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Old 09-27-06, 12:57 AM   #1
damnable
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The perfect backpack, where can I get one?

Hello there folks,
I am looking for a backpack and would like a bit of help finding the perfect one, or failing that, telling me what I am really looking for.
Criteria are...
-Size, must be enough to hold a change of clothes and other necessities, such as purse/wallet and my glasses case. Chain as well I suppose. Anything else important I keep in my saddlepack. So, what sort of size would I be looking at here, in literage?
-Must have a strap across the chest (much more comfy). Preferably with strap across the waist as well, keep things more under control.
-A few reflective strips would be nice.
-Hopefully not too expensive.
-Padding looks good. I have see a few around that have bits of padding, particularly where it would sit at the small of the back and at the shoulders, do these make it more comfy? They certainly look cool. I think these ones I saw were technically daypacks, but whatever works really.

So, further questions.
-Anything else I should look for in a pack (in Australia)? I donít need anything with hydration bladders or anything.
-Will a normal daypack work or will a specialised cycling pack be better?
-Where would I find one of these to buy? LBS doesnít have many (if any, havenít had a close look) on display.
-How much would I expect to spend?
-And of course, any recommendations? If a lot of people seem to be recommending one that I can only get online, I will definitely consider it.

Thanks for your help guys.
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Old 09-27-06, 01:21 AM   #2
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Its not perfect, but Camelbak sells some pretty good backpacks that should fill the bill for you.
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Old 09-27-06, 01:57 AM   #3
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Tom Bihn makes some great backpacks but may be pricy for some.

http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/CTGY/100

If looking for a variety of prices and styles try here:

http://www.ebags.com/backpacks/depar...sub_site_id=10
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Old 09-27-06, 02:08 AM   #4
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Check out this recent thread: Backpack recommendation?
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Old 09-27-06, 06:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgiaboy
Tom Bihn makes some great backpacks but may be pricy for some.

http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/CTGY/100
+1 for Tom Bihn.

I've used backpacks since long before they became popular. My Tom Bihn Brainbag is, without question, the best I've ever owned.

It has two equally-sized main compartments. One holds a complete change of clothes plus a small towel and rainwear. This leaves the second for books, lunch, helmet, shopping or what-have-you. The three front pouches hold all my bike stuff--lights, cargo net, tools, tubes--with plenty of room leftover for wallet, bars, etc. Also on the front is a mesh pouch for my glasses case and a strap affair I use for a water bottle.

Only complaints: 1) no reflective stuff, and 2) it might be too big. I tend to just keep adding stuff through the week.

It was about twice the price I'd planned to spend, but it's worth every penny in size, comfort and durability. I expect this bag to last for ten years or more.
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Old 09-27-06, 10:18 AM   #6
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This bag looks to be a sane solution at a really good price for an
everyday bag. It's sized right to allow you to carry what you need
without becoming a backbreaking effort and the price is good for
the quality level. (they don't call me Tightwad for nothin' )

http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/100/TB0151-CREASE
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Old 09-27-06, 10:19 AM   #7
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I would look at some of the NorthFace packs. They are a solid pack that I use for school, carry clothes and even on short hikes. It has held up nicely.
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Old 09-27-06, 10:37 AM   #8
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North Face Recon is a nice backpack. It's overdesigned as a school book bag but can certainly fill that role well, plus can be taken on weekend day hikes, etc. It's fairly reasonably priced as well. I like the fact that you can hide the waist strap away since I don't use it for short walks but it's great if you're hiking.
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Old 09-27-06, 08:04 PM   #9
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General suggestions:

Personally, I wouldn't buy any backpack without trying it on. Take some weighted items, or the stuff that you would like to carry in it, and try it on again. A lot of the new padding is great, but sometimes the contoured shapes don't fit the contours of all backs. It's all very personal. Anymore, I wouldn't even worry about brand names if it comes from one of the major brands, so many of them are made in the same factories. If you can buy from a company that makes their own bags, that would be a plus IMO. Look for quality materials, sewn well, with good zippers. Make sure all the stress areas are bartacked or otherwise reinforced. Decide if you want a lot of smaller pockets, or one big bag. Try to check out the company's warranty.

That doesn't really tell you where to find the perfect bag, but those are some of my criteria. I have a Jansport daypack right now that I like a lot and is well made. Several years ago I wouldn't have bought a Jansport unless it was to give to a kid for a book bag.

Isn't Crumpler an Australian company? I don't know much about them, other than they look funky and seem to have a lot of buzz lately.
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Old 09-27-06, 08:17 PM   #10
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Another +1 for Tom Bihn, though I have the smaller sling bag. It's possible to forget you're wearing it, but my model just doesn't hold alot.
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Old 09-27-06, 08:24 PM   #11
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www.badlandspacks.com

www.vortexbackpacks.com

It doesn't get any better than these guys. Bad Lands makes the hunting packs, and vortex is the everything else side of the company. They have something for everyone, fanny packs, hydration systems, day packs, frame back packs, whatever you want.

They guarantee their products forever, no conditions attached, whether you are the 1st owner or the 50th. They don't care. They also offer unmatched quality. No one else in the buisness offers such good packs.

I have use mine hard on a daily basis for the past 7 years going to school, bike riding, and camping and hunting.
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Old 09-27-06, 08:28 PM   #12
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I agree with mlts22 that a Camelback or similar pack would be a good option. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you do long rides or hikes. The Camelback Hawg is almost as big as some daypacks, so you should be able to fit a decent amount of gear in there.

They are kind of spendy though.

I don't have enough experience to comment on the other brands recommended, but I'm sure there are quite a few options in small daypacks for you.
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Old 09-27-06, 09:45 PM   #13
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L.L. Bean. This is the backpack I use on the road bike. On my regular commuter I use panniers.
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Old 09-27-06, 09:56 PM   #14
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WingNutGear Adventure pack. www.wingnutgear.com

Expensive yes. But it is the MOST comfortable backpack I have ever worn on a bike period. It is designed extremely well to carry a load of stuff effectively on a bike. Traditional packs when loaded down IMO put the weight to high on your back making you unstable and uncomfortable.

-D
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Old 09-27-06, 11:07 PM   #15
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I'm a big fan of the San Francisco original Timbuk2. I use one, everybody I know uses one, and the thing's taken more abuse than I can imagine. They started out selling bags for bicycle messengers, and they've grown into a major enterprise.
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Old 09-27-06, 11:11 PM   #16
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I currently use an old Lowe alpine contour mountain 45 - no longer available sadly
the pros - tough(made to be dragged up mountainsides), light, can carry a lot 45litres/2750ci, can be snugged down very small with the compression straps, the shovel panel is very useful for helmets/skates/bulky shopping items
the cons - only one external pocket, not incredibly comfortable if 1.81m/5'11" or more tall(the waist strap tends to sit around the stomach if you use it - i don't use the strap because of that), no reflective strips(so go buy some ), not made anymore







HOWEVER tad gear make a replica that quite possibly is even better

http://www.tadgear.com/x-treme%20gea...pack_alpha.htm



as you can see they solved the external pocket problem - you could have as many as you want and there are now even more points to allow blinkie/reflective tape mounting
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Old 09-27-06, 11:14 PM   #17
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Deuter Backpacks with the Air Comfort system are superb. I use only them.
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Old 09-28-06, 08:53 AM   #18
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An internal frame backcountry backpack should do well. REI sells plenty of them. But backpacks need to fit the individual. You really need to try them on. They vary so much in size and shape that you just cannot go with whatever people on the internet recommend.

http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...ory_rn=4500509
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Old 09-28-06, 09:49 AM   #19
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I've gone towards a minimalist approach lately and use this Marmot Highlander pack for day trips hiking and biking. 1000cu in. and would be plenty for even an overnight trip for me. The shoulder straps are removable. I got mine at Rock Creek Outfitters on a closeout of last year's color a few months ago for under $70 if I remember correctly.


Cheers,
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Old 09-28-06, 10:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becnal
Deuter Backpacks with the Air Comfort system are superb. I use only them.
+1 The frame holds the pack off your back so you dont get a sweaty back.
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Old 09-28-06, 03:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewP
+1 The frame holds the pack off your back so you dont get a sweaty back.
Definitely the Deuter pack. 20-30L should do for your stuff. They make cycling-specific packs with reflectorized loops to hold a blinkie, hydration packs. I use a 25L pack and it holds all my commute stuff with room to spare. I tried the TransAlp 25L pack recently and loved it. Lots of pockets and even a removable backpad (they claim for sitting on but it wasn't so easy to remove). Love their built-in raincovers too. I don't use the hydration bladder so that is one more pocket for me to stash stuff in.
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Old 09-28-06, 05:41 PM   #22
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How would you guys say the Deuter packs with the air comfort system compare with the Berghaus airflow system?
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Old 09-28-06, 11:30 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markhr
HOWEVER tad gear make a replica that quite possibly is even better

http://www.tadgear.com/x-treme%20gea...pack_alpha.htm



as you can see they solved the external pocket problem - you could have as many as you want and there are now even more points to allow blinkie/reflective tape mounting
Ah, I see there's another TAD fan on here. Those packs are very nice, but if I were going to ride with one I would be adding lots of reflectors and flashers to that PALS webbing. The shape is great though.
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Old 09-28-06, 11:50 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alloy Addict
...adding lots of reflectors and flashers to that PALS webbing. The shape is great though.
yup - paranoid cyclist me

and, yeah, the size/shape is perfect if you need to carry any one of
a weeks groceries
shoes/shower kit/work clothes/gym clothes
skates/pads/helmet
on the off chance that I actually use it as intended, shovel/probe/skis(telemark FTW)/harness/rope/first aid kit/etc
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Old 09-30-06, 02:01 PM   #25
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http://www.chromebags.com
These bags actually meet all your requirements plus they have a lifetime warranty.
I wouldn't call them cheap though, but they aren't made cheaply either.
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