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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 01-09-18, 09:17 PM   #1
jyl
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Back pack / pannier combo?

Hey folks, a friend - a college girl - is looking to buy a backpack that converts to a pannier.

She wants to know which one you'd recommend. Hopefully not the most expensive one.

What features, construction, brand, model?
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Old 01-10-18, 08:32 AM   #2
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If you're talking about a pannier that has double shoulder straps and turns into a true school book bag, they aren't a super popular item. There are a few, but they aren't easy to find.

If she can deal with a shoulder strap like this...
http://toolsandtoys.net/wp-content/u...lerCity-12.jpg

your options are nearly limitless. There are hundreds of options in every price range and color. They lock onto a rear rack, then pop off and carry like a shoulder bag.

Problem if they tend to be smaller than a true back pack. I have a pair of 18 liter bags that are perfect for commuting with a change of clothes. But if I used them for school each one would probably hold 2 books and a notebook comfortably. I couldn't put 5 text books, computer, and a science project in one.
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Old 01-10-18, 09:03 AM   #3
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14 Convertible Backpack Panniers That Can Be Strapped to Your Back or Bike


https://www.cyclingabout.com/list-of...-back-or-bike/
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Old 01-10-18, 02:25 PM   #4
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Have her consider a basket or even a milk crate attached to the bike. She can toss an ordinary backpack in it. It's very convenient.
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Old 01-10-18, 02:26 PM   #5
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I've used Timbuk2. Mine was a messanger bag - but the shape tended to cause problems with heal strike unless it was mounted pretty far back. Those designs tended to hang a bit higher than a dedicated Pannier. I think a backpack (being tall rather than wide) would work better though.

In the end, I just use a messenger bag (with the requisite front cross strap)
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Old 01-10-18, 04:06 PM   #6
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Nashbar used to sell one , hidden hooks ..

But for Wet Portland , Ortlieb makes a back pack carry add-on, for their rear Panniers .

there are some models that sell as an each, and the ones in pairs , to use one of.

roll closures or waterproof Zippers , welded seams. durable quality..





....
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Old 01-11-18, 12:13 AM   #7
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What's her budget? It's always good to know.
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Old 01-11-18, 01:16 AM   #8
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^^^ yes, we love spending other people's money!
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Old 01-11-18, 02:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Hey folks, a friend - a college girl - is looking to buy a backpack that converts to a pannier.

She wants to know which one you'd recommend. Hopefully not the most expensive one.
Personally I've been drooling over the $549 Richard Jones Convertible Hiking Backpack Panniers

But, I suppose that brings up the question... what are her goals? Daily commuting, or something more?

The bags that BikeLite posted look like a good starting point.
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Old 01-11-18, 02:25 PM   #10
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I have the Two Wheel Gear pannier/backpack and have been commuting with it for about a year. It's held up well and works well in either mode. The one gripe I have is that I wish it were a bit bigger (without inducing heel strike). I carry a 15" laptop that just barely fits in the main compartment and can't fit in the laptop sleeve.

I was going to post a link, but I'm too noob to do so.
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Old 01-11-18, 02:35 PM   #11
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Two options which I have experience with are the Banjo Brothers Backpack Pannier and the Arkel Bug. The Banjo Brothers bag is great for the cost, but the design is not the best for people who like lots of storage options to keep things organized. I replace my Banjo Brothers bag after about a year and a half of use when I decided to upgrade to the Arkel. The Arkel Bug is an awesome pack that can hold my bottles, lights, helmet, gloves, and everything when I get off the bike at the end of my commute. The only thing I don't like about the Arkel is that the bag itself is not waterproof, so the pack cover, and a pack liner for really wet and flooded days, is necessary to get with the bag.

I agree that the list posted by BikeLite is a great place to start looking at features and budget.
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Old 01-11-18, 02:36 PM   #12
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https://banjobrothers.com/collection...-banjobrothers These are really nice, and they are water proof and are only $80 retail.
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Old 01-11-18, 03:58 PM   #13
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https://www.arkel-od.com/en/bug-commuting-bag.html I have an older one (bought used), rock solid. Better attachment than Ortlieb (and that's quite good). I'm hard on pannier connectors (shattered several Timbuk2's), so no question in my mind that the Arkel would be a solid choice.

But tastes in bags are all over the map (little pockets, big space, etc.).

Ortlieb makes an adapter, letting you turn one of their bags into a backpack (I haven't used it) https://www.ortlieb.com/en/Carrying-...ll%20panniers/

Alternatively, their "urban pannier" is quite roomy and good. The strap is too narrow, but https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 is a good addition that makes it *almost* as nice to walk around with as a backpack.
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Old 01-15-18, 02:34 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone. I passed this info along. I think she's getting the Banjo Bros pack. It seems like a good product and the price is right, even if bells and whistles are scarce
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Old 01-15-18, 11:13 PM   #15
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Sorry to arrive late...

IMHO, the two brands that should've been mentioned are: https://northstbags.com/ and https://black-star-bags.myshopify.com/

Both brands are fabricated right here in Portland, Oregon (where both thread starter jyl and I coincidentally live).

You can buy their bags off the rack in the better bike shops around here... or directly from the manufacturers. Black Star bags are AWESOME. A bit more radical. I ultimately chose a North St. "Morrison" backpack pannier for my bike. (North St. also makes a model called "Woodward".) It's a really nice size for when my commute requires carrying a laptop and/or dress shoes. Plenty big. Keeps my stuff dry. I don't find I use the shoulder straps as much as I thought I would.
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Old 01-16-18, 12:37 PM   #16
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^^^ Pretty.
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Old 01-16-18, 07:09 PM   #17
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I would never pay that much for their portland bags.
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Old 01-19-18, 12:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
I would never pay that much for their portland bags.
Agreed, for that kind of money I much prefer the design of my Canadian made Arkel Bug. I'm willing to pay more for "Made in America", but only if the design meets my needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jyl
Thanks everyone. I passed this info along. I think she's getting the Banjo Bros pack. It seems like a good product and the price is right, even if bells and whistles are scarce
For the money, it's really hard to fault this pack in any way.
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