Every hardy commuter needs a good backpack – that trusted pack that’s got your back on every commute can become a familiar friend on your daily rides – but it has to be reliable, long lasting and comfortable to receive ‘commuting essential’ status.
Here’s a look at 3 of the best we’ve found over the years…
Cheap, light, and cheerful…
Deuter Speed Lite 15L backpack – around £30
I’ve had one of these for the last 3 years, and am happy to report that it has served me very well. Described as a pack for the ‘quick footed’, Deuter tell me that this backpack is fit for nordic walking, adventure racing, off-road marathons and the like, so it’s more than capable of cycling duties.
The pack has a chest and waist strap, both adjustable, to keep it in place, plus elasticated side pockets (handy for slotting glasses or gels in) and a top pocket that’s great for keys, phone and cash.
There is a further pocket inside, and a few reflective features are included, though this isn’t the most visible pack out there. At 15l, it’s enough for well packed clothes and lunch, but shoes and bulky items are a bit of a squeeze – though there are larger travelling backpacks available.
Hardwearing and tough…
Ortlieb Velocity Backpacks – around £60
Admittedly, a big step up in price, but the Ortlieb rucksacks are also a big step up in performance.
This 20L pack has a roll-down top, so you can make it compact when you need to, but it’s got plenty of space when you need to be carrying more kit.
The major selling point is that the Ortlieb Velocity is waterproof, and it also has a removable pocket for phone and keys, plus a mobile phone holster for the strap. The bottom of the pack is reinforced, too, so you don’t need to worry about putting it on the ground, and there is a handle, just in case you want to carry it to your desk without strapping up again.
Perfect for tech lovers…
Osprey Cyber Laptop/iPad Everyday Cycling Backpack – around £60
This is a pack that prioritizes technology, so much so that it has a ‘port’ which allows you to use a tablet without taking out of the protective sleeve within the pack. Great for the commuter who needs to stop and check maps, or work on the move.
The main compartment features a padded laptop sleeve, and a zippered padded tablet sleeve, plus internal organiser. A second pocket features heat embossed fabric, to help you store electronics or glasses without fear of scratches. The third pocket features the window compartment, which allows you to use our tablet on the go.
Comfort on the ride is far from forgotten, with chest and waist strap, as well as a reverse spacer mesh ‘Airscape’ backpanel which provides ventilation on a hot commute.
Do you have a much loved pack that you’d recommend? Tell us in the comments…
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.