Packing For The Ride – The Best Mountain Bike Backpack in 2020

TL;DR – Our 5 Best Mountain Bike Backpack Options

In a hurry and just want to know what the ultimate mountain bike backpack is? I recommend the Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack, Black, (Prior Season)  as your best option. The five top MTB backpacks available are (in my opinion):

Ok, Let’s Get Into It…

When I go for a ride, I have a lot of stuff that needs to go with me! As I am usually out in the middle of nowhere with no other people around me, I want to make sure I have the tools and supplies available to get me back home in one piece. I usually carry some bike tools (basic multi-tool, some puncture repair kit, etc) as well as first-aid items (disinfectant, bandages, plasters, etc) in case I have a call or come across someone that might have had an accident. I also carry some spare plastic bags that I can put my valuables (wallet and phone) in if it were to start raining (rain storms can suddenly sneak up on you from nowhere where I live), and on chilly days I take my light jacket along. If I go on longer ride, I of course also want my water-bladder in my bag in order to supplement my water-bottle that I carry on my bike frame.

That is a lot to take with me on a bike ride! (do you also carry this much stuff with you when you go on a ride? I guess if you are reading this article, then you do!) Add to that the rough terrain I usually go through (we have some very thorny trees on the trails where I am), I need a backpack that is tough , but also comfortable and functional for the purpose of mountain biking. I do balance out some of the items by carrying some items in a small saddle-bag, but most of my stuff go in my bag.

In this article, we take a deeper look at some of the best backpack options and find out which of them could be right for you.

We have looked at multiple top-rated options and included a buyer’s guide that’ll help you find a different bike if needed.

The 5 Top Mountain Bike Backpack Options On The Market Today

Before we take the journey into some of the intricate features you should consider when shopping for a mountain bike backpack, I have selected 5 backpacks that I would short-list if I were shopping for a backpack.

These backpacks could make a difference to your trip and help you explore a little deeper. With that said, let’s jump right into the current best options on the market today:

Osprey Packs Raptor 14 Hydration Pack – Top Pick

Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack, Black, (Prior Season)
Click on image to go to Amazon
The Osprey Packs Raptor 14 Hydration Pack is the first to make it onto our list and it is also from an extremely reliable brand.

Available in 3 different colors, this backpack comes with a 3-liter bladder for those who need hydration. The reservoir can easily be accessed and has been zippered to make refills on the go easier.

With the front panel open, you will notice an immediate zippered organizer and this increases the volume to give you more storage space.

Atilon Foam technology has been used for the design to increase body movement and users also have a breathable belt for hot summer days. Additionally, you can attach your blinker to the bag for nights.

It is a little expensive for the bag, but since it is from an extremely reputable brand, one can look past that. The backpack comes with a tool pouch included and this can be used for all your mountain bike adjustment tools.

We recommend the backpack for the serious riders. It is worth noting that it also enables you to take off your helmet with the helmet strap.

Pros:
  • Available in 3 different colors
  • Comes with a 3-liter bladed
  • Atilon foam gives an ergonomic feel
  • Multiple mountain bike specifics included
Cons:
  • A little expensive, but worth it

Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack, Black, (Prior Season)
  • The front panel floating top pocket with a side zippered organizer pocket provides extra volume and organization when needed
  • Side compression straps stabilize loads while lower, cross functional compression straps also serve as external gear carry straps
  • Osprey's lid lock attachment easily and securely carries bicycle helmets
  • The blinker light attachment found near the base of the front panel of the pack allows for Quick light attachment for high visibility in the dark
  • A removable roll-out tool pouch is integrated into its own zippered lower pocket for Quick access. It provides tool organization for bike essentials

TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack

TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack; Free 2-Liter Hydration Bladder; For Backpacking, Hiking, Running, Cycling, and Climbing; Black
Click on image to go to Amazon

TETON is one of those brands we all have heard off in the outdoor world. However, the TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack is a multifunctional backpack that can be used for more than simply hiking.

It comes with an 18-liter size for all your equipment, but the additional 2-liter bladder is perfect for cyclists taking on longer rides.

The backpack itself has been constructed from honeycomb ripstop PU and it has immense durability while keeping the weight to a minimum of only 2-pounds.

The low-profile athletic cut is specifically designed for men and women, but the hip belt is also fully adjustable, making it comfortable for anyone with any body frame.

While it does come with a sewn in rain cover that can quickly be used in the wet weather, the hydration pack excels when looking at the bladder.

The bite-tube has a large 2-inch opening and this will allow small ice blocks to also pass through. Much like the others, this one is available in multiple colors to match your bike and outdoor style.

Since it is one of the more affordable backpacks on the market today, it is no secret that many people are loving it.

The only real downside is the bladder might be a little too small for those extensive trips. You will also have some peace of mind, as the backpack and the features like the zipper includes a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros:
  • Really affordable
  • Large 18-liter size
  • Ergonomic fit with multiple compression straps for adjustments
  • Sewn-in rain cover
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Cons:
  • The bladder might only last you one day

Sale
TETON Sports Oasis 1100 Hydration Pack; Free 2-Liter Hydration Bladder; For Backpacking, Hiking, Running, Cycling, and Climbing; Black
  • SATISFY YOUR THIRST FOR ADVENTURE: Lightweight and comfortable; This hydration pack is a terrific companion for all your day-long or overnight hydration needs; Size 1100 Cubic Inches (18 L)
  • FREE HYDRATION BLADDER: 2-Liter; Durable, kink-free sip tube and push-lock cushioned bite valve; Large 2-inch (5 cm) opening for ice and easy cleaning (may contain latex)
  • CUSTOMIZABLE COMFORT: Backpack for men, women, and youth; Adjusts to fit all frames comfortably; Notched foam stabilizer and mesh covering means you can wear this pack for hours
  • TRUSTED QUALITY: Over 1,000 verified 5-star reviews testifying to the quality and design; Large main pocket protects gear, clothes, and lunch; Bungee cord system for cycling and climbing helmets
  • TETON SPORTS PROMISE: Reach out to our AMAZING product support team if you have any questions or concerns; YOU CAN COUNT ON US to get you taken care of and back OUTDOORS with TETON Sports

Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack

Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack with 2L BPA Free Bladder - Keeps Liquid Cool up to 4 Hours – for Running, Hiking, Cycling, Camping (Blue)
Click on image to go to Amazon
If you have a couple of short-trip aspirations or challenges you would like to do, the Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack is one of the top options.

It is designed from top quality materials, but the food grade insulation is ideal for hot summer days. The 2-liter bladder that has been included will now actually keep your liquid cool as well.

3 massive compartments are found in the front pocket and this can easily be used for storing some clothing for the day.

It is available in 11 different colors and comes complete with an ergonomic fit that should work well for both men and women.

This backpack only weighs around 1.4-pounds when it has not been filled with water or gear.

The price also makes it special and since it is one of the most affordable options; it can be used by children tagging along as well.

Unfortunately, it still only features the 2-liter bladder and this might not be enough for your longer trips. We would recommend it for shorter trips and day trips, but it is ideal for your children as well.

Pros:
  • Lightweight at only 1.4-pounds
  • Food grade material construction
  • Available in 11 different colors
  • Really affordable
Cons:
  • The backpack is a little small

Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack Pack with 2L BPA Free Bladder - Keeps Liquid Cool up to 4 Hours – for Running, Hiking, Cycling, Camping (Blue)
  • 1.PERFECT SET - Included 70-Ounce (2 Liter) BPA FREE food grade hydration bladder, test report will be sent to your e-mail
  • 2.THERMAL INSULATION - With the insulated bladder compartment, your drink can be kept cool for up to 4 hours, that's cool!
  • 3.GOOD VOLUME - Includes 3 storage compartments that will fit your clothes, keys, purses, phones etc. the front stretch mesh pockets allows you to pack even more on your hike
  • 4.100% LEAKAGE PROOF DESIGN -The opening is large design, you will never be bothered to dry the bladder as the screw one, just bottom up, it will dry itself, with click in connection instead of traditional screw one, it will never get loose and causing leakage
  • PERFECT OUTDOOR GEAR: Padded shoulder straps, breathable system and lightweight design are the perfect tool for outdoor sports, Mubasel Gear offer 60 days 100% Satisfaction Guarantee of the pack and free replacement of the bladder.

Vibrelli Hydration Pack – Best Budget Buy

Vibrelli Hydration Pack & 2L Hydration Water Bladder - High Flow Bite Valve - Hydration Backpack with Storage - Lightweight Running Backpack, Also for Cycling, Hiking, Ski, Snow for Men, Women & Kids
Click on image to go to Amazon
The Vibrelli Hydration Pack is one of my favorites and this is not only because of the stylish look, but also the comfortable fit. It is perfect for those packing light and the bag features an empty weight of only 14-ounces. It also includes a 2-liter bladder with a high-flow valve to ensure that you are a cyclist are always hydrated.

As we have mentioned, the design is what makes it such a great buy. With numerous compartments, you can actually fill up the bag and it won’t look bulky.

It is also constructed from ripstop fabrics and this makes it tear resistant and water resistant. As for the straps, they have been made from bungee cord for storage of things like your helmets and other heavy add-ons.

After looking at numerous backpacks, this one is definitely the most affordable we could find with quality features.

The bladder is fully insulated, but 2-liters might not always cut it for everyone.

Unfortunately, the waist strap is a little short and this makes it a little harder to use by those who are overweight.

Pros:
  • Durable construction
  • Really affordable
  • Water and tear resistant
  • Insulated bladder
Cons:
  • Short waist strap is not for overweight riders

Vibrelli Hydration Pack & 2L Hydration Water Bladder - High Flow Bite Valve - Hydration Backpack with Storage - Lightweight Running Backpack, Also for Cycling, Hiking, Ski, Snow for Men, Women & Kids
  • HIGH FLOW BITE-VALVE: The ‘Easy-Twist’ mouthpiece doesn’t leak, water flows fast and won't drip on your shoulder when locked, making it an ideal cycling backpack and water backpack for running, skiing, snowboarding, and trail running
  • TASTE-FREE HYDRATION BLADDER: Made from medical grade materials, the water bladder is free from BPA and PVC. There's nothing worse than a plastic taste in your water, this bladder keeps your water tasting fresh, all day
  • MULTIPLE STORAGE OPTIONS: Vibrelli's hydration backpack has multiple pockets and intelligent storage options without being bulky
  • COMFORTABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT: weighing just 14oz (415g), this hydration pack is feather-light, streamlined, and easy to adjust, it's the perfect adult and kids hydration backpack as it adjusts to most body sizes
  • 100% SATISFACTION : This pack is built to last, which is why it’s backed with a 5-Year Manufacturer’s Replacement

Osprey Packs Talon 22 Backpack

Osprey Packs Talon 22 Men's Hiking Backpack, Medium/Large, Black
Click on image to go to Amazon
Last but certainly not least, we take another trip back to the Osprey brand. The Osprey Packs Talon 22 Backpack is a massive 22-liter backpack and it comes with a 3-liter external hydration sleeve that has also been insulated to ensure your liquid refreshments will remain cool on those hotter summer days outdoors.

What we like about this bag are the multiple storage features. Yes, you can easily store a lot of your clothing and even water, but the backpack also features a strap for your helmets or trekking poles on the outside.

The hip belt is fully expandable and will even accommodate some of the larger riders with comfort and it includes 2 waterproof pockets for your important tech equipment.

The back panel has also been designed with an accordion-like shape with mesh as the main material being used. This makes it easier for the air to ventilate through the backpack and keep you cool on warmer days.

The Biostretch technology might make the price a little expensive, but this is one of the main reasons for the ergonomic fit.

As for the price, this is an Osprey bag and they tend to be a little more expensive than some of the other brands. However, with all these top quality and excellent features, we would still recommend it to serious riders. It is also a great buy if you are an outdoor enthusiast and love to go on hiking trips.

Pros:
  • Ergonomic fit
  • 3-liter bladder
  • Multiple straps for equipment
  • Multifunctional design
  • Really durable
Cons:
  • A little expensive

Osprey Packs Talon 22 Men's Hiking Backpack, Medium/Large, Black
  • Dual-zippered access to main compartment
  • External hydration sleeve accommodates up to a 3L reservoir (sold separately)
  • Adjustable shoulder harness to dial in perfect fit
  • Stretch mesh pockets on both sides of pack provide convenient storage for bottles and smaller items.
  • Two zippered hipbelt pockets and LidLock helmet attachment

Which Backpack Would I Choose?

To be quite honest, all of these backpacks serve a specific purpose and are ranked really well amongst the elite mountain bikers.

However, the Osprey Packs Raptor 14 Hydration Pack is one of the very best on the market today. Not only is it lightweight, but the comfort feeling is excellent. I prefer choosing this one over all the others. However, it might be an expensive investment for the casual rider. If budget is a big factor, then the Vibrelli Hydration Pack is the backpack I would go for

Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack, Black, (Prior Season)
  • The front panel floating top pocket with a side zippered organizer pocket provides extra volume and organization when needed
  • Side compression straps stabilize loads while lower, cross functional compression straps also serve as external gear carry straps
  • Osprey's lid lock attachment easily and securely carries bicycle helmets
  • The blinker light attachment found near the base of the front panel of the pack allows for Quick light attachment for high visibility in the dark
  • A removable roll-out tool pouch is integrated into its own zippered lower pocket for Quick access. It provides tool organization for bike essentials

Key Features To Consider When Buying A New Mountain Bike Backpack

Like I said earlier, I tend to carry a lot of stuff with me when I go out on a trail. I also tend to ride in an environment that is tough on equipment (a hot sun, thorny trees, rain, wind…the list goes on!) and we all know when it comes to mountain biking, your equipment also needs to be able to take a good fall once in a while!

So when I look for a quality backup, there are a few things I keep in mind when assessing all the options available to me. Below, I list the key things I look for in a mountain bike backpack.

Size

The size will be one of the first things you need to look at when buying a new backpack. However, this will vary from person to person.

Depending on your trip, you might want to look into a larger size. We generally recommend 20-liters to be the largest any cyclist should go as this will still help you to retain balance on the bike.

You also need to look at the size of the bladder and if you plan to take longer trips, a 3-liter bladder should be the ideal option.

However, many people prefer the smaller 2-liter bladders for those day-trips, as it won’t put too much weight on the backpack.

Speaking of the bladder, having an insulated bladder means your liquid refreshments will also stay cooler for longer.

Storage

The storage compartments are what actually make the backpack and there is definitely a difference that the organizer makes. If your organizer can bend and mold to the shape of your equipment, it means the backpack won’t feel too bulky or out of shape. This will make a difference to ensure more balance on the bike and it looks better as well.

Additionally, the straps that are attached can play a huge role in helping you carry along your helmet when you feel like taking it off.

Should you be taking a longer trip, these straps can also help with things like sleeping bags and tents. However, it will make the bag a little more expensive to buy.

Fit

Comfort is something we all want when outdoors. Without it, a trip can feel like a drag and the backpack is where it all starts.

If you are looking for a good backpack, it should be ergonomic and mold to the shape of your body comfortably. A comfortable fit will also make the trip a little better, especially if you have some sort of ventilation.

Durability

Last but certainly not least, we have the durability factor to deal with. If you are mountain biking in extreme conditions, the backpack should at least be water resistant. Ripstop materials are a good choice for enhanced durability and they also make the backpack tear resistant.

Wrap-Up

The backpacks are available in a wide array of sizes and shapes and as we have mentioned, and finding the right one to fit your needs can be a challenge.

However, I believe that all these options deserve their rightful place on this list and we would definitely recommend everyone.

Now, it is your turn to let us know in the comment section which one you prefer and if we might have missed any of your favorites.

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