Baggage suggestions?

I usually ride with a small family team with our own support vehicle, but my sibs are thinking about starting the route about a third of the way in and I’m toying with starting on my own in Council Bluffs and meeting up with them later in the week. So – thinking about the baggage truck, and packing a bag for same. I don’t have a suitable bag and am looking for suggestions. I want something sturdy, big enough to hold my tent, bedding, etc., but not overly heavy on its own. It would be nice if I could carry it either by the handle or on my back. I am 59 years old and a sturdy but not burly grandma. Any suggestions?

20 Replies

jelly0317, March 19, 2019 at 6:43 pm

Army surplus-type duffel bags work well. Attach something eye-catching to the outside to make it easier to spot in the baggage area. Put all of your clothes in sealable plastic bags.

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Gypsy Rose, March 19, 2019 at 6:44 pm

For much of my life (on the water and on land), I have been a fan of the Bill’s Bag (which I also use for RAGBRAI). They’re simple, durable, waterproof (in case your baggage gets left out in the rain), and can be carried on your back (but not meant for long-distance hiking). I have a large one (110L) that I use for RAGBRAI, but I also have a 65L version for times when I’m not carrying as much.

Cheers,
~ Kevin

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jwsknk, March 20, 2019 at 7:50 am

can you arrange to have the others bring some of your stuff, then you only need to pack for 2-3 days.

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trek2300, March 20, 2019 at 8:38 am

Bag wise, there are myriad brands and price ranges available. Some bags will last nearly forever and others…not so much. However, I’m a firm believer in wheeled duffel bags. Rolling a bag, even over rough terrain, is significantly less challenging than carrying it.

Have a great RAGBRAI!

#1301225

turtlePacker, March 20, 2019 at 11:13 am

Yeah, that’s my plan. Unfortunately doesn’t make tent any smaller!

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Chris, March 20, 2019 at 2:21 pm

Though you are limited to one bag/person, up to 50lbs, the tent can be clipped to the outside of the main bag so it doesn’t take up room in the bag. I’d suggest doing this for a second reason: almost every morning, your tent will be wet with dew, and sitting in a hot bag just makes everything in your main bag damp.

Like the others said, bag selection is going to really depend on if you’re packing for 2 days before you meet up with the rest of your team, or you’re packing for all week. For two-three days, I’d suggest going with a surplus military rucksack, as they can be had for cheap money, are pretty roomy, and carry on your back just fine. For a full week’s worth of stuff a backpack can get pretty heavy, especially after a long day. A duffel with a reinforced bottom that you can just drag, or with wheels, is a good bet for that.

Perhaps the biggest thing, though: think COLOR! Make it bright and easy to find in the claim area. It’w way, way better than it used to be, too. Years ago it was just a huge pile. Now, it’s laid out quite nicely in rows. Won’t take you more than 3 minutes to find your bag.

See you in July!
-Chris

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turtlePacker, March 20, 2019 at 2:56 pm

Good point about moisture, Chris. The 50 lb limit is for the entire package (bag + anything attached to it), correct?

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Biggearguy hill, March 20, 2019 at 8:33 pm

Does your bag weight and tent weight is totaled together or separate?

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Uncle Kraig, March 20, 2019 at 8:52 pm

The 50 lb limit is for bag/tent and anything else you bring. Whether it is attached to or inside of your bag, the grand total for all is 50 lbs. and they do weigh every bag.

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Vlad Yu, March 20, 2019 at 9:54 pm

Got the last 2 years I used this ikea bag:
https://m2.ikea.com/us/en/p/frakta-storage-bag-for-cart-blue-90149148/

$5, reasonably waterproof, very light, unique!

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Biggearguy hill, March 21, 2019 at 3:00 pm

I guess i better weigh my luggage before go -2 or 3 lbs.

#1301313

Mary, March 21, 2019 at 3:10 pm

I used this bag last year. I also used 2 waterproof lightweight dry sacks for my two-person tent/tarp and both easily fit in the big yellow bag. I’m a grandma also, a wee bit older than you, and I was able to heist this bag up on my back and carry it to a camping spot. The shoulder straps were good to have!

https://www.rei.com/product/125934/the-north-face-base-camp-duffel-x-large

This reply was modified 1 year ago by Mary.

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Biggearguy hill, March 21, 2019 at 9:25 pm

My wife bought my bag so i have to use it. No questions asked. You must lift weights lol

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Jill Ellenbecker, March 22, 2019 at 6:35 am

I bought this one last year. Worked well, loved the backpack straps, has a plastic coasting to keep moisture out in case it were to get rained on. I used an old army duffel bag the first year and found it much more awkward to carry by myself.

https://www.rei.com/product/884915/patagonia-black-hole-duffel-60l

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Linda Wiard-Bauer, March 23, 2019 at 7:16 am

Vlad Yu:
$5 – that’s amazing! And it stood up to 2 years of RAGBRAI – wow! Did you attach your tent, or put it inside?

This reply was modified 1 year ago by Linda Wiard-Bauer.

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