Never underestimate how crucial the right backpack is to enjoying your commute. Whether you’re sweating in the relentless heat or braving the wind and rain, you want your rucksack to give you a helping hand, rather than make life more uncomfortable for you.
A particularly sweaty back can leave a dense puddle of the stuff on your backpack, which isn’t ideal – and nor are those that can’t guarantee to keep your belongings dry without the necessary waterproof functions.
So, what exactly do you want from your commuter bag? You want a secure space to store your laptop, for starters; one where it isn’t at risk of becoming waterlogged. You want pockets for extra storage, especially to stash away your sweaty clothes afterwards. You want reflectivity, so you can always be seen on the road. You want waterproof, or water-resistant as the absolute minimum.
But while you’re at it, why only settle for basic and functional when you could look the part, too? Plenty of bags other than, say, a typical Osprey cycling backpack offer plenty in the way of style nowadays, and we’ve picked out three of the most attractive and the most reliable for you below.
NOTE: This page may contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive commissions for purchases made through those links, at no cost to you. This helps to keep the wheels of Discerning Cyclist turning.
Top 3 Waterproof Rucksacks for Cycling
Best Waterproof Cycling Backpacks
The ultimate waterproof commuter backpack
- Chrome Industries’ most durable, 100% waterproof rucksack for cycling
- Comes with additional reflective panel for night visibility
- Stylish design with plenty of storage room
Available in loads of different colours (including a special reflective model), this Chrome Industries bag offers everything you could ever want from a bike backpack. It’s waterproof, has plenty of room to store your belongings, and most importantly, it looks great.
This bag was built twice with 100 per cent welded waterproof liner and a durable nylon shell, so not only is it built to last, but it will do a fine job of keeping your possessions dry. Don’t be afraid to use it during darker rides; its reflective panel will guarantee no road users will miss you.
Its ergonomic straps and trademark Chrome buckle only add to its functionality, while as a 21″ x 11.5″ x 5.5″ bag with 22-litre volume, there’s plenty of room for storage – including any laptop of size up to 15″.
A bag for all seasons
- Waterproof main compartment with roll-top closure
- Hi-vis backpack for cycling
- Can hold helmet securely when not using it
A perfect commuting backpack whatever the weather, this stylish black bag has plenty of storage for your laptop, phone, helmet and much more. Plus, its main compartment is waterproof, so whatever you pack in there won’t be dampened by the rain.
In fact, its 15″ laptop compartment is both padded and removable, with a tablet sleeve, making it one of the best backpacks with laptop compartment. It also sits on top of the bag rather than flat against the cyclist’s back, which allows for a more comfortable feel while riding.
Plus, this waterproof laptop backpack has a high-visibility rain cover with a 360-degree reflective screen print, which will keep you seen by everyone on those dark early-morning and late-night rides.
What’s more, its hideaway helmet attachment system will securely hold your headgear in place when not in use.
- Waterproof main compartment with roll top closure keeps contents dry
- Hideaway high visibility rain cover with reflective screen print for increased bag protection
- Hideaway helmet attachment system securely holds your helmet when not in usehelmet when not in use
The best budget waterproof cycling backpack
- Zipped pockets for extra storage
- 100 per cent waterproof
- Adjustable strips for a more personalised fit
Our third and final contender for the best reflective backpack is this Ettore cycling rucksack, which is no doubt the best cycling backpack for those shopping on a tighter budget.
The black-and-white bag boasts an internal storage compartment with zipped pockets, as well as high-visibility reflective pattern to keep you seen, and is made from heavy duty, 100 per cent waterproof tarpaulin with heat welded seams.
It also comes with fully adjustable front straps, including around the waist and chest, so you can alter it for the perfect fit for you. You can even attach your bike light to the bag via its front bicycle light loop, and there’s also a carry handle at the top of the backpack, too.
- New internal storage compartment pouch with zipped pocket. High Visibility reflective pattern
- Made from Heavy Duty 100% Waterproof Tarpaulin with heat welded seams. Small zipped front pocket.
- Fully adjustable front straps including a waist and chest strap. Front bicycle light loop for attaching your own bicycle light to the bag.
How to Make Your Backpack Waterproof
But equally, you may not want to go to the trouble of investing in a new waterproof cycling bag. Which is understandable.
So, if you’re in that boat, here’s how you can make your current backpack waterproof (and reflective):
Whether in orange or yellow, this reflective waterproof cover from Proviz is a straightforward way of giving your backpack similar protection from the elements at a fraction of the cost.
Not only is it waterproof, but it’s a stylish, reflective design which will look as great as it will be easy to see, and should fit most bags of up to a 35-litre capacity.
The cover will cling to the bottom of your backpack thanks to its elastic binding around the edges, and its two elastic straps with poppers make it easier for you to find your most comfortable fit.
- The Classic Waterproof Backpack is a simple cost effective, high visibility way to cover up your backpack on those rainy days and also keep yourself seen by day and night.
- The backpack cover has been given a trendy reflective design to help you be seen more clearly at night. Designed to fit most bags up to 35 litres in capacity.
- The cover has elastic binding around the edges so that it clings to the underside of your backpack and two elastic straps with poppers ensure a great fit.