Author Topic: Need a large lightweight bag  (Read 3062 times)

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Offline PeteJack

Need a large lightweight bag
« on: April 14, 2012, 02:46:37 pm »
I'm flying to Europe next month to do the North Sea Cycle Route from Bergen. I plan on keeping my airline bag count down to 2 by: using my boxed bike as one 'bag' and having a large duffel bag containing my paniers, sleeping bag, tent etc as a second bag. Now here's the challenge: the only duffel bag large enough that I have found so far is a canvas army type bag that weighs a ton (probably 2 tons when wet) and doesn't fold up small. Does anyone know of a large bag made of strong light tear-proof nylon stuff  that I can take on tour that will roll up small? The other one is so clumsy I'm thinking of tossing it when I get there and finding something else for the trip back.

Offline tsteven4

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2012, 04:31:45 pm »
You may want to consider checking your bike, with any bits that you can't carry on, e.g. a knife, and carrying on the rest.  we usually put one nearly empty front pannier in the box with the bike holding the restricted items.  be sure to tie the pannier to the bike in case the box gets ripped.  We usually put the tent poles and blue foam sleeping pad in the bike box also.  Don't overstuff the bike box, try to keep it as light as you can.  Then we carry on the other front pannier, and the two back panniers snapped together. we stuff our sleeping bags and tent into one of the panniers.   wear your helmet.  wear your bike shoes.  wear your coat.   you may be at the carry on limit, but we have never had a problem.   we evolved to this system after years of putting the panniers in their own box and checking them.  the only trick is finding a bike box for the return flight.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2012, 04:58:27 pm »
We tend to use the cheap collapsable duffel from Walmart.  They come in several sizes and are cheap enough at $14 for the large one.  I have carried on on the whole tour once, but would be more likely to mail it home.



It folds zips into a fairly thin package the size of the end panel.

Another thing I do if I am starting a tour and not coming back to the start city is to use a $7 or so thrift store suitcase so I can throw it away at the start of the tour.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 05:01:30 pm by staehpj1 »

Offline PeteJack

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2012, 05:49:46 pm »
Quote
$7 or so thrift store suitcase
I like the sound of that. Do you think they have thrift stores in Amsterdam?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2012, 08:39:44 pm »
You can use a cardboard box, and then throw it away.

I don't think I would ever consider carrying a duffel bag on a long tour. If I use a duffel bag, I throw it away at the start. It seems a shame to throw away a brand new $14 bag, but to me, that's better than carrying it around for months. I suppose if there was a post office handy, I could mail it home, but that would cost a significant percentage of what its worth. Besides, I've got enough duffel bags at home anyway.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2012, 09:14:03 am »
You can use a cardboard box, and then throw it away.
I have done the cardboard box thing and it worked out OK.  One thing I will note is that the airline made me sign something saying that they were not responsible for any damage to the contents.

Generally I prefer the thrift store suitcase method, except lately I have found that I can fit everything including bike and gear in a bike soft case.  It is easy to manage since the whole deal carries nicely with it's shoulder strap.  It does wind up costing about $12-15 to mail it home though.  It would work even better if you have a place to mail it to at the end of your tour.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2012, 12:45:26 pm »
lately I have found that I can fit everything including bike and gear in a bike soft case
This probably only works for an ultralight tourer such as yourself. Otherwise the airline overweight charges will make it impractical.

Offline tonupgilly

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2012, 05:50:00 pm »
When we have been motorcycle touring we used a large stuff bag which is just a pvc zippered barrel shaped bag - totally waterproof and very lightweight, with detachable shoulder strap.  It will also fold up fairly small.  The one we used is made by Hein Gericke and only cost £4.99 (about $7 I think).  I would easily get my camping pad and sleeping bag in it plus some clothing, shoes and probably a few more bits too.  There are smaller versions of the same bag (I think there are three sizes altogether to choose from) The bag used to sit across the top of my motorcycle panniers.  If we went walking in the mountains, we would stuff our leathers and boots into it and leave it on my alarmed bike - so it does hold a lot. When not in use it was rolled up and shoved in a pannier.  Have not needed to use it when cycling, but I would think it will do the job just fine.  There will be lots of motorcycle shops in Amsterdam and Hein Gericke stuff is very popular in Europe.  Also, it's not such a great expense if you threw it away.

Offline dombrosk

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 05:41:16 am »
On my last tour in Europe I was able to get an amazing amount into a North Face Base Camp duffel
http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/sc-gear/equipment-luggage_duffels-filter-category-carry/base-camp-duffel-large.html
It's not something you'd want to throw away... I took a 12x12" cardboard box (flat in the duffel) with me and then mailed it to my last-night-stay from the airport in Amsterdam. 
Probably too expensive for some folks, but I've found it handy for other uses than bike touring.  I like having something sturdy enough to put trekking poles and hiking boots into with no worries about tearing.

Offline PeteJack

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2012, 11:10:08 am »
Thanks to all repliers. The North Face bag looks just the ticket but the price brings tears to my eyes.. I now have to chose: disposable (Walmart) vs reusable (NF). I'm off to the NF store now to have a look (and taking the bus to save money) Now if i can get Mrs PJ to bless it....

Offline staehpj1

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2012, 11:45:17 am »
lately I have found that I can fit everything including bike and gear in a bike soft case
This probably only works for an ultralight tourer such as yourself. Otherwise the airline overweight charges will make it impractical.
Maybe, but taking some of the heavier stuff in a carry-on bag would extend the range of folks it might work for quite a bit.  The carry on could maybe be something you would take any way.  I have a little 10 ounce 18 liter backpack that I like to carry that would suffice.

Offline patrickstoneking

Re: Need a large lightweight bag
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2012, 04:17:56 pm »
I use a larger, water resistant bright yellow bag from NOMAR (http://nomaralaska.com/round.htm) in SEATARP fabric.  The bag is highly rain resistant, indestructible, and you could easily use it on the tour itself.  Reuse is much better than use once and toss.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 04:23:41 pm by patrickstoneking »