I can speak to your question from the design perspective. We originally created the Hoodie (www.xtracycle.com/hoodie) for the every day uses you mentioned: lunch, day bag, clothes, groceries. Having had one on my bike for about a year now, I can say that it works really well for these things. There should be no compatibility issues with your 2008 FreeRadical.
We aimed to make the Hoodie very affordable in order to address the initial cost barrier we perceived for people who were cautious about jumping into the Sport Utility Bicycle Lifestyle. At $40 for an all-in-one bag that can easily carry 4 bags of groceries, it is a steal!
I have found two trade-offs in using the Hoodie. One is that I cannot strap on ANYTHING that I come across. It simply doesn't have the FreeLoader's humongous expandability. (I do keep a CinchStrap in the handy front pocket for securing top loaded items) The second is that it is made from a lighter duty material than the FreeLoaders and thus is better suited for carrying lighter loads.
I am obviously biased, but I think the Hoodie is one of the most useful, least understood and best valued products in the Xtracycle catalog.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Elaine Nelson <epersonae@...> wrote:
> My original bags are still usable, but getting a bit ratty. I've been
> thinking about replacing them, and the Hoodie looks quite tempting.
> If I got one, I'd keep my old bags in storage in case I need them for
> really big/odd loads.
> 90% of the time, I'm either biking to work, so lunch, big purse, and bag
> with work clothes; or to the very close by grocery store for fairly small
> loads. (Or both: grocery store on the way home for work to pick up
> something for dinner.)
> Has anybody on the list switched an existing Xtracycle to use the Hoodie?
> And how did that work out? In particular, I have an older style Free
> Radical (2008?) and I'm a bit worried about retrofitting.
> - Elaine
> PS: Thanks for all the advice on headlights. I ended up getting a Planet
> Bike Two Watt, which is vastly better than my old light and still pretty
> cheap. Of course, for a whole bunch of reasons, I didn't bike commute AT
> ALL between Nov 1 and today, so I haven't gotten a ton of use out of it.