Table of Contents

Why Every Motorcyclist Needs a Good Backpack

The Essentials: Carrying Your Gear

Storage Convenience

When you hit the road on your motorcycle, it’s crucial to have a secure and easily accessible place to store your belongings. A quality motorcycle backpack offers a range of pockets, compartments, and straps designed specifically to accommodate your gear. From your wallet and phone to your extra gloves and tools, you’ll have everything at your fingertips.

Safety First

Safety is paramount for any motorcyclist. Carrying items in your pockets or on your bike can be risky. Loose items can become distractions or even hazards during your ride. A well-designed motorcycle backpack ensures your gear is securely fastened to your body, reducing the risk of accidents caused by shifting cargo.

Weather Resistance

Mother Nature can be unpredictable, and riders often encounter various weather conditions on the road. A good motorcycle backpack is typically made from durable, weather-resistant materials. Rain or shine, your belongings will stay dry and protected, allowing you to focus on the ride.

Comfort Matters: Riding in Style and Ease

Ergonomic Design

Long rides can take a toll on your body, especially if you’re carrying a heavy load. A quality motorcycle backpack is designed with ergonomics in mind. Padded shoulder straps and adjustable chest and waist straps distribute weight evenly, reducing strain on your back and shoulders.


Riding in hot weather can be challenging, and a sweaty back is no fun. Many modern motorcycle backpacks feature ventilation systems that keep your back cool and comfortable, allowing you to stay focused on the journey ahead.


A good backpack is not just for riding. It can accompany you wherever you go. Whether you’re hiking, shopping, or exploring a new city, a motorcycle backpack is a versatile companion that can adapt to your lifestyle.

Making the Right Choice: Comparing Features

Here’s a comparison of some of the key features to consider when choosing the best motorcycle backpack for your needs:



Multiple Compartments

Organize your belongings efficiently

Helmet Holder

Conveniently carry your helmet when off the bike

Reflective Elements

Enhance visibility for safer nighttime riding

Laptop Sleeve

Ideal for commuters who need to carry work essentials

Hydration Reservoir

Stay hydrated on long rides

Quick Access Pockets

Easily reach for your phone, keys, or wallet

Lockable Zippers

Secure your belongings from potential theft

Key Features to Look for in a Motorcycle Backpack

1. Durability

Your riding gear needs reliable protection, and so does your backpack. Look for a backpack constructed from durable materials like Cordura or ballistic nylon. These materials are known for their toughness and resistance to wear and tear, ensuring your backpack can withstand the rigors of the road.

2. Size and Capacity

Whether you’re a minimalist rider or someone who likes to carry it all, size matters. Consider the size and capacity of the backpack. Do you need it for daily commuting, long trips, or both? Opt for a backpack that offers the right balance of storage space without being overly bulky.

3. Weather Resistance

Rain or shine, your gear should stay dry. A motorcycle backpack should feature weather-resistant properties. Look for waterproof zippers and materials to keep your belongings safe and dry, even when Mother Nature has other plans.

4. Comfortable Straps

Your shoulders will thank you. Padded shoulder straps are essential for comfort during long rides. Adjustable chest and waist straps help distribute weight evenly, reducing fatigue and discomfort.

5. Helmet Holder

Your helmet should have a secure place too. If you’re looking for added convenience, consider a backpack with a helmet holder. This feature allows you to carry your helmet when you’re off the bike, so you don’t have to lug it around.

6. Reflective Elements

Nighttime visibility is crucial. Opt for a backpack with reflective elements. These help enhance your visibility to other motorists during nighttime rides, keeping you safer on the road.

7. Laptop Sleeve

For the tech-savvy riders. If you need to carry your laptop or tablet with you, look for a backpack with a dedicated laptop sleeve. This ensures your electronics stay protected and secure during your ride.

8. Hydration Reservoir Compatibility

Stay refreshed on long journeys. Some motorcycle backpacks are designed to accommodate hydration reservoirs, allowing you to stay hydrated without needing to stop. Perfect for those adventurous riders who enjoy long hauls.

9. Quick Access Pockets

Easy access to essentials. Quick access pockets are a game-changer. They let you reach for your phone, keys, or wallet without having to unpack the entire backpack.

10. Lockable Zippers

Protect your belongings. For added security, consider a backpack with lockable zippers. This feature can deter potential theft and give you peace of mind when leaving your backpack unattended.

Top Motorcycle Backpacks

Here’s a curated list of the top motorcycle backpacks that have earned their reputation among riders:

  • Kriega R30 Backpack: Known for its durability and comfort, the Kriega R30 offers ample storage space, hydration reservoir compatibility, and reflective panels for enhanced visibility.
  • Cortech Super 2.0 Tail Bag: While not technically a backpack, this tail bag is perfect for riders looking for extra storage capacity. It’s weather-resistant and versatile.
  • OGIO Mach 5 Backpack: The OGIO Mach 5 stands out with its aerodynamic design, making it a favorite among sportbike riders. It offers a dedicated helmet holder and numerous pockets.
  • Icon Squad 3 Backpack: Designed with a military-inspired look, the Icon Squad 3 is both rugged and stylish. It features a weather-resistant construction and a helmet carrier system.
  • Alpinestars Tech Aero Backpack: Alpinestars is known for its quality gear, and the Tech Aero backpack is no exception. It offers multiple compartments, a laptop sleeve, and comfort-enhancing features.
  • Dowco Iron Rider Messenger Bag: This messenger-style bag is highly versatile and offers excellent weather resistance. It’s perfect for riders who prefer a different style of bag.
  • Nelson-Rigg Commuter Sport Motorcycle Tail/Seat Bag: Another tail bag option, this bag offers spacious storage and is designed to withstand various weather conditions.

Safety Considerations When Using a Motorcycle Backpack

Proper Weight Distribution

One of the most critical safety aspects to consider is the distribution of weight within your backpack. Uneven weight distribution can affect your balance and stability while riding. To ensure a safer journey:

  • Pack Heavier Items Low: Place heavier items at the bottom of your backpack, closer to your back. This keeps the center of gravity lower, making it easier to maintain balance.
  • Use Compression Straps: Many motorcycle backpacks come with compression straps that help secure the load and prevent it from shifting during the ride. Make use of these straps to keep your belongings snug.

Securing Loose Straps

Loose straps on your backpack can pose a hazard by getting caught in moving parts of your motorcycle or flapping in the wind. Follow these safety measures:

  • Tuck in Loose Ends: After adjusting the straps to your desired fit, tuck in any excess strap length to prevent them from dangling.
  • Use Velcro or Clips: Some backpacks have Velcro or clips specifically designed to keep loose straps neatly secured. Utilize these features to avoid distractions while riding.

Helmet Attachment

Carrying your helmet on your motorcycle backpack is convenient, but it can also impact your safety if not done correctly. Ensure that:

  • Helmet Holder is Secure: If your backpack has a helmet holder, make sure it’s securely fastened. A loose helmet can fall off during the ride, posing a danger to you and other road users.
  • Helmet Doesn’t Block Vision: When attaching your helmet, ensure it doesn’t obstruct your vision or impede your ability to shoulder-check when changing lanes.

Reflective Elements

Visibility is a crucial aspect of motorcycle safety. Opt for a backpack with reflective elements or consider adding reflective tape if your backpack doesn’t have them. This enhances your visibility to other motorists, especially during nighttime rides.

Avoid Overloading

While it’s tempting to carry everything you might need, overloading your backpack can affect your balance and hinder your ability to maneuver the motorcycle. Stick to essentials and avoid exceeding the backpack’s recommended weight capacity.

Regular Inspections

Periodically inspect your backpack for signs of wear and tear. Look for frayed straps, damaged zippers, or any other issues that could compromise its integrity. Investing in a high-quality backpack with durable materials can help extend its lifespan.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can impair your concentration and reaction times while riding. Many motorcycle backpacks offer hydration reservoir compatibility. Staying hydrated is a fundamental aspect of riding safely.

Maintenance and Care of Your Motorcycle Backpack

Regular Cleaning

Cleaning your backpack is a fundamental aspect of maintenance. Over time, dirt, dust, and road grime can accumulate on the surface and in the zippers. Here’s how to clean your motorcycle backpack:

  • Empty Your Backpack: Remove all items from your backpack and shake it to get rid of loose dirt and debris.
  • Spot Cleaning: Use a damp cloth or sponge to gently clean any dirty areas. For stubborn stains, mild soap or a backpack-specific cleaner can be used.
  • Rinse and Dry: If your backpack is washable, rinse it thoroughly, and hang it to dry. Make sure it’s completely dry before using it again.

Zipper Maintenance

Zippers are the most critical component of your backpack. If they fail, your gear could be at risk. Follow these steps to ensure your zippers stay in good working condition:

  • Keep Them Clean: Regularly inspect the zippers for dirt or debris that could impede their function. Clean them with a soft brush or cloth.
  • Use Lubrication: Apply a zipper lubricant or wax to keep the zippers running smoothly. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best results.
  • Avoid Overloading: Avoid overloading your backpack, as this can put excessive strain on the zippers, leading to premature wear.

Stitching and Seam Inspection

Inspect the stitching and seams of your backpack to ensure they remain strong and intact. If you notice loose threads or fraying, consider having them repaired promptly. A small issue can escalate into a significant problem if left unattended.

Hydration Reservoir Maintenance

If your backpack features a hydration reservoir, proper care is essential to prevent mold and maintain the reservoir’s integrity:

  • Empty and Rinse: After each use, empty the reservoir, rinse it with warm, soapy water, and thoroughly rinse again to remove any soap residue.
  • Air Dry: Allow the reservoir to air dry completely to prevent mold growth.
  • Regular Replacement: Over time, the reservoir’s material may degrade. Consider replacing it as needed to maintain its quality.


Proper storage of your motorcycle backpack during periods of non-use is crucial to its longevity. Here are some storage tips:

  • Clean and Dry: Before storing, ensure your backpack is clean and completely dry to prevent mold or mildew.
  • Hang It Up: If possible, hang your backpack in a cool, dry place to maintain its shape and avoid creasing.
  • Use a Dust Cover: If you have a dust cover or bag, use it to protect your backpack from dust and UV exposure.

Inspect Straps and Buckles

Regularly inspect the straps, buckles, and fasteners of your backpack. Check for signs of wear, stress, or damage. Replace any worn-out components promptly to maintain the backpack’s safety and functionality.

FAQ Choose a Best Motorcycle Backpack

What makes the OGIO No Drag Mach 5 standout among the best motorcycle backpacks on the market in 2022, especially for those commuting to work on motorcycles?

The OGIO No Drag Mach 5 is renowned for its aerodynamic hard shell design that reduces drag while riding a motorcycle. It features a water-resistant exterior and a waterproof main compartment, ensuring belongings stay dry during commutes. The backpack also includes a dedicated padded laptop compartment suitable for a 15-inch laptop, and its ergonomic padded back panel and adjustable sternum strap ensure comfort and stability, making it perfect for those who are commuting to work.

When it comes to choosing a backpack with a high-capacity storage, how does a roll-top backpack like the Klim Arsenal Vest differ from a regular backpack for motorcycle riders?

The Klim roll-top backpack distinguishes itself with its large liter capacity, expandable via its roll-top system, allowing flexibility in the volume of motorcycle gear you can carry. Unlike a regular backpack, it has a water-resistant enclosure and a waterproof main compartment to safeguard contents from the elements. The harness system, complete with a sternum strap, distributes weight evenly, making it comfortable for motorcycle riding over long distances.

For motorcycle riders preferring a lightweight backpack with hydration compatibility, what are the top picks available in 2022?

Among the best lightweight motorcycle backpacks is the Kriega R20, featuring a hydration bladder compartment and a unique harness system that alleviates shoulder strain and ensures stability during rides. Another top pick is the USWE City Hunter Backpack, with its patented No Dancing Monkey harness technology that prevents the pack from bouncing around when you’re riding your motorcycle. It’s also hydration-compatible and includes a water-resistant laptop pocket for convenience.

Why is it crucial for motorcycle commuters using a backpack to have features like a sternum strap and back panel, and how do these components enhance the riding experience?

A sternum strap is vital in providing stability, preventing the backpack from shifting during movements, especially when riding a motorcycle at high speeds. The back panel, preferably padded and with ventilation features, ensures comfort and reduces sweat, essential when you’re commuting on a bike. These components work together to enhance safety and comfort, making the motorcycle riding experience more enjoyable and secure.

What specific features should you look for in a practical backpack intended for motorcycle riding, especially if you’re commuting with tech devices?

A practical motorcycle rucksack should include a padded laptop sleeve or compartment to protect your devices from vibrations and shocks. Waterproof or water-resistant material is crucial to shield your tech from weather elements. Additional features like anti-theft zippers, helmet carry strap, and removable pouches for small items are beneficial for added security and convenience while commuting.

In the realm of motorcycle gear, how does a dedicated motorcycle backpack like the Velomacchi Speedway Backpack enhance safety and convenience compared to a regular backpack?

The Velomacchi Speedway Backpack is designed with the rider in mind, featuring a harness system that eliminates the need for dangling straps that can pose safety hazards. Its structure is more aerodynamic, reducing drag at high speeds. Unlike a regular backpack, it includes a motorcycle helmet carry strap and a waterproof main compartment, catering specifically to the needs of motorcycle riders.

How does the utility of a tactical backpack with webbing, such as MOLLE, prove beneficial for motorcycle riders in 2022?

A tactical backpack with MOLLE webbing allows motorcycle riders to attach additional gear on the outside of the backpack, enhancing the bag’s capacity without compromising space in the main compartment. This feature is particularly beneficial for long rides requiring extra supplies or for quick-access items, making it a practical choice among the types of motorcycle backpacks on the market.

For daily city riders needing to carry a laptop, why would the OGIO No Drag Mach 5 or the Alpinestars City Hunter Backpack be a suitable choice?

Both backpacks offer features catering to city commuters, such as a padded laptop sleeve for a 15-inch laptop, ensuring device safety. The backpacks also provide a sleek, aerodynamic design reducing drag and discomfort at high speeds or long commutes. Their water-resistant characteristics protect against sudden rain, ensuring your belongings stay dry.

How does a backpack with a specific helmet compartment or strap, like the Shoei 2.0 Backpack, enhance convenience for motorcycle riders?

Having a dedicated space to securely attach your motorcycle helmet, such as a strap or compartment, frees up your hands and reduces the risk of dropping the helmet. It also optimizes storage space within the main compartment for other essentials, making the backpack multifunctional and convenient for riders, especially during stops or when walking around.

What role does comfort play when looking for the right motorcycle backpack for long rides, and how do design features contribute to this aspect?

Comfort is paramount for long rides to prevent back strain and improve ride quality. Features like a padded back panel with ventilation, adjustable chest and sternum straps for load distribution, and ergonomic shoulder straps contribute to a more comfortable riding experience. These design elements help riders feel less fatigued, maintaining focus and enhancing overall road safety.

What criteria should riders prioritize to choose a motorcycle backpack that is both functional and appropriate for different weather conditions?

When selecting a high-quality motorcycle backpack, riders should consider several key features to ensure their belongings are protected, and their ride is comfortable. Firstly, a waterproof backpack is essential for keeping contents dry during wet weather conditions. Models like the Drag Mach 5 Backpack are highly regarded for their water-resistant properties. Secondly, ample storage compartment space is vital for personal items and motorcycle tools. If the backpack isn’t large enough to store essential items, it may not be suitable for longer trips. Thirdly, comfort and stability are critical during rides; therefore, a backpack with adjustable chest straps can provide better weight distribution and prevent back pain. Finally, for those long-distance journeys, a hydration backpack feature would be beneficial to keep the rider hydrated without needing to make frequent stops.

Why is a shell backpack considered one of the best motorcycle accessories for riders concerned with protecting their belongings during their journeys?

A shell backpack, known for its rigid exterior, is perfect for motorcycle riders as it provides an extra layer of protection for the contents inside, especially valuable items that could be damaged in the event of a fall or during rough riding conditions. This type of backpack is often waterproof, ensuring that electronics and other sensitive items remain dry during inclement weather. Furthermore, the solid structure helps to retain the shape of the backpack, reducing wind resistance and the potential for drag, an issue that the Drag Mach 5 backpack, for instance, has efficiently addressed with its aerodynamic design. This feature enhances the rider’s comfort and stability, making the shell backpack an ideal choice for those prioritizing the safety of their luggage.

When comparing features of high-quality motorcycle luggage options, what makes a specific backpack stand out as the most suitable choice for regular commuters?

A standout backpack for regular motorcycle commuters is one that seamlessly combines durability, comfort, and functionality. A waterproof motorcycle backpack is non-negotiable, as it ensures that all contents, especially work essentials like laptops or documents, stay dry regardless of the weather. Additionally, ergonomic design features such as padded shoulder straps and a chest strap are important for comfort, particularly during long commutes or rides in heavy traffic. A backpack with dedicated compartments enhances organization, allowing for quick access to essentials like phones, wallets, or keys. For those who carry their work with them, a backpack with a padded laptop compartment provides added security. The Drag Mach 5 Backpack embodies these features, making it one of the best motorcycle backpacks for daily riders. Its sleek design, coupled with its practicality, ensures a stress-free commute.