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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-08-12, 04:11 PM   #1
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Commuting Bags

Before I get obvious replies to this question, I did a search the only reply is over 2 years old.

Now to my question. Does anyone have any recommendations for backpacks? I have a few requirements:

- Waterproof
- Light attachment points
- U-Lock storage

I have looked at some the the Mission Workshop bags, some like the Vandal. My concerns are I ride 18 miles one way to college, in my bag I carry a 13" MacBook Pro, a iPad, iPhone, toolkit, change of clothing (usually just shirt and shorts), spiral bound paper, and pens, pencils. I currently have a messenger bag and the reason of looking for a new bag is because my messenger bag is a little to big.

Normally I would look at panniers, however being on a college campus I don't feel that is the most secure choice.

Does anyone have any suggestions of bags or experiences?
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Old 07-08-12, 04:26 PM   #2
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There are panniers available that are easily carried around with you. You don't have to leave them on the bike all day. I'm not providing examples, because there are several, and they're easy to find. I don't really have any experience with commuting backpacks.

What were your search criteria? I don't care about starting a new thread, but it's difficult to believe this issue hasn't been discussed in two years, and there should be some good information out there for you.
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Old 07-08-12, 04:45 PM   #3
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Does anyone have any recommendations for backpacks?
Don't do it.
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Old 07-08-12, 04:45 PM   #4
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I plugged "waterproof backpack" into the search function from the 'Commuting' index page. Here's the results.
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Old 07-08-12, 04:55 PM   #5
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I'd get a Big Newspaper boy Wald front basket, and carry your back pack,
or the messenger bag in it..
maybe a couple square buckets on the rear rack.. panniers
with snap lids .. that covers dry, and cheap..

Hot sticky-humid Missouri .. I memory serves me well,
Id have a hard time coping with a back pack on walking .
and I haven't been back there in over 40 years ..
The River is still there .. so time wouldn't change things...

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Old 07-08-12, 06:09 PM   #6
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It is hot and stick here and as I mentioned I have a 36 mile round trip ride. The load out that I have isn't very heavy, but I ride everyday.

Most of the roads are narrow and little shoulders so the lighting is a big issue. Thanks for the hints of bags that might fall into my needs.
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Old 07-08-12, 06:56 PM   #7
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*shrug*

Take a look at Banjo Brothers. They have waterproof backpacks that were designed with cyclists in mind and cost less than a $100. I used to have a size Large; lacked organization that I craved and was a bit too big. I like the looks of their new Metro, but I suspect that it may be too small at times. Then I found out about the Captain Phil from All-City Cycles- it's essentially a deluxe version of a Banjo Brothers Commuter 'pack. Just need the $$ to get my hands on one.

Banjo Brothers will probably be your least cost option for something that suits your requirements and not have to mess with a seperate rain cover. However, you will sweat tons with this pack. If you want your back to breathe better, then pony up the dough for a MSW or go with something that needs a rain cover. Osprey and Deuter make good packs if you can tolerate keeping up with a rain cover.
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Old 07-08-12, 09:58 PM   #8
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If you have the money, give Ortlieb panniers a try. They're expensive, but they're totally waterproof, and they come off and go on the bike in about a second (seriously). They also come with very handy shoulder straps, so you can carry them around easily once you get off the bike. The other choice would be a small messenger backpack, also by Ortlieb. It's less expensive, not that big, but still big enough for a laptop and a few other books as well. and it's also totally waterproof. Neither of these products are very pretty, but they're not hideous, either, and they're functional and very, very durable.

http://www.ortliebusa.com/prod-30.htm

http://www.ortliebusa.com/prod-22.htm

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Old 07-08-12, 11:33 PM   #9
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I got a set of used panniers from the local co-op for $20. After a little repair (I stapled a seam closed), they're great, and have been for 300+ miles now.
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Old 07-09-12, 08:45 AM   #10
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check out the Mountainsmith Day Pack. Its a lumbar pack and it will keep the sweat off your back. It will hold all your items, because that is almost exactly what I take with me.
http://www.rei.com/product/829858/mo...-tls-waistpack or their website http://www.mountainsmith.com/product...bCategory2Id=0
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Old 07-09-12, 10:02 AM   #11
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I use the Arkel Bug for commuting - it is a pannier, which converts to a backpack. It is water resistant by itself, but there is a waterproof cover that you can use for when it is really pouring. I can carry my laptop in it, but usually goes into an Arkel briefcase since it is happier there. The bug has room for lock and helmet as well as clothes & lunch.

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Old 07-09-12, 11:18 AM   #12
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Give the either the Osprey Momentum or the Osprey Escapist a good look. Both are cycling specific packs, and both have built-in rain covers. The Momentum Series have multiple padded compartments, that would fit both the laptop and the Ipad. The Escapist is more of a bikepacking style pack, and would require laptop sleeves. but has positively awesome back ventilation for long rides. Ton of features on both packs, and a variety of colors and sizes.

Momentum
http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/group/...omentum_series


Escapist:
http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/group/...t_series_-_new
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Old 07-09-12, 11:44 AM   #13
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Ooh, I like that Escapist.... must...resist...
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Old 07-09-12, 02:05 PM   #14
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I have a Banjo Brothers Metro backpack that I use in the winter, but it's way too hot to use in the spring/summer/fall. I just ordered a Deuter Race EXP Air for summer riding (possibly for the winter as well as it has a built-in rain fly). We'll see how well their advertised suspension system works.

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Old 07-09-12, 02:59 PM   #15
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Some of the Osprey ones get really good reviews for biking. Not sure if they have a specific U Lock holder, but they shoudl work. Also, Camelback's new mountain biking packs are supposed to be very breathable on your back, they might be worth a look. I love my backpack, but the specific one I use (Mountain Hardwear Scrambler) probably wouldn't be the best choice for your specific circumstance.
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Old 07-09-12, 04:37 PM   #16
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I am going to get the Sanction from MissionWorkshop. Its $179 but has good storage for my 13" macbook and iPad from the weather.
http://missionworkshop.com/products/...k/sanction.php
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Old 07-09-12, 05:56 PM   #17
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I am going to get the Sanction from MissionWorkshop. Its $179 but has good storage for my 13" macbook and iPad from the weather.
http://missionworkshop.com/products/...k/sanction.php
That does look nice. Hope it works out for you. Would love to read your review after you get a chance to try it.
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Old 07-09-12, 06:44 PM   #18
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I bike to and from work and school and my panniers always stay with me loaded with laptop and paperwork (and usually some tools and bungees). I use Arkel B-40s because I wanted a large single compartment - they come as a pair and I either have the right side bag locked to the bike (locked through a metal tab, not a strap, so they need an Allen key to remove it or have to cut the lock) or leave it at home. The left side bag is removed in seconds and gets carried with me everywhere.

I used to bike with backpacks and I would always leave the ride with my back completely soaked. The panniers have the added advantage of giving drivers a visual cue closer to the true width of your bike, lest they judge passing space using your rear wheel instead of your handlebars - that's why I keep my left bag on all the time and clip a blinky light to it as well.
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