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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking a backpack would be a good way to carry incidentals on the bike.

I currently have a CamelBak "M.U.L.E.", but I'm thinking larger.

Ideally:

Expandable

High Viz

Room for a couple 30 oz fuel bottles and a good-sized hydration bladder.

Spine protection built in.

Waterproof, or at least water resistant.

I did a search, but too many unrelated threads came up to be of much use.

Any input appreciated.
 

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Have you investigated specialty motorcycle packs? Places like Revzilla have dozens of offerings.
Motorcycle Backpacks - RevZilla
Amazon too, among many others.
I have evolved away from conventional day-packs unless they are just used to carry light but bulky spare clothing. The pounding and weight shifting add fatigue to the back after a long bouncy ride. Plus the arm straps can be difficult to get over an armored riding jacket. Certainly a good waist band and chest restraint help keep back-pack from shifting around on bumps.
Packs do have the benefit of allowing you to carry your gear with you off the bike for both security and convienience.
 

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I wouldn't put anything big and hard in one( fuel) like rider21 says. We carry soft stuff like clothes, lunch, emergency blanket, soft first aide kit, head lamp, etc in our hydration packs. I figure the water is some protection but heavy. So we keep the shoulder straps loose enough for the pack to sag and sit on the seat easing the weight on the shoulders. For longer rides I strap a bag on top of the rotopacs on the racks.

IMG_0719.JPG
 

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I loosen my backpack and it sits on the seat. If I bring my camel pack I carry it underneath the backpack. The water keeps me cooler here in Texas.
 

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I commute carrying my stuff in a Duluth Pack #2. This pack has worked well- lots of room for my stuff, hugs my back nicely and bottom sits on the cycle seat - so I don't support a lot of weight while riding. Probably had it more than 20 years, good for another 20.
I've also used a pack basket- ok but need a liner for water resistance and didn't set as well for me on the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the advice. That Revzilla looks like a contender. Lots of interesting choices in my handy Aerostich catalog as well.

The advice about not carrying hard objects in the backpack is sound and something I think I knew. I've heard of something as simple as a phone in a jacket pocket causing injury. I've come down hard on my back at least a couple of times and I can see a fuel bottle breaking ribs or worse. So just water bladders and soft items will live back there.

As an aside, two 30 oz fuel bottles should weigh no more than about 5 lbs, so by themselves they should not tax the stock rear rack, should they?
 

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I have a couple camelbaks, the mule and hawg, both older models. But if I use a backpack its a generic one that is larger than the hawg and has three large pockets or areas. Many smaller internal pockets and an area for a water bladder.

I would be careful about carrying larger and hard items on your back. And I doubt any of the backpacks that offer protection would be as protective with anything large and metallic in them.

Nice strong and padded shoulder straps along with lower waist buckle or belt is the way to go to hold it on and in place. I'd look for a padded back and ventilation helps.
 

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This guy does some great, honest, reviews for gear. Check these two out for more ideas:


 

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Discussion Starter #12
THANK YOU!

Will watch over breakfast - and bore my wife to tears, I'm sure.

I guess that will make us even for "Dancing With The Stars"!
 

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Used a Backpack along with the Rack Pack last Summer on the Indiana Covered Bridge Ride....it was far superior than trying to haul all of that stuff on the bike, and much easier to get to.....I won't do trips without one again, I travel lite, and this makes it even better...as others say however, use one that sits on the seat while riding, don't pack ridged stuff or heavy bulky items....also, when I am on short off road runs, say 30 miles or less, I don't use one....but they are excellent for road riding....

Covered Bridge Run Indiana 017.JPG Covered Bridge Run Indiana 087.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Hoot et al.

I don't need to be sold on the utility of a good backpack - just looking for advice and reports on what's out there now.

This is from a 2003 trip to Baja. Camelbak M.U.L.E.



I have a newer one now that I use constantly on dog walks and road trips and the like.

As an aside, the mounts for my Jesse bags did not handle the abuse of Baja very well at all.
 

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I have a Kriega R20 that I use 5 days a week for commuting to work in heavy rain, light snow or shine. The backpack has back support, no restriction of arm movement which is cool, you can move freely with it. I have used this in bag in very heavy rain and it hasn't failed yet. Before I would put my iPhone in a Ziploc bag inside my old backpack but this one you don't have to. It's a bit pricey but like a good pair of boots this backpack can take a beating and my stuff stays dry which is great after a long day in cold rain. I've also used this backpack with a passenger riding with me. (my backpack is about 2 years old with 10,000 miles on it, love the water resistant zippers)

https://kriega.com/riderpacks/r20

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