Messenger bag to pannier breakpoint…

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  • Messenger bag to pannier breakpoint…
  • Premier Icon funkynick

    When I ride into work I’m currently using a rack and single pannier to carry my stuff, but find it all adds quite a bit of weight to my Pompino, which isn’t the lightest to begin with so every little helps!

    Anyway, am thinking about trying out a messenger bag instead, but before taking the plunge I’m just wondering what people thought of as being the general cut off distance for how far they’d want to ride with a messenger bag before opting to switch to panniers…

    My commute is currently 15 miles each, and am dithering about whether that’s gonna be too far with the messenger bag…

    Whether I use a messenger bag or pannier depends more on the bike I’m using to commute. Pannier is so much easier in the winter when you need to cart a lot of kit about, if I’m taking the fast bike on a summer’s day, then all I really need to carry is some lunch, some pants and a few tools/spare tube, so I use my messenger bag.

    So I guess if I’m going to be shifting more than a kilo, I go commuter and pannier.

    Pompinos are no super lightweight, but they’re pretty quick. Unlike my PG tourer tank bike …


    Hi nick

    I am commuting 15 kms each way with a messenger bag (timbuk2 I think medium). I find it ok to carry but a bit on the small side. That will depend on how much stuff you are taking with you.

    I can fit, my personal belongings (BIG wallet, dairy, cell phone, train stuff, pocket knife, spork, various pills), a pump, a spare tube, and waterproof trousers and my lunch (most of the time in a container) plus
    A laptop and the power supply, my weekly change of clothes (at the moment one pair of trousers, one top 4 set of underwears/socks and one t-shirt).
    However I can’t really take both the full change of clothes and the laptop.

    Hope it helps.



    I wouldn’t want to use a messenger bag for 15 miles. Save your money.


    Funnily enough I did my first commute with a messenger bag this morning after leaving my pannier at work by mistake. The bag was a pain in the A. it’s a Timbuk 2 and no matter how much I faffed and adjusted, it still spun round. It may have something to do with the shoulder strap slipping against my jacket but I won’t be using it on the bike again.It will just be an expensive nappy change bag or hand luggage for my hols. Pannier works better but doesn’t look as good.


    Im at the same point as you now the weather is getting better. My alternative to panniers tho is this…


    Seemed to work ok yesterday, 7L of space took my Jeans, t-shirt, pants+socks, wallet, phone, camera, spare light and puncture stuff. If im not going to the gym i think this is a go-er :0) Just need to fit my lock to the frame as its attached to the rack normally.


    Premier Icon wwaswas

    a laptop was the breakign point for me on a similar distance. clothes and a towel were fine.

    Premier Icon MussEd

    I think now it’s getting warmer as even more reason to use panniers. Any bags/backpacks make your back/shoulders sweat in warm weather, love the freedom the panniers give m on my commute!


    IMO depends as much on the weight you are carrying as the distance. Panniers for much over a few miles or heavy stuff, rucksac for short distances or a light load. 15 miles each way – panniers for sure for me.


    I use a timbuke 2 pro series ruck sack (im not pro in any way at all) and it holds:
    and toolkit
    and the usual bumpf
    My longest commute is a 70 mile round trip and its good for that.
    I think maybe, its whatever sits comfortably… 🙂

    I wouldn’t want to use a messenger bag for 15 miles. Save your money.

    I dunno, I did 20 miles each way every day with a messenger bag for 3 years. It was fine. Its nice to get a lot of weight off your back though. I mostly use a pannier these days so I can cart excessive amounts of cake about and save the fast bike for fun rides, rather than grinding it into the dust just getting to work.

    Premier Icon funkynick

    Hmmm… damnit… why can’t you all come to a concensus? 😉

    I’d all but decided against the messenger bag after andym and redted, but then fuzzyjimble and adh sway me back again… looks like I am still in two minds…

    The thing is, am not so bothered about the sweating bit as I’m a right sweaty bugger anyway and always need a shower when I get into work, I’m more worried about how comfortable it will be over 15 miles when it’s full of work clothes, towel, lunch etc… unfortunately I haven’t got anywhere to store a whole weeks worth of clothing at work, so I have to carry it there and back every day.

    And while I do like the practicallity of panniers, they are bloody heavy! Myabe some lighter panniers would do the trick… hmmmm, just what I need, another option!

    Premier Icon stuartlangwilson

    If i had a bike with a rack and panniers, and 30 miles each day, i would use the panniers.

    Messenger bags are great for short runs, or if you are getting stuff in and out of the bag all the time.


    funkynick, panniers would be the better option for you i think. Tho the occasional jaunt to work on the nice bike or mtb could be catered for by leaving stuff at work (i just leave my clean stuff in a carrier bag under my desk on in the drawer).

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