Backpacks have the distinct disadvantage of adding weight up high, thereby
raising your center of gravity. This requires large steering movements to balance the
bike. In winter they can be hard to get on and off over heavy clothing,
They are easier to carry in with you, as you do not have to remove them
from the bike.
Many ICEBIKERS use the "Camelback" type of hydration system,
which often have pockets for carrying small items.
Although limited in size, these have an advantage in that they are worn lower than back
packs and are easier to buckle on over winter biking wear.
My personal favorite fanny pack is one that has a backpack built into the top flap so
that if you suddenly find yourself with too much to carry you simply unzip it into a
backpack (and then struggle to get it on over your winter togs.)
I have to carry my lunch and a change of clothing to work so I've become an
expert in "space management" (stuffin' junk). For the bike I bought a seat post
rack with a quick release, nothing fancy. $15.00 at, - ready for this ... Toys R Us. I
looked at many others at twice the price, and it works great as a fender. For the rack I
use an insulated canvas bag (about $15.00-20.00) about 12Lx6Hx5W, again available at most
department stores in the camping section.
I recently bought a Jandd "Hermon Monster" bag (about
$65.00), Based on the ALICE military bag, you can also purchase load straps from Peal
Izumi or go to a military surplus, it has great lumbar support and a padded waistband and
600 CI of space.
Economy: Go to Wal-Mart, K-mart, ShopKo and go to the fishing section,
there is a canvas hip bag (black or commo) it has a large main pocket and several small
pockets on the waist strap (for under $25.00). There is no support and there is a fuzzy
patch for hooks that is easily removed, but still a good solid bag.