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backpack or courier bag when commuting?(19 posts)

backpack or courier bag when commuting?jradford
Aug 5, 2003 12:17 PM
Do you use a backpack or courier bag when commuting and what are the + and - of both.

thanks
Tried both...went with Timbuk 2 courier bag.MXL02
Aug 5, 2003 12:21 PM
Bought both at REI...tried both believing I would like the Vaude backpack more...and I hated it. I just don't like the the pack sitting on my back...same reason I gave up using Camelbaks. The courier bag sits on your hip and half the time I forget it's there.
backpackDropped
Aug 5, 2003 12:54 PM
It's a matter of personal preference. A backpack is generally a whole lot cheaper, more versitile, centers the load on your back, and is nice if you've got to carry heavy stuff.

In addition, using a messenger bag during your commute if you're not a messenger is kinda like wearing a full U.S. Postal team kit on your weekend training ride. Nothing necessarily wrong with it, but it may cause others to snicker.
pros and consTypeOne
Aug 5, 2003 1:05 PM
I have also done both and I also use a Timbuk2 now. I can cram a lot more stuff and odd-shaped things in the messenger bag, but the advantage of the backpack is the balance. If I don't have the messenger bag packed correctly, it can slip around to either side of me. This is a problem even with the support strap that is supposed to limit this.
This Timbuk2 is fairly waterproof, which my backpack was not. I guess I could find a cool waterproof Camelbak that offers more than the messbag, though. Or be a hardcore and get a waterproof Ortlieb bag.
I like my backpack...OverStuffed
Aug 5, 2003 1:11 PM
I got a deal on an Atlas pack last year. It's big, though not as big as messenger bags, and it has lots of straps I can attach things to when I need to. I added a cargo net, which comes in handy when the pack is full. It's not waterproof, but that's easily done with a pack liner from the surplus store. If you're not sure what you want, see if your friends can loan you their bag for a week. You really won't know if you like it till you try it.
NeitherLC
Aug 5, 2003 1:13 PM
Rack and panniers put the weight down low and on your bike for better handling. Feels better to not sweat on it and better for your back.

If you really think you need to carry something on your back, then at least a backpack does not put an side load on your spine which can lead to back problems when you get older. Take care of that back, cause there is nothing more miserable than going thru life with a bad back.
Agree - rack and panniers or trunk rack (nm)Kerry Irons
Aug 5, 2003 4:07 PM
tried both ... use backpack.shawndoggy
Aug 5, 2003 1:18 PM
Messenger bag just shifts too much for me with the load that I carry in it (change of clothes, lunch, towel, sometimes some paperwork). The backpack, while dorkier, stays put when I'm climbing out of the saddle on the ride home.
tried both ... use backpack. AgreedKvonnah
Aug 5, 2003 6:59 PM
Out of saddle climbing is the big reason. Backpack stays relativly in place and balances the load.
Courier bag converteecrestlinefarm
Aug 5, 2003 1:30 PM
I used to use a backpack but recently switched to a courier bag. I find the backpack makes me feel hotter, since it sits higher on your shoulders. If you use a courier bag, make sure it has a waist strap or some other some other way to keep it from swinging around to your side. Otherwise it can really monkey with your center of gravity (almost caused me to crash once or twice).
re: backpack or courier bag when commuting?gtx
Aug 5, 2003 1:41 PM
I've always used the Timbuk2s. Backpacks I've used tend to ride up and hit the back of my helmet.

This is the hip messenger bag/backpack I see people using in Seattle.

http://www.ortliebusa.com/messenger/courierbag.html
Backpacks and courier bags are ...beattle2
Aug 5, 2003 2:28 PM
crap for commuting. Use a rack and pannier. You can get great panniers with tons of space and shoulder straps when you need to carry it off the bike. Shoulder packs will just cause problems with your back later on. Plus who wants all that weight on your shoulders? They get too hot and uncomfortable for anything over .5 of an hour. I cant imagine anything on my back for the 3 hours of commuting I do a day.

Check these out for commuting:

http://www.twowheelgear.com/
Backpacks and courier bags are ...Kvonnah
Aug 5, 2003 7:05 PM
I ride a 2300 on my commute as well as training and it does not have pannier slots. My Vaude has support that keeps the pack away from your back (except at the strap points) and allows airflow through. THe only physical issues that I have is that after an hour with the pack on my hands begin to get numb even with position changes but I rarely take more then 50 minutes one way.
used both but now only courier bagmoschika
Aug 5, 2003 2:38 PM
the courier bag holds more, easier to get stuff out and it's not on my back, which i really didn't like with the backpacks. I also have a shoulder that gets soar if i put much weight on it and the courier bag puts no weight on that shoulder.

my commute is only about 15-20 minutes. if i had a longer commute of like an hour or more i might look into panniers and such but the courier bag works fine for me.
courier bag here alsoclimbo
Aug 6, 2003 4:46 AM
they allow you to pack things better, you can get things flatter across your back so the weight doesn't make you tip back. Plus, you can get in the drops with a courier bag, backpacks hit you on the helmet all the time.

I use mine all the time, even if I go for a ride after work on the spur of the moment, up to 2 hours with it on is fine, it doesn't weight much if it's only got some clothes in it.
Another vote for panniers (nm)Hedgehog
Aug 5, 2003 4:25 PM
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re: backpack or courier bag when commuting?maximum15
Aug 5, 2003 6:37 PM
Haven't tried a courier bag. I have tried a backpack and here in Florida, it is just too hot on my back. I carry clothes and some lunch stuff in by car 1 or 2 times a week. For breakfast or paperwork, I stuff it in a 2nd waterbottle to carry it. Pretty amazing the things you can fit in a waterbottle.
re: backpack or courier bag when commuting?Greg B
Aug 6, 2003 4:58 AM
I use a backpack with a single shoulder strap and a front strap system that allows one to disconnect the pack and have it roll to one side for access. This pack was designed for motorcyclists with limited arm movement while in protective/armoured leather jackets. The bag is tear-drop shaped and keeps the load low on your back. Simple and effective.
Seatpost rack and rack trunkvindicator
Aug 6, 2003 9:23 AM
Would use panniers if I needed more room.