Wearable carry pack recommendations


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7:26 AM
Apr 21, 2024
Something I've never investigated before (since high school) but looking for some sort of wearable carry pack, either a backpack or waist pack or whatever technology exists, not huge but big enough to carry maybe a spare shirt, small bike pump, tube, wallet, tool kit, etc. What options are out there? Also I have a Trek FX+2 which has a rack with a "MIC" system if I recall correctly. I may also investigate a small pack that would fit on the rack but the kicker there is, it would block my Garmin Varia Radar so I wonder if a small compatible rack pack exists which some sort of strap system in the rear that I could strap in my radar. I assume although not as handy as a click in compatible rack, they must make universal racks that are not dependent on a particular rack mount system.
Have you considered a single pannier? I bought a used REI bag on Ebay and am very impressed with how much it can hold without effecting the handling of the bike. The weight stays low and your rack is still open for other items.
I have a camelback pack which came with a water bladder. The water bladder has been removed and it is used as a small backpack now. It has 3 zippered sections. The smallest holds a multitool, pocket knife, my keys and wallet. The middle section has room for say a spare fat bike bike tube plus maybe a rolled up shirt. The biggest pouch holds my pump, tire tools like patches plus a spare chain, zip ties etc.

The pack is fairly small and has a waist strap plus a strap across the chest. I,ve been using it for a few years now.
Does the Varia come with a clip to clip onto the loop on rack bags designed just for that purpose?

Or a mount for the seat stay instead of seat post?

I have a universal rack bag from Amazon I really like: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083TRF9QX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1

It has the loop for the rear light, plus a hidden shoulder strap, so that when I park the bike, I can undo the velcro tie-downs and take it with me as a sling bag.
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My Camelbak packs are the smallest useful packs I own. Not cheap but take a look at them and then look at other off-brand hydration packs for a similar lightweight, small backpack format.

My personal favorite is the 'Level 3 assault pack' format. Sometimes called a 3-day assault pack. Silly tacticool name for sure. There are about a zillion copies that are all variations of the same design. This is a very compact pack style that expands to carry a whole lot more if your needs of the moment dictate such. But if not you can use the cinch straps to compress it down to almost nothing. You can get them really cheap, but I prefer the Voodoo Tactical version that has a quality back pad and reasonably well-padded shoulder straps.

Also, here's a much more minimalist concept: The molle hydration sleeve. Essentially this is a super-simple variation on a Camelbak pack, made of heavy canvas and covered in molle attachment points. Again I prefer the Voodoo Tactical version, but Condor makes a good one, too, which also includes a 3L water bladder. I keep one of these in my car with an extended drinking hose made of simple food grade silicone tubing (its amazing how many sodas you DON'T stop and buy if you can just take a drink of water while on a long drive).

If you decide you want more carry capacity, it is very easy to add a small or large pouch piggyback via the molle system.