How to Choose a Running Backpack

running backpack

When looking for a high quality running backpack, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the different styles, variations, designs, etc. But don’t worry! We know there are endless options to choose from, and we’re here to help you choose the one that’s right for you.

Our mission is to simplify the process for you, so we put together this buying guide with some important questions you should be asking yourself:

Guide to Picking out The Right Running Backpack

  1. What will you be using it for?

It’s easy to see a cool backpack for running with a sleek design and want to buy instantly. However, more often than not, that’s not the smartest decision. First, you should think about what it will mostly be used for. For example, you might be a runner who travels lightly, or you could be an avid jogger who runs to school with a book or two, materials, and sometimes even your laptop. Another example would be if you just wanted a running pack for a couple of weeks while you’re travelling somewhere new and you plan on carrying snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, and all of the other goodies. Or maybe are you a backpacker who strives on climbing vicious mountains and taking on new trails? Whatever your case may be, first figure out what you will be using it for.

  1. How much can it hold, and how much do you need it to hold?

Once you have figured out what your intent is when using the backpack, it’s time to figure out how much stuff you’ll need to be putting inside of it. A small compact jogger’s backpack might not be ideal if you are going to be stuffing a heavy college textbook in there. Be conscious of how much space your backpack can hold so you are not stuck on deciding where to put things. Likewise, you won’t want a runner’s backpack that’s too large and takes up too much space when it’s not needed. Too much empty space can be a burden. Also, be sure to also check how many compartments each backpack has; both large and small. Having too many large compartments and not enough small compartments can lead to not having an adequate space for your smaller items (I’m thinking of a cell phone bouncing around!). In sum, capacity is vital.

  1. What is the material?

Another key factor in finding the best running backpack is making sure it can withstand the test of Mother Nature. Runners know this all too well. Rough conditions mean that not only should a backpack be able to endure some light damage, but also your important belongings shouldn’t be affected either. Some materials naturally propel water away while others soak it up like a sponge. Knowing exactly what materials are being used to carry your valuables is not only smart, but it can save you a heap load of trouble in the long run!

runners backpack

  1. What functions does it come with?

Being aware of ‘the little extras’ your bag offers is a great way to put it to greater use. For example,  like we mentioned before, getting water into your bag can get ugly. Thankfully, many running backpacks offer certain waterproof pouches or compartments specifically designed for you to store your phone or other electronics.

– Nowadays we have many options for the closing mechanism. There are drawstrings, buttons, zippers, flaps, and magnetic strips. These will all affect how accessible your backpack can be, as well as how vulnerable it is.

– Many backpacks for running that come with waist and chest straps are not just there for the looks. They actually serve a purpose! Many hikers use them, and for the same reason, everyday runners and joggers should also put them to good use. They not only give you more support and stability from the weight of the bag, but they also reduce the stress running bags sometimes put on your shoulders, neck and back. Many injuries (both long-term and short-term) can be caused by a backpack that’s too heavy or worn wrong, so it’s best to optimize how your running backpack securely fits on you.

– We all need to keep hydrated with the recommended amount of 2 liters of water a day (more if you’re running!). Having a water bottle pouch on your backpack is a good reminder to keep hydrated while running. It can also save you the trouble of carrying around a bottled drink all day long.

– Reduce the tension of your straps on your skin with ones that come with cushioning. If you’re discovering red stripes on your body after a wearing your backpack for a decent amount of time, then maybe it’s time to consider a running backpack that’s more cushioned for those areas. Drawstring backpacks are the top suspects when it comes to skin irritation, especially when having too much weight in the bag. More often than not, running backpacks that come with shoulder straps or sling straps will provide that extra support for you.

  1. How much are you willing to spend?

Of course, this is one of the first things that may come to your mind before any purchase. It’s important to first narrow down your options so that you can figure out prices for the ones you do want. Keep in mind though that you should not settle for a backpack that does not meet your needs only because it is priced less. Purchasing the wrong backpack that can negatively impact your running habits, health, and safety can be far more consequential than paying a little more to buy a higher quality pack.

  1. Does it fit your personality? [widgets_on_pages id=”Running Backpack”]

This is where the fun comes in! Everyone has a unique style and different personality. Some prefer flashy and eye-catching backpacks, while others like to keep it simple and go with a more subtle option. Regardless of your personal preference, your backpack should also help boost your confidence by giving people a little taste of who you are!

We hope this guide helps you when choosing a running backpack that’s best for you. Good luck!


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