When it comes to finding the perfect biking backpack, there’s more than meets the eye.
Comfort is of course a top priority, as with any bag, but so too is water proofing, the number, size and shape of compartments, how much protection the bag offers and whether it has any biking-specific features, like a mount or attachment for an LED light.
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You might want to consider a backpack with an integrated solar panel for charging your phone on the go, or a bag with space for a battery pack and convenient USB ports.
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For panniers there is also plenty of choice when it comes to features, design, durability and of course, price.
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Soldierknife Backpack – $23
This backpack is waterproof and has a dedicated pouch for laptops with screens of up to 15.6 inches.
Available in gray, black, purple or blue, the bag has a dedicated internal pouch for a power bank, which can then be connected to an integrated USB port, situated on the outside where you can conveniently top up your phone battery.
There are dedicated pockets for your laptop, phone and pens, plus a hook for your key fob, and external pockets for an umbrella and drink bottle.
Image Credit: SOLDIERKNIFE Durable Waterproof Anti Theft Laptop Backpack Travel Backpacks Bookbag with usb Charging Port for Women & Men School College Students Backpack Fits 15.6 Inch Laptop Grey / Amazon.com.
XTPower Xplorer Hiker – $49
Designed specifically for hiking and biking, this bag is smaller than some others, but features a detachable solar panel for topping up your devices on the go. You’ll likely only fit a tablet or small laptop in the bag, but its eight liter capacity is still enough for your essentials while out on a ride.
As well as fueling your phone via the solar panel and integrated waterproof battery pack with USB port, the bag includes a 1.8-liter water bladder and rubber tube to drink from while on the go. There are dedicated pockets for your phone, maps, keys and first aid kit.
Image Credit: XTPower Xplorer Hiker 8 Red | Solar Backpack with 7 Watt Removable Solar Panel and 5V-USB Output | 1.8 Liter Hydration Pouch/Bladder Backpack | Charges smartphones, tablets, GPS and other USB devices / Amazon.com.
Sunnybag Iconic – $99
Another solar option, but in the shape of a more traditional backpack. This weather resistant bag claims to charge a typical smartphone when exposed to direct sunlight for two hours. As well as having a USB port, one of the side pockets of the bag is equipped with a wireless charging pad, so all you have to do is put your phone in there, and it’ll charge from the solar panel.
With a 20-liter capacity, there is space for laptops up to 17 inches, and there are dedicated internal pockets for your phone, wallet and other essentials.
Image Credit: Sunnybag ICONIC solar portable backpack charger in olive brown | 7 Watt water resistant solar panel | Charge all Smartphones and portable USB devices | 20L volume / Amazon.com.
Altura Sector 30 – $70
A large, 30-liter backpack with dedicated protective sleeves for both a laptop (up to 15 inches) and tablet, this is a great option for riders who want to carry a lot with them. The bag is waterproof, thanks to an included Altura ShieldTechnology rain cover.
As well as two sleeves, there are multiple fleece-lined packers for valuables like your phone, keys and wallet, and there’s an LED light attachment on the back for fitting your own light.
Image Credit: Altura Men’s Sector 30 Litre Backpack, Black, One Size / Amazon.com.
Timbuk2 Spire – $90
Thanks to collaboration with Apple, the Timbuk2 Spire backpack has been designed specifically for holding a 15-inch MacBook Pro and iPad. There is also dedicated space for earphones, bank cards and ID, plus an external side pocket for a water bottle or bike lock, and attachment points for carabiners and other outdoor equipment. Everything inside is protected from the elements by a water-resistant nylon shell.
Image Credit: Timbuk2 Spire Backpack / Amazon.com.
Top pannier options for your bike
With backpacks taken care of, now it’s time to look at a handful of pannier options. These are a bit more involved, as they require the fitting of a rack to the frame and rear wheel. But once you have done this, the panniers are easy to attach to the sides and top of the frame, giving you lots of storage options without needing to wear a backpack.
Image Credit: Евгений Харитонов / iStock.
Rhinowalk 25L Bike Panniers – $55
This large, fully waterproof pannier from Rhinowalk has a 25-liter capacity, plus an external zipper pocket for quick access to your essentials.
When removed from your bike, the pannier can be carried with the integrated top handle, or even worn across your back as a messenger bag. It’s available in black or black and green.
Image Credit: Rhinowalk 25L Bike Panniers Bag Waterproof Bike Saddle Bag Extensible Bicycle Rear Seat Bag Shoulder Bag with Rain Cover for Riding Cycling / Amazon.com.
Tourbon Waterproof Canvas Double Panniers – $100
This stylish option is a double pannier, giving you storage space on both sides of your bike rack. The waxed canvas bags are waterproof and feature a pair of smart leather straps on either side.
There’s a central handle for easy carrying, plus a detachable shoulder strap. Inside there is a laptop pouch for caring machines up to 13 inches, plus space for all your essentials and a change of clothes. Available in blue, khaki, green and black.
Image Credit: TOURBON Waterproof Canvas Bicycle Bike Rear Seat Carrier Bag Cycling Double Panniers Bag Pack / Amazon.com.
M-Wave Cycling Bag – $80
This kit includes a pair of panniers and a bag for fitting on top of your bike rack, giving you a huge amount of storage space. All three components are waterproof, close with zippers and clip securely to each other to form a single item that’s easy to mount and dismount.
Each bag also includes handles and straps to be carried separately, and they’re available in a wide variety of colors.
Image Credit: M-Wave Bicycle Cycling Bag / Amazon.com.AlertMe