Convertible Backpack Two in One
The Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack Convertible LITE is a thoughtful take on a pannier and a backpack. When it comes to commuting half the battle is how to take your things to and from along the way. How do you make this easier and most convenient for yourself? Well our first thoughts would simply be to use a backpack, but for those that commute regularly a pannier setup is the ideal solution. Pannier’s free up your body from having to carry your things and allow the bike to do the heavy lifting. Additionally, securely fastened to the bike and always there when you need them.
Two Wheel Gear meets us right in the middle with a quick attaching pannier bag that easily transforms into a backpack. Letting you pull the pannier bag off the bike and carry all your things around with ease.
The perfect everyday bike pack
Using of one of our favorite materials, the Pannier Backpack is constructed of 100% Recycled Ripstop fabric and a TPE waterproof coating. Although we’d found it to be most suitable for light rain. Fortunately, it comes with a high vis rain fly that quickly shields the bag from the weather.
At 22L its the perfect size for everyday use. With a 15” padded laptop sleeve, a primary external pocket and a second external pocket that is lined to protect your sunglasses or carry your phone. Also on either side tehre are bottle pockets, one of which has a good sized velcro strap that is intended to support an umbrella or a U-Lock.
Inside we see TWG’s bright orange interior that we’ve come to appreciate when its darker out. Along with the laptop sleeve, there are pen holders, and two separate mesh pockets that are perfect for a portable power bank or any of those office accessories like a hard drive.
Stuffed to the brim with all the pockets filled up there is most of the 22L still available for a change of clothes and lunch.
Backpack and a pannier
As a Convertible Backpack Pannier, you can transform it from a backpack to a pannier in a matter of seconds. Using the KLICKfix system to quickly and securely attach the bag to your bikes rack. The KLICKfix system is one of our favorite pannier attachment mechanisms. Not only can you adjust the width of the hooks that hold it to the rack, it can fit a broad range of rack tubing sizes. Once the width is set for your bike it takes just one finger to release the lock to secure it in place. Two Wheel Gear uses the bottom part of the backpack straps to latch together around the rack as well to keep the bag from bouncing.
Best everyday backpack
Strange as it may sound, I frequent the coffee shop in downtown often to get some remote work done. Since testing this bag it has become a permanent fixture to my daily commuter bike. Not only being able to load it up inside the house and put all my essentials in there I can walk it out the garage attach it to the bike and when I finally get to the shop, take it off and quickly turn it back into a backpack to bring inside.
I was hinting earlier that 22L is the best size, in fact I often think its still too big. That is until I need to stop by the grocery store on the way home. For those quick pit stops it’s nice to have that spare room and the bag doesn’t get heavier by being empty.
Another neat feature Two Wheel Gear brings not only to this pack but many of their offerings, is the MAS Helmet attachment, this is a simple J hook clasp that allows you to strap your helmet to the bag when not riding. Having had many packs over the years that allow for helmet attachment I’ve never been fully sold, but the MAS system TWG uses keeps the helmet tight and prevents it from bouncing around and bopping your in the face unwarranted.
Is it worth it?
With a list price of $179 it is on the higher side of panniers and backpacks, but if you were to buy both of those things individually you’d probably be close. If your bike has a rack system already, I couldn’t think of a higher quality two in one pack to use daily. I’d say we tend to test things… enthusiastically. Rough weather, packed as full as possible, taking it on trails in the woods to bounce it around, after a few months of abuse it still looks new and has shown no signs of needing a bandaid to keep it going.
There’s always a couple things that you have to look out for when it comes to gear and It took a while for us to find them out. As a backpack, the full length zipper to open up is great for gaining access and stuffing your things in. When its on the rack in pannier mode, the zipper can nudge down a bit too quickly from weight on the front pockets and you’ll find yourself catching things before they fall out. I could see a snap or strap at the halfway point to help keep the front of the bag from opening fully on accident. The water bottle holders, this is something I go back and forth on with many backpacks. They are on the smaller size when it comes to water bottles making it hard to find the right bottles that will fit it. For example, my 32oz Hydorflask far exceeds the elastic mesh pocket, but have found more narrow bottles that work great.
Our takeaway is that Two Wheel Gear makes fine gear that is durable and it comes at a slightly higher cost. That’s the price you pay to get quality gear that’ll last. It’s been the perfect size for daily rides and carry’s more than enough gear.