The MTB backpack
Find your ideal companion for your mountain adventures
For many, there is no more fulfilling activity than exploring nature on a mountain bike. Pure freedom. But there are a few things you still need to pack for these extended excursions... a puncture kit will save you from a flat tire, food and water will keep you fit and, depending on the weather, a rain jacket in your luggage is not a bad idea. The easiest way to stow this equipment is in a backpack, or rather in a specially designed mountain bike backpack. In this blog post you can find out how to pack it best, which one suits you best and which models the bucycle team would recommend.
1. what is MTB backpack?
A MTB backpack meets special criteria: It does not restrict cyclists in their freedom of movement, nor does it slide back and forth on the back. Robust material withstands the conditions of rapid rides through dense nature and weather turns and extra padding on the back and shoulder protect in case of falls and provide additional comfort. And the storage space for the necessary equipment, as well as a helmet holder are of course also present.
2. how big must be a MTB backpack?
For the different needs of riders there are different types of MTB backpacks. Most standard models offer storage space for a hydration bladder, clothing, food and tools, but how big do they really need to be?
This depends mainly on the length of your planned tour. For day trips, backpacks with a volume of about 14 to 20 liters are usually sufficient, for several days, backpacks with a volume of about 30 liters are worthwhile. Whoever plans an alpine cross or similar extensive tours, should not choose too large a backpack to save weight and also really pack only the bare essentials.
However, it is and remains important that the backpack fits your torso length and also sits comfortably when you try it on.
3. what do you pack in a MTB backpack?
To be able to drink quickly and easily during the ride, it is best to take a hydration bladder with you. Tools and repair accessories are also important, i.e. a multitool, an air pump, repair kit and spare tube. To stay fit, you should have enough food with you and, just in case, a first aid kit and protective equipment in the form of knee and elbow pads. For navigation and accessibility we recommend your smartphone and powerbank, and to avoid getting wet because of rain or sweat, we also recommend packing a rain suit and a change of clothes. If you are traveling for several days, you may need camping equipment such as a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad, but you should still be careful that the weight carried on your back is not too much. If you are planning a longer tour, then it is definitely worth a look at our bikepacking article.
In general, however, the heaviest equipment should be stowed as far at the bottom as possible, lighter utensils are then packed on top. Things attached to the outside of the backpack are more likely to get in the way during the trip, so pack everything in and not on top of your backpack.
5. how to properly adjust the MTB backpack?
If the backpack is adjustable in the back section, you should set the appropriate length here. Next, tighten the hip belt so that the majority of the weight of the backpack is supported by your hips. Only then come the shoulder and chest straps for additional stability.
6. what are the alternatives to the MTB backpack?
So-called hip bags have gained great popularity in recent years. These bags are, as the name suggests, worn on the hip and thus allow complete freedom of movement of the upper body. However, hipbags have significantly less packing volume and only fit some tools, small snacks or a thin jacket, but still offer possibilities to attach hydration bladders. Hipbags are more worthwhile for short tours of a few hours, who is on the road longer, should stay with the backpack or take the plunge into bikepacking. After all, there are also frame, handlebar and saddle bags specially designed for this purpose, even if they are less suitable for pure MTB tours due to their bulkiness.
7. what is the best MTB backpack?
The buycycle team has done some research and tested the market so that you don't have to. Here we present the most popular models, sorted by increasing capacity.
Deuter Race AirWith 10 liters of storage space and a weight of 800 grams, this backpack is a good and affordable starter option. For about 50 € it can be purchased and convinces with robust material, sleek look including reflectors, as well as practical interior compartments and side pockets.
Ergon BX2 Evo: This rather tight-fitting daypack offers back adjustment in four different lengths. It contains a packing volume of 11.5 liters and weighs about 833 grams. In addition to the main compartment, there is an extra hydration bladder compartment, a rain cover and compartments for small items. You can find it for around 70€.
Camelbak M.U.L.E. Pro: With a pack volume of 14 liters and 845 grams of weight, it is relatively small and narrow, so ideal for day trips with compact and malleable equipment. It costs about 100€ and comes with a small pouch to store small tools or spare parts, as well as a hydration bladder.
Evoc Ride 12: With a weight of 552 grams, it is the lightest, but still offers 12 liters of storage space, practical internal compartments, including one for goggles, and a hydration bladder holder. An extra-wide hip belt brings high wearing comfort and the helmet holder provides storage space for additional equipment. The Evoc Ride is also available in two other sizes (8 and 16 liters) and you can choose between six different colors.
Osprey Syncro 20: This multisport backpack holds 20 liters and weighs 818 grams. The many compartments (a slide-in compartment made of stretchy material, an organizational compartment behind it, the large main compartment, an electronics compartment, a hydration bladder compartment, and the compartments on the hip belt and sides) offer enough choice to organize your luggage sensibly. In addition, you get a helmet holder, an integrated rain cover and comfortable hip belts.
Deuter Flyt 20: The very robust and waterproof backpack is extra safe thanks to the integrated protector plate. It offers fastening straps, a pack volume of 20 liters and is available at 1180 grams for around 100€.
Vaude bike Alpine: At 1100 grams in weight, the bike Alpine offers 30 liters of storage space. A tool compartment and other versatile storage options, a helmet holder, an outlet for a hydration system, and many other gadgets make for an all-rounder backpack that is also suitable for alpine cross. It costs around 70€.
Deuter Trans Alpine 32: Ideal for an alpine cross is the Deuter Trans Alpine. The backpack offers a lot of comfort, weighs 1260 grams, has a volume of 32 liters and costs around 100 €. Helmet holder, pump compartment and Airstripes on the back are among many other points to the backpack. There is the backpack also in extra long, so it fits even tall people.
If you still have questions about the perfect MTB backpack or about the topic of bicycles, then you can continue to look around on the blog or contact our team. And a look at bucycyle.com is worthwhile anyway, after all, nowhere else is it so safe, fast and easy to buy or sell high-quality second-hand bikes. Take a look around and perhaps you find the bike of your dreams. Or you can make this find possible for someone else by offering your bike for sale. Either way, we wish you, as always: Happy browsing, happy cycling.
The ideal MTB backpack | buycycle
Exploring nature on a mountain bike is considered by many to be a successful leisure activity. The right equipment is especially important in the terrain. Especially on trail descents, protectors can become important. Knee and elbow pads are usually too warm to wear while riding uphill. In addition, they usually need a lot of space. In the backpack they can be stowed until the trail start. On trails with lots of debris, flat tires are common. An air pump, repair kit and a new tube help to quickly roll on again. To supply the body with energy, food in the form of fruit, snacks or protein bars is essential. Depending on the excursion, a change of clothes or a rain jacket can become important. All this finds space in the mountain bike backpack. Many models offer additional protection through an integrated back protector. There are some special features that distinguish a bike backpack from hiking or everyday backpacks. Here you will find valuable tips for buying, alternatives to the backpack, as well as popular models from proven manufacturers.
What is a MTB backpack?
A MTB backpack should meet specific criteria. In the terrain it is important that the backpack does not slip on the back despite bumpy paths and fits close to the body. At the same time, it needs storage space for the necessary equipment. The ideal MTB backpack does not restrict the cyclist's freedom of movement. Some cyclists prefer additional integrated back protection in the backpack to protect themselves better in case of falls. In addition, a robust material is important so that grazing branches and possible falls do not damage the backpack. Also, the backpack should be able to withstand various weather conditions. There are backpacks that are waterproof or water repellent. Many backpacks carry their own rain cover, which can be pulled over if necessary. This is usually located in a small compartment at the bottom of the backpack. A bike backpack is usually narrower than hiking backpacks.
On the bike you adopt a bent body posture. This places different demands on a backpack. When walking upright or in everyday life, a wide hip belt makes sense. Here the weight of the luggage can be supported. If you sit on a mountain bike, there is less room at the hip for a belt. In the MTB backpack, the hip belt therefore turns out differently. Also the chest strap is usually narrow, but robust. The two straps are important to fix the backpack to the body and to shift the weight. Even in rough terrain and trail descents, the backpack stays where it belongs. Cycling off-road is usually associated with great effort. MTB backpacks therefore provide good ventilation so that the support of the backpack on the back is not uncomfortable. This does not rely on the common ventilation nets as in the hiking backpack. Instead, MTB backpacks have padding and constructions with air channels.
Bike backpacks are well padded on the shoulders and back. Especially when jumping or in uneven terrain, the straps of the backpack could quickly become unpleasanteh. Tools and repair accessories usually find space in MTB backpacks in a designated pocket. In an emergency, these utensils are quickly accessible and collected stowed in one place. In the event of a flat tire or other problem can be acted so quickly. Most MTB backpacks include a helmet holder. There are also special women's models of MTB backpacks. They are adapted to the female body proportions by, for example, waisted straps. In addition, they usually have smaller back sections. MTB backpacks are also suitable for e-bikes. There are models with an extra battery compartment.
How big must be a MTB backpack?
Among MTB backpacks there are differences. Particularly lightweight backpacks are designed to carry only the bare essentials. Hydration backpacks are mainly designed to transport hydration bladders. Standard models offer storage space for a hydration bladder, clothing, food and tools including repair accessories. A protector backpack also has an integrated back protector that can help in the event of a fall. Even without an integrated protector, conventional backpacks offer some protection, as they prevent an impact on the free back. Which size makes sense depends primarily on the length of the planned tour. For day trips, backpacks with a volume of about 14 to 20 liters are usually sufficient. If you are traveling for several days, backpacks with a volume of about 30 liters are worthwhile. For special projects such as an alpine cross, it is important not to choose a backpack that is too large. A lot of space quickly tempts you to pack equipment that is superfluous. This can lead to very high weight, which must be transported on the shoulders. Nevertheless, a backpack with a packing volume of about 35 liters is recommended for such tours. If you often ride with a backpack that is too large and you do not fill it up completely, you have to risk losses in driving dynamics. Since different manufacturers bring different models on the market, it is important to try on backpacks before the final purchase. The backpack must fit the length of the torso. Some backpack models have a back section adjustable in length.
What do you pack in a MTB backpack?
To be able to drink quickly and easily, it is common to carry a hydration bladder in the backpack. MTB backpacks, like many other hiking backpacks, also offer a holder on the straps for the drinking tube. During the ride can be drunk so without having to turn on a bottle. Tools and repair accessories are also important. Common tool is a so-called multitool. In addition, an air pump, patch kit and spare tube are important to get the bike quickly ready for use again in an emergency. In addition, food and water are indispensable. Since there is an increased risk of falling on trail descents, it is advisable to carry a first aid kit. Especially in the bike park or on rough trails, protective equipment such as knee and elbow pads, and possibly a full-face helmet should be carried. To be prepared for changing weather, a rain jacket is worthwhile. A change of clothes is important to be able to change sweaty clothing during a break. For trips lasting several days, camping utensils such as a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad may be needed, as well as additional clothing. However, the weight carried on the back should not become too high, because it can eat a lot of energy while cycling. In addition, there is a certain packing technique to be able to ride as balanced as possible. The heaviest equipment should be stowed on the bottom of the backpack for this purpose. Lighter utensils are packed on top. The center of gravity should therefore be as far down as possible in the backpack. Things attached to the outside of the backpack are more likely to interfere with the ride. They can get caught on branches in forests or dangle around annoyingly. For tours in the mountains, a map, a navigation device or a smartphone with appropriate apps can be worthwhile. In an emergency, a power bank should be carried for this purpose.
How to properly adjust the MTB backpack?
If the backpack is adjustable in length in the back section, the appropriate length should be set here. Then pull the backpack onto the shoulders and leave the shoulder straps long. The hip belt is adjusted next. It should be tightened over the hip bones so that the majority of the backpack's weight is supported by the hips. Next, the shoulder straps are tightened. Finally, the chest strap can be adjusted in height and closed. It provides additional stability of the backpack on the upper body.
What are the alternatives to the MTB backpack?
So-called hip bags have gained great popularity in recent years. As the name suggests, this is a bag that is worn on the hip. Their advantage is that the complete freedom of movement of the upper body remains. With MTB backpacks, you quickly feel restricted. However, hip bags have significantly less packing volume. Only tools, small snacks, a thin jacket or similar small accessories can be stowed in it. Hipbags, also hip bags, can carry various hydration systems. Some hipbacks offer additional holders for water bottles. There are likewise hipbags, in which drinking bladders find place. It is probably more worthwhile to attach a bottle holder to bike . Hipbags are worthwhile for short trips of a few hours. Longer trips usually require more equipment, which can be accommodated in a larger bag. In addition to hipbags, equipment can also be carried directly on the bike. Many manufacturers produce saddle bags, handlebar bags and frame bags. In them, everything necessary for a bike tour can be stowed. For mountain bike tours, the bike bags are only suitable to a limited extent. Especially on unpaved roads they can be annoying. If the bags are attached incorrectly, there is a risk of losses in the functions of the bike. For example, the suspension elements may no longer be able to fully compress. In narrow passages between bushes and trees, the bags can also quickly get caught on the frame and contribute to a fall.
What is the best MTB backpack?
Some manufacturers have a particularly good reputation for their backpacks. These include Evoc, Osprey, Vaude, Deuter, Camelbak, Ergon or Ortlieb. Not only backpacks, but also bags for the bike frame are produced by these manufacturers. So for bikepacking tours or longer bike trips there are alternatives to not have to carry the luggage on the body. This leads to more comfort during the ride, because you are not restricted in his mobility in the upper body. Especially for excursions with the mountain bike, the use of a backpack is nevertheless recommended. Here we present the most popular models. Here we start with small capacity and increase to larger models.
Deuter Race Air
The Deuter Race Air offers 10 liters of storage space and weighs 800 grams. It can be purchased for around 50€. Robust material and simple optics including reflectors make the look of this backpack. Already included is a neon yellow rain cover. The main compartment offers space for a hydration bladder, in addition, there are pockets on the sides of the backpack, in which water bottles can be stored. An internal compartment is designed to store tools and spare parts. Thanks to the tension mesh back, the backpack offers good ventilation. A helmet net can be retrofitted.
Ergon BX2 Evo
This daypack offers back adjustment in four different lengths. He includes a pack volume of 11.5 liters and weighs about 833 grams. In addition to the main compartment, there is an extra hydration bladder compartment. the BX2 Evo carries a rain cover. A clamping system lets you attach a helmet to the backpack. There are compartments for small items. The Egon BX2 Evo fits close to the body. For around 70€ you can buy it.
Camelbak M.U.L.E. Pro
Camelbak offers a wide range of backpack models. Among them are some that are designed specifically for bicycle touring. The Camelbak M.U.L.E Pro has a packing volume of 14 liters and weighs 845 grams. It costs about 100€. The backpack carries clips to which a helmet can be attached.Included is a small pencil case in which small tools and spare parts can be stowed. In addition, a hydration bladder is included. Behind the hydration bladder, the so-called Impact Protector can be added. However, this must be purchased separately. The M.U.L.E. Pro is quite small and narrow, it also fits close to the body and is ideal for day trips. Stowing large items such as camera equipment is only possible to a limited extent with this model. The cut of the main compartment is designed more for small, malleable equipment. Due to padding and stretched mesh on the back, the backpack offers good ventilation.
Evoc Ride 12
The Evoc Ride 12 offers storage space for 12 liters. It weighs 552 grams, making it the lightest of the models presented here. In the main compartment is a section including holder for a hydration bladder. There is also a tool compartment. An extra-wide hip belt brings high wearing comfort. The Air Pad System provides the necessary ventilation at the back by means of integrated ventilation channels. The helmet holder provides storage space for additional equipment such as jackets or protectors. There is an extra goggle compartment. The Evoc Ride is also available in two other sizes. Between 8 liters or 16 liters pack volume and in six different colors you can choose. Evoc convinces compared to other manufacturers especially with the appearance of their products. Other popular models from Evoc are the Evoc stage or the Evoc FR Enduro Blackline.
Osprey Syncro 20
The Syncro 20 counts as a multisport backpack. With 20 liters of volume at 818 grams of weight, it is rather light compared to other models. Different colors and a women's version called Sylva offer the ideal backpack for day trips for everyone. The touring backpack offers various compartments. A slide-in compartment made of stretchy material, behind it an organizational compartment that offers space for tools or small accessories, for example. The large main compartment, an electronics compartment, a hydration bladder compartment and the compartments on the hip belt and sides offer enough choice to organize the contents to be transported sensibly. There is also a helmet holder as well as an integrated rain cover, a sensible ventilation system and comfortable hip belts.
Deuter Flyt 20
Thanks to the integrated protector plate, the Flyt 20 is also suitable for enduro and freeride riders, as it offers protection in case of falls. In general, the backpack is very robust and thanks to a water column of 1500mm also waterproof. The backpack includes attachment straps that allow, for example, a full-face helmet to be attached to the backpack. For half-shell helmets are already clips on the backpack front. The protector plate is quite light and yet offers good protection. A pack volume of 20 liters and 1180 grams are available for around 100€. A comparable alternative with slightly less storage space is the Deuter Compact exp 14, but this has no integrated protector. Another variant of Deuter in the same size, but without protector, is the Deuter bike i.
Vaude bike Alpine
At 1100 grams in weight, the bike Alpine offers 30 liters of storage space and is therefore also very good for longer tours. A ventilated mesh back, a tool compartment and other versatile storage options, a helmet holder, an outlet for a hydration system, and many other gadgets make for an all-rounder backpack that is also suitable for alpine cross. It costs around 70€.
Deuter Trans Alpine 32
Ideal for an alpine cross is the Deuter Trans Alpine. The backpack offers a lot of comfort, weighs 1260 grams, has a volume of 32 liters and costs around 100 €. Helmet holder, pump compartment and Airstripes on the back are among many other points to the backpack. There is the backpack also in extra long, so it fits even tall people.