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What Size of Backpack is Good for Mountain Biking (Not Too Big and Not Too Small)?

A cyclist carrying mountain bike on the meadow.

Mountain biking is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors. But, in order to have a good experience, it’s important to have the right gear.

One of the most important pieces of gear for mountain biking is a backpack.

But, what size backpack is best?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors that we will cover further in this article/

What Size Backpack Is Good For Mountain Biking?

A lady on a cliff riding mountain bike.

Most mountain bike backpacks range from 10L up to 35L, Such size packs are big enough to store the extra layers, food, and tools you need for a day on the trails, without being so large that they become cumbersome or uncomfortable to wear.

Some riders also choose to use fanny packs which are much smaller, but this limits the amount of gear you can bring with you. These types of bags range in size from 2L to 8L.

What To Look For In A Mountain Bike Back

Here are some things to consider when choosing a backpack size for mountain biking:

How Much Gear You Have

You need to consider how much gear you’ll need to bring with you. If you’re only going on a short ride, you won’t need to bring as much as if you’re planning an all-day excursion.

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A man biking on a sloping terrain.

The type of terrain you’ll be riding also makes a difference. If you’re going to be on well-maintained trails, you won’t need as much gear as if you’re venturing off into the backcountry.

Weather Conditions

The weather conditions will also affect what you need to bring with you. If it’s going to be hot, you’ll need to bring more water. If it’s going to be cold, you’ll need to bring extra layers.

Personal Preferences

A mountain bike with backpacks and water bottles.

Everyone has different preferences for what they like to bring with them on a ride. Some people like to bring a lot of food, while others only need a few snacks.

Other riders like to have a first-aid kit, while others never use one. Consider your own personal preferences when choosing a backpack size.

A Few Other Things To Consider

In addition to the size of the backpack, there are a few other things to consider when choosing a mountain bike backpack:


It’s important that the backpack is comfortable to wear, even when it’s full. Look for a backpack with padded shoulder straps and a hip belt. Before you set out with your loaded bag, you may want to walk around with it a bit to make sure it feels good.

Water Storage

A woman taking a rest under a tree drinking water.

If you’re going to be out on the trails all day, you need to make sure you have enough water. Most mountain bike backpacks have a built-in water reservoir, which makes it easy to stay hydrated while you ride.

Tool Storage

You should also consider how you’ll carry your tools. Some backpacks have a built-in tool pouch, while others have a separate compartment. Either way, you need to make sure you can easily access your tools while you’re riding.

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You’re going to be working up a sweat when you’re mountain biking, so it’s important that your backpack has good ventilation. Look for a backpack with mesh panels or a built-in rain cover.


A mountain bike parked under the tree and a yellow backpack.

Your mountain bike backpack should have enough storage for all of your gear, with room to spare. Look for a backpack with multiple compartments and pockets. This will help you stay organized while you’re on the trails.


Mountain bike backpacks range in price from around $50 up to $200. The price depends on the size and features of the backpack.

Best Brands

If you want a smaller mountain bike backpack, you may want to check out brands like Deuter, Osprey, or CamelBak. These brands offer a variety of small to medium-sized backpacks that are perfect for mountain biking.

For a larger backpack, you may want to consider brands like Gregory, Black Diamond, or Mammut. These companies make high-quality backpacks that are designed for all-day adventures.

Do I Have To Wear The Backpack or Can I Attach It To My Bike?

A person holding his tablet on a mountain cliff.

Some riders choose to attach their backpack to their bike instead of wearing it. This can be a good option if you’re only going on a short ride or if you have a lot of gear to carry.

There are a few different ways to attach your backpack to your bike. You can use bungee cords, straps, or even a backpack rack.

If you’re going to be attaching your backpack to your bike, make sure it’s secure and won’t bounce around while you’re riding.

What About Fanny Packs?

Fanny packs are a popular option for mountain biking, especially for shorter rides. They’re small and lightweight, and they can be easily attached to your bike.

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However, fanny packs don’t have as much storage as a backpack, so you won’t be able to carry as much gear.

Do I Need A Special Mountain Bike Backpack?

A woman looking on sunrise with her mountain bike.

You don’t necessarily need a special mountain bike backpack, but it can be helpful. Mountain bike backpacks are designed to be comfortable and durable, with plenty of storage for all of your gear.

If you’re planning on doing a lot of mountain biking, it’s worth investing in a good quality backpack.

Final Thoughts About Backpack Size For Mountain Biking

When you’re choosing a mountain bike backpack, it’s important to consider all of the factors we’ve mentioned above. With so many different backpacks on the market, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you.

Now that you know what to look for in a mountain bike backpack, it’s time to start shopping!