Selecting a Good Motorcycle Backpack

Rider with Backpack
Motorcycle backpacks have been around for a long time, but in recent there has been some pretty cool innovation on this front in both design, comfort and additional utility like safety. If you’re looking for a new backpack to wear while riding then you’re basically spoiled for choice. Here are a few pointers to consider when selecting a new bag:

1) What will you be using it for?

The first question you should ask is what exactly you need this bag for. If you’re a long distance or road trip rider then chances are you’ll need something that that’s very comfortable and can carry a larger payload. If you use your bike mainly to commute to work then you may be looking for something smaller that can double as a day-pack and maybe even look good when you carry it into meetings. Additional features like water resistance and compartments for your tolls of the trade, like a laptop could should be considered.

2) What are you riding?

Let’s face it, the big bulky bag that effectively “sits” on the passenger seat of your hog while you cruise the back roads is not the same one you want on your back when speeding down the highway on a crotch-rocket! For the latter, you’re probably looking for something with a slim profile and low drag.

3) Safety considerations.

As any rider will tel you, riding with a backpack changes your dynamic on the bike a little. Your center of gravity and balance may be influenced and your drag may increase depending on the size of the pack. Keep these things in mind when shopping for motorcycle backpacks. As always, safety comes first! There are some great high visibility motorcycle backpacks available nowadays and even some hard-shell packs that are impact resistant and can help protect your body in the unfortunate event of a crash or fall. These, while still practical backpacks double as additional safety devices and is well worth talking a look at.

4) What will you do with it off the bike?

Unfortunately, you will not be riding forever and it makes sense to keep in kind what you’ll be doing with the back once you get off the bike. Again, if you’re a cross-country rider, you may have to stow it with the bike while you catch some frosty adult beverages or haul it with you into a diner of motel. As mentioned before, if you’re a professional and use it to haul your laptop and carry it into meetings then finding a pack that looks neat and professional may be important.

5) What do you like?

You have to pick a bag you can live with. Find something that fits your style, sits comfortably on your body and appeals to you and the people you ride with! There are some reputable companies like High Sierra that manufacture backpacks that, while not strictly motorcycle backpacks, may serve your needs very well. this opens the scope of packs you can consider up quite substantially.

6) What can you afford?

Finally, and this obviously drives a lot of purchase decisions you have to pick something that works for your budget. Motorcycle backpacks range from $200 to $29 on That’s quite a difference and in many cases you get what you pay for. That beings said, there are some ridiculously overpriced bags on the market and it makes sense to read a few good backpack reviews to ensure you don’t buy something you’ll regret spending your money on in a few months.