Backpacks for Run Commuting

People are who really interested in run commuting seem to end up at my blog.  I’m cool with this, and responsive to your needs… sort of.

A term that pops up next to run commuting is backpacks (or rucksack).  Here’s the deal: Every runner is unique.  This is why there are yearly reviews of shoes, socks, and kit.  So I can give you my opinion of the best type of packs to look for rather than the perfect, all-encompassing running backpack.  So:

  1. If you want to run as light as possible, you can invest in any good pack that has chest and waist clips.  These clips just keep things from bouncing around, which is all you will basically need.  Upside: Cost is generally quite low.  Downside: If you like wearing tanks you may need to switch to shirts – I run light and my pack will scratch at me if I run in a tank.
  2. If you run with a lot of things, or if you want to add weight to your runs to add an element to your training, you need to look at military-style packs.  These packs usually come with a ventilation back system, and the clips often come with padding around them.  The goal is to fit them comfortably close (but not tight) to the body so you can move but secure the pack to you.  Upside: Chances are you won’t be lacking anything for work clothing, or you may get some shopping in. Downside: You need to learn to pack your bag evenly in order to distribute weight and these packs are generally expensive.

Thing is, that’s really it.  Lots of companies go mental and design all sorts of aspects to packs, but as I see it until you run with one and become comfortable with it you’ll just sit and spin your wheels.  So if you are thinking about run commuting go out today and start with the cheap clip pack, ball up your clothes, a small snack, and a lunch and JUST DO IT.  Over time you will begin to develop a system, and if necessary that system will mean acquiring a different or perhaps a more specialized pack.  As a flourishing finish, here’s some stuff I’ve learned about my experience with packs, so make a note of this when you’re out shopping today and no longer just thinking about run commuting:

  • I’ve invested in a compartmental “bento box” lunch holder so nothing leaks out or breaks.
  • I leave the following clothing at work (for return once a week): trousers/skirts, a pair of boots, and a pair of dress shoes.  I pick out a top every day to run in with, along with underwear (though I have learned to leave spare underwear at work… long story).
  • Any hydration system is separate from the pack (again, leaking)!
  • I use my bike to transport fresh supplies in and dirty supplies home.  This breaks up my running and means I don’t require a heavier or more expensive pack.
  • I wear dayglo.  Not because the 80s are back, but because I don’t want to get hit by vehicles. (Nor do I want you to get hit by vehicles, which is why I wrote this line in.)

So there is my two cents.  Go buy a pack.  Now.  Run commuting is a great way to exercise without having to exercise, if you get my drift.  GET TO IT!

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2 thoughts on “Backpacks for Run Commuting

  1. I’m wondering if you run commute in the winter and if you do, could I ask you a couple questions for an article I’m writing. Gracias.

    1. I live in England, it’s winter here about 6 months out of the year, and sometimes in summer. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.

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