Quick Overview: Our Top 5 Picks for Motorcycle Backpacks
|Cucyma Motorcycle Backpack||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Oakley Men’s Kitchen Sink Backpack||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Seibertron Motorbike Backpack||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Nelson-Rigg SE-3040||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Cucyma Motorcycle Backpack||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Did you know that using a regular laptop backpack instead of a dedicated motorcycle backpack could actually be dangerous?
A motorcycle backpack is designed to have cross-body straps that restrict it from sliding around when you’re sharp cornering, as well as protect your spine (and gadgets) from impact in case you get into an accident. The best motorcycle backpack is also aerodynamic and has even weight distribution that lets you forget you’re even wearing them. Not to mention they look super cool, match with your motorcycle jacket gear, and turn you into a living breathing motorcycle cyborg.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, the Ogio No Drag Mach is a no-brainer.
Top 6 Best Motorcycle Backpacks 2022
Our Top Pick
The Ogio No Drag Mach motorcycle backpack is one of the best in the market, and I’ve been using it for three years straight. It’s also our top pick because it has almost every conceivable feature as well as a super high-quality build: and it looks great.
Apart from being water-resistant, the exterior is made from carbon fiber PVC and doesn’t deform or dent, making it super impact resistant in case you find yourself in an accident. It also protects your back and spine.
What I like the most about this backpack, apart from its super-sleek looks, is that it’s made to fit the shoulders and back and feels really comfortable. I always assumed motorcycle backpacks couldn’t be as comfortable as a regular textile bag, but this is so ergonomically built that I actually forget I’m even wearing it. Even when I’ve loaded it with a laptop, helmet, and other junk, the distribution of weight is such that it feels way lighter than it actually is. The back foam doesn’t make my back sweat and has plenty of ventilation without compromising on the waterproof feature.
You can easily fit in a 14-inch laptop and a helmet with room for more.
The only drawback of the Ogio No Drag Mach is that it doesn’t feature any reflective straps, but if you’re particular about that handy safety feature, you can always attach some of your own.
- Laptop compartment
- Padded shoulder straps
- Removable waist strap
- Adjustable straps
- Waterproof motorcycle backpack
- Zippered stash pocket
- Helmet carry strap
- Rugged backpack
- Sternum strap
- Great carrying capacity
- Single-shot molded exterior
- No reflective strips
- No additional rain cover
If you commute to work on your motorcycle, and occasionally go on long rides, this versatile backpack provides just enough space and protection.
Best Premium Backpack / Best Traveller Backpack
The Oakley Kitchen Sink has a reputation that precedes itself — there’s a reason why it’s called a kitchen sink. The storage space in this backpack is out of this world. You can fit quite literally anything in this, making it the perfect backpack for traveling. While the backpack wasn’t designed especially for a motorcycle, it’s still one of the top choices for adventure motorcyclists who need enough storage to last them a couple of weeks.
I really like the compression-molded back panel — this provides plenty of support to the rider’s back and also stabilizes the load. Unlike your average backpack, no matter how much stuff you dump in, it retains its original shape and doesn’t look like a big old gunny bag!
You can use the Oakley kitchen sink for hiking, trekking, or camping, and it has designated hooks to attach sports equipment. There’s a dedicated compartment for a massive 17-inch laptop (though not designed for super thick laptops), and 34 liters for your clothes or even a helmet (or two). The fabric is waterproof, and I loved the shoe compartment that fits sneakily at the bottom of the backpack.
There’s a waist strap and sternum strap that all contribute to distributing the crazy weight capacity so that your shoulders don’t give up.
But it’s worth noting that this doesn’t have the superior protection of a sports bike backpack. You can’t really expect the same impact resistance or spine protection, and I would recommend using this only on cruisers or touring motorcycles. Definitely not one of those motorcycle-specific backpacks you can reply on when riding a racing bike!
- Incredible storage capacity
- 17inch compartment to carry laptops
- Water resistant
- Waist strap
- Sternum strap
- Compression straps
- Padded protection
- Rain covers
- Shoe compartment
- First aid kit compartment
- Hooks for hiking and other gear
- No padded tech protection for the spine
- Not very impact resistant
- Not built for high motorcycle speeds
This is the best motorcycle backpack for someone who travels a lot and needs above-average storage space. It’s not a good choice if you’re looking for protection or a typical backpack meant for high-speed racing.
Best Budget Backpack
If you’re on a budget, the Seibertron Motorbike Backpack is super impressive at an affordable price point. This medium size motorcycle backpack has pretty decent storage capacity (37 liters) and it’s made from 900D polyester material. That means this backpack is water resistant, but not entirely waterproof.
The weight distribution is pretty solid too — with two belt attachments, a sternum strap belt as well as a waist belt. The waist belt has a maximum measurement of 55 inches while the chest strap belt is 60 inches, which is more than enough for the average-sized adult. I’m guessing this wouldn’t fit a particularly tall or large biker that well.
The backpack dimensions are enough to be used for hiking or camping, especially because there are plenty of storage compartments, making it easier to organize your stuff instead of just throwing it in.
However, this budget backpack is definitely a regular backpack and comes with certain drawbacks. You’d definitely need to use a waterproof cover for this dedicated motorcycle backpack. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a rain cover, and you’d need to buy it separately. The backpack doesn’t feature any reflective strips.
- Padded shoulder straps
- Waist straps
- Hydration pack
- Removable hip belt
- Sissy bar
- 2 liter hydration bladder
- Luggage straps
- Water resistant, not completely waterproof
- No removable sternum
If you’re on a budget, this is probably the right motorcycle backpack for you. It’s got plenty of features and would be a great option even if it was priced higher. While it won’t be as durable as more premium bags in the market, it does the job well.
Best all-weather waterproof backpack
If you ride in all-weather conditions (especially inclement weather) you need a backpack that can keep your precious cargo safe and dry. The Nelson-Rigg backpack is the best waterproof backpack in the market, and is great in terms of storage and functionality as well.
The water-tight resistance comes from the UV coated Tarpaulin PVC that this backpack is made of, which is completely waterproof. Bags usually leak water through the seams, but this backpack has electronically heat welded seams that don’t let a drop in.
The Nelson-Rigg doesn’t seem like it can store a lot, but it actually has a capacity of 40 liters, and manages to fit quite a bit of storage. This could easily be the only backpack you carry on a camping trip or a long road trip on your bike. I loved the Air purge valve, this really gets all the excess air out when you’re compressing the bag like a ziplock. It’s definitely built to be a trail pack as well as motorcycle commuting.
There are plenty of organizing pockets, as well as laptop and tablet pockets. Two water bottle carriers are on the side of the backpack. You also get protection straps around the chest, waist, and hips for better weight distribution.
There is a dedicated pocket with straps for storing the water bottle at the left side of the backpack. I really like how you can fold over the bag to make it smaller when you don’t need to use its entire capacity.
If I had to nitpick, I wish there was a little more ventilation. If you’re in hot climates, the bag can get your back sweaty, but that’s a price you pay for the complete waterproof feature.
- Motorcycle rucksack
- Hydration bladder
- Padded compartment for laptop/tablet
- Multiple pockets for storage
- Magnetic roll-top closure
- Spacious backpack dimensions
- Compression straps
- Water resistant backpack
- Not much ventilation
- Few tie down points
This is one of the best backpacks for all-weather and waterproof adventures.
Best laptop compartment backpack
The Cucyma motorcycle backpack is a great affordable option for carrying your laptop on your daily commute. Not everyone needs a 40l capacity for a week-long camping trip, and you can’t use a regular laptop bag on a motorcycle (doesn’t have enough protection).
The Cucyma motorcycle backpack has a 30-liter capacity. Apart from the main laptop compartment, the backpack also has enough mesh pockets inside, which is great when you need to organize your books and stationery.
The backpack is made from hard carbon fiber PVC and is coated with nylon so as to make it water-resistant. The zipper line is also water-resistant and made from high-strength alloy. It’s also coated with a special resin to make it corrosion-free, so your zips and zipper line don’t catch rust. The backpack isn’t completely waterproof, so it’s a good idea to use a rain cover if you’re caught in the rain.
This is one of the few motorcycle backpacks on our list that have reflective piping on either side. This increases nighttime visibility, and the backpack doesn’t undergo any deformation in wind shear. It also looks pretty cool.
I liked the soft neck strap — it surrounds the shoulder of the rider and provides comfort, and goes a long way when you’re riding for hours.
Handling the weight of the bag is always made easier with a waist belt. This waist belt uses a no-clip material, and it stays in position as long as it is buckled around the rider’s body.
- Padded shoulder straps
- Padded laptop sleeve
- Waist straps
- Shoulder straps
- Great for short distance motorcycle riding
- Exterior pockets
- Helmet holder
- Main compartment for laptop
- Medium to small-sized backpack dimensions
- Not completely waterproof
- Not made for larger motorcyclists
If you bike on your daily work commute, or to school, a small-sized laptop motorcycle backpack like the Cucyma is the perfect option.
Best travel backpack / Best Duffle Backpack
This is a great option if you’d want your motorcycle backpack for outdoor adventures too. The manufacturers claim that the bag is also designed for traveling, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, commuting, camping, hiking, or fishing — so it’s safe to say that this is a great travel and adventure storage option.
You can improve the load stability of the backpack by tightening the lace arrangement given at the front side of the backpack, but it doesn’t always retain the original shape. The backpack features a mini compartment inside the main compartment for better organization.
The backpack comes with a whistle buckle that can be used in case of emergencies if you’re stranded. The attachment is situated just beside the chest strap, so you can easily use it without having to remove the backpack from your shoulder.
Apart from the fact that the backpack is a bit heavy when unloaded, this is a great option for multi-purpose travel backpacks.
- Magnetic sternum coupler
- Multi-purpose outdoor activity bag
- Medium storage capacity
- Padded straps
- Padded shoulder straps
- Roll-top closure
- No main compartment for laptop
- Can be too bulky to carry comfortably
This is a reasonably priced option, and the right motorcycle backpack for you if you go on a lot of outdoor adventures.
Factors To Be Considered While Buying A Motorcycle Backpack
1. Storage Space
The most important factor to consider while buying a motorcycle backpack is the storage space. Most people tend to look at the storage space of the main compartment alone. While 30-40L backpacks are generally used for multiple-day traveling in other sports, motorcyclists generally need a lot more space if they’re planning to pack a helmet.
Apart from the storage space, it’s a good idea to check out the dimensions to make sure you can fit your helmet and a bulky motorcycle jacket with ease.
2. Protection Against All Weather Conditions
Water resistance and waterproof are two different features of a backpack. Most motorcycle backpacks are water-resistant and don’t get wet in light drizzle, but they can still let in water and you could potentially damage any electronics inside. Most backpacks leak water in through the zips and seams.
Waterproof bags are built to completely keep away moisture and water, and generally have electronically welded seams and buffers around the zips for extra protection. Backpacks that are completely waterproof also tend to be more expensive.
If you’re planning to pick up a budget motorcycle backpack, water resistance is usually more than enough. Try picking up a rain cover for added protection.
3. Safety Features
Safety and protection are one of the core differentiators between a motorcycle backpack and a regular backpack. A motorcycle backpack has a rugged and sturdy build with impact resistance to protect your spine in case you get into an accident.
If you ride your bike at night and in low-light (through fog) often, it’s a good idea to opt for one with reflective stripes. This can increase your visibility and go a long way in preventing accidents.
Backpacks that are water-resistant and built from sturdy materials tend to be more durable. Investing in a premium motorcycle backpack always pays off in terms of durability.
Cheaper motorcycle backpacks are known to have zips that give away and other seams that come apart due to regular wear and tear.
A good backpack should have moderate padding on it, making it comfortable to be worn for a long distance. If the padding is too light, it will strip off the comfortability as well as the safety factor. If you are planning to store electronics, a highly padded backpack would be the best choice.
In addition to the comfortability factor, a padded backpack can also protect the back of your body during an accident. As the backpack is able to retain its shape, your belongings are cushioned and it prevents your back from hitting the ground.
You don’t want a bag that tampers your stability while on the road. A backpack that provides load stability is always going to be the best pick.
A compact and aerodynamically structured backpack don’t hinder your freedom of movement, instead, they complement your body position while driving. These backpacks have a waist strap that can help you secure the bag tightly around your body.
I’d be lying if I said the looks of a backpack don’t play an important role. Motorcycle gear is always function-over-form, but a cool black backpack that complements your biker jacket, helmet, and gloves create the perfect ensemble.
FAQs on Motorcycle Backpacks
Q1. How do you attach a motorcycle helmet to a backpack?
Most backpacks come with a hook or handle that you can easily attach the helmet to. Some manufacturers provide net & strap arrangements. This type of helmet attachment is more safe and secure. The net and strap distribute the weight of the helmet, instead of tugging at a hook and making the backpack lopsided.
Q2. Are motorcycle backpacks dangerous?
Backpacks designed specifically for use by motorcycle riders aren’t dangerous. Motorcycle backpacks are designed in such a way that they don’t restrict your freedom of movement or slow down your reflexes in any way. The same can’t be said of a regular laptop backpack.
You’ll find waist belt and chest strap arrangements, designed to prevent the shifting of the load on the back when you take sharp turns or curves.
In addition to this, motorcycle backpacks have specially designed back profiles that complement the back profile of the rider. This provides comfort and protection to the spine.
Q3. Can trail backpacks be used as motorcycle backpacks?
Trail bags are much more spacious than motorcycle backpacks. There is nothing wrong with converting a trail bag into a motorcycle backpack, provided the manufacturers have attached straps onto it. Using a backpack without straps over the sternum and waist can be risky since the backpack moves around when you take sharp turns or ride at high speeds.
Q4. What is the best material for motorcycle backpacks?
The most popular material used for making a motorcycle backpack is nylon fabric. The fabric has an exceptional capacity to resist water droplets and is also fairly durable.
To increase durability, some manufacturers mix nylon threads with polyester fabric as well. You can also come across motorcycle backpacks made from PU leather. If you’re looking for complete waterproof fabric, PVC is usually the only material that accomplishes this.
Getting the best backpack is all about understanding your riding style, and storage requirements. You can definitely take more liberties with a backpack when you’re not carrying electronics, but it’s a good idea to opt for waterproof backpacks whenever you can. We’ve listed the best motorcycle backpacks that do a great job of protecting your spine without restricting freedom and range of movement.
If you’re looking for a quick recommendation, the Ogio No Drag Mach is a great choice.