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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 05-12-10, 12:03 AM   #1
ThisJauntyGent
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Best bike-specific cargo backpack?

Previously posted threads haven't quite slaked my thirst for backpack knowledgezzzz

There's lots of talk about messenger bags, but not about backpacks. I'm looking for a bike-specific, high-capacity bag along the lines of the so-good-it's-criminal Vandal. I like the expandability and the extra cargo straps for dag-nasty bike-hauling skillz.

However, I'd like to spend a little bit (a lotta bit) less than $240. Is it possible?
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Old 05-12-10, 01:06 AM   #2
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I have the Chrome Ivan and love it.



Holds a ton of stuff, is completely waterproof inside and out so you can use it as an ice chest (which is what I always do). Have had several beers/Four Loko's explode inside my bag from falling, just hose it out when I get home and it's good as new.
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Old 05-12-10, 03:03 AM   #3
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http://www.buy.com/prod/manhattan-po...208158014.html
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Old 05-12-10, 05:06 AM   #4
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For serious bike hauling, consider a rear rack and panniers.
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Old 05-12-10, 07:36 AM   #5
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I don't have this but i wish i did
Banjo brothers large commuting backpack $89.99

http://www.banjobrothers.com/products/01152.php#
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Old 05-12-10, 07:41 AM   #6
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I don't have any of these but check here.

http://www.timbuk2.com/wordpress_cms/packs/
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Old 05-12-10, 08:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upthebikepunx View Post
I have the Chrome Ivan and love it.



...Have had several beers/Four Loko's explode inside my bag...
It is always sad when a Quad doesn't meet its full potential.
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Old 05-12-10, 09:29 AM   #8
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my Timbuk2 Hemlock arrived yesterday.


Haven't had a chance to test it yet, I only carried it home yesterday with nothing inside it. But I really like the construction. Maybe I'll go home and snap some pics tonight.
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Old 05-12-10, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichitz View Post
my Timbuk2 Hemlock arrived yesterday.


Haven't had a chance to test it yet, I only carried it home yesterday with nothing inside it. But I really like the construction. Maybe I'll go home and snap some pics tonight.
please post a review I'm kind of interested in this pack
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Old 05-12-10, 12:28 PM   #10
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heres mine:

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Old 05-12-10, 12:38 PM   #11
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Also look at the Freight Baggage backpacks. I have the Medium and have easily fit 40 pounds of groceries in it without fully expanding the bottom of the bag. They started coming with a different compression system (two on the side instead of only one) just after I bought my bag. I am actually considering the small bag because I rarely need the compacity of the medium.

I wish PAC made a backpack. That thing would probably be amazing.
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Old 05-12-10, 12:45 PM   #12
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I like my Vandal. Had it around a month or so. It is worth mentioning that it is MADE IN USA with a LIFETIME warranty. Most of the Chinese bags posted in here are crap when it comes to build quality, materials, and warranty. I had an original Chrome Citizen messenger bag that is still running strong after years of abuse. Support your fellow bikers and countrymen. I don't think you'll find anything like the Vandal and certainly not for the price of a Chinese bag.

These look nice, USA made and waterproof but they don't appear to be expandable. If you don't need to carry a keg or case of bottles it might work.

http://www.ortliebusa.com/cartgenie/prodList.asp?scat=3
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Old 05-12-10, 03:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
For serious bike hauling, consider a rear rack and panniers.
+1

At least try to borrow a big backpack, load it with some substantial weight, and go for an extended ride before investing in one of your own. My back lets me know that it doesn't like the combination of heavy backpack plus a cycling position, although it's fine when hiking. But I know some aren't bothered by the weight on their back so much. I'd rather have the bike carry any heavy loads. And when walking I prefer a backpack with a good hipbelt for carrying substantial loads.
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Old 05-12-10, 05:39 PM   #14
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I agree somewhat with the buying U.S brands, as i have a freight baggage. It's a medium i load up all my books, netbook, clothes, etc and it' so damn comfy and really distributes the weight evenly. The timbuk2 custom bags ARE made in the US. there is one that has a nice pad on the back but the rest don't have anything, so if you have weird shaped loads then it's going to pierce your back.
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Old 05-13-10, 01:27 AM   #15
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i love my $30 crumpler mahoubar.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:54 AM   #16
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mission workshop, chrome, saglife, blicks does bags and they are pretty sweet.
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Old 05-13-10, 10:11 AM   #17
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Not a high-capacity cargo bag, but I carry my MacBook Pro laptop and a few notebooks and whatnot in a booq Boa Squeeze. If you don't have cavernous space requirements, it works great.



http://www.pivotgear.com/products/ba...-squeeze-black
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Old 05-13-10, 10:26 AM   #18
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timbuk2 hemlock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xgecko View Post
please post a review I'm kind of interested in this pack
ask and ye shall receive

here goes.

size
I bought a Timbuk2 Hemlock size S. I also have a size M messenger bag from SAG. Here's the size comparison.

The size S Hemlock measures roughly 13" wide by 20" tall.

construction

In a nutshell, it's like a giant oversized envelope with a long roll top. The roll top is velcro secured closure, rolled, then buckled down. The back of the bag have a dense foam lining so nothing is going to poke u in ur back. The straps are also padded for comfort.

Four small buckles (2 on each side) of the main compartment tightens the whole bag so everything feels secure and not jumping around. The buckles are actually easy enough to loosen and tighten with one hand but secure enough that it doesn't slide out and gets longer.

I've read reviews that the strap that holds the roll top is too long and some people cut it off. I'ld like to think that there's a purpose for that. And it just so happens that it fits a yoga mat perfectly


The bag measures about 28" when expanded. Unrolling the top lets you carry taller objects (duh).

My cat broke my guitar.

There is a side compartment for easy access to your laptop and a even smaller side compartment that is just the size of an iPhone. The tag that came along with it says that a size S will fit a 13" laptop while a size M fits a 15" laptop. I guess they mean loosely or that PCs are mainly a little thicker than Mac laptops. I can almost wriggle my 17" mac laptop into it, I don't see how a 15" mac wouldn't fit. But who knows.

Water bottle holder to the left side of the bag.

The pouch in the front allows you to carry ur little things. There's 1 zipper pocket with 4 little card slots and 3 pen holding slots sitting on top. This front pouch is also slightly expandable with enough room to carry my Kryptonite Fahgettaboutit Mini U-Lock with a lot of room to spare.

One thing about this front pouch is that it's velcro secured. And when you put a lot of stuff in it with odd shapes it feels like the velcro is not perfectly tight though it did handle my u-lock's weight.

comfort
Now the important part. There are NO waist or sternum straps. However, the bag really doesn't need it. I've had a lot of back packs before (not really bike specific) but every single backpack I own likes to slip off my shoulders. Until I owned a skateboard backpack which has sternum straps and waist straps. That was really comfy to walk in, but to bike with that bag i need the waist strap too.

The Timbuk2 Hemlock does NOT slip off my shoulders one bit, walking or biking. This is the most comfortable back pack I have owned. There is really no need to put on ur bag and then buckled urself twice. The bag distributes weight really well and the foam padding feels nice on your back and it's just the right thickness. Not too thin that it softens the load but still uncomfortable, and not too thick that you feel hot.

in conclusion
If you are not regularly hauling giant irregular shaped objects, if most times you just need to carry a few things like laptop, books, clothes, groceries whatever the average person carries, it is a GREAT buy. If you are regularly hauling giant irregular shaped objects, then that other thread with the Chrome Berlin might be your better bet.

As far as a casual backpack goes, this is the best I've ever owned. And if you need more persuasion,

Every review or diy thread on BF isn't compete unless you have beer

Last edited by ichitz; 05-13-10 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 05-13-10, 10:26 AM   #19
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Old 05-13-10, 11:37 AM   #20
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Deuter makes some extremely comfortable cycling specific packs. I'm very fond of my Trans Alpine, and it holds quite a lot.



http://www.deuterusa.com/products/pr...&tert=commuter
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Old 05-13-10, 12:58 PM   #21
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That busted headstock is the saddest thing I've seen on this forum. You say the cat did it, eh?
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Old 05-13-10, 01:25 PM   #22
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That busted headstock is the saddest thing I've seen on this forum. You say the cat did it, eh?
Yehhh. My guitar was on a stand near the wall which is also close to the window ledge. Basically my cat hit it while jumping off the ledge one day and knocked it to the floor. Next time i'm investing in wall mounts (and away from windows).
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Old 05-13-10, 02:00 PM   #23
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Anything's fixable. One of my Martins just came back from the repair shop after I dropped it on my basement floor. Side crack and compressed the top at the binding. $300 repair. Ouch, babe.

back on topic, it's impressive that the guitar nearly fits in that backpack. Regular size Epi LP?
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Old 05-13-10, 02:40 PM   #24
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^^^
true. But the MSRP for that Epi LP is $349. I don't know if it'll justify the repair price. Heh.

Yea, back on topic. Yes it's a regular sized Epi LP. I didn't have anything else in my room tall enough or recognizable enough to put into the bag so even tho it's broken, thought that should give people a good idea on size.
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Old 05-13-10, 03:01 PM   #25
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I never really liked timbuk2's until i saw the hemlock, I might just have to get one of these

it has no chest strap though, might be a deal breaker
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