The best motorcycle rucksacks

Carry even more on the move with a proper motorcycle rucksack.

A rucksack on a motorcyclist

by Jim Blackstock |

From time to time, you will need to carry some stuff with you on your bike, and one of the most convenient ways to do that is in a rucksack. It’s easy to get on and off, you can tailor the fit to get it just right for you, and there is a huge range of motorcycle rucksacks, from cheap to expensive and everything in between.

What to consider when buying a motorcycle rucksack

There are several factors to consider when you’re looking at a rucksack or backpack. One is the design of the section that sits against your back; more motorcycle rucksacks may have engineered sections here to help your back breathe when you’re wearing it.

Similarly, look at the straps and consider how they will fit you and your jacket. Broad-chested riders may find shoulder straps splay, so at least a small strap linking them, or a different design, may be better suited.

You may want a series of compartments in your motorcycle rucksack, for say, a laptop computer or other bits and pieces to keep them organised and if so, there are plenty of options for you. Similarly, consider the size – if you’re heading off for a weekend, you may want 25 litres or so for a night-away kit.

Also, consider weatherproofing; you probably want a waterproof bag, so think about the construction, the closure and any external zips. Consider whether you might want to mount the rucksack to the bike at some point (some have mounting straps available) and whether you might want to carry a helmet – some have expandable sections to allow this, though they can get a bit ungainly.

Here's a selection of the some of the best motorcycle rucksacks.

Related: Best Motorcycle Tank Bags

Not only does this rucksack get great reviews, but it's also Amazon's choice and it's easy to see

JDC 24 litre

Tested by Gareth Evans for six months, 3,000 miles
Quality 5/5, Value 5/5

RST Rucksack

For one reason or another I’ve been through three motorcycle rucksacks quite recently and this unassuming item from RST is by far the best of the bunch. For me and my lifestyle, it’s perfectly-sized, seriously comfortable, and practical. The 42.5-litre capacity features a laptop pocket, while a trio of zipped smaller pockets hold stuff like disc locks or earplugs. But it’s the thick, highly adjustable chest and waist straps and breathable back protection that make this bag a joy to use. Plus, it’s taken a battering over the last six months and remains in perfect nick. For the money, I can’t see how luggage gets any better than this.

Tested by Justin Hayzelden for 2 months, 1,000 miles
Quality 5/5, Value 5/5

QBag Waterproof Backpack 15

At less than the price of a full tank of petrol, this waterproof backpack from Q Bag is cheap, cheerful and surprisingly good. It’s essentially a dry bag, the kind of thing you’d lash to a canoe or stow on a yacht, adorned with a simple pair of adjustable shoulder straps. There’s a genuine 30 litre capacity to play with and it easily swallows a change of clothes for the office or gym, leaving plenty of room for a laptop, packed lunch and drink bottle.

The roll top closure has proved perfectly effective in keeping the wet out, even in the worst motorway spray, and I really like the fact that the tough ‘rubberised’ construction makes it easy to wipe clean. The additional waterproof zipped pouch is big enough for wallet, phone and a spare pair of gloves, whilst the mesh side pockets make a convenient space for carrying visor cleaning kit.

Tested by Ali Silcox for 18 months/2500 miles
Quality 5/5, Value 3/5

Alpinestars Sealed Sport Pack

For me, a rucksack should be practical, comfortable and fully waterproof. This 23-litre bag from Alpinestars meets all these requirements. With welded seams and a roll-top closure, the bag is split into two sections, with a specific, padded section to fit my laptop. There’s also a handy, fully waterproof outer pocket, perfect for keys. For comfort, there’s a back pad plus the shoulder straps are also padded. There’s an adjustable waist strap, along with a magnetic fastener at the sternum. After 18 months it shows no signs of wear and tear, plus it’s never let wet in. Quality is top notch, but it’s expensive compared to others.

Tested by Gareth Evans over one year, 3000 miles
Quality 4/5, Value 3/5

Oxford Heritage 30 Litre Backpack

This was my first foray into the world of more fashionable luggage, following a number of more functional items, and the moment I put it on I noticed the difference. This bag is seriously comfortable thanks to its padded shoulder straps, which can be connected via adjustable chest and waist straps to keep the bag in place while you’re riding. I was impressed with the quality of the materials too – both inside and out. The waterproof liner is removable in case you need to clean it, while there’s a laptop pocket and a good-sized main compartment for your odds and ends.

The outer shell is a soft water-repellent waxed cotton and canvas arrangement featuring an external zipped pocked with poppers on the front. The rolltop closing is secured at both sides by metal clips and adjustable ‘compression’ straps so you can tailor the bag’s capacity to the size of your luggage. The whole rolltop is then also secured using the two large metal buckles, which are my only real complaint with the design – they’re fiddly and never feel particularly secure. This is not a single point of failure though, as mentioned above, so I never felt concerned.

In fact, I never had a single problem with this bag. It was a brilliant companion for nights away or days out of the office with the laptop. The price is a little indulgent, but there are deals available right now if you shop around.

A fairly basic rucksack, but excellent value and completely waterproof, winning a Best Buy

Lomo Dry-bag

Kriega luggage is not cheap but it is excellent quality and this 30-litre rucksack is no

Kriega R30

Oxford produces different ranges of luggage, including heritage for retro style bikes and its

Oxford Aqua B25

This waterproof rucksack from SW-Motech is formed in PVC tarpaulin and features a handy external

SW-Motech Baracuda

The 16-litre capacity means that you won't be able to fit the kitchen sink into this messenger bag

Kriega Urban Shoulder Bag

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