Best Motorcycle Backpacks for 2019

Everyone needs a decent backpack for their bike. A dedicated motorcycle backpack is typically designed to be tougher and more waterproof than a regular backpack. Generic backpacks tend to have bits that flap about and they don’t always have the same support.

There are motorcycle backpacks to suit all needs and prices, so you shouldn’t need to break the bank.

The Best Motorcycle Backpack – Kriega R30

Capacity – 30L

Features

The Kriega R30 motorcycle backpack comes with 2 large exterior pockets, which both have waterproof zips, but are not 100% waterproof (we didn’t get any seepage in heavy rain though). Then there is the main compartment which is a roll-top design and that is 100% waterproof.

You also get straps for the 2 outer pockets and one for the main compartment which runs along the outside of the bag. This not only helps keep your items secure while riding, but also provides a place to hook on extra items, such as Kriega’s own pouches, which have been designed so you can extend the capacity of the Kriega R30.

The Kriega R30 has an innovative attachment system, which allows you to attach external pouches to the harnesses on the front (including the waist harness) and on the rear of the backpack via the retaining straps. This extends the storage and utility of this motorcycle backpack by a large margin.

Each of the strap adjusters come with clips to stop the straps from flapping around and irritating while you are riding.

Kriega also has a full range of accessories which go well with this backpack, which include things like a back protector, hydration bladder and organizer pouches for both inside and for hooking onto the exterior of the backpack.

Comfort

The Kriega R30 comes with an innovative, best in class Quadloc harness system which is not only easier to do up but helps to spread the load across your chest, taking pressure off your shoulders and making for a much more pleasant ride.

You also get quite a bit of padding where the backpack meets your back, which is designed to help spread the load and make the backpack a lot more comfortable.

Storage Capacity

This is a 30L backpack with one large main compartment and two smaller external compartments.

The Kriega R30 is the largest backpack on our list and so can easily swallow up a 17-inch laptop, alongside a weekends worth of clothes.

If 30L still isn’t enough, then you could if you wanted strap on one of the 20/30L tail packs and a couple of the smaller pouches on the front. If you really wanted to you could more than double the capacity with attachments. It would make it rather bulky, but it’s nice to have the option to extend what you have.

Safety

This isn’t an aero backpack with slide protection, but you can buy the optional back insert which slots into the back of the Kriega R30.

Longevity

The Kriega R30 comes with 420D rip-stop nylon with 1000D Cordura on the base and harness, meaning this motorcycle backpack really is built to last.

Kriega are so sure of the longevity of their products that they offer a 10 year warranty with their backpacks. Meaning if you somehow manage to wear this thing out, they will replace it for you!

Conclusion

If money is no object and you need the best motorcycle backpack that money can buy you, then the Kriega R30 is definitely the one to go for.

This motorcycle backpack is absolutely built to last, has the largest capacity on our list and that capacity can even be extended with extra external pouches.

Pros

  • 30L Capacity.
  • Comfortable..
  • Quad lock harness.
  • Extendable both externally and internally.
  • 10 Year warranty.

Cons

  • Price.
  • Could be a tad large for smaller riders.
  • Good luck carrying a pillion with this thing on your back.
Kriega R30 Motorcycle Backpack
Kriega R30 Motorcycle Backpack
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Best Bang for Buck Motorcycle Backpack – Oxford Aqua B25

Capacity – 25L

Features

The Oxford Aqua V25 is a much more simple backpack than the Kriega. It is essentially just a large vinyl sack with a couple of external pockets.

The main section has a roll top design, which makes it 100% waterproof. It also has 2 exterior pockets, which both have waterproof zips and 2 mesh pockets to the sides of the backpack.

Instead of nylon, Oxford have chosen to go with vinyl, which means that not only is it completely waterproof, but it is very easy to clean. Which is convinient because this motorcycle backpack comes in lighter colours, which would get totally destroyed if they were nylon. Even the white version wipes completely clean after a rainy/muddy ride out.

You also get little velcro tie downs on most of the loose straps to stop them flapping around in the wind.

This backpack does go flat when empty, meaning if you arent carrying anything, you can comfortably carry a pillion while using the Oxford Aqua V25.

Comfort

The Oxford Aqua V25 is a lot more simplistic in design and just comes with a typical harness system that you would find on most hiking backpacks.

It does have padding for your lower and upper back though and does do a good job of spreading the weight, so that it’s not all resting on your shoulders.

Storage Capacity

You get a 25L capacity with this motorcycle backpack, most of which is in the main compartment though, meaning that this actually has a slightly larger main compartment than even the Kriega R30. This could make it easier to carry larger items, or lots of clothes.

The 2 outer pockets are great for carrying smaller items, the larger of which could carry a tablet or other relatively flat items.

The side pockets aren’t quite as large is I’d have expected, they are just large enough to carry a smaller water bottle. Just bear in mind that anything you put there will be exposed to the elements.

Safety

There are no real safety features with this motorcycle backpack. The vinyl material may provide some abrasion resistance.

Longevity

Everything feels solidly reinforced and the vinyl that is used on the main construction feels like its built to last.

Unlike nylon construction motorcycle backpacks, the vinyl used on the Oxford Aqua won’t stain. When it gets dirty it washes off with ease and the muck just slides off.

Conclusion

The Oxford Aqua V25 a simple, yet effective backpack without all the bells and whistles of the competition from Kriega.

If you just want a competent, waterproof backpack that doesn’t cost the earth, then this would be my choice. Its set at a good price, making it a fantastic bang for buck motorcycle backpack.

Pros

  • Value for money.
  • Simple design.
  • Rugged and long-lasting fabric.
  • Different color options

Cons

  • Not quite as comfortable as the Kriaga R30.
Oxford Aqua B25 Back Pack (BLACK/GREY)
Oxford Aqua B25 Back Pack (BLACK/GREY)
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Best Mid Size Motorcycle Backpack – Kriega R20

Capacity – 20L

Features

Most of the features you will find on the R30 will be available on the R20.

The Kriega R20 motorcycle backpack doesn’t have a roll top design like it’s larger brother, but does come with waterproof zips, which won’t be totally 100% waterproof, but is pretty close to it.

You also get a similar attachment system to the Kriega R30, which allows you to hook on external pouches to the front and rear of the backpack.

Each of the strap adjusters comes with clips to stop the straps from flapping around, just like its larger brother.

All of Kriega’s accessories range that fits on their other backpacks will hook on/fit in the R20, meaning this is a very extendable motorcycle backpack.

Comfort

The Kriega R20 comes with a similar harness system to the R30, the difference being that there is only the one clip, instead of the Quadlock system. The harness is designed to spread the weight across your chest, instead of putting all the weight onto your shoulders like traditional straps.

There is also a good amount of padding all up the back of the backpack which adds to the comfort of this motorcycle backpack. It really is easy to forget you have this thing on, even when you are carrying some larger items.

Storage Capacity

The Kriega R20 is a 20L backpack with one large main compartment and a smaller outer compartment.

If you wanted to extend the storage, then you could quite easily strap on one of Kriega’s 20/30L tail packs and some smaller pouches, which would take this from a nice medium sized lightweight backpack to a storage behemoth. Which would make it an ideal all-rounder.

Safety

Again this isnt some hard shelled aero backpack, but it can be extended with a back insert.

Longevity

The Kriega R20 comes with 420D rip-stop nylon with 1000D Cordura on the base and harness, making it absolutely bomb proof.

Just like all Kriega products, this motorcycle backpack comes with a 10 year warranty.

Conclusion

Although not quite as expensive as its larger brother, the Kriega R20 is still relatively expensive. But this really is a quality motorcycle backpack and is worth every penny.

Kriega have built a reputation for making quality backpacks and this is no exception.

Pros

  • Comfort.
  • 10 Year warranty.
  • Less expensive than its larger brother.
  • Highly extendable.

Cons

  • Still quite expensive.
Kriega R20 Backpack KRU20
Kriega R20 Backpack KRU20
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Best Bang for Buck Mid Sized Backpack – Oxford V20

Capacity – 20L

Features

The Oxford V20 is pretty much the same backpack as the V25 that we mentioned earlier, so comes with much of the same features as it’s larger brother.

A couple of notable changes though are the lack of side mesh pockets and the small outer pocket has also been removed.

We have the same vinyl fabric as on the V25, making this just as waterproof and rugged, you don’t have to worry about staining the lighter colours on this with murky road spray, because all the dirt just rinses right off it.

Overall the Oxford V20 is a very simplistic motorcycle backpack. It’s essentially just a waterproof tube with straps on it. But it’s a bloody good one at that!

Comfort

Again we just have a basic harness system that you would find on a hiking backpack. It works well and does spread the weight.

You also still get the same upper and lower padding as on the V25, which helps to protect your back and spread the load.

Storage Capacity

This is a 20L backpack, so it’s 5L smaller than it’s larger brother. It’s not a massive difference really, but it does make the backpack a bit more manageable on your back if you don’t want something too large.

Because this is essentially just one big tube, with a single flat pocket, you can still get larger items in this than what you would with the same sized Kriega R20.

The single outer pocket is also large enough to carry a decent sized tablet and other small items.

Safety

There are no real safety features with this motorcycle backpack. The vinyl material may provide some abrasion resistance.

Longevity

Everything on this backpack feels solidly reinforced and the material being used does feel like it will hold up long term. User reports from people using the V20 over longer periods of time seem to suggest that it will last a lifetime.

The vinyl also won’t stain like a typical nylon backpack. Dirt just wipes off cleanly with a sponge and some soapy water.

Conclusion

This is another straight forward, no-nonsense motorcycle backpack from Oxford. It has no bells and whistles, it’s just a well made simple yet effective backpack.

Bang for buck this is about as good as it gets.

Pros

  • Value for money.
  • Simple design.
  • Rugged and long lasting vinyl fabric should last a long time.
  • Different color options

Cons

  • Not quite as comfortable as the Kriaga R20
Oxford OL995 Black Aqua V20 Back Pack
Oxford OL995 Black Aqua V20 Back Pack
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Best Aero Motorcycle Backpack – Ogio No Drag Mach 5

Features

The main feature of this Aero motorcycle backpack is the hard outer shell, which has been specifically designed to reduce drag and to help protect in a crash.

The outer shell on the Ogio Mach 5 also has a nice carbon fiber effect, which you don’t get on the Ogio Mach 1 or Mach 3.

Another unique feature to the Ogio Mach 5 over the Mach 3 and Mach 1 is the expansion gusset, which allows you to expand the storage from a rather small 17l to 25l, making it much more versatile than its cheaper brothers.

You also get a face shield carrier, which is great for those out there who like to carry a spare visor with them.

Ogio also has you covered if you are looking for a way to carry your helmet when you get off the bike, with a strap running off the side which allows you to hook your helmet to the backpack through the chin guard.

Comfort

The back is padded and is contoured to the shape of your back making this a very comfortable backpack.

I prefer a soft shell for comfort, but out of the hard shell backpacks I have tried in the past, this is definitely the comfiest.

Storage Capacity

Without the expansion zip being unzipped this is a 17l backpack. Expanded though this is a 25l backpack.

One thing to note though that the shape could restrict the functionality of what you can fit into the backpack. Where a regular backpack would conform to what you put in it, the Ogio Mach 5 is rather flat when not expanded, which combined with the rigid shell, could impact what you can carry.

Safety

The hard shell on the Ogio Mach 5 should help a little in a crash, assuming it stays in place. At the very least it will provide some abrasion resitance.

Longevity

All Ogio motorcycling products come with a lifetime warranty, so if something were to break then you are covered… The construction seems pretty solid though so we wouldn’t expect any premature failures.

Conclusion

This is another straight forward, no-nonsense motorcycle backpack from Oxford. It has no bells and whistles, it’s just a well made simple yet effective backpack.

Bang for buck this is about as good as it gets.

Pros

  • Aerodynamic design
  • Expandable storage from 17-25l
  • Helmet strap
  • Face shield sleeve

Cons

  • A tad expensive
OGIO 123007.36 No Drag Mach 5 Motorcycle Backpack - Stealth Black
OGIO 123007.36 No Drag Mach 5 Motorcycle Backpack - Stealth Black
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Best Runner Up Motorcycle Backpack – Shoei Backpack 2.0

Features

The Shoei Backpack 2.0 comes with lots of little compartments, including padded compartments for your devices. This does impact a little on overall space though.

One handy little feature though is the helmet carrier, which clips onto external hooks on the backpack and secures your helmet to the front of the backpack.

You also get a handy little face shield pouch to protect your shield from getting scratched up.

Comfort

The Shoei Backpack 2.0 has a basic harness which like all the others on the list is designed to spread the weight across your chest.

Both the straps and the back of the backpack are padded which help disperse the pressure.

Storage Capacity

We don’t have exact specifications for the size of this motorcycle backpack. But it is large enough to fit a 17 inch laptop and a set of clothes (including shoes), so is plenty for a weekend getaway or for the morning commute.

Safety

This is a pretty standard backpack so doesn’t really offer any safety other than some abrasion resistance.

Longevity

The construction is a more typical nylon backpack construction, but everything feels solidly put together. If something was to go wrong though then you have a 5 year warranty to back you up.

Conclusion

A more typical style backpack with a couple of handy features, like its helmet holder and visor pouch. It has more features than the basic oxford backpacks and yet is cheaper than the offerings from Kriega.

Pros

  • Helmet carrier
  • Visor protector
  • Mid priced

Cons

  • None
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SHOEI Backpack 2.0

SHOEI Backpack 2.0
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Why Choose a Motorcycle Backpack

So why should you spend your money on a backpack designed specifically for motorcycling?

A motorcycle backpack is going to be designed not to have flappy bits flying around, which is surprisingly irritating and can actually be quite painful if its hitting you in the neck while you are bombing it down the highway.

A backpack designed for motorcyclists is also going to be designed to distribute the load across your chest and won’t sit too low on your back when compared to some hiking backpacks. This means you won’t get as tired and the backpack wont be hitting off your rear seat.

Motorcycle backpacks are also going to be completely waterproof, or at the very least will come with a waterproof liner which goes over the backpack. This is certainly a must for us UK bikers, where the weather can turn on you in seconds.

Some motorcycle backpacks also come with armour built in so that it can offer some addional protection in a crash. This is especially noticable on aero backpacks like the Ogio Mach 3, because they have hard external shells.

Tank Bag vs Backpack

Some of us out there prefer one over the other and there certainly is benefits to both which we will cover.

Tank bag pros:

  • No weight on your back.
  • Generally better aero.
  • Allows storage when carrying a pillion.

Tank bag cons:

  • Can be obtrusive on some bikes when turning lock to lock.
  • Can damage paintwork.
  • May get in the way on supersports.
  • If you don’t have a metal tank, then strapping on and off could be a pain.
  • Generally smaller than backpacks.

Some people like tank bags because they don’t put any of the weight on the rider. But not all bikes have magnetic tanks and they tend to get in the way more on sportier bikes.

The way I tend to approach tank bags is, if I am going on a shorter trip, then I will just use my backpack. If however, I am going on a longer trip and require more space, then I will extend the capacity with a tank bag.

Also if I have someone riding pillion with me and I need some extra storage, then the tank bag is going to be a much better choice as it won’t shove them off the back of the bike.

The main thing to be careful of with tank bags though is that you need to be absolutely sure that the underside of them is pristinely clean when placing it on your bike, because it could very easily scratch your paintwork. You also wouldn’t want to stick one on a filthy bike either, as the grit thats on the bike could get trapped and scratch your paint.

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