What bag do you recommend for runners that intend commuting to and from work / college / school / training?
Assuming that you have the facility to store toiletries & towels at your destination you will be thinking of carrying shoes and a change of clothes at least every few days (?)
As a guide, bags are measured on storage volume so what bag suits you will depend on how much stuff you are going to have to carry on a daily basis. Also to consider is managing your daily wear too. By management the reckoning is that you can leave the shoes and suit in work for the week or swap out mid week and bring home on Friday so not needing to carry a big pack each way everyday.
So what do you need to know?
If you ask anyone who has run a few times with a backpack you will hear about the general, niggling inconvenience of running with a backpack. Mostly, the types of backpacks or rucksacks that people have lying around at home, which are likely to be trialled over a run or two, will be one of two categories:
- Regular gym type backpacks. These do the job, but they can be really loose and jiggle around everywhere as you run, banging against your back. They don’t have any straps to secure them firmly in place as you jog, usually comprising of shoulder straps only.
- Hiking backpacks. By design these come with additional chest and hip straps to secure the bag in place, will have adjustable positioning straps but are relatively big and much larger than you need for commuting.
After a few runs with a heavy bulky mountaineering pack on your back, or a couple in which the contents of your bag slap around as you run, swinging wildly, you’d be borderline giving upon the idea.
If you look around and ask the questions you will find that there are plenty of bags which are pretty much perfect for run commuting and what it boils down to is finding the one which is right for you.
3 Key Tips for Buying a Running Backpack
When you’re making a purchasing decision, you can’t go too far wrong as long as you follow these three key tips:
1. Get a backpack with waist and chest straps
The single most important factor in buying a backpack for #runmuting (as it is known) is a set of adjustable straps that will position the bag and hold it firmly in place allowing you to focus on your run and not on a jostling pack!
2. Get a light pack
By nature of the runmute itself it’s almost inevitable that you’ll need to take something with you, even if just a spare pair of underwear and your lunch, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying to minimise the weight you carry. If you can cut down your load, you can buy a smaller backpack – one which is in itself lighter, easier to secure, and better for your back!
This may be part of the management aspect too, bring a big load in Monday to suit the week
3. Get a breathable bag
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to sweat while you run. Picking a bag with breathable back and breathable fabric will reduce that icky feeling of being stuck to your back. That can keep the backpack drier, keep your skin and clothes drier, and lead to a far more pleasant (and less chafing) experience.
What do I recommended for running to work?
There is always something newer and lighter and brighter each season but the couple that caught my attention over the past while:
Ronhill Vizion 20 Ltr Running Backpack:
This backpack is designed with a variety of comfort features. The back and hip panels and shoulder straps are engineered from perforated eVA, providing essential breathability during intense periods of exercise. Other comfort features include the shaped half-mesh straps, the adjustable sternum straps and waist strap, which all provide a gender-specific, secure fit.
The backpack is designed with water-resistant zips and fabric, ensuring your belongings are protected from light showers.
A large volume pocket, internal security pocket, wing pockets and a small front pocket provide all the storage you need whilst on the move. The decals on the rear are all reflective ensuring visibility at night and you can also use the Vizion LED system with this pack.
Bladder compatible so perfect for use on the mountain bike or day hiking too.
PUMA NightCat PR Running Backpack:
Similar to the Ronhill, this is super lightweight with breathable straps and webbing.
Packed full of little touches like hip pockets (hand for keys / phone) the stand out features are the highly reflective 3M™ reflective PUMA Cat Logo and other reflective detailing which offer fantastic visibility.
Hydration system compatible with exit for tubing (or audio cord) plus quick-attach tube keeper on shoulder strap for versatility. The storage space belies the 12.5ltr volume of the pack as the external compression pocket offers extra space for, by example, a rain jacket which needs to be easy to get to.
The shape is long and slim so the pack sits nicely along the spine and follows your movements.
ASICS Lightweight Backpack:
If you are looking for a small pack for short trips this one is ideal. It has an ergonomic fit and padded back, which fits you perfectly and keeps you running comfortably.
There are adjustable straps on the shoulders and featuring both chest and hip straps for additional stability, this pack can be cinched in snugly to form with your body,
An external bungy cord provides for quick stashing and external storage of the likes of a rain jacket that is easily accessible. The fabric is water repellent which is handy for Irish conditions, it is bladder compatible so like all of our packs it can be used for long training runs or mountain biking if required.
Do you run with a pack, if so what pack do you recommend?