The 7 Best Backpacks for Cycling in 2022

Whether you're looking for a small bag to carry your lunch, a bag with a padded pocket for your laptop, or one that can carry all your belongings from your day, a backpack designed for cycling is the easiest solution.
It caters for bikes and bikers who do not have a luggage rack and bring more versatility than a bag. It can be used throughout the day, unlike saddlebags which are more difficult to handle. The bike backpack is often the best ally of the biker who wants to keep a sleek and stylish bike.

Bike backpack: 8 questions to ask yourself

  • What do I want to carry? What types of objects and sizes?
  • What budget? 
  • Can the backpack also attach to a luggage rack? 
  • Will I use it in the rain? 
  • Desired look: appearance of a professional bag? utilitarian
  • Versatility with other activities (exclusive bike bag or will it be used in other circumstances)
  • Safety: does this bag improve my night safety (reflective strip, LED, etc.)?

7 criteria for choosing your backpack for cycling

Comfort

The comfort of your backpack is linked to its ergonomics as well as the quality of the shoulder straps. They should be wide enough to fit comfortably on your shoulders and ensure a stable hold of the bag itself.
The comfort level of your bag is essential for regular use. Thus, in the case of a daily commute to work by bike, take the time to check that the bag incorporates a reinforced back for a homogeneous distribution of weight, without hard points. The back panel should be well padded and cushion your back against any uneven objects inside the bag. Remember to check that the bag is equipped with a lap belt to stabilize your load.

Ventilation

To facilitate the circulation of air in your back and thus avoid sweating, your backpack must provide materials adapted to the evacuation of natural moisture. To be objective, the best solution to carry your belongings without sweating remains the bag.

Ortlieb velocity ps 17l rooibos ventilation dos
The design of a good bike backpack must provide good air circulation

But if your bike doesn't have a luggage rack, or you don't want to have one, select a backpack with ventilated shoulder straps and a shape that favors the passage of air through your back. 

Aesthetics adapted to work

It is important to remember that you will also be wearing it outside of the bike. Think about the style that would work best for your work environment. Is this a casual workplace where anything goes, or do you need to maintain a more formal appearance?

Since your backpack will accompany you from your bike to your daily work, make sure it conveys a style suitable for the job.

Ability

If you want to carry a ton of things, choose a volume of at least 20 liters. If not, you can settle for a smaller bag. Let's say you need room for a laptop, lunch, and a change of clothes.

Look for a backpack (rather than a messenger bag) with a padded pouch to protect your device and enough space for the rest of your belongings.

Strength and impermeability

Depending on your use, your backpack must be able to withstand over time (quality of materials, seams). Is it reinforced to ensure sustainable construction (bag deposited on the ground, loading and daily unloading, etc.)?
It must also be able to be more or less waterproof according to your cycling habits: do you ride all year round, whatever the weather?
Impermeability is measured by placing the bag (more precisely the fabric) under a column of water. The test checks from what height of water the liquid begins to pass through the tissue.
More simply, the higher the water height, the more waterproof the fabric will be. 

The official unit of measurement of impermeability is the Schmerber:

1 Schmerber = 1 mm. One of the two units can be found on the manufacturers' descriptions (example: "fabric resistant to 2000 schmerbers" or "fabric resistant to 2,000 mm") with details on the quality of the seams (waterproof or not) and on the impermeability of the closures.This corresponds to the same indices as for rainwear for cycling.

Organization

A computer, its charger, keys, a phone, a lunch-box, sunglasses … But how do you hold it all together? A bag that has a compartment is more convenient to properly distribute and protect your belongings.

For bikers, the presence of a foamed pocket allows you to carry your computer. However, remember that this special computer pocket is adapted to the size of your screen (attention on the 15" and 17").
Another practical point, a zip can facilitate quick access to the inside of the bag (without having to empty all its contents to go to the bottom). 

Visibility

By bike, the more you see, the better. See if reflective strips are integrated or that a small LED can easily hang on. In terms of visibility, also think about your 180° vision when the bag is loaded. On small volumes no worries, you will not be embarrassed.

However, on greater heights, a compression strap or roll-up closure facilitates the compression of the bag and therefore does not obstruct your view.  

The 7 Best Backpacks for Velotaf

BIKE BACKPACK ELOPS SPEED 100 20L: the best value for money of Decathlon bike backpacks

With its capacity of 20 liters, this backpack is an excellent compromise price, quality and comfort. Thanks to its wide and airy shoulder straps, coupled with ergonomic foam in the back, it is an excellent choice for regular bicycle use. It is also designed to remain stable when placed on the ground

Our opinion on the backpack Vélo Elops speed 100 20L

Benefits
  • Practical design: clear interior for easy searching inside the backpack
  • Safety: Reflective strips on the front (on shoulder straps), sides and back of the bag
Disadvantages
  • Unique color (black) a little tristoune
  • Style more courier than "professional"

DAKINE INFINITY PACK LT 22L: the best women's bike backpack

With its capacity of 22 L, the Infinite pack LT backpack from the American brand DA KINE is the perfect match between style, practicality and comfort.

Women's bike backpack

The care taken in the design is reflected in the space dedicated to your glasses lined with fleece to avoid scratches as well as the stretch pocket for your gourd that accompanies you to the office. Note that depending on the volume you are carrying, the compression straps on the sides allow you to adjust the dimensions of the bag. 

Our opinion on the Dakine Infinity Pack LT 22 liters

Benefits
  • Look and finish
  • Lots of storage
  • Back comfort
  • Variety of colors bringing "freshness": Mint, pink, olive
Disadvantages
  • Pocket for the computer limited to 13"
  • No information on waterproofing except that the fabric has received a water-repellent treatment

Ortlieb Velocity 17L: the best waterproof bike backpack

If you're looking for a truly waterproof bike bag, the Velocity is ideal for velotaffeurs who ride even in the rain.

Ortlieb Velocity PS 17L Rooibos Backpack

We also appreciate his style reminiscent of couriers.

Access to business is easy with the closure with rolling velcro

Our opinion on the Ortlieb Velocity 17L

Benefits
  • Meets IP64 waterproof standard
  • Available in 3 capacities (17 L, 23 L and even 29 L)
  • Padded back that provides good rear ventilation
  • Variety of colors
Disadvantages
  • Limited reflective strips
  • Plasticized appearance that is less versatile in a professional environment

LED Warning Backpack: the best flashing backpack / LED / signaling

Equipped with LEDs on its rear part, this backpack is the right choice for urban cyclists looking for additional safety. It allows you to indicate your changes of direction, such as the turn signals of a car, your braking as well as the movements forward.

image 2

In addition, it has a remote control that attaches to your bike handlebars.The LEDs make you visible from 100 meters away and the fabric is water repellent. Its installation and use are simple.

Our opinion on the LED Warning Backpack

Benefits
  • Improving your security
  • Easy to install remote control
  • Charges via USB
  • Capacity adapted for the majority of cyclists
Disadvantages
  • Medium finish
  • Too bad the emergency brake display doesn't activate by itself
  • Remote control look a little cheap (it looks like a beep of my grandfather's Citroën Xantia 20 years ago)
  • Lap belt not very wide

Osprey Metron 26: the best velotaf backpack

The Osprey Metron is an excellent road partner for your commute to and from work. Its capacity of 26 L is ideal, while being equipped with compression straps to reduce its volume.

It is perfect for transporting your computer in good conditions.

Our opinion on the Osprey Metron 26

Benefits
  • Perfect compromise for the velotaf
  • Lightness and finesse
  • General comfort
  • Fluorescent waterproof cover
  • Finishing
Disadvantages
  • A bit expensive despite everything

Ortlieb Messenger Bag Pro: the best courier backpack

With a record volume of 39 L, this courier bag beats all records: 50 cm high and 39 cm wide. Hyper resistant and waterproof, it is suitable for the most valiant users who want to transport bulky packages.

Ortlieb Messenger Bag Pro

We find the quality of Ortlieb backpacks and panniers: roll-up closure, padded back part, super ventilation system.

Ortlieb Messenger Bag Pro Front
Maximum capacity for pros

Our review Ortlieb Messenger Bag Pro

Benefits
  • Possibility to advertise thanks to the waterproof A3 compartment
  • Crazy volume (39 liters)
  • Possibility of options to customize the organization of the doc bag
Disadvantages
  • Weight (almost 2 kg)

ALTURA THUNDERSTORM CITY HI VIZ 30L: the best 30L bike backpack

For those looking for a 30L bike backpack, the THUNDERSTORM CITY from the English brand ALTURA allows the transport of a large volume while ensuring quality waterproofing (IPX6 level combined with sealed seams.

best Bike backpack 30 liters

You can ride all year round with confidence. 

Our opinion on the ALTURA THUNDERSTORM CITY HI VIZ 30L

Benefits
  • Available in black for discreet and yellow for those in need of sun
  • Rather light for its size (600g)
  • 360° reflective elements
Disadvantages
  • Not very fun in black
  • Computer sleeve limited to 13"

Also discover our article on backpacks convertible into bike bags and how to secure your bike bag against theft ?

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