9 rucksacks perfect for running your commute
To keep your work stuff safe and dry on endorphin-inducing runs by kitting yourself out with one of these commuter-pimped rucksacks.
To carry your work gear, lunch and maybe even your laptop, you need a rucksack that’s perfectly pimped for run commutes: large enough to stash your stuff, light enough to run with, built to withstand the weather, and good looking, too. To unearth the best, we asked Shaun Dixon (former GB Mountain Runner and Founder of coaching company Let's Get Running) and Shankara Smith (MD at independent running shop RunandBecome).
1. IAMRUNBOX Pro
Arrive wrinkle-free with a pack that’s made for active urban commuters. “This is a great option for run commuters who need to stay smart at work,” says Shaun Dixon. “Follow their ‘folding assistant’ guide to fold your shirt, trousers, jacket and tie, then strap your laptop in to avoid it shaking around while you’re running. It looks pretty sleek too, so it’s perfect for city dwellers."
2. Run All Day Backpack, Lululemon
If you’re a sucker for good looks, this ‘sun dazed’ multi-blue beauty could be for you. Created by Vancouver-based company Lululemon, it features an ultra-light harness for maximum airflow, while the waterproof nylon-blend webbing keeps your work stuff safe and dry. At 13L, you can pack all the essentials and a bit more. Also in black or midnight navy.
3. TOR 30L, Hoka One One
A serious rucksack for serious runners, the TOR was built with trail runners in mind but, with its ergonomic design and 30L capacity, it’s ideal for commuters with lots to carry. “Waterproof and durable with all the functions you need for a sweaty commute (or long, hot ultra race), it’s the most comfortable bag I’ve ever run with,” says Shaun. “It’s at the more expensive end but you’re buying real quality."
Price: £119.99 - £158
4. T2 Transition Bag, nolabel
Designed for triathletes, the T2’s double-stitched 500D tarpaulin outer shell is guaranteed to keep your kit dry - it even floats! There’s a 20L compartment, two bottle pouches, elastic cords to stash sweaty gear, plus reflective strips so you’ll be seen after sunset. According to nolabel Founder Brian Vallios, they’re very popular and sell out fast: “this bag’s a real hit – we can't make them quick enough!” Even better for commuters, the V2 (soon to launch) includes a laptop sleeve and key hang tags.
5. Maya 10, Gregory
Designed for the female form, Maya 10 has room for your lunch and work kit in its 10L capacity, without being bulky. Very comfy, with a brilliant fit, “it’s the only pack I can run with,’ says Shankara Smith. The handy compartments include external side pockets, a top zip stash, two quick access waistbelt pockets and a water reservoir. There’s also a 16L version if you need more space.
6. Miwok 12, Gregory
“This 12L male-specific backpack from Gregory is great for commuting as it’s padded where you need it and is well-built to cope with angular or heavier items you need for work,” says Shankara. “It also has some thoughtful extras, like compressor cords for days when you’ve got less to carry."
7. Ultra 15L, Omm
“If you want light and strong, this is your backpack,” says Shankara. “Very simple, with no extra pockets except hip ones, and the ripstop nylon makes it very strong.” Commuter credentials include a removable foam pad to protect your work gear from your back sweat, and stop any sharp stuff jabbing you as you run.
8. Gourdon 25, Alpkit
Keep things simple with this lightweight, watertight running buddy. “Incredibly resilient, the Gourdon 25 is inexpensive, no frills and long-lasting,” says Shaun Dixon. “I used it for many years as an outdoor personal running trainer. It’s really durable and there are no secret compartments or zip pockets – just chuck everything in, strap it up and go.”
9. Lightweight Running Backpack, Nike
If you’re commuting near busy roads, this bag’s reflective panels and luminous strips keep you visible but are understated enough for the office. The stabilised construction reduces bounce, and the well-ventilated back panel means you won’t be the ‘one with the stinky backpack’ at work. Plus, as it says on the tin, this pack won’t weigh you down.