Touring Pannier Bags

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
TheHighlander
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Touring Pannier Bags

Postby TheHighlander » 13 Jun 2010, 6:20pm

Hi,

I've had a good look through this section and found a few dribs and drabs about pannier bags, but nothing too concrete.

I'm looking for advice on which panniers to buy. They need to be versatile as I want to use them full loaded for week long tours, but also not too big so they can also be used for day tours. I have seen on the forum waterproof bags are a must, but can you get these without the expense? Price isn't too important though as I know this can be a false economy, but I'm not ready to pay £500 for a full set yet!

Also, looking to see which would be most suited to carrying a tent.

Thanks in advance!


Greg.

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horizon
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby horizon » 13 Jun 2010, 6:27pm

TheHighlander wrote: I have seen on the forum waterproof bags are a must, but can you get these without the expense? Also, looking to see which would be most suited to carrying a tent.

Greg.


I have never had waterproof panniers (the Karrimor material is, but not the seams) and have never needed them - even in torrential rain and even carrying work-related paper documents and smart clothes. Plastic bags which I would use anyway to organise stuff are quite sufficent IMV. I certainly wouldn't pay the extra or carry the extra weight of the bags. You can also get waterproof covers which double up to keep your panniers clean.

The tent goes on the rack (or at least the poles do).
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)

tooley92
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby tooley92 » 13 Jun 2010, 6:33pm

Carradice Super C's - quite expensive to buy in the first place but will last a lifetime if looked after (I'm still using a set of rears that are 20+ years old), just use a 'Bag for life' inside them and they are 100% waterproof.
Remember folks 'A pessimist is just an optimist with experience!'

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Helen
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby Helen » 13 Jun 2010, 7:54pm

I've used 2 sets of Carradice Overlander throughout my touring life: first nylon set got nicked, now have cordura.

I like the large rear and small front pockets. Everything goes in double bin bags in main section.
Tent is rolled up in matching bag on top of rack. Groundsheet folded up in a bag for life underneath. This is handy for stashing your stuff in the tent!
However, touring alone I can't fit food in, so strap carrier bag on top.
When with companion, I carry paperwork and he carries food.
Sometimes I use the Carradice Super C waterproof bar bag. Works v well.

Have toyed with idea of waterproofs though. Even titchy light front bags for bulky light food like bread.

I like panniers that are light to begin with. Some feel quite heavy.
Last edited by Helen on 13 Jun 2010, 10:03pm, edited 1 time in total.

glueman
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby glueman » 13 Jun 2010, 8:13pm

Carradice Super C are quality bags. There are plenty of 20+ year panniers in regular use. A front and rear set can be had for around the £150 mark.

TheHighlander
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby TheHighlander » 13 Jun 2010, 8:45pm

So I see the Carradice Super C is a popular choice, does anyone have any alternative especially in the fully waterproof division?

Thanks so far people, this is some pretty solid advice!

jamesoneil
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby jamesoneil » 13 Jun 2010, 9:20pm

Waterproof bags work both ways unfortunately, meaning wet stuff inside stays wet. Thats fine if you are only commuting but touring usually means you want stuff to dry whilst you are on the move. Its already been said but water resistant bags combined with water proof covers is probably the most popular combination that I've passed. Should check out Arkel, they make some beautiful bags, a little on the pricey side :( but make me go weak at the knees :) Just brought the Tail Rider top bag, its got lots of internal mesh pockets and an integrated rain cover.

Otherwise Altura make fairly decent waterproof bags. But they are fairly heavy.
Last edited by jamesoneil on 13 Jun 2010, 9:25pm, edited 1 time in total.
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glueman
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby glueman » 13 Jun 2010, 9:22pm

Ortlieb and similar full enclosure panniers are the only fully waterproof bags. However the proofing is dependent on the integrity of the outer and in the real world of cycle touring bags get scuffed. Cotton duck panniers are close to waterproof unless you intend to ford spate rivers and can be re-proofed.
I've always stored water sensitive items in plastic bags and have never had rain in my Super C's. In the end you pays your money...

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julk
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby julk » 13 Jun 2010, 9:24pm

We use Carradice Super C, Altura Orkney, Vaude World Traveller.

Previous ones used were Karrimor, Edinburgh Coop.

All have proved good, the cheaper ones are not waterproof and tend to be lighter in weight.

Super C are my favourites.

Richard Barrett
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby Richard Barrett » 13 Jun 2010, 9:48pm

Forget the rest - Ortlieb are well worth every penny of the £105 of the recommended retail price although you can find them cheaper on discount promotions or get a decent second hand pair from ebay from 'someone who thought their partner might like touring'.

There is no point in buying panniers that aren't totally waterproof and closed properly Ortlieb are totally waterproof. I own two pairs - Classic Rollers which when closed make a totally totally waterproof seal in exactly the same way that my Ortlieb drybags do when I'm sea kayaking - and some smaller Sports Tourer ones for credit card touring.

The Classic Rollers are SO waterproof that when a laden bike fell off the hitching post it was propped against on Stornoway quay and fell 20 odd foot down into the sea, the Ortlieb panniers kept afloat and an alert Asian deckhand fished the bike and panniers out with a grappling iron, We gave him £30 quid for his work.

Case proven q.e.d.

rualexander
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby rualexander » 13 Jun 2010, 10:00pm

Richard Barrett wrote:...There is no point in buying panniers that aren't totally waterproof and closed properly....

Yes there is good reason to buy panniers that aren't totally waterproof. I you like having a few external pockets, the choice is better with non-waterproof panniers. Totally waterproof panniers can easily get holes in them. Best to buy panniers that are made of hard wearing material, have good fixings, have the features you like, then sort out the waterproofing with internal liners of some kind (either the budget carrier bag style or roll-top pack liners)

Richard Barrett
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby Richard Barrett » 13 Jun 2010, 10:20pm

Complete rubbish - had my oldest pair of Ortlieb for nearly 10 years and they are perfect. What the hell do you do with them? And you can buy attachable pockets for Ortlieb.

glueman
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby glueman » 13 Jun 2010, 10:27pm

A pannier row! Is this a first?

Richard Barrett
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby Richard Barrett » 13 Jun 2010, 10:38pm

Not really - but you wouldn't buy a colinder and then try to make a saucepan out of it would ya?

rualexander
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Re: Touring Pannier Bags

Postby rualexander » 13 Jun 2010, 10:52pm

Don't get me wrong, I think Ortliebs are excellent panniers, I just don't think they are the only ones to consider, for the reasons I gave above. I know you can get external pockets for them but they still don't have the versatility of my Altura Orkneys (older version), and I know of a couple of people who've had holes in their Ortliebs that have resulted in stuff getting wet.