Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Paring down: the bag deal

Many bags. From top left: Chrome, Banjo, Timbuktu,
 REI Flash, Ortlieb, Maddie (not a bag), Timbuktu blue.

Wow. Shoes and bags. Not to be sexist (which is what you say right before a sexist remark), but I'm like a girl in the Shoe and Bag department.

I'm not counting the on-bike bags here (of which I use 6 on a regular basis: banana bag, small Ortlieb panniers, big Ortlieb panniers, bucket panniers, Ostrich, and Swift). I'm just talking about on-John bags. The kind you wear. And I have too many.

So I'm going to get out of the messenger bag business. If I'm going to wear my bag, I prefer a back pack. It's simple, centered, and non-fussy. Messenger bags have a certain cool factor for sure and they're nice for basic flat loads. But backpacks just work better for me.

I've had a bunch of these messenger bags for years and I've used them a lot. But the two bags I routinely go for are the Ortlieb backpack and the REI modified-Flash.

Me. Being awesome in the Ortlieb backpack.
Which is all it takes (to be awesome)!
Photo by Sarah Sirott the Great.
For a pic of the actual backpack, it's the silver one in
the first picture above.

I love the Ortlieb: it's huge, it's waterproof. It has funny little padded pads on the back that make it less sweaty. It has a wrist strap and a chest strap and a key holder. It's a great bag. Those Ortlieb designers really get it.

BUT I don't like the velcro closure. It should be a big fat buckle. I may modify that someday, but for now, I can live with it.

The REI (modified) Flash is a great bag. It's super light. It has provisions for a water bladder. With my ultra-super-reflecto modifications and rear pockets, it makes a great Midnight Century bag.

So, the messenger bags are out. Maddie is keeping the blue one, but the other 3 are outta here.


JMH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JMH said...

I hear you about the messenger bags, not my thing anymore. I have a Timbuktu, which is not great for commuting (I often need more room for clothes, shoes, and laptop), and definitely not waterproof (little gaps on both sides of the flap let water in). I think I just prefer the way a backpack feels, even if it means a little more sweat on the back. I have REI panniers on my daily commuter, but sometimes I like to ride my other bikes (no racks) around town, so a messenger bag or backpack is necessary.

I am thinking about an Osprey Manta 30, looks like it could be almost perfect for biking.

Michael said...

Don't worry, you're not the only guy with too many bags and shoes.

I have one of these:
That I use almost daily and a big Chrome bag that I use for my laptop and bigger stuff every now and again. The Tom Bihn bag is small any rides right in the small of my back when I'm biking. I really dig it. I never ride with my Chrome bag as it's off freaking center and shifts around a bit and I just don't like having that much weight on my back unless it's in a pack (which I also have too many of).

FBC Spokane said...

If you're tossing that Chrome bag, toss it in my yard. I need to start my collection of too many bags.

Jonathan Eberly said...

Im gonna start going back to school and am thinking about bag solutions. Do you think it would at all be possible to add the ql-1/2 system to your backpack? I think a backpack that could also attach to a rack would be pretty sweet.