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.
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.