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Seeking lightweight panniers

Old 12-02-21, 07:59 AM
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Seeking lightweight panniers

My wife commutes by bike occasionally, and will probably be doing so more now that her office has moved. She started out by borrowing my Ortlieb Sport Packers, but complained that the pannier weight was a big fraction of her total carried load. So I got her Arkel Dry-Lites, which are super lightweight but a PITA to mount, unmount, and carry around.

So I seek the happy medium: something that's reasonably lightweight, but also reasonably convenient. I know that using only one pannier is an easy way to save weight, but she greatly prefers to have her load distributed between two. Any recommendations?
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Old 12-02-21, 08:18 AM
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If it's bad form to argue with the premise of a thread starting post, it's probably even worse to argue with the wife of that original poster.

But here goes anyhow.

For all weather commuting, the knowledge that my work clothes are staying dry makes it worthwhile (for me, at least) to deal with the extra few ounces of the Ortliebs.

If your wife's load is so light that empty panniers are a significant fraction of the total load, she's not likely to be overbalanced by using a single pannier.

Have you/she considered a trunk pack?
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Old 12-02-21, 06:13 PM
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^ ^ ^ What they said.

That said, Axiom makes nice, sturdy, lightweight panniers, like these.
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Old 12-02-21, 07:23 PM
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- My wife's petite, and a trunk bag wouldn't really fit in the space between her saddle and rack.
- I've already had the single-pannier discussion with her.
- She won't be bike-commuting in the rain if she can avoid it. If she gets caught in the rain, no pannier is likely to get soaked through over her short commute.
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Old 12-03-21, 05:55 AM
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There are many panniers on E-Bay that might fit what you are looking for. Check them out, and if you find something you like, let us know. All of us would like to hear of your good news.
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Old 12-03-21, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
- My wife's petite, and a trunk bag wouldn't really fit in the space between her saddle and rack.
- I've already had the single-pannier discussion with her.
- She won't be bike-commuting in the rain if she can avoid it. If she gets caught in the rain, no pannier is likely to get soaked through over her short commute.
This sounds like some weird internal marital issue.
Such a short commute and yet you want lighter panniers? How much stuff is she carrying
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Old 12-03-21, 03:44 PM
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I have the Tailfin setup. Carbon fiber rack and lightweight panniers. The whole setup can go on and off in a manner of seconds, literally. The panniers also detach in a manner of seconds if you want to keep the rack on. The only downside is price, but it is a pretty big downside (as in, hefty price). I wanted something lightweight and easy to completely remove as I am using the same bike for commuting as I am for everything else. It has been super-awesome.
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Old 12-03-21, 04:33 PM
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I've got a Tailfin myself. I am kind of embarrassed at how much I spent on it.
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Old 12-08-21, 02:52 PM
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I'm surprised she didn't like the Ortliebs. The attachment system is freaking brilliant.
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Old 12-08-21, 08:46 PM
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This is a waterproof single side by Basil. It's got no fuss mounts, handles and optional shoulder strap. No issues with heelstrike. Basil stuff isn't cheap, but it's all designed for utility/commuting. My girl likes to go to the open air market and this bag is perfect. This patten is called Wanderlust Charcoal. There are dozens of patterns from white/white floral to magnolia. We're getting a second one for Christmas so she'll essentially have a set of panniers that are easy on, off and portable. Basil's vintage style bells are very cool, too. They come in copper, chrome, brass and anodized black. If you zoom in you can see the chrome one. Its LOUD and rings forever.

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Old 12-10-21, 09:27 AM
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I don't know of anything that is light, and has an attachment system that is easier than the DryLites.

I use Ortliebs for my 40 mile round-trip commute. The extra weight is a small price to pay for the superior mounting system and durability.
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Old 12-10-21, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
My wife commutes by bike occasionally, and will probably be doing so more now that her office has moved. She started out by borrowing my Ortlieb Sport Packers, but complained that the pannier weight was a big fraction of her total carried load. So I got her Arkel Dry-Lites, which are super lightweight but a PITA to mount, unmount, and carry around.

So I seek the happy medium: something that's reasonably lightweight, but also reasonably convenient. I know that using only one pannier is an easy way to save weight, but she greatly prefers to have her load distributed between two. Any recommendations?
I just let mine pick her own crap. I give suggestions but she has to say thats the one.
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Old 12-10-21, 10:35 AM
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I've carried 20+ lbs in one pannier without noticing any handling issues. But, there would be no way to convince my wife of that, let alone someone else's. Good luck! You're in a tight spot.
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Old 12-10-21, 11:19 AM
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Just took delivery of a pair of Ortlieb gravel panniers. She hasn't used them yet, but her initial reaction is very positive.
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Old 12-10-21, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Just took delivery of a pair of Ortlieb gravel panniers. She hasn't used them yet, but her initial reaction is very positive.
And she had sport packers originally? 😄 Right...
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Old 12-11-21, 12:11 AM
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I see that you've purchased Ortliebs. I'm happy with mine and you can't go wrong with them.

For future reference...I was going to suggest the Arkel Dry-Lites. Waterproof, 28 L total and only a bit over 18 oz. They are saddle bag style rollups so everything is attached and it goes over the rear rack. I've never used them so I can't vouch for their durability, but Arkel is a recognized quality brand.
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Old 12-14-21, 07:40 AM
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Would it be bad form to point out that the gravel panniers weight significantly more than the Sport Packers given that she likes them?
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Old 12-14-21, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
Would it be bad form to point out that the gravel panniers weight significantly more than the Sport Packers given that she likes them?
Yep.
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Old 12-14-21, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
Would it be bad form to point out that the gravel panniers weight significantly more than the Sport Packers given that she likes them?
By my scale, the old Sport Packers weigh 970 g each, the new Gravel panniers weigh 520 g each. So, perhaps not poor form, but not accurate either.
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Old 12-14-21, 10:30 AM
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Weird... on Ortlieb's site that the sport packer is listed as: 875 g | 30.9 oz, and the gravel 1160 g | 40.9 oz, BUT I did not see that the sport packer is x2 that weight while the gravel is listed as per pair (I guess). Still different than your number below, not sure why that is.

Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
By my scale, the old Sport Packers weigh 970 g each, the new Gravel panniers weigh 520 g each. So, perhaps not poor form, but not accurate either.
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