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Old 05-13-08, 11:27 PM   #1
Dan The Man
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How much volume do you carry?

I am looking at picking out panniers for a summer tour, and I am trying to decide between 36L and 43L. I will also have about 7 L of space for small items between a seat bag and handle bar bag, plus 2 cages for water. I definitely prefer the light side. I don't mind trading comfort for space.

A rough idea of things I plan on taking are: Hennessy Hammock, Trangia stove, summer sleeping bag, small air mattress, small bike pump, some tools, spare tire, spare tube, change of cloths, rain gear, flip flops, food, fuel, first aid kit... and probably a few things I am forgetting right now.
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Old 05-14-08, 01:07 AM   #2
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If you trust yourself not to fill them, get the larger size. There is no greater luxury on tour than operating out of half-filled panniers.
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Old 05-14-08, 05:33 AM   #3
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Yep, the larger ones will give you more flexibility. However, you can also strap loads of stuff to the top of your rack.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takara View Post
If you trust yourself not to fill them, get the larger size. There is no greater luxury on tour than operating out of half-filled panniers.
In my experience empty space is very hard not to fill. The easiest way to lighten you load on tour is to limit
the volume of your bags. This is one of the rules of ultralight camping. Also your bags are a pretty heavy item, so the smaller ones will also weigh less.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:33 AM   #5
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Well you won't need an air matress with the Hennessy hammock.

It sounds like you might be doing unsupported touring. If so you will need some extra room while on the ground for liquids, extra food (bread doesn't like being compressed) and things you can't carry on airplanes such as stove fuel.

You have options with the larger panniers that you don't have with small ones, but you have to resist filling the extra space with things you won't use.
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Old 05-14-08, 08:42 AM   #6
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Hi Dan The Man,
When I,m touring and camping I use rear paniers (2x21liters) and front panniers (2x13.5liters) for a total volume of 69 liters. The only thing that is not in a pannier is my sleeping pad and tent poles which I carry in a waterproof bag on top of my rear rack. I also use a trunk bag on top of my front rack instead of a handlebar bag but I only carry stuff in it that I will need while riding. If I personally had larger panniers I would not be able to stop myself from filling them with stuff that I would neither need or use.
I would go with the 43 liter bags.
Happy touring!
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Old 05-14-08, 09:40 AM   #7
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I'd max out the volume and just try not to use it all. I love having some extra space on tour in case i want to say, carry a gallon jug of water, or pack some extra food for a day I know I won't be near much. Or what if you find yourself somewhere and there is a killer deal on something you dont need for tour, and you buy it. You need to carry it to the post office so you can ship it home.

I try to be efficient, but since I live on the bike for two or more weeks at a time, I like to be able to carry some things on the bike I might otherwise not be able to do.
Plus, what if one day you want to carry a case a beer back to camp? Done!
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Old 05-16-08, 10:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by cyberpep View Post
When I'm touring and camping I use rear paniers (2x21liters) and front panniers (2x13.5liters) for a total volume of 69 liters. The only thing that is not in a pannier is my sleeping pad and tent poles which I carry in a waterproof bag on top of my rear rack. I also use a trunk bag on top of my front rack instead of a handlebar bag ...
Happy touring!
69 liters * 61 cubic inches / liter => 4200 cubic inches

Compare that to my 4000 cubic inch full frame backpack. On the outside, I carry the tent, sleeping bag and pad, so it sounds like we are equivalent. I manage to fit 13 days of dehydrated food and fuel inside the pack, so it sounds like I am packing smaller, somehow. On the other hand, cyclists have to pack tools and some cycling-specific clothing. And, in all fairness, I am sharing some equipment when I am on a long backpacking trip. I have only done two trips that were longer than four days, and I had a partner to share the load. I am "kind of" musing here. Thank you for the input, cyberpep !!!
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Old 05-16-08, 11:45 AM   #9
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I use a 25L set of Ortlieb front rollers when I'm camping, though I did use a 40L set last summer instead when I went to a fiber festival where I both needed to camp and carry knitting and spinning supplies. I usually have a handlebar bag up front as well for maps and a small repair kit so I don't have to go digging into the bags, but I hate having to tie stuff on the top of the rack. I'd much rather have it all in one bag so I don't have to worry about little things coming loose or having to remove it all when I go into a grocery store.

In my opinion, if you're going light you should go with the smaller bags. There's less temptation to carry more stuff and it makes it so much easier to fit the bags - problems like heel strike just disappear. A larger bag with less stuff in it can also load in a funny way, small bags keep it all nice and neat.
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Old 05-16-08, 12:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by stokell View Post
Well you won't need an air mattress with the Hennessy hammock.
Off topic, but this bears mention: air mattress or no, underside insulation of some sort is a must for comfortable hammocking. I swear by the Big Agnes Air Core: the ribbing tends to keep you over the pad, even without the sleeping bag being in the sleeve, and it packs down small and light... they're making an even smaller, lighter version now (the Clearview) which might be ideal for hammocks because there's no wear against the ground. Other people carry underquilts, or slide around on a closed cell foam pad. But you need something.
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