Backpacks for commuting - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 4-15-2019, 5:56 AM Thread Starter
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Red face Backpacks for commuting

Since I started riding, I knew I would need a backpack, because I am mainly riding back and forth to work.
I am currently using this backpack, which is probably the cheapest one walmart sells. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Outdoor-P...aviar/50109913. It surprisingly holds a decent amount, and is not uncomfortable while riding, its just a little on the small side for me and see myself ripping a strap off while taking it on or off.

I have a 15" laptop and accessories I take back and forth with me, as well as a change of clothes to work in (sneakers, possibly shorts and extra sweatshirt, lunch) and my current bag is getting stuffed to capacity and I feel like a ninja turtle while riding with it.

I have been looking at the American Kargo Trooper https://www.amazon.com/American-Karg.../dp/B00M9MY9Q8, which definitely will hold all the stuff I need, or if I want to go grocery shopping, but I am having a hard time justifying spending $200+ on the bag + rain cover, but the other part of me that knows "you get what you pay for" says just get it. Especially because its hi-viz and the specific tool pockets and fleece pocket. The shoulder straps also unbuckle for super easy on/off.

Has anyone ever used a backpack meant for hiking while riding? I would expect the kind with a rigid frame would probably not work well while and the no-frame ones seem like they may be too floppy? They are lot cheaper than the American Kargo, but then again, half the price for something not purpose built?

Some of the reviews on the American Kargo I see are mixed, so has anyone here every used one and like it?

Also thinking of adding saddle bags and/or tail bag with possibly building a custom rack (I'm not paying $200 for a renntec rack!), but that does not offer the convenience of just parking and walking away without fiddling around first like the backpack does.

I also don't want to look like a 2-wheeled suitcase with luggage and a backpack!

I feel like I kind of sold myself after writing all this but I would like to see what all the other 500 riders here use!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 4-15-2019, 11:40 AM
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I ware a backpack just about every ride, I dont know the brand but it was about $40 many moons ago. It is light, has a moisture wicking material on the area that contacts my back and its comfortable. I also have a Swiss awmy backpack in my basement, suer heavy and way to many compartments and I do not use it for thoese reasons. I would say go to an outdoor supply store and try on a few options before making your choice.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 4-15-2019, 11:42 AM
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Duh, its right next to me.... Its a samsonite black and orange, simple but light and it works.

1993 Teal/White EX500 6K First Street Bike
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 4-15-2019, 11:47 AM
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I have a Tri Performance brand roll-top waterproof backpack that my gf got me for Xmas. So far it's the most comfortable backpack I've ever had, I can carry quite a lot of groceries without feeling any pain. I have an expensive Patagonia backpack, and the Tri Performance is ten times more comfortable. My only gripe is that it's basically just one big open cavity (with a small pocket for flat items).

Paul

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 4-15-2019, 2:30 PM
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hi guy's not wanting to be a killjoy. but I would never wear a backpack while riding. thing is because it's there you tend to throw everything in it.
and forget how many hard sharp objects are in there to cause injury should you end up sliding down the road [it happens] tank bag or throw over panniers yes backpack no. there made for walkers.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 4-15-2019, 4:21 PM
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I wear this backpack if I need to carry stuff with me, its slightly smaller (50L vs 42L). It has a waist strap which is nice for keeping it stable on your back while leaning as well. Only $35

Bike 1: 2007 Ninja 500r
Bike 2: tbd
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 4-15-2019, 11:05 PM
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Here's a tail pack that I modified with a semi-hard liner to hold its shape and curved buckles to match the seat. It comes with shoulder straps and seat straps. Stock, they are about $18 delivered on eBay.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 4-16-2019, 9:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowWalker View Post
I wear this backpack if I need to carry stuff with me, its slightly smaller (50L vs 42L). It has a waist strap which is nice for keeping it stable on your back while leaning as well. Only $35
The on ethins I like the most about the pack I use is the chest band, locks the two sholder straps in the middle so it stays stable.

1993 Teal/White EX500 6K First Street Bike
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 4-16-2019, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinl7778 View Post
The on ethins I like the most about the pack I use is the chest band, locks the two sholder straps in the middle so it stays stable.
Mine has chest and waist ones if i remember correctly

Bike 1: 2007 Ninja 500r
Bike 2: tbd
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 4-16-2019, 7:39 PM
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Thumbs up

I like cargo nets.
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2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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