The Four Best Cycling Bags You’ll Ever Need

We're quite impressed by the number of different cycling bags out there. You can find cycling-world Audis and Ducattis, SUVs or sports cars. We decided to find out which would be the "nice-to-have" bags for every cyclist.

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Jeff Balton |
Best Cycling Backpacks

Best Cycling Backpacks

We’re quite impressed by the number of different cycling bags out there. You can find cycling-world Audis and Ducattis, SUVs or sports cars. We decided to find out which would be the “nice-to-have” bags for every cyclist.

I believe that, in the perfect circumstances, you’ll need:

  • A solid urban bag.
  • An everyday (and everywhere) use bag.
  • A camelback for short rides.
  • A multi-day bag (waterproof).


Why did I create this list? Because I hate two things when it comes to cycling bags:

  • When the backpack is just too big, robust, and unnecessarily bulky for urban rides.
  • When I can’t fit things in or on my bag when going on long rides.


That’s the gist of it. I believe that the key and the solution to these problems is having the best cycling bag for each circumstance.

Best Cycling Backpacks


#1 – Solid Urban Bag – Brooks England – Sparkhill

Cruising a lot in the city? Commuting from home to work?

What do you need when cruising around the city? Basically, two things:

Your laptop and style.

This bag by Brooks England has a pretty slick appearance which definitely draws attention but doesn’t grab it too much.

Urban Cycling bag - Brooks England

Brooks Sparkhill is a practical and elegant backpack that has all of the necessary features that a good urban bag needs. It’s made using high-quality waterproof materials (Cordura and Coated Nylon), which will last for a long time and protect your valuables from getting wet.

On the outside, the Brooks Sparkhill bag looks simple, but on the inside, it offers a lot of functionality. It has one main padded compartment which you can use to safely carry your laptop. There are also several other spacious compartments that can carry your helmet, documents, wallet, smartphone, water bottles, and anything else you need on an urban ride.

Importantly, this bag will keep you visible at night thanks to numerous reflective details that are placed strategically on the outside.

Brooks Sparkhill is certainly one of the best cycling bags an urban cyclist can choose. It solves all of the problems you may encounter when carrying belongings on your daily city commutes.


#2 – Everyday & Everywhere use – DoucheBags – The Explorer

Riding on and off the road? Need a compact backpack with the ability to carry lots of things?

If your rides usually include more than just smooth city roads, you should choose the slick but capable DoucheBags.

DoucheBags “The Explorer” backpack is as unique as the name of the company that makes it. It is a robust but compact bag that’s focused both on urban and adventure settings. That makes it ideal for carrying belongings on a daily commute to work and on an excursion into the mountains.

Douchebags The Traveler

The Explorer is built using thermal formed ballistic polyester that’s incredibly strong, so it offers protection to anything fragile that you’re carrying. On the back, the construction is reinforced with an EVA panel, so it sits very comfortably against the back.

It has numerous pockets and compartments, including room for a camelback, so you can explore for longer. Finally, this bag allows you to fit more robust items on the outside as well, allowing you to carry more than with any other similar product.

It’s perfect for urban dwellers who love leaving the city once in a while and exploring the mountains and the countryside.


#3 – Hydration bag, as well – Mission Workshop – Hauser

A few hours on a trail or a whole day in the forest? Carrying a lot of water is crucial for you?

The Hauser can be your best friend both around the city and in the forests. The big advantage of this bag is the pocket made for carrying a hydration bag. Even though it’s small, it doesn’t mean that it’s tiny on the inside. There is lots of room to carry all that matters to you.

Mission Workshop Hauser Hydration Bag Review

Do you often find yourself thirsty on long rides and hot summer days? Sometimes, the water bottles on your bike simply don’t cut it and you end up having to finish your ride early. The Mission Workshop offers a simple solution to this problem in the form of their Hauser backpack.

The Hauser pack is both a hydration bag and an everyday bag in which you can carry necessary items on your daily commutes. It can carry up to 3L of water, which is more than enough to support a full day of riding, in addition to the water you carry on your bike.

Other than that, it has one large compartment and four smaller pockets that can store your tools, spare parts, or daily items such as a wallet, sunglasses, keys, and so on.

So, if you need a backpack with a lifetime warranty to make sure you’re never thirsty and are able to carry all of the necessary belongings, you should go with the Mission Workshop Hauser.


#4 – Let’s carry all the stuff – Showers Pass – The Transit

Do you enjoy doing multi-day tours? Want to carry extra sets of clothes for different situations? Singing in the rain without a worry on your mind?

Here it is, 42L of space to carry all the stuff that you need. By the way, yes, it will really protect anything you’re carrying from getting wet.

If rain was your main excuse for not going out for a ride, you can say goodbye to it. Showers Pass The Transit is a massive bag that can carry anything that you need on a multi-day tour and keep it dry even if it’s raining cats and dogs for days.

Showerpass Transit backpack

The outer structure is made using ballistic nylon with welded seams and waterproof zippers, so water cannot leak in anywhere. Moreover, the structure is reinforced with aluminum hardware which provides more protection to the stuff inside and makes it easier to load and unload the backpack.

The 42L of storage inside is divided into numerous pockets and compartments, so you can easily organize your clothes, tools, electronics, spare parts, and so on. There’s also an outer compartment for your helmet, so you no longer need to carry it on your handlebar.

If you’re always struggling with finding room to bring that one additional item, or you’re worried about keeping your stuff dry, you can’t go wrong with the Showers Pass The Transit bag. That’s why it’s one of the best cycling bags in our opinion!


Final Verdict

suggestedWe didn’t mention the price tag for these bags for a good reason. I love buying gear that will last for years and view those purchases as investments for the future. High quality costs money but it is much better to make your friends happy with a quality used pack which looks new than throw the broken bag away.

When looking around, the price of around $200 to $300 looks like the sweet spot. Anything below makes me look for the weak spots, and anything above makes me start looking for extra specs and better materials.

These are the best cycling bags for your rides (and your pockets 🙂 ).

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