Can you recommend me a small waterproof backpack?

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Asa Samuel

May 6, 2009
St Austell.
Well I haven't posted on here for a long time, in that time I've finished one course at college and am set to move on to uni next month and I've moved house twice! I hope everyone on here is doing well and you've all been having a nice time outdoors, indoors and wherever you are! Anyway, on with the post!

I'm looking for a smallish (20 litre, probably more like 15) waterproof backpack for taking to uni. I ride a motorcycle hence why it needs to be waterproof. It will have all my precious college work in so will need to work! At the moment I'm using an over-board roll-top backpack which I put my college bag into to then ride on my bike. It's never had a leak but it is a hassle having to keep the backpack in a locker and take my bag in/out when I am coming too and from college.

Can you recommend me a small waterproof backpack that can withstand the heavy rain I will encounter over winter but won't look an eyesore at uni? I am hoping for a surplus related answer as budget is fairly tight.

Asa Samuel
Nov 29, 2004
Purchase a roll of B&Q rubble bags, make a liner for your rucksack from one of those. Cheap as chips. :)

If money wasn't an issue I'd consider one of these. Crux rk30
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Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
I go by the idea that any rucksack can be waterproof as long as its got an Ortlieb dry bag inside it but I have heard very good things about Kriega motorcycle rucksacks.

I have one of their US10 tailpacks that my fairly massive Almax chain lives inside and that's a good tail pack but the last time I was looking for a Kriega rucksack the local shop had stopped dealing in them and only had Oxford stuff.
Sep 21, 2008
Kriega. 30 l backpack. only thing yhat really survives on bikes. not cheap alas but solid kit seldom is

Message carried by abused electrons!

Yup Kriega is the way forward on a bike....

Now it just so happens that I have one that I could offer up for a trade with you :D It's 20L (Kriega R20). It has a solid chest harness. I used to use it for paperwork and files when I rode the Speed Triple to work.... Alas that avenue of pleasure has been closed to me.

Pm me if you want to work something out.


Aug 17, 2010
You might want to consider a topbox instead; it's waterproof and won't hurt your back if you come off. I am currently commuting with a backpack (5.11 rush 24), but I'm getting very nervous about the kind of damage it could do me if I ever had an off. I do frequently carry non-flat items that stick out (including disc lock and occasional chain), so if it's only paperwork you may well be ok.

I never have had an issue with the contents of my bag getting wet as my body shields it from the rain, so I wouldn't get too worried (and if you are, you can always put things in a dry bag in your backpack).


Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
One thing to be aware of when buying a rucksack for on a bike is that if its too high it restricts your ability to turn your head round to look over you're shoulder.
I had a Karrimor a while ago that was great and didn't restrict me at all but the Lowe Alpine I have now is a pain and I can't turn my lid round as well as I could with the Karrimor.

It makes more difference on more racy looking bikes as you are leaning forward more, that's where the Kriega type bags will be good. Well those as well as tankbags.
I have an Oxford tankbag that's a really handy little thing. Its not totally waterproof but as its on the tank and behind the fairing it hardly gets much water on it unless I'm pootling through town at a snails pace.

The only thing is that it restricts me from getting into the full on giving it beanage type racing crouch. That's only a problem above about 120 (private test track yer honour) which isn't a large part of my riding anyway.
Given the choice I prefer a tankbag to a rucksack, just because I don't like having something on my back when I'm on the bike.

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