You don’t need special gear to commute back and forth to work on bike. But it sure makes you look cool. I’m going to review the Gregory Reactor backpack that I use to get back and forth to work. At least, until I have to pack heavy sweaters for winter.
The Reactor is a 11 litre pack. Pretty small for a backpack that’s used to pack all these items I need for work: Laptop (Dell D520), pants, socks, shirt, belt, unmentionables, shower kit, bike lock, sandwich or two, plus all the accoutrement – wallet, keys, watch, clearance cards and so on.
The secret with this bag is the external storage. Eleven litres is 11 litres no matter which way it’s divied up. But the external storage on this pack gives it at least an extra 5 or 6. There’s a huge mesh pouch on the back of the bag. It’s meant to carry a bike helmet when not in use. You can get a lot of lunch in that pouch.
There’s also elastic rimmed pouches on each side of the pack. This is handy for gloves, hats, locks and so on. But my favourite part of this pack is the pouches in the belt.
The pouches on the belt are the width of the belt. They get wider as they approach the pack and more narrow as they approach the clasp. This is my favourite spot to put the stuff that I want to keep close to hand. Like my wallet, bike lock keys, USB stick, cell phone, and my watch.
This thing will take me back and forth most of the year. I usually cycle in my sneakers and wear them at work too. So I don’t need to pack extra shoes. It’s probably going to be too tight for winter cycling because more stuff needs to be packed.
You might have a hard time finding a Reactor these days. Their lineup doesn’t include this sweet pack anymore. But you can get the ideas of one workable solution – plus things to look for when buying a pack.