Bike Commute/School Backpack choices?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bike Commute/School Backpack choices?

    So after a few years in the working world I'm back at school for a graduate degree. I'm lucky enough to live fairly close to campus and my part time work so I will be bike commuting every day. I've been using the same osprey flux pack since high school and while it's been great, it's pretty grungy and worn out so I'm looking for something new. Here's my wishlist for features.

    1. Snug laptop sleeve for a microsoft surface pro4 (very thin 13" laptop/tablet)

    2. Some organization, place for pens, fleece lined pockets for phone, calc, etc.

    3. External water bottle holder

    4. Nice foam back panel

    5. Slight degree of water resistance. I have a rain cover for downpours but I'd like it to be able to protect my books and computer in light rain.

    6. Wrap around zipper for the main compartment.

    7. Tough materials, cordura and the like, good abrasion resistance.

    8. Somewhat sleek and stylish, I'm an adult now so something professional looking would be nice.

    9. Prefer 20-26 liters of capacity

    Anyone have some suggestions for me? I've checked out the usual suspects like chrome and timbuk2 but without being able to get my hands on them it's hard to know what's good. SOme first hand experience would be most helpful. I don't mind spending some money for a nice versatile bag that will see plenty of use through school and beyond.

    Thanks for the input!

  2. #2
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    Ortlieb and Crosso has solid nice waterproof bags also with cordura material.

  3. #3
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    I know eagle creek makes lots of things like that, check them out. And there is more here in the forum if you scroll through the pages.

    Is a messenger style bag also possible or does it have to be a backpack? I once had an ortlieb sling-it that I liked a lot. Most messenger bags come in PVC so no hassle with raincovers.

    Ortlieb has also nice waterproof backpacks, but imho they make you look more like an "outdoor professional" rather than "office professional".

    Ortliebs are quite pricey btw-do you have a price range/limit?

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the responses. I don't have much experience with messenger bags but I'm not sure if I'd like them in theory. Weight on one shoulder and could slide around on me. I'd like to give one a shot but don't really want to buy one for the experience.

    Budget should be fairly flexible just because I'm looking for something to last me a long time. Wouldn't want to spend more than $300 or so, definitely less would be nice.

    For the weatherproofing I'm just looking for some light moisture resistance. If I'm expecting real rain I should be able to use a rain cover or find alternative transport. If the bag had good sealed zippers, a nice spray on water proof coating might even be enough.

    I kind of like the look of this pack though the back panel looks pretty basic. https://huckberry.com/store/lander/c...p-backpack-25l

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    OK 300 should easily do the job.

    In general most messengerbags have a.detachable hip belt that takes the weight of your shoulder and prevent them to slide around.

    The bag you mentioned looks good, gives a good impression of what you are looking for. I just thoughtx maybe it would be handy if the shoulder straps are detachable so it does not look like a backpack when you are not on the bike?

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    Yeah, wouldn't be a bad feature I suppose.

  7. #7
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    I'd check out the deuter gigabike. (I think that's what it's called).

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57 View Post
    I like the style and the brand but I'd want a nicer back panel. Looks like that one would slide around on my back and not give much insulation.

    Thanks for the suggestion though, keep em coming!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty904 View Post
    So after a few years in the working world I'm back at school for a graduate degree. I'm lucky enough to live fairly close to campus and my part time work so I will be bike commuting every day. I've been using the same osprey flux pack since high school and while it's been great, it's pretty grungy and worn out so I'm looking for something new. Here's my wishlist for features.



    1. Snug laptop sleeve for a microsoft surface pro4 (very thin 13" laptop/tablet)



    2. Some organization, place for pens, fleece lined pockets for phone, calc, etc.



    3. External water bottle holder



    4. Nice foam back panel



    5. Slight degree of water resistance. I have a rain cover for downpours but I'd like it to be able to protect my books and computer in light rain.



    6. Wrap around zipper for the main compartment.



    7. Tough materials, cordura and the like, good abrasion resistance.



    8. Somewhat sleek and stylish, I'm an adult now so something professional looking would be nice.



    9. Prefer 20-26 liters of capacity



    Anyone have some suggestions for me? I've checked out the usual suspects like chrome and timbuk2 but without being able to get my hands on them it's hard to know what's good. SOme first hand experience would be most helpful. I don't mind spending some money for a nice versatile bag that will see plenty of use through school and beyond.



    Thanks for the input!

    You may take a look at CROSSO webpage to look what you need, they produce really high quality bags: http://crosso.pl/en/shop/

  11. #11
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    So I've found a couple that are pretty interesting to me. Think one might do the trick.

    1. The North Face Kaban Transit, size is about perfect for what I want, TPU coated fabric, organization looks really well thought out, two water bottle sleeves. The North Face Kaban Transit Backpack - 1556cu in | Backcountry.com


    2. Timbuk2 Especial Medio Especial Medio Cycling Laptop Backpack
    Nice cycling specific features like the reflective panels. A little bigger than I probably need but that might be a plus for traveling and groceries. Pricey though.

    Anyone have experience with these?

  12. #12
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    i have a slightly older version RADIAL 34 - Osprey Packs Official Site. The back pad is great and I don't get much back sweat, but I do get pretty severe strap sweat on my chest. It's pretty much perfect otherwise.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  13. #13
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  14. #14
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    any particular reason you're not looking at panniers?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    any particular reason you're not looking at panniers?
    I agree panniers allow you to ride with no weight on your back and keep the sweat down. I would be looking at something that could be a backpack or pannier bag. Sort of like this.

    Blackburn Wayside Backpack Pannier > Accessories > Bags > Panniers | Jenson USA
    We don't need more to be thankful for; we just need to be more thankful.

  16. #16
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    I don't really want to replace my bike, I like it quite a bit and it does not have rack mounts.

  17. #17
    jl
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    No need to replace your bike. It just depends if you want a rack or not. Racks are and baskets are awesome for commuting...

    "P-Clamps" Are Your Friends! | Bike Commuters
    We don't need more to be thankful for; we just need to be more thankful.

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