Reviews

Best Motorcycle Backpacks: The Perfect Bags For Carrying All Your Gear

The top motorcycle backpacks for traveling near and far for work or play

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

The Drive on YouTube The Drive on Facebook The Drive on Instagram

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON June 3, 2021

When you travel on a motorcycle, storage can be a problem, particularly if you don't have saddlebags. The solution is using a backpack specifically designed for motorcycle riders. We did the research, and our buyer’s guide narrows down the best bags on the market. That way, you can spend less time searching for the perfect backpack and more time on the open road.

Best Overall
Seibertron Waterproof Molle Motorcycle Storage Backpack
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

Made out of top-quality materials, this waterproof backpack has a specific compartment for helmet holding. Doubling as a hydration backpack, it lets you carry all the supplies you could need for a long ride.

Pros
Pros
  • Features an integrated MOLLE system
  • Can hold up to two liters of water
  • Zippers made out of high-grade alloy material
Cons
Cons
  • Zippers don’t have waterproof protection
  • Black color takes on heat quickly
  • Buckles can collect debris and moisture
Best Overall
Seibertron Waterproof Molle Motorcycle Storage Backpack
Best Value
Mardingtop 28-Liter Motorcycle Backpack
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

Accommodating up to 28 litres of contents, this polyester backpack features quality zippers and a comprehensive molle system. With a waist belt setup and padded straps, it makes biking comfortable.

Pros
Pros
  • Clever structure distributes weight evenly
  • Resistant to damage to the seam from overfilling
  • Comes at an affordable price
Cons
Cons
  • Lacks a helmet compartment leaving you to use MOLLE or buckles
  • Fabric is water-resistant rather than waterproof
Best Value
Mardingtop 28-Liter Motorcycle Backpack
Honorable Mention
Ogio No Drag Mach 1 Backpack
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

This aerodynamic backpack has a shoe pocket, helmet carry strap, fleece-lined electronics pocket, and a protective compartment for laptops up to 15 inches. It's weather-resistant and features adjustable and ergonomic padded shoulder straps.

Pros
Pros
  • Multiple compartments for easy organization
  • Keeps the contents of the backpack dry
  • Streamlined molding technology adds precision to overall structure
Cons
Cons
  • Compact design is poorly suited to those packing multiple items
  • Tight luggage compartment risks damage to the seams
  • Pockets aren’t elastic enough
Honorable Mention
Ogio No Drag Mach 1 Backpack

Why Trust Us


Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Benefits of Motorcycle Backpacks

  • They're designed for riding. The best motorcycle backpack is constructed to be as comfortable as possible when you're in a riding position. It also distributes weight more evenly on your body. In addition, they are designed to cope with the elements and many types of weather conditions.
  • They're aerodynamic. An aerodynamic motorcycle backpack is designed to reduce drag when you're riding. Nothing's worse than wearing a regular backpack and feeling it tug against your body as you’re cruising down the highway.
  • They're practical. If you have a smaller bike without saddlebags, you need something to carry your stuff. Motorcycle backpacks are versatile and can be used for other purposes, including camping and hiking.
  • They’re protective. Many motorcycle backpacks feature a padded back panel. Not only does that make wearing them more comfortable, but they also provide a bit of protection in an accident. They have the potential to reduce back injuries in a crash.

Types of Backpacks

Regular

There are hundreds of backpacks on the market, and they are geared towards different purposes. Those for general purposes tend to be less expensive than high-quality, motorcycle-specific backpacks. General-use backpacks are typically not designed to be used over protective riding gear and aren’t always water-resistant. They are also designed to carry the weight on the neck and shoulders, which can be uncomfortable for motorcyclists. 

Commuter

Some motorcycle backpacks are intended for commuters who need to carry laptops, iPads, books, papers, and other supplies to and from work or school. A motorcycle commuter backpack should be waterproof, windproof, and have extra padding to protect your belongings. They should also be compact, durable, and easy to carry, whether you're on or off the bike.

Touring

A motorcycle touring backpack is tailored towards people who do a lot of long-distance traveling. If you plan on riding across the country, you need a backpack that's big enough to hold a lot of stuff. These types of bags usually have more storage compartments, side pockets, and additional features compared to other types of backpacks.

Rugged

If you're the type of rider who does motocross or travels frequently on rough or uneven terrain, you will need a rugged backpack that can withstand a lot of bumps and impact. Certain motorcycle backpacks come with extra reinforcements for added protection. They tend to be on the smaller side.

Top Brands

Shoei

Shoei built its first motorcycle helmet in 1959, and still today every helmet is handmade in Japan. The company also produces backpacks and other equipment geared towards motorcyclists. One recommended product is the Shoei Backpack 2.0.

JFG Racing

A brand exclusively focused on moto parts, JFG Racing has an impressive background. It falls under the umbrella of the Yongkang WeiSen Trade Company, its repertoire extends from marketing to tech to customer service. JFG is the motorcycle-focused arm of this company, with its high-quality manufacturing and reliable supply chain drawing a broad audience. Among its best-reputed products is the JFG Racing Motorcycle Backpack.

Mardingtop

Established in 1986, Mardingtop Outdoor Equipment Company is based out of Canton, China. Producing a wide range of luggage supplies, it may not be the most prevalent brand, but its quality is worth noting. All the designs are sturdy, rugged, and built to weather the harsh environments to which motorcycles are exposed. Currently, the company is pivoting its attention into the international arena by retailing its gear through trusted suppliers. A success story is the Mardingtop 28-Litre Motorcycle Backpack, a popular option that purportedly works well and is very durable. 

OGIO

Owned and operated by Callaway Golf, OGIO was absorbed by this well-established company in 2017. Since that time, it has used the OGIO name to design, manufacture, and supply apparel for a more rugged audience. It offers everything from travel bags to motorcycle backpacks, with each selection focused on durability and timeless appeal. Among its top selections is the OGIO Adult No Drag Mach Three Backpack

Nelson-Rigg

Nelson-Rigg USA, Inc. is based in Santa Ana, Calif. The company has been producing motorcycle covers, luggage, and apparel since 1972. One popular product is the Nelson-Rigg Compact Backpack.

Motorcycle Backpack Pricing

  • Less than $20: You can spend very little on a motorcycle backpack, but you will get what you pay for. Typically, bags in this price range are foldable and are made of extremely lightweight materials. They have few features and usually have no pockets or padded protection.
  • $20-$50: If you spend a little more money, you'll get a motorcycle backpack that has a few more features and is a bit more durable and versatile.
  • $50-$200: Many motorcycle backpacks fall in this price range. They come in a variety of styles and designs and are intended for different types of riders. You can find bags for street bike riders, sport bike riders, and others who seek multiple pockets, helmet holders, padded protection for electronics, and other features.

Key Features

Durability

The most important characteristic when choosing the best motorcycle backpack is one that can withstand the elements. A motorcycle rucksack should be very durable and made of high-quality materials. The stitching should be strong, and the zippers should have an anti-corrosion coating. The best backpacks for motorcycle riding will protect your belongings in a variety of conditions if they’re well made.

Wind Resistant

The average backpack is not intended to withstand a lot of pressure from the wind. Even on a calm day, the wind can be very strong when you’re riding a motorcycle, particularly at high speeds. The best motorcycle backpack will retain its shape, conform tightly to your back, and have minimal wind drag.

Other Considerations

  • Fit: In order to make sure that a small or large motorcycle backpack fits correctly, choose one that has adjustable straps for the shoulders. If you can, select one that also has waist and chest straps that you can tighten or loosen as necessary. This will ensure that it stays snugly against your body.
  • Comfort: This is important because cool motorcycle backpacks are useless if they don't feel comfortable when you're riding. Also, you won’t use a backpack if it doesn’t feel right. Wide, padded shoulder straps prevent a motorcycle backpack from cutting into your neck, and padding on the part of the pack that rests against your back is also helpful.
  • Weight: A large or small motorcycle backpack should be very lightweight. The more items you put inside of it, the heavier it will be, causing additional strain on your back. The backpack should also distribute weight as evenly as possible. You don't want it to throw you off balance and compromise safety.
  • Capacity: There's a balance when it comes to selecting the best motorcycle backpack. It must be large enough to hold your gear but small enough to have a relatively low profile. Most backpacks are categorized by liters. For example, 10- to 20-liter backpacks are on the smaller side, while those over 30 liters are probably too large to carry comfortably on a motorcycle.
  • Waterproofing: The obvious benefit of waterproof motorcycle backpacks is that they keep your belongings dry. Some types of motorcycle backpacks also come with rain covers to prevent water from seeping through. Either way, a waterproof backpack will keep your materials from getting soaked in bad weather, such as a torrential rainstorm.
  • Versatility: Every rider has different needs. You may want a backpack for city riding or you may need one to withstand off-road conditions. If you require a bag that can adapt between short rides and longer trips, select a brand that is versatile and can serve more than one purpose.

Best Motorcycle Backpack Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Seibertron Waterproof MOLLE Motorcycle Storage Backpack

If you’re not the type to travel light, consider the Seibertron Waterproof Molle Motorcycle Storage Backpack. Not only is it able to accommodate a hydration pack, but the molle systems lets you add on accessories securely. Made out of 900D polyester material, it’s rated as completely waterproof. The front of this backpack leads to an expanding pocket in which you can firmly place either your primary helmet or a backup. Featuring multiple compartments to help you organize your gear, it connects using thick buckles and strong straps. Padded to facilitate comfort, the bag is designed to keep your back comfortable during long trips. Considering its strong construction and suitability towards motorcyclists, this is the clear winner of this roundup. 


Nothing’s perfect, of course. There are some small flaws, namely that the zippers aren’t waterproof, so your tech wouldn’t be totally protected. Outside of that, besides the buckles taking on dust when it’s humid, it is a great pick overall.

Best Value
Mardingtop 28-Liter Motorcycle Backpack

Want to put the Zen back in motorcycle maintenance by saving money on your gear? Take a look at the Mardingtop 28-Liter Motorcycle Backpack, a cost-effective option that in no way foregoes quality. For starters, it is able to accommodate the structural equivalent of 28 fluid litres in the main compartment alone. Offering additional storage through the molle system, it lets you add on any accessories you could want. Featuring a chest strap for added comfort and improved posture, it supports your back while you ride. Capable of supporting a hydration bladder in addition to other gear, you can rely on this bag for extended trips. It’s estimated to accommodate three day’s worth of supplies, making it great for motorcycle and camping trips. With padded straps and a design that spreads out weight to prevent seam damage, this is a solid choice for serious bikers who ride on a budget. 


Now, it’s worth mentioning that there are some drawbacks to this design. It doesn’t have nearly as many smaller pockets as other models, limiting organizational ability. Additionally, instead of being waterproof, it’s made out of 600D polyester, which is only water-resistant. That said, for its fair price and durability, it idyllically balances price and merit.

Best Compact
Ogio No Drag Mach 1 Backpack

This backpack has a pocket for shoes, a helmet carry strap, a fleece-lined electronics pocket, a protective compartment for laptops up to 15 inches, and is very aerodynamic. The bag is weather-resistant and features adjustable and ergonomic, padded shoulder straps. It also a body-conforming shoulder gasket.


This commuter bag has a good amount of space and is also expandable. It features lots of compartments for organizing a variety of items. In addition, it opens from the opposite side of a typical backpack, so if it comes unzipped while riding, items won't fall out easily. When it rains, the backpack does a great job of keeping your contents dry. Also, the streamlined single-shot molded exterior provides a sleek look.


Although you can utilize the available space to the fullest, the backpack is still very compact. Those who are always bringing some extra stuff on their drives might find it too small for their needs. The inner compartments are also a little snug. You'll be able to fit a 15-inch laptop, but not without some effort.

Most Versatile
OGIO Renegade RSS Backpack

If you're looking for a versatile backpack you can use on daily commutes as well as short trips, the Ogio one might be ideal for you. It's a rugged item built to last and protect your belongings. Thanks to the integrated foam panels, you'll be able to store electronics and other valuables and transport them anywhere with the highest protection.


The Ogio backpack is made of polyester and provides a lot of storage space. This model is actually one of the largest on our list, with many compartments and pockets for your essentials. There are even outside pockets with a quick-access design. Furthermore, the backpack features padded shoulder straps you can adjust for ultimate comfort.


The thing to keep in mind before the purchase, though, is the size of the laptop compartment. Despite the product description stating that the compartment can accommodate a 17-inch laptop, the truth is just the opposite. Also, the stitching is not very durable. It might wear out rather quickly, depending on the weight of loads and the level of daily abuse.

Honorable Mention
JFG Racing Motorcycle Backpack

The JFG Racing Motorcycle Backpack stands out for its top-quality materials, with each layer of the bag made out of the best possible textile. It starts with carbon fiber, a lightweight material that fosters breathability without compromising strength. This is backed by the waterproof capacity of the PVC body, further enabling it to hold its shape even when it’s empty. Paired with the tough waist belt and slip-resistant strap, this backpack can go anywhere with you. It incorporates reflective features to keep you visible on the road at night. For both safety and comfort, it incorporates padding for your back and shoulders. The coup de grâce lies in its streamlined design. When you’re ripping down the road, you don’t want the noise and scattered air of a bulky backpack. This model, instead, lets the air flow smoothly so you can focus on the ride. 


Keep in mind that the structural advantages of the aerodynamic design come with inherent drawbacks. For one, it is entirely rigid. Sure, this is waterproof and ups your efficiency, but it also makes it relatively unforgiving for storage. It can hold 30 liters, but the way you place your gear will make or break your storage abilities.

Honorable Mention
MotoCentric Motorcycle Leather Backpack

A stylish and functional motorcycle backpack is hard to find, especially at a low price. Luckily, MotoCentric offers just the one to meet the needs of bikers who are on a limited budget. This particular model is designed for outdoor use and ensures comfortable rides at all times.


The thing that makes this backpack unique and favored among users is the multi-functional design. Both internal and external sides can be used according to needs and situations. There are also several convenient compartments and pockets you can use to store your 14-inch laptop, clothing, shoes, and all kinds of small items.


We also love the extra padded back—it provides the needed comfort and keeps the backpack in place during rides. The breathable fabric also prevents sweating and protects belongings against water. On top of that, there's a reflective strip on the exterior to keep you visible and safe on the road.


However, we recommend double-checking the backpack dimensions before the purchase. It turns out to be smaller than expected, so you might be unsatisfied with the load capacity. When it comes to the overall design, the only issue we noticed is the lack of smoothness in zippers. They are difficult to open and close, although they should soften a little bit after some time.

Honorable Mention
Goldfire Waterproof Expandable Motorcycle Backpack

If you prefer to take your bike out on rougher terrain, the Goldfire Waterproof Expandable Motorcycle Backpack is a great way to go. It secures all of your gear against the elements using a firm nylon lining. Closing with a fine-tooth zipper, strengthened by buckles, it stays firmly in place while you ride. By including a MOLLE structure throughout, you can tack on other accessories and drive without worrying about them facing issues. The reflective lights keep you visible in dimmer settings while the extending portion lets you hook your helmet in place during breaks. The padded straps add comfort, though the design of the textile is what gives this model an extra edge. Featuring dense, rugged, and resilient fabric, it’s stitched in a manner that avoids damage to either the seams or zippers. Suitable for areas prone to quick weather changes, this backpack keeps your supplies safe. 


However, this backpack has some downsides, most notably its lack of compartments. Sure, it has some pockets, but they won’t be sufficient to keep your things organized. For those travelling with things like goggles, gloves, water, and tech, you will likely need a supplemental organizer.

Honorable Mention
Badass Moto Cool Motorcycle Backpack

The thrill and glamor of motorcycles is not from the bulk and flash, but from streamlined simplicity. In this spirit, the Badass Moto Cool Motorcycle Backpack sets the bar high. It’s designed to incorporate proper padding, letting you tow technology. With sufficient ventilation, condensation isn’t an issue. Looking at the design overall, this backpack expands to accommodate a biker’s helmet. It also incorporates mesh sections for things like goggles, gloves, and other accessories. The bag itself is lightweight and padded to enhance comfort. Extremely versatile, you can fold it down and use it as a day-to-day bag. Conversely, you can load up on gear, buckle in your helmet, and hit the road. Its subtle aesthetic blends with high utility value to make this one of the most versatile models around. 


Keep in mind that this backpack is not the best for long bike rides. The bag itself is fairly small. Sufficient to hold commuter supplies or gear for a short, recreational motorcycle trek, this backpack won’t carry enough for an overnighter. That said, as long as you’re commuting and looking mainly for helmet storage, this is a worthy pick.

Tips

  • If you plan on carrying a laptop or other electronic devices in your motorbike backpack, buy one with padded tech protection that will prevent the devices from jostling around too much. These items are expensive, and you’ll want to keep them fully functioning.
  • If you carry a lot of small items, choose a bag with multiple pockets. Exterior pockets are also helpful if you want easy access to gear that you use often.
  • Some bags are expandable and are geared towards bikers who carry larger items. You can keep it small some of the time and only make it bigger when you need to.

FAQs

Q: Are motorcycle backpacks safe? 

A: They are safe if they adhere tightly to your back and evenly distribute the weight inside. If it's uncomfortable or improperly secured, a backpack may become a distraction, thus compromising safety.

Q: What can I carry in my motorcycle backpack?

A: That's a personal preference and depends on the size of the bag. At the very least, you should be able to carry your wallet, registration details, and some extra clothes. The bigger the bag, the more you can fit inside it.

Q: Can I wear a backpack while riding with a passenger? 

A: It's not a good idea. If possible, your passenger should wear a backpack. Otherwise, it may cause a problem in the event of a collision. It is also not that comfortable to have a backpack jammed between you and a passenger.

Q: Do I need a backpack if I have saddlebags? 

A: Saddlebags can fill up rather quickly with essentials, such as a first aid kit or extra helmet, and you may want a backpack for added convenience. If you don't want to leave valuables in your saddlebags or want to carry some of your things around when you get off your bike, a backpack is a good solution.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the finer points of picking out the best motorcycle backpacks, you can make your choice. It could be the spacious, rugged design of the Seibertron Waterproof Molle Motorcycle Storage Backpack, ideal for long trips. Alternatively, you could opt for savings and check out the Mardingtop 28-Liter Motorcycle Backpack, an affordable model with ample value.