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Old 04-16-14, 05:58 PM   #1
Walter S
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Three panniers seems better than four

My load fills two front panniers and one rear. Even though it's not balanced this seems better than taking another pannier and spreading the load around more.

What do you think?

Edit: This is a two day/one night camping trip.
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Old 04-16-14, 06:04 PM   #2
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My load fills two front panniers and one rear. Even though it's not balanced this seems better than taking another pannier and spreading the load around more.

What do you think?

Edit: This is a two day/one night camping trip.
My large rear panniers weight 2 lbs each. I would bring all four just in case. Plus it can be easier to get one thing out of a pannier if things are spread out.
My small panniers are one lb..

No reason you can't bring 3 instead
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Old 04-16-14, 06:56 PM   #3
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Just an idea:

Would using your 2 rear panniers, plus whatever you have left over going into one of your front panniers; which is used as a rack pack on the rear rack work? Seems like it might be a little more balanced.
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Old 04-16-14, 07:02 PM   #4
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3 will work just fine. Once you get moving, won't even notice. Others might....Musta lost one of his bags.

Why not just 2 and a rack pack?
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Old 04-16-14, 09:06 PM   #5
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be strong. you KNOW that if you get talked into carrying that second rear pannier you will just fill it up with heavy jade statues, glass baubles, beads, and torquoise belt buckles don't you?.
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Old 04-17-14, 02:37 AM   #6
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be strong. you KNOW that if you get talked into carrying that second rear pannier you will just fill it up with heavy jade statues, glass baubles, beads, and torquoise belt buckles don't you?.
Yes! I'm the worst when it comes to taking the kitchen sink. I'm going for a ride in the mountains and need to be light as possible. My paranoia about getting cold tonight may spill me into another pannier though
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Old 04-17-14, 02:39 AM   #7
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I use two panniers, one Carradice, and one handlebar bag. No need for more than that.
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Old 04-17-14, 04:20 AM   #8
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It would work, but I'd probably use the front panniers with the tent and if necessary some other stuff on the top of the rear rack. I have actually gone that route with small front panniers and it worked out very well.
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Old 04-17-14, 04:34 AM   #9
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Sounds like a lot for just one night camping. Are you cooking?

Two rear panniers with your sleeping bag in one. Tent and sleeping mat (wrapped in groundsheet or in a bin liner) on top of rear rack. Why anyone puts a tent in anything other than the bag it came in beats me. Maybe a bar bag if you want.
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Old 04-17-14, 05:45 AM   #10
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As far as riding is concerned, you'll definitely get used to the imbalance quickly. I do grocery runs at home with one front pannier and after a minute of riding I don't even notice the difference.

But if you're carrying anything on top of your rack, or in a handlebar or saddlebag I'd forgo those and use the matched pannier. The convenience of panniers cannot be underestimated IMO.
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Old 04-17-14, 05:52 AM   #11
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About your concerns of being cold, adding extra clothes like a warm fleece top,, thick wool socks, a toque, gloves, fleece pants or long underwear etc etc won't add much actual weight, but may make your evening and night much more comfortable. It will be bulky but along with the actual pannier the extra weight won't be much vs the temps you will have whereever you are. Saturday night here will be 2c or mid 30s F
Its great that you are being careful about weight, but some extra warm clothes shouldn't be much weight but could mean a much more comfortable camping experience. All the best with it.
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Old 04-17-14, 05:54 AM   #12
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About your concerns of being cold, adding extra clothes like a warm fleece top,, thick wool socks, a toque, gloves, fleece pants or long underwear etc etc won't add much actual weight, but may make your evening and night much more comfortable. It will be bulky but along with the actual pannier the extra weight won't be much vs the temps you will have whereever you are. Saturday night here will be 2c or mid 30s F
Its great that you are being careful about weight, but some extra warm clothes shouldn't be much weight but could mean a much more comfortable camping experience. All the best with it.
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Old 04-17-14, 07:19 AM   #13
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I use two panniers, one Carradice, and one handlebar bag. No need for more than that.
On our 8-month RTW tour in 2012 ...




On our overnight test tour earlier in 2012 ...




During a month in Europe in 2007 ...




On a 3-month tour of Australia in 2004 ...

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Old 04-17-14, 09:38 AM   #14
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Sounds like a lot for just one night camping. Are you cooking?

Two rear panniers with your sleeping bag in one. Tent and sleeping mat (wrapped in groundsheet or in a bin liner) on top of rear rack. Why anyone puts a tent in anything other than the bag it came in beats me. Maybe a bar bag if you want.
I put my tent and rainfly in a sil-nylon compression sack. It compresses down to the size of a very small loaf of bread, about the third of the size of the originally furnished bag.

The blue compression sack is the tent.
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Old 04-17-14, 09:55 AM   #15
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I put my tent and rainfly in a sil-nylon compression sack. It compresses down to the size of a very small loaf of bread, about the third of the size of the originally furnished bag.

The blue compression sack is the tent.
Fine. I was really referring to putting tents in drybags/panniers. I just don't see the point.
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Old 04-17-14, 10:05 AM   #16
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Better to go with balance and symmetry. Grinding away mile after mile, thinking about the odd number of panniers, will eventually consume your every thought and drive you crazy. Do yourself a huge favor, and carry an even number of panniers, or single items loaded centerline only.
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Old 04-17-14, 10:46 AM   #17
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One correspondent on another list used 3 panniers on a cross US trip , actually brings 4 but the other one
was used to have the capacity to haul the water needed for the long stretches in the desert West.

Handling if 1 rear bag is not too adversely effected , but if the front panniers are not balanced the steering has a bit of pull .
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Old 04-17-14, 11:39 AM   #18
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Sounds like a lot for just one night camping. Are you cooking?

Two rear panniers with your sleeping bag in one. Tent and sleeping mat (wrapped in groundsheet or in a bin liner) on top of rear rack. Why anyone puts a tent in anything other than the bag it came in beats me. Maybe a bar bag if you want.
I understand what you are getting at, but personally I would rather everything be in a pannier if possible. It drives me nuts to have a messy looking rig on tour. A bundle on top of my racks would bother me for some reason.
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Old 04-17-14, 01:08 PM   #19
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I use two panniers, one Carradice, and one handlebar bag. No need for more than that.
Sorry, M, but I beg to differ. There are tours where you actually need a LOT. I will use 4 panniers on my Perth-Adelaide tour this "Aussie winter". Tent and sleeping bag, stove, food, clothes, tools, spare parts (tyres, tubes) yadda... Now THAT means ~ 4 panniers.
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Old 04-17-14, 01:16 PM   #20
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I understand what you are getting at, but personally I would rather everything be in a pannier if possible. It drives me nuts to have a messy looking rig on tour. A bundle on top of my racks would bother me for some reason.
My bundles are always neat.
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Old 04-17-14, 01:34 PM   #21
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I figure a weekend overnight camping trip or a month long trip pretty much has the same amount of stuff, so 4 panniers ish worth.
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Old 04-17-14, 01:38 PM   #22
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I use two panniers, one Carradice, and one handlebar bag. No need for more than that.
Actually the Caradice Longflap is about the same volume size as an Ortlieb front pair, although it does weigh less.

Last edited by BigAura; 04-17-14 at 01:46 PM. Reason: adjusted quote
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Old 04-17-14, 01:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
My load fills two front panniers and one rear. Even though it's not balanced this seems better than taking another pannier and spreading the load around more.

What do you think?

Edit: This is a two day/one night camping trip.
No, No, No

I rode from Ayachucho to Quito with three bags (theft). Having three bags loses the #1 benefit of using two.

What is that you ask?

The ability readjust weight quickly based on road conditions. It comes in handy when you are combining road, gravel and track.

Will three bags work? -> Of course.
Will it mess up your ride?-> Nope.
Could there be a benifit? -> Possibly water intrusion prevention.
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Old 04-17-14, 02:54 PM   #24
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I understand what you are getting at, but personally I would rather everything be in a pannier if possible. It drives me nuts to have a messy looking rig on tour. A bundle on top of my racks would bother me for some reason.
It is purely personal preference, but I have a hard time imagining a tent or sleeping bag/pad neatly strapped on a rack would be considered more "messy looking" than a pannier on one side only. Your choice though.

Edit:
I just realized that you are the guy who posed about your "rackless experiment". If you don't go with the full rackless system, why not use the front panniers with the bag you had under the saddle. I thought it looked like a decent setup.

Your thread:
My rackless experiment

Last edited by staehpj1; 04-17-14 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 04-17-14, 05:20 PM   #25
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Fine. I was really referring to putting tents in drybags/panniers. I just don't see the point.
I also prefer to store my tent, sleeping bag, pad and some misc. items in a compact bundle. It make handling at train stations, motels, and even in the campgrounds much easier than having all those separate items strapped to the rack. I'm not worried about keeping my tent dry just under control.

It allows the rackpack to be held securely with a couple of bungees rather than cumbersome straps and buckles often required with a bunch of loose items. It also allows the gear to come off the bike quickly in easily handled packages. Often on European trains there are only a few minutes to find the right platform, identify the bike car and get the gear and bikes inside. The more easily things can come off the bike and into the car the better.



All my soft camping gear is in the Ortlieb Rackpack underneath my helmet. Also, the Rackpack is the perfect size for carry on baggage when flying.


Here again, like many things, personal preference is what governs how folks pack. I also believe that packing techniques evolve over time to meet individual needs.

However, I have seen folks cruising loaded with so much gear and clothing stacked and strapped on their bikes, that the book "Grapes of Wrath" and fleeing the dustbowl come to mind

Last edited by Doug64; 04-17-14 at 07:52 PM.
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