Before you head down your local running/outdoor shop and dive shoulders-first into the backpacks display, take a moment to consider what the best running backpack for you might entail.
• What kind of conditions will you be running in? If you’re going to be run-commuting in Manchester during the winter months, for example, you’re going to want something 100% waterproof.
• How much storage space do you need? You want to be running with the smallest and most minimal backpack that meets your needs.
If you’re carrying little more than trackie bottoms, a T-shirt and a water bottle, a titchy-wee 8-litre backpack may be all you need; if you’re regularly ferrying a laptop, folders, shoes and a full set of clothes, go for 20-litre capacity and up.
• What kind of straps do you want? You’ll at least want a chest-strap to keep the backpack in place while running, but for extra stability a hip-belt can be a godsend – the chafing that jiggling shoulder-straps can cause is a literal pain in the neck.
If you do find that your backpack is rubbing into your neck as you run, consider applying some Vaseline or Body Glide to the effected area before heading off. Your skin’ll thank you!
With that in mind, here are four of the best running backpacks – plus one oddball wildcard option – out there right now…