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for commuting: messenger bag, backpack or...?(12 posts)

for commuting: messenger bag, backpack or...?velocity
Feb 26, 2003 11:38 AM
My trusty Zo messenger bag is getting to look kind of haggard and I'm starting to think I ought to replace it. What should I get? Panniers are out in this instance. I want something medium to large (1200 to 2000 cubic inches), durable, comfortable -- that'll fit, well, like a glove. Chrome bags are looking good to me right now... I'm currently eyeing the Chrome Metropolis ( Also a Pac Designs bag might do the trick (

Or should I go the backpack route? I tend to carry around lots of stuff between work and home, and on errands too.
re: for commuting: messenger bag, backpack or...?commuterguy
Feb 26, 2003 11:48 AM
I use a backback, and can't imagine using anything else for a long, serious ride. I like the idea of the weight being in a more-or-less fixed spot--otherwise emergency stops/turns might be more hazardous.

However, I certainly see plenty of people using the messenger bag.
re: for commuting: messenger bag, backpack or...?twin
Feb 26, 2003 11:55 AM
I use all three at different times. I use panniers however that is probably my least favorite. I like my backpack and I would suggest a Vaude it was mentioned in Bicycle magazine and it is great. I just bought a PAC bag and will be using it soon from what I have read PAC bags are excellent.
re: for commuting: messenger bag, backpack or...?climbo
Feb 26, 2003 12:52 PM
the Chrome bags look nice. I use a messenger bag for everything, i find they take quite a decent size load and have no problems with them. easy on, easy off, look cool and take a beating from rain, mud, snow and everything very well. They last !! Canvas rules !! I don't like backpacks at all, they don't open up enough (some do but all the way so everything falls out) and you can't get in to it while you ride or walk along. I can change CD's as I ride with a messenger bag which is very handy.
re: for commuting: messenger bag, backpack or...?Andy M-S
Feb 26, 2003 12:54 PM
I like Carradice saddlebags. Check 'em out at
backpack all the wayRJF
Feb 26, 2003 12:54 PM
Of course, people have different views on what is comfortable. But, I much prefer a backpack. It holds a ton. It's secure and centered -- important if you have heavy stuff in there. It's cheaper generally than a messenger bag. It doesn't look as cool, sure. But overall I much prefer it.
Feb 26, 2003 2:17 PM
get another messenger bag. I guess nothing beats the zo but chromes are sweet bags Im told. sierra had patagonia critical mass bags on sale for awhile, those are very nice. I have a jandd gabriel bag that looks like it would be a good bag for commuting. Ive yet to use it much though, Im partial to my zo. the jandds big and expandable and its got a mesh pad thing on the back kind of like the vaude backpacks. did zo stop making bags?
zo's the original and makes great bags...velocity
Feb 27, 2003 5:14 AM
but, no longer living in SF, I'm finding it hard to find them and determine the options. Also am interested in trying something new, something with a bit more stability, one that won't slide forward. Pac Designs offers an "X-Strap" and Chrome a "cross-chest stabilizer strap." My current bag doesn't have this option (neither does the Jandd Gabriel), just shoulder and waist straps, and I regularly have to push it back, which is annoying.
while msgr bags can be MADE to work....sprockets2
Feb 26, 2003 2:25 PM
they are inherently less suited for carrying loads, especially if heavy. I gave up on them because they tend to rotate in spite of all the side straps etc. They don't spread the loads as well, and they are, ultimately, too high a price for me to pay to look cool.

I don't know if they are big enough for you, but Deuter makes some cool bike packs. I got a nice one on (I think).
Feb 27, 2003 10:34 AM
The instability of my messenger bag bugs but I'm hoping that a bag that has a cross-chest stabilizer will correct this problem. What I like about messenger bags is that they're easily accessible without taking 'em off your back.

Checked out Sierra Trading Post. The Deuter bags look cool, ergonomic, and functional. What model do you have (Superbike or Cross-Air)? Are they durable?
messenger bagskywalker
Feb 26, 2003 2:36 PM
I switched to a messenger bag because a backpack was blocking my view when I was glancing backwards over the shoulder. With proper strap adjustment, my bag (Timbuk2) stays in place just fine.
messenger bag, I can carry three gallons of paint in mine. nminallston
Feb 26, 2003 6:10 PM