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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gyro_T's Avatar
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    Panniers as a Carry-on / "Personal Item" on airlines. Looking for best brand/designs

    My wife and I are headed to Italy for about three weeks. I am looking for a good set of panniers that will serve as a carry on and as a pack. I have seen some kind of piggy back affair somewhere. Hoping to make it with one checked bag. To check a bicycle is $150 through Air France/KLM. That is one way of course. It would take about 4 trips to pay for a set of S and S couplers. You have to buy the case anyway. I digress. What panniers would you suggest.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    First of all ... if you look at different airlines, you'll see that some charge for bicycles and some don't and the amount they charge varies. This site will give you an idea of that, but you'd have to look up the individual airlines for confirmation as they tend to change their charges and rules and regs frequently.
    http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm

    As for bringing everything else as carry-on, what many of us do is to put our empty panniers into the cardboard bicycle box for padding ... and then put the contents of the panniers into a lightweight duffle bag which can be folded up and stuffed into the bottom of a pannier once we get cycling.


    This was how we arranged things on our most recent tour ... bicycle box with panniers as padding, larger woven blue bags with the camping gear, blue and green duffle bags with clothing, and we each had purple backpacks, but in this picture, Rowan is using his handlebar bag instead of the backpacks.




    The duffle bags and backpacks folded down to a very small size ...


  3. #3
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I would pick the panniers based on your on bicycle needs, versus carry on needs. FWIW I primarily use Lone Peak or Ortlieb based on my needs for a specific trip. I also use Carradice but those are mainly for short day trips or overnights.

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  4. #4
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    We use ordinary panniers. They all have some sort of handle or strap on the top to carry them by. Some airlines have carry on weight limits. We don't bring our panniers fully packed. We put a lot of stuff into one piece of checked luggage, which we leave at our arrival/departure hotel along with the bike box.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Stayed on a Farm before returning home last trip, so my panniers went into Chicken feed bags ,

    and were checked. carry on was a Duffle with the camera gear in it and My pocket Mandolin .

    bike in a carton .

    find out the carry on allowance and work backwards from there.
    maybe 2 front panniers will fit in the OHC.

    if you board early and so get space..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-31-13 at 09:26 PM.

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    I would also suggest two conventional front panniers. If you carry both on be sure to connect them together as one carry on bag using zip ties or whatever works. Kind of silly as they could be easier to stash over or under as separates but not how the airlines made the rules.

    For example:

    2 Ortlieb Front Roller separate= 11.8" + 9.8" + 5.5"= 2 bags @27.1 linear inches each
    2 Ortlieb Front Roller together= 11.8" + 9.8" + 11" = 1 bag @32.6 linear inches

    http://www.travelsmith.com/wcsstore/...Guidelines.pdf

    I sometimes carry a small collapsible nylon day pack inside my panniers for day hikes while on tour. It's also a good size for the "personal" items on the plane that are allowed in addition to the one carry on.
    Last edited by BobG; 01-01-14 at 08:18 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Gyro_T's Avatar
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    Hello Machka, Thanks for the valuable information. The pictures help a lot. Do those boxes make the round trip? I am thinking we will invest in soft cases. The website was very helpful. We have three regions to cycle. Umbria area near SPello, south of Florence area in Tuscany near Siena, and an area just west of Venice. Still trying to work out if trains will work or renting a little van as there will be five of us for part to the trip. Your ideas are welcome.

    Also, wahoo, CFBoy, fietsbob and Bobg, really appreciate your input. I have read some stories on this forum where travelers ran into some real problems trying to depend on trains and taxis. Really like to avoid those! Thanks to you members
    Last edited by Gyro_T; 01-01-14 at 01:38 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Check the fly with british airways,you can buy an extra luggage for about 40eur one way.We always take one big ortlieb as a hand luggage and the other 3 panniers we put them on a ikea bag
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  9. #9
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    Many airlines will allow two bags as carryons provided one is quite small. Airlines often allow a briefcase/computer case as a freebie in addition to the larger carryon because the briefcase should fit under the airline seat in front of you. I sometimes carry an old fabric briefcase/bag because they let me. I am not sure if a front pannier would pass as a briefcase with airline personnel, but it might.

    Where are you packing your helmet? I always carried that in my carryon, I did not want it crushed and broken in my checked luggage.

    A cheap small luggage scale can save you an expensive over-weight charge, I always carry one.

  10. #10
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    I bought Panpack front panniers in part for that reason. I haven't brought them in planes as carry-on but have done so on trains and they make life easier. I'll probably get the rear panniers eventually. So far on airplanes (Air Canada only), I pack everything in the rear panniers which then go in a large plastic bag provided by the airline. I save an extra luggage fee and avoid things like hooks and straps sticking out.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  11. #11
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    Just about any front pannier makes a nice carry-on bag; camera, sweater, slippers if it's a red-eye flight, netbook or tablet, water bottle (fill it inside security), etc.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Machka

    As for bringing everything else as carry-on, what many of us do is to put our empty panniers into the cardboard bicycle box for padding ... and then put the contents of the panniers into a lightweight duffle bag which can be folded up and stuffed into the bottom of a pannier once we get cycling.


    This was how we arranged things on our most recent tour ... bicycle box with panniers as padding, larger woven blue bags with the camping gear, blue and green duffle bags with clothing, and we each had purple backpacks, but in this picture, Rowan is using his handlebar bag instead of the backpacks.
    +1

    My wife and I use a similar method as Machka. The only difference is that I have 2 more panniers. However, every thing still fits with only one checked bag each. We use the technique for air, train , bus travel, and for shipping.

    In this case it was train and bus travel to get to our starting point. The contents of my 4 panniers fit in the yellow light weight duffle bag. My wife empties her panniers into the black light weight duffle bag. All the empty panniers go in with the bikes. For air travel the duffle bags go as checked baggage, and the rack packs, bar bags and helmets go as carry-on luggage.



    Lisbon Airport-- You can see one of my empty yellow panniers in the left handhold of the bike box.
    Last edited by Doug64; 01-05-14 at 10:24 AM.

  13. #13
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    For longer trips I usually credit card tour so I am not carrying all that much (yes others would argue I carry too much ). What I do is to put bulky things like helmet and shoes in the bike box. Then I put one Ortlieb pannier inside another and pack that and carry it on.
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    Thanks to all for passing on the results of your thoughtful experience. Going touring in Scotland, Belgium and Holland this spring so this is very helpful.

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