Commuting Backpack?

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  • Commuting Backpack?
  • I’ve been asked to start going into the office one day a week. This will increase to 3 days at most next year (depending on project).

    Having been subjected to public transport for the last month and attempting the journey by car I’ve decided that I’d be much better off riding in.

    So, what backpack for commuting? Predominately riding but I may be tempted to run in now and then. The pack will need to hold a laptop, charger, phone, packed lunch and change of clothes. Either waterproof aor have a decent rain cover.

    Any recommendations of kit that works from those regularly commuting?

    Premier Icon Stoner

    25L Alpkit Gourdon.

    Here’s mine.

    Takes some tools, pump, fluro jacket, flask, 11.6″ laptop in it’s slip case. Leaves room to put some shopping or other bits in if I pick something up. Comfortable to ride with.

    Properly waterproof, nice and bright. Tough material. Nothing fancy.

    negs: no external tab for clipping a light to, you need to stuff it into the bag and let it shine out of the window panel. No internal pockets to put quick access stuff in. This is a big pain so have put a floating pouch in there on a lanyard so I can fish out things like keys or headphones quickly.

    Thanks folks

    @Stoner, what are the straps and pack interface to back like?

    Edit: Decided to use the power of the internet to find out for myself on the Alpkit site 🙂


    I have an EVOC trail for commuting which I like very much, but for quality and service Osprey are excellent. I bought my wife one of their packs and it really is superb.

    Premier Icon miketually

    I’ve used the smaller Gourdon for commuting for years and it’s been great. It eventually gained enough holes to make it non-waterproof so I hunted around for a new bag. I eventually bought another Gourdon because there’s nothing else that comes close for the money. (Or even for triple the money.)

    My commute’s only 15 minutes or so, but for anything longer I’d be looking at a rack, rather than a backpack.

    Premier Icon Teetosugars

    Mission Workshop Would be my choice… 8)


    Have a look at the Vaude range. I’ve used a Splash Air 20+5 for commuting, but they do a bigger size too.

    It comes with a built in rain cover, hook for light (on both the bag & rain cover and it has a ‘off your back’ suspension thingy so your back stays cool-ish (well, compared to other packs).
    Only issue might be with getting a laptop in, as the curve of the back might make it awkward. It’ll fit, but you might lose space. Can probably be solved with a bit of thoughtful packing.

    Never used it for running in; I suspect it would jiggle around a bit, but I normally have the straps fairly loose so hard to say.


    The pack will need to hold a laptop, charger, phone, packed lunch and change of clothes

    Shoes or no shoes?

    I commute with a Deuter Race EXP when usng the road bike and, although it is only 18L, it is supremely comfortable (on the fixed bike I have rack and panniers). At my normal site I keep a suit and shoes in a locker. I can carry laptop, power pack, some work papers and a shirt and underwear. Towels are provided at work.

    When working at another site I need to take a full change of clothes and shoes and this is more than I would want to carry in a rucksack so I switch to panniers.

    Ha, yep forgot about shoes @TiRed.

    I’m not required to wear a suit at work so it would just be casual clothing (jeans, t-shirt and trainers). I’m not sure what options are available regarding lockers, towels, toiletries either so need to make enquires.

    My commute would be approximately 4 miles but would probabaly look to extend this one way or in both directions.

    To be honest the Gourdon is looking very good value at present.

    Premier Icon wiggles

    Bought a gourdon based in the reviews from here, used it everyday for a few months now. Great bit of kit, love not having to worry about putting a cover on if it starts raining. went for the smallest one with the straps which is good but think I might have been better off with a bigger size as with my work clothes, toiletries and my shoes (though admittedly they are massive size 12s) there is no space to spare.

    Vaude Splash Air 20+5

    I’ve had two, will buy another when this one wears out (elastic has gone a bit). 11″ laptop in a neoprene case fits. Really well thought out bike rucksack and the suspension thing makes a big difference in summer.

    Useless off road (frame hits you in the back of the head when descending). Imagine might be a similar problem running.

    The art of commuting by bike is to leave as much stuff as possible in the office, either in a bag or under your desk. I normally only carry shirt/socks/pants on a daily basis – rest lives in the office (including a winter coat in winter).

    I think leaving clothing and kit in the office is the tricky bit which I’ll need to investigate. I mainly work from home and have done for 7 years and now there’s a push to get us back in the office more for 1-3 days a week. The problem is it’s a flexi-desk area so no guaranteed or certainly no regular desk.

    Hopefully there’ll be locker space somewhere and then towel, toiletries and other items can be left so I’m carrying less on the commute.


    simons_nicolai-uk – Member

    Vaude Splash Air 20+5

    Useless off road (frame hits you in the back of the head when descending). Imagine might be a similar problem running.

    Have you adjusted the strap position with the velcro adjust thing that runs under the webbing on the back?
    I had this really bad on steep technical descents with large step-drops when I used it in Spain. It really annoyed me and then several months later I remembered the strap adjust. 5 minutes fiddling and it had dropped the pack down my back a bit further.
    Completely removed the problem; worth looking into.

    Premier Icon faustus

    As a budget option, Decathlon have this:

    Not the best colour for visibiltiy, but has reflective bits. I have one for commuting and have used it for a month or so in all weathers and it has been good. Quite spacious and totally waterproof.


    Some good options in there…

    @KingOfBiscuits – depending how much you plan to run, I am finding this Gregory Miwok to be good ( It is more expensive than some of the other options, and it doesn’t have some of the features, but the compression straps and good running fit have seriously impressed me.


    I use a Blue ice warthog

    Its ace. Made of tough cordura,which has kept everything dry, has 3 external pockets, several places to clip lights to, a helmet holder and can take a bladder if needed. The only negative is the back panel has no channelling on it and is abit minimalist. I believe it has a lifetime warranty too.


    If you can go into a shop to try them on, buy 6 pint of milk before you go in and then put in the bag and have a walk round the shop. You will soon determine if it will be suitable for you or not.


    Berghaus Freeflow 30 + 6 . Covers most bases and if you don’t stuff the lid top pocket, it doesn’t catch/interfere with your, er, “lid”.

    Premier Icon stabilizers

    This is great!
    Ortlieb velocity

    No rain cover coz its totally waterproof.

    Premier Icon stevio

    Check you local tkmaxx – i got a Dakine Dispatch for £15 earlier this year to replace a very tired Camelbak Cloudwalker… 29 litres – and there were other Dakine bags in my local this week again plus lots of Dakine ski gloves….


    Wear your helmet when you try them on. As above comments, my Osprey Atmos bumps into my helmet when riding.


    Ive got a Deuter Cross Air 20 EXP (yes, it’s all that … ) Don’t get one of these. It’s incredibly comfortable, takes a water bladder, has a great shape thanks to an internal frame that supports a mesh back to holds it off your back, but it’s a great heavy lump of a thing and you can barely get a sandwich into it. Others may have a contra view but after struggling with it for two years, mine is going to Oxfam and Santy is bringing me something Camelbakky for Xmas.

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