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The best commuter cycling bags

Whether it’s your daily commute or a leisurely weekend cycle with the family, carrying all your essentials with you can be a real pain. Backpacks are the go-to style for ease of travel, but many standard backpacks can still feel restrictive and you’ll end up at your destination in a hot sweaty mess. 

Cycling backpacks are great because they provide ample space for all of your belongings and normally come with reflective detailing making them ideal for carrying at night. If you commute to work on your bike, then a cycling bag that can fit your documents, tech and lunch in is desirable, and you’ll want it to be waterproof, too for those drizzly mornings during winter. 

However, if you’re cycling for fitness, you’ll probably want to carry as little weight as possible to help improve your speed and agility. The simple answer is to take less stuff, but if you still want a place to keep your valuables and a few other essentials, then a pannier or saddle bag is a great alternative which you don’t have to carry on your body. This will mean you won’t get as hot and sweaty, but will still be able to access your things on the go. 

We’ve picked a range of stylish and functional commuter cycling bags to suit all tastes and budgets, so you can breeze your way through your daily commute safe in the knowledge you are equipped for the day ahead.

1. The North Face Jester Backpack

The ultimate backpack for everyday commuting

Best for: Everyday use | Volume: 26L | Laptop Sleeve: Yes | Type: Classic backpack | RRP: £60

Padded interior
Plain design 

If you are simple looking for an inoffensive backpack that won’t interfere with your cycling, then The North Face Jester Rucksack is perfect for everyday commuting. It has a padded laptop sleeve which makes it ideal for commuting to and from work and at 26L can fit just the right amount of stuff in for your daily needs. This is an all-round winner for quality, price and looks.  

2. Dhb Waterproof Rucksack

For those rainy days; this backpack will keep your stuff safe and dry

Best for: Rainy days | Volume: 25L | Laptop Sleeve: No | Type: Rolltop backpack | RRP: £49.99

Completely waterproof
Stylish design
No laptop sleeve 

Unlike most backpacks that claim to be water resistant, this cycling bag is actually completely waterproof with welded seam construction that really does stop any inch of water from getting inside the bag. So if you’re someone who still cycles to work even in the most horrendous weather conditions, you’ll want to have this bag with you. It doesn’t have a designated laptop sleeve but at 25L, you have enough room for one if you wish.  

3. Proviz Reflect 360 Cycling Backpack

A highly reflective bag for the ultimate safety when commuting

Best for: Safety | Volume: 30L | Laptop Sleeve: Yes | Type: Classic backpack | RRP: £69.99

Super reflective
Matching products
Not for heavy items 

If you often cycle first thing in the morning or late at night, then this cycling backpack will ensure you are highly visible on the road for a safe journey every time. The entire backpack is luminous when dark and there are also a range of other accessories and items available to match this bag. Although a 30L backpack, it is not advised for heavy items such as a laptop if using every day, but it holds up well with frequent use.  

4. The North Face Access Pack

A sleek and professional looking cycling bag for work commutes

Best for: Sleek design | Volume: 21L | Laptop Sleeve: Yes | Type: Flip top backpack | RRP: £250.00

Automatic opening
Organised compartments
Very expensive 

If you like the idea of the North Face Jester Backpack but want something a little more professional looking, then this is the choice for you. This is a very snazzy backpack that has a large price tag but has some really cool features. You can easily access this bags rigid main body at the flip of a button and it literally has a compartment for everything. If you like to be super organised, this is one of the best commuter cycling helmets for you.  

5. Brooks England Pickwick Roll Top Backpack

A backpack that looks a little different and adds style to your commute

Best for: Unique look | Volume: 26L | Laptop Sleeve: Yes | Type: Rolltop backpack | RRP: £195.00

Looks different
Range of colours
A little pricey 

For those of you who are familiar with your cycling accessories, you’ll know that Brooks is a trusted brand that delivers stylish and practical accessories for commuters everywhere, and the Pickwick Roll Top Backpack is no exception. This bag is colourful and provides a completely different style to the more sporty options on the market. It features a laptop sleeve and high-quality straps that make this a great investment piece for your daily commute.  

6. Rapha Packable Backpack

A handy roll-up backpack for when you need it most

Best for: ’Just in case’ | Volume: 17L | Laptop Sleeve: No | Type: Packable backpack | RRP: £50

Super light weight
Pocket sized
Pricey for the concept 

If you’re out on your bike and fancy picking up some dinner at the last minute, or visiting a new city and decide to rent a bike for the day, then this Packable Backpack from Rapha is a handy item to have. This is a fold-up backpack that is ideal for any spontaneous shopping trips as it can be packed away and brought out whenever you need it. Ideal for putting in your pocket or packing in your suitcase when you go abroad, this cycling bag holds up just as well as any other backpack on the market, as you would expect from the experts in cycling.

7. Pendleton Single Pannier Bike Bag

A bag that clips to the back of your bike for a smooth and easy ride

Best for: Pannier | Volume: 13L | Laptop Sleeve: Yes | Type: Pannier bag | RRP: £40.00

Clips onto bike 
Satchel style
No interior padding 

If you find a backpack too cumbersome when cycling, then this pannier bag is one of the best commuter cycling bags for clipping to your bike. It has a real designer look and feel to it that is appealing to both men and women, and is ideal for both work and leisure. It features a sleeve inside which is not specifically designed for a laptop, but you should still be able to fit your gadgets in this bag if using for work.  Designed by Victoria Pendleton.

8. Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag

A durable bag with a lifetime guarantee

Best for: Durability | Volume: 26L | Laptop Sleeve: No | Type: Messenger bag | RRP: £179.99

Guaranteed for life
Range of colours

This bag is slightly different to your average backpack in that it is extremely tough and is ideal for those every day commuters and people who like to go on long cycle rides at the weekends. This cycling messenger bag will literally last you a lifetime and is completely weatherproof for those adventure seekers. You’ll get 26 litres of space, which is enough for a laptop while remaining unobtrusive when cycling.  If you like the idea of the Dhb Waterproof Rucksack but want something that will stand the test of time, this is the one.