The Top 10 Backpacks for Bike Commuting Reviewed
Whether you’ve decided to make the switch to biking to work, or have been cycling your morning commute for years, finding the right backpack for commuting is crucial to ensuring you can bring everything you need into the office. But there is more to choosing the right commuting backpack than you might think. There are several important factors to consider before investing in a backpack, from the overall size of the bag to the aerodynamic factors and even waterproofing. After all, no one wants their supplies to get soaked if you get caught in a freak rain shower in the morning or get hit with an unfortunate puddle by an inconsiderate driver. Thankfully, we’ve done the research to help you choose the right commuting backpack for you, so you can take some of the stress out of your morning commute.
Choosing a Backpack
Before you invest in a commuting backpack, you want to keep in mind your own unique needs. Are you looking for a lightweight bag that can carry the essentials, or are you hoping to bring your laptop, a change of clothes, your lunch, and more with you as you bike into work? There are countless commuting backpack options on the market, so thankfully you have plenty of choices to choose from when looking for a new backpack. However, there are some general things to keep in mind when narrowing down your backpack search.
The first thing to consider is the straps on the backpack. This may seem like a minor detail, but a good set of backpack straps can make all the difference in the world on your morning commute. You may want to look for a commuting backpack that has an additional buckle closure between both of the straps, to help you secure your bag during your bike ride into work. Another thing to consider is the width of the straps themselves. Wider straps are more comfortable and have less of a chance to dig into your shoulders while you bike. This is incredibly important for heavier backpacks or longer commutes, as the last thing you want to deal with is a shoulder rash while you pedal.
Once you’ve decided on a set of straps that meet your needs, the next thing to consider is the size of the backpack in question. If you are looking to bring everything you need with you and more, you’ll need a fairly large backpack to haul all of your stuff. However, the bigger the backpack, the heavier the weight, meaning you’ll have to contend with a sore back and a harder commute overall. Some backpacks are made to help you compact your clothing down, allowing you to fit more into a smaller bag so you don’t have to contend with a bulky bag on your back your entire commute. Other bags have special pockets for your laptop so you can fit more into the bag without worrying about damaging your electronics. There is no right or wrong backpack size for commuting; it all depends on your unique needs.
Now that you know the size of the backpack you have in mind, it’s time to consider the fabric. In most cases, you want a lightweight, but durable fabric for your backpack. However, you should consider things like waterproofing before investing in a backpack, as it can save your skin in inclement weather. Many backpacks come with some level of water resistance, and there are products for waterproofing canvas that can help turn your favorite backpack into a mainstay of your bike ride. Of course, you can always wrap your equipment in plastic bags before slipping them into your backpack if you are concerned about waterproofing, but keep in mind that investing in a waterproof backpack can cut down on the time you spend packing in the morning and can help you be prepared for whatever life throws at you.
Now that you know some of the things to keep in mind when picking out a commuting backpack, it’s time to get shopping. We’ve scoured the internet for the best biking backpacks on the market, to help you get the best of the best. By taking into consideration user reviews, overall quality, make, materials, and comfort levels, as well as storage capacity, we’ve narrowed down your options to the top 10 best backpacks for commuting. Without further ado, let’s take you to the contenders for the best commuting backpack.
Best Backpacks for Bike Commuting
Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack
This backpack is at the top of our list for good reason. With included foam comfort panels in the back, this bag is made to withstand long commutes without causing you backpack, making it ideal for the average cycling commuter. The adjustable strap design and added front band help you secure your load without worrying about cutting off circulation or causing shoulder pain. The overall backpack design is made to provide easy access to your items while still protecting important items. The front panel can be used to store a tablet, laptop, or hydration bag for those long commutes, making it ideal for carrying everything you need for the office. The external materials are water-resistant, making this backpack ideal for everyday use, and the mesh stretch side pockets give you additional storage options for everything from water bottles and energy bars to your wallet or even your phone.
This backpack is one of the best commuter backpack options on the market and has over a thousand positive reviews from customers who can’t get enough of this incredible backpack. As one reviewer noted, “This bag is the most comfortable backpack I have ever used and the pockets are amazing. The main pocket is huge and has a computer sleeve inside…On the outside of the bag, there is a smaller pocket on the top with 2 mini pocket holders inside. The zipper pocket in the front is huge [as well].” If you’re looking for an incredible backpack to help streamline your morning commute that offers 20L of storage space and is comfortable to use, the Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack is the right option for you.
KOPACK 17 inch Anti-Theft Laptop Backpack
Not only is this one of the coolest looking backpacks on our list, but it is also built with the professional in mind. The internal pockets are made to carry your clothing, laptop, office supplies, and more, with ample space for anything else you need on your morning commute. While the exterior has fewer pockets than some of the other bags on this list, there is a reason for the simplistic, smooth exterior. This bag is specially developed to help keep your stuff safe while you are walking around or biking, by hiding the external zipper to prevent theft. As an added bonus, this backpack is waterproof and comes with a rain cover, There are two available sizes of this bag, one that is made for 17” shoulders and one that is better for 15.6” shoulders. This allows you to wear your bag comfortably without worrying about it slipping off of your back while you bike.
While this bag doesn’t have the external pockets on the front as you would see with traditional backpacks, the hidden pockets that lie flush against your back are perfect for items you want to ensure stay put during your morning commute, making them essential for any commuter. There is also a hidden ID card pocket on the straps, making scanning into work easier than ever before. This backpack has over a thousand reviews and is one of the most popular commuter backpacks on the market, and for good reason. If you’re looking for a great commuter backpack that not only looks fashionable but also helps make your morning commute a breeze, the KOPACK 17 inch Anti Theft Laptop Backpack is the commuter backpack for you.
LOCALLION Cycling Backpack Bike Pack 18 L
This is probably what you think of first when you think of a biking backpack. The sleek design, mesh exterior, and countless pockets highlight this bag as the perfect pack for biking, hiking, and more. Not only does this bag come with a safety whistle on the adjustable chest strap, but the countless pockets for everything from your helmet to a water bladder or your phone make this an indispensable part of your morning commute. The reflective fabric helps increase your visibility both during the day and at night, adding to your overall safety as you make your way into work. As an added bonus, the back panel of this backpack is designed with airflow in mind, to help you avoid unwanted back sweat on your ride into work and to ensure you don’t get bogged down by your bag on hotter days.
The interior of this bag is made to hold everything you could ever need and more. Not only are there pockets for clothing or a laptop, but the added tablet sleeve on the back also allows you to fit more for your money in this handy bag. The mesh external pocket can be used to carry everything from your bike helmet to an umbrella or even your lunch, should you be so inclined. The only thing to consider when looking at this backpack is that it is not inherently waterproof, so you may need to invest in a rain cover. However, for the amount of storage space available on this bag, as well as the overall comfort of the design and quality of the make, the LOCALLION Cycling Backpack Bike Pack 18 L is sure to make your morning commute a breeze.
Timbuk2 Rogue Laptop Backpack
While this bag may appear on the bulky side, the amount of storage provided makes up for its squared design in droves. This backpack is made with water-resistant fabric to help keep your supplies protected from everything from a chance rainstorm to the dirt and grime of the road, and the easy-clean surface makes keeping your gear in tip-top shape easier than ever. The interior pockets are made to fit everything you could ever need at the office, from folded clothing to your lunch or your electronics. This bag comes with comfortable straps, as well as an optional sternum strap to help keep your bag secure on a morning commute. As an added bonus, the shoulder strap comes with a bottle opener for those moments you feel like celebrating after a hard day at work.
This bag features a series of mesh loops on the front and sides, so you can attach anything you desire via carabiner, allowing you to maximize the amount of storage space available on your morning commute. Overall, this is a great backpack for those with a shorter commute or who are looking to carry everything they may need with them. The easiest way to ensure this bag doesn’t bog you down on your morning commute is to keep in mind the overall weight of everything you are packing, as there is a slight risk with larger backpacks that you could over encumber yourself. Still, this is a great backpack for anyone looking to invest in a stylish, practical bag that has enough space to carry anything you could ever need with you.
LOCALLION Cycling Backpack Biking Daypack
What can we say? Locallion makes great backpacks. This bag strays over into the territory of cyclist backpack, while still offering all the features you could ever want in a commuter bag. Not only is this bag lighter than some of the other options on our list, but it also comes made to fit a water bladder, so you can cut down on overall weight by leaving your water bottle behind. The reflective patches on the straps as well as the included sternum safety whistle make this backpack a must-have for the biking commuter. Breathability is the number one goal of this bag, and the mesh fabric along the back helps keep your back cooler longer. External pockets allow you to reach the essentials while biking, while the interior pocket is perfect for your larger items. This bag even comes with a detachable patch to store sensitive items, like your phone, keys, and wallet, so you don’t have to dig through the bottom of your bag to find them every time you stop.
The only real downsides of this bag are that it is not waterproof and that it may not be large enough to fit the average laptop without a little finagling. However, the overall incredible design and lightweight features make this bag one of the best commuting backpacks on the market, hands down. If you’re looking for a great backpack that will make your morning commute easier than ever, the LOCALLIN Cycling Backpack Biking Daypack is the best choice for you.
Timbuk2 Tuck Pack
Tuck packs offer the advantage of being simple to pack and even simpler to use. Made to keep a majority of your stuff in the center pocket, what these bags lack in aerodynamics they make up for in raw storage space. The center console is made to fit everything you could ever need on your bike ride or in the office, and the smaller external pockets allow you to access your essentials without digging through the main pocket. This bag is made from rugged, 900D polyester for a durable design that’s made to take the wear and tear of everyday use, and the Timbuk2 lifetime warranty ensures this bag will last you for years to come.
It is worth noting that this bag is not entirely waterproof, but is made to keep out dust and grime without wearing out, making this a great bag for those less-than-perfect commute routes.
This bag may not be as visible as some of the other options on our list, but the reflective zipper pulls and added loops to attach bike lights to make this a viable option for late-night commuting. Overall, if you’re looking for a great backpack that can carry everything you need and still look fantastic while doing it, the Timbuk2 Tuck Pack is the right choice for you.
LOCALLION Cycling Backpack Biking Backpack Riding Daypack
We should preface this bag by mentioning it does only have a 6L carrying capacity. However, if you’re looking for a light, streamlined backpack that won’t cause you back strain and will carry the essentials with you without an issue, this is the right backpack for you. The vibrant design of this bag allows you to increase your visibility without investing in additional bike lights or reflective gear, and the breathable exterior helps you avoid the dreaded sweaty back that comes with bike commuting. This bag is water-resistant, lightweight, and made to dry quickly, allowing you to shake off that morning drizzle as soon as the clouds part. The included water bladder compatibility allows you to leave your water bottle at home and hydrate on the go, making this ideal for those serious commuters looking to streamline their mornings.
The adjustable shoulder straps, as well as the sternum strap, allow you to easily secure this bag while on the go while avoiding shoulder strain or other unwanted downsides to biking with a backpack. If you’re looking for a great smaller backpack to take with you on your morning commute, the LOCALLION Cycling Backpack Biking Backpack Riding Daypack may be the right choice for you.
A-LAB | Model D | Waterproof Bicycle & Messenger Backpack
This backpack is fully waterproof and is made to keep your supplies drier longer. Unlike many of the other backpacks on the market, this backpack is welded together as opposed to sewn, meaning you don’t have to worry about the seams coming apart or leaking water. The roll-top closure helps keep your bag secure while preventing any water or grime from reaching your items. It is worth noting that this bag is on the larger size, making it ideal for those who bring their entire life with them to work. The included laptop sleeve is made to fit laptops up to 15” comfortably and adds another layer of protection for your electronics while you’re on the road.
The only real downside to this backpack beside the general issues that come up with larger backpacks is the fabric itself. While this bag is incredibly waterproof and laughs at the elements, it is not as breathable as some other fabrics, which may pose issues if you find yourself sweating through your morning commute. Still, if you’re looking for a bag that will keep your supplies safe from the elements while still looking downright sharp, the A-LAB Model D Waterproof Bicycle & Messenger Backpack is the right bag for you.
The North Face Vault Backpack
North Face is a reliable name when it comes to biking supplies, and for good reason. This backpack is made to stand in the middle as far as functionality goes. Overall, it has a reasonably sized interior that can hold everything from a laptop to your lunch and more, without bridging into the realm of a large backpack. The exterior is made to shrug off the elements while still being breathable, and the straps are made for both comfort and security with an included sternum strap for that added level of security. This backpack features organized internal compartments to help you find everything you’re looking for the first try, and the external pockets allow you to bring along a water bottle without worrying about accidentally soaking your work clothes.
Overall, if you’re looking for a comfortable backpack that can make the transition between your morning commute to walking into the office, the North Face Vault Backpack is an excellent choice for your commuting needs.
Thule Pack-n-Pedal Commuter Backpack
This backpack is similar to the last entry on our list in that it is made to bridge the gap between larger backpacks and small biking bags. The external mesh helmet pocket makes this bag ideal for the commuter looking to keep their helmet with them at their desk, without worrying about cluttering up the area. This bag features a water-resistant fabric that’s made to keep the elements out, without bogging you down on your ride. The adjustable straps come with a padded upper portion to help you avoid shoulder strain, while still providing a secure ride.
As an added bonus, this bag comes with a reflective rain cover to help keep you safe during overcast days. This bag features side pockets, as well as carabiner mesh loops so you can maximize your overall storage capacity. The included laptop sleeve can fit a laptop up to 15”, and the 360-degree reflective screen print design of the bag exterior helps you stay visible even on cloudy days. Overall, if you’re looking for a good commuting backpack that covers all the bases, the Thule Pack-n-Pedal Commuter Backpack is the right choice for you.
How to Pack for Your Morning Commute
Here is a great video that breaks down the best way to pack for your morning commute, including tips on how to avoid back strain: