If you combine a lot of your bike training with your commute or off-road exploits, chances are you’ll need a way to carry some of your belongings, extra kit or nutrition. And if you’re not keen on using panniers or bikepacking bags, that’s where cycling backpacks come in.
But if you’re going to perform to the best of your abilities, you’ll need good-quality options to choose from. Being able to identify the products worth your money is key, whether you’re looking for the best hydration packs or the best cycling water bottle cages, for example.
So, we’ve scoured the internet to find the very best cycling backpack deals around. Our selection is based on in-depth research and user reviews. Keep reading to find some options that might work for you.
Best cycling backpacks
Osprey Escapist 18L
The Osprey Escapist is one of the all-round most popular backpacks among cyclists. It’s earned fantastic reviews and has a high average score across multiple retailers, so it’s a safe bet if you’re in the market for a new rucksack.
One of the features of this backpack that users particularly like is its storage system. It has a zipped external pocket for small items, as well as an internal divider, which means you can keep wet clothes separate from the rest of your kit. Plus, you’ll find three stretchy mesh pockets and a rain cover on the outside of the bag.
Added extras include the helmet attachment, BioStretch harness and hip belt, and back panel ventilation fabric.
Deuter Unisex Trans Alpine 24
Deuter is another respected brand when it comes to cycling backpacks and this is the 24-litre option from its Trans Alpine range. It focusses on superior comfort, with three ‘fabric zones’: soft shoulder pads, a ventilated back panel and smooth hip supports. The bag’s ‘Auto Compress System’ and ‘Pull-Forward Adjustment’ is designed to make it easy to adapt the fit for your body.
The Trans Alpine is also designed with plenty of different pockets for organised storage space. There’s a big front section with an internal compartment, as well as an elasticated front pocket and a mesh compartment to hold your helmet.
Deuter Race EXP Air
The Deuter Race EXP Air has several features to limit stress on the body when cycling. Fitted with a lower hip belt, it’s specifically designed to transfer weight from the shoulders to the hips, and the entire pack has an ergonomic shape, which should sit comfortably against the body.
Made with durable 210-denier nylon and ripstop polyamide fabric, this cycling backpack is said to be both hardwearing and lightweight, which is exactly what we’d be looking for. It has a capacity of 14 litres, so has plenty of space for a spare set of clothes (for commuting) or extra layers and nutrition.
Osprey Synchro 12
If you’re after 12 litres of storage space, an adjustable harness system and a high-vis rain cover, you may want to go for the Osprey Synchro 12. You’ll be able to attach Osprey hydration reservoirs in its internal sleeve and use the LidLock helmet accessory and key clip to keep your belongings secure.
Inside, you’ll find various compartments, including a section for bicycle tools and equipment. There are also several elasticated pockets externally, which can carry water bottles and other items you need to keep within easy reach.
The Synchro 12 option here is a male-specific pack, but Osprey also sell the equivalent bag in a female-specific fit, which is called the Sylvia.
Evoc Stage 12L
This cycling backpack comes with slimline styling and, when empty, is said to weigh just 900g, so it’s another lightweight option. It also comes with an integrated rain cover and space for hydration pouches up to three litres in capacity.
Like many of the best cycling backpacks, the Evoc Stage has lots of different compartments to help you keep your belongings separate and organised. Store your valuables and smaller items in the quick-access tool section and attach your bicycle helmet and other kit using the integrated stow-away systems.
Osprey Men’s Raptor 14 / Women’s Raven 14
Like the Synchro, this Osprey model comes with separate versions for men and women.
Among the features, you’ll find an integrated tool roll with space for a selection of different gadgets and spares, which is why it’s made it onto our list of the best cycling backpack deals. Unlike many others, it also comes with a 2.5-litre hydration reservoir, giving you a reliable hydration system without you having to buy your own.
Other handy features include a helmet attachment, lightweight chest strap and zipped pocket for small valuables. There’s also a ventilated back panel to keep you comfortable as you build up a sweat, reflective detailing and an attachment point for an LED light.
Windchaser Bike Backpack
This Windchaser backpack has an impressive average review score on Amazon and, despite weighing just 490g, it has a 10-litre capacity and plenty of compartments to help you stay organised.
In the shoulder strap, you’ll find a hidden hydration pack outlet and the back panel is finished with thick padding to help maximise comfort. You’ll also find reflective strips on the front and back for added visibility. This cycling backpack is available in blue, green or red, or you can stick with the understated black or grey colouring.
Altura Thunderstorm Hi-Viz
If you’re after a versatile backpack you can use for your commute as well as leisure rides, try the Altura Thunderstorm. The version we’ve highlighted here comes with a bright yellow high-vis front to make sure you’re seen by other road users. It also has 30 litres of capacity, with a padded laptop sleeve and zipped compartments for smaller items.
While it’s not the sportiest model on our list, it’s still incredibly light, weighing just 600g. It’s said to be completely waterproof, too, making it well-suited to commuting.
Don’t forget your dry bag!
As cycling backpacks aren’t typically waterproof, a dry bag is a worthwhile investment. Not only will it keep your belongings dry in downpours, but it’ll also let you carry wet swimming gear in your bag without getting everything is damp.
To find some of the best dry sacks around, check out brands such as Osprey, Lomo, Exped and LifeVenture.