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Stylish Cycling Backpacks [Top 12 Rucksacks for Bike Commuters]

Finding the right cycling backpack is a tough job – especially when you have an eye on style! Cycling backpacks need to be many things; robust yet comfortable, spacious but lightweight, waterproof while easy to access in a hurry.

Getting all of these features on a backpack that’s also stylish is no mean feat, leaving many cyclists feeling disappointed. Designer backpacks usually lack features, while more functional designs aren’t always suitable for a smart work event.

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If you’re searching for a backpack that combines the best of functionality with a stylish aesthetic, read on for a rundown of our top picks.



Bike Commuter Backpacks: Key Features

No two commutes are the same. A commuter backpack needs to have enough features to cover you in any eventuality. Comfort is extremely important (and it takes many forms). Good ventilation is essential and will keep you cool as you make your way through the traffic.

Padding on the back and shoulders will make carrying your workload a breeze. Look for more width on shoulder pads to distribute weight evenly across your back.

Durability is a big concern too. A waterproof backpack is almost essential and will keep your laptop, tablet and work documents dry. Zippers and roll tops are effective ways to keep water out. Look for robust, quality material too.

Rugged backpacks might cost more but they’ll last longer and protect valuable devices on the move. Inbuilt pockets and compartments make sorting and storing your items much easier.

The more visible you are the better, especially in the darker months. Many backpacks come with reflective stripes to keep you safe on the road. Others feature attached lights and some are even made from fully reflective materials.

Also consider the type of environment you work in. A smart office demands a more subtle, minimalist backpack. You might opt for something more laid back in a casual workplace.

Top 12: Best Backpacks for Bike Commuting

  1. Rapha Reflective Travel Backpack [REVIEW]
  2. Le Col Commuter Backpack [REVIEW]
  3. Chrome Barrage Night Cargo Backpack [REVIEW]
  4. Osprey Radial [REVIEW]
  5. Mission Workshop Rhake Laptop Backpack [REVIEW]
  6. ORTLIEB Commuter Daypack High-Visibility [REVIEW]
  7. Chrome Hondo Night Backpack [REVIEW]
  8. Osprey Metron [REVIEW]
  9. Mission Workshop The Sanction Rucksack [REVIEW]
  10. Tropicfeel Shell Backpack [REVIEW]
  11. Craft Cadence Roll Top Waterproof Backpack [REVIEW]
  12. PROVIZ REFLECT360 Cycling Backpack [REVIEW]


Most Stylish Cycling Backpack

1. Rapha Reflective Travel Backpack

Features:

✅ Waterproof

Additional back support with ventilation

Sternum strap with magnetic closure

Materials:

  • 100% nylon body with leather contrast stripe
  • 100% polyester lining

Capacity:

  • 25-litre

Price:

  • UK: £150
  • EU: €180
  • US: $205

London based brand Rapha is known for its style and sophistication and their waterproof reflective travel backpack is just as in keeping with its trendy minimalist look. Designed for overnight trips and commuting it’s both stylish and practical.

The best thing about this backpack is that you’d have no idea that this was a “reflective backpack” during the day. It just looks like a really stylish commuter backpack. But shine a light on it and it bursts into life.

Aesthetically the finish includes a classy cast metal Rapha logo, coupled with two fully reflective large panels that are great for visibility. These are separated using a black leather contrast stripe. 

The back of the bag has been designed for both comfort with additional back support as well as ventilation, which is a result of it’s one-piece moulded back panel with channels designed to adapt to your body and promote airflow.

There’s also a great range of pockets and compartments, so that you can travel light with just the one bag, be it to work or, as the name suggests, while travelling. There’s also a smaller size of the same backpack available. 

The bag unzips into a clamshell style to allow it to lie fully flat,  meaning you can pack and access its contents just like a suitcase. There is also a very useful separate padded laptop pocket that fits a 13” laptop.

Additionally the bag also includes a pocket that gives you access to smaller items on the go and an internal slip pocket and a zip pocket to keep your possessions safe but easy to reach.

Inside the main compartment there’s also a mesh pocket to neatly pack away the hi-vis pink rain cover when not in use.



2. Le Col Commuter Backpack

Features:

✅ Fully waterproof

✅ Multiple compartments

✅ Holds a 15 inch laptop

Reflective elements

Materials:

  • Waterproof PU Laminated 600D Poly body fabric

Capacity:

  • 22 litres

Price:

  • UK: £140
  • EU: €170
  • US: $185

The Le Col Commute is perfect if you like to stay organised on the move. It features multiple compartments including a netted pocket for shoes and three waterproof exterior pockets. The spacious laptop compartment can hold a device up to 15 inches, superior to many other backpacks on the market.

It’s fully waterproof too, and comes with reflective detailing on the back and sides. This makes it the perfect choice for cycling early in the morning or late at night. Unlike other backpacks that claim to be waterproof, the Le Col Commute features welded PU laminated Poly body fabric and a roll top. It will keep your possessions super dry!

A chest strap offers some welcome security. The backpack is fully adjustable for maximum comfort as you cycle. This is a stylish and sophisticated offering that would be right at home in a more formal workplace. The palette of black and grey gives the backpack a mature aesthetic, perfect for office work.



3. Chrome Barrage Night Cargo Backpack

Features:

✅ Waterproof

✅ Rolltop

Sternum strap with buckle

Materials:

  • Outer shell: 1050D Nylon, 22 oz 1000D TPE Tarp 
  • Inside: 22 oz 1000D TPE Tarp

Capacity:

  • 18 to 22-litre capacity

Price:

  • UK: £210
  • EU: €231
  • US: $160

Chrome always designs their products with style in the forefront of their mind. The durable, 100% waterproof Barrage Night Cargo backpack is no different, with its night visibility technology without the day glow.

Structurally the bag has an internal liner that is welded to ensure it’s 100% waterproof. There’s an abrasion resistant nylon shell in order to ensure that the bag is tough and will withstand even the worst commutes into work!

On the outside the bag is complete with an additional reflective panel to ensure that road users can see you. Then there’s the comfy back panel, which also benefits from breathable vented mesh traps with daisy chain loops to attach your accessories to. 

Outside there is a cargo net (with extendable compression straps for when you need more space) which is ideal for your helmet or for shoes. There are also two external pockets at the bottom of the bag which are fitted with grommets for drainage.

Additionally there is also a stash pocket with zipper, and an internal pocket for a laptop encased within a welded waterproof liner, which can take up to a 15.4” laptop.



4. Osprey Radial

Features:

✅ Adjustable AirSpeed™ ventilated trampoline suspended mesh backpanel

✅ LED light attachment point

✅ Internal zippered shoe compartment

Sternum strap with emergency whistle

✅ LidLock™ bike helmet attachment

✅ Internal key attachment clip

✅ Integrated & detachable raincover

Materials:

  • 100% 210D Nylon Dobby

Capacity:

  • Expandable 26 Litre to 34 Litre

Price:

  • UK: £135
  • EU: €150
  • US: $180

The Radial commuting day pack is a great all round commuting backpack for those who lead a busy and on the go lifestyle.

As standard the Radial comes with raincover as well as a special extra zippered expansion feature which adds 8 litres of capacity to your bag. A really useful addition for those of you who regularly need a little extra room.

Inside there’s also a shoe compartment which is great for storing work shoes while commuting. There’s also the added feature of the LidLock™ attachment for a cycling helmet to be fastened onto when not in use. As well as that there’s a range of internal pockets, and a laptop sleeve.

The radial is available in two smart colours: black and succulent green/night jungle blue, offering both a dark and paler option. Aesthetically the backpack is very casual looking, instead of being bulky like some backpacks that almost have a pannier bag look to them.

Overall, the Radial is a great option for those of you who want a durable yet understated looking commuting backpack.



5. Mission Workshop Rhake Laptop Backpack

Features:

✅ Two layer weatherproof design

✅ Ventilated foam back panel

✅ Dedicated laptop and tablet pockets

Arkiv® rails for small accessories

Materials:

  • Available in HT500 or MultiCam® Black Camo Cordura®

Capacity:

  • 22 litres

Price:

  • UK: £375
  • EU: €450
  • US: $500

The Rhake’s rugged design is more than just a stylistic choice. This is one of the toughest backpacks you’ll find. It’s fully weather and waterproof with a two layer construction capable of repelling even the worst conditions.

A roll top and water resistant zippers grant even more security and ensure that your gear will always be well protected.

There’s plenty of room to store and organise that gear, too. The backpack features a padded pocket for laptops up to 17 inches and also a dedicated compartment for tablets. Both of these are accessible from the exterior.

The 22 litre interior is spacious enough to hold a change of clothes and has two zipped pockets, making stowing smaller items like notebooks and pens a breeze. There’s even a concealed water bottle holder and dedicated pockets for chargers/cables.

A ventilated foam panel on the rear of the backpack helps to prevent overheating. You’ll also find exterior straps and buckles for storing items like coats and hats. These are quick release for ease of access. Build quality is extremely high (although this is reflected in the price) with premium alloy buckles and tough fabrics.



6. ORTLIEB Commuter Daypack High-Visibility

Features:

✅ 360 degree illumination

✅ Fully reflective construction

✅ Laptop and tablet compartments

Ventilated back

Materials:

  • PS50CX

Capacity:

  • 22 litre

Price:

  • UK: £200
  • EU: €240
  • US: $265

If safety is your number one priority, look no further than the ORTLIEB Commuter. Stylish and understated by day, its reflective yarn transforms into a high visibility beacon as soon as the sun goes down. The yarn is incredibly reflective and lights up with 360 degree illumination the moment that a headlight touches it. Better still, it even covers the shoulder straps, so every part of this backpack is reflective.

Storage-wise you’ll find a generous 22 litre interior with padded pockets for your notebook and tablet. The bottom is reinforced for additional protection and the main compartment (although not the front pocket) is waterproof. Detachable waist and chest belts mean more stability as you cycle and padding on the shoulder straps make for a comfortable ride.

The backpack also comes with a strap for a back light and extensive ventilation around the straps to prevent sweating. Roll top closure ensures easy access to your possessions. This might not be the most feature-rich backpack on the list, but its top tier illumination makes it one of the safest.



7. Chrome Hondo Night Backpack

Features:

✅ Rugged and durable

✅ Laptop sleeve

✅ Reflective panels

Easy access accessories compartment

Materials:

  • Trap liner, nylon shell

Capacity:

  • 21 litres

Price:

  • UK: £116
  • EU: €126
  • US: $120

Another hardy backpack, the Hondo features a tough tarp liner and nylon shell to keep your possessions safe and dry even in the worst weather. The padded laptop sleeve will hold a 15 inch MacBook Pro and keep it safe from jolts as you cycle. This backpack prides itself on simplicity so rather than an array of features expect an ergonomic, high quality design.

Reflective panels on the top and bottom of the backpack transform it into a piece of high visibility kit when the sun goes down. The bottom is padded for additional security and the shoulder strap uses special Eva foam for breathability and comfort. An adjustable two strap harness makes for an even more comfortable experience.

The sternum strap offers more stability as you ride but it’s removable. Quick access to the accessories compartment means that you’ll be able to grab smaller items like chargers in a hurry. The Hondo even comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you get peace of mind as well as a comfortable ride.



8. Osprey Metron

Features:

✅ Front panel pocket

✅ LED light attachment point

✅ Internal zipped shoe compartment

Scratch free zip side pocket

LidLock™ bike helmet attachment

✅ Internal key attachment clip

✅ Integrated & detachable raincover

Materials:

  • 100% 500D Nylon Packcloth

Capacity:

  • 26-litre

Price:

  • UK: £125
  • EU: €140
  • US: $160

The Metron is another stylish commuting day pack which also comes with a handy raincover to protect possessions in the event of a rainy commute.

Inside of the bag you’ll find that there’s s a padded laptop sleeve as well as many internal pockets to keep your belongings organised and safe. There’s also an internal key chain clip to keep house or work keys safe and organised in the backpack.

Additionally, the Metron has a LidLock™ bike helmet attachment as well as a shoe compartment, which are useful additions for storing both your helmet and shoes while at work, instead of having them stuffed under your desk or a locker.

Moreover, the bag is available in stylish succulent green or black. Both of which are in keeping with work attire and offer aesthetic versatility as the backpack in either tone can be used on a day trips as no one would know it was a bag built for commuting.

Generally, this backpack would be a great go-to for those of you wanting a durable commuting bag with space and style.



9. Mission Workshop The Sanction Rucksack

Features:

✅ Military grade materials

✅ Waterproof and weatherproof

✅ 4 internal pockets

Compact and lightweight

Materials:

  • 1000d nylon

Capacity:

  • 20 litres

Price:

  • UK: £210
  • EU: €250
  • US: $270

The Sanction might just be the most compact backpack on the list, so it’s perfect if you want to keep things light as you cycle. The 20 litre capacity is enough for most commuters and there are plenty of pockets to help keep everything organised. 4 internal compartments and 1 external pocket mean that the backpack feels much more spacious than it is. A zippered compartment keeps your laptop secure.

It’s incredibly robust too and made from military grade materials. That means a fully waterproof and weatherproof design that will see you through even the worst conditions. All the zippers are urethane coated so you won’t find a more waterproof backpack anywhere. An internal frame sheet keeps the pack secure at all times.

There’s a clip for a waist belt, although this is optional and (disappointingly) sold separately. Nonetheless, a sophisticated and subtle design along with robust construction make this backpack easy to recommend. If you only carry around a laptop/tablet and a few other accessories, this is a perfect choice.



10. Tropicfeel Shell Backpack

Features:

✅ Huge capacity

✅ 3-1 design

✅ Foam back panel

Clamshell opening

Materials:

  • Recycled nylon and polyester

Capacity:

  • Up to 40 litres

Price:

  • UK: £169
  • EU: €200
  • US: $220

The Tropicfeel Shell backpack is a sight to behold. Part backpack, part suitcase and part wardrobe, this is the pack of choice for those who like their accessories super organised. Featuring a clamshell opening that provides easy access to all your possessions, the pack uses three internal compartments and a compression system to help you store (according to Tropicfeel) 20% more.

This backpack really is a mobile wardrobe and you can use those three compartments to hold nearly anything. The 3 in 1 design allows you to increase space from 22 litres up to an impressive 40 litres, so it’s perfect for any occasion. It’s a green choice too, as only sustainable and recycled materials are used in its construction.

A foam back panel provides comfort regardless of how much you pack (the panel also features dual-channel airflow to keep you cool). Magnetic fittings mean that you can attach accessories like tech pouches without worrying about them falling off. If you find yourself struggling to pack everything you need in your current pack, the TropicFeel has you covered.



11. Craft Cadence Roll Top Waterproof Backpack

Features:

✅ Lightweight

✅ 8 internal compartments

✅ Comfortable EVA foam straps

Compact and lightweight

Materials:

  • 600D polyester

Capacity:

  • 21 litres

Price:

  • UK: £89.99
  • EU: €110
  • US: $120

One of the cheapest options on the list, the Cadence backpack doesn’t compromise on quality. Its smart look makes it ideal for office life and it features a fully waterproof, roll top construction. Unlike many other cycling backpacks, this one was designed specifically for commuters. You get EVA foam straps, 2 external front pockets (zipped) and a lightweight design.

The interior isn’t the most spacious at just 21 litres, but it does allow for easy sorting. As well as a tech sleeve for a laptop/tablet, there are an impressive 8 other compartments. You’ll have ample space for accessories like chargers, documents, even shoes and a change of clothes. Molle straps on the front make it easy to store cycling accessories like D-locks, helmets and pumps.

Don’t be fooled by the price tag, this is top of the range. The TPU coated 600D polyester repels rainwater with ease and those EVA foam panels will keep you feeling cool and fresh. It comes with waist straps for stability, but these can be removed.



12. PROVIZ REFLECT360 Cycling Backpack 

Features:

✅ Water resistant

✅ Lots of adjustable straps

Laptop compartment

Materials:

  • 100% CE EN 20471 certified reflective material

Capacity:

  • 30-litre

Price:

  • UK: £70
  • EU: €90
  • US: $120

This fully reflective backpack from Proviz, who are already very well regarded thanks to their popular reflective jackets, benefits from being made out of a highly water-resistant material (1500mm water column) and has won numerous awards for its all round performance as a commuting backpack. 

Although the REFLECT360 is arguably middle of the range price-wise, it has been designed with the Beetle ventilation system which allows air to move more freely around your back. This ensures you don’t arrive at work with the classic wet patch on your back.

There are two side pockets that water bottles fit perfectly in, as well as five different size individual pockets inside of the bag,

Internally the bag also comes with many different pockets and compartments to keep your belongings safe and secure. Additionally there’s an external zip pocket and mesh pockets on the side of the backpack, fitted with reflective trim for extra visibility! 



Read More:

David Jones


TOP 5 FAVOURITES FOR COOL RIDES


1. 🪖Fend ONE Folding Helmet
A folding helmet that actually looks good.

2. 🧥Helly Hansen Hooded Rain Jacket
Stay dry in style.

3. 🧴Muc-Off Ultimate Bicycle Cleaning Kit
Keep your bike feeling brand new.

4. 👖DUER-All Weather Jeans
Waterproof cycling jeans. Seriously.

5. 🎒Rapha Reflective Backpack
A beautiful backpack that you can't miss.




David Jones

David Jones is a writer, poet and content creator followed by over 280,000 readers on his writing Instagram account. A lover of the outdoors, he’s a keen cyclist around the Liverpool area. He also loves to travel further afield and hopes to see as much of the world as possible from the seat of a bicycle!

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