Mountain bike backpack: everything about a MTB backpack

mountain bike backpack

When making a long mountain bike ride, a good backpack on your back is very practical. For example, you can carry a repair kit, a first aid kit and some food and drink. There are special backpacks for mountain biking. A popular choice is an MTB backpack with a hydration system. This allows you to leave your water bottle at home. On this page I tell you everything you need to know about an MTB backpack.

Features of a mountain bike backpack

A backpack while mountain biking? That’s not comfortable at all, is it? It doesn’t have to be! There are special backpacks for mountain biking. These backpacks are comfortable, ergonomic, compact and in some cases even equipped with a hydration system. In addition, good mountain bike backpacks are waterproof and dirt-repellent.

In many cases the backpacks have a ventilating back, so that your back does not sweat a lot while wearing the backpack. All important features of a good MTB backpack at a glance:

  • Made of strong material
  • Waterproof and dirt repellent
  • lightweight and comfortable
  • Equipped with back ventilation
  • Possibility with drinking system
  • With helmet holder to take mountain bike helmet with you
  • With chest strap

In many cases mountain bike backpacks are available in different sizes. The contents of the backpack is often expressed in gallons. The same applies to backpacks with a hydration system. With a large backpack you can take a lot with you, but it is less comfortable to cycle.

mountain bike backpack
A good example of a compact mountain bike backpack. ©

Which mountain bike luggage do you put in a backpack?

But, why should you wear a mountain bike rutgas? You can also just put a banana in the pockets of your mountain bike shirt? This is really good for short trips. However, if you are going to ride a longer ride, it is smart to get on your mountain bike well prepared.

View below a handy checklist with useful mountain bike accessories that are handy to have with you during a (long) mountain bike ride.

Mountainbike luggageReason
Multi ToolTo be able to carry out minor repairs or adjustments on the road. See the Crankbrothers M13 Multi Tool review for an example.
Chain tool and chain linksTo fix your chain if it breaks
Bicycle pumpIf your tires are too soft
Tire repair kitFor sticking flat tires
LubricantsFor lubricating your bicycle chain
Inner tubeIf you want to replace the mountain bike tire quickly and don’t want to waste time fixing a flat tire
NutritionEating and drinking to prevent dehydration and hunger
Spare cablesIf a cable breaks
Spare brake padsWhen your brake pads unexpectedly need to be replaced
Extra (rain) clothingWhen a storm passes unexpectedly
Bicycle lockHandy if you park your mountain bike out of sight
Tape/tie wrapsFor quick repairs
First aid kitFor the care of possible wounds

Of course it is also important to take your smartphone with you, as well as some money and your identity card. Especially if you go mountain biking abroad.

Buying tips for mountain bike backpack

If you are going to buy a new mountain bike backpack, you will see that there is a huge amount of choice. To help you make the best choice, I have listed a number of buying tips below.

  • Go for a backpack made of waterproof material
  • Do you often make short trips? Then go for a smaller backpack!
  • Choose a backpack with a removable hydration system
  • Buy a backpack from the better brands, think of Evoc, Dakine or Camelbak
  • Check if the backpack offers an option to take your helmet with you

It can be very handy that the bicycle backpack offers the option to take your mountain bike helmet with you.

mountain bike backpack for helmet

Tip: MTB backpack with hydration system

I would like to dwell on the MTB backpack with hydration system. This can be a very good buy if you often make long mountain bike rides. A backpack with a hydration system is equipped with a hydration reservoir, also known as a ‘bladder’. With the help of a long hose you can then drink without having to bring a water bottle to your mouth. This way you can keep your hands on the wheel and take extra water with you.

Some interesting brands for a mountain bike backpack with hydration system:

  • Camelbak
  • Evoc
  • Valide

Always pay attention when buying a backpack whether it comes with or without a water reservoir. This is not always the case.

Frequently asked questions about a mountain bike backpack

When is it interesting to carry a backpack while mountain biking?

You don’t have to wear an MTB backpack so much for small rides. However, are you going to take a long drive in a quiet area? Then it can be smart to take a backpack with some accessories. Think of a tire repair kit, food and a first aid kit.

What are good MTB backpacks?

There are a number of brands that stand out: Camelbak, Evoc and Valide. These brands offer a wide range of backpacks suitable for mountain biking.

What do you put in a cycling backpack?

Take into account different scenarios along the way. For example, a flat tire (tire repair kit), a broken part (multi-tool), no restaurants nearby (food) or an accident (first aid kit). I made a handy MTB backpack checklist above.

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