In true Audax fashion I've given this post an inventive name that borders on head shakingly sad.

My son is now in Year 7, his new school ( not as in the school being new but rather him being new to it ) is far enough away that a walk is out of the question.  I'm away on my bike to early for me to give him a double on it or to drive and drop him off.

Currently he takes the school bus supplied by HillsBus, you chuckle, see how I failed to write bus service?  The bus is often late and therefore often late to school.  So we end up getting letters from the school asking us to explain why this is the case (so do 30 other parents I suspect).  The answer to go off to the education department and permanently on my son's record.

Being from a very punctual orientated race of people knowing this record exists and that he gets to school late goes against my grain.

So he will ride to school BUT (finally the question) I need advice on a bag for him, or rack, or pannier, or pannier that turns into a bag that looks kinda cool or at least not uncool.

He should not carry the excessively heavy bag on his back while riding, that is to unstable and he is no stunt rider.  It has to be something easy to put on a rack and then easily swing over your shoulders so once he is in school he does not attract attention.

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Ortlieb vario

looks good but I think this will hold his lunch and water bottle only.  These kids are expected to carry a few text books, school books that must stay together for a year, pens, calculator, etc.

Something like it but bigger, might get one of these for me though.

Thinking back to my high school days, our text books were large heavy beasts. 6 subjects a day with homework, required 6 heavy textbooks to be lugged backward and forwards each day. My bag probably weighed in the vicinity of 15kg.

On my repco 10-speed, I had a rack with a spring thing on the top. I used to put my bag on that and hold it in place with the spring thing, and a couple of occy straps. It certainly made things a heck of a lot easier! I might have looked at Pannier or something back then, but my school had a stupid rule that you had to have a school branded bag, even though the bags were poorly made and an ergonomic nightmare. When I got to Gr 9 and the bag got so heavy I couldn't carry it when walking home anymore, I had to get a special dispensation for a proper backpack from a physio. After I did that, a few others started doing the same. The backpack was good because it had a full harness on it, and two alloy supports that you bent to the exact shape of your back.

Why not attract attention to the fact that he's riding? I recently attended a primary school (yes,  I know that's not a high school) but I was the only person who rode there and all the kids thought I was soooo cool. They too wanted to ride to school. I see lots of kids riding to school in the inner west both high school and primary school.  

 

It just takes one person to influence others.

 

 

 

OK, anything that makes a statement that comes to mind?

The 15 yo daughter has one of these as a school bag. She is a nerd but at least kinda cool...

http://www.crumpler.com/AU/Travel-Bags/Carry-on-Luggage/Western-Law...

would also go at least one pannier for the heavy stuff (the govt laptops come in year 8? maybe? Worth thinking about as well as these things are a pest for kids to lug)

I found this discussion thread on Lonely Planet

Back pack conversion

It lists several different options, though the Nashbar link is a dud.

Can’t give you a comparison as I’ve not used anything but Ortliebs as Panniers only. The Arkel stuff looks interesting but I don’t know if you can get it here.

You could also try Dave and his crew at Brisbane Outdoor Gear. Not sure they do a converting pannier/backpack but they are a clever bunch up there and do some great gear.

http://www.bogear.com.au/index.html

What about a Banjo Brothers backpack ?

I like mine, it sits a little lower than a normal backpack so it doesn't strain your shoulders and it evens out the weight quite nicely. They hold a lot, are waterproof and they look cool.

I've had an Arkel Bug for about 5 years, have been very happy with it. Here's the link:
http://www.arkel-od.com/us/bug-cummuting-bag-1.html

I can't make the link active because I'm posting this from work where everything is in plain text for some reason, and the nice Ning controls are borked.

It is a pannier that converts into a backpack. Holds my laptop, change of clothes and more. The @rse is starting to wear out of it thru being scraped on footpaths too many times while filtering - I have recently bought a replacement one.

What about a knog messenger bag/pannier? e.g.

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=51685

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=51681

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/best-messenger-bags-33053 <- Frank Dog.

You can get dodads which change them into panniers, handlebar bags etc.

You can get attachments to turn them into either. My wife has a small one of the older style with pannier clips built in:

Welcome to come have a look at it  (not riding tomorrow, was going to ride my CX, but it is broken, not taking the Van Nic out in this weather and I have not ridden my Kinesis since putting compact bars on it so do not want to do a test ride over stem breakage bridge).

no Woy Woy Road Road Trip Trip? if it is raining hard at 4:30am tomorrow morning I might go back to bed.

I'll show him the selection everyone has put up, thanks.

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