Backpacks: Turns Out You Can Take it With You!

By Ari Henning, Photography by Joe Neric

Gear Whether you ride a sportbike, a cruiser or a tourer, you can supplement your cargo-carrying capacity with a backpack. There are more than a few bag-hoarders on the Motorcyclist staff, so for this month's Gear spread we compiled a selection of bags we've been using plus a few we're still waiting to try.

Motocentric Centrek Backpack
As the name suggests, Motocentric is all about motorcycles. The company's new Centrek backpack use a semi-rigid design to hold its shape no matter what's inside, and an integrated helmet hood lets you carry an extra lid without sacrificing cargo capacity. Other great features include a fleece-lined pocket for delicates, an internal organizer, a padded laptop compartment and plenty of reflective piping. At $80 the Centrek is a great value, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.
www.motocentricusa.com

Icon Squad II
Strap into the Squad II backpack from Icon and become a lot more conspicuous on your ride to work. The pack meets military PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) standards for visibility and incorporates clear ID sleeves on the shoulder straps and reflective paneling all around. Icon knows you have to carry your riding gear when you're off the bike, so the Squad features a helmet sling and straps to secure your jacket. The Squad retails for $125 and is available in hi-viz orange or yellow, plus traditional black.
www.rideicon.com

Dowco Fastrax Pack
Keep things simple with the $90 Fastrax pack from Dowco. Generously sized to hold all your personal belongings, it's constructed from durable heavyweight polyester with large zipper pulls designed for use with gloved hands. There are four external pockets plus a separate water-resistant accessory bag that is large enough to fit a sweatshirt or rain gear.
www.dowcopowersports.com

Ogio Baja Backpack
The $100 Baja backpack from Ogio offers more organizational solutions than an Ikea catalog. There's a see-through accessory pocket, two easy-to-access waist-strap pouches for essentials like your wallet and camera, plus a plethora of interior and exterior pockets to help keep all your other kit in order. Dehy-dration is kept at bay with an included 2-liter hydration system, and the main compartment expands to fit larger items such as thermal underwear or rain gear.
www.ogio.com

Alpinestars Protection Pack
The Alpinestars Protection Pack carries all your essentials while adding an extra level of safety to your daily commute. Built around one of A-stars' race-worthy back protectors, the pack puts CE-certified armor over your spine and covers your sides with rigid plates sewn onto the waist straps. The $229 price includes a removable Bionic Back Protector and nets you a highly functional bag with water-repellent nylon twill, sealed zippers and an expandable compartment capable of engulfing a full-face helmet.
www.alpinestars.com

Mission Workshop Messenger Bag
Mission's messenger bags are hewn from rubber-backed nylon fabric and use sealed zippers and a roll-top closure to keep water from seeping in and soaking your stuff. An oversized aluminum buckle provides easy one-handed strap adjustment, and there are two quick-access outboard cargo pockets. The bags are offered in three sizes starting at $149, so you can carry anything from your laptop to a load of laundry.
www.missionworkshop.com

Ducati Corse Pack
For the Ducatista who has everything and needs a way to carry it, Ducati and Puma have teamed up to offer the MotoGP Corse pack. At $85 it's a deal as far as Ducati swag goes, and will fit in quite nicely in the hospitality tent at the next USGP. It's got a padded laptop compartment and is made from a heavy, glossy-red vinyl that only diehard tifosi can appreciate.
www.ducatiusa.com

Timbuk2 Swig Backpack
Timbuk2's line of highly functional backpacks and messenger bags was originally designed for bicyclists, but works just as well for motorcyclists. The Swig bag has all the standard organizational accoutrements, plus cool touches like an on-strap bottle opener, accessory loops for affixing gadgets and gizmos, and a secret zippered pocket for your spare key or emergency gas money. It comes in a bunch of creative color combinations for $90, or you can design your own using a slew of custom fabrics and colors starting at $100.
www.timbuk2.com

Kriega R25 Rucksack
Kriega's R15 is the BMW R1200GS of rucksacks, with the versatility to do anything and go anywhere. Designed for stability and comfort, the $109 pack uses Kriega's Quadloc harness system and grip fabric at body-contact points to keep it in place. Four synch straps compress your cargo while integrated clips keep the strap ends from slapping you silly. Compartmentalization is kept to a minimum in favor of large-item swallowing capacity, but there are still sleeves for your laptop and hydration system.
www.kriega.com

Aerostich Courier Bag
A Tim Carrithers favorite! This motorcycle-specific, single-strap courier bag offers everything you need and nothing you don't at an affordable $87. The triangular profile of the main compartment helps settle your belongings so everything stays in position while you're riding, and it'll hold a small briefcase with room to spare. Aerostich offers its messenger bags in several size and color variations, including the viscerally upsetting and always popular hi-viz yellow shown here.
www.aerostich.com

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