I'll admit something. I've become a solid urban fannypackman.
It was just one of many solutions I tried to solve the problem of getting a messenger bag's worth of weight off a shoulder that's been carrying the bulk of the load for almost two decades on my commutes. Last Friday, it stood up to a real decent test. One of the larger temperature swings from my morning commute until I went home. High 40°s for my ride in, 70°+ on the way home. I know some of you would like to comment on the relatively mild conditions, but I'm only talking about the temperature variations, and this is a good example of how much clothing I have to shed to compensate and be sorta comfortable... so blow me.
Flannel, vest, knee/arm warmers all the way to T-shirt weather.
Hip Monkey and the compression straps still not fully released.
Knee Warmers ( 2 pair... I'd forgotten one pair at work the day before)
The other crap I always carry: Tools, tube, CO2/inflator, money, work badge
A twenty plus degree temperature swing is about as big as it gets here, unless we have some major crazy weather in Charlotte. I'm now pretty confident that as long as I don't overdress in the morning, I should be able to always get all my excess clothing in there. Obviously, the other key is wearing layers, but if you didn't know about that already, I can't help you. The wide waist strap keeps even a load this size comfortable and stable. I've gotten used to wearing it, and it's no more annoying than shoving my feet into a pair of shoes instead of sliding into some flip flops.
I've also carried a six pack of Dale's to a team meeting with room to spare (mebbe could fit eight beers?). It's gone on the majority of my Tour duh Charlotte assploration rides as well, carrying a camera (w/fisheye lens), cable lock, extra clothes... incidentals (beer).
It will probably still never be used on a mountain bike ride in Pisgah... unless I'm trying to carry something super bulky, like beers, a camera, or... a turtle? Dunno. I've just had years to figure out how to ride around Pisgah for a few hours with nothing more than jersey pockets and a few straps from Backcountry Research on my bike to handle my needs, in terms of a "load" and any spare/excess clothing. If you were the type that likes to whip out a burrito or a hunk of salami the size of your forearm and make your friends jealous, this pack would make sense... for you. Go, you.
I'll just keep carrying the same past-date gel from last "season" that I'll probably only eat if I'm spending the night in the woods.
Oh yeth, going back a bit... the Tour duh Charlotte.
The date is set and much of the planning is being planned to formulate a plan. More news other than the date (March 18th, 2017) will be forthcoming, such as registration and such, but for now, just know it's happening and make plans to be there. It will be, as always, the best* mountain bike stage race and urban trail adventure in Charlotte.