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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Are there such things as Water Panniers?

    Hello,

    I'm researching to tour cross country in a couple months. I'm trying to pack light. I probably will only use rear panniers and not front. Then the thought came to mind. Are there panniers built specifically to just carry water while touring? It could be something useful. Only problems I see is that water is not very light and it could add a good amount of weight. So climbing with them could be hard, but people climb heavily loaded anyways. Another problem I see is that the weight would easily shift. Perhaps they would work better on the rear and leave the solid stuff in the front at the steering.

    Anyways, are there water panniers out there? TIA. Matt

  2. #2
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    I'm not aware of any. Ortlieb panniers are waterproof and might be suitable, but are expensive.

    However, I suggest getting either 2 x 5L Platypus bags, or 2 x 4-6L aluminised mylar water or wine cask bladders, depending on whether you need durability (Platy) or light weight (wine cask bladders; tough, but not puncture proof).

    Stick them in your panniers, or consider making a nylon bag and hanging them from your top tube (can't remember where I read this, maybe "Bicycle Fish").

    These weigh very little and take up little space when empty, but give enough additional water for 1-2 days (in addition to the usual 2-3L per day, figure on about 750ml per hour of riding in average heat; much more if it is hot). With 2 of them, your panniers will balance better.

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    I wonder about some type of CamelBak bladder with a long extension. It doesn't have to be a full backpack, just a bladder on the back.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22
    I wonder about some type of CamelBak bladder with a long extension. It doesn't have to be a full backpack, just a bladder on the back.
    It's called a Camelbak Unbottle. REI has them for around $40. Not as convenient as a Camelbak (I'd suggest you carry one of those packed with ice each day for nice cool water even in very hot conditions.) but it would do the job.
    Last edited by cyccommute; 01-23-07 at 10:40 PM.
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  5. #5
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    MSR Dromedary bags are the toughest waterbladders you can find, and would work just fine strapped to a rack like a pannier. you can get up to 10 liter versions. grommeted eyelets and webbing on them for lashing/ hanging.

    check out MSR Dromedary bags.

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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    From MSR's site

    - Dromedary™ Bags
    These bomber bags, made of 500- and 1,000-denier Cordura® and laminated with food-grade polyurethane, can withstand temperatures from freezing to boiling. They feature a new low-profile handle for no-hassle filling, an easy-drink/pour 3-in-1 cap, and perimeter webbing that allows for convenient pack attachment and hanging. -

    Denier cordura sounds like pretty tough stuff. I don't know why but dromedary bags were invented a while ago yet searching for them on Yahoo only shows MSR brand bags. I wonder why?

    They sell a 3 foot long solar shower cap for the bags. Maybe that could be used as a remote straw that could be attached to the handle bars? Just keep the valve open and let gravity keep the water down. They're nice and cheap too. 30 bucks for a 4 L bottle. Although, you can get the dromlite bags cheaper. $26 for a 4L. They seem to be the same thing but lighter.

    I might just get two 3 or 4 liter dromlite bags to hang on the front of the bike. If I want to be lazy they have a 42" "hydration kit" with bite valve. That's plenty long to reach my mouth from the wheels. You'd just have to make sure you have a system to mount the stem so it doesn't drop into your wheels.

    Thanks for all the great suggestions so far. Anyone know of any hardshelled water cases that can be mounted?

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    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    go dromedary instead of dromlite, the dromedary are tougher. Dromedary is a trademarked name, their are old canvas desert water bags still available as well, but the droms are pretty dang ideal and bomber tough.

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    What country are you crossing? There's no need for that much water around here.

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    Senior Member librarian's Avatar
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    Make sure you test out carrying any quantity of water that is not inline with the center of the bike (Camelback, bottles).

    I would imagine that carring a gallon or two of water outboard could create handling problems. When I worked for a store we would unload cardboxes filled with tropical fish. The first time the truck unloader threw me the box the momentum from water sloshing inside pulled me sideways off my feet.

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    The best location for water would be the bottom of your front panniers, but I'm not sure about sucking water through four feet of straw.
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    Hello,

    I'm researching to tour cross country in a couple months. I'm trying to pack light. I probably will only use rear panniers and not front. Then the thought came to mind. Are there panniers built specifically to just carry water while touring? It could be something useful. Only problems I see is that water is not very light and it could add a good amount of weight. So climbing with them could be hard, but people climb heavily loaded anyways. Another problem I see is that the weight would easily shift. Perhaps they would work better on the rear and leave the solid stuff in the front at the steering.

    Anyways, are there water panniers out there? TIA. Matt
    A few years ago I read a product review of Ortlieb panniers in which the writer told about setting up camp in the Australian Outback in a spot with no water. She emptied her belongings out of one pannier, rode to a water source, filled the pannier with water, and rode back to camp with enough water for dinner, breakfast, and washing up. I suppose if she had had a less waterproof pannier she could have lined it with a plastic bag and done the same thing.

    Other than that, a pannier just to carry water strikes me as a solution in search of a problem. If you drink water during the day, you're going to finish the day with one empty pannier. Put 3 water bottles on your bike and refill them as needed. If you need more than that, get a waterbag, either a cheap thing from *Mart or a really nice MSR, Camelbak or similar.

    Are you camping or staying in hotels? If you're carrying camping gear, I would definitely suggest front and rear panniers, spreads the weight out much more nicely.

    Other than that, a pannier

  12. #12
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    Platypus Water Tank

    When Nancy and I go into areas without water overnight, we carry two of those 2 liter tanks each. They weigh next to nothing empty. The tanks come in up to 6 liters in size and a drinking tube attachment is available. We don't drink out of them and they are carried in our front panniers.

    A liter of water weighs about 2.2 pounds.

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  13. #13
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    If your bike has the room, use large Topeak cages for 1.5L bottles. Lighter than bike bottles and more capacity. I carry a water bag (Nalgene or Platypus) only when I think water will be difficlut to find in camp, never while riding.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yater
    What country are you crossing? There's no need for that much water around here.
    Not sure which country you are biking in. I am going to be crossing the United States. I'll start in Phoenix, head west to the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, then head northeast to CT, and finally south to finish at a beach in Souther New Jersey. I'm going to be leaving sometime around late April-early may. Temperatures are going to be hot and I sweat a lot. I don't want to get caught dehydrated out on the road.

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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markf
    A few years ago I read a product review of Ortlieb panniers in which the writer told about setting up camp in the Australian Outback in a spot with no water. She emptied her belongings out of one pannier, rode to a water source, filled the pannier with water, and rode back to camp with enough water for dinner, breakfast, and washing up. I suppose if she had had a less waterproof pannier she could have lined it with a plastic bag and done the same thing.

    Other than that, a pannier just to carry water strikes me as a solution in search of a problem. If you drink water during the day, you're going to finish the day with one empty pannier. Put 3 water bottles on your bike and refill them as needed. If you need more than that, get a waterbag, either a cheap thing from *Mart or a really nice MSR, Camelbak or similar.

    Are you camping or staying in hotels? If you're carrying camping gear, I would definitely suggest front and rear panniers, spreads the weight out much more nicely.

    Other than that, a pannier
    I think I'll probably get the two MSR bags to carry another 4 liters of water with me along with 2-3 bottles in cages. As the bottles empty then refill them with the bags. This may seem excessive to some, but as mentioned in my previous post, I sweat a lot. My form of a workout is jump roping, sit ups, pushups, leg lefts, and medicine ball work. Most of the time is spent jump roping. In about an hours workout I will drink the majority of a 1.75L bottle. Granted I probably won't be pushing myself as hard on the bike as I did in the workout, but I'll still be on a bike in the beginning of the summer in the southwest under the sun. I don't want to risk water shortage.

    Right now the RAAM route is a good option for me though. Most of their checkpoints are 40-70 miles apart. I think all of their checkpoints were little towns so I don't think there will be many times that I don't run into civilization at least once a day. Matt

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    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Check out the backpack I made into a pannier by using PVC plumbing pipe. I made the frame from 1/2" pipe and will almost fill a standard water bottle. I didn't make from PVC pipe for hauling extra water but did use a removable plug on the top so it's possible. I just wanted to use a backpack I found for $2 at a thrift store. Nothing has been done to the backpack to make it fit the PVC pipe frame. I made the frame to fit the backpack. It was very cheap to make. 10' of pipe was $1.55, two 90-degree elbows cost .15 and three Tee's cost .17 each. I had pipe glue, which costs about $3 if I had to buy some. I tested it by loading the backpack and doing 60 miles to my favorite fishing hole on an MUP, spending the night in my tent at the same place, and doing the 60-mile return trip the next day. No problems were encountered. If you wanted to haul more water simply make the pipe frame from 3/4" or 1" pipe.

  17. #17
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    I am dating myself here but in the "old days", we carried a canvas bag of water on the front bumper of our cars when we were traveling cross country. It stayed cooler on the front bumper and we used it as drinking water or for the radiator if necessary. Here is a site that appeares to carry a similar item.
    http://www.can-spec.com/canspec/prod...ucts.php?ID=14
    Carrying one on each side of the bike (low as practical) would help with balance. Probably carried about 2 gallons.
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    A 2.5-3L camelbak (or similar) makes the most sense to me. You can wear it while you ride or just use the bladder to fill at camp for cooking, washing, etc. The valve makes it easy to regulate your pour too.

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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    I like the idea of the canvas bag is it says it is constantly cooling by evaporation. That's the same way other bikers keep their drinks cool by putting the wet sock around the bottle. That would be nice to have a large supply of cool water always handy. They dont show prices on that site.

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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yater
    A 2.5-3L camelbak (or similar) makes the most sense to me. You can wear it while you ride or just use the bladder to fill at camp for cooking, washing, etc. The valve makes it easy to regulate your pour too.

    Only thing I don't like about the camelbak is that you do wear it. Why put the weight on your shoulders when the bike can easily carry it? Crossing the country that extra weight will surely bring me down. Maybe for a day trek it wouldn't be so bad. If you accept that not wearing the water makes more sense for touring then you might as well get something like the MSR bags which can be easily mounted like panniers.

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    Senior Member teamcompi's Avatar
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    On our tour of the Great divide last year we were concerned about the lack of water in the southern half of the trip and carried commercial bladders they worked fine, we had 3 sizes of containers, they took up no room when empty and could be fit in on and around things on the bike and trailer. If you are concerned about the weight another good trick is the bags that wine in a box comes in, they are tough and can be folded around things with ease.

    If you want to carry hard shelled containers for water the square ones at the supermarket can be adapted to fit a lowrider rack, or better yet modify the rack to fit the bottle.

    c

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    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    Do a Google on "canvas water bags". Will turn up some interesting sites including one bag on eBay.
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  23. #23
    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    Cycling through Southern Thailand we were drinking three liters of water an hour and sweating most of it out.

    We each carried two bottles, a Dromedary bag, and I carried one CamebBack bladder in my front pannier. I would run the tube from the pannier and droop it over the handlebar, keeping the water to the top of the tube. While the water would not flow like when the bladder is on my back, it worked well and made for easy drinking in the hot environment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    Only thing I don't like about the camelbak is that you do wear it. Why put the weight on your shoulders when the bike can easily carry it? Crossing the country that extra weight will surely bring me down. Maybe for a day trek it wouldn't be so bad. If you accept that not wearing the water makes more sense for touring then you might as well get something like the MSR bags which can be easily mounted like panniers.
    Like I said, you can wear it or you can use the bladder just like you would any other 3L bladder. You also have a nozzle to control flow. I don't see any advantage in the other foldable bladders over the camelbak bladder. I would never mount that much water on the bike for any kind of riding. I'd only ride with a full CB if there was some extreme stretch which called for it (I haven't found one yet)

    Another option is to strap the CB onto a rack. That way, you have a water supply that can be worn, strapped to the bike, or serve as a day pack when necessary. Using pannier space for water is just dumb imo (unless you'll be 2 or more days without water)

  25. #25
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    I like the idea of the canvas bag is it says it is constantly cooling by evaporation. That's the same way other bikers keep their drinks cool by putting the wet sock around the bottle. That would be nice to have a large supply of cool water always handy. They dont show prices on that site.
    The canvas bag thing is very, very old school. There are better ways to keep your water cold. All of the CamelBaks, whether backpacks or the Unbottle are well insulated. Each one will hold around 6 lb of ice and water and, even in the hottest of temperatures, will keep the water cold for several hours. My morning routine on tour is to stop at a convience store (they are everywhere...trust me) and purchase a bag of ice and a bottle of Gatorade. I stuff as much ice as I can into the CamelBak (I wear a 100oz capacity Blowfish), top it with water, pour half of the Gatorade in 2 bottles, fill with ice and then fill my third water bottle with water (I keep one water bottle for water only).

    The ice in the bottles is gone inside of 30 minutes and within 3 hours the temperature in the bottles is like tepid bath water. The CamelBak will still have ice water and some ice by around 3 in the afternoon. Even when the temperature is over 100 F, the ice will last 4 to 6 hours. If you carry it out of the sun (I think you should try wearing one for a while, you might change your mind) in a pannier, for example, you might get even more time out of it.
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