The Best Running Backpacks Compared And Reviewed 2021

Last updated: November 10, 2021

Running Apparel / The Best Running Backpacks Compared And Reviewed 2021

JogTunes is reader-supported. When you purchase through links in our articles, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re living in Australia or somewhere else where it doesn’t snow you probably have no idea why people need running gloves. The reason, is really quite simple and practical: It is painful when temperatures get low, your hands freeze.

The right pair of running gloves should feel comfortable without much chafing and keep your hands warm. This does not mean that they are only useful for cold weather, even though its usually the primary purpose of running gloves.

Sometimes when you’re doing trail runs there is a lot of debris, rocks, twigs from trees that get in the way amongst many other objects. They provide an essence of safety and lets admit it, sometimes they look quite cool. Here at JogTunes we’ve reviewed some of the best running gloves and compared them against their various features. Check it out below.

Best Running Backpacks Compared And Reviewed

Ideal For Women
Gregory Maya 10L
Gregory Maya 10L
Best Storage
Osprey Duro 
Osprey Duro 
For Beginners
Columbia Caldorado 7L
Columbia Caldorado 7L
Easy Access Storage
Inov-8 All Terrain 35L
Inov-8 All Terrain 35L
Best Safety
Proviz Reflect 360 Pack 10L
Proviz Reflect 360 Pack 10L

1. Gregory Maya 10L

Key Features

  • Slim fit ideal for women 
  • Bio-Sync suspension 
  • Panel compartments 
  • Zipper features
  • Five external pockets 
  • Hydration elements 
  • Includes hipbelt 
  • Weight: 658 g
  • Volume: 10L 
  • Max weight that can be accommodated: 15 pounds or 6,8 kg

Reasons to buy

  • Slim and sleek design 
  • Padded straps for incredible comfort 
  • Decent weight

Reasons to avoid

  • Slim fit isn’t ideal for larger runners

First on our list is the Gregory Maya because it leads the pack regarding efficient sizing and affordability. These backpacks have a very sleek design that is best for runners with a slender frame. For this reason, it is regarded as an excellent backpack for women. They fit snugly, and the 10L capacity offers a surprisingly large amount of storage space. Women will enjoy the lightness and comfortable fit that the backpack provides while keeping all the valuables safe. 

The Maya 10L also offers features for accommodating a hydration bladder, making it ideal for long-distance or ultra runners. This backpack features several zippers for small compartments to store valuables of different sizes. 

The straps are comfortable in width, especially considering the size of the bag. However, the backpack has been criticized for causing light irritation around the neck on fast-paced runs, so runners who plan to run quickly should always make sure the shoulder straps are adjusted to fit perfectly.

2. Osprey Duro 

Key Features

  • Available in two sizes: 13L and 15L 
  • 13L weight: 512 g 
  • 15L weight: 530 g

Reasons to buy

  • Incredible storing 
  • Elasticated back 
  • Enough pockets for storing 
  • storage for water bottles

Reasons to avoid

  • Only available for men

This backpack is designed as a men’s hydration vest, and unfortunately, there isn’t a unisex or one fit for women available currently. However, for male runners, this backpack is outstanding. With only 15 liter capacity, the well-designed backpack impresses with the amount of storage that it provides. Women who don’t have a petite frame will enjoy the backpack as it has solid support and lots of great features. 

Several external pockets make it convenient to store valuables of different sizes. In addition, there is a large main pocket that offers a significant amount of space. There are also cleverly placed pockets on the waist strap, making it easy for runners to store things they might need to remove while running. 

For runners who enjoy running with a water bottle, the chest straps offer enough room to store one on each side, and they can accommodate a hydration bladder, too. The backpack features an elasticated back that makes it possible to store even more without sacrificing any luxury.

3. Columbia Caldorado 7L

Key Features

  • Weight: 240 g
  • 7L capacity 
  • Five external pockets

Reasons to buy

  • Comfortable fit 
  • Storage for 3L bladder 
  • High placement on the back

Reasons to avoid

  • Only available in a design for men 
  • Lacking in storage space

This backpack is also only available in men’s sizes, but it offers male runners an option of two sizes. It has been praised to be the best beginners running backpack on the market today. The reason for this is because of the comfortable design, and it is exceptionally lightweight. Women can also enjoy the backpack since it is available in two sizes. It is recommended that petite women don’t purchase this backpack since it can be a bulky and uncomfortable fit for their small frames. 

Although the backpack has several pockets and space for a bladder up to 3L in size, the backpack lacks robust storage capabilities. This is understandable since it is only a 7L backpack. However, runners who need more storage for running snacks, a headlamp, water bottles, and necessities might find this backpack lacking.

The Caldorado does a phenomenal job at providing the runner with incredible comfort. The shoulder straps are wide, strong, and soft, so there is no digging into the shoulders even on long runs. In addition, the backpack has been designed to fit pretty high on the back, so there isn’t much movement or bounce. 

The fact that it can only store a few things is a good thing, too, since it forces the runner to take the minimum on a run and, by doing so, keeps the backpack light. Although the backpack wasn’t designed with women in mind, several women runners love the bag. However, women with very slender frames have been recommended not to invest in this bag as it will be uncomfortable.

4. Inov-8 All Terrain 35L

Key Features

  • Weight: 2,29 pounds 
  • Unisex design 
  • 35L capacity

Reasons to buy

  • Durable materials 
  • Impressive storage capabilities 
  • Exceptional stability

Reasons to avoid

  • Lacks anti-odor weaving 
  • Insufficient breathability

Runners who like more capacity in their running backpack will love this backpack. The All Terrain offers excellent storage space with two points of entry. This means the runner can reach everything they need easily if the backpack is packed in an organized way. 

The All Terrain stands out in quality as it is made with exceptionally high-quality durable materials that can take any punches on the road or trail. In fact, the backpack is strong enough to remain scratch-free after years of use. Therefore, runners who enjoy carrying a bit more and don’t mind the extra weight can invest in a backpack that will last for years. 

With large backpacks, there is always a concern about stability. Fortunately, the All Terrain offers incredible stability and minimal bounce. The downsides of the backpack are the lack of a weave for anti-odor and the average back breathability. Therefore, runners who run long distances in very hot and humid weather will find this backpack lacks the freshness they might desire.

5. Proviz Reflect 360 Pack 10L

Key Features

  • 30L capacity 
  • Adjustable waist, chest, and shoulder straps 
  • Loop for lighting 
  • Side pockets are made of mesh 
  • AquaGuard® zips

Reasons to buy

  • 100% waterproof 
  • Great reflective properties 
  • Hydration-pack compatible

Reasons to avoid

  • Insufficient breathability 
  • Straps become uncomfortable on long runs

Runners who enjoy running after dark need to take note of this incredible backpack. The Reflect 360 stands out from competitor backpacks because of the visibility it provides at night. Night runners who want a durable and affordable backpack will love the Reflect 360. The reflection quality on this backpack is second to none. 

Another great plus of the Reflect 360 offers incredible weatherproofing. The backpack is 100% waterproof, which is excellent for gloomy days when you want to be visible and have dry stuff. In addition, the Reflect 360 is entirely compatible with hydration packs, so it is excellent as a long-distance backpack. 

Although the straps are pretty adjustable, they can become uncomfortable and pinch on long runs. Also, the bag doesn’t offer excellent breathability, so runners experience a very sweaty back after running for a bit, especially if they are running in hot or humid weather.

6. Ultimate Performance Aire 2 18L

Key Features

  • 18L capacity 
  • Weight: 680 g
  • Unisex design 
  • Includes two half-liter Flexi flasks

Reasons to buy

  • Great hydration storage 
  • Comfortable shoulder straps 
  • Two Flexi flasks are included 
  • Durable design

Reasons to avoid

  • Discolors after some time

Although this is labeled as a backpack, it is technically more of a hydration pack that offers storage space. The Aire 2 is a very comfortable backpack that can easily be adjusted. The main focus of the pack is to provide the runner with hydration, and that it does remarkably well.

The Aire can accommodate a 2L bladder comfortably. In addition, it has a very wide opening that makes it easy for the runner to fill up on fluids. Another great feature is the bite valve that works fantastically and means no effort hydration is possible with the Aire 2. 

The downside of the bag is that it starts to discolor after some time. Furthermore, although it can store the basic necessities, it has fewer storage capabilities than you would expect from an 18L backpack. However, taking fewer things and cutting back on your running essentials is always helpful when you are running, especially if you are running long distances. 

The backpack comes with two Flexi flasks that are 500ml in size, and they include straws. There are two pockets in the front of the bag that keep valuables secure. In addition, there are two smaller pockets.

The shoulder straps are made with mesh that is very light and airy. A nice feature of the Aire 2 is the height slider found on the adjustable chest strap. The height sliders add significantly to the bag’s comfort as it keeps it securely in place, thereby minimizing the bounce effect and any chaffing.

7. Nathan Hydration Pack/Running Vest – VaporKrar 2.0

Key Features

  • 192 g
  • 4L capacity 
  • 11 pockets 
  • Pill pocket on the shoulder
  • Includes 2 flasks that are soft and 20 oz in size 
  • extension tubes are included

Reasons to buy

  • Excellent hydration features 
  • Plenty of pockets 
  • Remarkably comfortable material

Reasons to avoid

  • Extension tubes are irritating

Runners looking for a backpack that can offer the best hydration have found what they are looking for in the VaporKrar. This running vest has remarkable hydration features with two soft flasks included that can hold up to half a liter of fluids.

In addition, the vest can comfortably accommodate a bladder of 1,5 liters. So this lightweight vest provides runners with plenty of liquid without any discomfort. However, the extension tubes have been criticized for being odd in length and irritating, especially on long runs. 

There are 11 pockets on the vest, all ranging in size, making it easy for runners to store a variety of valuables. In addition, the vest is exceptionally lightweight and very durable. A great feature is the swivel magnetic clasp found on the chest straps to secure the bladder effectively. This is helpful since an ill-fitting bladder will cause unwanted bounce, instability, and discomfort. 

The VaporKrar features some reflective hits so that there is some visibility of runners who run at night. In addition, the straps do a great job of avoiding chafing and bouncing.

8. OMM Ultra Eight

Key Features

  • 8L capacity 
  • Handle on the top 
  • Back padding with 9mm EVA pad 
  • Secure zippered pockets 
  • Chest strap features a whistle 
  • Side pockets are made of mesh

Reasons to buy

  • Great value for money 
  • Comfortable fit for small runners 
  • Solid back padding 
  • Good quality hipbelt 
  • Compatible with bladders

Reasons to avoid

  • Not suitable for large runners

Runners who are looking for a backpack that offers a great fit without several features will love the Ultra 8. Momo provides runners with a decent backpack at a reasonable price. In addition, it is compatible with hydration bladders, so runners can enjoy it when training for long runs. 

8L capacity isn’t a lot for a backpack, and so if you are looking for a bag that can safely store your running necessities, this backpack will suit your needs. The bag lacks some storage features that larger backpacks have, but it makes up for its excellent design and comfort. The Ultra 8 has been well-designed to spread the weight evenly across the shoulders, making the running experience stable and comfortable. 

Another outstanding feature is the waist belt. It combines perfectly with the chest strap to create stability and zero bounce effect. Runners can adjust the chest strap to make it suitable for any terrain. For example, runners are recommended to keep the chest strap tight on rocky terrain and looser on flat surfaces. The backpack has a whistle that is a great safety feature.

How to Choose the Best Running Backpack Suitable For You

Many runners have a love-hate relationship with running backpacks. Sure, they offer convenient storage, but they don’t always come with comfort. Chafing, overheating, and irritating bounce effects frequently come with a poorly designed running backpack. 

That’s why it is essential to know what to look for when choosing a running backpack. Here are a few things to look at when you are considering your next running backpack:

Straps

The straps and their placement can make or break a running backpack. Therefore, it is vital that you select one that has waist, chest, and shoulder straps. The position of these straps will help avoid friction as you move while minimizing the bounce of the backpack. Furthermore, all of the straps should be adjustable. Lastly, focus on the shoulder straps. They should be wide and padded enough for a comfortable fit. 

Capacity 

Of course, this will depend on your personal requirements. It is not recommended to buy a running backpack that is much larger than what you need. Although some runners might think purchasing a larger backpack will mean freedom to add whatever they like, it is best to live by the rule that lighter and less is better with running. 

Pricing 

There is a giant selection of running backpacks to choose from these days, all ranging in price from budget to high-end. Budget backpacks tend to offer the basics, while high-end backpacks provide a greater variety of features. So consider your needs when assessing whether you really need the added features of a high-end running backpack. 

Hydration properties 

It is crucial for runners to stay hydrated when they are running. Therefore, when you are considering a running backpack, it is essential that you look at the hydration properties that the backpack can provide. Choosing a backpack that can offer a sufficient amount of liquid without being bulky, heavy, and uncomfortable is a great option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really have to choose a running backpack, or will an ordinary backpack suffice? 

If you plan to run frequently with a bag, it is most definitely worth investing in a running backpack. They have been specifically designed to offer runners the utmost comfort without affecting their running performance. 

Can a woman choose a man’s running backpack? 

Although it is best to stick to a backpack that was designed for your gender because it will offer a more suitable fit, it isn’t a hard rule. A running backpack should provide a secure and comfortable fit. So if you have tried on a backpack designed for the opposite sex, but it fits like a dream, there is no reason you can’t enjoy it when you hit the road. 

Should I buy a larger running backpack? 

When it comes to a running backpack, the best principle to adopt is, less is better. When you are moving around and burning a lot of calories, you don’t want extra weight and bulk on you. Therefore, although you might be tempted to get a larger backpack for future use, it is best to minimize your running necessities and keep it small and light.

Leave a Comment