Finding the right backpack for cycling to work can be tough, it needs to be comfortable while cycling, be able to withstand the elements, and also hold everything that you need for work which can include a laptop, documents and a change of clothes.
What should I be looking for in a bicycle commuter backpack?
In order to find the best backpacks for work we have looked at the following things in the backpacks that we have reviewed:
When you are commuting to work by bike, you are going to be out in all weather and unless you live somewhere where it rarely rain, you are going to get wet. Having a backpack for cycling that is water resistant will make your life a lot easier by keeping your valuables and your change of clothes nice and dry.
Chest & Waist Straps
When you are cycling, especially at speed a backpack can move around a lot. Normally, if you are not carrying a lot this isn’t a big issue. However, if you are carrying more weight then chest and waist straps will stabilize your backpack, making your ride more comfortable.
A good size
If you are carrying a laptop and a change of clothes as well as waterproofs then a tiny backpack just won’t cut it. As a cyclist commuting to work, you will probably want a backpack that can hold at least 10 liters, if not more.
Good padding on a backpack for cycling to work is a must, especially when you are carrying heavier items such as a laptop. Padding makes the difference between a comfortable ride and having an aching back and shoulders when you arrive at work.
Breath-ability of the material
Let’s face it, when you are cycling, you get sweaty. If you have a backpack where the padding and straps are breathable then you won’t arrive to work quite as sweaty.
The Best Bike Commuter Backpacks
The Chrome Barrage is a very stylish backpack designed especially for cyclists and is probably the best backpack out there for commuting by bike. It has a stylish, unique look, is available in multiple colors, comes with a lifetime warranty and is made here in the USA!
This backpack is waterproof and even has separate internal compartments for your dry and wet clothes so that they do not get mixed up. The backpack is one of the larger ones here and it has a volume of 22 liters, which can be increased to a massive 34 liters if you adjust the rolltop. If you want to expand the storage even further, the Chrome Barrage has a cargo net system that you can use to store your helmet, wet clothes or anything else that you would be happy to store in a cargo net.
This backpack has plenty of padding on both the straps and the back which makes it very comfortable while commuting by bike and it includes a chest strap to increase the stability of the backpack. It is also made of
Cordura, which is a very strong material which is often used on motorcycle gear so it is unlikely to end up breaking easily.
Overall, this the Chrome Barrage is one of our favorite backpacks for cycling to work. It isn’t a cheap backpack but it is easily worth the price, especially with the lifetime warranty.
The Osprey Daylite Backpack is a highly rated backpack, and is one of our favorites. Although this is a smaller backpack, at 13L it is extremely comfortable and the compartments are well organized, so you should be able to fit your stuff in without issue. This backpack also has a laptop sleeve for safely carrying your laptop.
This backpack is also modular, so you can add functionality to the backpack including increased storage and a hydration bladder (these are very useful if you are cycling a long distance to work as you won’t have to stop to have a drink).
Often backpacks sacrifice functionality and comfort for style, but the Osprey Daylite Backpack looks amazing. It is extremely well designed and available in multiple colors from more muted colors such as black, to day-glo orange!
The Teton Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Backpacks is a great backpack for cyclists, and even comes with a 2 litre hydration pack and tube so that you can drink water without having to stop.
This backpack has an average capacity of 18 liters, which should be enough for the majority of cyclists. The Teton Sports backpack is very comfortable and has lots of padding on the straps and back of the backpack, this madding has a mesh covering to make it more breathable so that you do not get as sweaty. There are also straps for your chest and waist which help to keep the backpack stable when you are carrying heavier items.
This backpack has lots of smaller pockets to stash your items including a zip pocket on the front of the bag and mesh pockets on the side of the backpack for water bottles or other items that need to be within easy reach.
The Paladineer Lightweight Cycling Backpack is a very stylish backpack that has been designed with cyclists and hikers in mind. It comes in 8 different colors and has a capacity of 18 liters, which should be enough for most cyclists.
This backpack also comes with both a hydration sleeve and reservoir, which is great to see as some bags only come with the sleeve and you have to buy the reservoir separately. Another feature that makes this backpack great for cyclists is that is has an elastic bungee for carrying your helmet when you are not wearing it.
The Paladineer Backpack is very comfortable to wear with a decent amount of padding on the straps and back, the straps are also breathable so that you don’t get as sweaty while cycling. It also has both chest and waist straps for extra stability while you are cycling. Overall, this backpack is great value at only $32 at the time of writing.
This is a great backpack for commuting by bike as this is what the Aquabourne backpack is primarily designed for. This backpack has a LED light at the bottom of the backpack to help you stand out in the dark while you are cycling, making this backpack a fantastic buy the safety conscious cyclist. The LED light has three functions; solid light, slow flash and fast flash.
In this bag there is a laptop sleeve which can hold laptops that are up to 15 inches in size and the bag is water resistant so your laptop and other possessions should be safe from all but the heaviest rain storms. This backpack also features a fold over flap over the main compartment to make it even more water resistant as water often leaks through zips.
The Aquabourne backpack is comfortable, with plenty of padding on the back and the shoulder straps. There is also a chest strap on this bag, but no waist strap which would have been nice to see, though the chest strap alone should be fine for most people.
This is a lightweight & comfortable backpack that is perfect for cyclists, one of the main features of this backpack is that it has a helmet net for carrying your helmet around. The Naturehike backpack is also water resistant which will keep your possessions dry in all but the heaviest rain storms.
The should straps are comfortable, with plenty of padding and this backpack also has chest and hip straps to increase the stability of the backpack when you are carrying heavier loads. This is a smaller backpack that has a volume of 15 liters, so you won’t be able to fit a huge amount of stuff in it but it should be large enough for the majority of cycle commuters. Despite the smaller size, there are lots of pockets for organizing the smaller items such as your keys and cellphone.