Small Touring Backpack

Malte

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Sep 26, 2011
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#1
Hello,

I am going soon for touring through Kyushuu. I am now shopping for a backpack and want to check if you have any recommendations. It will be a three day tour and I want to travel as light as possible, packing only second jersey second bib pants, 3xsocks, small repair set, small bike bag for train, toothpaste, etc. I thought 20L might be sufficient ... hmm maybe this one

Thanks,
Malte
 

Mike

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Sep 24, 2007
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#2
Malte, Deuter make great bags. That one looks really good but if you're not packing much why not go with this one?

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/deuter-race-exp-air-rucksack-hydration-pack-compatible/

I have the exact same one, the ventilated straps are great and even though look like they might rub they never do, and it has the option of expanding into a bigger bag with a convenient zipper. Very streamline and cheaper than the one you posted:)
 

Malte

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Sep 26, 2011
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#3
Malte, Deuter make great bags. That one looks really good but if you're not packing much why not go with this one?

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/deuter-race-exp-air-rucksack-hydration-pack-compatible/

I have the exact same one, the ventilated straps are great and even though look like they might rub they never do, and it has the option of expanding into a bigger bag with a convenient zipper. Very streamline and cheaper than the one you posted:)
Mike, good point, actually I have no idea how big a 20L is so maybe it's too big (have to go to shop and check). I see from your blog that you used the 12+3L backpack in Nagano ... may I ask what you packed during your 3-4day tours (and Ludwig didn't pack anything, at least it looks so from the photos :confused:)?
 

zenbiker

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Mar 4, 2008
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Chofu
#4
This is one of the times when it may be better to shop in a shop!
Just pop into a discount shop. I have a small backpack that cost less than ¥2000 and does a great job.
Make a list of stuff you will NEED and stuff you will take if you have room for it.
 
Jul 13, 2010
279
6
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Shinjuku
#5
I use a Deuter 18-20L backpack for riding. It has been good and survived many cycles in the washing machine so far. It also has the sam "airflow" design as the ones listed at Wiggle.Not sure how much extra airflow I have noticed but the design seems to help to keep the bag stable during riding.
Very comfortable to wear all day.
 

Deej

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Oct 13, 2007
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#6
Malte, I have the same bag Mike used -- Deuter Race EXP Air (red) -- and while I never used it for touring, I used it a lot for commuting and was very happy with it. It also has a handy rain cover that pops out easily. In fact, I typically slipped the (neon yellow) rain cover on over the bag even when it was dry, to reduce wind drag and to increase my visibility.

It's kind of small, but here's a pic of me using the bag on a mountain ride.

Blurry commuting pic.

Even while trail running! (Note my bike helmet attached with the convenient helmet net that comes with the bag.)

Deej
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#7
Same here Deuter: have used the same Bike 1 for over 10 years, good solid bag , the only thing I have had trouble with is the stretchy bands for carrying a helmet have stretched beyond their limits.
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#8
I think you could just about fit what you need into a 2l Rouge Camelbak. I know many consider them a faux pas while on a road bike. The specs show they carry 2l of water and about 3.5l of cargo - sounds small, but plenty for what you figure you need.
 

Mike

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Sep 24, 2007
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#10
Malte, yes Ludwig didn't use a bag when touring at all but his pockets sure were full! He had his phone and charger, money, credit cards, camera, food and bike bag all in there! Honestly you don't actually need much in Japan as all the hotels should have washing machines, clothes dryers, yukatas and toothbrushes! It just depends on you, but I don't like catching trains in my kit much and in summer carried a t-shirt, shorts, beach sandals and deoderant to use before hopping on trains!

It's really up to you I guess. I'm about to go on a 2 day trip to Izu and I'll take these things in my back pack:

bike bag
deoderant
sun cream
food

That's it....in fact I may even just go without it! You don't need a second kit, just wash it at the hotel each night! Have a good trip:D

my back pack is so good I'll hardly notice it after an hour or two!
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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#11
Late to the game here (and I have a smallish deuter bag and bladder), but I think that something that fits in the triangle (over the top tube) has been a recently ignored art.

There are plenty of above-the-TT-behind-the-stem designs, but a bag slung over the TT seems to have disappeared from the world of bag design.

Anyone know why? Bottle cages could be accommodated (or obviated), and it's reasonably low slung (compared to a backpack, or some of those way-off-the back-of-your-seatpost bags, NOT a good place IMNSHO), and could work regardless of touring/road frame design, too.

Classic touring bikes used this area. Here's a modern version.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#12
I don't like riding with backpack, but alot of people don't mind! Other options for light luggage do exist -

1) Topeak foamshell seat bag. Gunnar has one of these - it seemed to work awesome. I want one for any multi-day trips - you can easily pack a few essentials plus a hammock.

2) The venerable handlebar bag. In the many thousands of km I toured, the handlebar bag was the most versatile and useful part of my kit. Besides a few essentials, it held maps, snacks and other stuff I wanted ready access to. Plus, I could use it as a daybag for carrying off the bike.

3) The triangle bag. I used one of these, too. In fact, getting rid of any side mounted bags made my touring pleasure go up exponentially. I removed the DT water bottle, and used only ST bottle, with an auxilary mount UNDER the DT.

4) So for more than 3mo travelling:
- Handlebar bag (food, maps, stuff I used alot)
- Saddle bag (sleeping kit / bivouac sheet)
- Triangle bag (used mainly for clothing)
- 2 Water bottles - 1 used for spares, tools and other bits I could cram in.

Miracle Essentials:

1) Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap. Used for everything from emergency water purifier to laundry, toothpaste, etc.
2) Wool cycling clothes - which always looked (and smelled) pretty decent.
3) Large cotton kerchief - which doubled as towel.
4) Mini GAZ Stove and Sierra cup.
5) Knoor boullion tabs and instant coffee
6) Aspirin and Olive Oil
 

trad

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Dec 4, 2006
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#13
Used to mtn bike and I think backpacks (Deuter/Camelback) are ok if you have upright bike geometry, but I second Tim's recommendation for a larger triangle bag, large saddle/seat bag, and (if needed) handle bar storage combo... if touring on a racing bike. Keeping weight off of the body makes a big difference imo...

For 2-3 day travel, I use a large fanny pack (expandable one and has simple shoulder strap). Find that these keep the back cool, are easy to carry around, and "feel" more aero than back pack. The other option would be to get a seat post mounted rack and strap on a backpack or mid size rack carrier.

In addition to Tim's list, I carry a flask, duck tape, a few baby wet wipes, small first aid kit, lighter, decent lock (some hotels don't allow bikes indoors) and rain jacket (or emergency blanket/large gomi bag to double as poncho).

. .
 

Mike

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Sep 24, 2007
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#14
Wow, you guys take everything but the kitchen sink!

Malte don't listen to this propaganda! Def a big NO to a fanny pack or those handlebar mounted packs unless you want be ridiculed by any serious cyclist:p When any dude who has those contraptions on gives me the cyclists greeting nod I just look away, shaking my head thinking ....LOSER. Yes I'm a cycling snob baby and you MUST listen to what I have to say:cool:

Small backpack: Yes

Fanny bag/handlebar bag OMG NO NO NO!

And this is what you'll need:


raincoat
bike bag
sunscreen
camera case attached to backpack strap (brilliant as you won't have to take your backpack off to take snaps)
2 tubes
tools
lights
phone
phone charger

You won't need a second kit or toiletries as the hotel should have a yukata and washing facilities. Enjoy:D
 

Malte

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Sep 26, 2011
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#15
Thank guys for all the recommendations. For a 3days tour I am also more a bike snob :cool: and handle bar bags are off limit (for longer tours maybe ok :angel:).
I went to the local Y's Road and they had a very small selection of Deuter backpacks. Two came into my closer choice:
  1. Deuter Race:
    • (Link)
    • 560gram
    • Backsystem: Airstripes System, which basically has two stripes of foam that touch your back with an air-channel in between.
    • 10L
  2. Deuter Race Exp
    1. (Link).
    2. That's the one that Mike and Deej refer to
    3. It's approx 3000Yen more expensive than the Deuter Race.
    4. 950gram
    5. Backsystem: Advanced Aircomfort , where your back is covered by a mesh and there is 1-2cm between the mesh and your bag.
    6. has a helmet cover
    7. 12+3L

When I tried in the shop, the Deuter Race felt (obviously) lighter and was sitting higher on my back which felt small but still very natural. The Deuter Race Exp sat lower (more on my hips) but was also comfortable.I liked the helmet cover of the "Deuter EXP" that would come handy for city/commute use.

Pro Deuter Race EXP: helmet cover and Mesh Aircomfort System
Pro Deuter Race: 400g lighter and feels smaller on the back

Hmm one more night to think about it :)
 

Malte

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Sep 26, 2011
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#16
camera case attached to backpack strap (brilliant as you won't have to take your backpack off to take snaps)
sounds convenient. do you have a link to any product that fits?

decent lock (some hotels don't allow bikes indoors)
Haven't thought about that, thought that if I put the bike in the rinko bag it will be fine to take it to the room (because it's ok to take it to the train) ... any experience?
What lightweight locks do you carry with you?
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#17
Wow, you guys take everything but the kitchen sink!

Malte don't listen to this propaganda! Def a big NO to a fanny pack or those handlebar mounted packs unless you want be ridiculed by any serious cyclist:p When any dude who has those contraptions on gives me the cyclists greeting nod I just look away, shaking my head thinking ....LOSER. Yes I'm a cycling snob baby and you MUST listen to what I have to say:cool:

Small backpack: Yes

Fanny bag/handlebar bag OMG NO NO NO!

And this is what you'll need:


raincoat
bike bag
sunscreen
camera case attached to backpack strap (brilliant as you won't have to take your backpack off to take snaps)
2 tubes
tools
lights
phone
phone charger

You won't need a second kit or toiletries as the hotel should have a yukata and washing facilities. Enjoy:D
I frown on even using a back pack - over a century riders have pushed the technology of the Jersey pocket to new bounderies and I can fit everything Mike lists in those 3 pockets.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#18
Haven't thought about that, thought that if I put the bike in the rinko bag it will be fine to take it to the room (because it's ok to take it to the train) ... any experience?
Call a head and tell them you have a bike and need a secure location to store it - or put the bike in the Rinko Bag and walk straight in with the bike take it to the room and don't mention it to them.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#20
Totally agreed. 3 days in Japan? Why do you need anything more than a SUICA? Raincoat AND Bike Bag? Unless you mean the <other kind> of raincoats..

But when your, ahem, "convenience stores" are more than 150km apart and sleeping options tend to be the tops of abandoned tenant housing or unfinished hotels, having a few extra things to improvise with is nice.

What I found is that the more I toured within 'civilisation' , then, the less I required self-sustaining pioneer type supplies. As for backpack vs bikepack - I think it just depends on rider preference.

I frown on even using a back pack - over a century riders have pushed the technology of the Jersey pocket to new bounderies and I can fit everything Mike lists in those 3 pockets.