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Commuters, what is the prefered courier bag?(16 posts)

Commuters, what is the prefered courier bag?Lone Gunman
May 27, 2003 5:16 PM
I have the opportunity to commute to work. I am wondering about which bag works best. Need to carry a change of clothes and a little cleanup stuff. Backpack style or courier/newspaper bag style? Does backpack type interfer with the helmet or put the center of gravity high throwing off balance a bit, and/or does it flop around too much? I have been looking around on line at styles and prices, how many is big enough? Have seen a range of 1500 to 2100. MFG's and websites for bags other than standard big bike catalog co's? Price ranges? Thanks for info!!
re: Commuters, what is the prefered courier bag?j-son
May 27, 2003 5:26 PM
I have a short commute of 2.5 miles, for which the large Timbuk2 messenger bag works fine. If my commute was longer, I would opt for something like the Pearl Izumi or Oakley backpack. The backpacks offer more support and the weight is suspended more on your lower back. I would suggest carrying the bare minimum. I leave my clothes, shoes and et cetera (badge, gunbelt, Glock, handcuffs, ASP ... yada yada yada) at work and carry underwear, lunch, wallet, that sort of thing.

Good luck,
re: Commuters, what is the prefered courier bag?climbo
May 27, 2003 6:03 PM
it's not up to us, if I were you I'd try them on in a store. I prefer messenger style because it's easy to carry big and small loads and has better access to pockets etc. and they are bomb proof. Around 2000 cu in should be fine, bigger if you want to make sure you can carry home that 6 pack. There are tons of companies and hundreds of styles to choose from, they can be personalized also. ReLoad, Timbuk, Chrome, Crumpler, Ortlieb, 420, BaileyWorks, PAC, Roach, Zo.... anywhere from about $75 to $200.
re: Commuters, what is the prefered courier bag?Damocles
May 27, 2003 6:18 PM
I have a 10 km commute and use a Ground Effect El Taco -
- sits low on the back and fits a briefcase and a change of clothes. However I do recommend a backpack for heavier loads - the courier bag doesn't agree with my back with anything over 7 kg.
May 27, 2003 8:21 PM
Check out the Timbuk2 bags. Really well made, lots of sizes and custom options plus you can pick your own color scheme. I have a Dee Dog with the hypelon liner, pad, compressions straps and a few other things. Great bag, I love it.
I'm using a Patagonia Critical Mass bag right now...jtferraro
May 27, 2003 8:36 PM
I picked it up on sale for $59 (normally sells for $99). Initially it felt kinda weird b/c I had never used a courier bag before, but got used to it quickly. Definitely a quality bag, well built, and guaranteed for life. It has an outside pocket (which can be used for a water bottle), and outside zip pocket (I use that one solely for carrying biking supplies, ie. tube, pump, tire levers, tool, etc., then it has the main compartment and another inner sleeve compartment w/zipper. The bag is weather resisitant, has a nice padded shoulder strap, a loop for a taillight, and a large reflective strip. I was also considering Timbuk2 but found this sale.

May 28, 2003 6:23 AM
I also use the Timbuk2 bag for my commute, ~25 miles RT. I would advise leaving as much as you can at work, i.e. especially toiletries, shoes and clothes. I drive once a week anyway and just replenish stuff (fresh towel and clothes) then, leave a couple pair of shoes at work permanently. Why haul all that stuff back and forth?

If you streamline you'll be much happier with a smaller bag--I use the Timbuk2 PeeWee, it's just 900 cu. in. but holds an amazing amount of stuff if I need to run errands. Just like traveling, the bigger the bag the more excuses you'll tend to find to fill it up.
Definitely backpackRJF
May 28, 2003 6:48 AM
Save yourself a fortune and just use an ordinary backpack. There is no advantage to a "messenger bag," unless you are a messenger. Plus, a normal backpack centers the load on your back and IMHO is just more comfortable. To me, seeing some office worker with a messenger bag is the same as the guy out riding with the full US Postal kit, including gloves and socks and matching Trek. You know, whatever floats your boat, but a wee bit dorky.
Definitely ?climbo
May 28, 2003 7:03 AM
nothing is ever definite. I would say it's OK to wear full postal kit and bike if you used to race for the team, hence, many "office workers" (how do you know they work in an office anyway?) got used to messenger bags in the early days of their lives trudging the streets and still use them today when they ride. Dorky to you (and yes, the coolness factor is also making it a bit trendy), but, you need to use what works best, and for many, including myself, that is a messenger bag.
Way disagree wit that.Steve_0
May 28, 2003 7:06 AM
My commute often entails stopping at the postoffice, liquor store, grocery store, drug store, bike shop, hardware store, wherever. Typical commute home has no less than 2 or 3 stops.

I'd really rather not take my backback off every time I reach for my lock, wallet, gloves, sunglasses, or sandwich, and to load my stamps, heiney, apples, pampers, brakepads and mollybolts.

Messenger bag swings around in one simple movement; Messengers use them because they're far more convenient than a backpack for multiple errands.

Go for practicality for your intended purpose, not what others perceive as 'cool' or a wee bit 'dorky'.
re: Commuters, what is the prefered courier bag?bigdeal
May 28, 2003 7:46 AM
try a Vaude backpack. I have the Sienna and love it, commuted daily for over a year with it without complaints. The nice thing about them is that they have a bracket kinda thing that keeps the pack off your back...keeps you cooler which may be a big issue depending on how long your commute is.
Get Panniers, packs suck.shamelessgearwhore
May 28, 2003 8:05 AM
Love/hate relationship with my Jannd messenger bagSpecialTater
May 28, 2003 8:25 AM
I hate having anything back there now, but it's better than a backpack and allows easier access.

I carry dress pants, shirt, shoes, drycleaning, computer, dop kit, lock, bike stuff, documents, etc. It sucks when it's heavy but so would anything else.
I've used both, but now prefer the backpackGeardaddy
May 28, 2003 9:01 AM
I have a commute of about 6 miles, but I often go for longer rides on the way home. Usually I'm just carrying a change of clothes (sans shoes), and sometimes I'll carry a lock and/or a bag lunch. I started out using a pack, then used a messenger bag for a year, and have now switched back to using a pack.

The only advantage in using the messenger bag is the ability to access pockets easily. Otherwise it sloshes around on your back a lot more and is definitely not as good with heavier loads. The main reason I switched back to a pack though was because I was experiencing neck pain over time, I think because the messenger bag put all the weight on one shoulder. I found a pack that has some accessible front pockets, which works well for me because I rarely need to access the pack in the middle of a ride. No more neck pain, and the pack has a built-in bladder that makes it handy for MTB riding as well.
most bags come with stabilizer straps these daysclimbo
May 28, 2003 9:22 AM
the "sloshing around" thing should never happen if you have the right messenger bag and have it fitted correctly, i.e. not too low down on your back. I ride up to 30 miles with my bag and it stays put just fine. Some people can't get used to the one strap thing either, it justs rubs them the wrong way, like what you had with the shoulder pain etc. In that case, anything that stops the pain would be the best solution.
re: Anyone out there use a Camelbak HAWG? "nm"Sharkman
May 28, 2003 10:09 AM