Motorcycle backpacks are an efficient way to travel with your belongings, no matter what kind of bike 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 safely. Look for a pack that has storage for your essentials, is comfortable, 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.
Table of Contents
- Features Of The Best Motorcycle Backpacks
- Optional Features To Consider
- Our Recommendations for the Best Motorcycle Backpacks
Features Of The Best 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 them.
Choosing the right motorcycle backpack is something that will make a big difference in your bike adventure.
Having said that, below are the features you should be looking for in a motorbike backpack.
It is never advisable to ride motorcycles with a backpack that isn’t a motorcycle backpack.
They aren’t like traditional backpacks; there are certain features found in motorcycle backpacks that benefit riders and keep you safe. The most important reason to choose a motorcycle backpack is that it is designed to efficiently and uniformly distribute weight with the use of additional straps. Additionally, they are tailored to reduce drag as you ride.
Keep in mind that motorcycle backpacks have other features to ensure safe and comfortable rides. They are designed to be close to the body when worn, which will reduce the chances of snagging, bag catching, and injuries. Good motorcycle backpacks are also equipped with adequate padding on the back that protects your spine in case of any fall or impact.
Adequate storage is necessary for carrying everything you need on the go. The best motorcycle backpack should have at least 20 liters of capacity, especially if you are commuting. The right capacity will vary depending on how much gear you need to commute with daily, since other riders will find that 50 to 60 liters are necessary.
For example, motorcycle riders should always have a first-aid kit, motorcycle tool kit, flat tire repair kit, a jacket, and snacks plus a helmet. 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.
Pockets and Compartments
More pockets don’t always mean a better backpack. What’s important is that they are strategically placed and designed thoughtfully so that you can always locate your things without having to dig through the bag.
The best motorcycle backpack has compartments and pockets that cater to your specific needs. For example, if you travel with a camera and laptop, specific pockets that protect and organize your things are essential. Side water bottle pockets are also essential in place of a hydration system, while an organizer for your tools is also beneficial for quick fixes.
Comfort and Fit
The best motorcycle backpack should fit comfortably and be snug to wear. Proper fit is crucial because, otherwise, it can affect your balance. The most important aspect to remember when it comes to fit is that a motorcycle backpack must hug you snugly, and it should also distribute weight efficiently.
Waist and chest straps are always recommended because they assist in weight distribution. An adjustable chest strap is necessary to secure and stabilize the pack’s load as you ride. They also ensure that the bag hugs your body properly and will be comfortable to wear.
In addition, the backpacks should have adequate padded shoulder straps and padded, breathable back panels to ensure your comfort. The padding will also come in handy as a safety feature in the event of a fall.
Always check the backpack measurements which are provided by the manufacturer. Motorcycle riders have varying torso lengths and heights, so the fit of a backpack for a tall rider may not be comfortable or safe for a shorter one. Adjustable features are always a safer bet for this reason.
Waterproof or Water-Resistant
Motorcycle drivers are always exposed to the elements. A motorcycle backpack that is waterproof, or is designed with some type of weatherproofing, is critical, especially if you are carrying gadgets or touring in places with unpredictable weather. 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 choose waterproof motorcycle backpacks. Look for other protective features including laminated fabric, waterproof bag liners, welded seams, and a roll-top closure, all of which keep water out of your backpack effectively.
Water-resistant or waterproof nylon is an excellent choice for material. It’s lightweight, resistant to abrasion, and has superior weather performance.
Visibility through the use of reflective features will help keep you safe. This is not some thing you want to overlook, especially if you commute in the dark or in low-light conditions.
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. The waist strap and sternum strap should fasten without issues for a comfortable and safe riding experience.
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. Many motorcycle backpacks these days have features that ensure the pack fits snugly even when you have a thick jacket on.
For many riders, the best motorcycle backpack is one that has a helmet compartment or storage option. It saves you space because otherwise, you would have to take up room in the interior compartment.
A bag with a helmet holder is simply more convenient since it allows you to stow away your helmet when not in use without compromising volume.
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:
Motorcycle backpacks are available in a wide array of designs. You may want to consider a versatile style that allows you to use the pack in several situations.
Some motorcycle backpacks are designed for off-road riding, while others can be disguised as work or travel backpacks. Expandable storage provides adjustable capacity. These are great points to consider when narrowing down a motorcycle backpack for your needs.
If you are commuting to and from work carrying laptops or a tablet, getting a backpack with tech protection is necessary. A padded or soft, lined laptop pocket is advisable to protect your gadgets from bumps and scratches.
Easy to Clean
Fabrics that are easy to clean, as well as detachable liners, are extremely convenient. After all, motorcycle backpacks are always exposed to dirt, especially when they are used frequently. Backpacks made with easy-to-clean fabrics, machine-washable bags, and backpacks whose liners can be detached and wiped down, are recommended for practicality.
Our Recommendations for the Best Motorcycle Backpacks
Shopping around for the best motorcycle backpack is simpler with some recommendations. Check out these stylish and functional bags below, which are a favorite of motorcycle riders (note: we may earn a small commission if you decide to buy any of these motorcycle bags):
Best Backpack For Motorcycle Riders
Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L: The team behind the Velomacchi brand also hails from The North Face, so one can say with confidence that they certainly know outdoor gear like the back of their hand. They have traveled the world extensively and have true knowledge of the fabrics and craftsmanship that are necessary for holding up to the lifestyle of motorcycle enthusiasts.
This knowledge is evident in the Velomacchi Speedway Backpack. This motorcycle backpack was designed to withstand even the roughest rides, with 1000D nylon topped off with TPU lamination for added weatherproofing and abrasion resistance. Just as important, the rigid material ensures the bag always stays put even if you are riding at high speeds.
A highlight of the Velomacchi Speedway Backpack is its excellent shoulder strap design. They are one-of-a-kind, featuring a latch designed with a magnetic sternum coupler that rotates and will lock automatically once they are around half an inch away. In addition, the clavicle hinge is designed to attach to your collarbone snugly, which comes in handy when using thick motorcycle jackets.
However, the clavicle hinge may be an obstruction when the bag is fully packed.
That said, there are many other reasons to appreciate this backpack. The ripstop liner used in the main compartment is detachable for easy cleaning. It has a rolltop design, commonly found in waterproof bags, and the mid-range size makes it easy to see the content of your bag.
The two metal hooks secure your belongings, though it’s advisable not to pack the bag to the brim since the closure hooks may be prone to slowly becoming undone.
There is a lot of room for keeping electronics, including a small laptop or tablet under 13” in the front access pocket. The quick-access pockets are perfect to keep your phone safe while you bike. It also has a mounting plate where you can attach a camera or other accessories.
But since the waterproofing doesn’t completely protect your gear if it gets soaked, this is not a bag you would want to pack your electronics in if there is a chance you could encounter rain.
Overall, the Velomacchi Speedway Backpack 40L is a great all-around motorcycle backpack with thoughtful features that are just as practical when you’re on the trails. If the designers made a few minor improvements, especially with the roll-top opening and waterproof fabric, that would be fantastic.
Best Motorcycle Backpack For Motorcycle Commuting
Ogio No Drag Mach 5 Backpack: The Ogio No Drag Mach 5 Backpack is one of the most famous motorcycle backpacks. After all, the Ogio brand in itself has a sterling reputation in the market when it comes to motorcycle luggage and gear. Each of their backpacks is created with feedback and tested by experts, which is why they are among the trusted brands for motorcycle bags.
They do have a wide array of favorites among riders, notably the Mach 1 and Mach 3 in its No Drag range. While they share many similar features including a structured shape, solid shell, and drag-reduction capabilities, the Mach 5 offers the most storage and organization. It also has superior comfort thanks to the thick padded shoulder straps and back panel, and most riders say that it’s even more comfortable than Mach 1 and 3.
The Mach 5 weighs 3.7 lbs and has dimensions of 20.5 H X 14.5 W X 7 D inches. It has 22 liters of storage, though it can expand to 24 liters for those times you simply need additional capacity. That said, it’s compact yet spacious enough for motorcycle commuters who only need to bring a few basic items with them daily.
The Ogio No Drag Mach 5 Backpack is water-resistant and is effective at keeping all of your valuables dry. You’ll also be glad to know that it’s easy to clean even after several weeks of long trips. It’s worth noting that the shoulder straps of this bag are exceptionally made: they will not show signs of wear and tear even after several rides.
The backpack has durable construction thanks to ultra-tough materials that are made to withstand harsh conditions: a solid PU shell, 840D Jr. Ballistic nylon, and 420D polyester. Given the sheer strength and durability of this bag, it’s perfect for serious motorcycle riders, no matter what the conditions are.
Furthermore, the Ogio No Drag Mach 5 backpack is among the best aerodynamic backpacks out there. It also helps that the foam used in the back panel boosts air ventilation while simultaneously decreasing drag.
There are also several compartments and features for organization, including a helmet carry strap, a shoe compartment, and a fleece-lined pocket for your electronics including a laptop. The helmet carry system is constructed out of detachable Nubuck leather, which is really soft too. The streamlined structure of the bag also does a great job of resisting buffeting when riding at full speed.
All that said, this backpack isn’t without its flaws. It does come with a waistband, which can be rendered useless when the backpack is fully loaded, because then it’s hard to buckle it on. It would also have been more convenient to have a water bottle pocket on the exterior.
Given all the benefits of this backpack, this could simply be nothing more than a minor design flaw.
Best Motorcycle Backpack With Helmet Holder
ArcEnCiel 25L Molle Motorcycle Backpack: Any rider looking for an affordable motorcycle backpack with helmet holder which is also filled with functional and practical features should look no further than the ArcEnCiel 25L Molle Motorcycle Backpack. It boasts more storage than several other bags on this list as well.
This versatile backpack for motorcycles weighs just 2.97 lbs. and can carry up to 25L. The dimensions are 12.5 W x 17.5 H x 6.6 D inches, and it’s made from tough military-grade materials. The exterior fabric has a waterproof coating for extra security and protection.
The ArcEnCiel 25L Molle Motorcycle Backpack has several pockets to help you stay organized during both short and long rides. The two front zippered pockets can fit a small laptop or tablet, while the roomy main compartment can hold a serious amount of gear, including enough clothing for an overnight trip and more. However, if you still need to bring more stuff with you, that’s where the Molle webbing system comes in handy, as it allows you to attach many other types of gear with the use of carabiners, which need to be purchased separately.
Keep your helmet securely in place with the front helmet holder. Adjustable side buckle straps allow you to customize the hold and fit, no matter what size your helmet is. A hydration system is located behind the pack, though you do need to purchase your own hydration bladder separately.
The front zip pocket is useful for keeping many smaller items. You can store smartphones, a wallet, a small umbrella, sunglasses, and other items. In addition, the shoulder straps are built with thick pads for comfort when riding at all times.
However, the backpack does have a few flaws that the manufacturer could improve on. The long straps tend to dangle and flap around, which is an inconvenience during long rides. The quality of zippers used could also be improved we've found them difficult to open and close without the use of lubricating products.
All in all, the ArcEnCiel 25L Molle Motorcycle Backpack is still a great buy given the excellent helmet holder, good storage, adequate pockets, and excellent price point.
Seibertron Waterproof Large Capacity Backpack: The Seibertron Waterproof Large Capacity Backpack is a durable and long-lasting motorcycle backpack with several high-performance features including a helmet holder. The adjustable helmet holder is capable of holding a large full-face helmet, though it can double as a holder for a 2L water bladder as well.
Constructed from premium 900D waterproof fabric, this is a motorcycle backpack that’s built to last. The roomy main compartment can be expanded to offer more capacity, while mesh pockets help you organize tools and other small gear. Compression straps located at the top and side help cinch the bag down when the full capacity is not in use.
The Seibertron Waterproof Backpack’s fabric is waterproof, but it lacks welded seams and waterproof zippers. For this reason, it’s best not to use this bag in pouring rain though it’s effective enough to resist water during light rainfall. You can attach other gear thanks to the presence of Molle loops on the bag’s exterior.
While this is a great overall backpack for holding helmets and touring, it would be ideal if it came with more pockets. It is also quite heavy-duty, weighing nearly 3 pounds; it seems that in many cases, tough fabrics do come at the expense of weight.
That said, the Seibertron Waterproof Large Capacity Backpack is a good purchase. It’s especially recommended for anyone who has an active lifestyle or engages in many different sports aside from motorcycle riding.
Best Motorcycle Backpack For Touring
Klim Tek Pak: For a small touring pack, the Klim Tek Pak surely packs a punch. Klim is a global leader in high-quality motorcycle backpacks and gear, and they are known for always designing products that are comfortable while increasing rider safety.
The Klim Tek Pak is rich in features that will enhance your performance, yet it can accommodate a serious amount of gear inside the 21L main compartment. The neon yellow reflective panel on the front comes in handy for evening rides. Water bottle pockets are found both inside and outside of the pack, so you always have plenty of room for hydration, though hydration bladders need to be purchased separately.
The Klim Tek Pak has unique shoulder straps because they also double as chest protectors. The chest protector even comes with a smartphone pocket! There are numerous other factors that make this the perfect choice for touring: the backpack is equipped with armor and is lockable too, designed with a state-of-the-art yet user-friendly locking system for security when you leave your bike.
Compression straps help reduce the volume when it isn’t full. It will cinch down whenever used, though mobility is never affected. The back panel and shoulder straps are equipped with high-quality breathability, making this a terrific backpack choice for touring in hot weather. Valuables such as your cash can be kept safely in a hidden pocket.
Many riders have complained about the absence of a hydration pack in this bag. However, this bag’s design seems to focus more on security and that’s where it truly excels.
Best Waterproof Motorcycle Backpack
Kriega R22: Kriega is a world-famous brand that is well-known in motorcycle-riding circles. The brand was established in 2000 by bike enthusiasts and product designers who grew frustrated due to the lack of functional and quality bags catering to the needs of motorcycle riders at the time. Since then, the brand has only continued to grow and they now have a fantastic catalog of motorcycle backpacks and accessories sold around the world.
While they do have a great selection of packs, the Kriega R22 is a winning model on the market. With 18L of storage plus 4L more capacity in the front pocket, this is a backpack you can take with you on just about any expedition. Smaller valuables can be kept securely in the front pocket, which is equipped with a durable YKK zipper.
Just keep in mind that only the roll-top main compartment is waterproof, while the front pocket is only water resistant.
The exterior is made from sturdy 420D Cordura, plus ripstop nylon on the base, for the ultimate protection of your gear while you focus on enjoying the ride. Additionally, it comes with a 17” laptop sleeve, so you can travel with your electronics safely. Many riders who are also passionate about photography rely on this backpack because of the superior protection it offers.
The Kriega R22 features the brand’s QUADLOC-lite harness system, which is situated away from your underarms to maximize movement and mobility. Unlike other harness systems found in traditional backpacks, there is no need to re-adjust the harness once it’s on. You can also choose to position the harness up or down for the ideal fit.
It’s also equipped with a variety of practical factors that riders will appreciate on the road. For one, the pack has a reflective logo on the exterior for visibility during low-light conditions. Another is the compression straps, which always make sure your load is secure and stable.
This bag is so comfortable, you may feel like you aren’t wearing anything once it’s set up – this is great news for anyone who prioritizes comfort. The Kriega R22 also comes with a 10-year warranty. But their products are known to last forever, so you may not even need to ever use the warranty.
If you need plenty more storage, you may want to check out another option, such as the JFG Racing Motorcycle Backpack below.
JFG Racing Motorcycle Backpack: The JFG Racing Motorycle Backpack is an affordable alternative to the Kriega R22. Its dimensions measure 19 D x 14 W x 7 D inches, which is compact yet spacious enough.
With a 30L capacity and durable hard shell exterior, the streamlined appearance and high-performance capabilities of this backpack has made it a favorite of riders from all over the globe. The pack’s shape was intended to improve aerodynamics and resist the wind effectively too.
The exterior is constructed out of tough carbon fiber PVC and 1680D Oxford, two materials that are renowned for their durability. Inside, there are plenty of pockets to keep your things organized. A padded laptop compartment can fit up to 14” computers, though it can also be used to keep a tablet, smartphone, gloves, and other belongings.
The JFG Racing Motorcycle Bag doubles as a fantastic daypack and camping backpack for minimalist packers. It can be tailor-fitted for riders of varying heights thanks to the adjustable shoulder straps, waist belts, and sternum straps. The reflective patch on the pack’s exterior will also help keep you safe when riding in the dark.
The structure of the pack does a terrific job of ensuring it doesn’t drag or be affected by the wind. It’s also designed in such a way that there is hardly anything that hangs off the pack, ensuring you are comfortable and can focus on your ride.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer could do better with the durability and hardness of the shell design. The purpose of using a hard shell pack for motorcycle riding is to protect the rider, though in this bag it’s far too soft to protect from any impact. The buckles are also of poor quality; hopefully JFG does better the next time around.
That said, the JFG Racing Motorcycle Backpack is still a good buy for short drives. With such an affordable price, the weatherproof features and storage capabilities of this bag are worth 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.