hey all, I have made a post requesting advice on my first tour, however I have yet another specific question. My tour is ideally going to be just over 2 weeks (7-8 there 7-8 coming back) and I need to purchase panniers for said tour. The issue is: cost vs size. I have found some good deals on ebay and I am currently torn between spending the extra case on the Deuter Rack Pack #2 (2900 cubic inches) or the Avenir Excursion Large Panniers (2400 cubic inches). The Avenir costs a lot less, but also holds 500 cubic inches less. I plan on only riding with rear panniers (stacking at least tent/pad/sleeping bag on top of rack) do you think that I will be able to get all my gear in the Avenir's or would Deuter's be necessary? I feel that if I go for the Deuter panniers I may have excessive room and wind up carrying crap I don't want/need. (also avenir's have more pockets, which is a plus) Let me know if you think I can swing it with the Avenir 2400's. Thanks.
I do unsupported touring with 18L rear panniers. The real secret I believe is those plastic bags that allow you to remove most of the air from your clothes and sleeping bag. My sleeping bag compresses down to almost nothing. The added advantage is that you don't need to spend the extra on waterproof panniers. Trust me, not very many of the ones advertised waterproof truly are anyway.
There appears to be two types who tour. Those like myself who only carry enough to be comfortable, and those who will recommend front and back panniers as well as a trailer, so you can carry everything for any eventuality.
You'll soon find out which one of these people you are.