Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pack your bags!

I have a confession to make: I might be related to Dora the Explorer.

No, I'm not Mexican, nor do I condone keeping monkeys as pets, but, when I go on adventures (to the barn), I do have a backpack with me, or at least a bag of some sort. I used to throw everything into my helmet bag; I outgrew it. Then I threw all my things into a sling bag; I outgrew it. At that point, I started looking into getting one of those helmet backpacks. There are a few of them floating around with enticing price tags. Here's a few.
N. Outfitters Ringside Pack
GPA Helmet Backpack
Grand Prix Rider's Backpack
Under Armour Rider's Backpack
The Hacksack
Grand Prix Helmet Backpack

As nice as these bags are (especially the Hacksack, and it comes in more colors!), once I graduated up from the sling bag, I just started using an old school backpack. We've accumulated a collection over the years; my mom tends to get me a new one every other year. I put a lot of wear on my school bags. The backpack that I am using now is actually the same one that I take to shows with me as my overnight bag. I figured, if it worked for that, it could work as an everyday barn bag.

So far, it's done the job well. I have two compartments with a laptop sleeve. The largest compartment holds my tall boots which I just fold and put in gently. The smaller compartment holds my helmet which I strongly suggest you pack visor up. I have an Ovation with the visor that snaps back, but I know that my IRH has a visor designed to shatter easily, so be careful if your helmet has the same feature. I also face the opening of the helmet towards my back. That leaves more space in the largest compartment. I put my binder, a book, and any paperwork I need in the laptop sleeve. My phone, keys, money/wallet, and other small items go into various smaller pockets on the back of the bag, and a water bottle goes in the water bottle holder.

Dirty, abused, and overused
It works well for me, so, if you're not interested in buying a bag designed for the barn, then I suggest looking at heavy duty, double compartment backpacks. Now that school is about to be back in session *cringes*, there are going to be some great sales going on. Staples is your friend! My sister, while not a rider, recommends the North Face backpacks since they are durable, but they are definitely going to cost more money than a basic backpack.

If you like any of the bags listed above:
GPA Helmet Backpack
Grand Prix Rider's Backpack
Noble Outfitters Ringside Pack
Under Armour Rider's Backpack
Grand Prix Helmet Backpack
The Hacksack

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