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  1. #1
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    Backpack for Bikepacking?

    Hello all! So I was wondering what types of backpacks you all have used or use to this day for bikepacking. I've been looking into starting to do off road trail bike packing and was contemplating different bags and setups. For a bag I've been thinking or a Gregory z30 2013 edition. 1 because it sits up off the back and may allow for lots of ventilation. 2 I was thinking a 30l might be a good size? I've got a Gregory palisades bag for backpacking but at a large size of 88l its definitely way to big lol! Also is it even a reasonable thought to use a backpack of a sort? My trips would range from one night to possibly 6 nights out. Any thoughts or input would be appreciated thanks everybody!
    Love my FUJI!!!

  2. #2
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    OW, WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING?

    I WOULDN'T USE A BACKPACK FOR RIDING, IT IS TOO SWEATY. PUT THE STUFF ON YOUR BIKE. I DO, HOWEVER, USE A SMALL BACKPACK ON MY CHEST TO HOLD MY DSLR BIRD CAMERA, BECAUSE YOU NEED TO GET ACCESS TO THAT QUICKLY. BUT IT HANGS AWAY FROM MY BODY SO IT GETS VENTILATED. LAST RIDE, I HAD A GOPRO HARNESS AROUND IT THAT PUSHED IT UP AGAINST MY CHEST AND IT GOT REALLY SWEATY AND UNCOMFORTABLE.

    BUT, SOME PEOPLE USE ONLY BACKPACKS FOR THEIR TRIPS. HERE IS A RECENT TRIP REPORT. I DON'T THINK IT'S VERY GOOD FOR YOUR CROTCH THOUGH.


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  3. #3
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    Lol sorry I accidentally hit the bold button and it wouldn't un select it. But yea I was wondering about a bag getting sweaty, that's why I was considering the z30, it is lifted off the back with just a holey mesh liner on the back. So tons of ventilation there. At least I would assume. But I've no real world application of biking or owning one yet. I've got a GoPro as well. But will probably just have it on my helmet.
    Love my FUJI!!!

  4. #4
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    I have a medium sized mesh-backed ventilated backpack as well. It helps, but you still get sweaty, but still way better than a regular one. Maybe a combination, a small backpack along with some of your gear on your bike. My biggest issue is all the weight on my crotch, it does unpleasant things...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_BC View Post
    I have a medium sized mesh-backed ventilated backpack as well. It helps, but you still get sweaty, but still way better than a regular one. Maybe a combination, a small backpack along with some of your gear on your bike. My biggest issue is all the weight on my crotch, it does unpleasant things...
    well I definitely wouldn't have all my gear in the bag. I got some bags for on the frame of my bike. I was thinking that's were the heavier stuff would be. I can see though the extra weight pushing down could get a bit uncomfortable.
    Love my FUJI!!!

  6. #6
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    I usually wind up riding within a pack on, mostly because I can't live without the hands free drinking of a hydration pack. I know it's a little cliche at this point but I have had the best luck with the Osprey Talon 22, it is simply the most comfortable pack I have worn. I usually just have water, my stove, a first aid kit, and maybe some overflow clothes so it winds up being fairly light. I have been trying to ween myself away but find I don't mind it all that much and find the extra space invaluable.

  7. #7
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    I use the Camelbak Vantage.

    CamelBak | VANTAGE FT Large Capacity Backcountry Hydration Pack

    It has space for a 3L water bladder. It's not quite a full-sized backpack but yet it's bigger than a traditional Camelbak. Plus it has really nice ventilation.

    I tend to carry my lightest things in there (like clothing) and leave heavier stuff (like bike tools & tubes, tent, stove and food) to the frame bags. I usually ride with a 3L Camelbak anyway - so carrying a larger one on Bikepacking trips is only marginally different from a regular ride.

    Asking about backpacks is like asking about Ford or Chevy. Republican or Democrat. 50's Elvis or fat Vegas Elvis. Some people are vehemently opposed to them. Some people won't ride without it. Choose for yourself.

  8. #8
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    For bikepacking I like carrying my light bulky stuff in a pack along with a bladder.
    I am currently using an AARN Marathon 22, sans the front balance pockets.


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  9. #9
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    I have done a number of rides with and without packs on the back. The biggest issue I have had is a pack that rides up and limits head movement as the helmet strikes the pack. Other than a light weight camel back, that I avoid as well, I usually carry gear on the frame. My full preference is a credit card carried in my jersey pocket. I also am wondering about small trailers, anyone out there make regular use of those ?
    BB

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by connolm View Post
    I use the Camelbak Vantage.

    CamelBak | VANTAGE FT Large Capacity Backcountry Hydration Pack

    It has space for a 3L water bladder. It's not quite a full-sized backpack but yet it's bigger than a traditional Camelbak. Plus it has really nice ventilation.

    I tend to carry my lightest things in there (like clothing) and leave heavier stuff (like bike tools & tubes, tent, stove and food) to the frame bags. I usually ride with a 3L Camelbak anyway - so carrying a larger one on Bikepacking trips is only marginally different from a regular ride.

    Asking about backpacks is like asking about Ford or Chevy. Republican or Democrat. 50's Elvis or fat Vegas Elvis. Some people are vehemently opposed to them. Some people won't ride without it. Choose for yourself.
    Z 30 - Gregory Packs - Products - Men's - Technical

    The camel back seems nice, but also twice the weight if you don't look at the +3l additional on the camelback. And its about $50 more as well. I put a link to what I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get. If nothing else its a good size for regular hiking too. And yes I realize asking about backs is kinda well ya know but thought id get some ideas and see what other people have to say.
    Love my FUJI!!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I usually wind up riding within a pack on, mostly because I can't live without the hands free drinking of a hydration pack. I know it's a little cliche at this point but I have had the best luck with the Osprey Talon 22, it is simply the most comfortable pack I have worn. I usually just have water, my stove, a first aid kit, and maybe some overflow clothes so it winds up being fairly light. I have been trying to ween myself away but find I don't mind it all that much and find the extra space invaluable.
    Yea I've looked into osprey bags because a lot of people talk highly of them but every bag I've put on has sat to close to my neck for comfort. Some even on large sizes even ride my neck. Dueter does the same thing. I know Gregory and camelback bags don't though. But thanks for the reply. I like to see or read what people carry in there bags as well as what size bags they have, use.
    Love my FUJI!!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr View Post
    For bikepacking I like carrying my light bulky stuff in a pack along with a bladder.
    I am currently using an AARN Marathon 22, sans the front balance pockets.

    do you find the 22 size to be more than enough?
    Love my FUJI!!!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb00 View Post
    I have done a number of rides with and without packs on the back. The biggest issue I have had is a pack that rides up and limits head movement as the helmet strikes the pack. Other than a light weight camel back, that I avoid as well, I usually carry gear on the frame. My full preference is a credit card carried in my jersey pocket. I also am wondering about small trailers, anyone out there make regular use of those ?
    BB
    hmmm, yea havnt thought of that. the whole helmet thing could be troublesome. guess ill need to investigate more. thank you!
    Love my FUJI!!!

  14. #14
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    I think if you don't over-stuff your pack, you shouldn't have problems with "helmet rub." I avoid using the top pocket in the backpack "lid" altogether and I'm mindful of the total vertical length when I pack.

    The Gregory looks nice! I'm sure it would be a great choice. Good luck.

  15. #15
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    Check out Wingnut Gear: Wingnut Gear » Products

    I love my Wingnut pack for bikepacking!

  16. #16
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    I have a Topeak Air Backpack 2Core which holds a water bladder and also has a nifty “gear core” that holds all your tools (and more) and snaps into the body of the pack. There isn’t a ton of room for other things after that – and I don’t always use the gear core - but when I do carry it, I put my raingear and lunch and maybe a few other miscellaneous items in there. Its sort of a teardrop shape, so no helmet rub issues. It also has a waist strap. I got it on sale via ebay for ~$40 as I recall.

    My only complaint is that the nylon is rather thin and I fear after too many trips may tear. But its very light and convenient and I have given it a good workout to date with no issues. In general, I try to keep as much off my back as possible when bikepacking. But in colder weather, its hard. Warm weather, no problem – I just carry a small camelback with water and tools. But overall, after many hours in the saddle, my a$$ thanks me for not loading it down with too much weight.

  17. #17
    ColoradoCoolBreeze
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    Yes, in fact anything larger bothers me.
    The 22L holds all my spare cloths, SB, hammock, tarp, food, alky stove and cookkit with room to spare.

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  18. #18
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    I tried an Osprey Manta 30 last year. I hiked with it all 2011 and it was fab so I thought I'd give it a whirl on the bike in 2012. Terrible idea so I gave up on full-on packs.

    I try to load as much as possible on my bike and keep almost nothing on my body. I did however buy two of these bags off of Ebay over the winter for cheap: FATBOY VERSIPACK Tactical Nylon Gear Concealed Carry Shoulder Sling Bag

    It's a man-purse with a water bottle holder built in. It is small and sits just at my belt-line on my back while riding. Has some PALS webbing so you can attach a few things if needed. Holds a small water bladder if that is your thing. Could put a pistol in it if you are riding across Montana or something.

    The price of the Fatboy is a little steep for that it is so if you can get one off of Ebay for cheap, it is worth it. Otherwise there are knock-offs by UTG on Ebay for $30 but they are made poorly.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  19. #19
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    Reviving this thread because the topic has been on my mind recently.

    I use the Vaude Rock UL 25 - 340g and lots of room. I went back to a framed pack very briefly this summer and discarded the idea immediately. IMO, frames don't help on a bike. They add weight and possibly even additional discomfort unnecessarily. Perspiration remains an issue, with or without a frame. You either deal with it or forgo the backpack, depending on how much it bothers you.

    But my main point is that I put a lot more in my backpack than many other people here - figuring that it makes for better trail riding than the seat bag option. I don't think a relatively heavy backpack need be a huge problem. But the caveats are that your bike geometry and saddle need to be spot on.

    Here's my blog article on the issue, in case anyone is interested:

    The backpack experience - Trails, tours, toys...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinFarrent View Post
    But my main point is that I put a lot more in my backpack than many other people here - figuring that it makes for better trail riding than the seat bag option. I don't think a relatively heavy backpack need be a huge problem. But the caveats are that your bike geometry and saddle need to be spot on.
    I don't mind a reasonable load on my back, but I tend to put food and my extra water capacity [for long dry stretches] in my pack. That way it gets lighter each day until the trip is over or I resupply.

    A comfortable pack is key.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  21. #21
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  22. #22
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    I prefer to ride backpack free, but in winter I carry a winter-modified hydration pack under my jacket. When I bring my kids with me, all my stuff does not fit on my bike, so I end up with my HMG windrider pack on my back.
    As a side note, the pack acted as a very effective air bag when I crashed in the Chilcotins.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post

    A comfortable pack is key.
    If you're like me and consider frames a weight and comfort disadvantage, the way you actually pack your shapeless rucksack becomes your main comfort variable. Once you have that nailed, I think the other factors I mentioned take centre stage. But I wouldn't have imagined their specific importance for pack weight until I experienced a problem for real... when my saddle suddenly stopped suiting my backside. When I got a new saddle, it wasn't just seat pains that disappeared - but all sorts of back and comfort issues which had led me to believe that my pack was too heavy.

  24. #24
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    Easy to find,try, is waterproof and about $50--$60 bucks = UnderArmor at most sporting goods stores. I have one, it's nicely designed, comfy etc. Like other's on this thread I prefer Not to wear a BP - prefer to pack the bike. But, if your just stuff's clothes, light items it's fine. I would also definitely choose it for a short commute to the local coffee house with my Mac Book Pro / laptop, over a bike pack. Last, I use it for extended hikes be it hiking in all day flyfishing to day hikes................nice to have on those occasion's.

    Think you may be surprised at the nice Waterproff BP's available via sporting good store's like *****, Olympia (purchased mine at "O") etc. For me I must touch/feel/try on/look over a BP before purchase...........so...........X-NAY on internet shopping - AAY

  25. #25
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    In my experience experimenting with different setups (more in the backpack v. more on the frame) I have found that the terrain traveled has a big impact. If there is a lot of elevation gain and drops or any other reason I will be up and out of the saddle more, I find I can tolerate more weight on my back and a lighter bike makes me a little more nimble. I think this is because I am moving my body around more and carrying the weight in different ways as I am climbing, descending, making tight turns, etc. But if I am in a setting with lots of wide open, flat spaces where I am sitting for long periods and just cranking out the miles (or kms…), a heavy weight on my back makes for a more uncomfortable experience. While I agree that a better bike fit, appropriate saddle type, etc. can have a really big impact on comfort, I think terrain is a notable factor as well. I do ride with a pack but I tend to carry the lighter stuff in there and put the heavier items on the bike.

    As for waterproofness, I have a surprisingly light Topeak Air that has a little waterproof cover that lives in a pocket on the bottom. Just pull it out and cover the pack if it rains and stow when done. Its works great and I think overall keeps the weight down over a completely waterproof bag. As a former backpacker, I will also say that a trash compactor bag inside the backpack works extremely well as a liner. The pack gets wet, but everything in the compactor bag will be bone dry. And those things are tough as nails - its not your typical trash bag material.

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