Best backpack for all-weather commuting- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best backpack for all-weather commuting

    I am considering getting a decent backpack instead of panniers on a rear rack for commuting. I want it to carry my dress clothes and work supplies. It should also be decent enough to take to a meeting. Does anyone have experience with these (or other suggestion)?

    1.) Chrome: Welded Rucksack
    Welded Rusack Backpack | Waterproof Backpack | Chrome Industries
    13.5 wide, 18.5 high, 4.8 deep

    2.) SealLine: Urban Backpack
    ****************1nL2P2E
    15 x 18 x 4 inches

    3.) Ortlieb: Transporter
    http://ortlieb.com/_pdf_en/transporter.pdf
    15.4 x 19.7 x 9.1 inches

    4.) Ortlieb: Velocity
    http://ortlieb.com/_pdf_en/velocity.pdf
    11 x 18.5 x 5.9

    5.) Osprey: Pixel
    Pixel - Osprey Packs, Inc :2014: Official Site
    13 x 18 x 7

    6.) Mission Workshops: VX Sanction // 20 Liter
    // Advanced Project // VX Sanction Rucksack || Mission Workshop
    12'' x 18'' x 5''

    7.) Mission Workshops: The Rambler
    Backpack / Expandable + Weatherproof Rambler Roll Top Bag || Mission Workshop
    13'' x 19'' x 5''

    Any help/ reviews are much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I don't have experience with any of those but I would be seriously disappointed by a pack without a small outside pocket for easy access to wallet, keys, etc.

  3. #3
    Natural Born Killer
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    I don't know what your commute is like but I would highly recommend a pack that provides decent ventilation where it rests against your back. Some of those look like they would be very uncomfortable in warmer weather.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skrufryder View Post
    Silly rabbit Jack Daniel drinking donkey kissing caterpiller

  4. #4
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    THANKS FOR THE TIP!

    I found the Banjo Brothers "Canvas Commuter Backpack" on sale for $69.99 (from $100):
    Banjo Brothers Canvas Commuter Backpack at WesternBikeworks

    Info:
    Canvas Commuter Backpack (waterproof) | Banjo Brothers

    Review:
    'Canvas Commuter' Bike Backpack a Top Choice for City Riders | Gear Review | Gear Junkie

    I think I will like how the waxed cotton canvas ages and conforms to my body, better than the synthetic. And, it still has a waterproof interior.

    I can vouch for Banjo Brothers in general making a pretty good "bang for your buck" product (having used both a large backpack and large mess bag), but I can't speak for that particular model.

  5. #5
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    Make sure the pack you get doesn't create blind spots when you look over your shoulder. Osprey makes a commuter pack that has a low profile and minimal obstruction.

    Personally, I don't like riding with a lot of weight on my back. I commuted for years with everything loaded on my back. The last 6 months I've gone to a handlebar bag for my commute. My back thanks me, greatly.

    You may take a look at a porteur rack and bag system. Bikes handle much better when the front is loaded compared to the rear. Also, there is lees chance of frame failure with a front load. There are some classy canvas front bags that could double as a briefcase or a respectable duffle bag.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Make sure the pack you get doesn't create blind spots when you look over your shoulder. Osprey makes a commuter pack that has a low profile and minimal obstruction.
    I have an Osprey commuter pack that has a built in rain cover and I love it. Also has a laptop sleeve which is water resistant even without the rain cover, a couple easily accessible pockets on the shoulder straps, lots of reflective surfaces on both the pack and the rain cover, a helmet holder. Basically, lots of cool features. It's called the Momentum 34.

  7. #7
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Is there really no love anymore for Timbuk2 packs?? I rarely see them mentioned. Perhaps their quality has slipped? I really don't know.

    I have a circa 2011 Timbuk2 Swig pack, sized medium methinks. It is awesome. All I could ask for and more!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Is there really no love anymore for Timbuk2 packs?? I rarely see them mentioned. Perhaps their quality has slipped? I really don't know.

    I have a circa 2011 Timbuk2 Swig pack, sized medium methinks. It is awesome. All I could ask for and more!
    I had one experience with Timbuk2, specifically their panniers. I didn't like them at all. I returned them and got Ortlieb ones instead.

  9. #9
    Loud hubs save lives!
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    Deuter has some nice backpacks with excellent ventilation. I have a Race Air EXP, it's on the small size but works well if I'm careful with packing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    Is there really no love anymore for Timbuk2 packs?? I rarely see them mentioned. Perhaps their quality has slipped? I really don't know.

    I have a circa 2011 Timbuk2 Swig pack, sized medium methinks. It is awesome. All I could ask for and more!
    I have a Timbuk2 messenger style bag that I commuted with for a while. It was definitely waterproof, but it wasn't comfortable enough for me. My shoulder would be aching by the end and I kept having to adjust it and shift it around. I have a longer commute, so maybe it would be fine for something shorter. Now I commute with an Osprey Talon 22 -- it's not waterproof, but it's super comfortable.

  11. #11
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    I haven't used their backpacks, but if there backpacks are as good as the panniers I'd check out Velo Transit. US made and lifetime warranty. I've used my pannier in the winter and in flash flood producing rainstorms in the summer and it's always stayed dry. The bags are costly though.

    Bicycle backpacks & panniers-Velo Transit

  12. #12
    ejj
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    Check Osprey. Tech look can be a turn off, but they are really quite nice to use.

  13. #13
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    ^^ Osprey works for me all year all weather in Vermont. Choose a model with the integrated rain cover. Or don't get an Osprey and carry a few extra pounds rain or shine every day with a crazy waterproof model from someone else.

  14. #14
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I am using a Chrome Metropolis messenger bag for now. Quality is absurd. I got mine used, and it is so well made that most of the new bags that I have looked at, like the Timubk2 just pale in comparison. If I needed to take regular clothes to work with me there is no way that I would use a messenger bag. Luckily I can roll my scrubs up tightly so they don't take much room up.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  15. #15
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    I'll throw in another vote for Deuter. I'm on my second pack from them (Trans Alpine 30), and the previous one lasted ~8 years of daily commuting (and even then, its just the zipper that is partially broken - I still use it as a gym bag). Comfortable, lots of pockets, the hydration bladder pocket fits my laptop, and they come with a stowable rain cover.

  16. #16
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    Has anyone tried the timbuk2 Especial tres (or Medio)?
    Especial Tres Cycling Backpack 2014

  17. #17
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    I couldn't help but grab one of the Timbuk2 Especial backpacks on sale at Zappos for Memorial Day!

    Medio: $111 (from $180):
    Timbuk2 Especial Medio Black - Zappos.com Free Shipping BOTH Ways

    Tres: $126 (from $210):
    Timbuk2 Especial Tres Black - Zappos.com Free Shipping BOTH Ways

    Cuatro: $206 (from $230):
    Timbuk2 Especial Cuatro Cycling Backpack Black - Zappos.com Free Shipping BOTH Ways

    Others:
    Timbuk2 Especial, Bags | Shipped Free at Zappos

    I ended up with the Tres: based on all of the great recommendations, Thanks! I hope to also use it for carrying my pro camera gear on outdoor assignments (as well as daily bike commuting).

    Here are a few online reviews (for both the non-fully-waterproof 2013 model, as well as the newly updated, waterproof 2014 model):
    Especial Tres Cycling Backpack 2014
    Road Tests :: Timbuk2 Especial Tres - Carryology - Exploring better ways to carry
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmmXtCeTuv0
    Shameless Traveler
    Timbuk2 Especial Tres Review Gadget Review
    Brevity Review: Timbuk2 Especial Tres Cycling Backpack | LaptopMemo
    Timbuk2 Especial Tres Backpack | Urban Velo

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