General opinion on riding with backpack?

Afan

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
532
Reaction score
84
Points
28
Location
Iowa
Visit site
I would like to know what's the general opinion on riding with backpack?
I personally think it's bad idea and could be very dangerous.

I know there are "specialized" backpacks for bikers, but still...

Your opinion?

EDIT (2020-11-13)
Yes, I agree with the most of the comments that riding with the backpack could be somehow dangerous, more often uncomfortable. But I also realized that my question wasn't clear at all: when I mentioned that ".. riding with a backpack could be very dangerous..." , I ment in an event of having an accident when a rider falls off the bike on the backpack, when the backpack happens to be between the rider and the surface.

Here are couple of thought from other people, to explain better my question:
"... If a rider falls, the pack can catch and twist the spine, or the objects in the pack can cause damage..."

"... Any backpack can be a spine breaker in an accident. It depends on the impact. Think of a length of chain or poly pipe and how these bend when thrown onto anything other than a flat surface. The chain bends and conforms to the shape of whatever it hits. Your spine does the same in some impact types but if there’s a backpack in the way the bits above and below the backpack keep moving and the rest travels a shorter distance. A full length back protector is an essential if you want to carry a backpack..."

"... The reason why backpacks are considered a safety issue is because when you fall, things are more likely to catch. Instead of sliding to a stop on your back, there is a greater chance that you will start flipping over. And when you start to tumble, that is when bones get broken.

"... , and having your head off the ground when you hit so it whiplashes down into the ground can't be a good thing..."
 
Last edited:

LeeInMpls

Active Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
153
Reaction score
85
Points
28
Location
Minneapolis Minnesota USA
Visit site
I have a Camelbak and bladder and a smaller pack and bladder for travel. I figure, if you are going to travel during covid, having your own water is a good idea. Both packs have room for a few things, besides the water bladder. But I intend the water to be the only thing of any weight in it.
 

Alias

Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Messages
71
Reaction score
28
Points
18
Location
Northeast Ohio
Visit site
I've used a Ogio 1950 backpack on short trips, up to 1,500 miles, on my old Sportster . No worries about getting ripped off during a restaurant stop. The backpack gave me no problems and I'd do it again when needed.
 

Afan

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
532
Reaction score
84
Points
28
Location
Iowa
Visit site
I have a Camelbak and bladder and a smaller pack and bladder for travel. I figure, if you are going to travel during covid, having your own water is a good idea. Both packs have room for a few things, besides the water bladder. But I intend the water to be the only thing of any weight in it.

Right. I have to correct myself, I use camel back too. But I don't think it can harm me in case I have an accident and fell on top of it...
 

670cc

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Mods
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
7,863
Reaction score
850
Points
113
Location
USA
Visit site
Ditto on riding with a camelback. In hot weather I ride with the camelback full of water. When riding on the dual sport motorcycle which lacks a frunk, the camelback is also used to carry a few small items.
 
Last edited:

Griff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
2,006
Reaction score
141
Points
63
Location
Wicklow Ireland
Visit site
I only do it when I have to. That equates to riding my CRF250L. In an effort to avoid anything sticking out in the wind on that low powered little bike, all my luggage is in a straight line. Tank bag, rucksack and roll bag in line with the saddle for longer trips. However all the lightest stuff is in the rucksack other than the Camelback. Items such as specs, documents etc etc and it is never full. As such I hardly notice it most of the time.
 

MZ5

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
1,714
Reaction score
79
Points
48
Location
Arizona, USA
Visit site
I hate wearing a backpack. I’ve done it before out of necessity. It’s hot here, and a backpack simply cuts off all air and makes a nasty, unpleasant mess of heat and sweat. Then there’s the matter of whatever is in the backpack causing more harm than what would otherwise occur in a crash.

I have a drink system as part of my jacket, and I don’t even like to have that in place for most of the year. The sun + air heat up the water shockingly quickly, such that it’s kinda worse than not having water.

In our winters, I don’t have the heat-related problems listed above. At that point it’s just the question of safety (unknown or un-quantified to me) and hanging weight on my body instead of putting it (lower) on the bike.
 

bamamate

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
2,334
Reaction score
12
Points
38
Location
Allford, FL/Dothan, AL
Visit site
ditto on the camelback though I prefer to attach it to the Dale passenger seat plate. Have also carried my laptop bag when my topbox was full of other stuff. I'm more afraid of vehicles, landing on a curb, etc than what was in the bag.
 

Bugs

New Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
17
Reaction score
6
Points
3
Location
Netherlands
Visit site
I have done it for years on my CBR and later on my NC. Never had any problems with it as long as it is secured properly. Always had the armstraps connected to each other so that the weight did not shift from side to side.

It's not really ideal though. In the summer it traps the heat more and with a three day trip I did to Luxembourg with temperatures of around 30 degrees centigrade. You can imagine how sweaty I was after a day's ride. Having all that weight on the shoulders is also killing after 2 days of riding.

If I need to go to somewhere quick I still do it, but if I get the chance I use my 45 liter topcase and put the bag into it.
 

TacomaJD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
319
Points
78
Location
Northeast Alabama
Visit site
Not dangerous at all, but sucks in my opinion. There's nothing like on-bike storage instead of a backpack. Every time you get on and off, you are wearing the backpack. More weight on your shoulders, sucks after a while. I've ridden a lot with a backpack back in my sportbike days. Do not miss it a bit.
 

Madison Sully

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2017
Messages
193
Reaction score
13
Points
18
Location
Madison, Wisconsin area
Visit site
I question the danger part. I mean, sure, if this, then that, and you run into a thing a certain way, it may become an entanglement. The same points are made about why some people don't want to wear a seatbelt. To your actual point/question, all of my scooters and motorcycles have top cases in addition to their native storage. So it's rare that I wear a backpack while riding. But I do on occasion, and the only real consideration is comfort. As noted, it can make for sweaty backside, as well as sore shoulders.
 

ST13Fred

Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
565
Reaction score
42
Points
28
Location
Proctor WV USA
Visit site
At 70+ I've learned to give a little forethought before doing and while doing anything.
A backpack is carrying a high CG-load flailing in dirty air and more tiring to 'wear'. I've bungee strapped many things to my body, however, on short hops.

Elmo has proven to be quite a good load carrier; a short hop 5 gallon can of diesel for example.
The road kill was very sad.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0599.jpeg
    IMG_0599.jpeg
    2.5 MB · Views: 26
Last edited:

Symcity

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
22
Reaction score
26
Points
13
Location
Loch Lomond Scotland
Visit site
A guy I formerly worked with fell of his bike in the works car park - in his rucksack was a can of coca cola - the can impailed itself in his back - poor guy is now a paraplegic in a wheelchair
 

Afan

Elite Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
532
Reaction score
84
Points
28
Location
Iowa
Visit site
A guy I formerly worked with fell of his bike in the works car park - in his rucksack was a can of coca cola - the can impailed itself in his back - poor guy is now a paraplegic in a wheelchair

This was my question about. Falling off the bike on your backpack. Not if the riding with a backpack is dangerous.
 

kpinvt

Site Supporter
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
30
Points
48
Location
Mighty Peculiar, BRRRRRRRRRRRRmont.
Visit site
I tried using a backpack on a long trip but took it off after 100 miles on that ride and strapped it to the rear seat. I attached an extension tube that was covered with foam insulation to keep the water in the line from heating up.
 

New Commuter700

Site Supporter
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
225
Reaction score
41
Points
28
Location
San Tan Valley, AZ
nc700xcommuter.com
I wore a backpack on my commute to and from work (100 miles round trip). The backpack was what I took with me in my truck to make sure that I didn't forget anything. There really is not a big difference in the ride, (imo) the pack mostly rested on the pillion seat. Do I prefer to ride without? Yea, I feel a little freer without the pack. As for safer if I fall off? As Sully said, if, then, what? The only time I've fallen off while wearing a backpack the pack got destroyed but I was fine so the pack probably saved me some road rash. The pack I use now has a waist belt and a chest strap that (hopefully) will keep it from moving and a tear resistant padded back that should help keep the clipboard from coming through it. So is it safer than not wearing one? I doubt it but I also doubt the difference is enough to worry about. I've heard arguments that the top box is more dangerous, so is leaving your house.
 

TacomaJD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
319
Points
78
Location
Northeast Alabama
Visit site
Walking can be dangerous. Living can be dangerous.
YOU are really over thinking this.
IF you think you shouldnt wear a backpack - then dont!

My thoughts exactly. Don't ride a motorcycle and you don't have to worry about falling off of one. Humorous to see threads like these continue to get hashed out from everyone's opinions. No one size fits all opinion for things like this. You either want to wear a backpack for whatever reasons are important to you, or you don't, for whatever reasons are important to you to not wear one. Doesn't get much simpler than that.

BUT.....while we're here, I will tell a funny backpack story. I had a cheapo walmart backpack back I used to use when going on trips on my CBR900RR back when I was a teenager. Was on the way home from Deals Gap riding with 2 buddies, one on a GSXR 600 and the other on a GSXR 1000. On the way home we were on a long stretch of interstate and they took off, so I did too. I leaned down on the tank and romped on it. Once I hit around 150mph, backpack exploded from vacuum of wind going over top of me, and all my junk inside scattered alongside of the interstate. Didn't lose anything of real value, was most pissed about losing the disposable camera that I'd taken with me to Deal's Gap, as I believe that was my first trip there. Good times. LOL
 
Top