Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Cheyenne Vapor Running Backpack

Last week I wrote about how I started run commuting into work as a more efficient use of my time to get some mileage in. Well, aside from dealing with missing key hallucinations, I had a few other issues to contend with. One of the big ones was logistics.

Let's say I wanted to run to work on Tuesday. On Sunday night I would have to pack a bag with Tuesday's work clothes, Tuesday's run home clothes, and both Monday's and Tuesday's lunch and massive amount of snacks I consume throughout the day. Lunch\snacks would get put in the fridge and clothes in the locker on Monday when I got to work. This was maddening to me because having to plan for a run two days in advance was just too much for my short term memory.

The solution was to find a suitable backpack to run with so I would only have to think one day in advance, which is much more suitable for my attention span. I visited several forums, read product reviews, and weighed that in finally making a decision. What I landed on was the Nike Cheyenne Vapor Running Backpack.
Normally I don't do Nike for running because I believe several other companies cater to the niche better than they do, but the product had gotten good review, the Livestrong version was 40 bucks off, and I had a gift certificate to the Nike Store. So for a little under 40 dollars I snagged this $90 retail puppy, which seemed like a steal to me.

When it finally showed up on my door step I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't too big and bulky, which I was afraid of, but had just enough space to hold a change of clothes and my bag o' food for the day. In addition, there was a separate compartment for wet storage, which was a bonus to keep my sweaty stuff away from everything else. Also there is a rainfly that comes out of another zippered pocket. I haven't had to use it yet, but its seems handy to keep clothes and a phone dry should the weather turn nasty. My favorite feature though was a small pouch on one of the arm straps to hold my work keycard and apartment key, giving me easy access without having to take off the backpack to get to it. In fact, I can hold my shoulder up to the sensor at work and it recognizes the keycard inside without me having to remove it.

The only negative I've found is that the pack chafes a little. This may just be an unavoidable side effect of having something strapped to your back. I've got the back and side straps as tight as I can comfortably tolerate, but there is still just a bit of bouncing that I can feel on the sides of my neck after 5 miles. Now, I have no idea if this is typical or not, but it was definitely noticeable to be. I'll keep playing with the fit to see if it gets better or maybe I'll just develop giant neck calluses once it gets broken in. Either way, the pack seems to be serving it's purpose. I no longer have to long term plan for a run. I can just throw all my stuff in the night before or morning of and set off on the road. And like I said last week, run commuting just makes you feel incredibly cool, much more so than bike commuting. The looks I get from coworkers when I tell them it's 5.5 miles each way, not roundtrip, is priceless.


  1. What's your latest opinion on this backpack? Curious as to the neck chafing and any other things you've noticed you like or dislike. I really liked your review. Completely agree with not being a Nike fan when it comes to running.

  2. Thanks for the review. Would love to see a reponse to that question as well? Many reviews are based on first experiences but it's the long-term experience with these products that really counts.