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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-31-08, 09:06 AM   #1
*new*guy
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small messenger bags/packs

My kid is a bike commuter. He's almost 10. He has been using my old timbuk2 or a backpack for a long time, and has asked for a new bag for his birthday.

I was thinking about a Chrome Dually, but I think it's a bit too large for his frame. Another I'm looking at is the Manhattan Portage Commuter. My first bag was a Manhattan portage and I loved the simplicity of it.

Any suggestions of weather-proof bags sized for smaller riders?
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Old 01-31-08, 09:12 AM   #2
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i only know about bags for big people. i use a massive r.e.load deluxe, and it looks normal sized on my enormous back.
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Old 01-31-08, 09:14 AM   #3
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A friend of mine has a reload that's pretty tiny. I think it might be even a hair smaller than the midpack, I'm not sure.
I'm sure you could have them do something custom for you, though. Reload backpacks are way nice. I wish mine wasn't SO big.
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Old 01-31-08, 09:14 AM   #4
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What about the smaller sized "Backside" bag that kemmer has for sale? Fits a 12pack so that isn't too big..
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Old 01-31-08, 09:38 AM   #5
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What about the smaller sized "Backside" bag that kemmer has for sale? Fits a 12pack so that isn't too big..
i have one of the large ones, there great, great price too

But i think he's sold out.
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Old 01-31-08, 09:52 AM   #6
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I'm a compact guy, and I use a Patagonia Half-Mass, which is smallish on me. I really dig it, although I did replace the strap.

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w...r/S5000947.jpg
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Old 01-31-08, 09:53 AM   #7
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check out Crumpler. kind of pricey but they have several models that are pretty small.
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Old 01-31-08, 09:58 AM   #8
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I'm a compact guy, and I use a Patagonia Half-Mass, which is smallish on me. I really dig it, although I did replace the strap.

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w...r/S5000947.jpg
that patagonia is pretty slick. thanks for the ideas thus far, everyone.
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Old 01-31-08, 10:11 AM   #9
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check out Crumpler. kind of pricey but they have several models that are pretty small.
I rocked a crumpler backpack everyday for three years before it started to give out on me. It's still solid, but he zipper is pretty much shot. I was really impressed with the quality of their stuff. Their proprietary material is really tough, and never takes more than brushing it off with your hand to clean it.
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Old 01-31-08, 10:15 AM   #10
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a lot of Crumpler stuff is a bit too cutesy for me, but i really respect the company. very few people, very generous to the new york city bike scene (and beyond nyc too i think).

some of their stuff is targeted at the more casual user, but they have a range of products.

you might let them know that the zipper's shot. they may just offer to fix it. you never know.
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Old 01-31-08, 10:22 AM   #11
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http://homepage.mac.com/garcia.juan/...a/IMG_0749.JPG
thats me to the left with my reload mid-pack. they make three sizes now. i have the smallest and the middle size. they are excellent. i'm almost 5 foot and both fit good amounts of stuff.
check out this link too: http://reloadbags.com/bags/minipack.php
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Old 01-31-08, 10:45 AM   #12
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(1) Your kid is awesome. I'm assuming the commute it to school, and even when I biked quite a bit outside of school, I never rode in.
(2) When I was 10, I was mortified by my parents' choices. I'd really suggest letting the little man check out the bags in person. I'm pretty sure the buckle on a Chrome would have mattered most when I was 10, while most of the performance differences would have been lost on me.
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Old 01-31-08, 12:27 PM   #13
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kinda pricey but the bailey works bags in size small should work great.
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Old 01-31-08, 12:46 PM   #14
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(1) Your kid is awesome. I'm assuming the commute it to school, and even when I biked quite a bit outside of school, I never rode in.
(2) When I was 10, I was mortified by my parents' choices. I'd really suggest letting the little man check out the bags in person. I'm pretty sure the buckle on a Chrome would have mattered most when I was 10, while most of the performance differences would have been lost on me.
1) you have no idea just how awesome he is. He and I have been car-free for about 4 years now (single parent). we ride together every day, he rides a mile to his school, and I ride 25 or so to my office door.

2) he rides a tiny motobecane nomade from the 70s that I modified to suit a smaller rider. he also has a couple of bmx bikes, but they have been relegated to foul weather duty.

anyway... sorry for the proud papa moment...
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Old 01-31-08, 12:56 PM   #15
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that seriously is awesome.
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Old 01-31-08, 01:15 PM   #16
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1) you have no idea just how awesome he is. He and I have been car-free for about 4 years now (single parent). we ride together every day, he rides a mile to his school, and I ride 25 or so to my office door.

2) he rides a tiny motobecane nomade from the 70s that I modified to suit a smaller rider. he also has a couple of bmx bikes, but they have been relegated to foul weather duty.

anyway... sorry for the proud papa moment...
If you don't mind waiting, contact Under The Weather and tell them what you need. It'll be custom made for your little guy.
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Old 01-31-08, 01:55 PM   #17
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One thing you might wanna consider is that pretty much all of the bags that have been suggested here are probably going to last through a couple growth spurts. I'd get something that's just on the verge of being too big for him now so he can keep using it until it dies.
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Old 01-31-08, 02:01 PM   #18
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One thing you might wanna consider is that pretty much all of the bags that have been suggested here are probably going to last through a couple growth spurts. I'd get something that's just on the verge of being too big for him now so he can keep using it until it dies.
excellent point. I have one *small* bag that I use during the summer if i don't have a ton of shiet to carry with me. a quality bag will be a worthwhile investment that he can use forever.
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Old 01-31-08, 02:17 PM   #19
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I have a Seal Line small messenger bag. It is a little pricey but small and water proof. I am 5-8 and use it to carry small amounts of stuff, especially in rain.

I have their backpack too and love that, even better waterproofing, but also pricey and I have the large so I don't know how small the small backpack is.

I like them because they make kayak stuff so I trust their waterproofing.
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Old 01-31-08, 07:39 PM   #20
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I have to give props to Crumpler too. Their backpacks are really well thought-out, fit great and have great workmanship.

Also, they sent a really awesome deck of cards and stickers with the bag. Really neat extras.
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Old 01-31-08, 08:01 PM   #21
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kinda pricey but the bailey works bags in size small should work great.

I'd have to second this one, it'd be a little pricey but he could sell it for quite a bit when he outgrows it. Also, kudos on letting your kid be a bike commuter at 10. I work with kids at the local Y and a lot of their parents won't let them ride their bikes to a school 4 blocks away.
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Old 01-31-08, 09:29 PM   #22
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although not water-proof my 9 yr old wears this one from MEC and it's fine for rides to and from school. loads of compartments and she loved the laptop pocket...only now she's eyeing my iBook. it's a bit on the large size but she regularly has to carry swim or gym gear, her books, her DS and more...so it fits the bill. It has a chest strap and a waist strap so it fits mega snug. All for $39 and will last for years.
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Old 01-31-08, 09:39 PM   #23
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I doubt I need to tell you this, since you've been commuting for so long I recommend something with reflective bits on it. You can also use reflective tape. I have an Ortlieb backpack that I really like, so chek them out. The Cor13 model seems pretty small, it should be totally waterproof, and you could add a hydration bladder.

P.S. I think it's totally awesome (and cute) that you two bike commute together. You have my respect and admiration.
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Old 01-31-08, 10:51 PM   #24
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Children who are still growing are best off with something that's gonna be supportive. A messenger bag is generally not the best thing when he's active. I'd also be worried about what would happen if it swung around and threw him off balance.

check out semi-rigid backpacks with hip pads and belts, they work good on and off the bike
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Old 01-31-08, 11:09 PM   #25
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http://homepage.mac.com/garcia.juan/...a/IMG_0749.JPG
thats me to the left with my reload mid-pack. they make three sizes now. i have the smallest and the middle size. they are excellent. i'm almost 5 foot and both fit good amounts of stuff.
check out this link too: http://reloadbags.com/bags/minipack.php
That is so awesome. If I didn't just spend $400+ on text books today I would be all over that backpack. I've been looking for small backpack like that for awhile now because I'm not the type of guy to carry a messenger bag. What do people put in those giant bags anyway? I could carry enough stuff to survive for a week in some of the bags I've seen.

Its cool that you have your kid living car free. He is going to grow up to have a hearty constitution and superhuman leg power. I wish my parents would have instilled that level of bad a**ness in me.
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