Backpack for Running Commute
I bought this pack to facilitate running to work (4.5 miles one way) on the weeks that I am on call and have to take my laptop home with me. My requirements were that I needed a pack that would allow me to strap my laptop securely to my body to minimize bouncing and yet allow me to run relatively comfortably.
We are a single-car family. My normal mode of operation is to have my wife drop me off at work on Monday with clothing and food for the week. Then, I run to and from work during the week and on Friday she picks me up after work so that I can take home my dirty clothes and empty food containers to prepare for the next week. For normal weeks, I only carry a small fanny pack to and from work -- enough to hold my ID badge and one or two small items. My job requirements recently changed such that one week out of five I will be on call and will need to take my laptop computer home with me each night. I purchased this pack after my running consistency was wrecked during the first week that I was on call. Though I have yet to have a turn in the pager rotation since I bought the pack, I have used it twice to commute and once just as a test running from home.
For running, I find that trying to fit the pack as recommended does not work for me. With the hip belt resting on my hips, there was too much bouncing and after I adjusted the shoulder straps to reduce the bouncing, the hip belt was resting well above my hips. I just snugged it up where it rested and it seems to work well. My pack is a medium. I thought of returning it for a large sized pack, but I think that I would still have the hip belt pulled up off of my hips and this one should be sized appropriately if I ever use it for hiking.
* It works. I am able to run the 4.5 miles between work and home with my laptop with minimal bouncing once I get the straps adjusted. I do sometimes have to readjust straps while en route, but that is easy to do. It is great that I won't have my training disrupted so much the next time that I'm carrying the pager and that I won't need to get a ride home when I occasionally have to bring my laptop home for some after-hours work.
* Compression straps. The compression straps hold the laptop securely to prevent bouncing.
* AirSpeed suspension. I really like this. Though I do get warmer wearing the pack, I sometimes feel a refreshing breeze blow across my back. Very nice.
* Rain cover. Though I have not used it, I appreciate the fact that it has an integrated rain cover in the event that I get caught in the rain between home and work.
* The Stow on the Go trekking pole attachment on the left shoulder strap rubbed the inside of my arm a couple of times when I was reaching to adjust straps or wipe sweat from my brow. It seemed like something that could cause chafing if I ever did decide to run farther than 4.5 miles. Since I will never be using trekking poles, I cut it off. Problem solved.
This pack definitely allows me to do what I want to do even though "running commute" is not listed among the recommended uses. Personally, I would recommend that a person try to avoid running with a backpack if possible because it is simply nicer to run without one. If, however, you cannot avoid it, I think that this pack can work well.