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-   -   College Student Backpack (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=821334)

SpitFireVRR 05-28-12 02:49 PM

College Student Backpack
 
Hey guys,

I'm in need of some advice as far as backpacks are concerned. I'll be going to the University of Florida and am not bringing my car, as parking in Gainsville is TERRIBLE. I'll be riding an older road bike around campus (the class, the gym, student union, bus stop, etc.), and will need a backpack to carry my things. I am willing to spend up to $150 on something well constructed. I need it to stay on my back obviously and transfer some weight to my chest and possibly my waist, although I don't want anything bigger than a daypack. Basically I'll be carrying a 15" Macbook, a phone, water bottles, maybe some clothes, sunglasses, a textbook and probably a binder or two. I was looking at the Oakley Full Curcuit and the Ogio Renegade. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Todd

jsdavis 05-28-12 03:44 PM

I bought an older Camelbak Alpine Explorer for about $50 right around when the current design came out. It is a fairly stout pack and the waist strap is quite good for weight transfer. I have bought packs with a waist strap but some have useless waist straps because it is set too far out or no padding to make it useful though. It does not have a laptop specific compartment though.

fietsbob 05-28-12 04:03 PM

Have an REI to go try stuff on?

one suggestion, a system such as Rixen and Kaul/ Klick Fix
there is a seat post clip.
and the back pack has support frame that would come off..
http://www.klickfix.de/index.php?mod=6&lang=en

GaryinLA 05-28-12 04:25 PM

chrome
 
You ask for input about a backpack.
My suggestion is a Chrome Citizen messenger bag. If you google you will find their website. I have one of the Nite series ones (with reflection built in) and I am very happy with it for use both on and off the bike.
I am surprised at how useful and comfortable it is. They have worked on the design for 20 years, and nothing falls out. Also there are numerous pockets and compartments inside it.
It seems large but it doesnt look so large on your back because it lays flat, and the size helps distribute the weight.
Before i got it i used a backpack designed for a Sony laptop, and it was a lot more uncomfortable and ungainly on the bike.

IF you get one of these Chrome ones you will not regret it.
They also have backpack models too but i have no experience with them.

I was looking also at bags that convert to panniers ie the Ortlieb Office and Vario models and the Arkel Bug model. I still may get one of these but i havent put rack(s) on my bike(s) yet and I like the messenger bag approach because i like to ride a few bikes I own none of which have racks.

AlmostGreenGuy 05-28-12 08:14 PM

For a 30L backpack, takes a close look at the Osprey Momentum 26 pack. It looks perfect to what you're after, and designed with bike commuting in mind. It's 26L standard, and expands to 31L. Available in "bamboo" and "carbide" colors.

http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/produc..._1/momentum_26

Here's a link to the owners manual:
http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/document/download/155

Hint: Osprey packs tend to run a little larger than expected, in comparison to other brands, so don't be afraid to look at the S/M version, instead of the M/L version.

Osprey has the best warrantee in the business too:
http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/web/all_mighty_guarantee

http://www.ospreypacks.com/images_pr...224_548_xl.jpg

SpitFireVRR 06-04-12 07:25 PM


Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy (Post 14283388)
For a 30L backpack, takes a close look at the Osprey Momentum 26 pack. It looks perfect to what you're after, and designed with bike commuting in mind. It's 26L standard, and expands to 31L. Available in "bamboo" and "carbide" colors.

http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/produc..._1/momentum_26

Here's a link to the owners manual:
http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/document/download/155

Hint: Osprey packs tend to run a little larger than expected, in comparison to other brands, so don't be afraid to look at the S/M version, instead of the M/L version.

Osprey has the best warrantee in the business too:
http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/web/all_mighty_guarantee

http://www.ospreypacks.com/images_pr...224_548_xl.jpg

I love the write up on this, do you have any first hand experience with them? I was also looking at Deuter, however non of their commuting packs with the rain covers seem to have a laptop compartment. I have been looking at the Chrome/Timbuk2 packs, but I don't think I'm hipster enough to pull of these packs, and I dislike the lack of organizing areas. I talked to a good friend and it appears I'll be carrying my 15" Macbook, a pen, pencil, notepad, and a calculator, plus a possible change of clothes.

As far as sizing is concerned; I'm 6'0, ~180, athletic build. Would you still recommend the smaller size? At the current moment, I am not sure if I can do the Osprey, since there is no indication of how large the laptop can be. If It can fit a 15", I'll more than likely go with this.

AtlanticOcean 06-04-12 10:31 PM

You will not find a better bicycling backpack for heavy loads than this one.

http://www.kriega.us/r30-motorcycle-backpack/

Barchettaman 06-05-12 02:08 AM

I love my seatpost mounted rucksack, simliar to this:

http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pub...15g83o1a7J4pVg

KLICKfix Freepack Sport. NO more sweaty back!!

The amount you´re carrying might be a bit much though.

Lightweight rack and a cheap pannier maybe, for the ´overflow`?

Artkansas 06-05-12 07:05 AM

I use the Jansport Big Student. It's got 6 pockets and plenty of room. Prices vary, you can get them for $20-$45 The size is 17.5" x 13" x 10".

http://suscjuni.info/img.php?fl=m5l4...b4l5t563x2y3u2

I just used it on a 2,000 mile bus trip where I carried both a PC and a Mac. It's got an elastic pocket on the side just made for a water bottle.

AlmostGreenGuy 06-05-12 07:19 AM


Originally Posted by SpitFireVRR (Post 14314077)
I love the write up on this, do you have any first hand experience with them? I was also looking at Deuter, however non of their commuting packs with the rain covers seem to have a laptop compartment. I have been looking at the Chrome/Timbuk2 packs, but I don't think I'm hipster enough to pull of these packs, and I dislike the lack of organizing areas. I talked to a good friend and it appears I'll be carrying my 15" Macbook, a pen, pencil, notepad, and a calculator, plus a possible change of clothes.

As far as sizing is concerned; I'm 6'0, ~180, athletic build. Would you still recommend the smaller size? At the current moment, I am not sure if I can do the Osprey, since there is no indication of how large the laptop can be. If It can fit a 15", I'll more than likely go with this.

This pack is more than large enough for a 15" Macbook. You'll have room to spare. :-)

I do have first hand experience with this pack. It's big enough that I use it in the cooler months, when I tend to carry more stuff. I can fit my laptop, various electronics, a change of clothes, and a small lunch and breakfast inside.

Stryver 06-05-12 07:25 AM

I have a North Face Recon that I like very much. It is not overly large, but it has a laptop sleeve, decent waistbelt/sternum strap, and two side pockets (one carries coffee thermos, one carries pump/flat kit). It also has a expandable mesh pouch that has fit, individually, a loaf of bread, a helmet, a pair of birks, and a wide variety of other things. I appreciate the straps on the bottom also. On a large backpack they'd hold a sleeping pad. I'm not sure what they are intended for here, but they hold my rain jacket nicely, with the added bonus of a rolled up piece of hi-vis yellow hanging at driver's-eye-height.

While the fabric is waterproof, the seams are not taped and the big, easy-to-use zippers only deter light rain. I have added a pack cover (a Hump, by these guys: http://www.respro.com/products/urban...ty/hiviz_hump/) for use in rain and low-vis conditions.

I've had this pack for a number of years, it traveled world-wide with me at a previous job, and I'm in my 3rd year of commuting with it. I've been very pleased with it.

ratdog 06-05-12 07:35 AM


Originally Posted by SpitFireVRR (Post 14314077)
At the current moment, I am not sure if I can do the Osprey, since there is no indication of how large the laptop can be. If It can fit a 15", I'll more than likely go with this.

Can this be because it's not a laptop bag? It's not listed on the REI site as a laptop bag. I believe it may only be a hydration backpack that fits a laptop rather than a bag with a laptop sleeve.

Just an FYI, key features of a laptop bag is for the laptop not to fall out if the zipper is unzipped or starts to unzip while on your back. Though not designed for biking, you should look at the design features built into Tom Bihn, Booq and Brenthaven backpacks. The last thing you want is for your precious laptop to hit the ground because the zipper gave out or you forgot to close it completely.

himespau 06-05-12 07:49 AM

How much riding around campus are doing. If you're just doing a 1-2 mile moderate speed cruise to class, I'd say just get a decent regular backpack with a laptop sleeve, which is what I did, though Gainsville is warmer and more backsweat inducing than Michigan State where I did my undergrad. The internally framed packs with lots of straps are nice for long and/or high speed rides where you don't want much motion and they're lifted off your back to reduce backsweat, but they're much more of a pain to slide under your chair especially in a big lecture hall than just a simple backpack. If you get a rack, any backpack and a bungee cord or cargo net makes life even easier.

AlmostGreenGuy 06-05-12 07:57 AM


Originally Posted by ratdog (Post 14315580)
Can this be because it's not a laptop bag? It's not listed on the REI site as a laptop bag. I believe it may only be a hydration backpack that fits a laptop rather than a bag with a laptop sleeve.

Just an FYI, key features of a laptop bag is for the laptop not to fall out if the zipper is unzipped or starts to unzip while on your back. Though not designed for biking, you should look at the design features built into Tom Bihn, Booq and Brenthaven backpacks. The last thing you want is for your precious laptop to hit the ground because the zipper gave out or you forgot to close it completely.

No worries with the Osprey.

For more info, here's a good review:

http://www.carryology.com/2011/06/01...y-momentum-26/

http://carryology-assets.s3.amazonaw...10-580x384.jpg

nhluhr 06-05-12 11:14 AM

I use this one for my 20mi commute:
http://www.rei.com/product/824404/koki-vespa-bike-pack

Love how light and airy it is on my back. It has a mesh hammock style back panel so there's always air circulating across the back (minimizes sweating) and has a built-in laptop sleeve and rain cover, both of which are removeable.

acidfast7 06-05-12 11:33 AM

3 Attachment(s)
I have a Crumpler Meat Smuggler and a Crumpler Gentleman Farmer that I'm quite happy with, but their slightly expensive but they come with a 30-year guarantee. I use them why my gf makes me carry her BlackBook (13.3") home/to work.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=254430

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=254431

when I need to move a lot of stuff ... I go with a 75L Kajka rucksack from Fjällräven and it's not so bad on the bike

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=254432

all 3 are costly up-front but worth their money over time. The FJ was super-expensive (2400SEK = roughly 400 USD) but it's been very useful over the 5 years of trekking.

vesteroid 06-05-12 12:02 PM

http://www.cilogear.com/citybags.html

best made pack on the planet

30.00 over your budget, but will last a life time and is lite to boot.

fietsbob 06-05-12 12:47 PM

rear basket, put your 'whatever' back pack in it..

chevychic55 06-05-12 01:10 PM

I have this pack and love it. I bought it when I was in college. It is specifically designed to hold a 15" MBP, has a built in rain cover, and is really comfy. This model is discontinued, but their site has some other versions. They are really cheap on ebay. In the store mine was $120, but I only paid $40 on ebay. I have used and abused mine for about 3 years now (on the bike and off)

http://www.stmbags.com/catalog/lapto...ptop-backpack/


http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/5562/backpackw.jpg

alhedges 06-05-12 02:30 PM


Originally Posted by fietsbob (Post 14316984)
rear basket, put your 'whatever' back pack in it..

This.

When you bike, your back is an important surface for cooling; insulating it with a backpack will make you hotter and lead to a sweat soaked area on your back exactly matching the backpack's dimensions.

Carrying 30 lbs of book won't help matters any.

As to the pack itself, you're overthinking it. Any decently made pack will work; you aren't climbing Everest or even going on a week-long backpacking trip.

And while I know that the Osprey is a decently made pack, I don't think that its dimensions are ideal for carrying large books, which is what you'll really need the pack for. With that in mind, something like the Jansport pictured above is likely more practical, since it's designed to carry books - maybe with a separate sleeve for the laptop.

The only thing I don't like about the Jansport is that it doesn't have any water bottle pouches on the sides. I find these surprisingly useful; not just for water bottles, but also as a quick place to stash something.

CrazyLemurBoy 06-05-12 09:04 PM

Gator alum here. Gainesville is the best biking city in the southeast. You will not be disappointed in the local trails. Have fun! When I went to school there, I just wore my regular Jansport while biking. I was a total noob at the time though. If I were to do it again I would probably go milkcrate + any backpack. I use panniers & racks for commuting now but theft was a serious issue when I went to school there and I doubt it has changed.

SurlyLaika 06-07-12 12:45 AM

http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_d...product_id=112
whenever backpacks are brought up, I always suggest this one. I've had it for almost two years and it's been pretty good to me. I don't have the time to tell you why I love it but check out the link. It's got tons of great, functional features. It's my backpack for everything including biking. I'm even thinking of removing my heavy rear Surly Nice Rack and just using this backpack.

HardyWeinberg 11-12-15 11:02 AM

I really like this pack:

Osprey Radial 34 Cycling Pack - REI.com

The member rebate would bring it back to ~$150.

They also make this one which has fewer pockets/dividers and as a result a larger main compartment:

Osprey Escapist 32 Pack - REI.com

it also has a better waistbelt.


The escapist would hold my high-school student son's 2 giant binders, geometry text, lunchbox, and PE gear. He rejects it because he relies on pockets/dividers. The radial would work but he doesn't need the laptop compartment and it would make the rest of his stuff get more cramped. I have a radial and I do use the laptop compartment.

noglider 07-17-19 10:29 AM

My wife bought herself an Osprey backpack. It's specifically for women's size bodies. She didn't like it, so she gave it to me. It doesn't feel too small on me, but I'm not a very big guy. It has an internal frame which makes the pack feel heavy. But the ergonomics are so brilliant that once it's on my back, the weight disappears. No wonder these things are so expensive. Let's see how it holds up. I'm pretty impressed so far. I have to walk and ride around wearing a backpack with a somewhat feminine shade of purple, but I don't mind.

I had a Timbuk2 backpack until recently. It was very lightweight, but because of that, it was very floppy when not on my back. The floppiness made it difficult to pack. I'm surprised at how much of an inconvenience that was. The pack started tearing after two or three years, so I guess these things don't last long. But I got it at a very good price, so I got my money's worth.

rumrunn6 07-17-19 11:45 AM

I wonder if SpitFireVRR has joined the work force by now & maybe bike commutes? :D


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