Best Running Rucksacks: Top five Picks in 2020

Are you looking for helping in choosing the best running rucksack? In this article we’ll take a look at the best running rucksacks available in 2016. While there are a wide range of running rucksacks available in different sizes we have chosen to focus this article on those rucksacks around the 20 litre capacity.

Clearly there are rucksacks of all shapes and sizes. In terms of what you might actually want to use it for, the 20 litre size is a good starting point.

Any smaller than this and you’re going to be limited with what you can carry. Rucksacks less than 20 litres will not have much more room than for a waterproof, your phone and maybe some snacks. Fine if you’re just out for long training run, but if you want to use the rucksack to say run to work then you need the extra capacity.

It probably goes without saying that running rucksacks much larger than 20 litres will be too bulky and heavy once loaded up to be any use to run with. We’ve found that larger rucksack can be more unstable when running given their size. 

Things to look for when choosing the best running rucksack.

So what do you need to look for when buying the best running rucksack? A key requirement is going to be how stable and comfortable it is, but there may be other considerations depending on what you intend to use it for:

  1. What kind of things will you need to carry?
  2. What kind of distance will you be running?
  3. Do you need to carry water with you?

What kind of support and stability does the rucksack offer?

Running Rucksack Comparison Table

Deuter Speed Lite 20 Alpine Running Rucksack

One of the best running rucksacks we’ve come across and is super adaptable to a multitude of activities. Two things we really like about this rucksack, its lightweight (530g) and super comfortable. It’s not the absolute lightest rucksack in our top 5, but certainly still highly suitable for running.

Pros: Enough room to carry essentials to work like a laptop, channel ventilation to reduce sweating on your back, fully adjustable shoulder straps with padding.
Cons: Doesn’t come with an hydration bladder.

Montane Dragon 20 Litre Backpack 

If you’re looking for a very lightweight rucksack to use on your run to work then this could be the bag for you. The Montane is built around their Freelight chassis is a revolutionary design where the load is evening balanced across the user through a stretch form-fitting body harness. 

The Dragon 20 is constructed from ultra lightweight Raptor Zero fabric which give the pack an overall weight of just 375g. The seams are fully taped to provide a high level of protection from water. With the material being so light this also means it dry’s very quickly. 

The straps are constructed from highly breathable mesh material which still manages to maintain a very high comfort level. Hydration options come in the form of two custom Montane water bottle which attach to the straps. There is no option to fit a hydration bladder. If you intend to use this for a short morning commute, this shouldn’t be a problem .

Osprey Talon 22 Backpack

If you’re after something which offers the greatest versatility then the Osprey Tallon 22 is the choice for you. The capacity slightly larger than other bags in our comparison at 22 litres, so if you think you’ll need that extra capacity, it is certainly worth considering.

The Osprey Talon 22 will be the perfect partner for your run to work, walk or cycle. You’re not therefore just getting a one-trick pony. While it is not the lightest pack here at 680g it more than makes up for it with features such as padded hip straps, plenty of compartments and large mesh pockets.

This pack is also one of the most comfortable packs in our review with an adjustable back so you can truly customize it to your own shape.

Vaude Splash 20 Running Backpack

The Vaude Splash 20 hasn’t changed much in the years it has been around. For very good reasons, why change something when it isn’t broken.

It features some interesting features such as Vaudes F.L.A.S.H system for adjusting the position of the backpack and the Aeroflex ventilation system that provides an open and stable space between the pack and your back to allow optimal air movement and reduce sweat.

This back pack features a zip system to allow you to expand the capacity to 25 litres if needed and have compression straps on the side to ensure stability is maintained. The pack is available in a wide range of colours: Black, Blue, Green, Red and Coconut (Yes Coconut!)

Salomon Trail 20 Backpack

The Salomon Trail 20 mixes a lightweight construction, excellent strength and fantastic ventilation.

The back pack includes strategically placed fabric on the straps to help to minimise the friction on your shoulders and neck, something you’ll really beenfit from if you use this backpack on longer runs.

About Me

Hey, I'm Mark and I've been running for around eight years. I'm by no means an elite runner. I'm in the mid-pack, doing what I can to improve and learn along the way.

I've learnt a few tricks along the which I share on this website and my Instagram: