Great Pack for Multiday Bike Trips
Highly recommend the pack for multiday bike trips. Large storage capacity, useful compartmentalization and carrying comfort makes this a must buy for long trips. Too big for daytrips.
the trans alpine 30 is a vast improvement over my messenger bag for commuting by bike. it's plenty capacious for everything i carry: clothes, food, documents, etc. most importantly, it's comfortable and balanced while riding. i can't imagine a better designed backpack. it's also highly visible in the dark--a key design feature for commuting.
I've only had this pack for a week, so take this review with a grain o. It seems very sturdy and it looks great. The organizational pockets are very handy, though not terribly roomy. I really like the compression straps over the side mesh pockets - very useful for securing water bottles. The backpack is narrow and tall. This is fine if you're just stuffing clothes in it, but it makes it hard to organize much. The bottom divider is useful, but very awkward. As previously mentioned, the zipper is not easy to operate. The pack is very top heavy (in part because the gear pockets are up top). This is not an issue if you're strapping it on and then taking it off and done. But if, like me, you bring it around all day, it's a little annoying to have it constantly tipping over. This is accentuated by the bottom divider section - if you don't have it filled, the bag will wind up on its face when set down. This is also made worse by the neoprene straps for holding your helmet on the front of the pack. They do work well for helmets but if you're not loading your helmet there, they're useless, which is annoying. In addition, the zippered flap that creates the bottom section, when it's unzippered (open) it creates an uneven surface at the back and bottom of the pack. This means that folders and papers will be damaged. Oh, the map pocket against the back of the pack is wonderful. Great place to keep anything (relatively flat) you need quick access to. Lastly, the hydration system seems designed solely for deuter hydration packs. Also, the sleeve for the pack is a great laptop sleeve. Fits a 15'. As you can tell, I use this pack to commute to an office job and I don't always commute by bike. Overall, the bag is very handsome but in general it feels cumbersome to use a lot during the day. It's not really for anyone carrying books and papers. Much better to stuff everything in, strap to your back, ride, then unpack and forget about it.