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Not too long ago, I gave up commuting with a backpack in favor of letting my bike haul my stuff in panniers. I had just discovered the Banjo Brothers waterproof pannier and have commuted with a pannier ever since – never looking back. In the meantime, my neck and shoulders have enjoyed the added relief of being unburdened.

But today’s morning bike commute got me reconsidering the backpack. Truth be told, I’ve been thinking about getting another bike commuter specific backpack for a while now. It was seeing that bike commuter this morning sporting a hot pink Chrome rolltop bag that reignited the spark and interest in a backpack. Talk about hi-vis! I could see this hot pink pack from a block away and it actually brightened my mood on this otherwise gray Friday! (sorry I missed the photo op)

Also, just yesterday another biking friend emailed me about his collision with a pothole last August that resulted in him fracturing many ribs and a having a collapsed lung. The staff at the trauma center told him that if he had not been wearing his small backpack he would have been paralyzed. Saved by the backpack?

So – my meandering commute this morning not only took me in a less than direct path to work, but also has me looking back into backpacks again. What goes around comes around, right? This time around I think the options in commuter backpacks have come a long way.

If you commute with a backpack, what’s your preference? (Note: finding a pack that isn’t too big is an issue for me = is there one that’s “just right” for me?) I’ll be trying to figure that out.