Riding a motorcycle is one of the best feelings you'll ever experience but whether your bike is built for speed or comfort, carrying equipment is difficult and limiting. If you've got a sports bike then you might have no storage at all.
Your jacket pockets can only do so much and panniers are expensive and clunky plus not every motorcycle supports them. So what can you do to carry your wares on your bike?
Well the best solution is to invest in a reputable motorcycle backpack, but with so many brands to choose from it can be a monumental task choosing the best ones to suit your budget and requirements.
Some bikers like no drag shell backpacks, engineering for high speed and carrying small devices such as your laptop. Others are designed for carrying a spare helmet while others are designed for off road dirt bikers.
Our panel of motorcyclists, including myself, have been looking at the best motorcycle backpacks Australia has to offer to give you the best buying decision.
The Best Motorcycle Backpack
1. ogio No Drag Mach 5
The ogio Mach 5 Motorcycle Backpack has many features to rave about. It’s a serious upgrade of the much-loved Mach 3.
It has a removable zippered fleece-lined hip pouch. There are adjustable dividers in the main compartment to stabilize and even out the load. It has a deluxe organizer with stretch mesh dividers as well.
Your helmet visor can be separately stored away in a padded inner sleeve. And you can increase the total storage volume even more with the U-shaped expansion gusset. Your laptop has its own padded protective sleeve, as do your work shoes.
The backpack is totally ergonomically and aerodynamically designed with your riding comfort in mind. It is made in a single streamlined exterior piece which is resistant to water and degradation from wind shear.
Even the carry handle is concealed for a streamlined profile. The backpack has a removable carry strap for your helmet.
The shoulder gasket is aerodynamically designed and conforms to your body shape. The neck/shoulder straps are padded for comfort and are fully adjustable with a quick release buckle. They’re soft and will not scratch your helmet.
And if all that sounds like there’s a lot of weight and heat on your back the backpack has a bolstered foam profile for air ventilation.
The weight of the empty backpack is only 1.68kg so it’s won’t curtail your speed or comfort on its own.
2. Seibertron Backpack
Whether you’re wanting a motorbike backpack to ride to work or on biking trips the Seibertron may just suit.
The interior compartment is massive and a modular design, with smaller interior meshed compartments for separation of your belongings.
There’s a small section for items like glasses, wallet, phone etc. A large middle compartment with fully adjustable straps for items like clothes, shoes, even your full-face helmet.
There are optional side packs which you can use for trips away when you’re taking more than say when you’re just going to work.
The straps on the sides of the backpack also mean that you can tighten up the size of the pack to make it smaller in profile when it’s lightly packed. And there are a few loops and rings to attach other random accessories to the pack.
You can also purchase a Hydration Bladder to fit with the pack as an accessory for longer trips. The pack is made from waterproof material (the zipper and outer straps are not however).
In terms of comfort, the pack has adjustable padded shoulder straps and chest and waist straps which secure it to your back and balance it. This is really helpful on long trips when the backpack is fully packed with gear.
All in all, the Seibertron backpack is a great sized backpack if you’re regularly carrying a lot of gear to work, school or on biking trips.
3. Ogio No Drag Mach 1
If you don’t necessarily need a big motorbike backpack, just want to carry your gear around without even necessarily wearing the pack, the Ogio Mach 1 may well suit your purposes.
But this backpack is most definitely designed for motorcycle use – like the other Mach packs it’s made from a streamlined single shot moulded water-resistant exterior for aerodynamics and durability.
It has a good-sized padded interior compartment with plenty of storage space and an organiser panel and multiple mesh compartments to stop the contents spilling everywhere. There’s room for a 15” laptop as well as a half helmet, jacket, gloves, glasses, and other small accessories.
The ergonomic padded and fully adjustable shoulder straps work with a sternum strap (removable) to keep the pack securely in place on your back even at high speeds and without drag. It also has a detachable off-centre hip belt which won’t scratch your petrol tank. And a concealed carry handle which won’t scratch your helmet.
The pack is hydration bladder ready.
This is a nice-looking pack at a good price with some great features. It only weighs around 500gm empty and carries the Ogio logo and trim.
4. Seibertron Roving Backpack
Made from tough 900D waterproof polyester and having an additional rain cover, the Seibertron Roving Motorcycle Rucksack/Backpack is a rugged all-purpose backpack for all purposes: motorcycling, street riding, dirt biking, cross-country, everyday use, hiking, travelling, school or other commuting.
The backpack has a surprisingly large compartment which will easily hold your half-helmet, laptop, clothing (including shoes), a lunchbox, and other smaller paraphernalia.
It has a variety of different sized other pockets as well (including one on the side) and using carabiners you can attach a few items to the webbed part of the outside of the pack. There are optional extra accessories you can purchase for this backpack.
The pack straps on very securely with wide ergonomic comfortable straps across the shoulders, chest and waist and keeps its shape over time. The chest strap even has an emergency whistle for emergency alerts!
The ventilation around the backpack is sufficient to keep your back quite cool even on long rides. There is a rain cover which easily stows away underneath the pack.
This is a stellar deal at the price. One verified reviewer said “Quite possibly the best backpack I have ever owned. If you are looking at it, stoop shopping and order it. It is high quality and has a variety of carrying options.”
That is a difficult quote to follow isn’t it?
5. Alpinestars City Hunter Backpack
The Allstars City Hunter Backpack is one designed for commuters who don’t need a lot of space on their backs.
The pack is made from a lightweight and durable 420D Nylon/Ripstop material. It has a separate rain cover.
There is a large main internal compartment which is divided into more compartments including a fleece lined pocket for a smartphone.
There is also a fleece lined computer compartment (fully zippered). The pack features two external pockets on the front which are waterproof. And there’s also a helmet carrier. The total capacity of the pack is 25L.
The backpack is ergonomically designed for comfort and in particular has shoulder straps and back padding which are made from perforated foam and mesh panels for optimum airflow to keep you as cool as possible.
The stabilising sternum and waist straps are fully adjustable for ideal comfort and are also detachable if you don’t want to use one or both of them. The sternum and waist straps both have a quick release safety system.
The security of your belongings against loss or theft is assured by the use of YKK semi auto-locking zippers.
And your safety is enhanced by the reflective details on the shoulders and front belts of the backpack to increase your visibility in poor light conditions.
Overall, this is a nice backpack for a commuter or school/University attendee (bike rider or not) who needs to carry laptop, books and accessories but not a lot more.
Choosing Best Motorcycle Backpack
When it comes to choosing the best motorcycle backpack do you know what makes one stand out from another?
While some might choose the best brand or the one that looks the nicest, there's a range of different factors you should consider when buying.
You should start by determing what you're buying your backpack for? Are you looking for something to hold your laptop while commuting to work? Or are you heading away on a long trip and need to hold clothes? Maybe you just need to carry an extra helmet.
Whatever your use case, there's different motorcycle backpacks to suit different purposes. I personally own a street bike so I love the OGIO no drag options as they are aerodynamic and don't get caught up in the wind as I'm hurtling along.
Depending on your situation and budget, you might opt to buy a cheap brand however durability will likely be a concern. More reputable brands generally come with higher quality materials and better stitching that can help with waterproofing and wind resistance.
Additionally, cheaper brands often use metal that corrodes quickly whereas more expensive brands may have corrosion resistant coatings.
Probably the most important factor as the motorway can get pretty windy especially if you're crusing at 120km/h. You want a moto backpack that will handle excessive wind without causing a rip or breakage.
Make sure there is no dangling parts or clips that could get caught in the bike or your jacket. This is the main reason people choose the no drag backpacks are they offer a high level of wind resistance due to their hard shell design.
You probably don't want your clothes or laptop to get wet when you're riding so check to ensure it's waterproof. If it's not then look for a waterproof rain cover that might be included. If it's not maybe you can find a cover online from another vendor.
Some top end racing style backpacks probably won't be waterproof or water resistant as they are designed for dry weather only.
Comfort is very important especially for long rides. When buying a motorbike backpack online it can be difficult to judge the comfort level.
The best option is to look at the reviews from other buyers and see what they've said about the comfort level. You can also check to ensure there is padded shoulder straps and also that the straps are adjustable. One size definitely doesn't fit all when it comes to these products so make sure the straps can be adjusted.
Every pound counts when it comes to a backpack so ensure it's as lightweight as possible before you place any equipment inside. This will ensure you have a backpack that is comfortable to wear on the road. Ensure you place contents in the centre of the bag to avoid any potential crashes when leaning in to corner.
Buying the right motorcycle backpack is a difficult process. You don't want to be uncomfortable riding your motorcycle so choosing one that's large enough and comfortable is really important. If you're looking for no drag then you should definitely checkout OGIO backpacks. If you're looking for something more traditional or to carry helmets then some of the other motorcycle backpacks we recommended is a good idea.