Best Backpacks for Running

Expert Advice on Running Accessories
Best Backpacks for Running

There's nothing better than heading out for a run with your perfect running shoes, comfy running kit and nothing more than a watch on your wrist. However, sometimes it's not just you that you have to carry around on your run! So, here are the crème de la crème of the running backpacks – for commuting or general use. If you're running to work (or play) with stuff on your back let's make sure you're as comfortable as possible.

Small Running BackpacksFor Laptops or Medium LoadsFor Heavy LoadsFor Women

Best Small Running Backpacks

First go over exactly what you'll be carrying. If it’s a matter of a top, trousers and personal effects, but no shoes or laptop, then a 10L pack will suffice, maybe even an 8L.

The OMM 8L Running backpack is mega-lightweight yet strong. The smallest of our packs, it will fit thin layers plus small extras, but bulky jackets etc, will work better with a 10L pack. Rain will run of it but in consistent rain you'll need a plastic bag inside. It has a removable foam pad at the back to protect your back, a main zipped pocket with a bladder compartment and a smaller zipped pocket for your phone / wallet / nutrition.

The 2 external side pockets will fit soft bottles. Due to the size it has one sternum strap; no waist strap as the pack isn’t big enough to warrant one. It also folds in on itself and fits into a flap pocket – so, perfect for traveling, and the buckle of the strap is also a whistle! Reflective details give the finishing touches.

The Salomon Trailblazer 10 features a longer back support in a squarer design, which offers a little more space for bulkier items of clothing or just more stuff! Like the OMM, there’s space for bottles in the side mesh compartments and you can add up to a 2L bladder.

The Gregory Maya 10 is a great option for women. It offers a women’s-specific fit, with greater comfort thanks to padded straps and an ergonomic fit. It also has as a good number of pockets so you can store items easily. I've had mine for years, washed it a fair amount of times and it's still going strong.

OMM Ultra 8L Running Backpack
Running Backpacks & Accessories
£45.00

Salomon Trailblazer 10
Running Backpacks & Accessories
£55.00

Montane Trailblazer 8
Running Backpacks & Accessories
£60.00

Women's Gregory Maya 10 Backpack
Women's Running Backpacks
£75.00

Best Running Backpacks for Laptops or Medium Loads

If you're carrying heavy items you need a sturdy construction with good padding to protect your bag and shoulders. These packs are a bit bigger and work well for commuting. OMM are not listed below – they make 12 and 15L options but the packs aren’t structured, just one big compartment, so it's annoying when you're trying to find bits and pieces quickly.

With the Montane Trailblazer 18 you get a good number of pockets for easy access and quick finding of keys etc. I particularly like the design of pockets on the shoulder straps at the expense of waist pockets that can come too far forward. This means you don't knock your elbows into any side pockets. The harness is customisable so you can get exactly the right fit for your shape. It will fit a laptop that's 15 or less. The weight is 410g.

The Salomon XT 15 is slightly smaller (by 3L) but will still hold your laptop. It has very similar assets as the Montane: easy-access pockets (including waist ones); durable and light (445g); soft, stretchy and padded fabric on the shoulders and harness. The addition of compression bungee cords over the body of the pack means you can keep contents steady even when the pack's not full. So this is effectively anything from a 11L to 15L pack, space-wise.

The Montane Trailblazer 16 is a 16L pack designed specifically for the female build. The body-hugging harness moves with you, so it stays neatly in place as you run. It's lightweight and feels really comfortable because you can adjust the double chest-straps to fit your shape, keeping everything super secure and eliminating irritating bounce. The quick-access storage is fantastic – and more than you often get on running backpacks. You've got not only the hip stash-pockets for keys, phone, etc., but also two zip chest-pockets that can hold soft flasks or anything else you need.

The padded mesh piece that sits against your back helps with air movement whilst keeping the contents protected from your sweat on hot runs. Because this pack is a little lighter (420g) the main storage area is strong but not so structural. So if you're carrying anything heavy (like a laptop) we'd advise padding the bottom of it with a bit of clothing just to make it all mega comfortable. You've got space for a bladder and loops for poles, so this works great for commuting, plus days of adventure trail running.

The OMM Ultra 15L Running Backpack is designed to specifically cater to the needs of runners and commuters. This lightweight and compact backpack offers a 15L capacity, providing ample space for essentials without sacrificing mobility. The backpack is equipped with technical advantages such as a hydration bladder pocket, adjustable chest straps for stability, and reflective details for visibility in low-light conditions. Its ergonomic design and breathable mesh panels ensure optimal comfort during long runs or commutes. Overall, the OMM Ultra 15L Running Backpack is a practical and efficient choice for those on the move.

Salomon XT 15 Backpack
Running Backpacks & Accessories
£100.00

OMM Ultra 15L Running Backpack
Running Backpacks & Accessories
£65.00

Women's Montane Trailblazer 16
Women's Running Backpacks
£70.00

Montane Trailblazer 18
Running Backpacks & Accessories
£70.00

Best Running Backpacks for Heavy Loads

If you've got a 17”+ laptop or simply loads to carry then go for the 20 litre + options.

The Montane Trailblazer 25 has generous zip pockets on the straps for quick access of essentials. You can customise the fit of the harness to ensure a neat fit regardless of how full or empty the pack is. The double chest straps guarantee it won't jiggle about when you're running, so even if you've got a load of things to carry it'll all be held really securely.

Montane Trailblazer 25
Running Backpacks & Accessories
£85.00

Best Running Backpacks for Women

To be honest, any of the above will work well, but the issue can be the length of the pack. The below are a little shorter, making them ideal for those below 5’7”. In addition to the Women's-specific Gregory Mayas, the OMM tends to fit well and is beautifully light.

Descriptions for the Gregory packs are above. The one thing to mention here is the pack lengths: 10L is 37cm long (against your back), the 22L are 42cm. In comparison the Salomon and Montane packs measure 44cm.

Women's Gregory Maya 10 Backpack
Women's Running Backpacks
£75.00

Women's Montane Trailblazer 16
Women's Running Backpacks
£70.00

Women's Montane Trailblazer 24
Women's Running Backpacks
£90.00

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