Five Best Mountain Biking Backpacks

Updated on May 26, 2020
BRIAN SLATER profile image

The author has been a keen cyclist all his life. He looks at current market trends and advises on the best accessories for cycling.

Why carrying a backpack is important.

Why choose to carry a backpack,

1. You can carry all your spare clothes

2. You can carry spare tyre and tubes.

3. You can keep your phone and wallet in a secure pocket.

4. There ideal for carrying extra food or drink.

5. On medium to long trips you can pack them out with your over night essentials.

This is not a complete list you probably can think of other reasons for carrying your back pack, but it does show how convenient and flexible they are, if you’ve ever been 20 miles into the back country and haven’t had the right Allen key to tighten up your handlebars you are in big trouble, this happened to me and it was no laughing matter. Trying to find a makeshift tool to tighten a cap head bolt totally spoiled the fun I had intended on having in the hills.

It is always going to be a judgement call on what you leave behind, but taking next to nothing is not sensible, carry essential spares and a few tools at the very minimu.

Why is it important to carry a mountain bike backpack? because it is one of the most reliable ways to carry your accessories which you choose to take when out mountain biking, you can always keep your essential biking equipment safe inside it. Choosing the right backpack can sometimes be difficult and confusing because all of them look the same in the pictures and seem to have good reviews if you check them online. So in order to come up with the best among the best, some research must be done based on their performance, durability, the fit of the bag and their comfort.

If you want some tips about which backpack to choose, always look for the ones that have mesh lining to help with air circulation and to keep you cool at the back. Also, look for the overall stability of the bag. Consider also the hip belt because you cannot always guarantee the backpack’s shoulder strap's durability so you need a hip belt for a firmer hold on your body. Always go for the light weight type and make sure the bag is not too bulky or large on your back. Remember that the lighter and compact your MTB backpack is, the better you can control your movements and have lesser restriction in the wind.

Most mountain bikers prefer backpacks that have a built-in hydration system and this can be useful during biking uphill or downhill where you need your two hands to grip the handle bars. However, before buying a mountain bike backpack that has a hydration system, check first if the bladder is easy to clean, can it be drained fully, does it have a convenient and durable bite valve and does it have a safe type of rubber for your safety and convenience.

I have chosen five of the best mountain bike backpacks which you can easily order online from Amazon. I have extensive use of these bags and I’m sure they will be excellent in providing you with what you need for a handy bike backpack.

Osprey Raptor 14 Daypack
Osprey Raptor 14 Daypack

Osprey Raptor 14 Daypack

If you want an MTB backpack that has a large zippered pocket on its front for easy access for your tools and other items, this is the one. It has 2X stretch woven side pockets and 2X mesh on its hip belt pockets. It also has a hydration system which can load 3 litres of water. The nice thing about this bag is its innovative suspension and ergonomic backpanel design that can give you excellent biking and riding comfort and can remain stable on your back.

Because of its size, you can even pack your helmet in it and the pockets will keep your gears well organized. Its straps are made from full elastics stretch sternum with their magnetic sternum buckles. Its Airscape suspension has a ridge molded foam with a constructed air chimney so the inside of your bag is well ventilated thus reducing the weight of your load. You will also love its magnetic bite valve so you can easily get it out of the way and just magnet it in place. Its bladder is also replaceable and it is standard in size so if you want other brands for its bladder, that would not be a problem with the Osprey Raptor.

Osprey Stratos 24 Pack
Osprey Stratos 24 Pack

Osprey Stratos 24 Pack

This is another excellent product from Osprey that has a back panel hydration system that can carry about 3 litres of water. The water system is separately placed on the backpacks AirCore back panel so that you can still use the backpack core to carry more things with you. It can actually contain 22 litres of volume of things inside it so this backpack is really designed primarily for a day’s mountain biking.

It has the Stratos harness that is sewn as a spacer mesh for better hydration routing and its stratos hip belt also has its mesh zippered pockets with Ergo Pull closure. Its stretch woven fabric front pocket can be used for additional gadgets and has easy external pockets for easy access for your things. You will also like its internal frame because every pocket are placed properly for more organization. This is just a light backpack that is packed with versatility, comfort and its airy you can use it during summer,on day hikes, everyday commuting, or just strutting into the woods for a day’s hike.

If your in any doubt about which backpack to buy the Osprey Stratos 24 is brilliant pack to buy check out the report in the comments section at the end, it is highly recommended by other mountain bikers.

Camelbak M.U.L.E. NV 100 Oz Hydration Pack - White
Camelbak M.U.L.E. NV 100 Oz Hydration Pack - White

Camelbak M.U.L.E. NV 100 Oz Hydration Pack - White

With its N.V.I.S. panel, this Camelback backpack is very comfortable for maximum use. Its back panel has a multi-directional ventilation which will draw the pack away from your back so there is more aeration on your back.

It also has superior and roomy storage for your items and can pack away 10 litre volumes of goods for your day’s travel. If you want more comfort from it, you can also detach its removable waist belt to maximize comfortability. Its hydration system is made from OMEGA Hydrotanium Reservoir built with a insulater reservoir to keep water cool for many hours. It can pack 100 oz (3 litres) of water. Other pluses are its built-in rain cover, storage pocket for the bike’s pump or other tools.

CamelBak Rogue 70-Ounce Hydration Pack
CamelBak Rogue 70-Ounce Hydration Pack

CamelBak Rogue 70-Ounce Hydration Pack

For those who want a slimmer biker’s backpack that is versatile and more streamlined, this could be your choice among the options in this review. It also has its air mesh channeled back panel and shoulder straps for more ventilation and secured storage room for your pump, energy bars, tubes and repair kits. The external zip pocket that has a clip and organizer is also another roomy storage space for other essentials like your cell phone, sunglasses, keys, wallet and MP3 player.

In terms of its hydration system, it can hold 70 oz of water and this is located externally so it will not get in the way of the backpack’s room. The bladder is also made from Omega Hydro Tanium reservoir. The L-joint bite valve has a built-in open and close valve so there will be no leaks while you bike. You don’t have to remove the water bladder when filling it with water. By just lifting its flap on the top of the pack, you can easily fill it in. The whole hydration system has lifetime warranty so anytime this one breaks you can change it for a new one.

High Sierra Splash 70 Pack
High Sierra Splash 70 Pack

High Sierra 30L or 50L BackPack

This backpack has one large main compartment that can hold 2 litres of water in its reservoir. Unlike other backpacks, its bladder is easy to fill. It also has a hand-free reservoir pressure valve and an insulated water tube cover to stop water from freezing in the tube during the cold weather. It also has a hinged front pocket for a helmet and pockets for your CD or MP3 player.

This is one excellent hydration pack to take with you on a biking expedition and it is very comfortable on the back because it is lightweight with enough air flow all around the pack. Wearing this won’t get your back sweaty so you don’t have to worry your gadgets inside getting moist or damp from your own sweat. There is lots of space for your small items like your keys, cell phone, shirt or a towel, and wallet. Available in 3 colours, blue, gecko and black. I have tried this back pack on a long weekend and it proved to be a good investment I particularly like the large open bag as I like to see everything I have just as soon as I open a bag, you can stuff a warmer top or your down jacket for colder evenings into this pack and still have loads of space for your main essential items. It’s an easy decision in my opinion go buy this bag you won’t look back.

High Sierra 50L backpack

High Sierra Pathway Internal Frame Hiking Pack, Black/Slate/Gold, 50L
High Sierra Pathway Internal Frame Hiking Pack, Black/Slate/Gold, 50L
:A lovely back pack ideal for long weekends away where you want to carry some additional clothing to change into or where you need to carry extra equipment.

© 2010 Brian Slater


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 

      8 years ago from Nottingham UK

      I have another osprey pack the talon 22 I use presently. It's great for everything including the commute to work and has good ventilation. Although its great I'm not sure I could justify spending 100 dollars on a rucksack in future- lets hope it has a lifetime of use in it.

    • reagu profile image


      8 years ago from Los Angeles

      I like Osprey products. They're pretty solid in my experience.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I've tried several different backpacks with back ventilation my main concern for hot summer city biking commutes. The Osprey Stratos 24 (2011 version) is hands down the best. You can actually feel a breeze on your back. None of the other packs i've tried (deuter, camelbak, north face, other osprey packs even the new escapist) even come close the 3D airspeed vent or whatever they call it on the Stratos 24. Its far and away the best in terms of minimizing back sweat, and all around just a phenomenal pack. I'll easily fit enoguh clothes for a weekend trip in it, so its useful all around. Hopefully save some people some trial and error with this post


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)