5 Best Mountain Bike Backpack

mountain bike backpack

Having a backpack with water, food, and some tools and preparation kits is useful for biking. Nothing beats having these things on hand. The range of sizes available for all budgets is more reason to learn what factors to consider before buying a new one.

In general, the size of your backpack will reflect the kind of practice you do. You should always opt for a pack with a volume of less than 10L when competing in cross-country events. There should generally be enough space to store your smartphone, keys, and a 1.5L reservoir.

Depending on how much personal stuff and equipment you want to transport, backpacks with a volume of 10 to 30 liters should be adequate for hiking enthusiasts. You can also carry your supplies, tools, and a waterproof or windproof jacket.

When backpacks have more than 30L of volume, they are better suited to camping or photography. You can fit your tent and sleeping bag in the available space, but your backpack will undoubtedly weigh more.

Mountain Bike Backpack Features

Cycling backpacks can have unique expectations depending on the type of sport you are doing. No one type of backpack meets all objectives. Depending on the density of the pack, lightness, breathable nature, or rigidity, they can vary.

Having a backpack with a robust ventilation system is an undeniable advantage. During a hot ride, it will prevent excessive sweating and keep your body comfortable. Mountain bike backpack models offer different technologies.

There are a variety of models available with reservoirs varying from 1 L to more than 3L. You can purchase reserve pockets separately to replace worn-out pockets or select the most suitable size.

You should assess the reservoir as a whole, including global fabrication quality that includes the resistance, quality of plastic used in fabrication, and more precise details like the tube and its opening size. Several strap configurations are available on mountain bike backpacks.

Still, we recommend at least two anchor points on the chest and lower abdomen for your pack to remain secure even on bumpy trails. Most backpacks have external straps, which you can use to attach your safety gear like knee pads, elbow pads, helmets without obstructing your climbing route.

Some backpacks come with a removable backplate that can be purchased separately or included in the purchase to maximize protection. There are a few people who might find this appealing. Especially if you are interested in downhill or freeride and do not wish to haul too many layers around.

It will improve performance and comfort. The rain cover is also necessary when the weather is terrible. Despite their waterproof nature, mountain bike packs are prone to moisture penetration. Some backpacks come with waterproof layers that keep the contents dry.

Magnetic Hose

The hassle of wearing hydration packs without magnetic clips is well known to anyone who has ever worn one. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to prevent the hose from flapping around while you ride.

So when you shop for a new pack, make sure it has a magnetic clip or other clip systems on both the hydration hose and the chest strap, so you don’t have to worry about a wayward tube. 

Storage Volume

When planning your gear for your typical ride, the first thing you need to consider is how much gear you’ll be taking. Always have a spare tire, tools, and layers of clothing on hand.

When riding all day in the mountains, you need to take more tools than when riding for a short distance in the city. In addition, during your bikepacking adventures, you will require more space for food and camping gear. 

Hydration Reservoir System And Quality

Regardless of whether you’re traveling to the next water source or just riding a bike around, you’ll need to know how much water you’ll need. The reservoir in your pack must be able to hold this much water, as well as fit appropriately into the pack.

If a reservoir is integrated into the pack, this won’t be a problem. For some packs, you may need to purchase a separate reservoir. Don’t forget what you need to include in your pack. In addition to high-quality reservoirs, included resources also contain lower-quality reservoirs.

A poorly constructed reservoir is likely to leak or even break, so avoid buying the cheapest one if you must purchase one. Mountainous areas are not ideal for poorly built reservoirs. The reservoir needs to have a large opening so that it can be thoroughly cleaned.

Over time, mold will grow in a reservoir if you leave it unattended. A sugary sports drink can lead to this even overnight if consumed overly. For this to not happen, make sure your reservoir is clean and stored in the freezer.

Packs, Backpacks, or Hip Bags

Packable hydration packs can be found in many different sizes and can be packed inside rucksacks. From small and lightweight bicycle bags to mountain bikepacking bags, we have bags for everybody.

While a hip pack may seem simple, it offers an excellent option for people who dislike wearing rucksacks or those with not too much gear or water to transport. There are devices in this category that hold 1.5-3 liters of water.

While riding, you can enjoy the cool breeze flowing over your back as you cover medium distances with this amount of air. However, a hip pack has the disadvantage of shaking around when riding unless the straps are tightened up well.


As with all equipment, you will not enjoy using a hydration pack if it is uncomfortable to wear. If you can adjust the straps on the pack, you can customize how it fits and how it rests on your back.

With a hip strap, you should be able to distribute the weight of the bag comfortably. You can keep yourself comfortable with shoulder strap padding as well.

Additional Features

You’ll always be satisfied when you use the best hydration packs. On long ascents, you can tuck your helmet into the helmet strap, carry camping equipment in the straps, and carry a multi-tool in the tool compartment.

Rain covers can protect your pack from getting wet and help you organize your gear. Whistles and spine protectors are sometimes included in Hydration Packs.

Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack – Men’s

The men’s Osprey Raptor 14 hydration pack has a 2.5-liter reservoir to keep you hydrated and organized while biking. Stay hydrated on the trail with this dedicated reservoir compartment that includes a 2.5-liter Hydraulics LT reservoir.

Fast and easy access to water with a lightweight sternum strap magnet. Easily store your helmet between rides with the LidLock bike helmet attachment. Your sunglasses or electronics can be conveniently stored in scratch-free heat-embossed zippered slash pockets on the hip belt.

Extra gear or a rain shell can be stored in the stretch mesh front pocket. Organize and keep tools handy with the removable roll-up pouch. The visibility in low light is enhanced with the addition of a blinker light attachment.

The Raptor is designed for improved fit and ventilation. Also, the Airscape back panel has been redesigned for comfort.

CamelBak Hydrobak Light Hydration Pack – Men’s

The CamelBak Hydrobak is a lightweight hydration pack equipped with a 1.5-liter reservoir. It has a lot of space for essential tools, snacks, and other small items you may need during a long ride.

An ergonomic handle on the 15-liter Crux reservoir allows for easy refilling and a leak-proof on/off lever to ensure that you don’t lose water while drinking. The lightweight, body mapping Air SupportTM Light back panel provides a comfortable, lightweight fit.

Air is allowed to flow through the ventilated harness. Thanks to the integrated tool organization, it makes it easier to find a tool when you need it. Keys or phones can be stored in a secure zippered pocket.

When you don’t have to wear your helmet, you can use the helmet carry system to secure your helmet in place. The pack is comfortable thanks to an adjustable sternum strap. Lights can be clipped on the light loop to assist you in being seen at night. Visibility is also improved with reflective detailing.

CamelBak MULE Hydration Pack 100z

CamelBak is the leading manufacturer of on-the-go hydration products both for cyclists and day hikers. Initially introduced in 1996, Camelbak’s MULE is one of the company’s longest-running products.

CRUX reservoirs are CamelBak’s most significant selling point for MULE’s newest version. There is little more to it than reworking their traditional reservoir to include a modified fill and withdraw aperture to make water filling easier and pulling water more efficient.

In addition, there is significantly more ventilation than their other models to keep your back as dry as possible for a longer period of time. Finally, manufacturers need to add a small amount of space between the backpack and the back of the pack. CamelBak appears to have solved the problem.

Osprey Packs VIPER 9 Hydration Pack

The Osprey Viper 9 was designed for long-distance treks and adventures. With revolutionary flex-mesh technology and breathable strap panels, the Osprey brand has some of the most comfortable packs on the market. How does this pack compare with others?

First, the fit has to be correct. Osprey has a reputation for making good-fitting backpack bags, but too few of them can compete with it. The adjustability of Osprey Packs makes them comfortable.

It is always possible to adjust the pack to suit your needs at all times and in any weather conditions, no matter what you wear. The compression straps are one of the essential components of Osprey packs. The gear storage pockets are perfect for adding different pieces of gear quickly.

Evoc FR TOUR PROTECTOR Hydration Pack

EVOC’s FR TOUR PROTECTOR backpack has a much longer range, staying stable even in windy conditions. The gear they offer for mountain bikes is imposing.

In contrast to multi-purpose packs like the Camelbak MULE, the FR TOUR PROTECTOR is a full-featured cycle touring pack, with everything you need to make that tour a success. For example, the helmet stash has enough room in the pocket to fit most bike helmets.

You only need to strap the helmet to the outside of the pack. This pack, however, does not have additional compression straps. Nevertheless, the 6+ pockets more than compensate for this since there are many ways to organize and access your adventure supplies.

Final Thoughts

Cycling backpacks serve the dual purpose of storing essentials for the rider and providing a large water storage capacity to keep the rider hydrated on the ride. Waterproof, comfortable, and lightweight are essential features.

These days, there are backpacks with a reservoir-containing sleeve inside. A hydration backpack with a space for a bladder should be the one you purchase if you are buying one. Since hydration packs come with a water bladder, you will need the right hiking water bag.

If you are looking for a hydration backpack for mountain biking, then choose one that has a solid grip on the backpack’s straps so you can ride without any problems on the mountain trails.