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Another backpack thread

Old 07-11-16, 03:00 AM
  #1  
DTG
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Another backpack thread

Just wondering what everyone uses for their commute. Do you own one do it all bag or multiple bags for what type of day it is whether it depends on the bike you ride, weather, etc. I have a rotation of all sorts of bags depending on the things I mentioned. If I've ordered stuff from Amazon (I have everything shipped to my job fyi), then I use my MW Vandal because it's huge when expanded. It's overkill for an everyday bag but in the winter when I carry lots of stuff, it's perfect. In the summer I use a light backpack (Timbuk2 Raider) because well, it's light and I ride to work in shorts. I carry my lunch and the essentials. There are other bags for other uses but you get the jist of what the thread is about.

Oh yea, no disrespect to my fellow commuters that ride and love panniers. This is not a thread for you to say how they are superior, why do I want the weight on my back, the sweat, etc. I get it. I've tried them and don't like them so backpacks are my thing. That being said, any other backpack lovers out there, if so, chime in and tell me what you use.
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Old 07-11-16, 04:51 AM
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Heavy load?

An external frame pack - I have a Janson D2. Keeping the weight off the back makes all the difference in the world.

If I could get away with carrying the bare essentials, an internal frame pack would do.
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Old 07-11-16, 06:15 AM
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I use a Mission Workshop Sanction. Light, waterproof and good volume. Can carry laptop plus clothes.
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Old 07-11-16, 06:57 AM
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I had a succession of Eastport "Basic Tech" backpacks. They were tough, durable, the right size (for me), reasonably priced and I develped a system for what goes where. Then they changed the material. It was lighter, less robust, but less expensive. But it didn't appear to be tough enough for me. So I searched for a new backpack. I had certain features I wanted and a certain configuration I wanted to preserve my "system" for packing. The main thing was it had to be tough with robust material and I had to buy it in person, so I could feel the material and construction. Many bags looked tough on line and even in person, until you felt and handled them. I ended up with a SwissGear bag. I can't remember the model number, but I looked it up and it was more common in Europe than in the US. And what I discovered was Swissgear had a basic configuration with variations on the back and outer pockets. This was just one of their variations. What I liked was it was about 25% bigger than my Eastport bag, and had a couple extra pockets on the sides in addition to the webbed driink holders. Internally there was an extra divider and pocket. And while I didn't appreciate it at the time, it had two grommets on each side, which later realized I could but D-Clips in to aid in securing the bag to my rack in the way I had developed over the years (for my bikes with racks).
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Old 07-11-16, 07:07 AM
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I have tried the whole backpack thing and I just can't get comfortable so I opt for a messenger bag. Currently shopping for a new one and I think that I have narrowed it down to something from Trash Bags.
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Old 07-11-16, 10:00 AM
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Most days I have a light backpack that carries food. I don't mind the sweaty back. When I have a heavy to carry, like groceries I'll strap on the panniers and a bigger backpack.

One thing I find with a heavily loaded backpack is that it puts a lot of pressure on the saddle and quite uncomfortable for anything more than a few miles. So heavier loads I prefer a pannier.
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Old 07-11-16, 10:58 AM
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Osprey Momentum 30. It's a bit expensive but well worth it if you use it every day. Very comfortable, very well-thought-out.
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Old 07-11-16, 11:07 AM
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I use the Osprey Radial 34, it is also expensive and well thought out.
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Old 07-11-16, 11:59 AM
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Have used a Dakine Campus (LG), Ogio Politan, and a Banjo Brothers waterproof backpack (L)- and that doesn't include the mess bags and various rack mountable bags. No longer have the BB pack or most of the rack mounted ones.

My current EDC is a lightweight model I picked up at Aldi, but I'd really like to get my hands on an Osprey Flapjack (not a big fan of zippers).
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Old 07-11-16, 12:14 PM
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I go back and forth between trunk bag, messenger bag and backpack depending on my mood and which bike I want to ride. When I'm using a backpack it's a Novara Commuter backpack from REI (no longer made). It's got a decent number of pockets and compartments, a built-in rain cover and a hole for a hydration pack if I decide to use one. It also has a system to allow me to suspend a laptop sleeve from the top, which seems nice but I'm not sure it actually accomplishes anything.
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Old 07-11-16, 12:42 PM
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I use 2 bags that aren't made any more. The bigger of the two is a Kelty Shrike, and the smaller is an older L L Bean Stowaway. I prefer a backpack over a pannier, and these two work great for me when it's not too hot out.
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Old 07-11-16, 01:42 PM
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Not actually a fan of backpacks but I use one because it lets me quickly grab one of several bikes without having multiple kits, or moving tools and tubes and bottles around.

I don't think the pack itself is that important, but if anyone wants to know, it's a Camelbak Blowfish. I don't have to carry papers or a laptop. We recently got an Osprey hydration pack for my kid and I think I like their lid better.
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Old 07-12-16, 05:23 AM
  #13  
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Another vote for the Osprey backpacks. I got a yellow one that I use in the winter.. don't recall the specific model.. might be the Momentum 30 that caloso mentioned above. It's very well designed (I think they all are).

I do actually prefer the convenience of a backpack... but in the summer the sweat on my back just gets to be too much. Even in the winter I arrive to work with a sweaty back sometimes.
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Old 07-13-16, 05:48 AM
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My wife and I got to keep the LL Bean backpacks that we had purchased for our kids when in High School. The kids left, but we still have the backpacks. They're padded, have a laptop sleeve, and are reasonably sized.


I rode one today, heavily loaded, on my fixed gear. Actually, my back started to cramp up due to the weight (I don't lean on my bars). So, I'd probably not carry that much in a back pack again. Panniers and a handlebar bag are really nice to use. Don't hate me...
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Old 07-13-16, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I used a $15 backpack from Aldi, when I commuting on my roadbike.

Only 10 liter...but it has mesh suspension frame, that leaves a huge gap between your back and the backpack, for incredible cooling and evaporation of perspiration.

I keep my cloths and towel inside the backpack. I strap my shoes to the outside.

Works great...I think the mesh suspension is cats meow.

But no room to carry my lunch.
Would it save you some hassle to leave a pair of shoes at work? I also leave a towel at work and bring a new one in regularly rather than carrying one every day.

I use a Banjo Bros commuter backpack. Cheap and semi well-thought out for what it is though I don't get why there's not two side pockets instead of just one.

No fancy-shmancy suspension system but it is waterproof without having to mess with a cover which was important to me.

A variety of backpacks might be nice but there's keys and a few other things that I wouldn't want to have to remember to move from one to another.

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Old 07-13-16, 01:43 PM
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I have a backpack, but i carry it in a basket atop my rear rack.

I carry my office clothes in panniers on the front rack.

I don't like to have anything strapped to me while i'm riding...
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Old 07-17-16, 04:55 PM
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Another vote for Osprey. I have a Raptor 10 Liter for warm weather rides and a Manta 36 Liter that I use in colder weather and for hiking. The Raptor 10 is a bike specific bag fyi. Osprey's stuff is well made, well thought out and they have an absolutely bombproof warranty
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Old 07-17-16, 06:48 PM
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I have an Osprey, but not for biking, for at work. It is a day pack, is nice looking, well made, and has been very durable - hardly a sign of wear after daily use for several years. . I use a Mission Workshop Sanction for the Commute - it is great. If I ever needed to replace the mission workshop with something else, I would consider Osprey. Here is the MW sanction:



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Old 07-18-16, 02:54 PM
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Commuter 17L Backpack- Made in USA- Recycled Bike Tubes ? Green Guru Gear

Made in the US and well made. I have used mine off the bike also for trips to Colorado, Florida, Mexico and it has passed with flying colors.
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Old 07-18-16, 04:59 PM
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I have two backpacks, a lightweight casino give-away for easy days and a reinforced tactical model for when I want to lug my laptop.

I paid $6 for each of them on eBay...
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Old 07-18-16, 06:14 PM
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I have a backpack that I attach to my rack as a trunk. It's actually a carry-on with wheels because I can't find a suitable day pack that has side loops for attaching to the rack without interfering with the zippers. I don't like to bungee or strap the pack because once you do that, you can't get access to your stuff, like a raincoat or tools, without unstrapping.

So far my arrangement has worked really well.
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Old 07-19-16, 08:22 AM
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Came really close to pulling the trigger on an Osprey Radial 26 yesterday -- but then my wife told me she'd been looking at the bank statement.
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Old 01-08-20, 11:15 PM
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I have never understood the logic of using a pack. Panniers are the proper way to tote stuff to work, can anyone please explain to me why you want something on your back while you are riding? I have found that to be a most unpleasant experience.
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Old 01-09-20, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
I have never understood the logic of using a pack. Panniers are the proper way to tote stuff to work, can anyone please explain to me why you want something on your back while you are riding? I have found that to be a most unpleasant experience.
There's no 'proper' way to tote your stuff. Whatever works for you is the 'proper' way.

Convenient when you get off the bike you can just go, as opposed to taking your stuff out of the pannier, then repacking it into another bag, especially if you have lots of stuff. Yes, you can get panniers that detach from your bike.

If you have few things to bring, a small backpack is much easier and cumbersome than a set of panniers.

Winter time or colder weather sweaty back not an issue.

I use both, as stated, depending on what I'm toting. No right or wrong.
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Old 01-09-20, 08:50 AM
  #25  
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SamSpade1941, I used to feel that way. I feel differently now. First of all, once I remove my panniers, they're cumbersome to carry. I'm currently a student, and there are no lockers at my college. I have to carry everything all day. This makes a big difference.

They also take a little more time to attach and detach. They also make handling the bike a little more difficult when I'm not riding it. And since I had my panniers in front, they are susceptible to side winds.

And I have lots of bikes, and not every one has a rack.

I have a really good backpack with an internal frame. It puts a lot of the weight on my hips, not pulling my shoulders back.
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