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Searching for a bag that can store your stuff and keep it dry as you ride? Then check out our list of the top cycling backpacks of 2022. If you’re a cyclist who rides your bike to commute to work, or even if you simply enjoy using it for outdoor activities, then you might want a backpack to carry your stuff along the way. While there are different kinds of backpacks available, nothing can beat a cycling backpack that’s specifically designed for use while riding a bike.
Most cycling backpacks feature an internal organizer and a separate compartment for storing your laptop. There are many backpacks with different capacities and designs available on the market, and it can be confusing to pick the right one. We’ve rounded up the top cycling backpacks of 2022 so that you can find the bag that suits your needs, and we’ve also included a handy buying guide that can help you learn more.
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The Vibrelli Cycling Backpack is a lightweight bag that’s designed for comfort. It features multiple storage compartments and comes with a high-performance hydration bladder made from medical-grade materials that are free from BPA, PVC, and phthalates. The bladder features a high-flow bite valve with an easy-twist mouthpiece that allows water to flow quickly and easily and prevents dripping when not in use. This pack is unobtrusive, easy to adjust, and can comfortably fit various body types. It features many smart storage options without becoming too heavy, and its breathable straps are designed to wick sweat. This cycling backpack’s additional bungee straps help you carry your belongings with ease, and thanks to its sleek, comprehensive design it’s our top pick.
Great bang for your buck
Can carry gear and water
Simple, lightweight design
No front pockets
The Sunhiker Cycling Backpack is a small backpack that’s ideal for anyone who only wants to take the essentials along as they ride. Made from lightweight, tear-resistant nylon, this comfortable cycling backpack is water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and offers long-term durability. Even better is that it comes with a breathable padded mesh back panel and shoulder straps to help relieve carrying stress. This cycling backpack features various compartments to hold your belongings and mesh pockets on both sides for storing water bottles and other small items. It boasts a durable front buckle and an easy-to-use zipper, and you can pick it up in a whole host of neat colors and designs.
Available for a great price
Multiple storage compartments
Tons of unique styles to choose from
No cell phone pocket
The LOCALLION Cycling Backpack is a versatile bag that’s suitable for all types of outdoor activities and everyday use. Made from comfortable nylon fabric, the manufacturer specially padded these backpacks with breathable mesh to provide you with a ventilation effect that’s even ideal for when you’re out riding in the hot summer months. This backpack features adjustable mesh shoulder straps with sponge padding to help relieve shoulder stress, as well as waist straps for increased stability while riding. Its ergonomically designed shape includes a whole host of pocket and storage options, both internal and external, as well as a pocket for carrying a water bladder (not included with your purchase).
Durable, lightweight, and efficient
Ergonomically designed for comfort
Provides access to drinking hose and headphones
Heavier than similar backpacks
The TETON Sports Cycling Backpack is a spacious bag that comes with a 2-liter hydration bladder, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors and stay hydrated at the same time. Its design is durable and can fit pretty much all body types, and its notched foam stabilizer and air mesh back panel help you comfortably wear it for extended periods. This cycling backpack is light, comfortable, adjustable, and affordable — what more can you ask for? Designed with multiple compression straps, it features adjustable shoulder, waist, and chest straps for a custom fit that will stop the bag from bouncing around too much while you’re wearing it and on the move. This backpack also features a built-in rain cover to keep the bag and your belongings dry on rainy days, and you can pick it up in a wide range of colors.
Lightweight, customizable design
Features a sewn-in rain cover
Water bladder included
No frame of any kind
The WINDCHASER Cycling Backpack is an ultralight bag with a slim look designed for efficiency and ergonomics. Its nylon material makes it tear-resistant and waterproof, and it’s able to accommodate a 2-liter hydration bladder (not included with your purchase). This backpack features adjustable shoulder and waist straps that make it easy to achieve a custom fit for better security and comfort. Its design includes breathable material and fast-drying technology, and it even has reflective strips on its shoulder straps for late-night cycling. It also features a ton of small pockets and a healthy amount of storage space, and you can pick it up in a few different colors.
Lightweight, athletic design
Adjustable waist and shoulder straps
Reflective strips for low-light visibility
Somewhat small in size
Buyer’s guide for finding a cycling backpack
Cycling backpacks can make bike rides and hikes a lot more convenient, but with so many options currently being sold online, it can be difficult to find the one that’s right for you. To make things a little easier, check out some things you should consider while shopping for a cycling backpack in 2022:
How to choose a cycling backpack
Cycling backpacks generally have a sleek design that expands, as this helps minimize bangs and snags by keeping items close to the body. These backpacks are small in size and only offer a few liters of capacity, with the most common ranging from less than 10 liters to up to 40 liters or more.
A cycling backpack rests along the length of your back, so selecting the correct length is extremely important. Backpack length is measured from the iliac crest to the lowest cervical vertebrae C7, so take this into consideration while shopping around.
Most cycling backpacks feature a hydration bladder. If you’re unfamiliar with what this is, a hydration bladder (or water bladder) is a plastic bag with a tube attached to it for drinking. This allows the user to stay hydrated without requiring them to stop the bike, and water bladder capacities range from 1 liter to 3 liters or more.
If you’re planning on taking a hike or enjoying outdoor activities, then a backpack with waterproof technology is something you should consider before finalizing your purchase. Most manufacturers offer waterproofing that’s either built-in or needs to be set up by hand, and this can help keep the items in your pack from becoming soaked.
What capacity do you need in a cycling backpack?
If you’re planning to carry items such as a laptop, clothing, and various other items, you’ll need somewhere around 20 to 30 liters of space. The right capacity for you depends on your specific requirements, but this range is generally sufficient for most people.
As a rule of thumb, though, it’s always a good idea to buy a backpack with a little more space than you think you’ll need.
Can I cycle with a hiking backpack?
Cycling backpacks have some features that hiking backpacks do not include. Manufacturers design cycling backpacks to carry their load in a forward-leaning orientation, similar to the position you would be in when while riding. These backpacks also feature helmet storage options, water bladders, and places to attach your lights. Cycling backpacks include a lot of adjustment options that can help you fine-tune their fit to properly distribute their weight over your shoulders and back, so if you’re going to be riding a bike, you should probably opt for a cycling backpack over a hiking one.
Are cycling backpacks waterproof?
Not all cycling backpacks are waterproof — some are merely water-resistant, which means that they’ll only prevent water from entering your backpack to a certain degree.
Waterproof cycling backpacks, on the other hand, prevent all water from entering during inclement weather. If you live in an area where it rains frequently, buying a waterproof cycling backpack or an external waterproof cover is something you should consider to protect both your bag and your belongings inside.
Are cycling backpacks comfortable?
The most basic form of cycling backpacks are drybags with straps attached to them, and they’re usually not very comfortable. Bags with wider straps, sternum supports, and a hip belt can help reduce the pressure on your shoulders and prevent the bag from swaying when you’re riding, and these features can certainly increase the comfort of your cycling backpack.
Cycling Backpack FAQ's
Q: How is a backpack’s liter capacity determined?
A cycling backpack’s capacity in liters is determined by filling the backpack with plastic balls. By putting these balls into a container, the volume of the backpack can be determined with a scale.
Q: Can I carry 25 pounds in a 25-liter backpack?
The capacity in liters does not mean that the pack is suitable for carrying a load of 25 pounds. The liter capacity only provides an indication of the volume, which gives the buyer an idea of the size of the backpack. The carrying system determines the weight that can be comfortably carried with a backpack, not the liter capacity.
Q: Is there a completely waterproof cycling backpack?
Completely waterproof cycling backpacks are uncommon and aren’t easy to find, as the material required to provide complete protection from water is very heavy. Most backpacks are made from treated, water-resistant materials and a high-quality nylon shell, and this is adequate for most people.
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