10 Best Running Backpacks – 2021 Buying Guide

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Salomon Advanced Skin
Test Winner: Salomon Advanced Skin
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If you are a long-distance runner then you know how helpful a great running backpack can be. We always have stuff we need to carry, but our pockets often don't cut it.

A good running backpack will carry a fair amount of water and make it easily accessible to you during activities. It will also carry the right amount of gear, offering a selection of easy-access pockets and other storage options to help you stay organized. In our book, it also shouldn't break the bank.

We took all of these criteria, and more when testing and reviewing a number of the top running backpacks on the market. Peruse our picks below and snag a running backpack for your next long run.

Standout Picks

This Salomon backpack is anything but a traditional backpack or pack. It falls between a backpack and hydration vest and greatly simplifies your life. It offers ample storage solutions and is really comfortable to wear--and you won't have to worry about not being able to bring enough either because this one comes with several capacity options to chose from.
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The Camden Gear running backpack is the best affordable option to choose from. It comes at a highly cost-effective price and offers many features we are sure you will love.
Amazon Link
Cool name aside, the Viper 9 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.
Amazon Link
This backpack really draw your attention immediately, and the producer says that this one was born to run. They're right. Getting a backpack with features and technologies focused on runners may be a good idea, and we think you'll agree which was why we were happy to add this one to our list.
Amazon Link
The CamelBak Octane 10 is one of the best running backpacks out there and offers lots of features we know you will love. It's really versatile and can be used on your runs, hikes, and anything you can think to use it for!
Amazon Link
This one is more of a vest that has a lot of backpack features. It has lots of storage space, is lightweight, highly breathable because of the vest-like design, and easy to use to boot.
Amazon Link
The Gregory brand is known for making great mountain gear. One of their backpacks really draws our attention. This is a very versatile pack and is great not only for runners but also for hikers, skiers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes.
Amazon Link
Our next backpack is produced by the brand who appears a couple of times on our list, Salomon. Mostly known in North America for their high-quality ski gear, they've actually been making running shoes and other apparel for years, and are a master at their craft.
Amazon Link
This running backpack is one of the best out there, and we think you'll love it to so we put it on our list. It is lightweight, comfortable, and breathable. This one is a perfect option for all the road runners out. Beep beep.
Amazon Link
If you want a great running backpack that offers a good bit of storage, then this is definitely the way to go. This one is super comfortable, compatible with a bladder, and a great option for all runners--so take a closer look to learn more.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Features

The top lid is found in some running backpacks and in some backpacks it can be removable and others it's not. if you are considering going for a short trip during the day or just a short run in the park then this type of running backpacks would be perfect for that. The top lid can also be used as an additional pack worn around the waist, well this is an additional feature that many manufacturers have started considering with an effort to enhance storage, comfort, and accessibility of most running backpacks. Stylish and still functions well.

Running can be interesting in the wild, and if you plan on going for a run in such a place then make sure that your running backpack has attachment options. This feature helps in making sure there are loops that you can use to keep extra stuff that you might need while you are on the run. Perfect also if you plan on camping after the run. some of the attachment features available are like the daisy chain. It’s a unique feature that enhances the storage capacity of any running backpack. Makes it possible to even carry something you would have seen as impossible to carry for that long run.

Though a minor factor still very important to consider if your running backpack is weather resistant especially to rain. This will not only keep your stuff dry but also make the backpack lightweight regardless of the pouring rain. Most backpacks have a waterproof feature that is usually on the inside parts of the packs so that you are able to keep your stuff dry. But then seems there are zippers that may be able to let a little water get into the inside of the running backpack then its a must to carry a rain cover if the weather has promises of many showers later in the day or night. When looking for a rain cover accessory for your backpack then you should make sure it’s not only water resistant but also wind resistant and most importantly be very light. This will makes sure that you are both protected and you are also light.

Breathability

For those who sweat a lot then they should make sure that their running backpacks have this very important feature. A running backpack is made sure to have a ventilation effect if it has a suspended mesh on the backside of the bag. While shopping for running backpacks you will notice that there is a mesh that is intended to deal with hikers and runners tend to sweat more from their backs. This tension mesh is not in all the running packs, it is designed like a trampoline and is able to play a very important role in making sure that the runner is always kept dry from the back. Sweaty back problems can also be solved by ventilation chimneys, a feature that is being added to more new backpacks.

After looking at our list of reviews you also may have found that some of the backpacks are more breathable than others. Some of the selections on our list are more durable than others as well--some of which sacrifice some durability in order to be more breathable. If you will be running consistently with your backpack, make sure that you are looking for one that is made of materials that are breathable and moisture-wicking--this will prevent odor and bacteria from building up and ensure that your backpack is designed to fit your every need.

Size

Your hips happen to be one of your body parts that support most of the weight on your pack, and your hips can be determined by the waist size of your pack and your own waist size. Though many manufacturers have made the packs in such a way that the belts at the hips can accommodate wide ranges of waist sizes and hip sizes. if you have a smaller waist then it’s important you get something that will fit and not something that will not be able to adjust fully to your size. But if you really want to get a particular pack, you can check if they have interchangeable hip belts, then you can just change the hip belts and get one that fits you perfectly.

You don’t want excess space and neither do you want it too tight inside. Find out what obligatory kit you need and decide on the size of the pack by liters. I bought a 5-liter pack as my race will last a day. Neil, on the other hand, has opted for a 10-liter pack as he is running a longer race, will be spending a night out in the mountains so has to carry with him the more obligatory kit.

The torso length is an important feature when determining the fit of the running backpack, but then the torso length varies from manufacturers to manufacturers and is also affected by the gender of the user. You can find packs with several sizes with regards to torso length while some with just a few adjustable sizes, that can be adjusted to fit one’s size. when referring to the torso length its good to refer to the size chart guide if you are making an online purchase and to consult with a salesperson if you are making a physical purchase.

Materials

The material plays an important role in determining the durability of any given type of running backpack. The materials are also made to suit different weather conditions and offer different weather-resistant features. When looking at the material then you should consider the weather. If the weather is warm it’s important to have a pack that has sweat-wicking ability mesh. If it’s colder then you would prefer a material that is able to keep you warmer. Also, you can consider whether you have a skin allergy to any particular material.

If you already have made up your mind on what to use your pack for then the next step would be to determine the straps of the pack. Straps are what holds your pack onto your back securely and they can be both an advantage and a disadvantage depending on how you use them. They can cause and also prevent severe back pains. Depending on one’s personal preference you can decide to either keep them tight and firm for a faster run with no bounce, but for a shorter relaxed run then you can opt for a loose fit with minimal bounce. With the proper adjustments then you can achieve the perfect fit with regards to having a good strap.

Value

Budget is always important, and here we looked at the overall value of the pack in comparison to the cost. Quality of materials, design, ease of use, amount of and usefulness of features, durability, and size were some of the factors we considered when determining the overall value of each product on our list. We also pored over 1300+ reviews from real-world users who had purchased the products to see how they felt about the product after using it. Make sure to consider your own specific needs before making your purchase!

And keep in mind that more expensive does not mean that it is any better or that it is the best. On the contrary, a lot of people actually end up overspending on products that offer way too many features that they don't even use. On the other hand, some people may stick to a small budget and not even consider paying a little more for a backpack that fits your every need. So, when looking for the right backpack and gauging if the value holds up to your needs, you need to make sure to consider what you need in a backpack and compare it to the price.

10 Best Running Backpacks

1. Salomon Advanced Skin

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Salomon Advanced Skin
Amazon Link

This Salomon backpack is anything but a traditional backpack or pack. It falls between a backpack and hydration vest and greatly simplifies your life. It offers ample storage solutions and is really comfortable to wear--and you won't have to worry about not being able to bring enough either because this one comes with several capacity options to chose from.

Read more

Features

This pack offers tons of features for all types of outdoor enthusiasts--it is even available in several sizes to choose from. It can hold a hydration blatter and comes with 2 flasks as well as storage spaces for them. Its sensfit tech allows it to provide the perfect fit and on top of that the backpack itself is really lightweight (it only weighs 514 grams!).

Breathability

Since this is a running pack it is made of breathable materials that will not weigh you done or overheat you.

Size

This backpack comes in several sizes to choose from--in both capacity and actual size. Make sure to refer the sizing chart included on the website to ensure that you are getting the right size for your needs.

Materials

This pack is made by patented materials that allow it to be durable, breathable, and moisture-wicking. They will also keep odor and bacteria at bay so you don't have to worry about any issues with that!

Value

If you are on a super strict budget this one may not work for you since it is a bit pricey. However, if you have the budget and need a good running backpack, then this is an excellent one to consider!

Amazon Link

2. Camden Gear

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Camden Gear
Amazon Link

The Camden Gear running backpack is the best affordable option to choose from. It comes at a highly cost-effective price and offers many features we are sure you will love.

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Features

This hydration backpack is affordable, versatile, and offers a lot of features runners will love. It is highly durable and comes with 6 different storage pockets as well as a 1.5 Liter BPA free water bladder. It is comfortable, highly breathable, and the adjustable straps allow for a secure fit. Its ripstop material makes the backpack highly durable and it is built to last.

Price

This backpack is really affordable and offers a 100% Satisfaction guarantee if you aren't happy.

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3. Osprey Viper 9

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Osprey Viper 9
Amazon Link

Cool name aside, the Viper 9 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.

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Features

This one has lots of additional features that we know you will find beneficial. It has side compression straps for load stabilization, a blinker attachment, and lots of storage options.

Price

Pretty Pricey

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4. Osprey Duro 15

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Osprey Duro 15
Amazon Link

This backpack really draw your attention immediately, and the producer says that this one was born to run. They're right. Getting a backpack with features and technologies focused on runners may be a good idea, and we think you'll agree which was why we were happy to add this one to our list.

Read more

Features

This one has a large capacity so it will be great for longer runs. The main compartment is spacious enough to keep clothes, equipment, and many others. The zippered pockets are placed strategically to make access to the belongings and nutrition much easier. If you buy this backpack, you also receive two soft flasks. The product is also compatible with all Hydraulics™ Reservoirs. The body of the backpack contains a 2.5 L Reservoir so it’s easy to stay hydrated. There are compression straps that help to adjust the backpack to your body. The backpack is lined with mesh, so your back will be ventilated for the whole time.

Price

Expensive, but a good value because of all the features and high-quality construction, and one of the few that comes with a hydration bladder.

Amazon Link

5. CamelBak Octane 10

Where to buy
Amazon Link
CamelBak Octane 10
Amazon Link

The CamelBak Octane 10 is one of the best running backpacks out there and offers lots of features we know you will love. It's really versatile and can be used on your runs, hikes, and anything you can think to use it for!

Read more

Features

This backpack features a 2-liter fast flow reservoir as well as 3D vent mesh that allows for optimal ventilation and maximum breathability. It has a stretch overflow pocket and cargo compression for optimal stability, support, and a secure (and comfortable fit. Lastly, this one also has a storage space for your trekking poles, which we know the hikers out there will also love!

Price

This one is priced above average but it's not too expensive.

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6. Ultimate Direction Jurek

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Ultimate Direction Jurek
Amazon Link

This one is more of a vest that has a lot of backpack features. It has lots of storage space, is lightweight, highly breathable because of the vest-like design, and easy to use to boot.

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Features

This one has lots of features, including a reservoir hose, accessory holders, and front storage for your belongings. It is compressible and offers a comfortable and secure fit.

Price

This one costs a pretty penny, but its definitely worth it as the design is highly specific for running, and in fact is designed for use during ultra-marathons.

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7. Gregory Miwok 24

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Gregory Miwok 24
Amazon Link

The Gregory brand is known for making great mountain gear. One of their backpacks really draws our attention. This is a very versatile pack and is great not only for runners but also for hikers, skiers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes.

Read more

Features

This backpack is one of the backpacks on our list with the biggest capacity. There’s a large compartment where you can store bigger things and to help you stay super organized, there are 3 pockets, two of which are placed on the shoulder straps for easy access. There’s also a stretch pocket which is very expandable that allows you to take even more thing with you. Users praised the straps for being very comfortable and said they were wide enough and didn’t irritate the skin. The one thing that hikers will definitely love is an adjustable trekking pole system. You can attach your poles to the backpack while you scramble up a bouldering route, then easily unhitch them when you get back on the trail. This is a backpack that is hydration bladder compatible, but it doesn't include one.

Price

Pretty pricey, but worth it for the durability and versatility.

Amazon Link

8. Salomon Trail 20

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Salomon Trail 20
Amazon Link

Our next backpack is produced by the brand who appears a couple of times on our list, Salomon. Mostly known in North America for their high-quality ski gear, they've actually been making running shoes and other apparel for years, and are a master at their craft.

Read more

Features

The external zippered belt pockets make the backpack more secure when it comes to keeping your belongings safe. There are also other pockets that help you to stay more organized no matter what activity you're conquering. It’s hydration compatible so you can buy a hydration bladder and hydrate yourself anytime you want without stopping to run. There are also holders for normal water bottles. Compressions straps also make the user more comfortable. The soft mesh on the back allows better ventilation of your body, and it also adds to the cushioning. The padding is very comfortable while you're wearing it. Users said that the backpack is big enough to keep a spare set of clothes and other items. It’s also waterproof. It has reflective elements to keep you visible wherever you are.

Price

A little above average in price but won't break the bank.

Amazon Link

9. Salomon Agile 2

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Salomon Agile 2
Amazon Link

This running backpack is one of the best out there, and we think you'll love it to so we put it on our list. It is lightweight, comfortable, and breathable. This one is a perfect option for all the road runners out. Beep beep.

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Features

This one is loaded with features and has a mesh back, mesh straps offering spine support, a secure fit advanced strapping system, plus it has lots of different sized pockets for plenty of storage space. This is a perfect option for runners, bikers, and hikers alike.

Price

Pretty decent price and a great value because of all the options it offers the consumer.

Amazon Link

10. OMM Ultra 20

Where to buy
Amazon Link
OMM Ultra 20
Amazon Link

If you want a great running backpack that offers a good bit of storage, then this is definitely the way to go. This one is super comfortable, compatible with a bladder, and a great option for all runners--so take a closer look to learn more.

Read more

Features

This backpack is really lightweight and is compatible with a hydration bladder as well. It has plenty of pockets for storage--so you can bring everything that you need.

Breathability

As far as breathability, this backpack is super breathable and will keep you cool and dry during your runs--so you don't have to worry about it getting soaked and weighing you down during your runs.

Size

This backpack offers a 20L capacity and offers some adjustability options for you to get the perfect snug fit.

Materials

Since this backpack is durable and offers ample space, it is safe to say that it is made of high quality, durable, and breathable materials. It can hold all of your belongings while you focus on your run.

Value

This backpack is available in several colors to choose from and comes at a great price.

Amazon Link

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Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.