Touring - Pannier Backpack
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01-16-11, 09:18 PM
Maybe someone else has already thought/done this. I found an old military rucksack frame at a thrift store a while ago and it find morphed into a pannier backpack. I wanted to do an over night trip and then cruise around town on foot, with out leaving my camping gear and etc. on my bike to be stolen.
The frame is about 5lbs... :-(
All my gear is ultra-light and I still have young legs, so I'm not to worried about the weight.
One set up with my nash-bar panniers and the other with one axiom pannier.
01-16-11, 09:30 PM
Honestly, how ultralight is the rest of your gear? If you already have a way to carry it, you could look into one of those big frameless stuff sack style backpacks. If you're not carrying anything over 15-20 pounds, you could get away without a frame for your bag. You could even pack everything in the backpack and just strap that to your rack. I did something similar with a roll top stuff sack that would out great.
Or do what the ultralight folks do and integrate your sleeping pad into your bag as a "frame".
Check out the MYOG section on this site:
01-16-11, 10:05 PM
Ortlieb has a backpack attachment for their panniers. look at ortieb accessories
02-07-11, 09:17 PM
Thank you gentlemen,
I think I found some middle ground with my new pannier backpack conversion. I took my cammelback backpack and attached my spare pannier hook to the plastic support in the water battler storage pocket. Sense I got the bag for free and the hook was a spare I think I saved a lot of money. I wouldn't trust more than than 10-15 lbs with just one hook, but the buckles on the side of my bag can attach to my rack giving me three areas of support. I also took a piece of shock cord and tied it to the hook to keep the bag from jumping off my rack. I can fit all my weekend camping gear on and in this bag! The bag as seen in the photo is not how I would carry it on my bike. That is my sleeping pad, tent, and sleeping bag would be attached to the top of my rack with bungee cords or velcro.
The problem you are trying to solve is not leaving your gear on your bike to be stolen. But, even if you take your gear with you when you walk around, you have to find a place to stash your bike. If you are comfortable locking your bike and leaving it, then why not lock your gear to your bike? One idea is the Pac-Safe (http://www.pacsafe.com/www/index.php?_room=3&_action=detail&id=11). Or, you could come up with something on your own.
Another idea is to find a place to leave your bike and gear where someone is watching it. Maybe a store or a restaurant that you just ate at or maybe the office of a motel. A little money could go along way in this regard.
A third idea is to ride around town on your bike.
A fourth idea is not to walk around towns that don't feel safe.
Frankly, the idea of carrying around a heavy pack just to use on the few occasions when I want to walk around town has no interest to me.
Why are you spending the night in a town where you are so concerned about theft? Maybe go to another town?
I wrote an article about locking your bike on tour (http://www.biketouringtips.com/showTipComments.php?tipID=1533) that tries to deal with this issue.
Whatever you decide, good luck,
02-07-11, 10:17 PM
I've also converted one pack to hook onto my bike rack like a pannier. My purpose was to be able to combine biking and hiking - i.e. bicycle to the trailhead, roll the bike a little ways into the forest so it's not visible and lock it to a tree, and then go off on a hike. I used the hook attachments used by Lone Peak for their panniers and placed them far enough out at the top corners of the pack so they never touch my back while hiking. When on the bike I put the backpack straps around on the rear of the pack so they're out of the way and can't get into the wheel.
If your gear is ultralight (less than 15-20lbs total base weight) you should be able to get away with much less than that 5lb pack.
My base weight is usually around 15 pounds, and all my gear fits into a dry sack that gets strapped onto my rear rack. I also have a small handlebar bag that I use to carry snacks and things I use alot (camera etc)
I was also worried about leaving my bike unattended with my stuff on it, so I sewed on some straps to convert the dry bag into a backpack that I can carry around with me when I leave the bike. The dry bag + straps only weighs about 10 ounces, so that works out awesome. Its really easy to undo a few bungies and just carry around my stuff.
02-08-11, 12:18 AM
Arkel makes a pannier that converts to a back pack, the Arkel GT-18BP (http://www.arkel.ca/ca_f/all-categories/touring-bike-bag/gt-18-grand-touring-front-pannier.html). I have one and like it very much. It fits a bit looser than a regular back pack.
02-08-11, 12:21 AM
These kinds of thread, that is, being about taking all your gear with you all the time because of a fear of theft, are almost always started by someone who has not done much touring. We all fear having or stuff stolen until we actually get out and tour and realize that most of the best places to tour tend to be rural and away from the high crime cities. There are of course, exceptions to this, where taking everything with you might make sense. However, before investing too much money into a backpack/pannier combo I would try and get out and tour! I like the DYI thingy you made. If it makes you feel better take it along but, in the end I think you will find it was unnecessary, based on what you have written here.
Tourist in MSN
02-08-11, 05:47 AM
Some of the gear is a lot closer to the chain than I would want it in a couple of the photos. But, maybe you never hit the big potholes?
Cyclist2000 noted above that Ortlieb makes an attachment to carry a pannier. They made one and now make a different version. The old version is on sale at the touring store on their clearance page, $20 plus shipping.
02-08-11, 11:28 AM
Good points fellas
I'm inexperienced tourist having only gone on two overnight trips but I still like the peace of mind knowing that my gear is safe. My over night and day tours usually involve riding to a city or town and visiting various resturants, theaters, museums. When I go on trips lasting longer than two days I will use my panniers and not worry to so much because I will be with other people. I always use two locks on my bike(U-lock and chain) so I'm not really worried about someone lifting my old bike. I would never walk around somewhere I didn't feel personally safe, but expensive equipment locked to my bike for unattained hours is just asking for trouble if you ask me, Id rather burden by back for a few hours than my wallet for new gear.
The backpack pannier cost almost nothing and saved me $80-150. I did almost buy the arkel bug, but why buy something when you can make or modify something yourself for much cheaper.
The picture showing my bag attached to my bike is not how I would attach if I was going to be riding anywhere. The bag would be on the other side and not have my tent and sleeping pad attached to the bottom. I have rode 76 mile with this bag and it has yet to get caught in my spoke, chain, or strike my heel.
I would highly recommend buying or making a pannier backpack! Handy for shopping, school, commuting.
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