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DanielR
04-24-2009, 10:33 AM
Hi all,

I'd appreciate any advice on selecting a backpack for a heavy dogi, hakama, belt and a few additional small articles (a laptop sleeve would be a big plus :-) ). I've been using a regular duffel-type gym bag, but it's not really commuter-friendly.

A question for folks that own Bujin's Dogi Pack (http://www.bujindesign.com/product_info.php?cPath=33_55&products_id=131) - do you think this pack can hold a heavy dogi? My biggest concern is the volume necessary for the jacket - I use Tozando's double-layered ones, and they're pretty sizable and won't fold more than in half without some persuasion :-)

Thanks in advance!
Daniel

barron
04-24-2009, 11:00 AM
Check out REI (MEC if you're a Canuck) for an 60 Litre expedition pack with ergonomic fit.

Only kidding.

I know what you mean it's a pain especially with the heavier dogi. When I can get all my gear into the backpack to cycle to a practice I still have my weapons to worry about. One day I was going to practice and a police helicopter started circling the area. It dawned on me that my weapons case slung over my shoulder looked a lot life a rifle case !!!!!!!!!!!!! Dooooh.

Oh to be a white belt again so I only have to pack my white pyjamas....................

Neal Earhart
04-24-2009, 11:20 AM
Just go to a site like ebags.com.

I have a nice Victorinox backpack...can't remember the style though. It has a padded laptop pouch. It easily carries two gis, hakama, belt and some other stuff. Nice gel-padded shoulder-straps too. I've had the backpack for about 4 years now...excellent quality...

lifeafter2am
04-24-2009, 12:03 PM
Hi all,

I'd appreciate any advice on selecting a backpack for a heavy dogi, hakama, belt and a few additional small articles (a laptop sleeve would be a big plus :-) ). I've been using a regular duffel-type gym bag, but it's not really commuter-friendly.

A question for folks that own Bujin's Dogi Pack (http://www.bujindesign.com/product_info.php?cPath=33_55&products_id=131) - do you think this pack can hold a heavy dogi? My biggest concern is the volume necessary for the jacket - I use Tozando's double-layered ones, and they're pretty sizable and won't fold more than in half without some persuasion :-)

Thanks in advance!
Daniel

I have the Traveling Samurai, which is essentially a Dogi Pack with a weapons case built in. This pack carries two of my heavy weight Judo gi's no problem. There are two separate compartments, so I guess you could put a laptop in one of them, it would certainly fit, but wouldn't have all that much padding around it.

Nick P.
04-24-2009, 01:22 PM
I was really presently surprised when I used this one; we bought it to use as a "baby bag/rapid pediatric response bag", but I pressed it into dojo service recently...

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442545281&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302699713&bmUID=1240596108478

I was able to get my heavy Iwata jacket, pants and hakama plus flip-flops and toiletries AND a spare dress shirt into that. Nice.

The problem with these types of bags is as they get loaded up, they expand outwards and away from your back and result in lots of pressure on the shoulder vs. the hips, but they do have the advantage of opening wider due to that same design (versus the top loaders, which are great for walking/hiking/riding, but aren't so handy when packing/unpacking, in my experience).

Thanks Neil for that ebags link, but why dont they list capacity for their bags? Odd. Those Patagonia packs are sweet.

I have recently seen some (Deuter) packs with a small external frame that keeps the pack of your back, allowing air to circulate more freely; a nice touch and a feature I will be looking for for my next bag for sure.

Good luck.

DanielR
04-24-2009, 04:08 PM
Thank you all for your advice! Looks like some more research is in order.

Andrew B. - I actually took my 80 liter expedition-type backpack for a week-long trip to Japan a few years ago :-) Had two heavy gi's in it, some clothes and all that... definitely an overkill for day-to-day dojo trips though :-)

Neil - thanks for the link! If I have to go this route, I'll probably pay a visit to one of the local outdoors/travel stores with my daily dojo load, try a few packs and then find the winner on ebags to save some $$.

Andrew H. - one more question about the Dogi Pack - is it long enough so that you can fold your jacket in half and put it inside, or do you have to fold it more?

Nick - this is exactly the problem with these smaller day backpacks - weight distribution is far from ideal when they get stuffed with dojo gear. An excellent hint about Deuter packs with external frame - will definitely look into those.

Thanks again,
Daniel

James Davis
04-24-2009, 04:29 PM
I have the Traveling Samurai, which is essentially a Dogi Pack with a weapons case built in. This pack carries two of my heavy weight Judo gi's no problem. There are two separate compartments, so I guess you could put a laptop in one of them, it would certainly fit, but wouldn't have all that much padding around it.

I have one of these bags too, and it's great. Theoretically, one could fold a clean gi around a laptop...

lifeafter2am
04-24-2009, 04:30 PM
Thank you all for your advice! Looks like some more research is in order.

Andrew H. - one more question about the Dogi Pack - is it long enough so that you can fold your jacket in half and put it inside, or do you have to fold it more?

Thanks again,
Daniel

I fold the sleeves behind the back, and then fold it once in half.

Nick P.
04-27-2009, 08:07 AM
This whole thing has got me to thinking more on this topic....curse you Daniel!

At a recent seminar, someone arrived with one of those small, MLC (maximum legal carry-on) rolling suitcases; normally, I think those things are, to be polite and oversimplify, silly for urban use, and even in their intended environments (airports, hotels, etc) transitioning to and from escalators, stairs, loading and unloading areas and vehicles they tend to get very clumsy. I am talking about the smaller, lighter bags, clearly wheels for larger & heavier bags rule.

However, seeing how well it worked for him in the changing room, I was impressed; rigid sides, a whole side that zips open and folds away, and the contents are easily accessible.

If I could find one without those silly wheels and only had the pack straps, I would get one of those.

Also to note, and maybe it is just me, but whenever I transport my hakama in a backpack, sandwiched in there tightly with the gi, it inevitably ends up getting mushed as everything settles to the bottom. Not sure there is a way around that....

DanielR
04-27-2009, 09:54 AM
Curios - I've been thinking along similar lines, Nick, but rather than getting rid of the wheels I was thinking they could in fact come in quite handy; I commute to NYC frequently, and being able to wheel the pack instead of hauling it on one's shoulders is an appealing advantage to me.

This one is on the expensive side, but illustrates what I'm taking about:

Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Pack 22'' (http://www.ebags.com/osprey/sojourn_22/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=104918)

TeppoLeinonen
05-12-2009, 05:52 AM
I use a North Face Base Camp , not quite sure which size, need to check back at home, but probably not that largest at 32". It fits plenty of stuff; zori, kneepads, couple of gi, hakama, spare clothes.

http://www.ebags.com/search/index.cfm?fuseaction=endecasearch&n=0&lastterm=north+face+base+camp&Ntt=north+face+base+camp

One problem I have with it is the fat there's no good way to fasten my weapons case. (Doing mainly iaido these days, so I haul a hardcase designed for a pair of shotguns, it fits the pair of iaito and a bokken nicely).

The bag is roomy enough, and while not immersion-proof, it still keeps the contents dry in even some serious autumn rains.

Nick P.
05-12-2009, 08:03 PM
...and again at this past weekend's Mary Heiney Sensei seminar in Burlington VT seminar, a couple of people had those small suitcases; wonder if it is any coincidence they were also Quebecers.

Linda Eskin
05-24-2009, 01:25 PM
Thanks for starting this discussion! I have been looking for some kind of gym bag, but nothing I was finding locally was what I wanted (separate compartments, ventilation, backpack-type strap...)

Did you see this "Laptop Satchel"?

http://www.bujindesign.com/product_info.php?cPath=33_55&products_id=323

"For weekdays, weekends, or workouts at the dojo, this sleek Laptop Satchel is most remarkable for its versatility - it can be a protective laptop bag, an overnighter, or most importantly, of course a Martial Arts Uniform Bag! Fully padded with closed-cell foam, this satchel has one lockable, roomy main compartment and a second expandable compartment - perfect for separating damp dogi from dry items (or when in work mode, laptop from file folders). ..."

That looks like it might do the trick for you.

Linda

DanielR
05-24-2009, 06:34 PM
Hi Linda,

Thanks a lot for the tip - I didn't know Bu Jin had these! Definitely will give this one some thought. For the time being I've been using a larger version of the Osprey roller backpack I mentioned above, and I really like the fact I don't have to haul it on my shoulders during my commute. I do have to tolerate regular remarks of the type "running away from home?" though :-)

Best of luck in your Aikido journey, and I hope your shoulder heals quickly and completely!

Cheers,
Daniel

Linda Eskin
05-25-2009, 01:23 AM
HI Daniel,

I ordered the Dogi Backpack today. I'll post here what i think of it once I get it. (It sure looks nice on their site!) I liked the other garment bag kind for the ventilation, but it looked floppier than I wanted, so I went with the backpack. I've been wrapping my flip-flops in a rag so they don't get my dogi dirty. Now they can have their own compartment (I think...)

That company also sells buckwheat-hull pillows, which I like, and have been looking for, so one of those is on the way, too. :D

If you find an otherwise-perfect bag, remember that you can buy padded laptop sleeves to protect your laptop. I know REI has a bunch of them.

Thank you for the good wishes for my shoulder. I am trying to ignore the cute wooden sign that hangs from a ribbon on my office door ("Patience My A**") and really let it heal. A rolling bag might not be a bad idea, but most are so noisy, and I find it hard on both shoulders and wrists to keep control of the darned things. Whoulda thunk toting the gear around would be such a workout! :p

Linda