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Topic: Commuting backpack advice needed< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
chuchichan Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 08 2012, 6:31 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been looking for a commuting backpack for a while now and I seem to be back at square one. I almost settled on the Rickshaw Skinny Backpack, but I chatted with one of their sales agents and she actually advised me not to get it because I am 6 feet tall.

I really liked everything about the bag, except the fact that I couldn't try it on.

Has anyone purchased from Rickshaw before? I'm thinking about getting the Skinny Messenger bag, but I'm a little weary of messengers because I think a backpack is much better for the back/neck.

So, can anyone suggest a backpack that is similar to the Rickshaw?

Thanks...
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 08 2012, 7:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Commute how? Bike, your own automobile or mass transit?
For mass transit anyway I prefer messenger bags as they're far easier to dal with on busses and trains than a backpack that I have to take off. And for bike bags the two I like are the MR Outsider and most anything of Timbuk2's, my current bag is their Command, the light interior is a nice feature as it's easy to spot stuff..


Never heard of Rickshaw so I can't help with their stuff.

Their medium ZERO looks nice. Those swappable accessories held in place by velcro is a cute idea. Get rid of the laptop sleeve weight when it's unnecessary.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 08 2012, 9:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Dec. 08 2012, 7:26 pm)
QUOTE
Commute how? Bike, your own automobile or mass transit?
For mass transit anyway I prefer messenger bags as they're far easier to dal with on busses and trains than a backpack that I have to take off. And for bike bags the two I like are the MR Outsider and most anything of Timbuk2's, my current bag is their Command, the light interior is a nice feature as it's easy to spot stuff..


Never heard of Rickshaw so I can't help with their stuff.

Their medium ZERO looks nice. Those swappable accessories held in place by velcro is a cute idea. Get rid of the laptop sleeve weight when it's unnecessary.

It would be for daily commute. Walking, sometimes bus, train, etc.

I like how messengers are easier to access on the go, but I'm worried that they might hurt my neck/back in the long run.

What do you think about the Osprey Flapjack?

This is a link to the Rickshaw backpack...

http://www.rickshawbags.com/bags/laptop-bag.html#skinny-laptop-bag
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 08 2012, 11:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes the messenger's access is a big plus for me as well, that style is my goto for city touring for that reason. I don't see how the neck is involved at all, the shoulder strap of a messenger bag rides on the shoulder. A bit more so with the unusual deign of the Outsider, but anyway that's a shoulder strap... I've carried various camera gear bags that were way overloaded and my shoulder would hurt not my neck, for heavy weights a backpack with its double shoulder straps is better, I actually have a pack strap accessory for a larger Domke camera gear bag just for that reason.

But for general commute loads i have a hard time seeing the weight being excessive to that point.

That Rickshaw seems to be a shoulder bag and not a backpack. Am I missing something? Like the feature on my Domke? It totally looks like a shoulder bag: here's a view of its single shoulder strap ( fourth image from the left)? http://www.rickshawbags.com/sk-commuter-laptop-bag.html

It looks a tad small, for my wandering anyway I like a bag that can take my rain jacket, maybe a collapsable umbrella ( the Command actually has a bottom compartment accessible from the outside that fits an umbrella) as needed without crowding out other things like books, chargers for my phone, laptop etc. spare sunglasses and such. The one thing I miss from my old Patagonia Halfmass are decent sized side pockets to hold a water bottle or coffee tumbler.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 3:20 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks again for your reply. Sorry for the confusion, but the link I provided was for the Rickshaw skinny commuter messenger bag. I was interested in their backpack:

http://www.rickshawbags.com/bags....ackpack

I was told by a rep at Rickshaw that it probably wouldn't fit me well, so I gave up on it and then was considering their messenger bag.

However, now I'm back at the beginning, because I'm thinking that I'd like a backpack possibly.

What I like about the Rickshaw is that it stands up when you put it on the ground and has good padding for a laptop. Also it has magnets that allow it to close that go over the velcro.

What I'd like in either a backpack or messenger would be:

-not excessively large
-space for a laptop (13 inch)
-side pockets for a coffee thermos, phone, etc
-good pockets for organization
-easy to open

Do you have any suggestions or companies that might be good?

What do you think of the Osprey Flapjack?

http://www.ospreypacks.com/en....updated
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 11:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am a train commuter.

I carry a Sumdex X-Sac. It holds my 17" laptop, rain poncho, umbrella, lunch, 2 water bottles and a host of other crap. I have had it for about 2 years. The zippers are still solid, the straps aren't fraying, the seams are in great shape.

http://sumdex.com/store/archive/full-speed-flame-backpack-17.3pc.html

The website has them as out of stock. I picked mine up from Overstock.com

http://sumdex.com/store/limited-lifetime-warranty.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 2:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use m osprey talon for bike commuting.  it works well.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 2:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wildlifenate @ Dec. 09 2012, 2:37 pm)
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I use m osprey talon for bike commuting.  it works well.

I use my Talon pretty often for train and air travel.  I used to carry an Osprey Glide for everyday computer and paperwork stuff, but it probably has less capacity than the OP is looking for.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 3:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm not familiar with Rickshaw.

I have an Osprey 'Flare' daypack that I use as a travel carry-on.  Not too big, compact and neat, has water-bottle pockets, laptop sleeve, etc.  I like Osprey daypacks, my son likes North Face.  I've found that the Osprey shoulder straps are narrower and more flexible, which I prefer.  North Face packs seem to have more pockets and more 'organizational' features, which my son prefers but I find too fussy.

I use an older (2005) Timbuk2 laptop/messenger bag for work.  Timbuk2 bags are heavier but they're indestructable.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 09 2012, 10:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I like the Northface Recon. http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/recon_3.html

It meets all of your criteria except I don't know what size you're looking for. The front stash pocket is really handy.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 1:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks all for the replies. I actually have a Talon 22 which I'm using now for commuting and "daily use" around town.

The only thing is that it's difficult to store books or a notebook (macbook air) in it due to the loose bottom and rather deep (but a bit narrow) main pocket. I love the side pockets on it and the front pocket where I can just slip things in.

So, I'm really looking for something a bit more solid, yet still "sporty". I do like the look of the sumdex. Does it stand on it's own or do you have to lean it against something?

Prior to my Talon (which is my main trekking bag as well) I had a North Face on which the zippers came apart. I also have a north face rain jacket which is falling apart, so I'd like something a little more solid.

What do you all think of the Patagonia backpacks? Such as this one for example (the Fuego)?

http://www.patagonia.com/us....0-0-215

Perhaps it's a little large. I'd go for one in all black so I can get away with taking it to work.

Thanks again!
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 10:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If my laptop is in it, it will tip back.
Attached ( I hope) is a pic free standing. (no laptop)
It has more stuff than normal because I am going gym after work, so it has gym shoes, sweats, towel, etc.

It still has my lunch, rain gear, granola bars for emergencies.

Size reference. The water bottle in the side is a 32oz Swiss Gear and the Dell box is 8 1/2"


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 10 2012, 10:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Osprey Flapjack would definitely work.

A couple of interesting packs come from Mountain Hardwear; the Enterprise(30 liters) and the Agama(33 liters).  Both have dual water bottle holders, padded laptops sleeves, cinch straps, pockets, YKK Zippers, AND a framesheet.  Interesting concept in a book/commuter bag. Worth a look.

But for a wee bit more size(44 liters) you can get a heck of a pack/suspension with a Kelty Redwing 44.  For running around town walking all day you just can't beat the comfort, and it's bombproof.  With multiple cinch straps you can make it smaller.  But stuff is real easy to access with two panel accessess.  Lots of pockets.  I love my Osprey but the Kelty gets called on more for day to day use.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 11 2012, 10:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are two ways I commute. I use the same pack for both.

To work, I take an express bus about 15 miles one way. For 40 minutes I read and drink coffee. I have a glasses case that holds both sunglasses and reading glasses. Also, keys, coins and pens.

In the same pack I have supplies for the other commute. I ride a Fuji Commuter bike downtown 2 or 3 times a week. It ranges 12 to 20 miles a night covering the music and drinking scene around Tucson. For those trips I carry camera and bike necessities such as bike tools, pump, spare tube, patching stuff, small towel, camera, lens brush, batteries, lens paper, Gorillapod, and light jacket.

My pack is a 40 dollar Jansport (heavy cordora) from Sierra Trading Post.

My question is, What makes a $170.00 Rickshaw backpack worth $170.00?


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 5:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(desert dweller @ Dec. 11 2012, 10:52 pm)
QUOTE
There are two ways I commute. I use the same pack for both.

To work, I take an express bus about 15 miles one way. For 40 minutes I read and drink coffee. I have a glasses case that holds both sunglasses and reading glasses. Also, keys, coins and pens.

In the same pack I have supplies for the other commute. I ride a Fuji Commuter bike downtown 2 or 3 times a week. It ranges 12 to 20 miles a night covering the music and drinking scene around Tucson. For those trips I carry camera and bike necessities such as bike tools, pump, spare tube, patching stuff, small towel, camera, lens brush, batteries, lens paper, Gorillapod, and light jacket.

My pack is a 40 dollar Jansport (heavy cordora) from Sierra Trading Post.

My question is, What makes a $170.00 Rickshaw backpack worth $170.00?

Thanks for your replies again everybody. I've also questioned myself about the Rickshaw and now I'm thinking about some Patagonia backpacks that are in the $70-$80 range. Does anyone have experience with them? Most of them seem to have the sidepockets which I like and a sleeve inside for a laptop when I need that. But usually I'll just be putting in daily "stuff".

I've sort of narrowed it down to the Refugio:

http://www.patagonia.com/us....0-0-306

and Mate:

http://www.patagonia.com/us....0-0-361


However, I haven't tried on the Mate.

As for Patagonia I've narrowed it down to these two (in black) because I'd like to use it for work as well.

Are there any other packs out there that would compare to these?

Thanks!
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 6:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The North Face Surge. I commute on LIRR, and I walk everyday through NYC..its a great everyday backpack, and its water proof. Has padded section for laptop, nice side pockets  and plenty of space inside. It's very dureable and comfortable. I've worn it 5 days a week for past 2 years and it is as good as new. I even use it for day hikes on some trails around the hood.  It's worth checking out.

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