Best Waterproof Motorcycle Backpack (Top 5 Reviewed)


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Last Updated: 16th June 2021

One of the downsides of riding a motorcycle can be its lack of storage area. A car is a living room on wheels with enough free space to load a mountain of shopping, a large dog, and a couple of kids.

With no pannier system or tank bag, the only place to store anything on a motorcycle is under the seat or in the glove box.

That’s fine if all you wish to protect from the elements is a pair of Oakley’s or a small cheese and pickle sandwich.

Mountaineers and soldiers manage to carry huge loads on their backs while walking and climbing. Water-skiers can even carry their girlfriends upon their shoulders.

Sitting still on a motorcycle with nothing more than a laptop and a change of clothes to carry shouldn’t be any great stretch.

Enter the backpack.

Our Top Pick

Kriega R20 Back Pack

Streamlined, Lightweight, Strong

Top-quality materials and perfect ergonomics.

This is a pack designed by bikers for bikers. Check SportsBikeShop

Motorcycle Rucksack Reviews

Let’s take a look at our top five motorcycle backpacks.


Kriega R20 Back Pack

Best All-Rounder

The R20 is aerodynamically shaped for the motorcycle rider. Its curves and straps give a beautifully streamlined look to this 20 litre backpack.

Kriega R20 Rucksack

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The ‘webbing’ is unique – a Quadloc-lite harness system. The adjustable side straps can be joined across the chest by a clickable connecting clip which is also adjustable. The backpack can be lowered or raised, and an optional waist strap further absorbs heavier loads. All in all, it won’t move around, and once in place, there’s little of the re-adjustment typical of regular backpacks.

A raised mesh-like exterior against your back helps prevent sweating on those long journeys. Extra capacity can be achieved by adding on 5 or 10 litre dry-packs. Further optional accessories include a harness pocket and a 3 litre hydration reservoir.

Pros

  • plus iconSide access pocket
  • plus iconYKK water-resistant zips and 3M Scotchlite reflective logo
  • plus iconHypalon abrasion resistant re-enforcement
  • plus iconLightweight and extremely strong with a 10-year guarantee

Cons

  • minus iconQuality comes at a price. The R20 isn’t cheap
  • minus iconGood in most weather but not sold as completely waterproof

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Knox Studio Rucksack Mk2

Best Looking

Coming in at 28 litres is the very stylish Knox Studio Rucksack. Its leather-like exterior gives it an executive look like a smart commuting bag. Despite appearances, the Knox Studio Rucksack is fully waterproof and constructed from 600 denier nylon and leather.

Knox rucksack

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Outside storage is available with three deep pockets. Further thought has gone into the top and bottom design to prevent water seepage when exposed to ground puddles or excessive rain.

With motorcycling in mind, the harness has padded and adjustable shoulder straps. Chest straps are also adjustable and include those useful restrainers to prevent the flapping of loose ends.

The same goes for the generously sized waist strap, which helps lift and spread heavier loads. Comfort and airflow are aided with two spacer fabric panels on the back.

Overall, the Studio Rucksack is roomy, smart, and suitable in all weathers, making it an ideal mid-priced backpack both on and off the bike.

Pros

  • plus iconLuxurious leather on the base of the bag with studs for wear resistance
  • plus iconLeather branding and leather carry handle
  • plus iconSide release chrome buckles
  • plus iconIncludes a helmet carrier strap

Cons

  • minus iconMight get stolen!

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Oxford Aqua B25 Backpack

Large Bag Pick

The Oxford Aqua B25 gives you more backpack for your money, and it’s waterproof. As the model name suggests, you get 25 litres. The bag is shaped… like your back, narrow at the bottom and broad at the top.

There are plenty of external zips and pockets on the sides and rear-facing areas.

Oxford Aqua Backpack

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The top of the bag is a fold-over design offering further protection against rain. The B25 is sold as ‘suitable for motorcycles.’ Consider this an advantage as bespoke motorcycle products are usually more expensive.

The height and width adjustable straps should ensure that its extra bulk and size stays firmly in place.

The grab carry handles are great for those quick pick-ups from the floor when you’re leaving the coffee shop.

Pros

  • plus iconWebbed loop for tail light attachment
  • plus iconReflective detailing for higher visibility
  • plus iconPadded straps and back sections

Cons

  • minus iconJust one main compartment for everything
  • minus iconNo restrainers to stop excess straps blowing around
  • minus iconLight colour maybe show up dirt but is easily wipe-able

Check SportsBikeShop Check On Amazon


Held Mini Rucksack

Compact Pick

The Held Mini Rucksack is an excellent choice if you want to chuck in a few bits and go. The bag is well priced yet still maintains a decent level of quality.

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Held mini rucksack

It has 1 external pocket and a 12 litre capacity with a waist strap for securing the load.

Waterproofing comes in two ways: a PVC coating and a built-in rain cover for the whole bag.

This bag is lightweight and small enough to store under your seat while still retaining a reasonably sturdy feel when in use. 

Pros

  • plus iconPacks under seat or in pocket
  • plus iconStreamlined shape with no annoying flappy bits
  • plus iconSuper cheap

Cons

  • minus iconBasic water resistance only
  • minus iconA smaller bag with a 12 litre capacity

Check SportsBikeShop 


QBag Backpack 10

Budget Pick

The biggest in our reviews of motorcycle backpacks is the QBag Backpack 10. Its 30 litres capacity is spread over three compartments and four outside pockets.

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Qbag backpack

Larger loads can be evenly distributed with the use of the front cross-connection harness. Shoulder and waist straps are padded and adjustable.

The backpack may not be ideal for carrying laptops and other sensitive items due to its lack of internal cushioning.

It is also not sold as waterproof, but it will do the job with care and common sense.

The bright yellow colour provides excellent high visibility.

Pros

  • plus iconMobile phone pocket
  • plus icon600D nylon outer construction
  • plus iconSelf-locking zips used throughout
  • plus iconLow price

Cons

  • minus iconMay not be as durable as more expensive models
  • minus iconLow price reflected by the overall quality of bag

Check SportsBikeShop


Buyers Guide

While the idea of a backpack is pretty obvious, you should think twice before digging around in the attic for your ten-year-old Karrimor Papoose or that old rucksack you had in the boy scouts.

Do you remember?

The one which towered above your head as you walked to the coach station bent double under the weight of tents, sleeping bags, and two week’s food supply.

Before choosing a backpack, there are some extra considerations above and beyond a walker’s backpack.

#1. Weight and stability:

A backpack shouldn’t inhibit your control or cause any balance problems when riding your motorcycle. There is a limit to what you can safely carry on your back.

Youtube is awash with riders in far-away countries, counting goats, sheep, and small horses as pillion passengers.

Fridges, gas bottles, and precariously mounted ladders also feature among this array of mini-freight that would most likely earn you a few license points here in the UK.

#2. Fit and Comfort:

Motorcycle jackets are often thick with padded shoulders and elbows. You need a backpack that is both easy to put on and tighten once in place.

Well-positioned straps ensure that the load is spread evenly to avoid heaviness and tension around your arms, neck, and hips.

As for pillion passengers, better they wear the backpack to keep tight up against the rider.

Some backpacks may also be attached to the rear of the saddle with correct and effective safe use of their straps and retainers.

#3. Weather:

Many motorcycle backpacks are waterproof or at least shower-resistant. If not, they’re still useful as long as you place any vulnerable items like laptops or paperwork in an interior form of waterproofing (a plastic bag will do!).

Some models come with separate external covers, which you can utilize in wet weather.

#4. Pockets and Zips:

What will you carry, and how quickly will you need to retrieve it? Easy access zipped compartments allow you to store and retrieve small items without rifling through your mother lode.

Avoid anything with long-flailing straps that can ‘whip’ around at speed and cause distraction. Some models have restraining clips to aid streamlining.

A big internal single compartment may cause items to settle near the bottom with gravity. Look for models that have separate baffle areas like pockets or mesh sleeves.

These help balance things out and make the job of finding your items easier.

#5. Size

Will you just be carrying a bottle of mineral water and a security lock for the office car park or something more substantial?

Assuming you’re happy with the weight, then check out the different sizes of bags. Anything bigger than you need may cause drag, inconvenience, and distraction.

The carrying capacity of some models may be increased with add-on pockets or compartments such as helmet-carrying sections.

Conclusion

There’s more to a backpack than just size and appearance. Hydration, phones, weather, navigation, and access all come into consideration.

Our review models cover many of these, but my personal top two are the Kriega R20 Back Pack and the Knox Studio Rucksack.

The Kriega is military-grade and built to last. While small, I generally don’t carry much on my back anyway, but it’ll hold a laptop and some personal accessories. The R20’s strapping harness is so comfortable you’ll forget you’re even wearing it.

The Knox studio is bigger but avoids the bulky appearance you get with the more ‘camping styled’ backpacks. Being waterproof is a must in the UK, and with a very stylish look, you can use it for any occasion.

At some stage, you’ll reach your limit with what you can carry on your back. The introduction of large volume pannier systems in conjunction with tank bags and top boxes can put you at a similar carrying capacity to a small car.

Not for everyone but dispatchers, long-distance tour riders, and big bike enthusiasts can shift hundreds of pounds comfortably across hundreds of miles.

For now, there’s plenty of excellent quality, multi-sized backpacks available to suit any budget.

Safe and happy riding to all.