Living in a wet climate, or even somewhere where rain is an occasional occurrence, can put a downer on biking if you are not properly prepared.
For many cyclists, backpacks are a necessity, especially for commuting purposes. When you mix participation and backpacks you often end up with soaked commodities. To help avoid this, we have created a list showcasing 10 of the best waterproof backpacks available on the market.
4 tips for keeping everything dry
Before going into waterproof backpacks, let’s talk about how to keep your belongings dry in a non-waterproof backpack.
Tip #1: Use a rain cover.
Firstly, if you have a nice biking backpack but it isn’t waterproof, chances are it may have a rain cover. If there is a likelihood of rain, be sure to put this on the pack before heading outside. Putting the cover on before you go out will assure no moisture can seep through the material and dampen your belongings.
Tip #2: Use your rain jacket.
Some people even put an old raincoat over the top of their pack to keep some water off. If there is no rain falling but the ground is wet, you can also use the cover as something to lay your backpack on in case you need to stop and take it off.
Tip #3: Use a dry bag.
The next best option if you do not have a waterproof backpack or rain cover, is to use a dry bag. You can get a dry bag and fill it with your usual backpack contents and then place that in your backpack.
This will keep all of your contents dry, but unfortunately leaves your backpack in waters line of fire. If you aren’t going far, you may even be able to strap the dry bag to yourself or the bike. There are also small waterproof bags for your phone if that is all you need dry.
Tip #4: Use disposable or generic rain cover.
Top 10 Waterproof Bike Backpacks
|Rank||Picture||Pack Name||Where to Buy|
|1||Ortlieb Velocity||Check Price|
|2||Timbuk2 Especial Tres Cycling Backpack||Check Price|
|3||Overboard Pro-Sports Waterproof Backpack||Check Price|
|4||Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Commuter Backpack||Check Price|
|5||Polaris Aquanought||Check Price|
|6||Vaude Clubride||Check Price|
|7||Ucon Acrobatics Harvey Reflective Backpack||Check Price|
|8||Chrome Night Bravo 2.0||Check Price|
|9||Inside Line Equipment Default Mini||Check Price|
|10||Ortlieb Commuter Daypack City||Check Price|
Top 10 Waterproof Biking Pack Reviews
Hopefully at this point you’ve read through the table and got your eyes on a pack that you like. Keep reading below for some more details to help you ensure you get the perfect pack for you.
One thing to note is the style of these packs may differ from the style you originally considered as “waterproof.” You’ll notice many of these packs use a “roll top” style. They don’t look quite as sporty, but just like dry bags, this is the best way to ensure your gear inside remains dry.
#1 Ortlieb Velocity
This is Ortlieb’s second pack on this list and for good reason. It is a simple 100% waterproof backpack with about 25 liters of storage space. Inside is a zippered pocket designed to help keep small items organized.
The Velocity also has a durable carrying handle which is easy to grab and hold. Robust foam makes up the back pad of this pack and is designed to optimize airflow. On the back you will find a handy fixing for a bike light for low light riding. It also doubles as a place to clip your helmet.
#2 Timbuk2 Especial Tres Cycling Backpack
When you need to haul a huge amount of gear, or your bicycle commute consists of carrying your entire office, it’s time for the Especial Tres. This backpack consists of compression straps and a roll top which can expand to give you a small chasm of carrying room. Like all backpacks in this article, it is fully waterproof.
The straps and back panel are super cushioned to assure user comfort under any load. They are also highly breathable. Other features include reflective lots of reflective detailing and a bike light loop.
#3 Overboard Pro-Sports Waterproof Backpack
The Overboard Pro-Sports is about as waterproof as it comes. It has a standard roll-top closing system to keep liquids out.
This pack is designed for a rough life outdoors. The makeup consists of an extremely tough side and base with a high frequency welded construction. Its back panel is ventilated through a high flow design while still providing lumbar support. It has reflective straps to stay visible and even floats on water. If you are looking for a no compromise waterproof pack for your commute or bike adventure, this is it.
#4 Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Commuter Backpack
Thule was thinking of wet weather when they built this backpack. Not only is the main compartment waterproof with a roll-top close, the pack also comes with a high visibility rain cover to make sure absolutely nothing gets wet.
This commuter backpack features a crush-proof compartment for sunglasses, cellphones and other small valuables which is a feature that many other bags are lacking. It also has a padded removable 15” laptop compartment. There is even a hideaway helmet attachment. Thule truly hit every nail on the head when designing this mid-sized cyclist backpack.
#5 Polaris Aquanought 30L
The Polaris Aquanought 30L is a spacious well designed backpack. It has a 30 liter holding capacity which is enough for almost any commuter, or day rider.
The Aquanought uses welded seem technology to assure to water will not find its way in. Inside the pack is pretty basic but it does feature a few internal clips and accessories to help with organization. There is a handy front pocket which is also fully waterproof. Perhaps the best part about this backpack is the straps. There is shoulder, chest and waist harnesses to keep the backpack snug to the body. This bag also has reflective detailing to keep you seen in dreary weather.
#6 Vaude Clubride
Vaude builds bags to a neural environmental standard, while making sure they are also PVC free. Another nice touch is that they are built in Germany, a nice change compared to the usual “made in China.”
The backpack is fully waterproof thanks to its welded seems and has roll-top close similar to a lot of the waterproof packs.
There is a safety light attachment along with reflective elements to make sure the wearer is seen in any weather. The padded back makes the pack comfortable to wear when both walking and riding. This backpack is midsized at roughly 25 liters.
#7 Ucon Acrobatics Harvey Reflective Backpack
The Harvey Reflective Backpack is probably one of the most simplistic backpacks in this article. It features the classic waterproof roll-top design and an elegant appearance.
This backpack is made of reflective polyester which is easy to spot at night. The interior has loads of room for a laptop or other essentials. Adjustable padded straps assure comfort when worn. On the outside you will find three thin pockets for extra carrying volume. Probably the most unique feature is that at night, it turns from grey to white which again is for visibility purposes.
#8 Chrome Night Bravo 2.0
This pack is what Chrome claims to be as their “most versatile” backpack. It features 25 liters of storage which is perfect for the average bike commuter. Even when full it sits very comfortably on the back.
The Night Bravo 2.0 feature lots of reflective detailing which is important for a backpack that is going to be worn in wet and dark weather. There is plenty of organization inside including a laptop compartment for an up to 15” screen. This pack is built made durable, waterproof and comes with a lifetime warrantee to back it.
#9 Inside Line Equipment Default Mini
The Default Mini is a handy sized backpack that will keep your belongings dry on your commute. It features a roll-top, and weather proof main compartment. There is also a hidden weatherproof tablet compartment.
The backpack is made of durable 1000D Cordura fabric and lined with vinyl for waterproofing. The zippers are coated in water resistant urethane. There are deep side pockets which are easy to access. Padded shoulder straps along with a sternum strap help keep this pack in place. If you are looking for colour choice, than look no further as this pack is available in more colourways than any other backpack on this list.
#10 Ortlieb Commuter Daypack City
With our second Ortlieb on the list, this comfortable backpack is designed for commuting. It consists of a 100% waterproof main compartment and a smaller zipped front pocket (not waterproof). This is a top loading backpack with a roll-top close.
The Commuter Daypack features a reinforced bottom, and reflective details for visibility purposes. The shoulder straps breathe amazingly, keeping the user cool. A nice touch is that the chest and waist straps are both removable so you can really customize the bag to fit however you like. There is a padded slip in the main compartment designed to fit a laptop. At 20 liters this bag will have you covered for a full day at the office.
Bonus Option: Waterproof Backpack Cover
If you are not in the market for a new backpack but your current one just does not do well in the rain, a generic cover may be your saving grace. They come in multiple different sizes and are specifically designed to keep your backpack dry.
The covers are made completely out of nylon and make use of highly reflective 3M transfers. They are colored brightly so that the wearer is always seen. Many different sizes are available so be sure to be careful when choosing which size you need for the backpack that you own.
Understanding that there are many quality waterproof backpacks on the market is important. If you are cycling daily despite the weather changes, it just make sense to be prepared. Do this by making sure the next pack you buy, is waterproof.