Best Mountain Bike Backpacks

Mountain biking is a sport for the adventurous. It is where you connect with Mother Nature and go to places far from urban civilization while having fun on your bike. This is why it’s important to always bring the essentials to ensure the utmost safety and convenience.

One important thing you need to bring to achieve this level of preparedness is mountain bike backpacks. Not only do these carry your essential mountain biking stuff. But these also serve as protection for your back. They can even serve as a hydration pack that stores your water and makes it readily accessible for drinking via a hanging tube.

So, what are the best mountain bike backpacks? And what are the top brands, considerations, and features they need to have? Read on to know all about these.

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Osprey Siskin

Osprey is one of the top brands when it comes to camping and outdoor bags. And they’re not any different from mountain biking bags.

Introducing the Osprey Siskin, a backpack dedicated to mountain biking. It is what you need if you’re into long mountain bike treks where you need to haul many things with you.

The Osprey Siskin back panel is made from AirScape material covered with premium mesh that improves ventilation. It also has a LidLock attachment where you can easily strap your helmet.

This also has a full front panel U-zip which serves as an area where you can organize your bike tools and as the main compartment.

You’ll find a magnetic sternum strap bite helmet attachment and compression straps for full-face helmets in the Osprey Siskin. It also comes in two designs. One is in molten red, while the other comes in obsidian black.

Pros

  • The material feels very premium and won’t get scratched.
  • The design is very functional because it can organize your tools with numerous pockets. It even has a helmet carry system on its back panel where you can store a multi-tool, extra hydration hose, and miscellaneous accessories.
  • The size isn’t too big or too small.

Cons

  • It’s a bit heavy for uphill biking.

POC Spine VPD Air

POC is a staple brand when it comes to elegant-looking mountain biking gears and equipment. And they did just that with the POC Spine VPD Air, a mountain biking backpack that is made for aggressive trail and downhill riding.

What sets this apart and makes this one of the best mountain bike backpacks for men is its dirt and water-resistant fabric that wicks out moisture and keeps you clean and dry wherever you might ride. It even has an integrated back protector that keeps your back safe in case you crash.

It does this with the help of its POC exclusive VPD Air technology that flexes and changes its shape in accordance with your body upon impact. In simpler words, it hardens when it hits something.

Another nice thing about this is that it is well-ventilated and light enough for a whole day on the saddle.

It weighs 600 grams, can carry up to 3 liters of water using its hydration packs system with a hydration reservoir, has compartments, and a twin-strap closure system that ensures a tight and secure fit. This is ideal if you want to look cool and nice while having enough water supply and protection all day long.

Pros

  • It naturally adapts to your body and gives you a comfortable and snug fit. It doesn’t move when riding. The hydration pack doesn’t even move.
  • It protects your back pretty well thanks to its VPD pads that harden upon impact and covers even the hydration reservoir.

Cons

  • You can’t put too many big things in here because of its multiple compartments.

Fox Racing Backpack

Mountain biking would be different without Fox Racing. The latter is a top brand renowned for its durable and stylish mountain biking essentials.

One of which is the Fox Racing Backpack. This is the go-to choice for those who are into long days in the saddle and want to bring as many things as they want out onto the trails.

It’s one of the biggest choices in this list, which also makes it a very functional one. It comes with a HydraPak water reservoir which can hold up to 2 liters of liquid.

However, this can hold up much more, thanks to its storage capacity of a whopping 11.6 liters. It has fleece-lined pockets that let you access your valuables such as phones, wallets, and other stuff with ease.

This also has magnetic hose retention that ensures a tight and snug fit on your body. You don’t have to worry about it getting loose because it won’t, even if you ride very rocky trails. It comes in two black colors and steel grey.

Pros

  • It is surprisingly lightweight for its size, even if it has a total storage capacity of up to 13 liters.
  • The material is very solid and won’t easily get scraped upon impact.

Cons

  • The main internal compartment is a bit difficult to access with ease because of its depth and size.
  • It’s just too big and feels uncomfortable if you carry it on your back all day long.

CamelBak HydroBak

You might have heard about CamelBak many times already. Well, that’s because of its superior functionality outdoors.

The CamelBak HydroBak stays true to the company’s legacy as it is one of the lightest and most reliable mountain biking backpacks in the market.

This is what you need if you are into short bike rides as it has a 1.5-liter reservoir. It comes with zippered pockets and a harness with ventilation mesh for breathability.

It is a minimalist backpack that’s built for utilitarian simplicity. But even if that’s the case, it still looks pretty sleek and aesthetic thanks to its streamlined design. What’s more, is that this has CamelBak’s Got Your Bak lifetime guarantee warranty.

Pros

  • It is very lightweight and compact. You might even forget your carrying a bag.
  • It cools you down and keeps you ventilated even if you ride on a hot summer day.

Cons

  • 1.5 liters of water storage isn’t enough for at least two hours of riding.
  • The material fabric isn’t the toughest out there.

Thule Vital

Then comes the Thule Vital, another worthy contender to the best mountain biking backpacks in the market.

It is a nice choice if you want something flashy and at the same time functional. What sets this apart is its hands-free hydration packs system that’s built for maximum rider convenience.

The weight distribution is also carefully designed on this one so you won’t lose balance when tackling difficult terrain, even if the hydration pack is full. You’ll also find pockets that are strategically placed on the sides so you don’t have to slow down just to access your stuff.

You have three sizes to choose from. These are 3, 6, and 8 liters. It even has an innovative hose return system which they call as ReTrakt as well as a removable tool roll.

The water bladder keeps you hydrated even if you’re pedaling on your bike. Plus, it can carry an additional 6 liters of storage for tools, food, and other things that you can access with ease.

Pros

  • You can store a lot of things on this one, be it tools, food, clothes, or even parts.
  • You won’t lose balance on this one even if it has a full hydration pack because it has a low center of gravity.

Cons

  • The design is a bit off as it is not that stylish.
  • You’ll find the heavyweight a bit annoying especially on uphills.

CamelBak Aurora

Here comes another stylish mountain biking backpack from CamelBak. The CamelBak Aurora is a must-have for every trail junkie out there as it’s built for rugged trails.

It might be a bit small, but it’s just the right size if you are into short rides. Its interior fabric features an elastic loop that holds your pump in place. You will also find pocket organizers inside that keep your tools arranged properly.

There is even an external storage pocket along with its hydration pack where you can store things you are most likely to access while riding. It’s just like the Camelbak m.u.l.e., but only more compact.

It also has reflective accents so you can stay visible even if it’s already dark in the mountains. The harness is ventilated to keep you cool at all times. This is one of the best backpacks because it goes perfectly well with its on-off lever and high-flow Crux reservoir.

Pros

  • It is a very compact backpack that can carry many things despite its small size, thanks to its compartment layout.
  • There is a good chance you’ll forget you are carrying a backpack because it is very light.

Cons

  • Water storage is limited to only 2.5 liters.
  • The pockets are awkwardly positioned. It kind of distorts the aesthetic appeal of this backpack.

Dakine Syncline

The Dakine Syncline is what you might want if you like a large backpack or hydration pack for epic mountain biking rides.

This is a 12-liter backpack that can store a truckload of snacks, tools, clothes, first aid kit, miscellaneous items, and even some bike parts. And it all does this with the help of its lumbar reservoir that maintains a low center of gravity and keeps your bike stable.

It has an Air Flow back panel and breathable shoulder straps. You will also find a Blaster bite valve with high flow capabilities in its water bladder that allows convenient rehydration while riding.

It even has a deployable armor strap body armor that adds back protection. There are four design options to choose from, each having its color. These are Ashcroft camo, black, deep red, and midnight blue.

Pros

  • It can store a lot of water as its maximum capacity is 12 liters.
  • The main and shoulder straps material it’s made of is very solid and durable. Mountain bikers don’t have to worry about crashing with this one because it won’t get easily torn and has body armor.

Cons

  • The bag is too heavy because of its solid structure and design.
  • Mountain bikers won’t have any fun using this in short rides because it’s too big and heavy.

Osprey Kitsuma 

Here comes another premium mountain biking backpack from Osprey. Meet the Osprey Kitsuma, which is a mountain bike backpack and hydration pack specifically designed for women. The structure conforms to the natural shape of ladies because of its slim profile and lightweight design.

It has a dedicated hydration system and tool compartment that comes with a BPA-free reservoir that can hold 1.5 liters of liquid. The Osprey Kitsuma also has a low-profile design that uses their proprietary AirScape back panel. This goes perfectly well with its removable tool rolls and soft-edged harness and magnetic sternum bite valve attachment. You will also find a blinker light and scratch-free zippered side pockets where you can place your camera chest strap just like in the Osprey Raptor 10 and Skyline lr 10.

Pros

  • It is one of the most compact MTB backpacks in the market thanks to its minimalistic design. You can even use this for trail running
  • Its slim and low-profile design in its stash pocket, gear storage, and spine protector also makes this one of the best MTB backpacks for women.

Cons

  • The storage space is very limited especially if you’ll put water bottles or extra hip pack and hydration sleeve inside. You might end up carrying your things in your pockets.
  • The price of the Osprey Kitsuma is just too high for a mountain biking backpack.

Conclusion

Choose among any of the best mountain biking backpacks mentioned in this article and you’ll surely have a better time riding the trails.

They don’t just serve as things where you can store your things. Because they also can carry water via hydration packs, as well as protect your back. Just weigh things out and know your riding style so you can get the right size, design, and fit.

When you do, then you’ll surely have the best backpack with you on your next mountain biking trip.

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AUTHOR
Jomar Teves
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends. After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings. Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.