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  1. #1
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    Right size backpack?

    I've been using a 2wheelgear pannier for a few years, but am consider getting a backpack too so I can ride different bikes or even hit some trails on the way home.

    I typically carry a day's worth of business casual attire, a small lunch, deodorant, and maybe a light jacket if it's cold. I also need to be able to squeeze my laptop in if I am have to bring work home with me.

    Is 30 liters enough? The next sizes up are usually 40+ which seems like a lot.

  2. #2
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    Right size backpack?

    I just picked up a Coleman Kaver 27L, and I'm loving it. This morning I was able to fit my work uniform (long sleeved shirt and pants), 2L hydro bladder, two large books (class right after work), and the usual stuff I keep with me throughout the day in my work truck, like chargers, gum, blah blah blah.

  3. #3
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    Take all your stuff to an REI or someplace like that and stuff it in different backpacks to get a feel for how it fits. But if there's no place near you that sells backpacks (even crappy ones just to get an idea of volume) then I'd say yes, 30 liters should be plenty.

  4. #4
    jrm
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    I started with a 32 liter deuter pack some 10 years ago and it worked really well. After a while though i began to reassess what i really needed to carry and as it became less and less i figured that by planning ahead and packing light i could get away with a lighter pack. For the last 2 years ive been using a deuter speedlite 20 liter pack. It holds my clothes and the essentials. What it doesnt carry i leave @ work if im taking the long way home from work.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  5. #5
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    The real test: will it fit enough beer to wet a rolling party's whistle?

  6. #6
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    Right size backpack?

    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    The real test: will it fit enough beer to wet a rolling party's whistle?
    Brought home a sixer and two bottles of wine without giving it a second thought. I still say Kover.

  7. #7
    jrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    The real test: will it fit enough beer to wet a rolling party's whistle?
    thats what bottle cages are for
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  8. #8
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    Right size backpack?

    Thanks for the replies. I'm looking at either the timbuk2 medio (30l) or tres(45l). It's sounding like the 45 might be overkill unless I'm stopping to pick up a pony keg on the way home.


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  9. #9
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    > Is 30 liters enough?

    Wow. I carry a lot of stuff on my bike, but I almost never wear a backpack. It raises my center of gravity and it makes me sweat. I usually tote one 40 liter Ortlieb pannier, two if I have to, otherwise, I strap stuff on my rack.

  10. #10
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    IMO, getting something compressible is important. I got an Osprey Momentum 34 last fall and love it. It has a zipper which, when closed, will just about cut the volume in half. It also has a good size laptop compartment. I commute with my laptop, clothes, hand towel, lunch and sometimes certain bike gear, depending on how different the temperature is between morning and afternoon. I can fit all that just about perfectly.

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I used a size large Timbuk2 messenger for ages. I was thinking "medium" until you mentioned the laptop. Those add a surprising amount of volume! Anyway, whatever volume fits in the Timbuk2, that would be my suggestion.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I looked at one of the Timbuk2 bags to either replace or add to my Chrome Metropolis. Was very disappointed in the quality in comparison. Chrome bags are expensive, but the quality is really good, and now that I have used it regularly, very worth it.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1021/2500

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I don't know if I'd buy a Timbuk2 bag now... But if they keep warranty-replacing the one I've got!
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Just out of curiosity, why do you have to keep warranty replacing it?
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1021/2500

  15. #15
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    I use a 35 litre backpack to carry my sutff: I don't have much but it is bulky.

    dress shoes
    pants/shirt/socks etc
    maybe a tablet
    phone
    small first aid kit
    small took kit

    If I leave a second pair of shoes at the office I can go with a 17 litre backpack. If I need to carry my laptop back and forth I use a 45 litre backpack.

  16. #16
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    Re: Right size backpack?

    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    Just out of curiosity, why do you have to keep warranty replacing it?
    It's actually only happened once. About 5 years ago, I tightened a cinch strap on my c2000 bag and ripped a big strip of the outer fabric off with it.

    I have noticed a little tearing in the lining around where the shoulder strap is stitched into my replacement. But unless and until it progresses to where it messes with the function of my bag, I'm not going to do anything about it. In my current life, I don't even use it on bikes - just as a piece of luggage when I travel, sometimes.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    Right size backpack?

    Thanks for the replies everyone. I haven't purchased anything yet, but I still like the backpack concept as I think it will be quicker overall, so long as I can figure out a good way to roll/fold my dress shirt and pants without wrinkling them. It will just make for a quicker transition at the bike rack and in the locker room, as well as allow for me to use either bike depending on what other riding I may do. Also, small thing here, but the bike handles a lot better with the extra 10 pounds on my back rather than a pannier hanging off the rear.


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  18. #18
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    Right size backpack?

    I have a geigerrig 1600. Its almost bursting with my lunch, pants rolled up, shirt rolled up, pump, multi tool, cable lock, spare tube. The back sits nice against yours and i barely notice its there.

    Its 26L but a bit of extra room would be nice. I have a 33L pack that my stuff fits better but no water bag pocket and no dividers and small pockets for bike tools. I would love my geigerrig bag identical but 33L.

  19. #19
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Fitting clothes requires them to be rolled. Use your shoes as extra storage for socks, undergarments, a belt, whatever other small items you might need. I am very lucky in the fact that I wear scrubs at work, which roll up very nicely and tightly and allow me all kinds of room. Now that I can leave a pair of shoes at work, my pack is considerably lighter, and allows me to fit my lunch in without getting crushed.
    '13 FELT TK3 48:15
    Fixed gear - but not a hipster
    2014 miles - 1021/2500

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