What backpack, or bag, to use on a bike?

I don’t have panniers for my bike, I keep thinking about getting some and procrastinating about it, but in the meantime I use a backpack or bag for most of my carrying needs on the bike. These, of course, can make it hot and sweaty to ride, especially in our summer. Luckily, I have recently acquired a new leather backpack which is not only roomy, it does not cause excess sweatiness when I wear it ….It does not have a brand name and I got it at a church bazaar where it was a one off, so am not sure if there are others like it available. But the design and style of it are not unusual and it should be possible to get one similar.

The advantage of this bag is that it does not show sweat stains. I have ridden for quite long rides using it and although the straps got sweaty,  they didn’t stain, as leather can sometimes do. It also didn’t leach any colour onto my clothes.

It has two zipper pockets in addition to the main compartment and these are handy as things can get lost in the mian part of the bag. The one that faces my body when I am wearing it is very handy for me when I am riding as I can reach behind my back while I am cycling and take things out of it or put them back …It also holds an enormous amount of things, given the size of it ….In the shot above it has a newspaper (our Saturday 3 part one) as well as a towel and swimmers and the usual paraphernalia I carry in my bag such as wallet, phone, pens, comb, lipbalm, keys and glasses. And here it is on my back with all of that stuff in it, it sits comfortably and as you can see it is not that large:

In contrast to this bag is another one I have which I  got about 6 months ago. I liked it due to its style and colour, a light green and cream, and the fact that it could be made into two bags. I wear it over my shoulder and across my chest …It is non leather and has a vinyl finish. I thought the colours would be good for visibility, especially the smaller, lighter bag.

Some drawbacks with this bag are that it has stained, (I got grease stains on it which are impossible to budge, you can see them on the cream part of the bag above), and the vinyl is wearing badly, small bits keep breaking off it, showing the white underneath  …The main drawback of this bag though, is that it is not roomy. For all the space that should be in there due to its actually being two bags, it does not hold much and that is the main disadvantage of this bag to me. I put this down to the way the lining is sewn in and the fact that the two bags are flat. This one cost a little less than the leather bag, I bought it online in a sale. It would have been outrageously expensive had I paid full price for it, but in that case I would not have bought it. Both bags cost around $60, which is a fair price for either of them, but I know which one I will be using the most.

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2 Responses to What backpack, or bag, to use on a bike?

  1. anniebikes says:

    I am a pannier or basket girl. I like the versatility of a basket for around town, but I also bring an extra bungee cord for the ability to carry more stuff.

  2. Vicki says:

    I will eventually be there too, Annie. I like the idea of carrying extra bungee cords, I do that too. (We usually call them occy straps, short for octopus.)

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