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What Backpack?(7 posts)

What Backpack?Bradp
Nov 26, 2001 3:38 PM
Hi all. I was looking to buy a great backpack for commuting. I had a Trek backpack which was ideal size, but had some annoyances that got to me right up to the time it was stolen. Hence, I'm looking for some advice. I've thought about panniers but a backpack is more versitile (I can catch the bus and train as well with ease). Something comfortable obviously which is able to hold a fair bit of stuff. Perhaps change of clothes, few thick mannila folders, etc without me having to jam things into small spaces.

Now, does anyone who commutes have such a thing at the moment that they are really happy with? Where did you buy it and how much?

Thanks all.
re: What Backpack?specialized_allez
Nov 26, 2001 4:45 PM
i've been commuting with a vaude siena 40 and i can't be more pleased. it is rather large but it can hold for me work clothes, workout clothes including shoes, lunch plus plenty of pockets for little things - wallet, mini pump, blinking rear light, etc. it has a built in rain cover and it also hold the pack off of your back so it doesn't get all sweaty. i got it for $90 from rei and that's what i've seen in most places.
re: What Backpack?gtx
Nov 26, 2001 6:13 PM
most backpacks tend to ride up to high and can bump you in the back of the helmet. A messenger bag keeps the weight centered a bit better for riding. They're trendy as hell now so it shouldn't be too hard to find one. Also, they're generally waterproof, which is nice. Timbuk2s are pretty popular and come in lots of sizes.
Vaude Aeroflex ...Humma Hah
Nov 26, 2001 6:35 PM
... I have seen this pack only at Sports Chalet, in San Diego. I don't know who else carries it. The design is quite unique.

This is a large, versatile day-pack, really a bit heavy for cycling, has too many widgets, but I use mine almost every time I ride, and adore it.

The main distinctive feature of this pack is the arched back and webbing "backboard" that lets it breathe. Unlike most daypacks, this pack only touches your back at your shoulders and waist, supported in between by a taut webbing.

The pack does have a pocket that fits a hydration bladder perfectly.
Performance good, Vaude better - & try a pack-it organizerCJ3
Nov 27, 2001 10:18 AM
I have a Performance Transit Eclipse back pack which works well, currently on sale at $49. ( ). Roomy enough for your needs, bladder pocket, waist strap, rain cover. It works very well ( I prefer it over a messenger bag which doesn't distribute the mass in a balanced fashion ). The Vaude packs are the cadillacs of the genre - I have a siena which is just a water bag, but it is extremely well made and the mesh back is effective. Check out the Vaude site for their bike packs, but the pack will cost twice as much as the fully functional but less cool Performance pack.

I do have one recommendation - Try the Eagle Creek Pack it organizer to carry your work clothes ( ). Two pieces of hard plastic provide a stiff base, surrounded by a nylon cover. You fold your shirt & Pants into the organizer, secure it tightly, and your clothes arrive wrinkle free. I use them to travel and to commute on the bike and they are great - hardly any additional weight.
re: What Backpack?Damocles
Nov 27, 2001 12:59 PM
I use a Ground Effect El Taco (about $45).
It's more like a shoulder/courier bag, but it sits low so I don't have anything covering my back. It's more comfortable than any of the backpacks I have tried, and it takes a briefcase more easily.
re: What Backpack?bradp
Nov 27, 2001 6:34 PM
Thanks for all the sugestions!

I think I like the look of the Vaude Aeroflex type bags. I live in North Queensland, Austalia so the mesh air flow idea would be ideal in the lovely 90% humidity we have through summer.

I'm just not sure how to get a hold of them. I did find the dueter backpacks look quite similar, both of whcih have web sites which I have subsequently found.