running/commuting backpacks

any recommendations welcome!

I currently own a Berghaus Bladdered (2l hydration pocket, can expand to 7l storage). I also own a Lowe Contour Runner (2l hydration + 30l storage). These are both v comfortable to run with and I have no complaints about either BUT I need something in between!

The Bladdered was great to run to work when I worked in an office and could leave stuff there, but I'm now based in a library and there's no storage facility. My main problem is that it won't fit A4 files...

The Contour is just a little bit too big to commute with, though good for occasional runs with heavier loads, or as a daypack in the hills.

I guess I need something that's around 15-25 litres, with an external (mesh?) pocket for a water bottle; if it had a laptop sleeve, that would be perfect for storing papers though not essential. The commute is about 7 miles or so, so it needs to be a proper running pack with chest harness and hip belt.

So far I've been looking at the Arcteryx Wire (21 litres) and the Osprey Flux (28l, so definitely on the large side), as well as the Berghaus cubic 25.

Anyone tried any of these?


btw, isn't it about time RW did a feature on running and commuting? This question seems to come up a lot in various forms!


  • Dunno, but Mountain Bike Rider did a review on backpacks and the Camelbak Hawg got a 9/10 (just short of 10/10 on price - 89.99 ouch!!). The review makes you want to go out an buy one.
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Snail - it might be worth talking to someone who has done the KIMM (check out the tri thread). Competitors have to carry quite a lot of stuff (and run with it) and there are rucksacks designed specifically for this event... so they might be more 'fit for purpose' than a lightweight running sac. I guess whatever you buy needs to be quite sturdy - heavy files seem to have a habit of destroying bags!

    ... like this one (maybe a bit on the large side?)

    ... or this one - I´ve got the 1994 version of it and it´s still going strong

  • Sorry Snail - I was away last week.

    Berghaus Nitro can take A4 size stuff. I take things in those wallety type things. Not tried files though.

    Hasn't got an external pocket for bottles though. What about a runaid bottle ?

    Great for running with. Mines done loadsa miles.

    If its v rainy though - put your dry stuff into a cheapy plastic bag. I think most sacs will let rain thru eventually.
  • Huh. So where are you when I need you, Cougie???

    I ended up buying a Karrimor Sector II - seems to be ok so far. I think I looked at the Berghaus Nitro - is that the cube one?

    I really should stop looking at packs, Mr Snail counted 7 in the study last night :-(

    Yes, books and things are put in plastic bags anyway, as is the change of clothes, but I've got this thing about wet stuff. Have to get Mr Snail to empty the washing machine, or else I wear rubber gloves, I really hate touching damp stuff! (and please, no rude comments). The Karrimor has storm flaps over the two main pocket zips though, so that should keep the worst out.

    I do have a couple of runaid bottles, but I find that if I hold anything, I tend to grip it tightly, and tense up my arm and shoulder; not a problem over 3 miles, but over 8 miles at my pace, it started causing serious problems for my shoulder...

    Lizzie, cheers for your comments too - I had a look at the KIMM packs online, but couldn't see any in the shops. Being a short@rse, I need to try them on, or they can dig in :-( S'alright for you long-legged people!!
  • Sos. Will ask before booking next time. :-(

    Naah - its a tapery one. (not a Tapir-ey one - that's just silly.)
    But big enough for lotsa rubbish. Oh, and has a mesh pocket, so I put my sweaty towel from the gym in that on the outside to keep it away from everything else.

    Tee hee. Damp things.

    The nitro would be great if it had a stretch pocket on the outside. If it's full, its hard to get in the pocket to get my gym card out. And bottles are best on the outside.
  • product_selector

    The product selector on the Camelbak site is pretty cool but then you said you wanted to stop looking at packs.

    The Hawg looks the dogs doo-dads.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, Gary. I saw that you'd suggested it before, but as the HAWG is only 9" wide on its external dimensions, and an A4 ringbinder is just under 10", it's not a lot of good to me... Unfortunately all the Camelbak packs tend to be very narrow - it's only when you start looking at the 30l multi-day packs that they're wide enough to fit an A4 file, and I already have a 30l pack with hydration system...

    Camelbaks are great if you want something specifically designed for carrying liquids, but I don't need a bladder when running to work (in the 8 months I've had my Berghaus Bladdered, I've never once actually used it with a bladder!) - I need a pack that will take shoes, files, books, towel, washkit, etc...

    Cougie - know what you mean about the gym card. A small pocket on the outside for keys and card is definitely one of my essentials, after accidentally pulling out my underwear in the office reception whilst looking for my security pass!
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