"Best" panniers for cycle camping

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MrsHJ
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"Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby MrsHJ » 24 Jul 2018, 7:20pm

I have loads on at the moment so the back of my brain is spinning away considering new rear pannier options.

I was trying to identify the main panniers to look into when considering my upgrade from the ortlieb classic rollers which I'm not a huge fan of. As an accountant I feel a strong need to review all the options and tabulate the key good things so could you let me know if I've missed any good brands out:

List in no particular order:
1. Thule- shield L or pack and pedal adventure.
2. Altura dryline 56
3. Carradice super C
4. Vaude aquapack plus
5. Ortlieb bikepacker plus
6. Arkel XM 45 or GT 54
7. Lone Peak mount superior
8. Jandd mountain expedition.
Edit: Topeka and Basil. Crosso axim, Agu (was my first set of ".touring panniers" aka an up and over shopping set -from Agu? )

I'll probably do a nice list of things important to me like:
1. Size
2. Ease of attachment
3. Practical access for my stuff.
4. Organisation.
5. Dryness.
6. Cheerful colour (this just might be my priority!).
7. Affordability.
8. Ease of getting hold of (I don't want to be hit by VAT and customs duties when I can get a perfectly acceptable one in the UK).

Edit.
9. Weight.
19. Absolutely MUST NOT be a tube style pannier with one storage space accessed by the top only!
Last edited by MrsHJ on 24 Jul 2018, 10:22pm, edited 5 times in total.

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foxyrider
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby foxyrider » 24 Jul 2018, 8:02pm

You already have the best which tick pretty much all your boxes. Every single one of tour alternatives hit fewer points. If the only reason you have for not liking the Ortlieb Classics is finding your stuff in them I suggest that is what you should start looking at.

There are all sorts of packing systems to help you, depending on requirement I use Sea2Summit Soft Cells, Eagle Creek Ecubes, Granite Gear mesh sacks and a variety of drybags and compression sacks. Each bag organised bag has a home and place on the bike - eg the tent and sleeping gear is always in the rear left, upper body clothing front right. The only loose stuff will be gas, mallet and maybe food picked up along the way.

The extra bags don't have to add much weight, think mine weigh all of 200g tops.
Convention? what's that then?
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whoof
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby whoof » 24 Jul 2018, 8:18pm

Looking at your criteria your current panniers
1. Are pretty roomy
2. Are as easy to attach as any
3&4 As above 're bags I've also got a little note book. One page relates to each pannier reading top to bottom and also an alphabetical list stating where an item is. i.e. Sleeping bag, bottom rear left.
5. Are as waterproof as you will get
6. I've got red and bright yellow.
7. Cost nothing as you already have them
8. Take no time to arrive as you already have them.

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mjr
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby mjr » 24 Jul 2018, 8:32pm

Surely Basil do something for this?
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MrsHJ
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby MrsHJ » 24 Jul 2018, 8:42pm

foxyrider wrote:You already have the best which tick pretty much all your boxes. Every single one of tour alternatives hit fewer points. If the only reason you have for not liking the Ortlieb Classics is finding your stuff in them I suggest that is what you should start looking at.

There are all sorts of packing systems to help you, depending on requirement I use Sea2Summit Soft Cells, Eagle Creek Ecubes, Granite Gear mesh sacks and a variety of drybags and compression sacks. Each bag organised bag has a home and place on the bike - eg the tent and sleeping gear is always in the rear left, upper body clothing front right. The only loose stuff will be gas, mallet and maybe food picked up along the way.

The extra bags don't have to add much weight, think mine weigh all of 200g tops.


I hear you and you're not wrong but I've tried all that and I still loathe them-I explained my issues with them in the recent pannier thread on the gear page-essentially the bucket style isn't for me. Eg you need a plaster on the road but your first aid kit is neatly packed at the bottom because then it fits neatly with the sleeping bag so you have to unload the whole ruddy pannier to get one small thing.

I wore out my previous panniers which were a Karrimor Kalihari set (3/4 zip opening so you could see your stuff) so it's just these ones- I had the illusion that because they were pricey they'd be for me. I've stuck with them for about five years so I don't feel too bad in abandoning them now and as Sweep suggested they are great for shopping and they will get use around the family.

Gearing up for a transam next year and I'm not going to spend 3 months with them though! I'd quite like to buy new ones with pockets before I head to the via rhona in September to test out my set up a bit.

Edit: this has helped me as I've checked up in my old panniers and realised they were zipped so nice easy access and according to the web they have 60-75 litre capacity so maybe I was used to more space and hadn't realised.
Last edited by MrsHJ on 24 Jul 2018, 9:53pm, edited 4 times in total.

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fionat
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby fionat » 24 Jul 2018, 8:52pm

If money is no object, what about Topeak? Click in and out easy peasy.

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horizon
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby horizon » 24 Jul 2018, 9:01pm

MrsHJ wrote:
I hear you and you're not wrong but I've tried all that and I still loathe them


Me too. I hate Ortlieb yet I would recommend them to anybody - they are obviously excellent. It's a touchy-feely thing for me and I prefer my old Karrimors. I like the Ortlieb colours - it's that rubbery shiny material . . . :shock:
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MrsHJ
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby MrsHJ » 24 Jul 2018, 9:50pm

Thanks -have added Basil (new to me-Dutch I think) and Topeak (old friends).

And absolutely ortlieb-ooooh, look, shiny!

Tangled Metal
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby Tangled Metal » 24 Jul 2018, 10:13pm

Just got their 70 litres capacity panniers. That's with a front pocket too. If your have trouble organising those huge buckets you're carrying too much.

I fully intend to carry too much so the rest of the family don't have to carry as much. They're slow enough as it is (age of 5 is a good excuse though). Although I didn't think it through as I'm on a recumbent and I'm not yet fast on it, still getting used to it and hills are now no longer my expertise.

There's always those arkels. Zipped, pocketed, compartmentalised and with internal liner to waterproof it. IIRC a decent sized pair costs upwards of £300!

MrsHJ
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby MrsHJ » 24 Jul 2018, 10:33pm

Tangled Metal wrote:Just got their 70 litres capacity panniers. That's with a front pocket too. If your have trouble organising those huge buckets you're carrying too much.

I fully intend to carry too much so the rest of the family don't have to carry as much. They're slow enough as it is (age of 5 is a good excuse though). Although I didn't think it through as I'm on a recumbent and I'm not yet fast on it, still getting used to it and hills are now no longer my expertise.

There's always those arkels. Zipped, pocketed, compartmentalised and with internal liner to waterproof it. IIRC a decent sized pair costs upwards of £300!


I think I' really am OK organisation wise. I also tour with kids and carry some of their stuff (not all-they have front panniers on the back of their bikes for clothes and sleeping bags etc.) but fit all my stuff and the "group stuff" into my classic rollers plus a tent on the back rack. I camp and cook and carry my helinox in the 40l capacity. Everything is segmented into neat bags of electronics/camping gear/ cooking gear etc. I am trying to cut down the electronics and a few small items when I don't travel with the kids this year but I don't think it will be masses of stuff.

I like the zippiness of the arkels but I wonder if that many compartments is really overdoing it! Cordura fabric is fine though so maybe I should be considering carradice seriously.

Tangled Metal
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby Tangled Metal » 24 Jul 2018, 11:21pm

Carradry version of Carradice might be a compromise?

I'm a fan of Ortliebs so can't help much but unlimited money it's arkel (lottery win permitting of course otherwise I can't justify £300+).

MrsHJ
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby MrsHJ » 24 Jul 2018, 11:50pm

Tangled Metal wrote:Carradry version of Carradice might be a compromise?

I'm a fan of Ortliebs so can't help much but unlimited money it's arkel (lottery win permitting of course otherwise I can't justify £300+).


Well, they certainly tick the shiny box!

Agreed the arkel ones are out of budget (and no expectations of a lottery win here either) but something in that style with zips, not lids or rolling the top would be nice. Preferably a lot lighter! I wouldn't need that many pockets but the benefits of having pockets are that you don't need to get stuff out all the time- for example your first aid kit, tools, rain gear (ha), warm socks, woolly hat - could remain untouched and out of the way for ages whilst you only need to deal with daily requirement stuff.

Well, that's helped me prioritise what I want and also realise how much capacity I used to have and probably got used to with my old kalahari set and maybe explained why I haven't settled with the classic rollers.

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foxyrider
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby foxyrider » 25 Jul 2018, 8:32am

Just remember that zips fail
Convention? what's that then?
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Tangled Metal
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby Tangled Metal » 25 Jul 2018, 8:44am

And ortlieb do 70 litres of pannier space. Got mine and initially it looked only just bigger. Open it out and I could put one full back roller in it and it still look empty!

Although I do think compartments are a nice plus. However I went UK route with hiking so one compartment sack to save weight. Up to 65 litres with overflow capacity in a just over 1kg sack (20 years old now). So for me organization is in knowing where everything is not having a pocket for everything. If I pack my own kit I can be asked for something and tell the person where in my rucksack it is. They can then open it and put their hand down the correct side, the right amount down the side and bring it out straight away.

It's my visualisation of kit. It's part of how I know I've not forgotten anything. Everything in exactly the same place everytime. Put in the bag in the same order and taken out in the same order. Ocd with backpacking, it works well for me. IMHO that approach is as good as finding something like arkel without breaking the bank

We're all different so it would be interesting to find out what you end up with. How you get on too.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: "Best" panniers for cycle camping

Postby Bmblbzzz » 25 Jul 2018, 9:04am

The best panniers are the ones on your bike, behind your heels, holding your tent and stuff.