Touring - panniers that convert into a backpack
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03-24-10, 05:53 PM
i ride a bike Friday folding bicycle and have been on quite a few bicycling adventures across the usa including throwing my bike on freight trains and folding the thing up and mailing it down the road to section hike the appellation trail. my problem has always been finding a practical way of moving all of my gear around. i am interested in a pannier system that converts into a backpack by a company named panpak http://www.panpack.com/ however the site seems "funny". is anyone out there aware of any pannier systems that could be converted into a back country backpack?
03-24-10, 11:51 PM
The guy who builds the Panpacks lives not far from my home in Gatineau (Aylmer Sector) Quebec and I met a local cycle-tourist that has them. He used them on a few trips and had only good things to say about them. He also mentioned that they are designed to be repairable in the field - meaning no complicated materials.
I believe Ortlieb makes panniers that have backpack strap attachment available for them...
03-25-10, 07:25 AM
Ortliebs come with a shoulder strap, and at least the BikePackers and BikePackers Plus have an attachment available to convert them to a conventional backpack or knapsack.
I have used an innertube as makeshift shoulder straps, and used the compression strap on my pannier as the waist strap. I had the back of the pannier facing away from my back, so the hardware wouldn't dig into me. It worked well for a 10 hour hike.
03-25-10, 07:48 AM
Arkel makes a great pannier, the GT-18, and they make a convertible GT-18BP model that convert cleanly into a comfortable backpack. much easier to wield and pack away than ortliebs' separate attachment system. Arkel also makes two, more urban bags that might worky for you, the Switchback or the <I think its called the Bug.
03-25-10, 08:02 AM
Nashbar has one also.
03-25-10, 08:04 AM
I've been looking at Panpacks for a while. I haven't used them but the few reviews/comments I've seen were positive. It seems you need the optional belt and shoulder pads on the Backcountry or World Tour models for serious backpacking. The very small (16L) front panniers attaches to the Backcountry and World Tour. Pretty clever.
03-25-10, 03:17 PM
Nashbar has one also.
I have one of the Nashbar pannier/backpacks. I use it more as a backpack than as a pannier now that I have a set of Ortliebs, and it works fine in that role. It is fully waterproof and roll-top, and the quality of workmanship (occasionally a problem with Nashbar-branded items) seems good. The only weak point is the way it hooks onto racks - it only works with racks that are made of small-diameter tubing (like Blackburn, it doesn't work so well with Tubus). It seems like a pretty good solution for day hikes, but unless your sleeping bag packs up really small, you won't be able to do any backpacking with it.
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