Mountain biking backpacks or MTB backpacks are designed specifically for mountain bikers. These backpacks are designed to carry all essential tools one would need during rough terrain and long bike travels. Additionally, MTB backpacks are compact and provide excellent stability, even when filled with essential outdoor items. Its ability to maintain balance and avoid having a cumbersome appearance is vital as bikers will use it.
In this article, we will be discussing MTB backpacks, their features that make them indispensable to MTB bikers, and what you should consider before buying one. Factors such as the type of MTB backpack, material, and size are all subjective to where you plan on riding as well as the distance you will need to travel.
On average, MTB bikers will spend hours on the road and will travel significantly longer distances. As an MTB rider, you will need to consider a variety of factors such as the weather, food, drinks, first aid kit, and other outdoor tools. We highly recommend that you choose one that provides excellent quality and reliability, even if it means paying a little extra.
Now then, let us begin our in-depth look at the type of backpacks that are suitable for mountain biking.
Types of MTB Backpacks
When it comes to MTB backpack choices, there are generally two that you can choose from at your local sports or outdoor shop:
● Hip Pack
Each type will have their particular advantages. For example, rucksack style MTB backpacks are ideal for those who are planning on having long-distance biking trips. These types are designed so that it can hold a wide variety of items while maintaining a relatively compact size. Those Rucksack also come in a variety of sizes from small to large-sized bags that can hold significantly more gear. Most rucksack style MTB backpacks also come with a built-in hydration pack.
If you are planning on only making a short bike trip, the MTB hip pack will suffice. You can fit in a couple of essential items in there, and some MTB hip packs also come with hydration packs that can carry up to 1.5L of water.
So, to summarize, if you plan on making a long-distance bike trip, we suggest you go for the rucksack style. For those who will be going on shorter rides, but still need to bring a couple of essentials, the hip pack will do the job nicely.
What Items Should You Bring When Mountain Biking?
This will depend on the distance you are planning to travel, but below are the general items that you should consider before embarking on your trip.
Keeping hydrated is a crucial aspect when it comes to any outdoor activities. Even more so with biking as you will be expending energy continuously throughout your trip. As such, an MTB backpack must have a hydration system built-in. The reason you should opt for packs with a hydration bladder installed is convenience.
MTB backpacks with water bladders eliminate the need to bring a water bottle which would take up a decent amount of space. Also, hydration packs come with a drinking system which means you don’t need to stop to take a sip.
There are different water bladder sizes available, we here at backpackjudge.com highly suggest you pick the larger sized ones as it is better to bring too much water than run out halfway to your destination.
Similar to the reason why water is an essential item to bring, food will also help keep your energies up. If you plan on taking on rough terrain with your mountain bike, expect to burn through a lot of energy in a short amount of time. Because of this, you will need to keep your protein and carbohydrate levels high to accommodate the physical activity.
Make sure that it has compartments dedicated to food and snack items that segregate them from your other tools. Typically, a couple of energy bars will keep your energy levels up during medium distance bike rides.
● Extra Clothes
Expect to work up quite a sweat whenever you go on a merry bike ride, so having an extra pair of clothes won’t hurt. Also, you should consider the weather and the temperature to your destination. Does it look like the chances of a sudden downpour is high? How cold will it be once you reach the mountain peak? Consider these factors when packing extra clothing wear in your rucksack.
● Emergency and Other Outdoor Tools
You never know when your bike decides to have a mechanical failure, so it is best to bring essential repair tools during your mountain biking trip. Carrying your multi-tool can also help adapt to unforeseen instances such as rougher terrains as you can adjust certain aspects of your bike to optimize riding comfort and maneuverability.
● Safety Equipment
Again, since mountain biking guarantees you will be coming across some tough to navigate terrain, bringing protective gear will be crucial. Make sure that can fit elbow pads, knee padas and helmet attachments.
● Navigational Items
Trail maps and other navigational items should also be considered when preparing for your mountain biking expedition. This is doubly true if you are still not 100% familiar with the terrain and location. Having a map and compass will help you orient yourself with your surroundings in the event that you missed a turn.
Your MTB backpack should also have a phone compartment as well as an area for your navigational items. While smartphones will help with basic communication needs and recording your adventure, you will most likely encounter dead zones during your trip. In these cases, your smartphone won’t be able to get any service connection. We recommend you bring a satellite phone as well for emergency use.
When it comes to those, it is to your benefit to get the best-made one available. Don’t settle for the cheaper MTB backpacks as these are not designed to last and might even bring more trouble than help.
For material, we recommend you go for water-resistant nylon backpacks – specifically, a 480D water-resistant MTB backpack. Consider all of the factors we discussed above, and you will be able to land on the best mountain biking backpack to cover all your needs.