Hard-Shell vs. Soft-Shell Backpacks for Motorbike Riders


When it comes to choosing a backpack for your motorbike adventures, one important decision you'll face is whether to go with a hard-shell or a soft-shell backpack. Both options have their advantages and considerations. In this article, we'll compare and contrast hard-shell and soft-shell backpacks to help you make an informed choice for your needs.

Hard-Shell Backpacks

Hard-shell backpacks, also known as rigid or molded backpacks, feature a solid outer shell made from materials like ABS plastic or polycarbonate. These backpacks offer several benefits:

  • Durability: Hard-shell backpacks are known for their exceptional durability and resistance to impacts, scratches, and abrasions. They provide excellent protection for your belongings, especially delicate items or electronics.
  • Waterproof: Many hard-shell backpacks come with a waterproof design or include a rain cover, ensuring that your gear stays dry even in heavy rain.
  • Organization: Hard-shell backpacks often have specific compartments and internal organization systems, making it easier to keep your gear organized and accessible.
  • Security: The rigid structure of hard-shell backpacks adds an extra layer of security. It's more difficult for unauthorized access or theft attempts due to the sturdy lock systems and rigid construction.

However, hard-shell backpacks also have some considerations:

  • Weight: The rigid outer shell and additional hardware can make hard-shell backpacks heavier than their soft-shell counterparts. This extra weight may affect your comfort, especially during long rides.
  • Flexibility: Hard-shell backpacks have limited flexibility compared to soft-shell options. They may not conform as well to your body or the shape of your motorbike, potentially impacting your range of motion.
  • Storage Capacity: The rigid structure of hard-shell backpacks can limit their expandability. If you need extra space for larger or irregularly shaped items, a soft-shell backpack might be more suitable.

Soft-Shell Backpacks

Soft-shell backpacks, also known as fabric or textile backpacks, are constructed from flexible materials such as nylon, polyester, or canvas. Here are the advantages of choosing a soft-shell backpack:

  • Lightweight: Soft-shell backpacks are generally lighter than hard-shell backpacks, reducing the strain on your body during long rides.
  • Flexibility and Comfort: The soft and flexible nature of these backpacks allows them to conform to your body and the shape of your motorbike, providing greater comfort and freedom of movement.
  • Expandability: Soft-shell backpacks often have additional external pockets, compression straps, or expandable compartments, providing more flexibility in terms of storage capacity.
  • Affordability: Soft-shell backpacks tend to be more affordable than hard-shell options, making them a budget-friendly choice for many riders.

However, there are also a few considerations when it comes to soft-shell backpacks:

  • Protection: While soft-shell backpacks provide reasonable protection for your belongings, they may not offer the same level of impact resistance as hard-shell backpacks. Delicate items or electronics may require additional padding or protective cases.
  • Weather Resistance: Soft-shell backpacks may not be as inherently waterproof as hard-shell options. It's essential to choose a backpack with water-resistant materials or use a rain cover to protect your gear in wet weather.
  • Security: The flexible nature of soft-shell backpacks means they may be more vulnerable to theft or unauthorized access. Consider using additional security measures like locks or anti-theft devices to protect your belongings.


Choosing between a hard-shell and a soft-shell backpack for your motorbike adventures depends on your specific needs and preferences. Hard-shell backpacks offer exceptional durability, protection, and security, while soft-shell backpacks provide flexibility, lightweight design, and expandability.

Consider the nature of your trips, the type of gear you carry, and your personal comfort to make the right choice. Ultimately, both options can serve you well on your motorbike journeys.

To learn more about motorbike gear, travel tips, and exciting adventures, visit our blog today!

At OG-Original, we live and breathe motorbiking. That’s why we’ve crafted the ultimate backpack for riders who demand the best. Our products are made from the highest quality materials and designed to keep you safe on the road. We know that style on your bikes matters too, so we’ve designed backpacks that not only look sharp but also perform flawlessly. Join the OG riders’ community to elevate your motorbike experience.