Author Topic: Panniers  (Read 22129 times)

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Offline dombrosk

« on: April 04, 2004, 05:44:06 pm »
After several years of supported touring, I'm moving into self-contained touring at age 50.  I've signed up for the Intro to Road Touring class, but realized that I'll need panniers before then.

I'd greatly appreciate any experiences/opinions on these panniers (or others you think I should look into)

1. Madden ($208 from Adventure Cycling)
2. Cyclite ($186 from Adventure Cycling)
3. REI Keystone ($130)

My future plans are to ride the Northern Tier, splitting the trip between two summers, and I'd like to get panniers that will serve for a trip of that scale.  

Thanks in advance for all comments!

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2004, 07:07:22 pm »
Jandd Mountaineering ( makes excellent, heavy-duty panniers, from 2000 cubic inches/pair ($77.00) to super heavy-duty Expedition panniers with over 6800 ci (expandable to 9950 ci) at $240.00 per pair. I use their police products (Rack bags, etc.) at work and they wear like iron. Check out their website!

Or you could always get a BoB trailer.  ;)

Ride safe,

Hans Erdman, WEMT
Backcountry Trail Patrol
2WX: The Two-Wheeled Explorer
"St. Louis to the Western Sea if nothing prevents."--John Ordway, Corps of Discovery

Offline Don

« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2004, 07:44:52 am »
Take a look at the Arkel panniers too.  They have a web site.

Offline wanderingwheel

« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2004, 07:59:12 pm »
I've had bad luck with the REI panniers.  Right now I use Jandd and I can't imagine anything better, although I haven't seen any of the Madden panniers, or the high-zoot brands such as Arkel and Sakkit.  One thing that I like about the Jandd panniers is that they do not use an elastic cord to attach the lower mounting hook to the rack like everybody else.  Some people complain that they have to reach behind the pannier and attach or release the velcro strap when mounting or removing the panniers.  However, I feel that it is a more secure mounting and less likely to fail than the elastic cord.

One other thought, do not buy the biggest panniers you can fit, especially for the rear.  You will just end up overloading them and ruining you bikes handling.


Offline pmspirito

« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2004, 02:09:11 am »
Look into a set of roll top waterproof panniers made by Vaude, Ortlieb, or Nashbar.  This is the only way to keep your gear dry.  Wet gear is no fun.  I have the large and small pairs of the Nashbar waterproof panniers.  They are just like the Vaude and Ortlieb for about a third of the price. This is my second season with them and I am very happy with them especially for the price.  

Dry Gear = Happy Camper

Peter Spirito

best wishes from the back of the pack,  Peter & Judy Spirito

Offline dombrosk

« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2004, 05:58:25 pm »
Thanks for the helpful responses!

I appreciate the votes for Jandd... that's the brand carried by my local bike shop and I'm in favor of supporting our local shops.

I'm also curious about the inexpensive waterproof Nashbar panniers, because staying dry is a good thing.

Here's my question: I've read some pretty strong complaints about those roll-top bags from people who had bad experiences trying to find things in them... needing to pull everything out to find one item.

I'd love to hear from anybody with experience with that type of pannier.

Thanks again for helping out a new tour-er!


  • Guest
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2004, 11:23:24 am »
Four or five clear plastic bags in each pannier serve me well to organize my Ortliebs, and they are far more flexible than partitioned panniers.

I ride with Ortliebs in the rear for things that *must* stay dry and smaller JandDs in front for heavy things and what I want during the day. Some of those need the traditional plastic bag protection from water, of course.

BTW, the roll-tops really are waterproof. At camp, one fellow told me he used his to bring water from the rather distant spring. I hope he washed it out first.


Offline rkrahenbuhl

« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2004, 02:23:34 pm »
I very highly recommend Vaude or Ortlieb panniers. I have both and have used both extensively. I've been a leader for Adventure Cycling since 1994, and have lead 10,000 miles of self-contained tours for them. Vaude and Ortlieb bags are dry bag construction, which means they NEVER LEAK. I use various sizes of nylon mesh bags to separate my gear inside the panniers.
My two longest tours as a leader for ACA were the Southern Tier in 1997 and Trans Am in 2000. I'm retired from a real job, so have lots of time to cycle. I would be happy to answer any additional questions.
Richard Krahenbuhl
Cheyenne, Wyoming

Offline LDiskin

« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2004, 06:40:05 pm »
Here is something to consider. Rent a set of panniers from us for the Intro Course. Then, during the course, you we learn about and see many options and be able to decide which are the most appealing to you.

I prefer the waterproff drybag style panniers like those made by Ortlieb.

Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association
Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

Offline cidhandyman

« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2004, 04:25:01 am »

I own two sets of the Nashbar roll top panniers.  I think they work fine.  I have carried my laptop in them during heavy deluges and found my gear to be perfectly dry upon arriving at my destinations.  The roll top closure as well as two sets of buckles allows you to seal them and cinch down excess.  As far as packing them.  I use cheap nylon stuff sacks. It helps to put items in various bags of a certain color.  For example, my camp headlight and small tools go in a yellow bag, my water related items in blue, and warm weather clothing in orange, cool weather in dark blue.  You dont need to get this detailed but it helps to have a system in place to make finding items easier.

Keep pedaling

Julian H.
Keep pedaling

Julian H.

Offline JayH

« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2004, 11:35:24 am »
Roll top bags seem similar to dry bags I get for kayaking. However, I noticed the last dry bag I bought says it's not meant to be waterproof... which makes me wonder!   Anyway, as long as it's not submerged, it would be fine.  

I have a full set of Carradice panniers (Super-C rears, smaller fronts) and they are made of duck canvas. Not completely waterproof but waterproof enough. I put anything important in a ziplock bag and that works fine.

Be careful with the Madden bags from ACA, I dislike how they attach via one hook in the center. It's doesn't seem as stable for off road tours as my Carradices are and they are incompatible with certain racks, like my OMM front rack. I had to ship the panniers back to ACA when I bought the rack and bags from them. The last I heard, Madden was going to redesign them but I have no idea if that ever happened or even if ACA actually put a note saying that compatibility was an issue.  


Offline RussellSeaton

« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2004, 11:56:15 pm »
I used the Nashbar mountain panniers back in the summer of 1992 to tour 4,000 miles in Europe.  And several week or multi-week loaded tours since.  These are the $50 a pair models.  Although they are about $30 a pair now.  I put everything into ziplock bags and then all of the ziplock bags in a plastic garbage bag.  Pretty waterproof and it keeps things fairly organized.  The panniers work just fine.  Attachment method is a simple pair of hooks on the top and a bungee cord with hook on the bottom.  No problems for road touring.

One minor nuisance with the one large bag style panniers is access to them if you have your rear rack filled and/or overhanging the pannier's top.  The multi compartment side entry style panniers don't care if the top is covered with your tent, sleeping bag, and pad.  An easy way around the problem is to make sure anything you need during the day's ride is in the front panniers.

Offline GKeipinger

« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2004, 03:04:00 pm »
I have been bicycle touring since 1975. I have used all kind of panniers including: Eclipse, Cannondale, Canook, Bach and Bushwhacker.
Five years ago I bought a complete set of Ortliebs. Frontrollers, Backrollers, Handlebar Bag. They are simply the best.
I live in a country where ist rains a lot. Ever since I have the Ortliebs I don´t even trouble to take them off my bike for the night.


This message was edited by GKeipinger on 10-31-04 @ 4:54 PM

Offline jclark

« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2004, 07:27:59 pm »
I too have Jandd and couldn't be happier.  First off, I don't think there is any pannier that is completely waterproof, pack your items in plastic bags before loading.  Second, don't go by price alone.  Quality is more important in this case.


  • Guest
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2004, 11:13:25 pm »
jclark wrote:
> I don't think there is any pannier that is
> completely waterproof...

I can vouch for the Ortliebs. You can literally submerge them and not a drop gets in. Some of their recent imitators are probably tight too. One fellow I met said he has used his to haul water to his campsite, presumably after emptying it (grin).

The trade-off is their lack of external pockets for handy access during the ride. It takes perhaps ten seconds to unclip and unroll their tops, and fifteen to close them up again.

I used Ortliebs in back and JandD/plastic bags in front on my XC ride very happily.