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most of the pannier is not plastic. They are typically a coated fabric.
I've been touring with the same Ortlieb panniers for over 20,000 miles,
It is not my damp shorts that I worry about.
Actually I think that's a subset of Bike Touring. I'd call it "Credit Card Touring" since you aren't carrying a tent, sleeping gear or cooking gear.
You're not supposed to oil it at all. I endorse your idea to try a new B-17. Don't use anything except Proofide on it. Don't let it get too wet,
And can run a wide tire - unlike most touring and cross bikes.