There are plenty of running backpacks out there for runners, whether running to work, hitting up the local trails, or setting off on a long hike it never hurts to be prepared.
Recently, more and people have started run commuting to and from work. This is a great way to save money, squeeze in your training sessions between a hectic schedule, and finally is a great way to either start or end the day.
However, if you decide to run to work you need somewhere to store your work clothes, gear, and essentials such as your wallet. This is where a high-quality running backpack comes in handy – providing you a space to store these essentials without sacrificing on comfort.
This article will highlight the best running backpacks for commuting, trail running, or a casual Saturday afternoon hike.
However, first, let’s discuss a little about running backpacks.
Why do runners wear backpacks?
Runners wear backpacks to safely carry other items while running. For example, if running to work you may pack your work clothes, laptop, water bottle, change of shoes, and shower amenities to clean up at the office.
Likewise, if you’re heading out for a long Sunday run on the trails, you may pack extra fluid, running gels, some emergency food, a waterproof running jacket, and even a change of shoes.
The options are endless, but one thing is clear – a running backpack is a convenient piece of kit every runner should own.
How to find the best running backpack for you:
Choosing the right running backpack for you can be difficult, especially when there’s so many to choose from. However, there is three basic requirements we should consider, these are:
Each of these requirements will now be discussed in more detail.
What's the ideal running backpack size?
The capacity of backpacks is measured in litres, with the most common size being anywhere from five to twenty litres in capacity. Often, external straps are implemented into the design of the bag to increase comfort, compressing the contents of the bag and providing a secure fit.
The size of your backpack is dependant on a variety of factors e.g. what are using the bag for? Is it for commuting to work? Running on the fells? Or just something to carry some extra liquid while on the run?
If using to commute to work, chances are you’re going to need a backpack on the larger side. This allows you to comfortably and securely hold any work items such as a laptop, a spare set of clothes for the office, shower amenities, and more.
On the other hand, if you’re just looking for something to carry a few running gels and extra liquid then a running vest may be a better option. We’ve included three of these in our list.
What is a reasonable amount to spend on a Running Backpack?
A key defining factor when choosing a backpack for running is your budget. Generally, as with most things you get what you pay for. The more expensive the bag, the higher the quality and the more comfortable it is to wear.
However, you don’t have to fork out big bucks to find a suitable running backpack for you. There are plenty of options out there around the £30 – £80 mark, great if you’re not going to use it all too often.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a commuter backpack, perhaps one you’ll also take on the trails and fells, then forking out a little extra cash might not be the worst idea. This should provide more wear & tear, allowing you to get your money’s worth.
What's your main purpose of a Running Backpack?
Finally, we have purpose, as briefly touched upon already. If you’re looking for a backpack for a one-off run then your best off picking up any old backpack from your local sports direct. However, if you’re looking for one with a little more longevity, perhaps for commuting to work and hitting up the local trails on the weekend, then you should invest in a specialist one from one of the top brands such as Inov-8.
What are the Best running backpack brands?
When it comes to running backpacks, there are two main brands that dominate the marketplace: Inov-8 and Salamon. While there are other brands out there such as Karrimor, both Inov-8 and Salamon offer the most up-to-date design, technology, and fit – unrivalled by other competitor backpacks.
So, without further ado here are our top ten running backpacks in 2020:
EULANT Lightweight Running Backpack
About this item
- → bike backpack can carry a water bladder, with slots on shoulder straps for the hose to come out from. The slots also can be used for earphone. (water bladder is not included.)
- → Surface material of the little running bag is waterproof nylon,which is water-resistant and scratch-resistant. Kindly note: the waterproof rucksack can keep the contents dry in light rain, but cannot do the same work when pouring rain or throwing it into water/river. As the back part and zipper is not water-resistant.
- → With several storage pockets ,the walking day pack has plenty of storage space for daily essentials. They are 1 main pocket behind the vertical zip,1 zipped pocket within the main pocket, 1 hidden pocket in the back lining, 2 zip pockets on either side of the waist strap.
- → The ultralight backpack is fully adjustable for comfort by shoulder straps,chest straps and waist straps. The breathable shoulder strap is pretty wide to spread the weight.
- → There are reflective strips & emergency lifesaving whistle on chest strap for safe riding at night.
SALOMON Men's Trailblazer 20 Backpack
- →Large bag – 20 Litre capacity for efficient and convenient transport of your personal belongings and equipment needed for outdoor activities or travel
- →Adjustable elastic chest strap for maximum comfort, one zipped main compartment with front pocket and side opening
- →1 x interior sleeve with hook for soft flask, lightweight 3D belt to wrap around the hips and provide more support, one external pocket for storing small items
- →Two side pockets and zipped belt pocket, one separate hanging cover for storing and transporting a laptop
- →Contains: 1 x Trailblazer 20 back pack, SALOMON, material: Polyamide/EVA/Elastane/Polyester, One size, dimensions: 51 x 21 x 16 cm, weight: 410 g, colour: Black/Black, LC1048400
About this item
- Designed for women
- Twin hydraulics 500ml soft flasks with extension hose and bite valve
- Multiple Power Mesh pockets
- Pack-vest style fit with dual adjustable/removable sternum straps
- Stow-on-the-go trekking Pole Attachment
Nathan TrailMix Running Vest/Hydration Pack. 12L (12 Liters) for Men and Women | 2L Bladder Included (2 liters). Zipper, Pocket
About This Item:
- Specifically designed to fit the female form
- Adjustable side straps to dial in a comfortable fit
- Internal compression system tightens the load against your back for stability
- Front adjustable bottle pockets fit up to 22oz flasks
- Stretch zippered pocket on upper shoulder for securing essentials
About This item:
- -Lightweight 12-Litre backpack that allows you to carry the essentials in complete safety: Hydration, jacket, car keys, credit card or telephone, ideal for a trail running or long hikes
- -Adjustable strap design for easy adjustment, padded shoulder straps for optimal comfort, perforations for increased ventilation, practical elastic key holder that does not detach from the bag
- -Two elastic front pockets for easy access to hydration (2 x 500 ml Soft Flask bottles included), compatible with 1.5 Litre Hydration Bags, side stretch pockets to keep other accessories within reach
- -Large main compartment, one inside zipped pocket to organise your equipment, intuitive strap system to hang your helmet or poles, reflective markings for better visibility and safety at night
- -Contents: 1x Lightweight backpack 12 L Salomon, Agile 12 Set, two bottles Soft Flask 500 ml included, Materials: Polyamide/Polyester/Elastane/EVA, Weight: 390 g, colour: Black, LC1305100