With more and more traffic on our roads than ever before, collisions are, unfortunately, on the rise. Cyclists are especially vulnerable to accidents, as they aren’t always spotted by drivers as they weave in and out of traffic. One way that you can help make yourself stand out from the crowd is to invest in a good high visibility backpack.
High visibility backpacks work by using bright colors and materials that reflect light to catch attention. This is handy not only for cyclists, but also for children that have t cross busy roads, and even people that like exploring the outdoors – a bright bag can act as a beacon in an emergency in the wilderness.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 High Visibility Backpacks
Think it’s time you took the plunge and got one of your very own? Here’s our list of the best high-vis backpacks currently on the market to help you decide.
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Okay, we’re kicking off our list of the best high visibility backpacks around with the Proviz Sports Reflect 360. The thing we love most about this backpack is that it’s managed to retain a surprisingly stylish appearance, unlike many of the other high-vis bags you’ll see on the market.
It achieves this by coating the bag’s exterior in an award-winning reflective material that contains thousands of minuscule glass beads to reflect light sources, illuminating the backpack and making sure you can be seen easily. Yet in the absence of light, the bag looks like an ordinary grey backpack (rather than a goofy fluorescent one) – pretty neat huh?
With a 30L capacity, this bag is the ideal size for commuting as well as day hikes. Plus, it will keep your gear dry come rain or shine thanks to water-resistant fabric (1500mm) and sealed seams. On top of that, it’s hydration compatible, so you can make sure you stay hydrated while you’re on the move (whether that’s in the city or the wilderness).
It has tonnes of organizational features, such as a laptop compartment, gear loops, and webbing, so you can find what you want when you want it, and we love that it comes with adjustable waist and chest straps for even weight distribution.
While it might not draw quite as much attention as fluorescent packs in the absence of light, and it certainly isn’t the cheapest backpack out there, we just can’t get enough of this high vis pack that perfectly blends style with functionality.
If you’re after a high visibility backpack that’s up for anything, then you should definitely check out the TOMSHOO Backpack.
This pack is available in a range of color choices, all of which are bright and eye-catching (our personal favorite is the blue), and there are also reflective strips on the pack’s exterior. Plus, the pack comes with an integrated high-vis rain cover to give you that extra visibility when the bad weather hits.
Although aimed primarily at cyclists, this pack is jam-packed with features that make it great for all types of outdoor activities. The compression straps, combined with adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist straps, mean that you can streamline your load and spread the weight evenly, making it an awesome pack for day hikes. Plus, there are tonnes of straps and clips where you can attach extra gear if you need to, it’s hydration compatible, and there’s even an external net helmet cover, which is perfect for safety-conscious climbers and cyclists.
This pack also has plenty of organizational features for your gadgets and valuables, including a laptop compartment, mesh side pockets, hip belt pockets (which are awesome when you’re on the move, and even a detachable phone pouch. The outer material is abrasion-resistant nylon, but we do wish the fabric was slightly thicker overall.
It might not be the smartest backpack out there, and it’s definitely catered towards outdoor pursuits, but with all these extra features, we wouldn’t be surprised if you end up using this back on your way to the office every now and then (especially if you cycle) oh, and it comes with a very reasonable price tag too!
If you’re on the hunt for a high-vis backpack that won’t break the bank, then the Shugon Hi-Vis Rucksack might be just what you’re looking for.
The exterior of this hi vis backpack is constructed entirely from high-vis fabrics, and you can take your pick from bright orange or yellow. On top of that, the pack features reflective strips on the back and sides that will light up when the headlights hit them, making this a great pack for roadside safety.
This, combined with the slightly smaller capacity of 23L, makes this backpack a great choice for children who’ll be walking home alongside busy roads. But that doesn’t mean adults won’t like it too! In fact, this bag is awesome for anyone into biking thanks to the expandable pocket on the back that fits an entire helmet – you’ll be safe on the road thanks to the high vis and, when you get to your destination, you can simply pop your helmet in the pouch – perfect. One thing to note, however, is that this pack is lacking chest ad weight straps, which isn’t ideal if you need to carry heavier loads.
Other features include dual mesh AND zippered pockets, a carry handle, and adjustable shoulder straps. There’s also an internal pocket with an outlet for headphones, in case you like to listen to music while you walk or bike along, as well as some internal separation.
However, if you’re looking for a simple, affordable backpack that will ensure you stay safe while cycling or walking in motorized areas, then this pack is definitely worth considering.
Anyone who loves spending time on or near the water knows all too well how easy it is to lose bits of gear to the depths. Luckily, as the name suggests, the Roc Gear OverBoard Backpack has been designed with taking a trip overboard in mind to make sure that all is not lost if it does take a tumble off the side of your vessel.
Firstly, if you do drop this hi vis pack you’ll be able to spot it in an instant thanks to the fact that it floats and the incredibly bright red exterior (it’s also available in yellow, but we think the red looks way better). And, in case you drop it in the dark, there are dual vertical reflective panels on the back of the pack that will reflect the light of any beams cast on them. The carry handle is also super sturdy, so you can hoist this pack out f the water without any problems. And, finally, this pack is entirely waterproof, so all your goods will be safe when you eventually retrieve your pack, yay.
Although designed for watery adventures, the waterproof nature of the pack, its reflectivity, the LED light attachment point on the back, and the fact that it comes with a chest and waist strap all make this pack a great choice for cycling or hiking in bad weather too. Oh – and there’s an emergency whistle in the chest strap too.
It doesn’t have a laptop compartment, but it’s not really designed as a work backpack – instead, it features an interior accessory pocket for our bits and bobs, D rings for clipping on extra gear, and dual mesh side pockets
If you’re after a high visibility bag that you can take with you on anything from kayaking to fishing to cycling adventures, then this is definitely our top recommendation.
With a capacity of 35L, the Reflektor 35L Backpack is one of the more spacious options on our list, but you wouldn’t know just from looking at it.
Despite its slightly larger capacity, this pack has managed to retain a compact, tidy style overall, and it seems a lot smaller than it is. This compactness makes it awesome for cycling, and you can rest assured that you’ll be seen on the road thanks to the majority of the pack being constructed from reflective fluorescent fabric (there are a range of colors to chose from too).
The spacious interior features multiple compartments, which is great for organizing, including a laptop compartment, making this a great high visibility backpack for commuting. And, when you get to work, you can stash your bike helmet in the included helmet net, winning.
The fabric is not only reflective but also water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about a bit of drizzle. If the rain gets worse though, fear not, there’s also an integrated high-vis waterproof rain cover to keep your belongings safe.
The pack is also very comfortable thanks to the adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist straps that ensure the perfect fit as well as great weight distribution. This, combined with its water resistance, makes this pack an awesome choice for hiking as well as biking.
It might be a tad more expensive than some other high visibility backpack, but really you’re getting a bag that can be used for inner-city adventures as well as trips into the great outdoors, so we think that it’s worth it overall.
The Under Armor Medium Fry Backpack is a great choice if you’re looking for a way to keep your child safe from traffic.
First things first though, let us be clear, this pack is SMALL – with just a 4.8L capacity, don’t go expecting to fit much more than a toy, some snacks, and maybe a juice box in here. Having said that, the small capacity makes it great for smaller children, and it’s a good way to introduce them to looking after their own possessions bit by bit.
What’s more, the bright coloring is a great safety feature if your kids have to cross busy roads often. On top of that, the fabric used is highly waterproof, so you don’t have to panic when a rain cloud hits.
The hi vis bag also features side mesh water bottle holders to save you some interior space, and we love the label on the inside where your child can add their name in case they get separated from their pack. The straps are adjustable too, so this pack can grow with your little ones, and we love that you can pop this bag in the wash when it’s time for a clean (which tends to be quite often with energetic children round!).
Overall, if you’re looking for a way to boost your child’s responsibility levels, as well as brightening them up so that traffic steers clear of them, then this is a great little pack.
Next up we have the Safety Depot Backpack, a great option if high visibility and affordability are your top priorities.
This simple hi vis backpack features a no-frills design to bring you a functional and very well illuminated backpack. We love that you can access the main compartment via either the top or the dual side entries, making it easy to grab what you need quickly even when your bag is jam-packed.
The phosphorescent fabric will make you super easy to spot by day or night, and the reflective paneling will make you highly visible to traffic. On the outside of the pack, there’s an expanding pouch where you can stash your helmet, or even a ball if you’re on your way to or from a game. Plus, there are dual mesh pockets on the side for your water bottles or other bits of gear, saving you some interior space and ensuring quick access while you’re on the move.
The shoulder straps are very adjustable, so you can even share this pack with your child if you need to, and there’s a handy stash pocket where you can keep your ID or other valuables. Plus, we love the port that lets you run your headphones from the interior pocket to your ear, so you can listen to music without holding your device in your hand.
It might not have all the fancy features of more expensive models, like extra straps and heaps of pockets, but if you just want something bright to keep you safe as you bike around, then this pack will definitely do the trick.
Perhaps it’s a bit cheeky to include the Salzmann Reflective Backpack Cover in a list of the best high visibility backpacks around… but we just couldn’t help it.
This backpack cover really is the perfect solution if you already have a backpack that you adore, but you’re worried about its lack of visibility. There’s a range of colors and designs to chose from, but they’re all incredibly bright and feature a generous amount of reflective material, so there’s no way you’ll go unnoticed as you bike around.
The cover works well with bags up to 35L, so pretty much most day packs, and it’s super simple to use – simply wrap the elastic edges around your pack and tighten the two straps that are there for added security.
Plus, the cover is highly weather-resistant and, thanks to its 15mm waterproof rating, will massively boost the waterproof rating of your pack overall. Oh – and it will keep yourwaterproof backpack looking box fresh too!
This cover is popular among many commuters because it means you can wear an office-appropriate, low-visibility backpack when you get to work but be nice and safe as you travel there and back. Yet it’s also great for use in the outdoors when you get caught in bad weather.
Overall, if you’re looking for a cheap and simple way to increase the visibility of your favorite daypack, then this cover is an incredible shout.
There you have it – the top high visibility backpacks around – but what properties should you look out for when you’re shopping around?
This might sound obvious… but visibility can be achieved in different ways. If you want something that works well in traffic at night, look for reflective materials. If you want something bright for the daytime, then high vis materials are great. Most packs will have a blend of the two, and some even have attachment points for LEDs if you want to ramp it up even further.
First up, make sure you check the capacity of the main compartment – is it enough for your needs? But some packs will have things like side water bottle holders and places for you to clip on extra gear, which can save you heaps of internal space too.
Rain covers, hip belts, waterproof materials, expandable helmet pouches…. The list goes on. As much as extra features are fun, they do tend to increase the overall price, so make sure that you pick a pack with ones that you’ll actually find useful!
Still struggling to decide which high visibility backpack is right for you? Here are our top three to help you deice:
For any budget-conscious shoppers out there, we definitely recommend the Shugon Hi-Vis Rucksack. Not only is it super high-vis backpack, but it features reflective strips too – you’ll definitely stand out with this pack on your back
We love that the front pocket expands to house your helmet and the handy headphone port that lets you listen to music as you go – you can’t ask for more at this price!
Our top allround high visibility backpack is the TOMSHOO Backpack.
This super versatile backpack is packed full of features that make it ideal for cycling by busy road as well as for hiking and climbing adventures.
Highly adjustable, and with laptop compartment to boots, there really isn’t much this pack can’t do.
But our favorite high visibility backpack just has to be the Proviz Sports Reflect 360.
It lights up like a beacon thanks to the innovative fabric used for its construction, it offers awesome weight distribution… and yet it’s maintained a stylish appearance overall – what a winner!