Commuter Backpacks 101

Buying Guide and Advice

[UPDATED 5/10]Daily commuters know too well that they need to have most of their important items packed in their commuter backpacks as they begin the day. Whether you walk to work on a daily basis or have to cycle to your destination, there is only one thing that can help you get through the day without much of a hustle. Choosing a best commuter bag is what you need to do. There are many cycling backpacks out there for commuters, but not all of them are fit for a daily commuter, most are not sturdy enough nor are they able to carry everything a user may need while giving them comfort. We have reviewed most of the bags for commuting in the market and settled for some of the best commuter backpacks for people walking on foot or people cycling to work on a daily basis.  One of the factors that hinder people from commuting is lacking the best gear for that purpose, not forgetting that the best commuter backpack is one that should be in a position to withstand any possible abuse it is subjected to without giving in. The budget should not be a limiting factor when getting a good bag for cyclists, settling for a cheaper and a low-quality pack may cost you later. Below are some of the top backpacks for commuting that may come in handy as your daily commuter companion.

Top 13 Cycling Bags For Commuters

Exos Commuter Backpack

Exos Backpack

 

  • Water resistant: No
  • The good: Multiple colors to choose from
  • The bad: Don’t overdo with the weight
  • Commuting Stars: 4.3/5

The Exos’s commuter backpack is the perfect companion for cyclists who cycle to work or school on a daily basis. Its 29L capacity allows you to carry a lot inside without the exception of the laptop. It comes with a fully padded laptop compartment that holds up to a 17-inch computer. The bag also comes with a multi-pocket organizer that helps in keeping all your small items intact without the worry of everything getting all mixed up inside the backpack. The exos has you covered if you are the late night kind of person as it comes with a reflective piping that makes you visible to other commuters at night which reduce the number of accidents that are likely to occur. The only thing that you may want to remember is that you should only have the right weight inside, over doing it with the weight may lower the life of the backpack.

ORICSSON Outdoor Backpack for Cyclists

ORICSSON

 

  • Water resistant: Yes
  • The good: Lightweight and Quite roomy
  • The bad: Not built for heavy stuff
  • Commuting Stars: 4.5/5

The ORICSSON brand has been in the business of making best commuters backpacks for a long period of time and their products are becoming better by the day. ORICSSON cycling bag is ideal for commuters who like keeping it low on the weight they carry on a daily basis. The backpack has a roomy main compartment which is large to accommodate most of the things that you may need on a daily basis. It comes with two side pockets to fit a water bottle or an umbrella, and front zippered pockets for holding some of the small items that you may have. One of best features of this pack is that it is water resistant which means that all your items are protected from getting wet in the event of a heavy downpour.

 

Uoobag KT-01 Slim Backpack

Uoobag KT-01 Slim Business Laptop Backpack

 

  • Water resistant: Yes
  • The good: Anti-theft feature
  • The bad: Nothing significant
  • Commuting Stars: 4.7/5

What else would a daily commuter need other than having a best commuter backpack which is dual zippered and which keeps pickpockets away? The Uoobag is perfect for anyone thinking of having their laptop with them each day as they ride a bike to school or even to work. This backpack offers comfort with the padded shoulder straps as well as the padded back panel that keeps you from feeling the impact of the weight on the backpack. The backpack is in a position to accommodate up to 15.6-inch laptops which is fair enough. Durability is unquestionable with this pack and it is one that assures you quality time for as long as you use it. The Uoobag guarantees you usage for some few years to come without the quality of the backpack being compromised.

 

Hexin Rated Cycling Backpack

Hexin Rated Lightweight Waterproof Backpack

 

  • Water resistant: Yes
  • The good: Multi-use backpack
  • The bad: Small water bottle holder
  • Stars: 4.4/5

If you are looking for a best commuter backpack that can be used on a day to day basis and still comes in handy for other activities, Hexin is the model that can do that quite well. The bag is ideal for commuting and quite roomy making it possible to carry lots of stuff for your everyday use. There is no limitation to the load that you can carry with this backpack so long as you can comfortably bear the weight. The shoulder straps will not give you any problem as they are quite comfortable and breathable. The best part is that the shoulder straps can hold small items that you may want to have easy access to.

Kopack Anti-Theft Commuting Backpack

 

  • Water resistant: Yes
  • The good: Anti-theft feature
  • The bad: Nothing significant
  • Commuting  Stars: 4.4/5

Kopack is one of the few brands that make best stylish commuting backpacks that actually stand out from the crowd. The zipper open in a 180 degree manner which is a feature that keeps off pickpockets from your items. The backpack comes with a designated compartment that is meant to keep your laptop in a secure and shock-free manner. For comfort, you get fully padded shoulder straps as well as on the back panel which keeps the weight away from your back.  Night commuters will find the glowing luminous linings that make them visible to other commuters. This is an amazing backpack that is sure to stand out from what most people have.

 

Ruggan Convertible Backpack

Ruggan Convertible Backpack

 

  • Water resistant: Yes
  • The good: Multiple Use Backpack
  • The bad: The padlock is quite small
  • Commuting Stars: 4.4/5

The Ruggan backpack is one of the best commuter backpacks of our time owing to the fact that it is a convertible pack that can either be used as a messenger bag or a backpack. It has a padded laptop compartment which comes in handy for business people who have to walk for long distances to meet clients. There are numerous compartments in the backpack that keep all your stuff organized each day. The main compartment can be locked with a padlock which prevents your important items from being stolen while in the streets. Since the backpack will be used on a day to day basis, it is likely to get all dirty, that is not a problem as it is made with an easy to clean material. Get it and enjoy your daily commuting activity in a fun way.

 

Timbuk2 Especial Tres Commuter Bag

Timbuk2 Especial Tres Backpack

 

  • Water resistant: Yes
  • The good: Detachable Sternum strap
  • The bad: Nothing significant
  • Commuting  Stars: 4.6/5

You have probably heard of the Timbuk2 brand which happens to be a giant in the backpack industry. Timbuk2 Especial Tres Backpack does not disappoint and may be the best commuter bag that you have been looking for all along. The backpack is highly comfortable with a ventilation system that keeps you feeling fresh all day long. It is perfect for walking commuters as well as individuals who decide to take the bicycle. The multiple compartments in the backpack offer a large room for organizing your items in an easy to remember way. The sternum strap is detachable and comes in handy any time you want to make use of it.

 

Chrome Unisex Mini Buran Rucksack

Chrome Unisex Mini Buran

 

  • Water resistant: No
  • The good: Highly Reflective Straps
  • The bad: Nothing significant
  • Commuting  Stars: 4.4/5

The Chrome Mini Buran is a small sized cycling pack that helps you get through the day. There are multiple ways that it can be used giving the user some sense of diversity while interacting with it. Some of the most outstanding features that you get include a padded shoulder strap with a cross-chest load stabilizer that makes it possible for you to cycle with it on your back comfortably. The reflective straps increase visibility when walking in the dark reducing chances of getting into any accidents. The small size makes it one of the easy to carry bags around.

 

Sunhiker Cycling Backpack

Sunhiker Cycling Backpack

 

  • Water resistant: Yes
  • The good: Wide bottle holding pockets
  • The bad: Nothing significant
  • Commuters Rate: 4.0/5

The design of the Sunhiker backpack is one of the best things that makes it stand out from other cycling backpacks that you may come across in the market. All the pockets are well positioned and easily accessible, and you don’t always have to remove the bag to access some items in the bag. The pack is quite roomy and accommodates a lot of the items that you would want to carry along. The probability of getting all sweaty on a hot day is something that cannot be ignored. The ventilation on the backpack keeps you sweat free all day long. People who cycle to school or work on a daily basis will find this bag efficient for all their needs.

Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack

Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack

 

  • Water resistant: Yes
  • The good: Comfortably padded straps
  • The bad: No internal pockets
  • Commuters Rate: 4.3/5

The Banjo Brothers commuter backpack is one of the most unique and stylish packs of our time. The shoulder straps provide the required comfort owing to the padding on them. You rarely get to feel the impact of the weight of the content inside the pack. It is water resistant, and as such, your items are protected from getting wet in the event of a heavy downpour. The durability of the backpack is unquestionable as it is made of the best material with proper stitching. Night commuters need not to worry as the reflective straps on the bag make them visible to other people. For comfort and style, the Banjo Brothers is the ideal one.

Case Logic DLBP Backpack

Case Logic DLBP Backpack

 

  • Water resistant: No
  • The good: Lightweight
  • The bad: No bottle pocket
  • Commuters Rate: 4.5/5

The case Logic backpack employs an impressive design of a backpack which is lightweight yet sturdy. It is the best commuter backpack for someone who needs to carry their laptop on a daily basis. The shoulder straps and the back panel are highly padded to give you comfort while you walk or cycle to your destination. The pack is lightweight and does not weigh you down considering that the straps are built to give you maximum comfort protecting your shoulders from injuries that are likely to occur. Although you don’t get side pockets for your bottle, the side pockets are designed to give you easy access to some of the items that you may want to reach out for quickly. The most outstanding feature on this backpack is the strap management system that keeps the straps away and out of site.

Kensington Triple Trek Slim Backpack

Kensington Triple Trek Slim Backpack

 

  • Water resistant: No
  • The good: headphone port
  • The bad: Not perfect for heavy loads
  • Commuters Rate: 4.0/5

The Kensington Triple Trek backpack is slim and very stylish. Most women find this to be an amazing backpack due to the design. College students who don’t carry heavy loads can make the best out of this commuter backpack making it a bag that cuts across multiple users who find it useful. The internal storage is large enough to accommodate your laptop, books, files and lots of items that you may want to carry with you. You may need to be careful with large loads as they may end up giving you injuries on your shoulders since the shoulder straps don’t have enough padding to prevent you from feeling the weight of the bag. otherwise, it is a great backpack that can be used by a daily commuter and the sure thing is that they will stand out from the crowd.

Brenthaven 2244101 ProStyle Slim backpack

Brenthaven 2244101 ProStyle Slim backpack

 

  • Water resistant: Yes
  • The good: Side entry laptop compartment
  • The bad: No bottle pocket
  • Commuters Rate: 4.2/5

Anyone looking for a slim commuter backpack that can only hold your laptop and other tech devices should consider the Brenthaven backpack. It comes with a slim form that enhances the security and the protection of any of your e-devices.  Accessing the content of the backpack is also made easy with the side entry option that you get with this backpack that makes it possible for you to retrieve your laptop without having to remove it from your back. The fact that you will be carrying most of your important devices in this pack means that you will need each one of your gadget protected from the rain. The pack is water resistant, and this ensures that everything remains dry even on a rainy day.

RAPHA Backpack

Uses: School or travel

Water resistant: Yes

Stars: 4.4/5

A commuter backpack is more often a daily companion that you have to use on each single day. This means that above everything else the bag ought to give you comfort to avoid any injuries that may occur due to a poor design. The Rapha commuter backpack is a great choice for individuals who like cycling or walking on a daily basis. The fabric used to make this backpack is quite friendly to the skin and any contact with the bag does not result in discomfort. The back panel as well as the shoulder straps are fully padded which ensures that you don’t get to feel the weight of the backpack digging into your skin. Compartments that you get help in storage of some of the items that you may need during the day, you also get a rain cover that comes in handy in the event that you get caught in heavy downpour. Apart from the features and the design that you get, you also realize that this is one of the most stylish and unique commuter backpack that you may across. It is perfect for women who would want to have a good companion during the day.

dhb waterproof rucksack

Uses: Any form of commute
Water resistant: Yes
Stars: 4.4/5

Just as the name suggests, the dhb waterproof rucksack is 100% trustworthy in the event that you get caught in heavy showers. A waterproof backpack does not allow a single drop of water to get through to the content of the back. The bag is designed to deliver the best when it comes to comfort. It has a back panel with a breathable mesh that allow for air circulation keeping the user feeling fresh throughout the day. You also get padded shoulder straps that keep the weight of the bag away from your back. For extra comfort, there is a removable hip belt that one can always put in use when they need it. Commuters will sometimes find themselves working late and walking at night may be quite risky but things are different with the Rapha bag that comes with a reflective detail that makes the user visible and reduces the chances of an accident occurrence.

back to menu ↑

Tips on getting it right with a commuter backpack

Getting a best commuter backpack is one thing and getting the right one for you is a totally different thing. There are specific details that most people consider before buying a commuter backpack, it is important to get one that works for you and which has what you need. That said, you should ensure that the bag that you settle for has the following features;

  • Right fit For Commuting

  • Whether you are walking or cycling on a daily basis or occasionally, you will need a bag that fits your body the right way. This prevents you from constantly feeling uncomfortable since that is what a moving bag would do to you. Getting the right fit is quite easy, you will only need to get a bag with shoulder straps that are adjustable and one whose straps stay in position after adjustment. It is also important to get a bag that stays on your back very well and one which is not as big. With this, you will have a backpack that is perfect for you and one that can be used on a daily basis for commuting.
  • Comfort When Cycling

Comfort is key with all backpacks without the exception of best commuter bags. You realize that you spend a lot of time with the bag on your back and in most cases, you will either be walking or cycling. The last thing that anyone would want is to walk with an uncomfortable load on their back. This calls for a backpack that can give you comfort and some of the features that ensure that you get comfort include, padded shoulder straps, a padded back panel a bag with a good ventilation system. If you have the three, you are likely to forget that you have a load on your back as you will not bear a lot of weight and a good backpack for commuting also distributes the weight throughout the whole body giving you comfort and an easy time with your bag.

  • Sufficient Space for Cyclists

A cycling backpack with sufficient space not only gives you one large main compartment but several pockets to work with and which helps you organize your stuff. Numerous pockets ensure that your items don’t become all tangled up inside and are kept in a neat way and one which is easy for you to remember. The number of pockets that you may need is solely dependent on what your day to day activities involve. A student may have a higher preference for a commuter backpack with various large compartments to accommodate their laptop, their books, and their stationery. On the other hand, a business person may only need a compartment for some of the files that they may need during the day and small organizer pockets for storing the little items they may need. It is important that you first make a consideration of some of the items that you may want to carry with you before making a purchase.

  • Water resistance

Commuting by bike or on foot means that you are at the mercy of the prevailing weather condition. On a good day, rain is the least of your worry, but that is not often the case as there are times that unexpected rain may get you before you arrive home. Water resistant backpacks protect the content inside the bag, and you don’t have to worry that your laptop or any of your books will get wet. In case your bag is not water resistant, you should consider getting a rain cover to protect the content inside the bag. Always keep in mind that so long as you are a commuter, then the rain is something that you should always be prepared for.

  • Durability

The durability of a backpack is determined by the quality of the fabric used to make it and the stitching. A poor fabric may not be able to withstand the abuse it is likely to go through with a daily commuter. A poorly stitched backpack is also not in a position to withstand the daily pressure that it may go through and may end up getting torn or tearing apart within a short period of time. Ensure that you go through the reviews of any backpack that you would want to buy online to see what other users have experienced. It is almost impossible to get a perfect bag but you can never overlook great flows or a bag with poor and negative reviews.

  • Multiple uses

A multiple use backpack is one that can also be used as a daypack, a one-day hiking pack, etc. Getting such a pack ensures that you don’t have to make numerous purchases of different backpacks. If you get one that can serve you for different purposes then good for you. This does not mean that you ought to be rigid when selecting your backpack and stick to a multipurpose bag. You will only need to remember to stick with your specific need in a backpack, your specific need will more likely lead you to the best backpack.

  • Reflective pads

When walking or cycling at night, it is important that other commuters get a vision of you. This is only possible if you have a backpack with a reflective pad. This happens to reduce potential accidents that may occur on a dark night. Visibility is boosted with a reflective pad, and you get to arrive home safe and sound even in the darkest nights.

Conclusion

With the few tips presented above, you are not likely to make any mistake when choosing your next commuter backpack. The above options are some of the best that you can get this season, get one and you will be good to go. You can say goodbye to all the uncomfortable backpacks that you have always had.

More resources:

http://lifehacker.com/5486087/top-10-tips-and-tools-for-commuters

http://www.bicycling.com/culture/commuting/14-commuter-pros-share-their-secrets

http://www.active.com/cycling/articles/10-tips-from-hard-core-bike-commuters-873023

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commuting