Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-07-13, 11:56 PM   #1
diewhenever
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Recommend a backpack for commuting?

Hi BikeForums.

I know you must get a lot of these threads--I've searched, but I still have yet to find the PERFECT BAG. I'm obsessed with this stuff, sadly.

I'm looking for a bag that is:
  • Mid-size (22-25 L, good for a change of clothes, water bottle, extra pair of shoes, u-lock, lunch, and a few misc. items)
  • Has good organization (i.e., a few small pockets)
  • Reasonably weatherproof. Ideally waterproof
  • Around $150? Willing to compromise, I guess.
  • A plus would be: separation from back/good airflow to help prevent shweat
  • Another plus: some reflective stuff
  • Another plus: expansion to accommodate groceries, like roll-top

Been looking at the Banjo Brothers Commuter, Osprey/Deuter packs (mainly Radial and Futura 22, respectively), Tom Bihn Synapse 25, and the Mission Workshop Rambler. None of them have all the features I want...grr...but I'll have to settle for one. Any opinions on those bags? Especially the Osprey and Deuter packs, there's so many of them.

If there are any good roll-tops that can carry groceries cheaper than the Rambler, I'd love to hear about them.

Thanks for humoring me.
diewhenever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-13, 12:51 AM   #2
hybridbkrdr
we be rollin'
 
hybridbkrdr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Quebec, Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 1,570
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Are you looking for a model that goes on a backrack like the Nashbar model (couldn't find it the last time I looked for it but saw a pic) or a regular backpack?

If you ever want to put damp clothes in you bag, you may want one that's not waterproof and just put the other items in a bag. That way your damp clothes would have a chance to dry instead of being warmed up and mildew in the sun. (Bad example but you get my drift.)

I find Obus Forme backpacks are pretty good.
hybridbkrdr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-13, 12:56 AM   #3
no1mad
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke
Posts: 8,662
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
I had a Banjo Brothers (L) pack for a while. If I were in the market for another of similar design, I'd be giving the All City Captain Phil a hard look. Reason is because it is a modified Banjo Brothers complete w/replaceable liner. Not much airflow on the back, though.
__________________
Community guidelines
no1mad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-13, 10:26 AM   #4
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,865
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 227 Post(s)
Dana Design, has been bought out by Marmot, http://marmot.com/

My Dana pack is thus considered old, it has held up well .

the Shove-it panel lets stuff be packed outside the main compartment.

but sewn so not waterproof..

Quote:
Has good organization (i.e., a few small pockets)
Quote:
Ideally waterproof
some conflict in those 2 goals, unless you are satisfied with the pockets being Inside

consider buying one Ortlieb back roller or like their shopping pannier, and then,
getting their backpack adapter kit, to carry it on your back . (or on the rack, in the future)

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-14-13 at 11:38 AM.
fietsbob is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-13, 10:39 AM   #5
harshbarj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Omaha, Ne
Bikes: Trek Belleville, Workcycles opa, Schwinn
Posts: 403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Honestly I'd look for a good set of panniers. It takes the weight off your back and allows greater freedom.
harshbarj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-13, 11:34 AM   #6
Ozonation
Senior Member
 
Ozonation's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Bikes: Rivendell Sam Hillborne DTT in Awesome Green; Brompton M6R (reduced gearing) in Sage Green; GT Timberline Hybrid (10 years old!)
Posts: 1,014
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Have you considered Tom Bihn's Brain Bag? It can be cinched flatter if you don't need the extra volume, it has two main compartments for some separation, is highly water resistant (if not waterproof for most purposes), works with Tom Bihn accessories for compartmentalization and organization, and if you get it in black, you won't be ashamed to bring to a business meeting. It has a relatively clean, handsome look without looking like you're going survival training.

I've had one for 13 years - used heavily for about 10 years - and while I didn't bike with it, it's held up amazingly well - not a single popped stitch or broken zipper.
Ozonation is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-13, 02:33 PM   #7
diewhenever
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
I had a Banjo Brothers (L) pack for a while. If I were in the market for another of similar design, I'd be giving the All City Captain Phil a hard look. Reason is because it is a modified Banjo Brothers complete w/replaceable liner. Not much airflow on the back, though.
That looks really awesome, although I can't find it anywhere in black I might have to punt on the back airflow thing if I want to get anything but Deuter or Osprey, so this is def an option. Thanks.
diewhenever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 10:45 AM   #8
anthonybkny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Bikes: C'dale Bad Boy 5
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
http://www.rei.com/product/846418/os...a-001b2166becc
anthonybkny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 11:03 AM   #9
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 13,169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
Honestly I'd look for a good set of panniers. It takes the weight off your back and allows greater freedom.
+1. The PERFECT BAG won't be going on your back, that's for sure.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 11:20 AM   #10
no1mad
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke
Posts: 8,662
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by diewhenever View Post
That looks really awesome, although I can't find it anywhere in black I might have to punt on the back airflow thing if I want to get anything but Deuter or Osprey, so this is def an option. Thanks.
Another variant of the Banjo Brothers would be the T6 Back Sack. Mainly cosmetic changes, may not be big enough for your needs, but is under your budget ceiling.
__________________
Community guidelines
no1mad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 01:52 PM   #11
acidfast7
http://www.538.nl
 
acidfast7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid
Posts: 6,016
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ARCTERYX Spear 20

review: http://www.journeymantraveller.com/2...-spear-20.html

i use it daily for cycling and shopping

also for rock climbing and as a fast carry on for trains and planes

i'm super impressed with the durability as it really gets used everyday with no signs of wear
acidfast7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 01:53 PM   #12
acidfast7
http://www.538.nl
 
acidfast7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid
Posts: 6,016
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
also FWIW, the "water pouch holder" will hold 2 13.3" MBPs (older non-retina thicker versions) or one and some documents ... so the inside pouch is even useful
acidfast7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 03:45 PM   #13
diewhenever
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, I decided I'm going to start going to a boxing gym after work, so my bag size requirement has gone up to 30-35 liters in order to carry dem gloves. I'm actually giving my Deuter Futura 42L that I use for travel and backpacking a try, seems to work pretty well, although the top of the bag was bumping my helmet a bit...gonna have to decide whether to stick with that or get another.

Otherwise, I'm looking mainly at this: http://www.carryology.com/2012/07/25...oreas-bolinas/ and the All City Captain Phil. Or, I can wait and save up a bit for a more expensive bag, which I just might do. ****'s hard.
diewhenever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-13, 09:38 PM   #14
rex_kramer
Acts 2:38
 
rex_kramer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Bikes: '10 Marin Lucas Valley, '13 Scott Speedster 20
Posts: 500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bought my son an Osprey Momentum 26 about a year and a half ago. I bought a 2012 Momentum 34 ($105 at REI) for myself before they were discontinued back in July. Neither of us can really find anything to complain about with these bags, although my son is talking about panniers now .
rex_kramer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-13, 04:02 AM   #15
canadiandude
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Bikes: BMC Alpenchallenge AC01 Alivio/Deore
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I bought an Osprey Flare a few months ago for my commute in to the university where I work. It's a beautiful orange colour and has reflective elements and pull rings rather than tabs for easy access when wearing gloves. It also has a laptop slot, tons of pockets, mesh bottle holders on each side, is waterproof and has ample mesh-coated padding on the back to reduce sweat. It's also got the added bonus of being extremely lightweight!

http://www.amazon.com/Osprey-Packs-F...s=osprey+flare (be sure to read the user reviews).
canadiandude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-13, 04:20 AM   #16
Barchettaman
Senior Member
 
Barchettaman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Bikes: Focus trash find commuter, Eddy Merckx Corsa, BP Stealth TT bike, Leader 720 TT bike, Boardman Comp Hybrid drop bar conversion, Quantec CX budget cyclocross build, SerottaNOS frameset ready to build up!
Posts: 1,236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Klickfix seatpost extender, bracket and a Vario rack, add the backpack of your choice:

http://www.veloplus.ch/AlleProdukte/...eKLICKfix.aspx
Barchettaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-13, 04:55 AM   #17
1242Vintage
Senior Member
 
1242Vintage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: No. CA
Bikes:
Posts: 805
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I've been using a North Face recon backpack for three years now for my daily commute. Holds rights around 30 liters, which is perfect size for my work clothes and a few tools/spare parts. When I remember to spray Scothguard (or whatever spray is in the cabinet) on the backpack after I wash it, it is reasonable water repellent. It has several zippered sections so I can keep valuables (wallet, phone, keys, work ID) in one, tools/parts in another, and work clothes in the bigger third section. I find the padding and shoulder straps comfortable, for a backpack.

Only sign of wear after three years of hard use is the fabric around a zipper on one of the sections is starting to rip.

Can be had for right around $90.
1242Vintage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-13, 06:27 AM   #18
tarwheel 
Senior Member
 
tarwheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Bikes: Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL, Specialized Sequoia
Posts: 8,440
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
If it were me, I would place a higher priority on airflow on your back to prevent sweating. However, I live in the Southeast, so sweat management is a big deal. That is one of my reasons for using a large seatbag (Carradice Barley) for carrying my gear, although I do find the idea of using a backpack intriguing for occasional use. I would also put a high priority on visibility/reflectiveness, but that doesn't seem to be a feature on many backpacks.
tarwheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-13, 07:30 AM   #19
aquateen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: CAAD10 5, Trek 1000 Alpha Series
Posts: 632
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Have you looked into the Ortlieb Velocity?
aquateen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-13, 09:12 AM   #20
mtb123
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would recommend the Osprey Stratos 24. I used to have the Osprey commuter specific pack, the Momentum 34, but I've found the Stratos to be much more comfortable. The mesh air flow back panel does not completely eliminate back sweat but it makes a significant different. The back panel is also super comfortable. In contrast to other packs, Ive found that it is comfortable in both an upright or low in the drops riding posture. The hip belt on the Stratos works very well, and beats the webbing strap on the Momentum hands down. I think this a an important feature. A wide backpacking style hip belt allows you transfer some or nearly all of the pack weight to your hips and reduces the burden on your back. They come in multiple sizes and I got mine for only $76 on amazon.com.
mtb123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-13, 11:05 AM   #21
diewhenever
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by aquateen View Post
Have you looked into the Ortlieb Velocity?
I went to REI and checked it out, as well as a few of the Osprey bags that everyone has been talking about. The Ortlieb is pretty cool--my problem with it is that it's basically just one massive pocket, and I also feel like I'm paying for heavy-duty rainproofing when that's not really that important to me.

With the Ospreys, they're undoubtedly sweet backpacks, but I found that they are a little TOO compartmentalized for my needs. I do need a huge pocket that I could carry boxing gloves, shoes, and a change of clothes in, and then ideally I would have 2 or 3 smaller pockets for phone, wallet, headphones, a book, etc. Even when the volume on the Osprey is ostensibly pretty big, I feel like I'd have trouble fitting my big items into the main compartment because the total volume is split up into so many different pockets.

Wish I could just design a bag myself. lol
diewhenever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-13, 11:15 AM   #22
AlmostGreenGuy
Intrepid Bicycle Commuter
 
AlmostGreenGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Upstate New York
Bikes: Salsa Vaya, Trek 4300, Fyxation Eastside
Posts: 637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by diewhenever View Post
I went to REI and checked it out, as well as a few of the Osprey bags that everyone has been talking about. The Ortlieb is pretty cool--my problem with it is that it's basically just one massive pocket, and I also feel like I'm paying for heavy-duty rainproofing when that's not really that important to me.

With the Ospreys, they're undoubtedly sweet backpacks, but I found that they are a little TOO compartmentalized for my needs. I do need a huge pocket that I could carry boxing gloves, shoes, and a change of clothes in, and then ideally I would have 2 or 3 smaller pockets for phone, wallet, headphones, a book, etc. Even when the volume on the Osprey is ostensibly pretty big, I feel like I'd have trouble fitting my big items into the main compartment because the total volume is split up into so many different pockets.

Wish I could just design a bag myself. lol
That was also my problem with Osprey. Big backpacks, with lots of compartments, but very little room for big stuff. The Escapist and Talon series were the best of the Ospreys that I tried.

Ultimately, I went with an Ortlieb Packman Pro2. It's a giant cavern, but I use soft sided lunch boxes for organizational storage. The lunch boxes stack and organize quite well.


AlmostGreenGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-13, 08:15 PM   #23
martianone
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern VT
Bikes: recumbent & upright
Posts: 1,871
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use a pack basket. Often get an odd look or smile - it holds my stuff well, easy to add a grocery store item the way home, doesn't sweat, is light weight, etc. try it!
martianone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-13, 12:01 AM   #24
diewhenever
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the recommendations, everyone. It's sorta coming down to the Boreas Bolinas and the Mission Workshop Fitzroy--would be curious to hear if anyone has experience with either of those bags. Particularly concerned about sweaty back with the Fitzroy.
diewhenever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-13, 07:13 AM   #25
GeneO 
Senior Member
 
GeneO's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chicagoland
Bikes: Felt 2012 F55X, Specialized 2016 Diverge Expert X1
Posts: 932
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Have the MW VX Sanction, a smaller version of the Fitzroy, and it works great for my commuting (33 mi RT). I get a sweaty back, but that doesn't bother me.
__________________
2012 Felt F55X, 2016 Specialized Diverge Expert X1
GeneO is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:21 PM.