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Q:

Is a water-resistant, expandable commuter bag too much to ask for?

I'm looking for a backpack for commuting (note: I'm not interested in panniers). The ideal pack would have a ventilated back and expandable volume—some days it's just for work clothes, but some days I'll throw in a book or my computer. Internal pockets would be good, and water resistance is a plus. Designer Dan The District of Columbia

A:

Really, I should think that most any pack would work—just about everything out there can be expanded or cinched down, and it’s no big deal to find one that can fit one of the Eagle Creek organizers (great things; $22 for the 15" size).

But, certainly some packs are better than others. Patagonia makes a purpose-built commuting pack called the Vertical Mass ($125). It has lots of internal pockets and organizers such as a computer sleeve, a pouch for eyeglasses or small electronics, a water bottle pocket, and more. It has shoulder straps, of course, but it also has handles, so you can carry it like a briefcase.

Really, I should think that most any pack would work—just about everything out there can be expanded or cinched down, and it’s no big deal to find one that can fit one of the Eagle Creek organizers (great things; $22 for the 15" size).

But, certainly some packs are better than others. Patagonia makes a purpose-built commuting pack called the Vertical Mass ($125). It has lots of internal pockets and organizers such as a computer sleeve, a pouch for eyeglasses or small electronics, a water bottle pocket, and more. It has shoulder straps, of course, but it also has handles, so you can carry it like a briefcase.

Really, I should think that most any pack would work—just about everything out there can be expanded or cinched down, and it’s no big deal to find one that can fit one of the Eagle Creek organizers (great things; $22 for the 15" size).

But, certainly some packs are better than others. Patagonia makes a purpose-built commuting pack called the Vertical Mass ($125). It has lots of internal pockets and organizers such as a computer sleeve, a pouch for eyeglasses or small electronics, a water bottle pocket, and more. It has shoulder straps, of course, but it also has handles, so you can carry it like a briefcase.

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