A high-quality mountain bike backpack is essential gear for any rider hoping to enjoy their favorite trails or embark on an epic adventure. It gives you a home for all the essentials you’ll want with you on the ride.
While a lightweight pack may be fine for an easy ride, longer rides demand a pack that can haul all the crucial supplies without slowing you down.
Modern mountain bike backpacks are designed by riders, for riders, keeping the weight low while providing Room for plenty of gear. They know cyclists sweat, so they include built-in ventilation to keep you comfortable all day.
Beyond basic packability and breathability, the best mountain bike backpacks give you extra storage for last-minute gear, integrated pockets for tools and tubes, and straps to secure a helmet that won’t blow away on the descents.
Some backpacks even have padded straps or a removable lumbar pad for extra comfort.
We compared all the specifications, features, and user reviews, and personally tested the industry’s most acclaimed models to determine the ones that render superior performance, durability, and value across diverse conditions.
Then we hit the dirt ourselves with the top contenders to determine which features and designs actually made a difference over the miles.
Our goal was simple: provide recommendations you can trust, from fellow riders who know the joy of exploring new trails and the agony of a poorly fitting backpack.
We hope the results steer you toward a backpack that will become your faithful companion on many adventures to come.
Best Mountain Bike Backpacks (Reviewed)
Our carefully curated selection includes cycling backpacks that are not only high-performance and comfortable but also equipped with features tailored to the unique needs of cyclists, such as hydration systems, tool compartments, and adjustable straps.
We believe that selecting the right backpack can significantly enhance your riding experience.
If you have not yet determined your exact needs, we have included a comprehensive guide at the end of this article covering the key factors to consider when choosing a cycling backpack.
1. CamelBak M.U.L.E. Pro
- Capacity: 11 Liters
- Hydration: 3-Liter CRUX Reservoir
- Weight: Women’s: 1 lb 13 oz, Men’s: 1 lb 14 oz
- Fits Waist/hips: Women’s: 26”-46”, Men’s: 30”-50”
CamelBak, a leading producer of hydration equipment, crafted the M.U.L.E. Pro 14 Bike Hydration Backpack to meet the needs of devoted cyclists and outdoors enthusiasts.
This versatile and high-performance backpack fuses comfort, ample storage, and convenient hydration to enhance the cycling adventure.
The M.U.L.E. Pro 14 features a 3-liter Crux reservoir, delivering a generous flow of water with every sip. The thoughtfully ergonomic handle facilitates easy refilling, while leak-proof seals and hydro guard technology prevent bacterial overgrowth and leaks, keeping your drinkables pristine.
With a capacious 14-liter storage space, this backpack provides room enough for cycling essentials, tools, spare layers, nutritious snacks, and more.
Multiple pockets, mesh overlays, and exterior compartments enable logical packing and swift access when needed.
An innovative Air SupportTM Pro back panel maximizes breathability and solace during the ride. Weight-efficient, breathable fabrics and strategic padding reduce perspiration and prevent chafing, while an adjustable sternum strap secures the ideal fit.
An integrated tool roll simplifies transporting essential bike tools, compartmentalized for logical organization and accessibility when needed.
The dedicated helmet and body armor carry solutions securely accommodate a helmet and varying armor sizes, safeguarding equipment.
Reflective accents and a light loop improve low-light visibility and night riding safety, ensuring a convenient cycling experience.
The CamelBak M.U.L.E. Pro 14 Bike Hydration Backpack delivers a dependable and efficient hydration solution for dedicated cyclists.
With an ample 3L reservoir, generous 14L capacity, and ergonomic design, it suits any ride, from a short spin to an epic adventure.
Additional features including integrated tool carriage and a helmet carry further strengthen its position as a premier choice for cycling devotees.
- Great organization
- Best ventilation
- Back protector is extra
- Back protector stiffens pack
2. Osprey Raptor 14 Men’s Bike Hydration Backpack
- Capacity: 14 Liters (10 L also available)
- Hydration: 2.5 Liter Hydraulics LT by Hydrapack
- Weight: Men’s: 1 lb 12 oz, Women’s: 1 lb 10 oz
- Fits Waist/hips: 25-50″
The Osprey Raptor and Raven backpacks represent two of the premier options for mountain biking enthusiasts seeking a high-performance yet versatile backpack.
Specifically designed for men and women respectively, these backpacks deliver features and functionality that facilitate an enhanced experience on the trail.
One of the most notable characteristics of these backpacks is their innovative hydration system. Each model includes a 2.5-liter hydration reservoir that is expedient to fill and sanitize.
The reservoir is ergonomically positioned to remain easily accessible during riding, allowing hydration without dismounting.
Additionally, the Osprey Raptor and Raven backpacks boast a series of organizational pockets and compartments optimized for gear management and quick access, including a tool pocket, stretch front pocket, and padded sleeves for eyewear and electronics.
Essentials remain securely stowed yet within ready reach throughout the excursion.
Osprey’s AirScape suspension and BioStretch harness system provide exceptional comfort and support suited for multi-hour treks.
The suspension includes breathable mesh construction while the harness offers a modular design and range of adjustability to suit diverse body types.
Beyond features, the Osprey Raptor and Raven backpacks are constructed from high-performance, durable materials and reinforced with rugged seams and high-grade zippers. Their build quality ensures longevity in the face of frequent use and exposure.
In summary, the Osprey Raptor and Raven backpacks represent a pinnacle of performance, comfort, functionality, and toughness in mountain bike backpacks.
Boasting innovative hydration, comprehensive organization, ergonomic harnesses, and durable build, these packs successfully optimize enjoyment, endurance, and experience on the trail across gender. For the discerning rider, the choice is clear.
- Osprey has a lifetime warranty program
- Great organization
- Good color options
- More expensive than M.U.L.E. Pro
- No space for a back protector
- Noticed plastic taste when drinking water from the hydration bladder
3. POC Column VPD Backpack
- Capacity: 8 Liters
- Hydration: Not included, up to 3 liters
- Weight: 1 lb 8 oz.
- Fits Waist/hips: N/A
- Versions: Also available in a 13L version
The POC Column VPD backpack is a lightweight and eco-friendly backpack crafted from recycled materials. It has a distinctive vest-like design that lacks a waist belt, making it ideal for quick rides and meal stops but possibly not extended adventures.
We tested this backpack on local mountain bike trails in Colorado’s Front Range and found that despite the lack of a waist belt, the pack stayed securely in place thanks to the padded shoulder straps and sternum strap.
The straps’ adjustability proved crucial for comfort, with some stretch built into the sternum strap that allowed for comfortable breathing even when tightened. This flexible feature was especially helpful at higher elevations.
The main compartment offers built-in organization with six segmented pockets perfect for snacks, wallets, cash, cards, or basic tools. There are also two zippered pockets on the front for gels, snacks, sunglasses, or other small items you want within easy reach.
Several more pockets on the straps and a long tunnel pocket provide extra storage for tubes, tools, or whatever else you might need.
Ventilation panels on the straps and back help prevent overheating, though they likely won’t keep you fully dry on long, sweaty rides.
A hydration sleeve fits bladders up to three liters, though the pack does not come with one—some may see this as a pro or con depending on your hydration system of choice.
Reviews of the POC Column VPD backpack have been quite positive, with many praising POC’s focus on safety and quality. As one reviewer noted, “POC puts serious thought and resources into designing gear like helmets that could literally save lives.
Their POC Column VPD backpack is no different. With a padded, flexible back panel, this pack can help cushion your spine if you take a spill.”
Overall, the POC Column VPD backpack seems ideally suited for shorter rides and lunch stops but may lack ventilation, storage, and convenience for longer adventures.
With its emphasis on safety, organization, and adjustability, however, it earns high marks as an eco-friendly and protective day pack for mountain biking.
- Comes with a back protector
- Doesn’t come with a bladder
- limited space/gear organization
4. Osprey Salida 8
- Capacity: 8 Liters
- Hydration: 2.5 Liter Hydraulics LT by Hydrapack
- Weight: Women’s: 1 lb 1 oz, Men’s: 1 lb 3oz
- Fits Waist/hips: N/A
- Versions: Both are available in 12-liter volumes as well.
The Osprey Salida 8 and Siskin 8 backpacks have rightfully earned their place as top choices for compact mountain bike packs. For riders seeking a lightweight yet fully-featured option to handle a full day on the trails, these backpacks deliver.
Osprey’s expertise in pack design and organization is on full display here. Pockets of all sizes, from mesh sleeves to cavernous holdalls, provide space for all the essentials with not an inch to spare.
Want to stash tools or knee pads? The side pockets got you covered. Need a spot for glasses, keys, a snack, or your phone? The Salida and Siskin have pockets for days.
Beyond capacity, Osprey fitted these packs with their Airscape ventilation for a cool, dry ride and LidLock gears for securing your helmet, pack, and hydration.
The magnets even keep your hose out of the way when fastening that Hydrapak bite valve—although the Salida’s may require some extra finesse.
For the money and mission, these packs thrill. Owners report years of faithful service, from bike packing adventures to everyday commutes and dirt jumps in between. Memorable moments and miles have been logged in these bags, a testament to their toughness and talent.
At the end of the day, whether you’re chasing KOMs or exploring new trails, the Osprey Salida 8 and Siskin 8 deliver peace of mind.
They get you where you’re going with style and without hassle. For the rider on the go, these packs are perfect pocket-sized companions on any adventure.
Through pockets and features galore, airflow, and organization, these packs make miles go by in a flash.
For the mountain biker seeking pack bliss, the Osprey Salida 8 and Siskin 8 wield a mighty compelling case. Who’s with me for the next ride?
- Great organization for small pack
- Water kept in the bladder could have a plastic taste.
5. Gregory Mountain Endo 15 Backpack
- Capacity: 15 Liters
- Hydration: 3 Liters
- Weight: Women’s: 1 lb 14 oz, Men’s: 2 lbs
- Fits Waist/hips: Women’s: 27″-45″, Men’s: 28”-48”
- Versions: Both men’s and women’s versions also come in a 10-liter model
The Gregory Mountain Products Endo 15 Liter Backpack is a high-performance hydration pack designed for ambitious hikers, backpackers, and cyclists. It provides extensive cargo capability, ergonomic comfort, and rugged durability.
The Endo 15 Pack features a breathable suspension back panel with mesh panels that keep the back cool and dry. An adjustable contoured waist belt with zippered pockets distributes weight precisely.
A dedicated hydration sleeve with a SpeedClip cage provides swift access to the 3-liter HydroStretch reservoir. This flexible reservoir employs a quick-drying material and integrated hanger for convenience. The hydration valve includes a magnetic lid for simple storage while rehydrating.
Additional compartments offer ample storage for essential tools and gear. A detachable tool pocket includes an internal pocket, ideally suited for stowing a mini air pump, patches, multi-tool, or other accessories. Mesh pockets and straps accommodate jackets, packs, or other cargo.
The 15-liter capacity and 2.03 lb weight ensure efficient hauling for ambitious itineraries.
Reviews and testing establish the Endo 15 Pack as a premier choice for backcountry expeditions, multi-day excursions, and undertaking moderately technical terrain.
Highlights include the impressive storage, ergonomic harness, suspend straps, and utility, concluding it outpunches competitors considering the offering and outlay.
For ambitious hiking and cycling over varied terrain, the Endo 15 Pack provides a professional and capable transportation solution at an attractive price point. Adventurous travelers gain a trusted and reliable partner for exploration and adventure.
- Most adjustable fit
- Extra features and details
- Fiddly bite valve lock
6. CamelBak Chase Bike Vest 50oz
- Capacity: 2.5 liters
- Hydration: 1.5 Liters
- Weight: Women’s and Men’s: 10 oz
- Fits Waist/hips: N/A, no waist strap
- Versions: Women’s and men’s
The CamelBak Chase Bike Vest 50oz is a premium hydration pack engineered for ambitious cyclists. It delivers extensive on-bike storage, ergonomic comfort, and durable performance.
Broad shoulder straps with padded grab straps stow essential gear like optics, tools, or nutrition with ease. Dual sternum straps distribute weight precisely across the shoulders and chest for optimal balance and security through strenuous riding.
The 2L Crux hydration bladder provides ample hydration for extended riding and includes a lockable bite valve for convenient mouthpiece access while cycling.
Though redesigned, the Chase Vest retains hallmark features including a hydration sleeve and 6L cargo capacity.
An optimized layout offers two zippered pockets and an elastic overflow pocket, ideal for stowing essential tools, a lightweight weather jacket, or other accessories. Items remain accessible yet securely held in place.
The minimal size and weight of the Chase Vest allow riders to carry all vital equipment without excess bulk, instability, or distraction. It remains poised, stable, and highly grippy across diverse terrain from mellow dirt to technical rock.
Professionals and serious cyclists rely upon the Chase Vest for high-performance adventures. Highlights encompass innovative design, superior comfort, impressive capacity, and durable construction, concluding it outperforms comparable products considering specifications and value.
For ambitious exploration and cycling destinations, the Chase Vest facilitates riding without limitations as a lightweight yet rugged hydration solution. Optimized yet understated, protective yet breathable, the Chase Vest enables focus on the ride ahead.
- Impressive organization in small package
- Small hydration bladder, not big enough for winter rides and equipment
7. Hydro Pro 3 + 1.5l Bladder
- Gear capacity: 1.5L & 3L
- Liquid capacity: 1.5L
- Reservoir included? Yes
The Evoc Hydro Pro 3L + 1.5L Bladder is a premium hydration pack engineered for high-performance mountain biking. It delivers optimal hydration, ergonomic comfort, and durable functionality.
The lightweight yet durable design maintains a stable and secure fit during technical descending without constricting jersey pockets. An easy-access main compartment houses a 1.5L hydration bladder, smaller essentials, and valuables with quick retrieval.
Mesh-covered shoulder straps include two 150ml pockets to keep energy and nutrition fuels within easy reach throughout the arduous riding.
Zippered pockets underneath the mesh pouches accommodate mini tools, a mobile device, or other small accessories.
Lateral AIRO FLEX panels keep the pack snug against the body while still breathable, preventing unwanted movement across rough or technical terrain.
The EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3L also provides an excellent balance of comfort, performance, and storage. A rapid-fill hydration system with seamless bladder insertion and removal simplifies filling, drinking, and cleaning.
In addition to the hydration chamber, the pack includes dual side bottle pockets. Hydration options include bladder or bottles.
The Hip Pack Pro offers ample storage for sustenance, equipment, and essential tools for prolonged backcountry riding.
For long-distance exploration and high-exertion mountain biking, the Hydro Pro 3L and Hip Pack Pro 3L facilitate uninterrupted riding as premium yet lightweight hydration solutions.
Optimized yet understated, protective yet breathable, these packs enable focus on the ride ahead.
- Fits close to the body
- sleek design
- Not great airflow or ventilation across the back
- may not work for smaller women
8. USWE MTB Hydro Hydration Pack
- Gear capacity: 3L, 8L, 12L
- Liquid capacity: 2L – 3L
- Reservoir included? Yes
The USWE MTB Hydro Hydration Pack line comprises lightweight yet durable hydration backpacks engineered for mountain biking and gravel cycling.
A bounce-free harness system provides a stable, secure, and ergonomic fit across demanding terrain. A magnetic clip secures the hydration tube for expedient access during rigorous riding.
Each hydration bladder includes a plug-and-play coupling for rapid filling, drinking, and cleaning. The collection consists of three optimized versions tailored to different riding profiles.
The 3L version offers minimal storage and a 2L hydration chamber, expanding cargo capacity with an external detachable organizer pocket. This lightweight yet capable pack suits shorter rides and training.
The 8L mid-volume version incorporates a smart helmet carry system, external straps for securing extra gear, and a 3L hydration bladder. Additional storage and gear mounts accommodate more prolonged adventures and heavier loads.
The 12L large-capacity version features multiple zippered organizer pockets, dual external straps, and a 3L hydration bladder. Substantial and versatile storage enables packing any backcountry excursion.
Ventilated, breathable shoulder straps and an air-vented back panel provide comfort across exertion levels. Reflective details enhance low-light visibility for navigating technical trails.
For ambitious trail riding, multi-day touring, or laden gravel grinding, the MTB Hydro Hydration Packs maximize freedom and performance as premium hydration solutions. Versatile yet optimized, protective yet breathable, these packs support pushing limits on the journey ahead.
- The No Dancing Monkey’s Harness that minimizes bounce
- May not work for women with larger chests
9. Osprey Packs Mira Backpack
- Gear capacity: 22/24L & 32/34L
- Liquid capacity: 2.5L
- Reservoir included? Yes
The Osprey Packs Mira Backpack line comprises premium technical hydration packs engineered for women’s multi-day hiking and backcountry adventures.
A fully integrated mesh back panel and ergonomic, padded contoured hip belt provide exceptional comfort and breathability, even in demanding conditions.
The Mira 22 offers 22L of storage capacity and includes a 2.5L Hydraulics LT hydration reservoir, suited for training days or shorter excursions.
The Mira 32 features 32L of capacity and a 3L Hydraulics LT hydration chamber for extended exploration.
The Mira 34 provides 34L of storage and a 2.5L Hydraulics LT hydration bladder, balancing payload and lightweight performance.
Each version offers a highly adjustable, ventilated harness and harness, a U-shaped main compartment with multiple pockets, and reflective details for enhanced visibility.
For multi-day backcountry hiking, climbing, and camping, the Mira Backpacks maximize capability and comfort as premium technical hydration solutions.
Proprietary ergonomics, specialized features, and high-performance breathable materials keep the body fueled for the challenges ahead.
The Mira 32 and 34 suit heavier loads and longer trips, while the 22 remains suitable for training and shorter excursions. Versatile yet optimized, protective yet breathable, these packs keep adventures moving at any pace.
- Very comfortable even when packed with gear
10. Osprey Kitsuma 7
- Gear capacity: 1.5L, 3L, & 7L
- Liquid capacity: 1.5L – 2.5L
- Reservoir included? Yes
The Osprey Kitsuma 7 is a premium women’s-specific hydration pack engineered for mountain biking.
It accommodates a 2.5L Hydraulics hydration reservoir, keeping riders fueled for rigorous riding, and features ample, versatile storage for essential gear without excess bulk.
The streamlined and minimal design offers flexibility to carry specialized tools and layers without constraint.
A large vertical-zip front compartment stows a spare tube, multi-tool, lightweight windbreaker, and other key items.
The AirScape suspension back panel delivers exceptional breathability via vented foam panels and a central air channel, wicking away heat and moisture.
A lightweight yet supportive harness with softly contoured edges offers an unparalleled level of comfort, distributing weight for a poised and stable ride that feels barely perceptible during effort.
For strenuous all-mountain riding, trail riding, and backpacking, the Kitsuma 7 maximizes endurance, capability, and solace as a premium women’s mountain bike hydration solution.
Versatile, multifunctional storage and a suspended breathable back panel keep riders cooler, while a supportive harness prevents excess sway—even over rough descents.
Lightweight yet protective, the Kitsuma 7 seamlessly integrates performance, comfort, and carrying capacity for any terrain or trail.
- Super simple
- lightweight design
- No 3D mesh back panel like other Osprey packs
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Mountain Bike Backpack
Choosing an optimal mountain biking hydration backpack depends on several key factors.
Select a capacity suitable for ride duration and optionality. Minimalist packs provide 10-20L for short rides while larger packs offer 30L+ for multi-day adventures. For backpacking or trail building, larger volumes with extra straps accommodate heavier loads.
Daypacks balance capacity and minimization. 10-20L daypacks hold essentials for full-day riding with pockets and features for organization and tool carry. Excellent for the trail, all-mountain, or bike packing.
Under 10L packs minimize weight for speed, enduro, or downhill. Minimal features focusing performance over features.
Low-profile vests provide hydration and gear access with minimal bulk, ideal for short rides or hot weather. Typical 5L capacity.
Packs include 1-3L hydration reservoirs with a hose and bite valve for hands-free access. Some feature external pockets or straps for bottles. Hydration is essential for prolonged riding.
Packs accommodate different anatomies with multiple sizes, adjustable designs, or women’s specific shapes and ergonomics. Fit impacts comfort, performance, and security.
Some packs allow cinching straps or buckles to precisely and repeatedly achieve optimal fit. Crucial for riding different mounts or evolving fitness.
Versatile packs suitable for mountain biking, hiking, snow sports, commuting, or travel. Some specialized for activities like trail building, backpacking, or ease of don/doff.
Mesh panels, foam pads or air channels enhance breathability and prevent overheating. Ventilation reduces sweat and keeps riders cooler and more comfortable.
Padded shoulder straps, chest straps, hip belts, and compression straps distribute weight and securely connect the pack. Adjust straps dial in performance-focused or all-day comfort.
Zippers, pockets, dividers, clips, hooks, and loops keep essential and specialized gear organized, accessible, and untangled. Reflect on your gear and how you ride.
Consider rain covers, reflective details, whistle buckles, hydration locks, hose clips, glasses pockets, tool straps, shovel straps, or armor pads based on conditions and needs.
For aggressive riding, a rigid or padded back panel protects the spine from impacts during a fall or crash. A must-have for protection from injury.
Selecting a high-performance yet versatile mountain biking hydration backpack depends on prioritizing factors that suit riding objectives, skills, conditions, load carried, and personal preferences.
The optimal pack enhances comfort, security, accessibility, and protection over any terrain or trail. Compare specifications and reviews to determine which pack partners your adventures.
Read Also: Best Mountain Bike Derailleur
What Gear to Bring in a Mountain Biking Backpack
Assembling an optimal gear loadout for mountain biking depends on preparing for any conditions or issues that may arise during your ride.
Whether undertaking a short training ride or a multi-day adventure, essential supplies keep riders fueled, maintained, and protected.
Sustained high-exertion activity demands consistent hydration. Choose a hydration pack or hip pack based on ride duration to provide water access during riding.
Packs include anti-leak bladders or bottle mounts while hip packs prioritize minimalism. Hydration prevents dehydration, overheating, and impaired performance or judgment.
Mechanical issues can strike at any time on the trail. A repair kit stocks critical tools, parts, patches, and supplies to resolve problems and continue riding.
Include a spare inner tube, patch kit, tire levers, multi-tool with a chain breaker, quick links, lubricant, spokes, cables, nuts, bolts, and duct tape. Limit downtime and get back to riding.
Accidents happen, so essential first aid supplies treat minor injuries or prevent worsening.
Bandages, gauze, antiseptic, ointment, painkillers, anti-inflammatories, tweezers, scissors, whistle, sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellant, and chamois cream provide relief or prevent infection. Be prepared for any medical emergency.
Mountain biking requires sustained, high-energy output. Calorie- and carbohydrate-dense snacks replenish depleted energy stores.
Include energy/protein bars, gels, chews, nuts, dried fruit, jerky, chocolate, and electrolyte drinks/tablets. Prevent bonking or dangerous oxygen debt. Hydrate and fuel for optimized performance and endurance.
Protect joints from impact forces that can lead to injury, especially over rough or technical terrain. Knee pads, elbow pads, shin guards, and upper body armor add an extra level of safety.
Full-face helmets prevent more serious head and neck injuries if you take a tumble. Protect your body, especially when pushing limits.
conditions change quickly during long rides, so pack for any weather or temperature. Cycling jersey/top, shorts/tights, socks, gloves, glasses, rain jacket, insulation layers, buff, and bandana prevent overheating or exposure.
Additional layers provide versatility and stop unexpected issues from impacting your ride prematurely. Staying dry, warm, and protected impacts comfort, safety, and ability.
By prioritizing essentials, the right gear allows riders to push limits and embrace any challenge that comes their way. An optimized loadout delivers confidence and safety—come rain or technical rocks.
Compare specifications and experiences to determine what provides performance, protection, sustainability, and comfort on your trails. Enjoy your ride!