Does anyone have any recommendations on a decent small/medium sized backpack?
I’m looking for one with two shoulder straps that I could use for longer prework training rides that might be more comfortable than a single strap bag. Doesn’t need to hold too much just a change of clothes, pump, wallet etc.

Deuter TransAlpine 30 AC

I can’t recommend this highly enough. I have never been excited about a bag until I got this one.


  • Mesh backing with plastic ribs. This means that the majority of the bag is not touching your back. this allows plenty of airflow to cool you down and stop your back getting too soggy. you will get sweat patches where the straps come over your shoulders though. makes a world of difference though.
  • Pouch and hanger for a hydration bladder. Never actually used but will a nice feature for day treks. The pouch is pretty useful for putting my laptop and/or documents in
  • plenty of pockets. you can never have too many
  • the main compartment has a removable floor. this means that you can have one really big area or a large one and a smaller one (handy for my SLR camera). There’s a smaller pocket on the front/bottom which is good for lenses.
  • bright yellow rain hood (for the bag) with some reflective lettering in a tiny pocket on the underside. very handy
  • loop on back of bag to attach a rear light (although this would be obscured if you put the hood on)
  • the neoprene retainer thingamies on the back of the bag are great for stashing your jacket or helmet (only tried with decibels and it works a treat)

these bags seriously rock. get two

i think they retail price for $165. not cheap but well made and durable. Mine has lasted 1.5 hours of commuting each day and some trips overseas with barely a scratch

or try this link.

I’m getting good use from a Camelback Ventoux, that I got on 50% special from a US store. It had a plastic brace in it to keep it off my back, but I took this out and it made more room, and it’s comfy. It carries my lunch, clothes, a bunch of junk and a small laptop. Two years use now and no seams let go. Bladder included, for the occasional epic.

NZ made and fantastic. They make these for serious climbing/venturing etc. Not too expensive either. My back pack is 9 yrs old and still going strong.

Thanks all for the helpful recommendations. Most appreciated.

Do any of you use those packs for longer training rides out of interest (as opposed to shorter commutes)?

No. I’d be using a compact hydration pack for long MTB rides, or relying on pockets, taps and cafes for road rides.

I was using the deuter for day rides in france last year. I was there towards the end of their summer

+1 for deuter, mine’s a ‘Cross Air’, can’t even remember when I bought it and so far no visible wear. A mate has had his for at lest 10 years of daily commuting, beer runs, and several overseas trips.
Not silly big but room inside mine for a 15" laptop, a couple of files and assorted clothing items. Hydration pack capable, air-mesh back, helmet sleeve, rain boot that tucks away into it’s own pocket, etc etc. Comfy for day-long outings as well as the commute.
I had a shoulder reconstruction a couple of years ago & can’t tolerate shoulder bags for much more than a run to the shops. Buy a Deuter backpack.

Had a further look at the deuter bags last week and tried on an AC 16 in one of the alpine shops - v.nice - looks like they have a good line of mountain bike race type packs that would be the go.

Does anyone know which shops in Melbourne might stock a comprehensive range of the deuter packs?

maybe try your luck in those outdoor shops in little bourke st (although that’s possibly where you went already).

Maybe contact the australian distributor:
Velo Vita Pty Ltd.
Unit 20, 30-32 Perry St, Matraville NSW 2036, AU– Sydney
Telefon: +61 / 2 96 95 77 44, Telefax: +61 / 2 96 95 78 44
Internet:, E-Mail:

I’m guessing you want to see/feel/smell/touch/taste etc but you could try for a pretty big range of deuter, ortlieb, camelback and topeak. prices are generally OK.

Thanks Captain - I was put on to Melbourne Bike Shop in Prahan and BSC to try by the wholesaler - the deuters have some pretty options that might work for what I’m looking for so will try to check them out this weekend along with your suggestion.

you won’t regret it. deuters are awesome.

deuter is a bagal chain in Japan