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How Many of You are Sick of Waterproof Panniers ?

Old 12-25-17, 06:48 PM
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How Many of You are Sick of Waterproof Panniers ?

Hey I was just wondering how many of you are a bit annoyed at how most panniers available these days are made of "waterproof" material.

I currently have the typical five Ortlieb bag setup and in hot and humid Latin America it's a bit ridiculous. I'd have preferred something else but when I was in the market for bags this was all I could get my hands on. Personally, I'd rather use the old-school breathable panniers with water-resistant covers stowed in easily accessible pockets for those occasional rainshowers. Even while touring in the UK I found it was dry for most of the day so I'd rather not have my damp clothes growing mildew.

I'm asking because I'm considering getting some panniers made and debating whether selling them to like minded tourists/commuters would be worthwhile
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Old 12-25-17, 07:02 PM
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I have both types and tend to use the non-waterproof ones more often mainly because they're slightly more convenient to open and close with a simple zipper instead of a roll-closure and multiple clips.
But if I had to choose and only have one set of panniers I'd probably pick the waterproof ones.

While touring I didn't stuff my damp clothes in with other things. If the weather was still bad then they went into a separate pocket or at least into their own plastic bag. If the weather had cleared up then they were strapped on top of the rack to let them dry out.
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Old 12-25-17, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
I have both types and tend to use the non-waterproof ones more often mainly because they're slightly more convenient to open and close with a simple zipper instead of a roll-closure and multiple clips.
But if I had to choose and only have one set of panniers I'd probably pick the waterproof ones.

While touring I didn't stuff my damp clothes in with other things. If the weather was still bad then they went into a separate pocket or at least into their own plastic bag. If the weather had cleared up then they were strapped on top of the rack to let them dry out.
Yeah I used to have both types on my first big tour, it was a nice combination although recent events have caused me to lose faith in my Ortliebs (I ripped out a screw and the holes aren't sealed so I'm going to start plastic bagging all my electronics/papers anyway). I liked my old breathable panniers because they had pockets on the outer sides which were made of mesh so I knew stuff would dry there and not get snagged in the wheel. Too bad I chucked 'em.
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Old 12-25-17, 07:25 PM
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Wouldn't non-waterproof panniers be more difficult to clean and possibly have muck from the road, infuse itself to the panniers that you wouldn't be able to get off?
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Old 12-25-17, 07:51 PM
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I try to do my longer rides, and mini-tours in the sunshine, so I'd prefer reasonably lightweight panniers with a few pockets. And, waterproof would be nice, but not vital. I do like heavy duty zippers if I can find them. Wet stuff can be tied to the outside of the bags.

I have been considering waterproof panniers for commuting which does get winter rain, but so far they haven't met my needs, and are expensive.

My latest pannier set includes a pizza box sized integrated trunk bag. I bought them second hand, so perhaps a custom build. Anyway, great for those trips requiring picking up pizza boxes. I'm not sure if I'd use them for touring, as I still have been tying stuff onto the rack.



I have also been eying some of those backpack convertible pannier sets, although they are a little expensive, and I'm not sure they'll fit my needs of a backpack or pannier set well.

https://www.pannierbackpacks.com/pro...nier-backpack/




There may be other brands too.
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Old 12-25-17, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Wouldn't non-waterproof panniers be more difficult to clean and possibly have muck from the road, infuse itself to the panniers that you wouldn't be able to get off?
In my experience, all panniers get dirty and become difficult to clean. I never really put a great deal of effort into trying to clean them though cause I don't care all that much if things are a bit scuffed. I'd imagine porous cloth would be easier to clean as one can run water right through it bu I've had reasonable success cleaning both kinds of panniers to the point they don't et refused at the baggage check-in counter at least
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Old 12-25-17, 11:04 PM
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i would like to respond to this thread, but since the first few people
effectively answered, i wouldn't want to be accused of adding to
pages and pages and pages of opinions.
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Old 12-26-17, 02:17 AM
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Get some Axiom Cartier panniers ...

Bags/Panniers - Products - Axiom Cycling Gear


I have their LaSalles (which I don't see on their site just now) and really like them. I've used them for years, and they still look almost new.
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Old 12-26-17, 02:54 AM
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I've never noticed that a bunch of clothes stuffed inside a non-waterproof pannier do much drying. But I have noticed that dry clothes do get damp in rain when using them.
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Old 12-26-17, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I try to do my longer rides, and mini-tours in the sunshine, so I'd prefer reasonably lightweight panniers with a few pockets. And, waterproof would be nice, but not vital. I do like heavy duty zippers if I can find them. Wet stuff can be tied to the outside of the bags.

I have been considering waterproof panniers for commuting which does get winter rain, but so far they haven't met my needs, and are expensive.

My latest pannier set includes a pizza box sized integrated trunk bag. I bought them second hand, so perhaps a custom build. Anyway, great for those trips requiring picking up pizza boxes. I'm not sure if I'd use them for touring, as I still have been tying stuff onto the rack.


I have also been eying some of those backpack convertible pannier sets, although they are a little expensive, and I'm not sure they'll fit my needs of a backpack or pannier set well.


There may be other brands too.
Thanks for the input. You are the first person I've seen with that kind of setup on their bike. I've seen lots of that style of integrated pannier/trunk bag setup for sale on the internet but nothing actually on the road. I always assumed they would be too light-duty and not versatile enough for most touring especially with the trunk bag.

Some of the other bags you posted look interesting too. I think if I were to have some panniers made I'd go for something similar to Ortliebs' Backrollers but with a few changes. Keeping it relatively simple.
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Old 12-26-17, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
i would like to respond to this thread, but since the first few people
effectively answered, i wouldn't want to be accused of adding to
pages and pages and pages of opinions.
Haha, I actually would like pages and pages of opinions in this case. Fire away if you wish.
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Old 12-26-17, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
I've never noticed that a bunch of clothes stuffed inside a non-waterproof pannier do much drying. But I have noticed that dry clothes do get damp in rain when using them.
+1.

/thread as this it is just to stir the pot, IMO.
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Old 12-26-17, 07:24 AM
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Personally I prefer waterproof, even in hot Latin America, but to be honest, a robust secure and simple attachment system is just as important, and i have always found that the ortlieb system has been just that, for the 25 years I've been using them.
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Old 12-26-17, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Get some Axiom Cartier panniers ...

Bags/Panniers - Products - Axiom Cycling Gear


I have their LaSalles (which I don't see on their site just now) and really like them. I've used them for years, and they still look almost new.
Personally, I'm not a fan of any of Axiom's stuff. I like the look of their attachment system and I'd like to use it on bags I get made but haven't been able to find contact details online for the company. How do you like the attachment system BTW? Better than Ortliebs? My Ortliebs are driving me nuts. The little plastic inserts in the top hooks kept popping out in the dark. Amazing I haven't lost one yet.


I'm thinking of a completely non-waterproof design out of something like Cordura with a pocket on the outer face and one on the rear of the bag about the right size to hold a 1l bottle and with no designs, just plain black with no reflectors. I prefer to not have reflectors on my stuff. I can always buy a bright or reflective item and hang it over my stuff if I feel like it'll help but would prefer to remain obscure when stealth camping in not-so stealthy locations.
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Old 12-26-17, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TallTourist View Post
Personally, I'm not a fan of any of Axiom's stuff. I like the look of their attachment system and I'd like to use it on bags I get made but haven't been able to find contact details online for the company. How do you like the attachment system BTW? Better than Ortliebs? My Ortliebs are driving me nuts. The little plastic inserts in the top hooks kept popping out in the dark. Amazing I haven't lost one yet.
I don't own an Ortlieb pannier, so I can't compare. I do, however, own a set of Axiom panniers, which I love and have used quite a bit over the years.
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Old 12-26-17, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
+1.

/thread as this it is just to stir the pot, IMO.
I don't have the time or inclination to engage in that sort of thing, I'm legitimately asking for opinions to gauge an interest in some products I might get made.
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Old 12-26-17, 07:59 AM
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Re inserts, I've used them for years with no issues. If however there is too much looseness between insert and rail with heavy loads and bumpy roads, the constant movement can be an issue, combined with how you have set up the position of both the two top clips and the lower tab, ie does your setup eliminate movement, as it is designed for.

The other option re inserts is to remove them and wrap electric tape, and or rubber tubing on the rack to bring up the diameter to nearly eliminate any play.

This system is very effective and works perfectly for me.

Eliminating play, and therefore a million back and forth movements, along with proper positioning of all three contact points depending on your racks, will take care of things loosening. Just like a properly tightened rack bolt stays tight, but a slightly lose one will loosen and loosen, and then break off.

Play and movement are to be avoided.

Removing and inverting inserts takes a certain practice with a screw driver and being observant to figure out how to do it without overly forcing things.
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Old 12-26-17, 08:04 AM
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Re getting something made, do as you wish, but generally it seems to me that you'll be better off with carradice bags or arkels that have been making well made non waterproof panniers fur decades, and are a known reliable product.
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Old 12-26-17, 08:04 AM
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Just poke some holes in your waterproof paniers... problem solved

Originally Posted by TallTourist View Post
Hey I was just wondering how many of you are a bit annoyed at how most panniers available these days are made of "waterproof" material.

I currently have the typical five Ortlieb bag setup and in hot and humid Latin America it's a bit ridiculous. I'd have preferred something else but when I was in the market for bags this was all I could get my hands on. Personally, I'd rather use the old-school breathable panniers with water-resistant covers stowed in easily accessible pockets for those occasional rainshowers. Even while touring in the UK I found it was dry for most of the day so I'd rather not have my damp clothes growing mildew.

I'm asking because I'm considering getting some panniers made and debating whether selling them to like minded tourists/commuters would be worthwhile
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Old 12-26-17, 09:04 AM
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I prefer the waterproof ones, I use the Ortlieb classics. I have some old Nashbar ATB ones that I used a decade ago, not water proof. And I think I have some REI ones that are not waterproof that have not been used for years.

Damp clothes, I strap them on top of one or both of my frontroller panniers with that single strap that goes over the top. (I usually strap my rain gear on top of my front rollers too, that way it is handy when needed quickly.) Small damp items like socks I often strap on the front or top of my handlebar bag.

I designate one of my front rollers for stuff that does not need to stay dry, like my air mattress. That is because that pannier is used for my tent and it usually is damp in the morning when I pack. Thus, I do not pack stuff that needs to stay dry in that one pannier with my tent.
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Old 12-26-17, 10:19 AM
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My only experience is with 2 plastic Bike Bins from UK. I had insert pullout bags hand tailored. Cost over double probably, but it worked great. Not a drop of wetness, survived crashes, probably more aero, had locks that at least tell me if it had stayed closed, easy to hose or wipe off mud. I used skate laces to tie them down the whole trip. The 2 bins had the volume of my old large suitcase, so I took basically all the same contents, non-camping. Other bike stuff went in other containers on the frame.

Only real problem was the clasps were too easy to bump off. They could rattle if not full. My dirty clothes went in plastic bags.

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Old 12-26-17, 10:22 AM
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Maybe you would have liked the traditional cotton duck-canvas Carradice panniers better..?

they get a specially specified very densly woven cotton , it can absorb wax to be more water repellent,

and when wet the fibers expand, so they are very water resistant .. Britain does experience a bit of rain.




Up north, temperate rain forestland, the rain saturates into most everything..

so if the bag is not itself waterproof, you need to add a rain cover..


I use my Ortlieb bags on my bike for grocery shopping every trip..





.....

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Old 12-26-17, 10:32 AM
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I'm getting back into touring after a long absence (10 years). I looked at buying some new panniers, but the old Novara set I have (REI's old house brand) are still in good shape and did well on an overnight test ride. One of the advantages (IMHO) are the pockets on the exterior for small and regularly used stuff; just so much more convenient than digging through a big bag. As for waterproofness - I'm used to lining the panniers (and my backpack) with trash bags, so waterproof fabric is not a big concern for me.
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Old 12-26-17, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TallTourist View Post
Personally, I'm not a fan of any of Axiom's stuff. I like the look of their attachment system and I'd like to use it on bags I get made but haven't been able to find contact details online for the company. How do you like the attachment system BTW? Better than Ortliebs? My Ortliebs are driving me nuts. The little plastic inserts in the top hooks kept popping out in the dark. Amazing I haven't lost one yet.


I'm thinking of a completely non-waterproof design out of something like Cordura with a pocket on the outer face and one on the rear of the bag about the right size to hold a 1l bottle and with no designs, just plain black with no reflectors. I prefer to not have reflectors on my stuff. I can always buy a bright or reflective item and hang it over my stuff if I feel like it'll help but would prefer to remain obscure when stealth camping in not-so stealthy locations.
Just because panniers are non-waterproof does not mean they are breathable. Most commercially made Cordura panniers have a Urethane "water resistant" coating. If things go in Cordura panniers damp they will come out damp. They don't breathe.
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Old 12-26-17, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Just because panniers are non-waterproof does not mean they are breathable. Most commercially made Cordura panniers have a Urethane "water resistant" coating. If things go in Cordura panniers damp they will come out damp. They don't breathe.

With over 10,000 miles using my Robert Beckman water-resistant Cordura panniers, I can confidently say +1 to this.


Hell. During my September tour I put wet bibs and a jersey on top of my rear rack for one day's ride and they were still a bit damp when I finished thanks to high humidity which prevented rapid evaporation.


Want breathable? Get some mesh grocery bags or something similar.
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