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Arkel Kargo Panniers

Old 04-20-21, 06:17 AM
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The Bike Tourer
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Arkel Kargo Panniers

Hello,

I recently found these Arkel panniers called Kargo.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with these??


The full name is Kargo Rear Pannier | Large.
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Old 04-20-21, 07:15 AM
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Arkel used to be really heavy duty stuff that I considered way overbuilt. Some of my friends empty baggage weighed more than my current base gear weight including bags (They had a lot of capacity and heavy duty bags). I think I recall Arkel coming out with some very lightweight options since then. In any case I think they always made a quality product if the bags chosen suited your personal packing style. So the choice probably is going depend on whether these bags suit your needs as far as size and design criteria.

Sorry I don't have specific comments about that exact model.
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Old 04-20-21, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Arkel used to be really heavy duty stuff that I considered way overbuilt. Some of my friends empty baggage weighed more than my current base gear weight including bags (They had a lot of capacity and heavy duty bags). I think I recall Arkel coming out with some very lightweight options since then. In any case I think they always made a quality product if the bags chosen suited your personal packing style. So the choice probably is going depend on whether these bags suit your needs as far as size and design criteria.

Sorry I don't have specific comments about that exact model.

Thank you ! To be honest with you, this is my first touring trip. I did not want to spend 200-300$ on panniers so I found these Kargo model. They look well built and only cost 150$. I am not sure what my style is or what I want haha.
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Old 04-20-21, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by The Bike Tourer View Post
Thank you ! To be honest with you, this is my first touring trip. I did not want to spend 200-300$ on panniers so I found these Kargo model. They look well built and only cost 150$. I am not sure what my style is or what I want haha.
If your budget is tight, I have been happy with cheap house brand panniers from Nashbar or Performance. I like the roll top waterproof ones that are essentially just one compartment since I prefer to organize my thing with stuff sacks rather than pockets or compartments. Some people like pockets and compartments, but I find that it is harder to find stuff. What I want is always in the last pocket I check.

The models I used were Transit Waterproof ones. They always seem to be on sale and can be found for well under $100 ($70-80 maybe). Mine held up well. I pack lighter these days and have not been using panniers, but will still use them if I do a tour where I use panniers.
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Old 04-20-21, 08:21 AM
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You can get the Ortlieb Back Roller Classics for $190. Due to the much better mounting system on the Ortlieb's I recommend you spring for the extra $40 for them. You won't be sorry.

Ortlieb and Arkel panniers do pop-up on Craigslist from time-to-time if you are inclined to shop used.
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Old 04-20-21, 08:21 AM
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No experience with them so apologies that this isn't helpful, but I do have an observation+question:

Ortliebs don't seem that much more expensive and are waterproof and tour-proven...is there a reason for not going that route? Genuinely interested as I prep for a tour in a few months.

Last edited by a_d_a_m; 04-20-21 at 08:23 AM. Reason: I see timdow posted at the same time with a similar thought...
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Old 04-20-21, 09:07 PM
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Arkel no longer makes that pannier however I will say my GT-54s have been excellent and in general I highly recommend their stuff. I will say Ortlieb Vs Arkel. Ortleib hits on the waterproof empty bag, Arkel has a lot of organization and a lot of pockets. Both are durable and have great mounting systems so it is really for all of Ortleib fully waterproof but no organization and Arkel mostly non waterproof but lots of organization. Both are excellent and you wouldn't go wrong with either one. Certainly yes Arkels aren't light but honestly the pockets and places to put stuff and the tent tube on my GT-54s is well worth it.

The Cordura fabric that Arkel uses is really durable, they sent a half ripped piece of the fabric to get you to try and rip it and I gave it to everyone and people used tools and such and couldn't rip it further. I have certainly abused those panniers a few times over their life and no issues. Not to say that Ortliebs aren't super durable, they are plenty of people here with 10-20 year old Ortliebs that are still going.
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Old 04-21-21, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by a_d_a_m View Post

Ortliebs don't seem that much more expensive and are waterproof and tour-proven...is there a reason for not going that route? Genuinely interested as I prep for a tour in a few months.
Cost.
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Old 04-21-21, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Arkel no longer makes that pannier however I will say my GT-54s have been excellent and in general I highly recommend their stuff. I will say Ortlieb Vs Arkel. Ortleib hits on the waterproof empty bag, Arkel has a lot of organization and a lot of pockets. Both are durable and have great mounting systems so it is really for all of Ortleib fully waterproof but no organization and Arkel mostly non waterproof but lots of organization. Both are excellent and you wouldn't go wrong with either one. Certainly yes Arkels aren't light but honestly the pockets and places to put stuff and the tent tube on my GT-54s is well worth it.
It really has to be an individual choice because the pluses for either can be a big minus for some users.

I have owned a wide variety of mostly inexpensive panniers shared with and used by friends and family.

Lots of pockets... Some people love them and find them a help in organizing. I find that to be a packing nightmare. I find that system has less capacity and is heavier for a given size. I find it harder not easier to organize stuff. I find it harder to locate items when I need them. I'd rather use small color coded silnylon stuff sacks inside one large envelope.

There is a small exception in my preference. I think we (myself and the others who used my bags) generally found that when using 4 panniers and having a mix and match set found that having one front pannier with pockets was kind of nice, but we generally all preferred one big envelope if were were limited to one type.

On the waterproof vs non waterproof... Either can work. You need to be careful to not let wet stuff get everything else in your waterproof pannier wet. Some find that a problem. I haven't. When using waterproof panniers I just kept wet stuff out under a pannier flap, in a waterproof bag inside the pannier, or otherwise isolated. When using non waterproof panniers you can use pannier covers or put things in waterproof bags inside the panniers. T found covers to work well when I used them.

The thing is that those two choices are typically lumped together.
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Old 04-21-21, 08:15 AM
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I have just bought Ortliebs and also own Axiom panniers. Axioms are much cheaper, but not waterproof. I havent toured with either, but just commuted.
-Pockets. Ortliebs don't have them on the outside. So that's a pro for axiom, as I like the outside pockets. The ortlieb outside pocket holds almost nothing. papers maybe?
-Axiom also has a built in "net" on top of bag. This is has useful for quickly putting on or taking off a laye and stuffing it between the net and the top of the bag. Ortlieb no.
-Mounting. Axiom has a old school hook at the bottom. I've found it much quicker and easier to take the ortlieb off than the Axiom with the hook.
-Mounting: Ortlieb locks in on top for good peace of mind and can be repositioned to fit your rack. Axioum has old school hooks.
I sometimes go with one ortlieb and one axiom so I have the pockets on the ortlieb. i haven't had to deal with rain yet so I offer no opinion on that.
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Old 04-21-21, 11:01 AM
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An Ortlieb Bike Packer pannier has an outside pocket.
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Old 04-21-21, 11:34 AM
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I could have saved a lot of money by NOT purchasing a couple of sets of "inexpensive" panniers, and by simply purchasing the Ortliebs from the start. I like the "toss everything in one bag" approach of the Ortliebs. If you want a bunch of pockets, maybe the Arkel panniers are more your speed.
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Old 04-21-21, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by timdow View Post
I could have saved a lot of money by NOT purchasing a couple of sets of "inexpensive" panniers, and by simply purchasing the Ortliebs from the start. I like the "toss everything in one bag" approach of the Ortliebs. If you want a bunch of pockets, maybe the Arkel panniers are more your speed.
Long story, but I had to switch from Beckman bags, which are highly compartmentalized. Went with the Ortlieb Packers, which have minimal compartmentalization. I thought it would be a difficult transition, but it was not. The way I organize things makes it easy to access what I am looking for, and I think I carry fewer loose odds and ends than your average person not going ultralight.
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Old 04-22-21, 03:29 AM
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Arkel also make waterproof bags.
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