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Backpack

Old 04-14-22, 09:31 PM
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thinkapple
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Backpack

This might be in the wrong forum but curious on what people are using as a backpack going around town and/or short, medium ride? With my kids being older and love riding, we are traveling longer between rides. Last weekend we ended up riding across town to the library but couldn't bring books since I didn't bring a backpack etc. Just looking for a light riding backpack to put a few items in when out with the little ones.
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Old 04-14-22, 10:13 PM
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MarcusT
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For short rides, a backpack is fine, but longer rides, it may be uncomfortable, maybe even painful, because of being hunched over with weight on your back. For general cargo, you do not need a bike specific pack. Any pack will do, it helps if it has a waist belt, to keep it from swaying.
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Old 04-14-22, 10:48 PM
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thinkapple
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Great thank you for the advice
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Old 04-14-22, 10:52 PM
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I've used a Timbuk2 messenger bag for years, but you might prefer two shoulder straps for stability. REI has a whole slew of cycling-specific backpacks, but for the kind of use you're talking about I'd just use a basic school backpack.
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Old 04-14-22, 11:14 PM
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A backpack can get uncomfortably hot on longer / faster rides or during the hotter months.

A messenger bag is slightly better because you can slung it lower, giving better cooling. Best option for me is rear rack and pannier bag. You can even tie up a backpack to a rear rack.

A backpack is only good if all rides are easy rides and it never gets too hot.
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Old 04-14-22, 11:51 PM
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No real specific pack to recommend, but some features to look for;. I don't have a specific cycling pack, just a few multi-purpose ones.

A sternum strap (on the front, between the load straps) is more useful than a waist belt, which ends up under your ribs if you ride leaning forward at all. A sternum strap will draw the load straps together in the front, causing less interference with your arms reaching forward to the bars.

Look for a bag with wide, flat, thinly padded straps; a thick pad is good if you're standing up straight, but if you're leaning forward and reaching forward to the bars, your arms have to push it out of the way.
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Old 04-15-22, 12:04 AM
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Just about any backpack that allows you to set the straps rather long will work with the hunched over position.

As for heat, most brands of hydration backpacks have mesh materials as well as an "air channel" down the middle. Most mountain bikers abandoned bottles in favor of hydration backpacks years ago. You can choose a model with more or less storage capacity, and any of them will have a good capacity if you take the bladder out. I actually use ours for theme parks as well as mountain biking because of how it doesn't make my back sweat too much.
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Old 04-15-22, 05:36 AM
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When looking for backpacks look for well known brand names such as: Camelbak, Deuter, Osprey, North face, etc etc. There are many good small sized packs out there to choose from those brands. Yes they can get a little hot and uncomfortable but it doesn't bother me. I have done 100 mile rides on hot summer days with a backpack weighing around 15 - 18 pounds.
One thing to avoid is messenger bags, because they are uncomfortable while carrying any amount of weight. In the cycling community messenger bags are just a fashion statement, with absolutely no practical advantages over a good backpack.
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Old 04-15-22, 05:52 AM
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Any thought of simply a rear rack? Keeping your back free will not only keep you more comfortable, but will let you stay flexible enough to twist quickly to check on your kiddos when needed. This would also let you strap on a soft sided cooler for day trips to the parks.

just a thought.
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Old 04-15-22, 06:20 AM
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I rack my pack like this:
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Old 04-15-22, 06:28 AM
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Old 04-15-22, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
One thing to avoid is messenger bags, because they are uncomfortable while carrying any amount of weight.
Predictably, actual real-world experience disproves this assertion.

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
In the cycling community messenger bags are just a fashion statement, with absolutely no practical advantages over a good backpack.
Again, history and experience proves otherwise. Advantages include being able to add/remove items from the bag without taking it off, as well as the ability to one-handedly tighten or loosen the shoulder strap while riding.

This pseudo-iconoclast schtick of yours is the real fashion statement.
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Old 04-15-22, 09:35 AM
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Wally World

less than $20. Holds plenty. I've been wearing small backpacks since the 80s. Not for the speed inclined.
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Old 04-15-22, 09:49 AM
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I use a Camelback Lobo which is quite small. Unless I am on a MTB I take out the water bladder and carry a pump and tube in that space. It does have a pump pocket on the side for when I have the bladder in. Its a super handy backpack and very compact.
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Old 04-15-22, 09:58 AM
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If you are starting to go on longer rides might I suggest using a trunk bag to get weight off your back. As for a pack something like a Dueter Race pack might be ideal as it is a 14 litre and includes a zipper that will expand the pack by three litres. Additionally has a pouch for a bladder in case you ever decide to go on even longer rides.
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Old 04-15-22, 10:03 AM
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I use both a messenger bag and small backpack, primarily for going to the gym these days. It's 10 miles each way and I find it satisfactory. I'd rather to that than start adding racks. If more than 10 miles I might look at other solutions.
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Old 04-15-22, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I've used a Timbuk2 messenger bag for years, but you might prefer two shoulder straps for stability. REI has a whole slew of cycling-specific backpacks, but for the kind of use you're talking about I'd just use a basic school backpack.
This is good advice. I bought the first pack on that page a while back after extensive research. (Err, poking around on the internet.) Haven't even used it yet, but I expect it to work well.

Some in this thread may urge you to put racks and bags on your bike, but that's a bit overkill for your scenario. Though I will say that a simple (and inexpensive) basket is great, if your bike will accommodate it.
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Old 04-15-22, 10:27 AM
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Osprey Talon 22. Big enough to hold stuff, but not too big. Low profile, mesh back panel w/ air space (most important). Helmet holder. Mesh outer pocket for wet stuff. High vis color- not too grody looking after a few years. A bit more waist belt than needed for riding, but good when hiking..

Osprey has the whole range- they have it all figured out.
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Old 04-15-22, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Predictably, actual real-world experience disproves this assertion.



Again, history and experience proves otherwise. Advantages include being able to add/remove items from the bag without taking it off, as well as the ability to one-handedly tighten or loosen the shoulder strap while riding.

This pseudo-iconoclast schtick of yours is the real fashion statement.
I am not making assertions... I speak from real world experience...Even the more expensive higher quality messenger bags which have stabilizing straps will never be as comfortable as a backpack with two shoulder straps..
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Old 04-15-22, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post



Advantages include being able to add/remove items from the bag without taking it off, as well as the ability to one-handedly tighten or loosen the shoulder strap while riding.
That only applies to pro bike messengers who deliver 200 packages per day....Even some bike messengers have switched to roll top back packs for comfort reasons. ..A roll top back pack with two shoulder straps is way more comfortable and practical than a traditional messenger bag with a single shoulder strap and a stabilizing strap.

.
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Old 04-15-22, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Predictably, actual real-world experience disproves this assertion.



Again, history and experience proves otherwise. Advantages include being able to add/remove items from the bag without taking it off, as well as the ability to one-handedly tighten or loosen the shoulder strap while riding.

This pseudo-iconoclast schtick of yours is the real fashion statement.


Messenger bags: every bit as practical as riding a brakeless fixie with 12" handlebars in traffic.
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Old 04-15-22, 12:52 PM
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I use a regular school backpack
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Old 04-15-22, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I am not making assertions... I speak from real world experience.
Look up the word assertion sometime lol. And let's all keep in mind that you once posted that BB7s were the best cable disc brakes ever and later admitted you'd never even tried anything else, so forgive me if I'm skeptical about your "real world experience." Your credibility is about nil around here.

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Even the more expensive higher quality messenger bags which have stabilizing straps will never be as comfortable as a backpack with two shoulder straps.
You're making objective statements about purely subjective matters. Coming from you, this is nothing new.

Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
That only applies to pro bike messengers who deliver 200 packages per day
That's absurd. I commuted for 23 years with a messenger bag and loved the features that distinguished it from a backpack.

You continue conflate your opinions with facts, a classic characteristic of immature thinking.
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Old 04-15-22, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Messenger bags: every bit as practical as riding a brakeless fixie with 12" handlebars in traffic.
Try to keep in mind that I didn't recommend one for the OP, but congratulations on posting the stupidest analogy I've ever read here.

Last edited by Rolla; 04-15-22 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 04-15-22, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I'm skeptical about your "real world experience." Your credibility is about nil around here.
I do own a messenger bag, I also own 3 different roll-top back packs and I also own a camelbak...And I have plenty of experience using them and testing them out while loaded under different distances and riding conditions...The messenger bag is by far the most uncomfortable and impractical of them all..
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