The 10 Best Backpacks For Bike Commuting

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This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in January of 2019. Although panniers are a popular choice for toting gear on a bike, there are many riders who prefer to use backpacks for commuting, as it is easy to take your gear with you when you dismount. We've come up with a varied selection that should work for most people, including both compact choices and capacious ones capable of holding laptops, tablets, papers and anything else you might need. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Osprey Radial

2. Timbuk2 Rogue

3. Thule Pack-n-Pedal

Editor's Notes

August 19, 2020:

We eliminated items from Deuter, Banjo Brothers, Green Guru Gear and Timbuk2 in favor of higher quality options we uncovered during our research. As a helpful feature for those who tote lots of small essential items, we highlighted the accessory pouch that comes with the Ortlieb Velocity, which can be detached if you’d like to use it as a little travel bag.

Several backpacks on the list — such as the Osprey Radial, Locallion Rucksack and ArcEnCiel Coyote — come with rain hoods, which means you won’t have to buy one separately or struggle with a cheap poncho if and when the sky opens up during a ride. Many also feature key rings, so your keys don’t routinely get lost in the jumble of contents within the bag.

We’ve added four new backpacks to the list, including the ArcEnCiel Coyote, the only model on the list to utilize a MOLLE design (MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, a system of straps and webbing used for attaching multiple items). The Thule Pack-n-Pedal is one of few options to include a hard-sided compartment for sunglasses (though some folks use it to protect their smartphones as well).

Those looking for a great value may be interested in the Osprey Daylite, which offers a mid-level capacity, dependable comfort, and long-term durability for daily commuters.

January 14, 2019:

Added choices with technical features that keep riders dry and safe, including the Osprey Radial 26, which offers the ultra-practical LidLock, and the Proviz Sports Reflect360, a supremely reflective selection. Also investigated simpler packs, choosing the Brooks England Pickwick and the Banjo Brothers Canvas for their timeless stylishness.

Special Honors

Velo Transit Waterproof welded liners around all of the pouches and compartments within these packs ensure that none of their contents get wet, no matter the conditions outside. They offer several light attachments points to enhance visibility, and you can choose from multiple sizes and styles based on your size and gender.

Mudroom Quartable Mudroom backpacks have special footwear compartments, allowing you to keep your potentially smelly shoes separated from all your other stuff. These robust packs maintain their shape over time, and they can even stand on their own thanks to a sturdy base. An interior Velcro strap can be used to secure your laptop in place, too.

Lander Commuter Whether you’re simply traveling to and from work or trekking remote mountain trails, the Commuter has the functionality and strength to serve as an indispensable accessory. This spacious dry pack includes inner wireways to organize charging cables for your mobile devices and laptop, and it comes with a one-year warranty.

4. Proviz Sports Reflect360

5. Ortlieb Velocity

6. Osprey Daylite

7. Brooks England Pickwick

8. Thule Paramount 29L

9. ArcEnCiel Coyote

10. Locallion Rucksack

Sam Kraft
Last updated by Sam Kraft

In addition to his corporate career as a marketing and communications professional in Chicago, Sam runs a popular blog that focuses on the city’s flourishing craft beer and brewery scene. He received his degree in journalism from DePaul University (which spurred his interest in freelance writing) and has since spent years developing expertise in copywriting, digital marketing and public relations. A lifetime of fishing, hiking and camping trips has left him well-versed in just about any outdoors-related topic, and over several years spent working in the trades during his youth, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge about tools and machinery. He’s a travel junkie, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid biker.

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