Top 10 Best Running Backpacks Reviewed

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Searching for Running Backpacks? Take a look at the best Backpacks of 2017, Pros & Cons and what to be aware of before buying them online or in a store

One great thing about running is that it doesn’t require much gear. But being discerning about the few things you do need can go a long way toward better performance or just greater enjoyment overall.

Salomon Agile
  • Salomon Agile
  • 5 out of 5
  • Custom System allows you to reinvent your bag for each of your different runs
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Montane Fang
  • Montane Fang
  • 4 out of 5
  • Freelight Chassis constructed from lightweight contact Flyte Mesh
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Crave Outdoors
  • Crave Outdoors
  • 4 out of 5
  • The water resistant diamond Rip Stop Nylon material keeps your gear safe.
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People often go for runs after work, during their lunch break or at random throughout the week. This can often lead to the problem of what to do with your phone, wallet, keys or any other items you might have on you at run time.

1. Salomon Agile

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This is one of the best middle of the road packs out there. It checks all your boxes: lightweight, mesh back and straps, spine support, body hugging fit, plentiful pockets for your phone and space for wet laundry. Won’t win any style high style awards but looks sharp. Not for an elite marathoner but also not for a slouch. Try it and see for yourself!
Pros
  • Mesh strap system for a snug fit
  • Waterproof construction to withstand the elements
  • 5L Hydration Pack with enough capacity for all your running needs
  • Comfortable adjustable Straps
  • Multi-compartments, and multiple color options
Cons
  • May not stand up to super extreme conditions

2. Montane Fang

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One of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself when considering if the Montane Fang is right for you is: how serious am I about running? If you just like to stretch your legs now and then casually this probably isn’t the pack for you. But if you live to run and prefer your gear to be state of the art then the Fang is a great option. Manufactured from Raptor zero fabric this pack is so light you will forget you’re wearing it.
Pros
  • Fancy Raptor Zero material has a hydrostatic head of 4,000mm
  • Bound seams on chassis edges make for a stronger exterior
  • Chassis constructed from ultra lightweight contact Flyte Mesh designed for comfort and breathability
  • Fully taped internal seams providing bulletproof structural integrity
Cons
  • Quite expensive

3. Crave Outdoors

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The Crave is a great lightweight pack with a strap system that contours with your back. The real reason it made our list however, is down to its hydration system. The Crave boasts a hands free detachable bladder with a hose/bite valve for convenient hydration while in action. In this price range you won’t find a better hydration system.
Pros
  • Made from RipStop nylon
  • Hands-free hydration system, with built in hygiene safety features
  • Front shoulder strap pockets for easy access to your things
  • Easy to clean and 100% water resistant
Cons
  • Straps may not fit all body types well

4. Mountain Hardwear Fluid Race Vest

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Mountain Hardwear is one of those brands where you know what you’re getting upfront: well thought out, high quality goods that will stand the test of time. Another hybrid between pack and vest the Fluid is for the more serious runner who values functionality and performance highly. The coolest thing about this pack is the large chest pockets that allow you access to gels or anything you need on the fly.
Pros
  • Hydration sleeve that offers choice and flexibility of where to route your water tube
  • Security pocket on back of vest, with reinforced zipper
  • Wicking mesh in contact areas to reduce friction
  • Wide range straps for overall comfort
  • High visibility reflective strips on the back for safety
Cons
  • Limited color choices

5. Osprey Viper 5

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Cool name aside, the Viper 5 has many other things to like about it. This pack has space for a jacket, snacks, and a smaller sized bladder while maintaining a relatively miniature size. It’s durable, with a strong frame but not bulky. A great medium sized option for a run or a day hike.
Pros
  • Constructed from 100% Nylon
  • Wide panel access to the main compartment to maximize functionality of the space
  • A zip access hydration sleeve for quicker and more efficient loading/unloading of the bladder
  • Lidlock technology for easily securing a helmet to the bag
Cons
  • Limited storage space

6. Under Armour Trance Sackpack

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A no frills option, the Trance offers many of the features of the more expensive packs at a budget price. With this model you’ll know what you’re getting: a small common sense flashpack that gets the job done.
Pros
  • 100% Polyester
  • Adjustable shoulder straps that are breathable with an integrated handle
  • Padded foam back panel for comfort & support
  • A soft lined pocket for key and/or valuables
Cons
  • May not last as long as the more expensive packs

7. Salomon S-Lab ADV Skin Hydro 12

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This as much a vest as it is a backpack. With its unique style this pack has space for your essentials and hugs your body like a second skin. As many runners can attest, chafing is an issue not to be trifled with. Although the smallest amount of friction can cause irritation — with this pack you will never run into any such problems.
Pros
  • Form-fitting
  • Composed of synthetic material
  • Twinlink chest strap system for a secure fit
  • A variety of pockets including: Two exterior side zip pockets, a chest pocket, and a back zip pocket
Cons
  • Really only designed for racing use

8. TETON Sports Trailrunner 2.0

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Pros
  • Lightweight .9 lbs
  • FDA approved BPA free 70 ounce (2-Liter) bladder
  • Soft, breathable mesh back panel with a quick drain opening
  • Adjustment loop shoulder straps to maintain your settings throughout even the most strenuous run
  • Safety features: an orange whistle, reflective trim, and snag resistant clips
Cons
  • Not much storage space

9. Osprey Rev 1.5

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If you care about design aesthetics you are going to be hard pressed to find a better looking pack than this compact Osprey. Match the looks with intelligent design and seamless suspension and you’ve got yourself a winning combination. The graphics on the back are even reflective to enhance your nighttime visibility.
Pros
  • 1.5 liter hydraulics – excellent hydration system
  • Digiflip media pocket providing storage and quick access to any electronic device(s).
  • A stretch body wrap harness designed to move effortlessly with a body in motion.
  • A front panel bungee for extra storage
Cons
  • The sizing is somewhat small

10. Deuter Speed Lite 10

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Small, sleek, and durable this is a great pack for running. It’s hard to go wrong with German engineering, and in the form of the Speed Lite 10 this is case in point evidence. Stuffed with useful features we feel confident with this pack as our first recommendation.
Pros
  • Wet/Dry pocket
  • Great for commuting
  • Durable – Deuter-Ripstop material
  • Lightweight 350g
  • 2.0 L Hydration system compatible
Cons
  • Not a very exciting design


3. Crave Outdoors

Read Reviews & Buy on
The Crave is a great lightweight pack with a strap system that contours with your back. The real reason it made our list however, is down to its hydration system. The Crave boasts a hands free detachable bladder with a hose/bite valve for convenient hydration while in action. In this price range you won’t find a better hydration system.
Pros
  • Made from RipStop nylon
  • Hands-free hydration system, with built in hygiene safety features
  • Front shoulder strap pockets for easy access to your things
  • Easy to clean and 100% water resistant
Cons
  • Straps may not fit all body types well


2. Montane Fang

Read Reviews & Buy on
One of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself when considering if the Montane Fang is right for you is: how serious am I about running? If you just like to stretch your legs now and then casually this probably isn’t the pack for you. But if you live to run and prefer your gear to be state of the art then the Fang is a great option. Manufactured from Raptor zero fabric this pack is so light you will forget you’re wearing it.
Pros
  • Fancy Raptor Zero material has a hydrostatic head of 4,000mm
  • Bound seams on chassis edges make for a stronger exterior
  • Chassis constructed from ultra lightweight contact Flyte Mesh designed for comfort and breathability
  • Fully taped internal seams providing bulletproof structural integrity
Cons
  • Quite expensive


1. Salomon Agile

Read Reviews & Buy on
This is one of the best middle of the road packs out there. It checks all your boxes: lightweight, mesh back and straps, spine support, body hugging fit, plentiful pockets for your phone and space for wet laundry. Won’t win any style high style awards but looks sharp. Not for an elite marathoner but also not for a slouch. Try it and see for yourself!
Pros
  • Mesh strap system for a snug fit
  • Waterproof construction to withstand the elements
  • 5L Hydration Pack with enough capacity for all your running needs
  • Comfortable adjustable Straps
  • Multi-compartments, and multiple color options
Cons
  • May not stand up to super extreme conditions

The solution is getting the best running backpack for your needs. No longer will you need to hide things under rocks or try to get your keys to stay put in the edge of your compression shorts. Given their size, running packs are often cheaper than their larger counterparts. These packs are versatile as well, with plenty of utility beyond running.

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