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Thread: Backpack Time

  1. #1
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    Backpack Time

    Time has come to retire the trusty messenger bag. I'm looking to replace it with a trusty two strap bag that is waterproof, and as far as I can tell, the affordable offerings come from Ortlieb and Chrome. Both are well within spec for size, Ortlieb is substantially cheaper, but access to wallet and whatnot is going to suck. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want you all to make up my mind for me. I'm open to other brands.

  2. #2
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    I've owned a Timbuk2 large classic messenger bag for the last 7 years and its held up beautifully, especially considering how I constantly overload it and have used it on my motorcycle daily. Can't say enough good things about it, and it does well in the rain too.

  3. #3
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    Ortlieb, it's cheaper and larger in volume. Stick a small bag in the pack for your wallet and other items you need quick access to. If it's the right size, you won't have to fish around too much.

    Another option is Banjo Brothers Commuter Backpack, available in 1500 and 2000 cu inch. Reviews at this site. Easy wallet access and cheaper.
    I'm gravity challenged, adrenaline deficient, and looking for that endorphine high. Shout out, I'll move out of the way. :-)

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    Check out SealLine, too.

    http://www.rei.com/product/790385

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    I was about to start this thread. The banjo brothers one looks interesting. I don't care about waterproof as it probably won't rain until september now. Hopefully people with experience post more on this thread.

    I need to carry:
    * 17" laptop
    * change of clothes (no shoes)
    * lunch
    * tools/pump/tube
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlliKat
    I was about to start this thread. The banjo brothers one looks interesting. I don't care about waterproof as it probably won't rain until september now. Hopefully people with experience post more on this thread.

    I need to carry:
    * 17" laptop
    * change of clothes (no shoes)
    * lunch
    * tools/pump/tube
    Assuming you are used to carrying things on your back, I'd use a prototypical messenger bag with a one shoulder sling. Easier for access to everything and the front flap will allow you to carry huge things on occasion. I have a bit of a back problem, so I'm moving towards two straps since I feel better. For what you are aiming at, I think something around 1400 cubic inches will be about perfect.

    I like the idea of the SealLine backpack, but the small is probably too small and the large is gigantinormous. Anybody have experience with them or the other ones mentioned?

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    I have been commuting my 10mi roundtrip commute with this:

    REI Lookout 40 for the past 2 weeks. I was looking for something light, a good dual-purpose commuting and hiking pack, with good ventilation, with good fit for my (largish) frame (6'1" 220). I carry a pretty heavy 15" Dell laptop, a large notebook, files, shoes, flipflops, pants, shirt, socks, underwear, first aid kit, along with a complement of two cell phones, an iPod and other miscellaneous stuff. This thing has great storage, a quick access pocket on the top for the wallet and keys, good side vertical zip pockets, two pockets for two nalgenes, and a front flap pocket with good storage for the aforementioned electronics and the like - plus it has the ability to take a hydration bladder. An included rain cover in a purpose-built pocket on the bottom was a bonus. And the price was right. This thing distributes the load perfectly - the majority on the hips - the only downside with riding, is it occasionally can be "felt" by the back of my helmet when getting out of the saddle or moving my head certain ways - but this can be largely dialed out with adjusting the shoulder straps.

    Works for me...ymmv, good luck!

  8. #8
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    Unless it is a super short ride and I am carrying less than a couple of pounds, I wouldn't go with a messenger bag if someone gave it to me for free and payed me to carry it. I rode my ~35 mile round trip commute ONCE with my messenger bag. Once.

    Backpack is marginally better just due to the fact that it distributes weight better. Still makes my back sweaty and ache-y.

    I got panniers and a rack and I will never go back. I don't even like carrying my camelbak when I ride my mtb, now.

  9. #9
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    I can't stand having a back pack on. I used one when commuting for carrying my laptop but it just turned into a PITA. I go with Panniers or a rear rack and trunk pack. I'm in the market to pick up larger truck bag.
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  10. #10
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    If you're poo pooing messenger bags versus backpacks for comfort, you obviously haven't tried a proper messenger bag with adjustable sholder strap and secondary strap to the shoulder strap.

    I've ridden many, many years with a backpack. I used to carry a rucksacks for a living (8 years in the Infantry and Rangers). Believe me, a properly loaded and adjusted quality large messenger bag like the Timbuk2 or Chrome can not only carry a heavier load, but carry it more comfortably.

    With a backpack with a waist belt, the LAST thing you want to do is have your hips take the load off your back when you are pedaling. Been there, done that with heavy textbooks, food, water and personal gear while riding 22 miles one way to college.

    Panniers are definately more comfortable riding, no question. My only contention with them was it took longer to load them and unload them, and once I got to my destination (campus), I'd have to use a bag to carry my textbooks and gear in anyway.

    The majority of use for my messenger bag has been on my motorcycle, and it works perfectly for that. I've gone hundreds of miles on a single ride with my messenger bag heavily loaded and was perfectly comfortable.

    The ONLY backpack I can stand while riding anymore is my hydration pack, and it is very small and light compared to my loaded messenger bag.

    Again, I'm positive that I've carried extremely heavy rucksacks while walking over very long distances more than anyone here. I converted to using a messenger bag 7 years ago and I'll never go back. Its my briefcase for work and my carry-on bag for travel too.

  11. #11
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    Messenger bags are great. I've used them for several years now, and you can't beat them for accessibility, practicality and style. I've used the messenger back for thousands and thousands of miles and I think they are awesome.

    I do have a chronic back problem, and two straps helps alleviate that. I'm leaning towards the Ortlieb Velocity, as the reviews are good and it has decent volume.

  12. #12
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    Riding with panniers in the city are ghey and prone to vandalism and theft. The cargo also bounces up and down with every bump.

    I've tried on the North Face messenger bags that have an extra strap to position the bag around your to prevent it from swinging. I like it for the style and function.

    I prefer back packs to distribute the weight evenly on my shoulders and back. Messenger bags will eventually give you ailments and make your body lopsided. I have been lusting for Deuter. These packs provide ventilation so that you don't have a wet back when you get to work. http://www.deuterusa.com/

  13. #13
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    Surplus Swiss army pack

    I have used one of those WWII era canvas swiss army rucksack that you find at army surplus stores. This nice thing about them is that some of them (like mine) have a an internal frame and canvas strap at the bottom that suspend the pack off of your lower back. Very handy. When I do my 13 mi commute I only get sweat between my shoulders where the top of the pack rests. The thing cost $40 and I have been using it since the mid 90s. As far as I know, there is nothing comparable on the market these days. The pack is waterproof enough, can be seriously overstuffed, and doesn't mind maltreatment. My messenger bag (Timbuk then a RELoad) is indispensable, but there is no question that it soaks my entire back with sweat, every time.
    Responds to gravity

  14. #14
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    I've been using this for over a year in SF. works very well carrying books and clothes but no guns or grenades so what do I know? http://www.amazon.com/Detours-Sienna...7766406&sr=8-8
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash.

  15. #15
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    My solution for the wet back is an extra t-shirt. Or I bring my change of clothes. How does the Deuter handle the grocery run?

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    Quote Originally Posted by prphoto
    I've been using this for over a year in SF. works very well carrying books and clothes but no guns or grenades so what do I know? http://www.amazon.com/Detours-Sienna...7766406&sr=8-8
    LOL - that is a nice pack! Wish I had seen it before.

  17. #17
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    how about a dakine apex... ihave been reading about this for awhile and finally decided to order it
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY8UQ...er_profilepage
    it will probably get sweaty but i can always carry an extra t-shirt..
    the new one (not the one in the video ) comes with a 3litre nalgene

    another great ventilated backpack in the Deuter Compact EXP 12

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEiV3BAwRgI

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