And that has been my conclusion. But along the way to that conclusion, I must have tried all of the other options including that home-made carrier. It was the best and held up the best of all the others, but in the end, it still added enough weight to the front to be really noticeable when riding the technical stuff.. My handling suffered enough that I finally admitted that the back pack was the way and since then, back packs have come a long way and are MUCH better than the first ones I used.
And when looking for a good one, the larger Camelbaks have been great for water handling, plenty of pockets to keep your stuff organized and secure, plus they expand and collapse well to fit the load or lack of it. I look for the ones that have a waist band and a sternum strap.
The wiast band keeps the full weight off of your shoulders and the sternum strap keeps the shoulder straps in the correct position for maximum comfort. When adjusted correctly, you don't even know you have one on.
1 gallon of fuel weighs apx 6 pounds and 2 liters weight apx. 3.16 pounds plus the little bit for the fuel bottles... So let's say 4 pounds.. Now, on the forks and up high, (the worst possible place for extra weight on a dirt bike) you have really compromised the over all handling of your bike. that is where very little weight has a very large affect.
Now, 4 pounds well secured in a good back pack is hardly noticeable and has absolutely NO affect on your bike. The objects in your pack get the best ride possible due to the bike's suspension AND your own leg suspension combined. Objects strapped to the bike get hammered.