A motorcycle quite obviously doesn’t offer the storage capacity you’d find even in a compact car, so cyclists who want to use their motorcycle as their main means of conveyance need to get creative. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of backpacks dedicated to the needs of cyclists, but the right model for you is going to depend a lot on your own habits, interests, and routines.
No matter your needs, we think you’ll find something to love in our best motorcycle backpack guide. We’ve put together reviews for 10 of the top models and paired it with a guide that can help you understand the features to pay attention to during your hunt.
- 10 Best Motorcycle Backpacks
- 1. OGIO Renegade RSS Backpack
- 2. Oakley Men’s Kitchen Sink
- 3. AXO 29101-05-000 Black Commuter Backpack
- 4. Mardingtop Tactical Motorcycle Backpacks
- 5. Timbuk2 The Authority Pack,One Size
- 6. Seibertron Motorbike Backpack Black 37L
- 7. Nelson-Rigg CB-PK30 Black Compact Bag
- 8. ArcEnCiel Men Tactical Backpack
- 9. OGIO 123006,36 No Drag Mach 5–Stealth Rear
- 10. Advocator Waterproof Motorcycle Backpack
- Motorcycle Backpack Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Motorcycle Backpacks
1. OGIO Renegade RSS Backpack
The Ogio Renegade is a big bag and incredibly sturdy too. And while it's designed as a way to carry all of your gadgets safely, those same features make it an ideal choice if you're looking for a motorcycle backpack that will last. The storage capacity here is pretty phenomenal. It includes a main pocket capable of holding a laptop as big as 17 inches as well as a camera compartment, tablet pocket, and a storage panel. All of that is rounded out by three spacious side pockets, and the entire package is nicely padded to keep your possessions safe even in the harshest conditions.
2. Oakley Men’s Kitchen Sink
The cute naming convention of Oakley's Kitchen Sink may suggest big promises, but the company mostly delivers with this large and durable backpack. It offers nearly 300 more cubic inches than the Renegade in terms of capacity, making it one of the biggest bags short of a hiking backpack, and the secured top flap essentially locks out both the elements and the wandering hands of potential thieves. And while the contents inside can be hard to get at on the fly due to the protective measures in place, a hidden zipper on the back allows you to directly reach in and grab what you need from the sizable laptop pocket.
3. AXO 29101-05-000 Black Commuter Backpack
If you're looking for a simple motorcycle backpack to bring with you on your daily commute, you're sure to fall in love with the AXO 29101-05-000. It easily offers great value for around $15 retail price, and it covers all the essentials, though it's not as spacious or as heavy duty as some of the other motorcycle backpacks on our list. This is a backpack that's explicitly designed with the needs of cyclists in mind, and its slim aerodynamic design and lightweight frame of this biker backpack make it one of the easiest models to wear for long periods of time.
4. Mardingtop Tactical Motorcycle Backpacks
If you're seeking out a backpack that's specifically built to the needs of motorcycle owners but a little more heavy duty than the AXO 29101-05-000, look to the Mardingtop tactical backpack. Its military design is incredibly tough, and it's designed to feel comfortable on long trips while still holding everything you could need. Padded shoulder straps are accompanied by a waist strap to keep everything secure and your center of gravity sound, and the molle webbing lets you expand it to carry even more if need be. And the compartment for a water bladder in this bikers backpack allows you to keep yourself hydrated even on the longest excursions out on the open road.
5. Timbuk2 The Authority Pack,One Size
The simplicity of the Timbuk2 Authority is one of the greatest assets for this motorcycle backpack, but this backpack is deceptively well made and looks great to boot. The squared off design allows for a comfortable fit while also allowing it to reduce drag, and it includes both a main pocket zipper and one to access the smaller compartment in the front. The laptop sleeve can hold devices up to 17" in size, and comfort is a major priority with Timbuk2's backpack. The adjustable shoulder straps are accompanied by detachable sternum straps, while the air mesh rear panel prevents your back from overheating on warm days.
6. Seibertron Motorbike Backpack Black 37L
Seibertron has created one of the best and most serious backpacks dedicated to the needs of motorcycle aficionados. This backpack has space for a whopping 37 liters of accessories and belongings, more than enough space to carry your helmet and a whole lot more. If you're planning on taking a long term road trip on your motorcycle, this is definitely the backpack you want to take with you. It's also built out of some of the sturdiest materials around, so it's ready to handle the rigors of the road with aplomb. This is easily the biggest backpack on our list, and that will be a disadvantage to some, but the inclusion of molle netting and some great organization options allow you to keep everything neat and tidy.
7. Nelson-Rigg CB-PK30 Black Compact Bag
The Nelson-Rigg CB-PK30 backpack is comparable to the AXO 29101-05-000 in terms of pricing and design, and this motorcycle backpack is a great alternative if you're looking for an affordable and compact backpack that's still capable of carrying a decent number of accessories. The 30 liters of storage space are easily enough to carry a motorcycle helmet and more, and the embroidery stitching adds an extra layer of durability to the Tri-Max nylon. An interior storage bag prevents you with plenty of options for organizing your accessories and supplies, but when completely folded up, this backpack can fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.
8. ArcEnCiel Men Tactical Backpack
The ArcEnCiel is a serious motorcycle backpack that can survive just about anything. Not only is it constructed from an impressive 1000 denier nylon that's incredibly resistant to both cuts and abrasions, but this motorcycle backpack also employs PALS webbing on both sides that can be used to give you easy access to everything from water bottles to keys to your cell phone. This is a military backpack through and through and the best choice if you're looking to go motorcycle riding out to national parks and do some camping or hiking along the way. And the adjustable padded shoulder straps mean it's comfortable to wear despite its relatively bulky size.
9. OGIO 123006,36 No Drag Mach 5–Stealth Rear
Ogio is the only brand to get more than one backpack review on our list, and that honestly comes down to the sheer quality of their products. The 123006,36 is much smaller than the Renegade, making it the ideal backpack for shorter trips. It sports an intentionally low drag design to help you maintain your balance and ride your motorcycle more safely, but this motorcycle backpack is still large enough to hold a full motorcycle helmet. Its single shot molded exterior means that it won't deform from wind shear or succumb to the threat of water. And the interior organization pockets are incredibly well designed as well.
10. Advocator Waterproof Motorcycle Backpack
The Advocator is one of the more compact backpacks on our list, but it's also pretty heavy duty, and that makes it a great choice for daily commuters and riders who opt for smaller and faster motorbikes. The molded hard shell provides ample protection for everything in your backpack, and side pockets provide you with convenient access to the smaller essentials in your life. And while the main interior pocket isn't the largest around, it's still sizable enough to hold a 14" laptop. This main compartment comes with multiple adjustable compartments for better organizing your things. While the bag itself isn't waterproof, it does come with a dedicated rain cover to keep your possessions safe and dry.
Motorcycle Backpack Buyer’s Guide
There’s a pretty tremendous diversity to each backpack we’ve provided a review for, so you’re going to want to understand what specs to look for and what you should prioritize. It’s all going to come down to your personal preferences, but we can break down the options available and help you understand what features you should focus on. Keep reading to learn how go about shopping for a motorcycle backpack.
How much do you plan to carry with you on a regular basis? A larger backpack will be a necessity if you’re planning on criss-crossing the United States on your motorcycle, but the unwieldy frame will just be a nuisance if you’re planning on wearing the backpack for your daily commute. Consider the practicalities of what you need first and foremost, but if you use your motorcycle on a daily basis, balance out your everyday needs against the maximum amount of accessories you might need to carry. Investing in a backpack with molle netting is one good way to scale to a more flexible range of needs without having to invest in a backpack that’s too large.
Also keep in mind the specific items you want to carry in your backpack. Laptop pockets are common, but if you want a bag with a padded pocket for a 17″ laptop, you’re going to have to hunt a little more to find one that matches your needs. For riders that need to use their backpack on a daily basis, finding a backpack with enough capacity to comfortably hold a helmet is essential.
Having enough capacity to hold your helmet and other essentials is a necessity, but you’ll also want to keep an eye towards how those pockets are organized and how easy they are to reach. It’s hard to overstate the value of quick access pockets that can be used to hold valuables like your phone, wallet, and keys, and a quick release system will make it much easier to slip off your backpack when you get off of your motorcycle. The best backpack all around will offer you enough easy access compartments for the things you readily need and offer more tightly secured (and preferably cushioned or fleece lined) pockets for your other things.
Also look at the organizational systems built into the bag. More pockets provide you with the means to better organize your things, and many backpacks come with customizable dividers you can use to personalize your experience, but a more compartmentalized interior also limits the ability to pack away larger essentials like your helmet. We suggest you take an inventory of what you might expect to pack in your backpack and choose the right capacity and accessibility features accordingly.
Almost every backpack you find is going to be constructed of nylon, polyester, or some combination of the two. One isn’t inherently better than the other. Instead, they both have their own advantages in given situations.
Polyester was designed to be a water resistant material, so even if a polyester backpack isn’t rated as being waterproof, it will still provide you with decent protection against rain. Nylon, by contrast, was built largely for military and outdoor usage, and a nylon backpack tends to be incredibly tough. If you need a backpack that can survive just about anything, be sure to evaluate the denier rating. The higher the number, the tougher it’s going to be. Also keep in mind the quality of the stitching, as that can add significantly to the level of durability in a backpack.
Consider where you’re going to be riding your motorcycle. A good backpack is one that’s accommodating to your needs, and if you find yourself doing most of your riding in rainy Seattle, you’re going to have very different needs than someone looking for a backpack suited to the arid climate of Arizona. Waterproofing isn’t going to be a necessity for everyone, but it’s a good precaution to have when you find yourself caught out in unexpected rain.
It may not be the most important consideration, but chances are that you want to look cool while riding. Picking a backpack with design sensibilities that you like will go a long way towards enjoying your bag, especially if you tend to hold on to it for a while. Design affectations can also serve as a valuable safety measure. If you find yourself riding regularly at night, you’ll want one that comes with a reflective surface to make you easier to spot by drivers on the road. More well cushioned backpacks can even provide you as an extra layer of protection in the case of an accident, and we suggest that you carry a first aid kit in your backpack if you ride regularly.
One factor to take into consideration is a low drag design. Wind resistance causing drag could be a hazard to the rider and other road users. Hard shell designs like the OGIO No Drag Mach 5–Stealth create must less wind resistance and therefore reducing the overall drag.
If you’re going to be riding miles and miles on your bike, you want a backpack that’s going to feel comfortable. For riders that aren’t going on long trips, a smaller bag can assist with that, and some (like the Ogio Mach 5) include features like a single shot molded exterior that create a more aerodynamic experience.These specially crafted motorcycle backpacks will make riding a more natural and thrilling experience.
Shoulder straps with significant padding are much more comfortable to wear, especially over long periods of time, but also look at how breathable they are. More breathable materials will reduce the risk of sweating, and that’s true of the back as well as the straps. With heavier bags, you’ll want to keep an eye out for models that include chest straps and/or waist belts. They’ll not only help you reduce the burden of lugging around your things, but they’ll also help you create a better center of gravity, a necessity when you’re zooming down a curvy road on the back of your bike.
Shopping for a motorcycle backpack may not be as easy as it seems at first, but it’s one of the most convenient accessories you can have with you as a rider. That’s why we’ve tried to create as diverse a list as possible and provide quality backpack models for every type of cyclist. We hope you find what you’re looking for here, and if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional motorcycle backpacks, please check out our list of the top messenger bags of 2020. They’re a great alternative for casual riders and commuters.