Wearing a loaded backpack also tends to cause a lot of unneeded stress on my lower back. This is where I started the search for an alternative to carrying my stuff on my back. The one that most suited my needs was a type of pannier system. After a solid month of internet searches, and posting questions on forum walls I chose a model by Topeak: the DXP Trunkbag.
The capacity is 22.6 liters. This size has proven to be more than enough for me, even on days when I am hauling my laptop, power cord, coffee, school book, pad of paper and a snack. In fact, with such a load I can still make my way to the library and pick up a few of my reserved items as well. The size is great.
See how easily the shoulder strap can be put so that it does not have to be removed
As mentioned earlier it is a bummer carrying a large load on your back, and you are often limited to how much you can carry based on the weight. Never fear with this item, the only limiting factor to how much it can carry is the rack strength!
Attaching the DXP to a rack is so easy and convenient that anyone could do it without worrying about the ability of your lashing skills:
The attached rail on the bottom of the bag simply slides into the corresponding slot on the Topeak rack, and;
Then clips securely into place, making attachment pretty worry free.
I have been using this combo for three solid weeks of daily commuting and I have yet to notice any wobble at all. Once you clip this in it is there to stay, what a great idea.
The bag comes with a shoulder strap (which I leave attached to the unit for ease of use) as well as a movable internal dividing wall (mine is placed in the left of the image). The divider is great to keep items from moving around inside the bag.
I bought the additional rain cover, which I have not had to use yet, but when I do I will update this.
The DXP on my Schwinn Trailway Commuter
I have nothing bad to say about this unit as of three weeks in. I am very happy with my purchase. Some reviewers say that they hit their feet on the panniers when they are extended, but I have not had this problem yet, if you have such a problem there is a good chance that a slight adjustment in the position of the the rack will remedy the situation.
Before using this system I used the Osprey Momentum backpack, but my load for school was getting heavier and heavier, I sweat too much and there was no room to pick anything extra after class. This trunk/ pannier set-up is definitely the way to go, now I can take supplier for class, extras to study and still have room for after/ pre class errands.
If you have any questions please ask, I will happily answer them as quick as I can.
Burn carbs not oil!