A nice accessory for every runner to have in their arsenal is a running backpack. These are special backpacks specifically designed for running purposes. With so many options available, choosing the right backpack can be incredibly challenging for runners.
In this article, we break down the top 5 best running backpacks, so you can choose which backpack best suits you from a well respected list amongst the running community.
What is a running backpack?
Running backpacks allow runners to carry all their essentials whilst on the move. Running backpacks feature wide padded shoulder straps which distribute weight evenly.
They have an adjustable chest strap which moves up and down with the runner whilst ergonomically fitting to the physique of the body for comfort.
Backpacks tend to contain 8-12 litres of capacity, a good amount of space to carry running and other essentials.
When should you use a running backpack?
You can use a running backpack whenever you think you’re going to need essential supplies whilst on a run. Water bottles, energy gels, a first aid kit, a head torch, a mobile phone, a GPS running watch portable charger, and money are all examples of items you can carry in a running backpack.
These handy backpacks can be used for any type of run but I would recommend them for long runs, ultra marathons, commute runs and even on the trail. Running these distances and terrains could warrant the use of a backpack as you might want to access food, water and various accessories like a mobile phone whilst on the go.
What are the benefits of running backpacks?
Storage space – The most obvious benefit is the ability to store essential items on longer, more difficult runs. Sunglasses, water, food, energy gels & bars, a mobile phone, a wallet and a portable charger for your GPS running watch are all examples of things you might want to carry with you.
Nutrition and hydration – Running backpacks are great for keeping you proper nourished and hydrated whilst on longer, more challenging runs. Imagine doing an ultra-marathon and not having a running backpack with you?
Things could get ugly quickly as you go without crucial supplies like extra food and water to sustain performance and keep you functioning normally. Don’t let that happen to you!
Having a running backpack in your equipment arsenal means you don’t have to worry about going without food and water during self-sustained long runs & ultra-marathons.
Visibility at night – Most sports and running backpacks are designed not only with practicality in mind, but also safety. Lots of the running backpacks on this list feature a reflective strip or two which keeps you visible at night when running near traffic and other pedestrians. Important to keep you safe in reduced visibility scenarios.
Style – Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like looking stylish? With these running backpacks you get a unique, sporty look which will not only keep you safe and well supplied but also make you look stylish.
What are the top 5 best running backpacks?
The BFL backpack is a fantastic value for money option which is highly effective. Containing 10 litres of space, this bag is waterproof and tear resistant thanks to it’s durable nylon material which means you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged whilst on the go.
It features wide, adjustable shoulder and waist straps which means it can be moved around to fit you perfectly. I personally really like the slick, sporty design of this fabulous backpack, complimented by the safe reflective strip on the shoulder strap.
Check out some customer reviews
‘Fantastic, I have been looking for a small rucksack for ages. I wanted one which was light, comfortable, had foam on the back to help with ventilation, had lots of pockets and could hold a water bottle, jacket, sandwhich, mobile and keys.’
‘Wow – Amazing bag, really impressed. Was very sceptical of the quality of this bag given how cheap it is – but I am not disappointed in the slightest. It’s amazing, fits perfectly. Took it out for an 8 mile run as a test ride and I forgot I was wearing it – very comfortable and the straps stay in place.’
As its name suggests, the Deuter Backpack is all about ‘speed’ and feeling ‘lite’. Focusing on convenience for the runner, it features a generous amount of space to fit essentials whilst elegantly hugging your back whilst you run.
It has a height adjustable chest strap, reinforcements on bottom of the pack, a tapered shape for extra arm freedom when running, 3M light reflections and handy side mesh pockets for drinks and food to quickly grab on the move.
Depending on preference you can get this bag in midnight ‘mint’ blue or in Spring Anthracite. I personally prefer the blue option but everyone is different!
Check out some customer reviews
‘Great bag for running. Great bag for running, VERY secure. Sized slightly smaller for women, so ideal. Holds plenty – 1l bottle of water, umbrella, hat, scarves. Could get another 1l bottle in there too. It also has a handy zip pocket up the very top which I use to hold dog bags!‘
‘I bought this bag a few weeks ago when I was deciding to jog in and out from work 10k round trip. I did a bit of research which guided me to this product. I absolutely love this bag. It holds just the right amount and if not over filled, fits so snug that you wouldn’t even notice it. I would 100% recommend it to anyone considering commuting this way. Quality is excellent too. My most successful purchase in a long time.’
Perfect for ultra marathons, trail running or extremely long runs, this Salomon backpack packs a powerful punch for ultimate versatility.
It features 20 litres of interior space, two mesh side pockets for 1.5 litre bottles, and a side zip compartment, this bag is excellent for lots of little extras like gels, bars and food to keep you energised.
It’s sweat proof, features foam padded shoulder and back straps with a mesh design for ultimate ventilation. Dependant on style perference you can get it in either red, black or black with red zips.
In the words of Salomon: ‘Salomon equipment has been designed to meet the needs of outdoor lovers, trail running, hiking and running enthusiasts. Equipped with patened technologies and resistant materials for the comfort of the most adventerous sportsmen.’ They are certainly telling the truth when it comes to this fantastic running backpack.
Check out some customer reviews
‘Great bag for commuting. Great bag for running. Use it everyday to and from work. Light, doesn’t rub, good secure chest and waist strap. Easily fits change of outfit, small travel towel, shoes (girl) and lunch.’
‘Five stars. Great bag for running and cycling hardly bounces at all when running! Really pleased.’
’20L is the perfect for my running commute home. Like you can tighten up from various angles so it doesn’t bounce. After 3 months, still in great condition after 5 day/week use. Happy.’
This stylish unisex bag from Ticktock Ong is perfect for runners who need to carry only the bare essentials, offering 8 litres of space which can be utilised as needed.
The bag features adjustable, padded straps which comfortably rest on the shoulders as you run. Made of a high-grade water and scratch resistant nylon fabric, the backpack is suitable for a range of weather conditions and can withstand moderate wear as it’s used.
One of my favourite features of this bag is the reflective strips on the shoulder straps which keep you visible in dark conditions, giving you peace of mind.
As with most of the other bags on this list is is suitable for other sports and can be worn for hiking, cycling, skiiking, mountain biking and walking. You can certainly get your value for money out of this affordable and highly effective bag.
Check out some customer reviews
‘Love the design, lots of compartments and pockets, very adjustable and comfortable. This is a very good backpack.’
‘Great compact backpack. This is a great rucksack. It’s a perfect for walking and running, with various pockets for storing phone, keys etc. The back has some foam padding and mesh so there is some air circulating, the straps are good and it holds tight when running.’
Here’s a backpack perfect for long-distance runners who need to carry a wide range of items on the go.
Designed for sustaining the runner for long-distance through diverse terrain, this running backpack features a whopping 12 litres of storage space which can fit all your essentials. It has pockets for water bottles, zips for cash and energy gels, adjustable straps and is made from a durable nylon.
Depending on your style preference it comes in green, blue or orange!
Check out some a customer review
‘A great little bag. I had tried it on a 92-mile training run and it was fab. 6 weeks later I used it for a 125 mile race. It was great. Doesn’t bounce, conforms to the body well and pockets are easily accessible. The main compartment was just the right size for all of the necessary kit, i.e. full waterproofs, compass, head torch, food and a few extras. Would definitely recommend.’
If you’re interested in more clothing and accessory related articles, check out the following blog posts:
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- 10 Great Running Jackets For Men
- 11 Best Headphones For Runners
- 10 Great Energy Gels For Runners
- 30 Great Gift Ideas for Runners
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- The Benefits of Running Sunglasses
- 7 Signals You Need New Running Shoes
- 5 Best Men’s Running Shoes for 2018
- Top 5 Running Shoe Brands