two wheel GEAR Pannier Backpack Convertible 2.0 Lite Review
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First Take On The two wheel GEAR Pannier Backpack Convertible 2.0 Lite
How can you not love a versatile backpack and pannier combination! In particular, what we have here is fantastic solution for the on-the-go biker combined with a bit of a commuter in mind. The two wheel GEAR Pannier Backpack Convertible 2.0 Lite is a two-in-one carrier that is user-friendly, and can serve a multitude of users. It works as a lone backpack, a commuter bike pannier, as well as a more intense bike-packing piece of gear.
two wheel GEAR is one of those great entrepreneurial stories with its start in a basement. A Calgary basement to be exact. As the name suggests, two wheel GEAR’s focus is on the pedal powered mode of transportation. As well as being able to efficiently place a multitude of bags onto a bike. Every nook and cranny of a particular bike can be outfitted with one of their bags. Check it out HERE.
two wheel GEAR attempts to hit all angles when naming this product. It’s a mouthful if you have to say the whole thing, but the ‘Convertible 2.0 Lite’ hit the sweet spot. It captures the spirit of this piece, and I look forward to taking this backpack / pannier out for a spin or two!
- Dimensions: 5″ Wide x 17″ High x 6″ Deep
- Volume: 22 Liters
- Weight: 8 lbs / 1.27 kg
- Material: Recycled 600D Poly Ripstop fabric with TPE waterproof coating
- Converts from pannier to backpack in seconds
- Secure, fast attachment to standard racks sized 6-16 mm
- Padded 15-inch laptop sleeve
- Quick access soft pocket for phone or sunglasses
- Bottle pockets with umbrella/U-lock strap
- Reflective design with loop for light
- Modular Attachment System (M.A.S.) / Helmet Attachment
- Includes high visibility rain cover
Let’s Break This Convertible 2.0 Lite Down
First of all, we have the Black Ripstop recycled material. The backpack is waterproof and sustainably made which is a key feature. Time will tell how durable and long-lasting this Convertible 2.0 Lite will be, but the initial impression is encouraging and positive. The seams, stitching, and construction are clean and look like they can stand up to a bit of abuse. Bikes in my life are dealt the occasional scratch, bump, or tumble. It happens, and this pannier backpack will likely have to suffer and withstand a somewhat similar fate.
I always trend towards black or dark in my apparel and gear selections, because it simply wears longer and never gets dirty… in theory. It certainly does get dirty and obtains those scuff marks, etc. However, in the darker color, I likely won’t see or notice it as much.
KICKfix pannier system
This attachment system is kind of what drives the Convertible 2.0 Lite and its user friendly nature. Moreover, this German made product is efficient with adjustability to fit many racks. The dimensions or range go from the outside of the plastic cross brace towards the middle. The simplicity and time it takes to attach and detach is what will make or break this product for me. Having said that, I can’t be messing around too long trying to undo my backpack when I’m trying to get to my office.
The two black clips on either side easily slide right onto your rack. A variation in rack size is adjusted by pushing a black button on the top and sliding it over (see the above left and middle photos). The middle red button pushes down and up, as well as backwards and forwards to “lock” the KICKfix system into place. Super effective in my opinion. I experienced no movement of my pack despite the fact that I took it on all sorts of surface types.
Waterproof Wet Bag And A Rain Cover
The exterior material can certainly handle its fair share of splash and some rain or snow moisture. That said, tucked away in its very own pouch is a handy little rain cover. The rain cover takes up no space at all, and unfolds quickly to battle a more severe rain event. Equipped with a stretch outer, the rain cover can be in place in no time flat.
The wet bag is great. Particularly so when I go for a swim workout before going into the office. I save my important files from getting destroyed, because I can fit my swim jammers and a very small towel in the bag.
Putting the Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack Convertible 2.0 Lite to the Test
My rather old backpack will normally give me quite a sweaty back when the temperatures go over 70 degrees. This two wheel GEAR Pannier Backpack Convertible 2.0 Lite is the perfect solution. I specifically ordered the smaller “Lite” version with a volume of 22 liters. In addition, they also make the 30L version, and I can definitely see that one being used more for the bike packer. Furthermore, if you need to bring a change of clothes, etc., you might want to go for the 30L version. At the moment, I am commuting as much as I can, and I figured a slightly smaller and nimble version would work best.
Stowing and stashing all the necessities is a cinch, because all the pockets are organized and sized appropriately. I am still trying to figure out all the various nuances and pockets that work best for me, but what may suit my style, might not work for you. Play around with it!
The 15” padded laptop pocket is key for me. I’ve broken a computer before in my normal pack when it hit the ground, and I feel that this will keep it secure. The velcro strap is long and strong to keep my valuable computer snug as a rug.
The sports and outdoor adventures in my life are aplenty. Therefore, the gear required can certainly add up. Having said that, I really like classic design and simplicity. Get me something good that will last, and I will wear or use it for years. For reference, I have my favorite cycling shoes (6 yrs.), running jacket (9 yrs), and ski coat (8 yrs).
The two wheel GEAR Pannier Backpack Convertible 2.0 Lite has quick release straps that make that conversion from pannier to backpack.
First, the photo on the right demonstrates that you simply push the straps down into the pocket. Secondly, you simply fold the fabric along with the straps to the inside, and tuck it down. Lastly, the photo on the left shows the backpack straps tucked away and ready for attachment to the bike.
I push the red clip down, and it is locked in place. I am now ready to go. On the flipside, you can push it back and up, and then can grab the bag with the handle for easy removal. Keep in mind to also unclip the bottom portion that keeps it from bounding around (below).
I commute to work via bike about once or twice a week. More so, my wife steps it up even more with 3-4 bike rides per week to her work. With this Convertible 2.0 Lite, we have something that looks and feels the part that could last us for years to come.
Finally, one last touch is the ability to bring 2 good bottles of hydration along. The stretch pockets are pretty tight, and at first I didn’t think my bottles would fit. There is good reason for it, because the bottles are staying put. On one side, there is even the velcro strap to ensure taller bottles will also be secure.
Final Thoughts On The two Wheel GEAR Pannier Backpack Convertible 2.0 Lite
In conclusion, the Convertible 2.0 Lite brings forth a real niche product to satisfy the daily commuter, day tripper, traveler, bike packer, etc. Transforming the pack to a pannier is quite simple and I applaud that feature. For that reason, I give this two Wheel GEAR Pannier Backpack Convertible 2.0 Lite several thumbs up. Furthermore, the various well thought-out compartments fit a multitude of work and sports gear requirements. If you would like to check one out for yourself, visit www.rei.com or www.amazon.com.