The 15 Best Commuter Backpacks For Cyclists

Photo: Chrome Industries Urban Ex

Especially in some of the more congested cities in the world, cycling is one of the quickest and most efficient means of transportation. And since it requires you to use your legs to push those pedals, it’s also good for your health. The one downside to it might be that hauling your necessary gear from place to place poses a unique problem.

Luckily, for most folks with a regular job, all the gear you need on a daily basis — from your EDC loadout to your laptop computer — can fit pretty easily into a single bag. However, while a briefcase might look good in the office, it’s going to be fairly difficult to carry when you’re blitzing through the city on two wheels. That’s why we’ve gone to the trouble of rounding up the following 15 packs. These handy and easy-to-haul offerings are the best commuter backpacks for cyclists.

Incase Range Backpack

Incase makes a suite of really excellent travel and everyday bags, but their Range Backpack series beautifully combines the two into a near-perfect bike commuter bag at a remarkably low entry fee. For the bargain-basement price, you still get a durable abrasion-resistant exterior, plenty of internal storage (including a laptop pocket), plenty of organizational options, and even a plush liner to keep all your gear safe and sound in transit.

Capacity: 31L
Exterior: 1680D Ballistic Nylon & 600D Polyester
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $65

North St. Davis Daypack

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, North St. knows a thing or two about how tough a commuter bag needs to be when cycling is your primary form of transportation. As such, they made their Davis Daypack with a weatherproof exterior to stave off all but the heaviest downpours, which pairs beautifully with its rolltop closure for even more water-resistance for everything inside. It also has a water-resistant zipper, a sailcloth liner, and an internal scheme that’s designed for modularity.

Capacity: 20L
Exterior: 1000D Cordura Nylon
Laptop Pocket: Upgrade Available

Purchase: $115

Thule Pack ‘N’ Pedal Commuter Backpack

For those unfamiliar, Thule is no stranger to travel storage — specializing in things like rooftop cargo boxes. As it turns out, that expertise pares pretty beautifully into their cycling commuter-friendly Pack ‘N’ Pedal backpack. It boasts a weatherproof main compartment, a high-vis rainfly for especially soggy days, a hideaway helmet attachment point, a padded laptop sleeve, and 360-degrees of reflective print for exceptional visibility even in low light situations.

Capacity: 24L
Exterior: 500D Nylon
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $138

Chrome Industries Urban Ex Backpack

Not only does Chrome Industries hail from Portland — a bicycle commuter’s mecca — but they were specifically formed with cycling in mind. As such, you can count on all of their carry options as superb solutions for your day-to-day haul. However, we’re quite partial to their minimalist-style Urban Ex rolltop backpack. Built with a hybrid nylon/polyurethane upper and a synthetic rubber base, this bag is perfect for staving off moisture — which is aided by its waterproof radio-welded seams. It also has a rolltop closure, external webbing for modular attachments, a dedicated laptop pouch, and — most importantly — a lifetime guarantee.

Capacity: 28L
Exterior: 600D Polyurethane/Nylon & Synthetic Rubber
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $140

The North Face Kabig Backpack

Though they have plenty of city-going stuff, The North Face is probably most well known for their outdoor offerings. As it turns out, however, they’ve managed to imbue their city-going Kabig backpack with the same outdoor-savvy features you’d look for in their adventure gear. That includes its minimalist weatherproof exterior, a whopping 41L of internal storage, a comfortable all-day suspension system, a fleece-lined tablet sleeve and laptop pouch, and a wealth of internal storage options for all your office and everyday carry gear.

Capacity: 41L
Exterior: TPE PVC Coated 900D Polyester
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $149

Chrome Industries Bravo 2.0 Backpack

Another shining example in just how well Chrome Industries understands the needs of bicycle commuters, the Bravo 2.0 is a beautiful and minimalist take on a travel pack. It’s built from abrasion-resistant 1050D nylon (which will protect everything inside from minor spills), has a waterproof truck tarpaulin liner, and a rolltop closure alongside welded seams to waterproof the main compartment. It can also house up to a 15″ laptop in a separate padded compartment, has a 28L capacity, and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Capacity: 28L
Exterior: 1050D Nylon
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $160

Osprey Metron Bike Commuter Pack

Osprey is most certainly best-known for their outdoor-focused packs — specifically those designed around hiking and camping. As it turns out, that’s hardly the only thing they’re good at, as the brand has also produced this magnificent cycling bag, the Osprey Metron Bike Commuter Pack. Perfect for folks with a larger haul, it can hold up to 26L and includes a durable nylon exterior, has a hideaway LidLock helmet carry attachment point, a separate shoe pocket, an integrated rainfly, and more. And the whole thing stays steady and safe on rides thanks to its compression straps.

Capacity: 26L
Exterior: 500D Nylon
Laptop Pocket: Yes

Purchase: $160

Brooks England Discovery Pitfield Bag

At first glance, the Brooks England Discovery Pitfield bag looks like a fairly standard, if stylish flip-top backpack. But that’s only because the brand has done an exceptional job of hiding all of its best features that make it an exceptional bike commuter backpack. That includes a PU-coated nylon exterior for excellent weather resistance, a hideaway padded laptop pocket with an easy-access zipper, and reflective details for 360-degrees of low-light visibility. If you want a subtle pack loaded with top-notch features, this is it.

Capacity: 24-28L
Exterior: PU-Coated Cordura Nylon
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $173

Ortlieb City Commuter Daypack

Ortlieb might not be a household name, even amongst the most vigilant of carry enthusiasts, but that should not be taken as a slight against them, as they make some truly impressive bags. Case in point, their City Commuter Daypack is a superb weatherproof cycling bag thanks to its PU-laminated nylon exterior and rolltop closure. And while its minimalist form and excellent waterproofing would probably be enough to garner recognition, it also features a small external quick-access pouch, removable waist and sternum straps, loop attachment points for your lock and helmet, and more.

Capacity: 21L
Exterior: Nylon
Laptop Pocket: 13″

Purchase: $175

Timbuk2 Especial Medio Cycling Backpack

Sometimes, when a bag-making company builds a superb offering, they leave it at that and move on. But if they really care about perfecting their offerings, they’ll take another look at said bag and revamp it to make it even better. That’s the story with Timbuk2’s Especial Medio Cycling Backpack. The 2.0 version has a better fit, greater visibility for safety in your rides, a water-resistant exterior, and expandability to haul even more when necessary. Pair that with all its other goodness — a laptop pocket, hydration bladder and headphone routing, etc. — and you can see why this bicycling bag is a favorite of ours.

Capacity: 30L
Exterior: Cordura Ripstop Nylon
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $179

Rapha Reflective Travel Backpack

Most certainly one of our favorite bags on this list, Rapha’s ultra-minimalist Travel Backpack is an exercise in refinement and clean styling. And that’s the kind of exceptionalism we expect out of a brand like Rapha. We also expect a good deal more, which they have delivered in spades — including a reflective treatment on the exterior for 360-degree visibility, a molded back panel for better comfort and breathability, 25L of internal storage accessible via a clamshell opening, and a hideaway compartment for an included rainfly. And that’s just the beginning.

Capacity: 25L
Exterior: Nylon
Laptop Pocket: 13″

Purchase: $205

Arc’teryx Granville Pack

While you likely know Arc’teryx for their dominance amongst the outdoor gear community, their minimalist styling and superb craftsmanship make them an excellent brand to consider for urban endeavors, as well. And that can be seen in abundance within their cycling commuter-friendly Granville Pack. This flip-top bag has remarkably clean styling lines — marked by a waterproof ripstop fabric exterior. It also has plenty of internal storage of up to 20L, which includes a laptop sleeve and mesh pockets. And it even comes with a clip-in point for cycling lights — adding to your visibility in low light situations.

Capacity: 20L
Exterior: N400r-AC2 Fabric
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $225

Defy Bags VerBockel Rolltop Backpack 2.0

Defy has a pretty distinct aesthetic — aggressive styling marked by incredibly durable materials and dark colors — and that’s something we jive with quite a bit. And that aesthetic was definitely applied to their bike commuter-friendly VerBockel Rolltop Backpack 2.0. It’s got 28L of internal space, a water-resistant waxed canvas exterior, mil-spec seatbelt webbing, a rolltop closure, AustriAlpin quick-release COBRA buckles, and a padded computer pocket. It’s not for the faint of heart, but that’s what we like about it.

Capacity: 28-40L
Exterior: 14 oz. TEXWAX Original Wax Canvas
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $289

Mission Workshop The Rambler Cargo Pack

Mission Workshop makes some of the best bags around, period. And that can make it hard to narrow down their offerings to a single superb one. However, when it comes to bike commuting, we’re pretty fond of their water-resistant, hybrid rolltop-flip-top, laptop bag, the Rambler. Available in four handsome colorways, this bag boasts an expandable design that lets it double in size when you need it and packs back down when you don’t. It can also fit up to a 15″ laptop, has 10 different pockets of varying sizes, and can even be paired with an optional waist belt for added stability. If your daily haul changes in size from day to day, this bag can’t be beaten.

Capacity: 22-44L
Exterior: 1000D Nylon or HT500
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $295

Henty CoPilot Backpack

Whereas most cycling backpacks are designed to carry your day-to-day gear, some folks don’t want to work in their riding apparel. And that makes the Henty CoPilot unique in that it’s actually a garment bag with backpack straps — allowing you to transport a suit without getting it sweaty or wrinkled. But don’t worry, it also still has plenty of space for your other gear. It even comes with its own laptop pocket. If you want to ride to work but you have to change into something more office-friendly when you get there, there isn’t a better backpack around.

Capacity: 20L
Exterior: 500D Cordura Nylon
Laptop Pocket: 15″

Purchase: $349

The 10 Best Commuter Bicycles

If you want to start pedaling to work, you’re definitely going to need a bike. But leave that old BMX in the garage and hop aboard one of the best commuter bicycles instead.