Contents

Here’s Everything You Need to Run Commute Like a Champ, According to Experts

Run commuting takes a particular type of crazy. As someone who dabbles in it, I get it. It’s a bit aggressive to strap a pack on your back filled with everything you need for the day and hit the streets full-stride. But the perks are many: no subway fee, fresh air in your lungs, no feeling like a sardine, sunshine on your skin, to name a few. It can be faster than driving if you live in a congested city, and it’s also an easy way to build up your mileage.

I’ve run commuted off and on for the past nine months in New York City. Most recently, I’ve been commuting from Brooklyn to the Gear Patrol office in Manhattan (just over 5 miles), and I’ve learned that with a little prep and the right gear, it’s one of the faster ways to get from point A to point B. I also chatted with a handful of run-commuting experts: Michael Wardian, an American marathoner and ultramarathoner who lives in DC and regularly commutes eight miles to his office; Gordon Wright, president of Outside PR in California, who has run up to 15.4 miles to (and from!) work during training periods; Matthew Imberman, a run coach for Brooklyn Distance Running and an antique jewelry dealer who runs 10 miles to or from work year-round; Marco Anzures, head cross country coach at City College and professor of Health and Exercise Science, and Ben Taylor, who runs one to three times a week, about three miles each way in Burlington, VT.

What to Know Before You Go

Before heading out for the first time, our experts recommend taking the time to plan everything out. Figure out if it’s easier to run home as opposed to running to work. Can you leave everything at your office and pick it up the next day? Depending on the distance you’re running, and how many times a week you want to run, there’s a variety of options. And like anything else, you’ll have to test everything out a few times to find out what works best for you. The trick is that there’s no right way to run commute — it’s more about figuring out what makes your life easier and let’s you sneak in those extra miles.

A few insider tips: Don’t overcommit.”You can do half-commutes,” Wright shares. “I more often drive partway to work, park the car, and run around six miles. After work, I’ll get in the same run apparel or fresh ones I’ve stashed and run back to my car.” According to Imberman, prep is also key: “I typically take clothes to work at the beginning of the week, so I have stuff to change into, and then I leave some running gear at work so I can run home.”

If you like to bring a lunch, I recommend carting in as many of your weekly meals as you can at once on Monday and then not worrying about it for the rest of the week. Packing food every single day gets tricky, and all of the bouncing around the food will do makes anything liquid a no-no. “I’m a brown bagger most days, especially for breakfast and lunch, and transporting fruit running is the trickiest thing to solve,” Wardian explains. “I run with berries in my hands with paper towels stuffed in the case and then re-apply the rubber band to them. I try to keep everything packed in plastic bags. I’ll bring oatmeal and organic baby food to add to it. I slide bananas in the outside pockets and wrap fruit in a shirt and plastic, so if it does gush, it’s not going to ruin my clothes.” If all that sounds like a hassle, buying lunch is the most straightforward solution.

The Gear

Backpack

The most essential piece in your run commute kit is the one that transports everything — your backpack. You want a backpack that has a breathable back panel, since you will sweat carrying everything, as well as one that adjusts to your body. Tightening all the straps keeps the bag in a comfortable place, so there’s no chafing against your neck or lower back. “I use the Journey 20L ,” Wardian says. “It’s a practical bag for running — it’s a roll top, with a shell that comes over it, so if it dumps, everything is protected.”

“I’ll use my Ultimate Direction Fastpack to pack clothes, a small lunch, keys, wallet, ID badge, etc.,” Taylor says. I tested the same pack and was a big fan of how many pockets it has. Keeping track of keys, credit cards and other small essentials is simple with pockets along the straps.

If you’re looking for something a little sleeker that doesn’t scream ‘I ran here’ try the Lululemon Surge Run Backpack II. With just two connection points across your chest, there’s not as much sweat that pools on your lower back, making it a lighter, breezier pack than most.

|

Packing Cubes

If you have to wear something professional and wrinkle-free to work, look into garment sleeves. “Your load is going to be heavier, but Eagle Creek makes a terrific, lightweight garment sleeve that cuts down on any wasted space and still protects your suit and shirt from wrinkling,” Wright says.

“I find rolling works better than folding it. Folding creased and depends on how hard you go and how floppy your backpack is,” Wardian says.

Waterproof Jacket

“I run commute year round, and it helps to invest in some lightweight, packable layers for the winter; a decent running pack/vest or shorts with a variety of pockets if you aren’t planning on lugging gear,” Imberman says. A waterproof jacket that doubles as a rain cover for your bag is also essential.

“I usually always have a waterproof jacket of some sort in my bag, and a space blanket, which is crazy because I’m not that far from civilization, but it could save your life,” Wardian says.

|

Socks

You’ll want some comfortable sweat-wicking socks that’ll go the distance with you. Wardian likes to run in Injinji socks, and I love the softness of the newest Balega Blister Resist socks. Use whatever works best for you, and bring an extra pair.

|

Shoes

You’re going to need a good pair of running sneakers. Run in the shoes you’re going to race in if you’re using this time to bulk up your mileage for race day. “Right now I’m using the HOKA ONE ONE Challenger 4 ATR, and the whole all-terrain line is made for commuting due to the shoes’ versatility and cushioning,” Wright says. “It’ll eat up whatever you throw at it and is a no-worries shoe.”

Keep in mind that you’re also carrying a load, confusing the muscles in your body. Your Saturday or Sunday long runs will start to feel amazing without that extra weight, and on race day you’ll be thankful for the weight training. “I need to ensure my whole body stays in balance while on the run,” Anzures says. “I use Currex Run insoles in my Skechers Performance running shoes to keep my ankles and running posture in alignment.”

|

Reflectivity

Depending on your work hours and the season, it might be dark when you run. You’re going to need some reflectivity, whether that’s a vest or a headlamp or a blinking light that clips onto your hat. “I use a NoxGear safety vest to stay visible for morning runs or right after dusk,” Anzures says.

“I have a reflective vest, and my backpack has some reflectivity on it,” Wardian shares. “Nathan makes a flashing light that I’ll sometimes run with on my bag. Now I’m using a Petzl headlamp if it’s dark. The nice thing is I have lighting for most of the route, so I don’t have to worry about it as much.” He also recommends adding 3M reflective tape to your gear if you don’t have anything reflective.

|

Post-Run Cleanup

If you have a shower at work, that’s great. “When I first started, there was no such luxury , so I had to figure out how to not smell all day,” Wardian shares. “Especially if I have to meet clients, there are ways to do that. So, find a gym close to the office where you can shower, and usually, most offices have some personal space, so I’d put a suit and a couple of shirts, underwear, socks, ties, belt and a nice pair of shoes to change into when I need to look professional.”

If showering isn’t an option, there are always body wipes or cleansing sprays that you spray on and wipe off with a towel. “In the warm months, baby wipes and a bottle of witch hazel can work wonders, as can a small, highly absorbent packing towel,” Imberman says.

|

The 3 Best Summer Running Kits for Men

Even as we aim to wear as little of it as possible, the clothing that we wear for a summer run is wildly important, for comfort and style. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Meg Lappe

Meg Lappe is Gear Patrol’s Editorial Coordinator, handling strategy across our digital, print, video and social teams. She can typically be found running around.

More by Meg Lappe | Follow on Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email

Looking for the best running backpack for women? You might be a couch-to-5k’er or a seasoned marathon runner, but if you want to step up your game and start running to work then there’s one essential piece of kit you’re going to need to invest in.

Not tempted? Think about it. Running to work means you:

  • Skip sweaty bus queues
  • Avoid people sneezing on you on the train
  • Improve your aerobic fitness
  • Start the day on an endorphin high – no coffee needed
  • And save money

Ideal, right?

If you’re 5k training, 10k training or half marathon training, you may be struggling to fit longer runs in around work hours and actually having a social life. Struggle no longer – thanks to these great running backpacks, the run-commute will soon become your best friend.

10 Best Running Backpacks for Women Who Commute or Train

The best aesthetic running backpack

Why? This chic Sweaty Betty running backpack wins out on style and substance – padded shoulder straps and secure hip and chest straps ensure you’ll have a comfy run, while the quilted design and rose-gold detail means this backpack will look just as good at work as it will on a jog. Sold.

Capacity: 17.9 litres

How much? £90

SHOP NOW

The best 10k running backpack

Why? With a zipped waist pocket for your keys and a handy water-bottle holder, this rucksack is more surprisingly spacious than Mary Poppins’ tote bag without being too bulky or heavy.

Capacity: 0.5 litres

How much? £54

SHOP NOW

The best half-marathon running backpack

Why? Go the extra mile with this backpack, which is specifically designed for longer runs. It has a full-length deep pocket for easy access and two front water bottle holders.

Capacity: 8.1 litres

How much? £95

SHOP NOW

The best marathon running backpack

Why? Super compact with a vest-style fit and inbuilt soft flasks for hydration, this rucksack would be perfect for a distance runner looking to up their game.

Capacity: holds 250 ml soft flasks

How much? £80

SHOP NOW

The best cross-training running backpack

Why? Running to the gym? This compact, stylish running backpack has interior compression straps to stop your stuff from moving around while you run, with room enough to store your gym kit. It also comes in three colourways. Neat.

Capacity: 13 litres

How much? £98

SHOP NOW

The best running backpack for commuting

Why? It’s called the ‘Commuter’ for a reason – this rucksack is roomy and has multiple storage compartments, making it the perfect run-to-work bag. It also has a hydration pocket with tube clip.

Capacity: 15 litres

How much? £60

SHOP NOW

The best compact running backpack

Why? For when pocket space won’t cut it, this small but perfectly formed running back will store your essentials in a handy, accessible (and waterproof) pouch.

Capacity: Limited

How much? £42.95

SHOP NOW

The best extra-storage running backpack

Why? For the run-commuter who needs a bit more space (for meal prep, a change of clothes or just some emergency snacks), this Columbia rucksack packs in an impressive 20l of storage. Plus, it has a removable hip belt for an adjustable fit.

Capacity: 20 litres

How much? £55

SHOP NOW

The best budget running backpack

Why? Designed with ventilated shoulder straps and handy reflective detailing for safe night-time running, this backpack is a steal at £19.99.

Capacity: 15 litres

How much? £19.99

SHOP NOW

The best high-vis running backpack

Why? This lightweight backpack has plenty of storage for your essentials and, thanks to its high-vis colour, will help you stay safe on your run-commute home.

Capacity: 5 litres

How much? £24

SHOP NOW

The best running backpack for trail running

Why? This has all the pros of a mountaineering backpack – like 25 litres of storage, padded waist and shoulder straps and a lid pocket – made from the lightweight materials needed for a running pack.

Capacity: 25 litres

How much? £90

SHOP NOW

How to pick the best running backpack

1/ Straps

It seems kind of obvious to say the straps are important, but guys, the straps are seriously important.

a) Shoulder straps

Strap location and padding are crucial. The main shoulder straps need to be padded (not bulky) and wide enough to evenly distribute the weight of the bag over your shoulders. Thin straps dig in and can rub – not so good.

The straps need to be adjustable in length and feel comfortable when pulled tight enough to secure the bag firmly. Shoulders straps where ventilation has been considered will make a big difference in the summer months too (as is not wearing grey but that’s a different sweat-based issue).

b) Chest straps

The main function of the chest strap is to help take the weight of the bag sitting on the shoulders and spread it evenly across the chest, whilst helping to hold the bag in place.

The chest strap is all about tension. Most decent straps will have a built in section of elastic so that this can adjust with the movement of your chest and remain tight, but not restrictive. You don’t want to have to pull the chest strap too tight to hold the bag in place, that’s the job of the shoulder straps and the waist straps.

c) Waist straps

With the top of half of the bag now secured, the waist straps deal with, you guessed it, the bottom of the bag. Being the heaviest part of the bag, the straps here need to easily extend around the torso and be wide and supportive, especially on the lower back and hips.

2/ Fit

Posture is key to how the bag should feel on your back; the bag needs to compliment your natural position so try not to adjust your posture to cope with the bag, this can lead to all sorts of issues. Avoiding hunching and rounding the back – you do enough of that in your office chair – keep your shoulders back and your chin up.

The ideal position for the bag should be with most of the weight on your shoulders and hips, so try and get as snug a fit as possible on these points. Adjust the shoulders straps first, then the waist and then finally the chest.

3/ Size

The smaller the bag the better, but that’s just not plausible when carting around a days worth of clothes, makeup and lunch; so take a look about and see what size seems most appropriate to you, your commute and post-work plans.

Like this article? SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER to receive your weekly dose of features.

Nike Vapor Lite Running Backpack

We do our best to ensure that the products that you order are delivered to you in full and according to your specifications. However, should you receive an incomplete order, or items different from the ones you ordered, or there is some other reason why you are not satisfied with the order, you may return the order, or any products included in the order, and receive a full refund for the items.

Certain products purchased at Fruugo cannot be returned. They fall in the following categories:

  • goods which are clearly personalised or made to your specifications
  • goods which are liable to deteriorate rapidly, eg fresh fruit, fresh flowers
  • sealed goods which are not suitable for return due to health protection or hygiene reasons, if opened, eg make up, underwear, pierced jewellery
  • sealed audio or video recordings or computer software, if opened
  • newspapers, periodicals and magazines

Please take reasonable care of the goods whilst in your care. Any goods returned must be in a resaleable condition. They must be unworn/unused with original tags attached and in original packaging. It is your responsibility to ensure that the goods are appropriately packaged to ensure they are not damaged in return transit.

Notifying us of a return

If you wish to return an order, or some of the products included in an order, please notify Fruugo customer care within 14 days of receiving the goods, including the following information:

  • your name,
  • order number,
  • the item (s) you wish to return, and
  • optionally a reason for your return: unsatisfied with item, item didn’t match description, damaged item, wrong item, or some other reason.

Our customer care will send you specific instructions on how to ship the return package(s) to the retailer(s). Please do not ship the return package before you receive the instructions.

Shipping products back to retailers

Goods must be returned without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days after notifying us of your cancellation.

If you are returning products to several retailers, you should distribute the products accordingly and send the products to those retailers who shipped them to you initially.

We strongly recommend that you use registered mail (and insure any high-value packages), since neither Fruugo nor the retailer take responsibility for shipments that are lost or damaged during return transportation.

Please ensure you retain a proof of postage receipt so in the unlikely event your parcel goes missing, you will have proof you sent it.

Refunds

You will be refunded within 14 days of the retailer receiving back the goods. We will notify you by e-mail once the products reach the retailer and are accepted for return. Where a retailer has offered to collect the goods, you will be refunded within 14 days of cancelling your contract.

Unless a product or products you wish to return arrived to you damaged or faulty, you are responsible for the return transportation costs.

Providing you are returning all the products from a specific retailer, we will refund the standard shipping costs you paid for the original delivery. If you chose to pay for a non-standard delivery, we will only refund the cost of our least expensive, standard delivery.

Damaged or faulty goods

If you receive a damaged, broken, or defective product, please notify Fruugo customer care as soon as possible. Include at least the following information:

  • your name,
  • order number,
  • name of the damaged product(s), and
  • state the nature of the damage with attached photograph

We will generally instruct you to ship the damaged product back to the retailer. As soon as it reaches the retailer, they will send you a replacement product. If the replacement can’t be made, or if you wish to cancel the order, you will be refunded in full. You will also be reimbursed for reasonable returns postage costs for damaged or faulty goods once we have received your postage receipt.

If the outer packaging of your order is clearly damaged on arrival, and you are suspecting that the products are damaged as well, you can either reject the delivery or accept the goods and sign for them as damaged. In both instances, please notify Fruugo customer care as soon as possible.

Refusing delivery

If you refuse to accept delivery of all or part of your order (where the products or packaging do not appear to be damaged or defective) you will be responsible for the postage charges. Any fees and charges incurred by the retailer due to a package being refused will be deducted from your merchandise refund.

The Best Running Backpacks For Long Runs Or Commuting

Even if you fill all these pockets, we found the backpack still sits comfortably against your back and you can tuck in the various straps in so they don’t flap around and annoy you. There are four adjustable straps that you can tighten up to completely eliminate bouncing, and the waist strap has zipped pockets on either side that can take keys, an ID card or a small wallet, although not your phone.

The material has anti-odour properties, so it won’t start to smell even if you’re regularly storing sweaty gear inside. The rucksack is water-repellent and will keep its contents dry in a shower, though you might want to duck inside if caught in a downpour.

Buy from Iffley Road or Stolt Running | £159

Osprey Katari/Kitsuma 7

This is the smallest commuter option on this list and the Katari also works well as a bag for long runs as a result of its svelte frame, which sits comfortably in the middle of your back while you run. You won’t be able to carry a laptop with you, but you can fit in your other daily essentials easily. Osprey also makes the Kitsuma version of the bag, which is designed to be a better fit for women thanks to features like a narrower shoulder fit and a shorter torso length.

Buy Katari 7 on Amazon (£45.92) | Buy Kitsuma 7 on Amazon (£44.01) | Osprey RRP £70

Proviz REFLECT360 Running Backpack

Throughout the long British winter, and even in the spring and summer if you work long hours, run commuting often means running in the dark. Making yourself as visible as possible on busy city streets is a savvy move and this reflective backpack is your best bet for ensuring buses, cars and bikes bearing down on you from behind spot you at night. Its 10-litre capacity is big enough for work essentials, and there are two zipped pockets on the waist straps for easy access the things you need most often.

Buy from Proviz Sports | £44.99

IAMRUNBOX Backpack

Creases are the natural enemy of the run commuter, as it’s very tricky to get a shirt into work in a backpack without it getting scrunched up. This problem is solved with the IAMRUNBOX backpack, with its hard, boxy design allowing you to fold clothes correctly and tuck them in safe and sound until they are required.

Buy on Amazon | £112.23

Nathan Trail-Mix 12L

While this 12-litre rucksack is primarily designed for trail running, it’s become our go-to commuter option because the rolltop-fastened main compartment is roomy enough for a laptop, a change of clothes and all the other essentials required for a day at work. The straps also have easy-access pockets that are large enough for your phone, wallet, keys and work ID card, and can be tightened quickly so the rucksack sits comfortably against your back for the entirety of your run commute. The rucksack comes with a two-litre bladder, which you’ll probably want to leave at home when commuting, but can slot back in when you have time for a long run on the trail at the weekend.

Buy from Nathan | €124.95 (approx £108)

A good option for savvy packers, or those who don’t need to wear a full suit and smart shoes at work, this 12-litre option is comfortable and hardy enough to wear on long-distance trail runs, so it’ll definitely do the job for your commute.

Buy from Salomon | £90 (currently reduced to £63)

5 Best Hydration Vests For Women in 2020: Top Packs For Trail Running

Choosing a women’s hydration pack can be a hard task with so many brands to choose from. I know first hand what’s important to a woman while trail running for many hours in the mountains. Important factors include: comfort (fitting to the female body shape), storage capacity, durability, style and cost.

RELATED POST: Best Trail Running Hydration Packs for Men

With that said, I’m here to help you find a hydration vest that I know you’ll be happy with, but that’s also the best choice for you. This list of the 5 best hydration vests for women includes 5 great running packs that all perform excellently on the trails. The hydration vest that’s best for you will be determined based on comfort, features, style and cost, all of which is discussed below.

1. Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 4.0 –

The Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 4.0 hydration pack has some excellent features and it looks great whilst on.

Big thumbs up for the adjustable fit, many zipped pockets and tidy pole-carrying solution. It’s a great all-round running vest for long days out on the trails. For shorter trail excursions where you need less water and accessory storage, have a read of my thoughts on the Nathan Speedster 2l, which is designed for shorter runs, and comes in at a more pocket-friendly price point.

This pack includes 2x 500ml Body Bottle collapsible soft flasks (UD own branded bottles) that sit in the front holsters.

Amazon.com $90.97 12 new from $90.97 See Deal
Backcountry.com $99.99 See Deal
Rei.com $134.95 See Deal

Last Amazon price update was: 31st January 2020 11:00 am

Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 4.0 Reviews

  • Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta 4.0 Women’s – Full Review

2. Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set –

The Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set is built on Salomon’s SensiFit system that’s designed for a contoured, comfortable fit that’s snug and close to the body.

There are lots of pockets for storage that are all easily accessible. These pockets include 2x front soft hydration pockets, 1 chest zip pocket, 2x side zip pockets, 1 back kangaroo pocket, 1 chest stretch pocket, 1 back main compartment, and 2x front stretch pockets.

Salomon uses elastic power-mesh materials for the Sense Ultra 5 Set that is lightweight and completely chafe-free while running. This breathable and moisture-wicking unisex race pack also includes a whistle (a requirement in many long mountain trail races), reflective decals for safety if running at night, and 2x 500ml soft flasks for hydration.

Rei.com $155.00 See Deal
Amazon.com See Deal

Last Amazon price update was: 31st January 2020 11:00 am

3. Nathan VaporHowe 4L 2-0 Race Vest –

The Nathan VaporHowe 4L 2-0 Race Vest fits more like a lightweight piece of apparel than a typical race vest, similar to the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set in that respect. This means that the vest provides a ‘bounce-free’ ride, and because it’s a women-specific design, it offers a very comfortable body-hugging fit.

The material used is moisture-wicking and has perforated laser-cut pinholes for breathable comfort during those extra hot weather days. Looking to the front, you’ll find the two pockets to house the included soft flasks, nutrition, smartphones sized up to iPhone 6 and other essentials.

The soft flasks that come with this women’s race pack are slightly different from the competition, at 600ml (20 oz) each, they are larger and come with extended straw tubes for easy sipping without removing flasks from the front pockets. Pretty cool! If this isn’t enough water for your long runs, there’s also a rear main pocket with an internal pocket that’s compatible with a 1.5-liter hydration reservoir (not included).

Amazon.com $123.74 5 new from $123.74 See Deal
Backcountry.com $123.75 See Deal
Rei.com $165.00 See Deal

Last Amazon price update was: 31st January 2020 11:00 am

4. CamelBak Ultra Pro Hydration Vest –

The CamelBak Ultra Pro Hydration Vest is made from a lightweight 3D vent mesh that’s breathable and comfortable throughout a long run.

The dual adjustable sternum straps stabilize the pack, reducing any bounce as you run. There are plenty of easily-reachable pockets for stashing a layer, snacks, energy gels, and whatever else you may need.

It comes in 4 different size options and you’ll get 2x 500ml (17oz) high-quality CamelBak branded soft flasks with it.

Backcountry.com $119.95 See Deal
Amazon.com $120.00 1 new from $120.00 See Deal

Last Amazon price update was: 31st January 2020 11:00 am

5. Salomon Adv Skin 5 Set Hydration Vest –

The Salomon Adv Skin 5 Set Hydration Vest Sensifit construction offers a snug, precise, comfortable fit and balances the load between the front and the back, so you can move quickly and freely.

An innovative elastic sternum-strap design allows you to adjust and connect your pack quickly while on the move; with non-constricting breathing during intense activity.

The pack can carry running poles and accessories too and comes with 2x 500ml soft flasks that, due to the design of soft flasks, will stay balanced as you run, with zero sloshing or bouncing.

This Unisex race vest is Alastair’s choice for long trail runs.

Amazon.com $135.00 1 new from $135.00 See Deal
Rei.com $135.00 See Deal

Last Amazon price update was: 31st January 2020 11:00 am

LIGHT WEIGHT RUNNING BACKPACK

If you’re out for a long weekend run and need to stash some on-the-road necessities, or you’ve taken to running to or from work and need to carry your gear, this lightweight running backpack is a must.

With its 10 litre (450g) capacity main compartment you’ll have enough space for all your essentials while the zip closure keeps things secure. The lightweight, rip stop fabric reduces weight and strategic padding on the back and shoulder straps makes for ultimate comfort. A built-in hydration reservoir pocket allows you to carry water with you so long runs won’t be interrupted, while the external access pockets offers an easy-to-reach storage area for smaller items.

The adjustable body harness and straps allow you to perfectly fit the backpack to the most comfortable position, over any top, which reduces impact, movement and discomfort while you run.

The external, adjustable bungee cord holds a lightweight sweater or jacket in case of unexpected weather.

Material
100% Polyester
45 cm x 24 cm x 10 cm (H x W x D)

  • Durable and lightweight fabric
  • Zipped main compartment
  • Strategic padding in the back
  • Hydration reservoir pocket
  • External access pockets
  • Adjustable body harness and straps
  • Bungee cord
  • ASICS spiral logo detailing

Share

  • Share This Article
  • Pin It
  • Reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • WhatsApp
  • Email
  • Talk

Running gear has come a long way in recent years, but one piece has gone under-the-radar with some major advancements: running backpacks. Upgrades such as reliable hydration bladders, ergonomic designs and breathable fabrics have made running backpacks much better — no matter what type of run.

Carrying water and gear has always been a struggle for runners, as the bouncing motion makes most bags and regular backpacks completely unusable. Running backpacks are typically smaller, carry water in a bladder or a dedicated water bottle pocket, and evenly distribute weight with chest and waist straps.

When picking a running backpack, your first consideration (besides budget) should be size. If you’re run-commuting to work or going on a long trek, you’ll want more space. But if you’re just running a few miles in the morning, a small pack with room for water and your phone is more than fine.

To help find the perfect running backpack, we’ve combed the web and come up with 11 great options for all types of runners and budgets. Check them out below.

1. CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack

BEST OVERALL

When running, the most important thing in your backpack is water. And when it comes to hydration bladders, CamelBak is the original — and they still do it best (just ask the military or NASA). This minimal HydroBak features the brand’s award-winning bladder, as well as a small pocket for your phone, keys and other essentials. It also has a lightweight, breathable mesh harness and back panel that stays comfortable for hours.

Courtesy of Amazon

2. S.K.L Hydration Pack

BUDGET OPTION

Shopping for a running pack on a tight budget? Go for this hydration pack from S.K.L. It costs just under $15, but still has some great reviews and a solid build. It’s on the small side with a 2-liter water bladder and a pouch pocket for essentials, so we recommend using it for shorter runs.

Courtesy of Amazon

3. Kuyou Hydration Pack

BEST FOR NIGHT RUNS

If you run on the road at night or in the wee hours of the morning, a reflective pack will provide a boost in safety. This one from Kuyou has four reflective panels, offering ample highlighting for cars and trucks to notice you. Otherwise, it has a simple bladder-and-pocket design that’s great for shorter runs.

Courtesy of Amazon

4. Gear Beast Running Backpack

SMALLEST PACK

Some runners don’t like carrying any water, and if you’re out for less than an hour or there are water fountains along the way, you don’t really need to carry water. Still, you’ll want a secure place for your phone, wallet and keys, in which case we suggest this tiny running backpack from Gear Beast. It sits high and secure on your back, allowing you to run without your stuff jingling around in your pockets.

Courtesy of Amazon

5. Teton Sports Hydration Pack

HIGHEST-RATED

This running backpack from Teton boasts that highest rating on Amazon with over 2,000 reviews and 4.3 stars. It’s slightly larger than regular running backpacks with 1100 cubic inches (18 L) of space, but an ergonomic fit and secure straps keep it from bouncing too much. If you’re going on a long trek or need to bring extra gear, this is a great pick.

Courtesy of Amazon

6. ECEEN Rave Pack

STYLISH OPTION

Hydration backpacks are ideal for running, but they’re also very handy for concerts or festivals. If you plan on using your pack for all of the above, go for this vibrant backpack from ECEEN. It comes in a variety of eye-catching, shiny colors, which do double duty as a fashion statement and reflective guard against cars while running on the road.

Courtesy of Amazon

7. Triwonder Hydration Pack Backpack

BEST VEST PACK

Vest backpacks are a popular option for long-distance runners such as marathoners because they stay comfortable for a long time and evenly distribute weight. We recommend this one from Triwonder because it comes highly-rated and reasonably priced, and features an ergonomic fit that won’t weigh you down on long runs.

Courtesy of Amazon

8. Osprey Packs Daylite Daypack

MOST VERSATILE

Osprey is one of the most trusted brands for adventure backpacks, and this Daylite pack upholds their stellar reputation. It works as both a daypack and running backpack thanks to a super comfortable build and secure straps. This versatility means you can use it for hiking or commuting in addition to running.

Courtesy of Amazon

9. Nike Running Backpack

BEST COMMUTER BACKPACK

If you run your commute to work (good for you), this Nike backpack is ideal. It has a city-friendly style that’s not too outdoorsy (like some running backpacks) and enough space for all your daily necessities.

Courtesy of Amazon

10. The North Face Recon Backpack

LARGEST CAPACITY

If you need to carry a seriously big load while running, this Recon backpack from The North Face is your best bet. With around 30 liters of space, it has the largest capacity in the business. But somehow, it still makes carrying all that stuff manageable thanks to wide, padded shoulder straps and a ventilated, padded pack panel.

Courtesy of Amazon

11. Salomon Adv Skin 5 Set

BEST SPLURGE

Salomon’s Advantage Skin running backpack is the top-of-the-line option for serious runners. It uses a wrap-around design to distribute weight in a way that feels like you’re not wearing anything. It doesn’t come with a bladder, but it has a hanging system that you can upgrade with a bladder, or you can stick water bottles in the chest pockets.

Courtesy of Amazon

The Best Running Watches to Track Your Workouts Most Accurately

Best running backpack for commuting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *