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Mesh bag?

Old 09-24-23, 10:05 AM
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Mesh bag?

Working out the logistics for a trip to Spain and thinking of possible situations where we will need to detach the panniers from the bike and carry them separately, i.e., buses, trains, etc... Has anyone tried traveling with a mesh bag like this to haul around a pair of panniers?

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Old 09-24-23, 10:18 AM
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Yes. I took Amtrakís Vermonter service. Itís roll-on, but a big bike with 4 panniers canít make the turn in the vestibule. Since I was getting on at an intermediate stop and had to board quickly, I used a sleeping bag storage sack which is mostly mesh. Put the panniers in it. Tossed the sack out of the way in the vestibule, rolled the bike on, then went back back for the sack.

Itís featherweight and takes up little space, so I didnít mind riding home with it for two weeks.
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Old 09-24-23, 11:01 AM
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I have not put loaded panniers inside of a mesh bag, but I have used mesh duffels for empty panniers and their contents. Amtrak, the local agent was an extreme stickler for the rules, would not allow two panniers to be strapped together to count as one carry on, etc. So, for my Pacific Coast trip where we started and ended with Amtrak, I used a large mesh duffel and a medium sized mesh duffle, the duffels when empty were in the bottom of a pannier out of the way. I my case, the reason for mesh was simply it had the lightest weight. I emptied out the panniers to fit in the duffles. The empty panniers were also in the duffles.



Photo above at the start of the trip, the two duffles closest to the camera are mine, the bottom one (blue ends) was checked and the top one (red ends) was a carryon bag. The other bags belonged to my touring partner.

My carry on bags for the trip home, photo below. The same medium sized duffle as in the above photo, plus a shopping bag. I think the shopping bag was a reusable one from Safeway?



Do not rule out Ikea bags, they make some that are cheap and could be robust enough to use, I am thinking of the blue ones. I have never used this particular bag, but I bought one just in case it comes in handy some day. It was cheap enough to just have it on the shelf in case I need it some day.
https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/frakta-...blue-90149148/


ADDENDUM, November 27, 2023:
The Ikea bag I cited in the paragraph above is no longer available. I tried to buy one a week ago, sales staff said they were no longer available.

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Old 09-24-23, 12:56 PM
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Not a mesh bag, but a basic lightweight duffel. On my current trip, I've used it three times on a train to turn multiple panniers into one piece of luggage. I also used it one day on RAGBRAI when I used the baggage service.

I normally have it on my back rack with a small backpack inside. That is my food backpack and so depending on how much I get at the current section it will expand and contract.


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Old 09-24-23, 02:54 PM
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If I take the bike inside an S&S case, I do as others do above - anything that's not inside the case gets put into a duffel bag.
I stash the case (with all the padding to travel) at a bike shop where I depart from. A six-pack is all they've accepted so far.

During the tour, I use Ortliebs with shoulder straps, and sling 'em over my shoulder to carry them off the bike.
If your bags didn't come with those kind of straps, most bag makers have them as an optional part to purchase.
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Old 09-24-23, 03:52 PM
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In the past I've used a duffel or a cardboard box to combine panniers.
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Old 09-25-23, 06:27 AM
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On different trip I have used a blue Ikea bag, a toss-away Goodwill suitcase, and a cardboard box. The Ikea bag is ideal for the train, and at only $3 is good to give away or toss when not needed anymore.
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Old 09-25-23, 08:46 AM
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I have used inexpensive duffels and thrift store suitcases, but was unaware of the Ikea bags. Do they work for checking multiple panniers or other bags as one bag for air travel? Is it too flimsy to use as a checked bag?
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Old 09-25-23, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I have used inexpensive duffels and thrift store suitcases, but was unaware of the Ikea bags. Do they work for checking multiple panniers or other bags as one bag for air travel? Is it too flimsy to use as a checked bag?
For checked on Amtrak, I think it would be just fine, no worse than the mesh duffles that I have used on Amtrak

For checking on an airline, and since my community airport is not a hub, anyplace I fly to involves two or three flights so lots of baggage handlers would handle it, I would probably buy two, put one inside the other as an insurance policy. The bag that I linked to above would be too long for most airlines for a carryon but easily meets the checked bag size.

I have checked a lot of bags that had no frame or structure. When they are part way full (or part empty), everything inside can move around and it is not a very convenient way to do things. I have put empty card board boxes inside to provide some empty volume and also provide some structure. Unfortunately, TSA has wondered what was in the empty boxes and made a mess of my luggage, but that is off topic.
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Old 09-25-23, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
For checked on Amtrak, I think it would be just fine, no worse than the mesh duffles that I have used on Amtrak
I got by with just strapping panniers together, but suspect I was lucky and could just have easily been denied that option and been charged for them as separate bags. (This was back when I was using panniers and had more stuff).
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Old 09-25-23, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I have not put loaded panniers inside of a mesh bag, but I have used mesh duffels for empty panniers and their contents. Amtrak, the local agent was an extreme stickler for the rules, would not allow two panniers to be strapped together to count as one carry on, etc. So, for my Pacific Coast trip where we started and ended with Amtrak, I used a large mesh duffel and a medium sized mesh duffle, the duffels when empty were in the bottom of a pannier out of the way. I my case, the reason for mesh was simply it had the lightest weight. I emptied out the panniers to fit in the duffles. The empty panniers were also in the duffles.



Photo above at the start of the trip, the two duffles closest to the camera are mine, the bottom one (blue ends) was checked and the top one (red ends) was a carryon bag. The other bags belonged to my touring partner.

My carry on bags for the trip home, photo below. The same medium sized duffle as in the above photo, plus a shopping bag. I think the shopping bag was a reusable one from Safeway?



Do not rule out Ikea bags, they make some that are cheap and could be robust enough to use, I am thinking of the blue ones. I have never used this particular bag, but I bought one just in case it comes in handy some day. It was cheap enough to just have it on the shelf in case I need it some day.
https://www.ikea.com/ca/en/p/frakta-...blue-90149148/
Those mesh duffels - where'd you get them? I've been looking at mesh duffels from scuba shops.
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Old 09-25-23, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I got by with just strapping panniers together, but suspect I was lucky and could just have easily been denied that option and been charged for them as separate bags. (This was back when I was using panniers and had more stuff).
The nearest Amtrak station had a station manager (and sole employee) that had an authority complex. The first time I traveled with a bike, I go there two hours early to make sure I had enough time. Manager said he had an important conference call to take, could not help me. When it was a half hour before the train was to arrive, I reminded him I needed a bike box. He said he had the authority to deny me passage because you are supposed to get there more than 30 minutes early with checked luggage. I reminded him that I had been waiting for an hour and a half while he said he had to be on the phone. I tried strapping two front panniers together for a single piece of carry on, he said no, he said I would have to check one and I would have to pay an extra checked luggage fee. Instead I pulled a duffle out of my vehicle to deny him the pleasure of forcing me to pay another fee. Etc., etc. I was happy when he no longer was station manager there.

That said, there often have been references to people strapping panniers together on this forum.
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Old 09-25-23, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by john m flores
Those mesh duffels - where'd you get them? I've been looking at mesh duffels from scuba shops.
I have had them for over a decade, originally bought them from REI. They are Seattle Sports brand. They stopped making them years ago.

But it looks like Seattle Sports has a different one. They list it at 65 liters, so that would hold both the contents of a pair of Ortlieb Frontloaders and Backrollers if the 65 number is accurate.
https://www.seattlesportsco.com/bags...sh-duffel.html

Google also sent me to Amazon for that, but Amazon is more expensive.
https://www.amazon.com/Built-Seattle.../dp/B00SLKJ9ZI

Unfortunately they do not list the weight, as weight and empty packed volume are somewhat proportional you can't estimate how much volume it consumes when packed. My bags are 340 and 410 grams, or a hair under a pound each, are very compact when not in use and stored in the bottom of a pannier. I estimate my smaller one with red ends at 60 liters.

When I went to the Amazon link, that also listed this as another option. But I know nothing about this option, just making an FYI here:
https://www.amazon.com/Athletico-Mes.../dp/B07D8Q23LM
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Old 09-25-23, 12:32 PM
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I've always put empty panniers inside the bike boxes for air and rail travel when boxing is required. All our gear will fit in a light weight (< 8 oz., including shoulder strap) nylon duffle bag and rack pack. For air travel the duffle bags are checked, and the rack packs go as carry on. I've never had a problem with this system. This includes our cooking and camping gear. We have never checked our bags on Amtrak or foreign railroads. We carried them on and stowed them in an appropriate place.

Flying --The rack pack, barbag are carry on. The bike and duffle bag are checked, and the helmet is placed in the overhead bin once on the plane. The lightweight duffle bag is carried in the bottom of a pannier on the tour.



My wife's and my gear at a train station. The bikes and empty pannier are boxed, and we carry our bar bags containing our cameras and valuables.


When boxing is not required on trains we just unload our panniers, wheel the bikes on or hand them up to the baggage car person, and then hustle to get our panniers, racks packs and bar bags onto the train. I have front and back panniers, rack pack, and bar bag and have never had a problem. On a tour with our two daughters, experienced bike travelers, all of us got our gear on the train, but had to split up and use two different cars to hold all our bikes and gear. I don't have any pictures of this because there was not enough time to take them.


Be sure your water bottles caps are closed!

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Old 09-25-23, 12:51 PM
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I just noticed another mesh duffle. Great price, looks very compact when packed and light weight.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003WY7E50/
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