What Is the Best Motorcycle Backpack? 

 March 10, 2023

By  Diane Wuthrich

Motorcycle backpacks are an efficient way to travel with your belongings no matter what kind of trip you’re going on. But with all the motorcycle backpacks out there, how do you choose the best one?

There are certain things to look out for in a motorcycle backpack. It should specifically be a motorcycle backpack, since it has features designed for riding safety. Look for a pack that has storage for your essentials, is lightweight, fits well, is weather-resistant, and has visibility.

Want to know more about what you should look for in the best backpacks for motorcycle riding? Read on below.

What To Look For in Motorcycle Backpacks

Motorcycle backpacks are an essential accessory for riders. They provide a convenient and easy way to access belongings when riding your motorcycle, all while keeping your hands free. Whether you’re going on long or short rides, you can store your belongings safely in your pack to reach whenever you need it.

Having said that, below are the features you should be looking for in a motorcycle backpack.


It is never advisable to ride a motorcycle with a backpack that isn’t a motorcycle backpack.

They aren’t like other backpacks; there are certain features found in motorcycle backpacks that benefit riders. Wearing a heavy backpack that isn’t tailor fit for the purpose can also increase the risk of spinal injury and accidents.

For example, motorcycle backpacks are designed to hug the body as you drive whereas everyday backpacks might be flying in the air. This can compromise your safety.

Additionally, motorcycle backpacks have other features to keep you safe. These include efficient weight distribution and a sturdy frame that will reduce drag which will happen if you ride with an everyday pack.


The best backpack for motorcycle commuting should have at least 15 liters of capacity. Adequate storage is necessary not just for carrying your daily essentials, but also for the gear you should always have with you on your bike.

For example, motorcycle riders should always have a first-aid kit, motorcycle tool kit, flat tire repair kit, and rain gear. These can already take up a considerable amount of space on their own.

If you commute to work, you will likely need other items such as your laptop, lunch, water bottle, and a change of clothes. Then you may need at least 25 liters of storage.


A light motorcycle bag that weighs under 2 pounds will ensure your trip is comfortable. Even a pack that weighs 10 pounds can cause considerable pain on your back if you are riding for 4 hours and up. The good news is there are many light and ultralight motorcycle backpacks out there.

Just remember to choose the lightest pack possible for your needs.

Proper Fit

A motorcycle backpack that has waist and chest straps are always recommended, no matter how light your load. It will also ensure that the pack hugs your body properly and will be comfortable to wear. More importantly, waist and chest straps help distribute weight uniformly.

In addition, the backpacks should have adequate padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel to ensure your comfort. The padding will also come in handy as a safety feature in the event of a fall.

Weather Resistant

Motorcycle drivers are always exposed to the elements. A motorcycle backpack that is waterproof is critical especially if you are carrying gadgets and other tech gear. For those who are driving through the occasional light rain, a water resistant pack will do just fine.

However, if you regularly drive through snow and rain, you should prioritize water proof backpacks. Look for other protective features including laminated fabric, waterproof bag liners, welded seams, and a roll-top closure, all of which can keep water out of your backpack.

Water-resistant or waterproof nylon is an excellent choice for material. It’s lightweight, resistant to abrasion, and has superior weather performance. 


Visibility is the most important safety feature for motorcycle backpacks. This is a non-negotiable whether you commute at night or during the day.

High fluorescent and neon colors such as orange or yellow on the pack’s exterior will help vehicle drivers on the road spot you after dark. It reduces your chances of being in the blind spot, making you less prone to accidents as you stay in the line of sight.

On the other hand, a decent amount of reflective material comes in handy during the day as it bounces off light from the sun’s UV rays.

Easy To Use

You will likely be using your motorcycle gloves, so it helps to have a motorcycle backpack that you can easily open and close with gloves on. Chest and waist straps should be easily fastened and unfastened as well.

It’s also helpful to consider the level of difficulty required to put your backpack on when you have bulky riding gear such as a protective jacket.

Optional Features To Consider

While not necessary, below are additional features you may want to consider depending on the kind of trip you’ll be going on:

  • Helmet compartment or strap: The ability to store or stow away your helmets without compromising volume can come in handy for some riders.
  • Versatile design: Motorcycle backpacks are available in a wide array of styles. Some of them are designed for off-roading while others can be disguised as a work backpack because it looks professional enough. Meanwhile, expandable storage or a roll-top provides adjustable capacity.

These are great points to consider when narrowing down a motorcycle backpack for your needs.

  • Tech protection: If you’ll be commuting to and from work with a laptop or tablet, getting a backpack with padded tech protection is advisable.

Our Recommendations for the Best Motorcycle Backpacks

Shopping around for the best motorcycle backpack is simpler with some recommendations. Check out these bags below:

JFG Racing Motorcycle Backpack: Featuring a 30-liter capacity, waterproof Oxford material, no slip sternum straps, and adjustable shoulder straps, the JFG Racing Motorcycle Backpack is an excellent buy.

It already comes with a reflective patch to increase visibility at night while the shoulder gasket conforms to your own body shape. This versatile motorcycle backpack can also be used as a day pack, travel backpack, and camping pack.

ArcEnCiel 25L Molle Motorcycle Backpack: Serious riders will appreciate all the heavy-duty features of the ArcEnCiel 25L Molle Motorcycle Backpack. Made for both the military and motorcycle riding, this multi-purpose pack has everything you need for a fun and comfortable ride.

The pack’s features include a helmet compartment, several front and back zippered pockets, spacious interior, breathable fabric, and padded straps. It’s also water repellent to protect your gear.

Nelson-Rigg Hurricane 40L Motorcycle Backpack: The Nelson-Rigg Hurricane is one of the most durable motorcycling backpacks out there. The removable Molle panel can be reversed into a waterproof compartment. Meanwhile, the entire pack is waterproof thanks to the UV coated PVC and electronically heat-welded seams.

Its spacious interior can hold a laptop, tablets, and enough clothes for a few days of travel. Additionally, the 2 closure methods available can give you extra space when you need it. 


Easily find the best motorcycle backpack for your needs with this guide. There are many durable options that will change the way you enjoy your motorcycle adventures for the better.

About the author

Diane is our head writer and researcher for our backpack informational content. Her everyday carry is a Herschel.

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