This entry is a Bike Hacks Classic.
Okay, I admit it - I can compete with any woman who carries a huge purse when it comes to carrying stuff on my bike commute. Wallet, keys, ChapStick, gum, MP3 player, camera, phone, etc.
When I first started bike commuting one of the most frustrating things for me was having to repack all of my stuff everyday. For a while I just tossed it all into a backpack or pannier and that worked, but it was not really convenient. There are devices like the Cage Rocket that assist in storage of common items, but it is not large enough to carry all that I want.
The solution to carrying all this stuff in a convenient and easily accessible way came one day at an Army Surplus store (one of my favorite places to wander around). While I was meandering around I saw a vest hanging on a rack. A bright light went on in my head and I just knew I had to have one. Here's a shot of the vest (with some slight after market modifications - it helps to have a wife who is a fashion designer).
One of the best things about the vest is that it's made of a lot of mesh. This keeps the sweat factor under control although you cannot entirely escape it. For me, it's well worth it. I toss it on over a T-shirt and then wear a coat or button up shirt over the top so I do not look like I am about to head out on a fly fishing expedition.
Now you see it . . . . . . now you don't.
The extra cool convenience of the vest is that I don't have to repack everyday. I take it off when I get home, hang it up, and all my stuff is ready to go with me the next day. The vest also dries very quickly so once a week I typically wash it while I'm in the shower and then hang it up. It dries over night in a snap. There are lots of different vests that could be used for the same purpose, but I highly recommend one that is as much mesh as possible. Commute on!