof material delivers extra strength and long-lasting performance without adding too much extra weight to the package. Comfort is achieved by the breathable back material that is padded with a soft mesh that is comfortable to the touch and helps dissipate heat so that you don’t risk overheating when cycling in hot weather.
There’s also an emphasis on safety and security since the shoulder and the front straps both come equipped with reflective strips that will keep you visible and safe when cycling in the night. What’s more, you also get a whistle on the chest strap that you can use in case of an emergency.
The six different compartments are easily distinguishable so that you can store and organize all your gear without creating clutter and thus quickly retrieve each individual item when you need it.
The backpack comes with a helmet net that you can use to store your bike helmet so that you will no longer need to worry about your helmet getting stolen when parking the bike.
It comes with two waist straps that are designed to relieve the stress on your shoulders and to ensure that the backpack stays firmly in place while cycling.
The breathable mesh material promotes proper ventilation so that the wearer can stay cool even in the hot summer.
While the backpack is constructed of waterproof nylon fabric, it is not completely waterproof since, during long exposure to rain, water can penetrate through the zipper.
It comes with a compartment where you can fit a water bladder, but you will need to purchase the bladder separately.Buy from Amazon.com for ($33.99)
7. NEVO RHINO Insulated Hydration Pack
This backpack has a lot to offer to any outdoorsy person since it comes with a large water bladder that is fitted with a drinking hose to make hydrating on the road quick and effortless. Buyers can choose between two water bladders of different capacity, 70 ounces or 100 ounces, depending on the needs of each individual.
The compartment where the water bladder is stored is insulated, which means that you can store cool liquid in the summer and warm beverages in the winter for hours. The water hose also features a leak-proof bite valve that allows water to travel fast when on, and it will never drip once it is locked.
This model is also designed to keep you visible and safe on the trail since the luminous logo and the reflective strips glow green at night. The light material will also prevent the backpack from becoming a burden so that even younger cyclists can wear it without feeling weighed down by it.
To ensure your visibility and safety, the backpack comes with reflective accents all around that will glow brightly at night, and these are present on the logo as well.
The reservoir valve on this model has garnered excellent feedback since it provides a good flow of water with each sip so that you can hydrate more easily and quickly.
It includes four different pockets, two of which are secured using zippers so that you can organize and store all your essential items securely.
Located on the chest strap buckle, you’ll find a whistle that can be used to signal for help if you ever get lost or during emergencies.
The padding between the shoulders doesn’t have ventilation channels, which means that the area can get sweaty with some exertion.
The cap for the hydration pack isn’t very large, and this makes it difficult and less practical to dry it after each use.
8. LOCALLION Cycling Backpack for Outdoor Sports
This backpack features an ergonomic design that is slightly elongated to provide a more comfortable fit without sacrificing its storage capacity. It is a discreet backpack that can still fit all the items you will need for a day on the trail, and it also includes an outer pocket designed specifically for storing phones.
You can also use the backpack as a drinking bag since the main compartment is sized to fit a 70-ounce water bladder, and it has a special hidden channel for the water bladder tube. The tube can go through the shoulder strap so that you can drink water whenever you need it while riding without having to slow down or stop.
The tear-resistant nylon fabric is also water-resistant, and it can keep the items inside dry when encountering a drizzle. When dealing with heavy rain, you will need to use a proper rain guard since if exposed for too long, water can still penetrate the backpack through the zipper.
The backpack uses a high-quality and durable zipper for the main compartment that is very easy to grip, and it opens and closes very smoothly without getting stuck.
It includes a high-quality and adjustable chest buckle that can fit any body, and that makes the riding process more comfortable and safer since it prevents the backpack from shaking.
It is very practical and slim since its small sizes ensure that you can still bring a few of your essential items on the road without adding an extra burden to your journey.
Night riding is made safer thanks to the reflective strips on the bag and the capability of hanging a riding lamp in front of the backpack.
It is designed for cyclists or outdoor enthusiasts who want to travel very light since the backpack is very small and it looks like something that’s meant for a child.
The straps and the buckles don’t look very sturdy, which raises some questions if they are durable enough to handle consistent use and abuse.
9. Arvano Mountain Bike Cycling Backpack
This option is designed to appeal to mountain bikers since it is extremely lightweight, and it offers plenty of storage space seeing as it comes with a 200-ounce hydration pack. Even when full of gear, the backpack will stay stable on your back, thanks to the waist and chest straps that are adjustable and designed to fit all body types from kids to adults.
The compact space that this model offers is enough for all the items the average cyclist needs for a one-day trip. It is also easy to organize the gear inside each compartment so that you can instantly know where each item is located. This will save you from having to waste precious time sifting through a jumble of items.
Inside the main compartment, you will find another smaller pocket that is designed to hold your hydration bladder. You will need to purchase the bladder separately. The hydration compartment also comes with a top hole that you can use to pass a drinking tube through.
The front of the backpack features a small compartment for cell phones with a very useful output hole that you can use to pass the headphone line through so that you can listen to music while cycling.
The backside area is padded and well ventilated so that you can stay cool and comfortable even when riding for long hours in the summer heat.
It is a versatile product since it can be used for a wide range of outdoor activities, and it can fit both men and women.
The competitive pricing of this option makes it a very popular choice among buyers.
Taller individuals may find it difficult to get a good fit since the straps are not very long, and this can lead to an awkward fit.
It doesn’t come with a water bladder, so if you need this feature, you will need to factor it into your budget.
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
If you like cycling, then getting an affordable cycling backpack can enhance your experience since this product provides the most convenient way of storing all your essential gear and items. However, there are so many different products to choose from that it can be quite difficult to pinpoint which is the best bicycle backpack for your needs.
To make things easier for you, we’ve looked at what other buyers had to say, and we’ve used that information to identify the key factors and features that one ought to consider when looking to purchase the best backpack for cycling.
What type of cycling do you plan on doing?
It is important to be aware of what type of cycling you plan on doing when looking to purchase a new bicycle backpack since the answer to this question can help guide you toward the ideal product.
If you use your bike for commuting, you will need a cycling commuter backpack that comes with multiple compartments where you can organize all your items, such as papers, pens, or laptop. Such a backpack will also need to be well padded for comfort and to keep your electronics protected.
Mountain bikers will need to look for affordable cycling backpacks designed specifically for this type of riding. Since mountain biking involves riding over rough terrain, you will need to invest in a product that comes with a quality harness system that can keep the backpack in place no matter what.
For road biking or cycling as a pro, you will need to look for a lightweight road cycling backpack or vest that serves primarily as a hydration pack. You won’t need a lot of storage capacity for this type of cycling, which is why easy access to the hydration bladder and a lightweight design are going to be the most important things for you.
Lastly, if you are looking for a cheap cycling backpack that you can also use for other activities such as picking things up from the grocery store, you should focus on bags that have a simple design. For this purpose, a backpack with a single yet spacious compartment is recommended.
Know which size to choose
You might be tempted to think that bigger is better, but that’s not at all the case if you’re looking to purchase a quality cycling backpack. When choosing the size of the backpack, you will need to consider what you want to store in it. Going with a larger backpack than what you need is not a good idea since it will only weigh you down.
The size of backpacks is listed in liters/cubic feet or sometimes even in ounces. To get a better idea of what you can expect, we have prepared a list of the most common backpack sizes currently available.
Small, compact packs generally have a capacity of 10L to 15L or 600 to 900 cubic inches. Medium packs are sized between 15L to 20L or 900 to 1200 cubic inches. Large backpacks have a capacity ranging between 20L to 30L or 1200 to 1800 cubic inches. Anything larger than that will probably be too heavy to carry comfortably on your back for long journeys.
For reference, the standard school backpack starts at about 25L. The number of pockets that a backpack for cycling has is also important since the better you can organize the items, the more you will be able to fit inside.
Is waterproofness important?
It is recommended to get a waterproof cycling backpack since you can never know what type of weather you will encounter on the road. Most models on the market are water-resistant, which means that they can handle a drizzle, but long exposure to the rain will still let water in.
One important aspect to consider is that it is not enough for the fabric of the backpack to be waterproof, the zippers also need to be coated since otherwise, water can infiltrate through them. Waterproofness is even more important if you plan to carry water-sensitive items, such as your phone, laptop, or tablet.
If you can’t afford to invest in the best waterproof cycling backpack, you should at least purchase a rain cover for your pack. Rain covers are cheap and small, which means that they won’t take too much space in your backpack. You may also want to consider getting a model that comes with a rain cover sewn-in.
Comfort and breathability
If you plan to use the backpack for long riding adventures in diverse weather conditions, then you will need to make sure that the product is equipped with breathable air mesh on the backside and on all of the straps that make contact with your body.
Without a proper ventilation system, the backpack can block your skin’s natural ability to cool down and force it to produce even more sweat in the attempt of regulating your body temperature.
The good news is that after looking at the most popular products in this range, we’ve found that even cheap cycling backpacks offer good ventilation and comfort. Thus, even if you are on a tight budget, you won’t have to sacrifice these important features.
Lastly, you will also need to make sure that the straps are adjustable and sized adequately so that they can fit your body type correctly and comfortably.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What size backpack should I get for cycling?
The answer to this question depends a lot on what type of cycling you’re doing. If you are commuting, then you will need to get a backpack that can carry the gear you need for your workday, your lunch, a tool kit, a bike lock, and maybe some shopping purchases. In this case, a 6-15 liter pack should be enough.
If you are a recreational cyclist, then you will need to get a backpack that can carry water to keep you hydrated, additional riding clothes, a tool kit, and a first aid kit. For this purpose, a 15-20 liter pack is recommended since the larger storage capacity allows for more flexibility.
Lastly, if you are bike touring or bike packing, you will need to carry quite a lot of gear. In this case, a 20-liter pack or higher is recommended. However, when purchasing a large-capacity backpack, you will also need to consider features that keep the load snug and stable on your back.
It is crucial to think about your comfort when riding with a big pack since bigger is not necessarily better.
Q: What can I carry in my cycling backpack?
The only limit to what you can carry inside a cycling backpack is its size. You might be tempted to get the biggest backpack out there in the hope that this will future proof it, but in most cases, getting the smallest backpack that can still pack all your essential items is the best approach.
This means taking a moment and making a list of the items that you want to take with you on your journey. This includes items such as your tool and repair kit with a pump and tube since you want to be prepared in case of a puncture. Depending on the type of cycling that you plan on doing, you may also need to bring some extra clothes.
During long journeys, a hydration bladder is mandatory, so make sure to account for it as well. You may also need to pack lunch and snacks if there’s nowhere you can stop for food. Larger backpacks can also be used for shopping purposes.
Q: Are all cycling backpacks waterproof?
No, most backpacks on the market are water-resistant. The difference between water-resistant and waterproof is that the former will resist the penetration of water to some degree, generally limited to a drizzle, but it will not keep water from getting inside the backpack if you ride in the rain for a long time.
Waterproof backpacks, on the other hand, are treated with a surface coating on exterior materials, and this includes the zipper. This allows the backpack to be completely impervious to water even when riding for hours in heavy rain.
Waterproofing a backpack is a costly procedure, which is why you will need to be ready to spend a little more if you want to get a backpack that has this feature.
The good news is that you can still make any backpack waterproof with minimal effort by purchasing a rain cover that you can permanently store inside the pack. When you find yourself in rainy environments, all you need to do is get it out and cover the backpack with it.