Sewing - Bike Rack Bag / Backpack

rack bag
Carries sleep pad, quilt, clothes, tarp, bugbivy, plastic pole for rear of tarp (front of tarp is supported by hiking staff carried in stickholder). Rack bag plus contents listed only weighs 3.2 kilos, with most of the weight concentrated towards the front, so the large bulk hanging off the back is not a problem. Sometimes I compress the ordinary contents of the rack bag to make room for extra food. This weight is also concentrated towards the front of the rack bag, plus this is the first food I would eat, so the extra weight does last long. Rack bag not waterproof, so quilt should be stored in large silnylon stuff sack with plastic liner (see here). Capacity about 50L, Weighs 605 grams.

Note LED tail light mounted using 1" strap on bottom of rack bag. Tail light normally stored in panniers for protection, since I try to avoid cycling in the dark and hence seldom need a tail light. Thorn rack has an optional bracket for mounting tail lights. However, because rack bag tends to sag slightly at the rear, and would thus obscure any light attached to the optional rack bracket, it is better to mount tail light on rack bag.

rack bag tilted
Rack bag in tilted position, allowing easy access to contents and easy loading/unloading of panniers.

Photos above do not show the second 1"strap for attaching to rack. This second strap was added later, as a spare in case the primary strap fails. Such a failure is unlikely, but would be a nuisance if it did occur. Normally, the spare strap is kept tied away with the shoulder straps, but could be used together with the primary strap to tie the rackbag more securely to the rack.

rack bag as backpack
Shoulder straps allow use as backpack: (a) to offload weight from bike to make it easier to push through sand; (b) for day trips when bike is left behind; (c) for hiking out to civilization in case bike falls apart in a remote area. Optional hip straps can also be added. Since I seldom use the rackbag as a backpack, and then only for short periods of time, I removed the hip straps to reduce weight and clutter.

Materials

Pattern

rackbag pattern

Shoulder pads

rack bag shoulder pads
Note dual straps on right shoulder pad.

Rack bag