laptop by bike

it's not my laptop and i can't leave it at work. what's the safest way of transporting the damn thing? i've used panniers since forever, but i can't help thinking a backpack has a sliiiiightly better chance of not hitting the ground if it came to a crash. i resent the thing already, don't want to resent it even more by having to replace it from personal funds.

do people have preferences, anecdotes, tips? it's a six-month contract, just long enough to make me nuts if i don't ride for that long, not long enough to make personal trial-and-error very attractive.


  • CafeRacer808
    CafeRacer808 Posts: 2,396 Member
    edited January 2017
    There was a time when I was riding my motorcycle to work frequently, and I always had my laptop with me. I definitely preferred riding with it in a backpack vs. a messenger bag because two shoulders carrying a load is better than one.

    You shouldn't have any problem finding a laptop-specific backpack that will provide enough protection in the event of a crash. If you're looking for an added layer of protection, you can put your laptop in a laptop sleeve before putting it in the bag. There's a company called Booq that makes some pretty great commuter backpacks for laptops, but I've also used North Face backpacks and, currently, a Mission Workshop bag. All three have served me well. If you're REALLY concerned about impact protection, a hardshell backpack like a Boblbee might be the way to go.

    Also, if you're going to be lugging a bunch of other stuff to work along with the laptop (charger/power brick, computer accessories, lunch, paperwork, etc) and weight is a concern, look for a backpack with a waist strap. This definitely came in handy and saved my shoulders when I had a long commute visiting a site. You might also want to get a small zippered pouch so you can keep all your laptop accessories (cables, headphones, mouse and whatnot) organized and in one place. I like a company called Waterfield, but there are plenty of other options out there. Hope this helps!

    (Edited to break this up into paragraphs, because a wall of text is hard to read.)
  • 35dollars
    35dollars Posts: 830 Member
    Panniers, all the way. Keep the weight low down and off your back as it's more comfortable, doesn't affect your centre of gravity as much, and if you do fall off it's not going to fall as far.

    When I was toting my laptop all the time, I made a sleeve for it out of bubble wrap - total cost about £0.05, and then put that in the pannier.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member

    If you have it in a backpack and come off you're landing on top of it.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 23,645 Member
    Yep ... panniers.

    I hauled a small one around the world with me on an 8-month tour and it was fine.
  • __TMac__
    __TMac__ Posts: 1,665 Member
    I just shove my laptop backpack into one of my grocery-getter wire baskets. Then if I actually hit the grocery store on the way home, I wear the backpack. I'm not too worried about it, but my rides aren't long and traffic around here is light. In your situation, I'd probably get a well-protected backpack, which would still be handy to have once the contract expires.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    thanks guys. i'm torn but i guess i'll just play it by ear since i have both options.

    funny thing though . . . i've used panniers for years and this past week of mostly backpacking seems like it's actually straightened out a one-sided neck thing i've been fighting with since way before that. the problem with panniers is once you're off the bike they're a one-handed thing and if you tote any significant weight that can add up.