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Old 05-30-20, 11:52 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

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Backpack...New & Slightly Improved

After a comprehensive internet search including in-person evaluations at local stores I decided to replace my 7 year old backpack with the same model...a Swissgear 1696 ($59.99 from

I am used to the pocket and compartment layout which works for me (and is very similar to the Eastsport packs I had used previously). And the grommet arrangement is integral to the system I worked out for securing it to my back racks.

The Swissgear 1696 was incredibly tough hardy and secure for all seven years of all-season commuting, sun, snow and rain (with a plastic kitchen bag in the rain). The only issue was the side grommets which needed replacing, but I was using them in a manner for which they were not intended. Inexpensive press-to-install plastic grommets from the camping store replaced them as they failed.

The most used zipper began failing to keep the zipper teeth fastened, and while this is usually fixed by replacing the zipper slider I was told by local repair shops, the problem was actually some teeth separating from the fabric under a valence flap...and that was not worth repairing on a 7-year-old bag.

The new bag arrived yesterday and is identical except for the addition of a hanger loop at the top.

Although the bag has some reflective white piping, I added white reflective tape to the rear panel, same as before, but this time I added a strip of black and yellow caution tape to tie it in to the reflective tape of my main bike, and my helmet of the last year.

I woke up this morning with an idea to hopefully alleviate grommet fatigue...I made loops from some nylon camping cord and pushed them through the grommets, the knots keeping the loops from coming through. It's a simple elegant deployment that works with larger caliber clips than cannot fit through the grommets themselves.

It feels a little silly to get so excited about a new backpack, but with all that is going on in the world right now at the end of May 2020, it is nice to be able to not have any disruption to my backpack "system", especially since I have been fortunate enough to return to my usual, daily commute three weeks ago. I don't know how long it will last, but my wish is that everyone whose lives have been up-ended by Covid-19 be able to return to their old commute, or a new commute, or find a way to continue cycling in a regular fashion.

Black and yellow caution tape, helmet, bag, bike and fender.

The new loop.

The new D-clip arrangement.

The old D-clip setup.

How I carry my bag on my back racks:

Last edited by BobbyG; 05-30-20 at 08:07 PM.
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