Panniers, attached to a rack at the back of the bike, are the classic form of cycling luggage, but many people like to simply use a backpack for the office commute or running errands by bike. The best cycling backpacks should be functional, durable and comfortable, and have features to help keep your stuff organised and dry. In this article, we'll round up the best cycling backpacks you can buy right now.
Best cycling backpack overall: Oxford Aqua Evo 22L Backpack
Best value cycling backpack: Apidura Packable Backpack (13L)
Best reflective cycling backpack: Proviz Reflect360 Cycling Backpack
Best waterproof cycling backpack: Craft Cadence Backpack
Best cycling backpack with lots of storage: Osprey Metron 24
Best money-no-object cycling backpack: Camelbak H.A.W.G Commute 30 Backpack
The main advantage of a backpack is its convenience. Simply pack all your essentials, throw it on your shoulders, and you're ready to go without the hassle of dealing with pannier hooks or impacting your bike's handling. Additionally, the ease of carrying off the bike makes backpacks one of the most popular ways of transporting stuff on the bike.
There are lots of cycling backpacks to choose from, ranging from super organised with lots of internal compartments, or super simple, lightweight single-compartment bags. The right one for you will depend on your preferences.
It's also worth looking out for reflective detailing for night-time visibility, plus waterproofing to keep you laptop dry in an unexpected downpour.
How we review cycling backpacks
Our reviewers, with many years of riding experience between them, use products for at least a month before writing up their findings and delivering final verdicts.
Since road.cc towers is based in the centre of Bath, these cycling backpacks have undergone rigorous testing during our reviewers' daily commutes to work, enduring the varied weather conditions that the UK presents.
Cycling backpacks are assessed on their quality of construction, performance, durability, weight, comfort and value, with the overall score reflecting both the backpack's function and value compared to items of a similar spec, quality and price. With a huge review archive, we can keep it fair by comparing like-for-like.
Why you can trust us
All cycling backpacks featured in this buyer's guide have undergone thorough reviews by our team of reviewers. Since we've reviewed a lot of backpacks over the years, all of the ones featured have scored 8/10 or more to be considered for inclusion. No matter how big the brand is or sales figures, a product must meet our high standards to be featured in this guide.
And of course, the road.cc team members who put together these guides are seasoned cyclists themselves. Our first-hand experience ensures that the product selections are carefully curated.
Several of the items below have also earned recognition in road.cc Recommends, indicating they have received high scores in reviews, and have been selected for this buyer's guide by at least three different individual on the team. If you do want to see your on-bike carrying options, be sure to check out our guide to the best bike pannier bags and pannier racks too.