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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 05-31-13, 09:02 PM   #1
stanmah
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Which waterproof backpack do you use?

Looking for a waterproof ~30L backpack to use for commuting... just want to see what others are using, not much selection locally.
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Old 05-31-13, 09:18 PM   #2
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I just use my regular backpack and seal everything within with plastic shopping bags.
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Old 06-01-13, 12:38 AM   #3
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That's a large backpack, like 1800 cubic inches.

The only really waterproof cycling backpacks I've run across, that size, are the Ortlieb Pro Messenger Bag and Classic Messenger Bag and the large Seal-Line Urban Backpack sold at REI. I've not used either. Ortliebs are generally top quality bags and I'd trust them. I've heard good things about the Seal-Line too.

That said, there are plenty of other cycling backpacks - messenger type backpacks especially - that will be essentially rain proof, even if they aren't as water proof as the three just mentioned.

And there are smaller Ortliebs and Seal-Lines too. I use an Ortlieb Packman.
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Old 06-01-13, 12:47 AM   #4
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No longer have it, as I found it too big and too warm, but it kept things in the main compartment dry. You can find any number of youtube vids and online reviews- http://banjobrothers.com/products/cu...ackpack-large/
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Old 06-01-13, 12:54 AM   #5
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I really like the Ortleib Vario QL3 Backpack/Pannier. It's one of those bags that converts from a pannier to a backpack, but it's the best incarnation I've seen to date. It works well as a pannier and attaches/detaches easily (as Ortleibs do). I really don't like riding with a backpack on because when I arrive at my destination it usually means my back and shoulders are very sweaty, that's why I like this style of bag best. Then when I get to my destination, the bag quickly converts to a very comfortable backpack. It's pricey (~$160) but if you're a commuter that needs to carry a load on the bike and then around on your back, I personally think this is the best available option so far. It's waterproof, but the capacity might be a bit smaller than you're looking for (this one is 20L).
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Old 06-01-13, 03:49 AM   #6
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I just use my regular backpack and seal everything within with plastic shopping bags.
This. I've never found a hiking backpack that's truly waterproof, but lining everything with shopping bags or trash bags works wonders.
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Old 06-01-13, 07:23 AM   #7
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I use SEALLINE messenger bags..I have two different types..They are 100% waterproof and very durable.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 0015208_seal_line_urban_backpack.jpg (40.7 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Urban_Shoulder_Bag.jpg (69.3 KB, 13 views)
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Old 06-01-13, 07:28 AM   #8
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I just use my regular backpack and seal everything within with plastic shopping bags.
I'm gonna agree. I used a regular backpack most of last year switching to panniers this year. I coated the backpack/panniers with three or four coats of waterproofing spray but made sure to put electronics or valuables inside plastic bags. IE I put my wallet inside a zip-lock bag, computer is wrapped inside a kitchen sized garbage bag.
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Old 06-01-13, 09:35 AM   #9
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I use the Banjo Bros bag Nom1ad mentioned and I love it. The side pocket fits a mini-ulock perfectly (now I use an Abus chain but it's still fine, easy access to the lock without taking your bag off). I no longer use the waterproof liner (since the plastic cracks at -40C, not a criticism, very little gear is designed for daily use where I live) but the "ballistic nylon" outer layer is water resistant for sure, and very durable.

Another plus about the waterproof inner is that it so thick it acts like a cooler, if you so desire, and fits 24 cans of beer.
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Old 06-02-13, 07:44 AM   #10
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Any time i get a nice heavy duty shopping bag i save it so i always have a stash of various sizes to fit panniers or backpacks. I keep one or two hiding at the bottom of each pannier and backpack i own for rainy day use. I patch them up with clear packaging tape as they age and get nicked up until they get too worn out. A good quality plastic bag lasts years for me. The rest - ZipLock freezer bags in two sizes.

Why not a waterproof bag?

1) I hate roll down closures. Great for canoe trips, suck for cycling.

2) i cant see past the top of a square shaped "canoe" bag on my back with my helmet mirror.

3) infinite selection of backpacks and panniers that are not waterproof. They are generally lighter and more comfy than heavily coated, double-lined, or rubber bags.

4) Price.

5) Longevity. Rubber breaks down faster than nylon.

6) Funtion. Looking into a dark tube is less convienent than un-zipping a front panel exposing most contents at once. Zippers are faster than roll-downs too.

Drawbacks: If you get surprised by a downpour you may have to take cover to deploy the plastic bags.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 06-02-13 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 06-02-13, 10:05 AM   #11
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I use the mission workshop waterproof backpack. Mine is 1000 cubic inch VX sanction. They have larger, like the Fitzroy, which is over 30L.
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Old 06-02-13, 10:51 AM   #12
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No longer have it, as I found it too big and too warm, but it kept things in the main compartment dry. You can find any number of youtube vids and online reviews- http://banjobrothers.com/products/cu...ackpack-large/
I really like the BB backpack. But I graduated to their panniers, I'd rather ride without the pack because I overheat too easy. But waterproof, durable, affordable, big, practical.
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Old 06-02-13, 11:05 AM   #13
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I, have one I got Long ago From REI, made for them by Seattle Sports I suspect,
I ordered it and took my 1922 Gibson Mandolin in its case into the shop
when I got it to make sure It Fit inside, before I took it Home.

I also have a Portage Bag , made By Cascade Designs. I have found it useful
in My bike Trailers, as when I have the straps Up I can wear the bag and trailer
and carry the trailer on my Back, and climb stairs and carry the bike in My Hands..

works in the Carry Freedom City, and the Burly Flatbed.

Otherwise I have Ortlieb Panniers on My Bike.. no Back Pack, commuting , unless ..


I need the backpack to carry stuff not part of the commute, then I got a Dana Designs pack 'blaze'
its sewn together , so not waterproof.. its 2 + decades old..
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Old 06-02-13, 12:42 PM   #14
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I don't. I always have a 13 gal trash bag in the pocket of my backpack to wrap around in case of rain. Oh, and I strap the backpack to the rack with 6-hook bungee net.
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Old 06-02-13, 04:14 PM   #15
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I use the Osprey Momentum 34. It comes with a rain fly cover. It is a very nice commuter backpack.

http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/produc...te/momentum_34
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Old 06-02-13, 06:09 PM   #16
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Looking for a waterproof ~30L backpack to use for commuting... just want to see what others are using, not much selection locally.
Go to Osprey. They have a built in waterproof cover. They are also guaranteed for life. Get the one that has good airflow over your back.
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Old 06-03-13, 05:12 AM   #17
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I just rode in a steady rain for 30 minutes with the Timbuk2 TrackII cycling backpack. Similarly to their Shift Messenger Pannier, my stuff got a little wet. Hoping this huge wet spot on my pants dries before my students get to school.
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Old 06-04-13, 11:36 PM   #18
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I like the Seattle Sports Aquaknot drybag backpack. Mine has been very durable and never leaked a drop in year-round Seattle commuting. I added a large reflective flap to augment its smaller stock reflective patches, but other than that, it's great.


Rainy Day Conspicuity - Rear by joshua_putnam, on Flickr
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Old 06-05-13, 07:41 AM   #19
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My backpack is just water resistant. When the weather is really wet and I gotta ride in it I use garbage bags. I usually carry on in my pack. If not there's always a spare at work or home.
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Old 06-05-13, 07:44 AM   #20
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My Vaude backpack comes with a stow-away waterproof cover. Takes a few seconds to put it on or off as necessary.
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Old 06-05-13, 07:47 AM   #21
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I like my Deuter Futura 28 liter. It's water resistant without the rain cover and completely waterproof with it. Also is set up for a camelbak.
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Old 06-05-13, 08:14 AM   #22
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For simple cheap solution, there are the so-called waterproof backpack covers on the market. The good ones even have reflective bands.
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Old 06-05-13, 08:34 AM   #23
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I have the large Banjo Brothers commuter backpack. 2000 ci, waterproof, comfortable. I don't use it for commuting much though since I almost always use panniers. The interior waterproof liner does wear out, but it is easily replaceable and costs $10.
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Old 06-05-13, 09:47 AM   #24
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I have an 'aqua quest' dry bag system that is kind of awesome. No idea about how many liters of soda it can fit though.
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Old 06-05-13, 10:09 AM   #25
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I like my Deuter Futura 28 liter. It's water resistant without the rain cover and completely waterproof with it. Also is set up for a camelbak.
I have the same bag, and love it as well. Additionally, it's designed so that it rides mostly off your back, so you get good airflow in between.
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