I carpool to work in the mornings but I run home after work. I have tried running with a regular backpack but that didn't work. It bounced up and down too much and wore out my shoulders. I am now running with my small camelback but that only has room for a cellphone and wallet. Because with the camelback my load is so small, I have worked out an elaborate system to get my stuff back home to me.

My solution would be to find a good backpack that doesn't bounce when I run so I can just take my stuff with me when I run home.

Any suggestions on which backpacks are good for running? Any tips on how to run with a backpack on so I don't screw up my back or something?

  • 4
    I know this does not answer your question about backpacks, but... is there any chance you can alternate running from morning one day to night the next? If you can figure this out, perhaps you could take gear in advance when you drive, and then when you run that night you can just run. Then run the next morning, and all your needs will be at the office from taking them the day before. Then carpool home that night taking all your gear home. Make sense? Commented Jul 18, 2011 at 12:41
  • I, too, want to run home from work - approx 14 km - so I need backpack as well. The perfect backpack would allow me to take my laptop along. Unfortunately, it is a 17" MacBook Pro, so it will take a rather big backpack. Did you decide on a backpack to use? Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 12:24
  • I'm looking at Nike Cheyenne Vapor. Does anybody have an opinion on this? (See store.nike.com/us/en_us/?l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-361414/…) Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 12:27
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's essentially about a product recommendation.
    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 18:27
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a shopping question.
    – Sean Duggan
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 11:53

10 Answers 10


I'd imagine that if you tighten up the straps and kept the backpack load high on your back that it would alleviate some bouncing. Also, you could consider getting a backpack that has a hip band or support so that the bottom half is tight to your back.


If you can deal with looking like a total nutter, then you might consider a load bearing vest:

enter image description here

They distribute the weight, and some people use them to load weight (good for weighted pull-ups if you put rocks/baking sundries in the pockets). They hold quite a lot, but aren't great for paper or books. Some have lots of straps, so I could imagine rigging a laptop sleeve to the back of one.

You will look like some sort of militant survival fantasist though. You can get a black one if you're feeling tactical.

  • I read somewhere (probably wikipedia) that runner-knees are more a problem with the female, apparently because mass-point is lower. Any idea which kind of equipment is more ideal with runner-knees? With this, you do not get the irritating pendulum to your back but not sure about the mass-point change -effect on the runner knees. Ideas?
    – user2598
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 20:51
  • ...about mil: if you want to look less mil-fanatic, there are products such as HELIKON-TEX Urban Tactical Pants -- which work pretty well during running. Not really backpack but very well designed and can handle things such as phones and other misc items. With good belt (nb Masi answer) and some shoulder support, you can carry almost an elephant :P
    – user2598
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 20:58
  • That looks awesome! You can exercise and look like Kit Latura (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_%28film%29) at the same time!
    – Richard
    Commented Mar 22, 2012 at 14:19

Good packs will hold firmly to you, and also firmly onto the items within them. This allows you to efficiently carry the items as a part of your body rather than as an object hanging off of your body.

To start, consider what you need to carry and determine what a reasonably sized bag is. Getting a bag that is just big enough, with cinch straps and/or a hip straps will go a long way with comfort.


If you are like most people you probably take long strides while running. If you take really short strides you have less up-down movement of your body and the backpack doesn't bounce as much.

  • I have actually switched to a forefront strike and a shorter stride. I havent tried it with a backpack yet. Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 16:26

You should take a look at GoRuck. Expensive? Yes, but it will last several lifetimes. They have a lot of sizes, some of the packs are prepared for laptops, camelbaks, some have a lot of inner organization, others have less... Maybe they have something that suits your needs.

GoRuck has started a "movement" a few years ago that evolved into an actual sport, "rucking" as they call it. Shortly put, people run/walk with weights on the backpack, and it's a great exercise. There are even some epic events where people have to accomplish team objectives (like transporting huge trees as a team for several kilometers), with the packs on their backs.

Besides GoRuck, you could try other high-end "tactical" brands. Some have very high quality backpacks that are prepared to withstand Armageddon, but focus on you being comfortable and happy. If they are used by soldiers on obstacle courses, I guess they will be quite good for running.

Personally, I have been using a 7-liter Tasmanian Tiger Essential Pack for running (it's great).


I had a similar problem to you where I wanted to run to football (soccer) with my boots in a bag and have room for various other items (money, drink etc).

The solution I found was to look for a trail running bag. I don't do trail running but I found they were the best bags to get as they are designed to stay close to your body without jumping up and down and to carry enough equipment.

After a bit of research, I found the company inov-8 and their bags. They aren't super cheap but they fit a surprising amount of equipment in them and they cling to my body very well.

  • Thanks! The bags look great! I dont think that they are that expensive. They are pretty comperable to other manufactures. Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 16:29

I would recommend a Nathan trail running pack. I've used Nathan, Camelbak and some other designs. The Nathan is more comfortable than the Camelbak because it hugs you more and therefore distributes the weight around your core better - and in a more balanced fashion. Certainly, around here nearly every runner I know uses Nathan.

The larger packs can carry quite a lot of stuff. After all, they're designed to carry 2L of fluid, clothing and some safety gear for up to 30km at a time. I'd suggest that getting anything bigger is going to slow your running down too much.


Checkout a video by this company I found on youtube, LatLock Packs, by far the easiest pack to run with I've found.


A pack that finally does "not bounce" even with books, I run to class now in comfort and pretty fast too.


I used to run with a camelbak ... it wasn't a very small one either. If you don't clip the straps together across your chest it will go all over the place, but if you do clip the straps together it stays in place very well. This was with about 2l of water, my phone and wallet in the bag.


Please, consider to have a good belt, i.e. wide one, too which lowers your mass point by having something bind there such as by Condor stuff. Think then again about your need of the backpack.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.