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Bag or Pack? Recommendations?(12 posts)

Bag or Pack? Recommendations?Pack Meat
Aug 29, 2003 10:59 AM
I'm looking to start commuting more. I'm trying to eliminate the excuses I come up with. The main excuse is my pack is small and I have a really hard time fitting everything in. Here's what I want to pack, street shoes, jeans, long sleeve shirt, civies, xtra shorts, extra jersey, towel, toiletries. I don't think that's asking to much. I know I could get around carrying everything logistically but I don't want to have to do that. I think the pack I have, vaude, is about 1200 cu in. I've been considering going to a messenger bag, I don't like how my helmet hits the pack cause the pack rides so high.

Any suggestions on make and model? Pack or bag?
Aug 29, 2003 11:08 AM
Bite the bullet and get a rear rack and some panniers. You will be happier with this set up than any bag or pack you would ever carry. Nothing touching your body making you sweat, no weight to shift around and throw you into traffic, etc.
re: Bag or Pack? Recommendations?laffeaux
Aug 29, 2003 11:16 AM
Leave a pair of shoes, towel, and your toiletries at work. That will cut down on the amount of space needed, and reduce the weight of what you are commuting with.

I personally prefer a backpack. With out a doubt, it makes your back sweaty. However, I don't particularly like the way a bike handles with panniers. Riding with a medium sized backpack deos not change the way my bike handles, and panniers certainly do make the bike handle differently. I commute on a CX bike, and have the option to take it off-pavement, so a bike that handles well is of a bigger concern to me.
bag or packSteve_0
Aug 29, 2003 11:41 AM
if you're a straight-to-work-and-straight-home kinda guy; the panniers would probably be better, especially since you're apparently not a minimalist. However, if you routinely stop for errands on the way home, constant unloading of the bike or worry of theft gets old. A bag/pack would be better for you.
If you absolutely have to carry all of that...PdxMark
Aug 29, 2003 12:24 PM
I'd say panniers. That's alot of stuff for each ride. But, if you can leave shoes, towel & toiletries at work, and get by without the spare jersey, I'd use a pack. (I use my commute jersey for several days.)

I use a pack because I like not messing with putting the panniers on or off the bike. My pack is a regular mid-size LL Bean, flap-over-the-top pack. Downside of my pack is that it's not water-tight.
What about a messenger bagPack Meat
Aug 29, 2003 3:13 PM
Does anybody use one that they like? I'm going to be going to the gym after work, I can't leave anything there, that's why I need the shoes, I guess I can leave work shoes at work.

And nope I'm not a minimalist when it comes to commuting.
Bought a Jansport Equinox 33Lone Gunman
Aug 29, 2003 3:46 PM
Why? it has all the features I was hoping to get in a day pack. The shoulder straps are S shaped for comfort, the waist has a belt as does the chest and holds all in place very well. 2000cu in of space in 3 compartments. Bungie cord on rear, 2 cell phone or bottle pouches on the side. Around $50-$60 shipped from Campmor.
What about a messenger bagMikeBu
Aug 30, 2003 8:43 AM
I use a Timbuk2 YeeDog for my 25 mile round trip commute to work. I can fit my clothes, shoes if needed, and my laptop and still have extra room. It sits low on your back/hips so your helmet doesn't hit it and your back doesn't get sweaty. If you do get the Timbuk2 order the pad for the strap.
Man, that's a LOT of stuff. No way to cut back?cory
Aug 29, 2003 6:10 PM
We whined long enough (half a dozen cyclists/joggers in a 300-person office) that they put some lockers in an unused room for us, which helped a lot. As several other people have said, you might want to try to cut down a little. EXTRA shorts and EXTRA jersey seem superfluous, and the toiletries and shoes might live in a desk drawer.
How about a big fanny pack, like a Mountainsmith? I have one called the Day Tourer, I think, that would almost fit all that stuff, and has straps on the outside to tie on my shoes. Might work for you--I'm an XXL with size 15 shoes.
I don't like to ride with a backpack--don't even use my Camelback much--so that would be my last choice. How about a rear rack, maybe seatpost mount, and whatever kind of sack you have around, tied on with an old inner tube?
re: Bag or Pack? Recommendations?cooperwright
Aug 29, 2003 7:47 PM
My Timbuk2 messenger bad has always done the trick for me. Most come with a special clip-on strap to keep it from swinging around like other messengers do. Plus, they last forever and are customizable. I just received a second one as a gift - it has room for a laptop sleeve, etc. From what I've seen, they're built with bikers in mind.
re: Bag or Pack? Recommendations?powergyoza
Aug 30, 2003 7:16 AM
If you want the mercedes of messenger bags, go for the ones made by

I personally use the Street Scene (L) and it's incredible, and it's only the entry-level model. My friend compared my bag against his Timbuk2 (not sure which model), and liked mine way, way better. Anatomical & QR adjustable strap set it apart from all others. The higher end models have even more features.

The Street Scene in large (which has a much capacity as 2 med. sized panniers) may be just large enough for all the stuff that you want to haul. And I thought that I carried alot! You made need the Ultimate OS.

Of course if you want the mercedes, you need to pay mercedes price. My bag now costs $140. The Ultimate OS costs a whopping $285!
re: Bag or Pack? Recommendations?tube_ee
Aug 31, 2003 12:06 AM
You might try a large transverse saddlebag, like a Carradice or the Baggins models from Rivendell. I have a Rivendell Hoss on my commuter, and it swallows my bookload with room to spare for a full change of clothes and lunch. And that's without even trying hard. I'm a 3-rd year engineering student, so I carry a lot of very heavy books.

Pros: The most carrying capacity without full racks and panniers. Mounts to any bike. Both the Carradice and the Baggins are very well made, out of leather-reinforced waxed cotton. Relatively easy to remove. If you don't like them, they fetch pretty good prices used.

Cons: The front of the bag will probably brush the backs of your thighs, especially when you are scooted back in the saddle and grinding up a hill. It drives some people nuts, I don't notice it after the first couple of minutes. The load will sway a bit when climbing out of the saddle. If you are a rider who throws the bike around a lot, it will probably bother you. Price. The Carradice bags are in the 75 - 100 dollar range. My Hoss was 145 bucks. Worth it, considering the quality of the materials and the fact that it was handmade in the USA, but pricey, nevertheless.

Check them out, they may be the answer. Or not.

--Shannon "3rd way" Menkveld