Review: Icon Dreadnaught Waterproof Motorcycle Backpack

Icon Dreadnaught Backpack

I'm a three/nearly-four-season commuter and for years I've used an old half-size North Face backpack to schlep around my daily necessities. Barely big enough for a sweatshirt and lunch—and featuring extremely advanced waterproofing technology I like to call "putting things inside garbage bags."

This spring I finally threw in the towel. It was time to seriously upgrade my backpack situation.

A few things I KNEW I needed my bag to do:
  • Must fit a 15-inch laptop
  • WA-T-ER-PROOF. I'll hit the pavement rain, shine, or torrential downpour and my backpack must party just as hard
  • No rain covers, because I'm sure as heck not pulling over
  • Must not be completely hideous
After taking a look at what was on the market, I landed on the Icon Dreadnaught. Of the bags I considered (some of the other hot contenders included the OIGO Mach 3 & Alpinestars City Hunter), it was the only one to tick off every box on my must-have list.

Since I purchased it waaaay back in March, I've put it to the test and ridden with it nearly every day. LET'S GET REVIEWING.

Just the nitty-gritty: Icon Dreadnaught Backpack Review

So first things first, this is a roll-top bag. I'm not in love with roll-top. It's annoying to open and it creates bulk. But, if you want to achieve 99.9999% waterproofness, roll-top bags are still king of the castle. The central waterproof section is just one biiiiig compartment with no dividers or pockets.

If that bugs you, don't worry—there are a multitude of pockets on the outside that are still 97% waterproof: three on the front, one that runs the length of the back, and a separate pocket for a hydration pack. (While I really can't see myself using the hydration pack during my commute, it's a super thoughtful touch and well integrated.)

The Deadnaught's shoulder straps are padded and fully adjustable, and the section that sits against your back is also padded and vented. Even if I load it completely full to the point where it feels really heavy (it will hold up to 20L), once it's strapped on it's remarkably comfortable with no stress on my back or shifting around at speed.

What I love:

  • Spacious! I can fit my laptop, chargers, lunch, change of clothes, a pair of shoes, rain gear, and still have room left over
  • Comfortable on the bike, even when heavily loaded
  • Magnetic chest clip is pretty dang slick
  • Great size for weekend trips
  • Definitely proven to be waterproof

What I don't love:

  • I'm a small person and it sometimes feels too tall for my frame
  • Lots of extra strappage, I clipped some of it down with safety pins
  • The roll-top is whatever

Performance & quality

Also functions as a fancy cat bed, glaring not included
I can officially say that the Dreadnaught is absolutely impervious to rain. After many, many rain showers this season and one SUPER INTENSE thunderstorm with a side of hail, I feel confident carting my laptop around in even the most intense weather.

It's constructed from quality materials and feels very well-made, if a bit rubbery (duh). Other than some dead bugs splattered on the shoulder straps, it looks like it was just taken out of the box, even though it's already done more than 1,500 miles.

Style & price

I'll readily admit that I'm a snob when it comes to style. The Dreadnaught isn't the most stylish thing in the world, but it's far from the worst. It has a sleek utilitarian look to it, which... I can live with. I like the black on black logos and reflective striping up the sides.

The Dreadnaught currently retails for about $135, which is (to me) a crazy price for a backpack—but a reasonable price for something fully waterproof.

It strikes a good balance. If you don't want a shitty backpack that's going to leak, you might need to pay a little more, and that's right where the Dreadnaught levels out.

Overall recommendation

I'm very happy with my purchase, and Icon products in general (more to come on that). The Dreadnaught is a solid, reliable backpack option, especially if you need to carry electronics through iffy weather.

Official would recommend? Yes.

About Icon Motorsports

Headquartered in Oregon, Icon specializes in performance-level gear with a modern edge. It's the sportier, streetier, next-level big brother to budget brands like Speed & Strength.


  1. Jamie: Extra strap length was always been a "Hated it!" factor with me, even tho I'm a fat guy who uses WAY more strap than you do. Use a sharp razor knife to cut the extra length of strap--obviously once you have adjusted it properly--and then use a lighter/match to seal the cut ends of the strap so they don't fray. Wa-la! No more safety pins!

    1. Yes I hate that too! I will say, for someone "average man" size it probably won't be an issue. There's a decent amount of strap keepers and doohickeys.

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