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Backpack v large (bikepacking) saddlebag

Yes, this is linked to the fact Lidl are doing them this weekend.

So, currently commute with backpack which has all the usual usefulness along with the usual sweaty back etc. Does anyone use the larger saddlepacks for commuting? Worth the possible extra effort of taking on/off each time or leaving on and emptying each end etc?

Having used panniers in the past which makes the bike feel different I'm not sure I liked how it handled, but someone I work with states you don't get that same weighted feeling as the bag can move around a bit more?

Basically looking for views or "do it/don't do it"s. It would be a good excuse tp get the bag so I have it incase I ever manage to do an actual bikepacking type thing.

"I ride to eat"


  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,847
    I'm also interested to hear thoughts. What would hold me back is the difficulty of taking a laptop home with a saddlebag.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,569
    I love my Carradice saddlebag (with Bagman support). I have three sizes depending on the occasion. 15 litres is my biggest and will pack a week's clothing rolled up, and have room for some shopping/lunch.

    6-9 litres would probably suffice in summer.

    Always remember - weight on your back becomes weight on your bum!

    I put everything in a thin but strong fabric shopping bag and leave the saddlebag on the bike.
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,333
    edited March 2020
    I'm with Mrfbp, 6-9 litres is usually enough for me and I've got a handlebar bag which is able to hold that which I use most days.
    However, when I have to carry the laptop I have to resort to the backpack.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 2,232
    I’m surprised Tyresome or whatever the last name of that Troll was hasn’t chipped in with tales of his 40kgs backpack rides lol.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 26,950 Lives Here
    I'm happy with my big saddlepack thing, one of the PlanetX podsac offerings. Cheap and it works for me, no way it would fit a laptop though.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 11,746
    Used rucksacks till I noticed it was rubbing the shoulders on my jackets and jerseys and damaging the material. Converted to a bigger 16litre carradice bag that clips on the seat stem. Tend to fill it with work wear and food for the sets of shifts I do, can be a bit annoying in high wind if fully loaded. Can't fault quality and it keeps all my stuff dry. See link.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,569
    If the OP is looing at Lidl, he probably doesn't want to spend the sort of money Carradice is asking for! I think the Lidl stuff woul dbe a great entry point for trying out saddlebags. I may even try and get the handlebar roll myself. The expensive stuff comes later when you're "hooked".

    For people with the Carradice habit, it's always worth keeping an eye on their factory seconds store on Ebay.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,569
    Just posting that link made me buy a new bar bag. Aargh!
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 11,746
    TBH i looked at cheaper options and decided to go with the old adage buy well buy once.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • stuart_c-2stuart_c-2 Posts: 805
    So, got bag at the weekend and have used it a couple of times. Took a little while to get used to the feel of it, you definitely know it's there. But feel more comfortable so far and am appreciating the cooler back.

    I've had to move my rear lights though as the bag tends to drop right down the seat post and "bunch up" quite upright behind me. Contemplating an extra strap somehow to keep the front of the bag high up the post and for the bag to stay pointing out rather than up.
    "I ride to eat"
  • shizshiz Posts: 19
    I'd always go for a saddlebag/pannier... anything that would attach to the bike, over a backpack. Using a backpack overtime will put a lot of pressure on your arms/shoulders/back and lead to injury. Attaching the weight to your bike will solve that problem.
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