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Old 09-20-07, 11:22 AM   #1
zoltani
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Waterproof panniers

I am looking to get some waterproof panniers, but not too happy about the price of ortlieb or vaude ones. Has anyone had any experience with the cheaper brands of waterproof panniers? Which ones?
Any chance that there is a good website with discounts on ortlieb or vaude?

Thanks
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Old 09-20-07, 11:42 AM   #2
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REI makes some waterproof panniers. If they don't work just return them. The best prices on Ortlieb seems to be www.thetouringstore.com
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Old 09-20-07, 12:33 PM   #3
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I considered the REI panniers, but I wanted a bright yellow for visability. At the time, there were no REI panniers in that color, only a two tone black/maroon or black/dark blue The yellow Ort's were on sale, so...
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Old 09-20-07, 12:49 PM   #4
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Nashbar waterproof panniers worked out fine for us on our transam. Between the 3 of us 8 of the 12 panniers we had were Nashbar waterproof ones. We had no problems other than the little velcro tabs coming loose on a couple of them (easy enough to sew back on and they were fine without them any way). The ones that I now see at performance look like the same thing at least as closely as I have looked at them.

Our stuff stayed dry both while riding and while left out on the bike over night. We didn't have too much rain so it wasn't an exhaustive test, but as far as I can tell they are pretty good at keeping stuff dry.

As far as durability, other than the tabs coming off, they seem to be in good shape after 4200+ miles of use and abuse. I should say that we definitely didn't baby them.

The retension system was adequate in my opinion. I have heard complaints by some users, but we had no problems in that regard.

Price, catch them on sale or use a coupon and they are dirt cheap.

EDIT:
I forgot to mention one little problem... The hooks on the bungee can easily come off and get lost. We had a close call on this a couple times, but alway found the hook before it was really lost. In a pinch we could have used a tywrap as a temporary fix.
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Old 09-20-07, 12:49 PM   #5
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Buy quality now and buy it once or buy cheap and buy it again and again. Ortleib panniers are very well made and built to last. I spent the money on them and would do it again in a heartbeat, but I also ride in the rain and snow a lot.
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Old 09-20-07, 01:02 PM   #6
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Large Glad trash bags will make any pannier waterproof... and pretty cost effective too!

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Old 09-20-07, 02:31 PM   #7
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Buy quality now and buy it once or buy cheap and buy it again and again. Ortleib panniers are very well made and built to last. I spent the money on them and would do it again in a heartbeat, but I also ride in the rain and snow a lot.
Yeah, i have learned this lesson before with a rack. I bought a cheapo rack online and after about two weeks of use had the thing falling apart.
Right now i am using an Arkel utility basket for around town grocery getting and even short tours, but it is big and bulky and when i load it up and put it on the bike it makes handling a bit strange since it only goes on one side of the bike. This is not really a problem when getting some groceries or other items around town, but on the short tours i have done it can be a PIA.

Any opinions on which ortliebs to get, the roller classic or bike packer classic?
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Old 09-20-07, 03:10 PM   #8
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The roller classics are in theory more waterproof but the bike packers seem more convenient. I have the rollers and like them. By the way, stick with the classics. The plus models have a better mounting system, but, in my experience, the inner waterproof fabric isn't as durable.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:29 PM   #9
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Novara Safari at REI.

Great panniers, good color, very waterproof! Check 'em out.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:33 PM   #10
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If you plan to ride offroad where there will be much bouncing, buy panniers that will not detach from the rack (Arkel, Ortlieb, maybe a few others). If you are touring on roads, many other less expensive options are available.

For the money I think Axiom Typhoons are the best bet for road touring. Here's one site that compared Ortlieb and Axiom.

http://www.momentumplanet.ca/gear/panniers

I use Nashbar's waterproof panniers. The more common problem with Nashbar's pannier, as reported on crazguyonabike.com is that the hook rivets pull through the backing. I noticed this was a possibility with mine, and I solved that by removing the rivets, adding a little square lexan backing inside the pannier where the hooks mount, and used washers/bolts to hold the hook in place. Now these panniers are tough and work well (I've had them for 5+ years of communting and touring).

However, if I bought new panniers today, I'd try the Axioms Typhoons since I do only road touring, otherwise I would buy the Arkel or Ortlieb panniers.

(If you look around you can find new Axiom Typhoons for about $65 [ebay] to $75 [aebike.com], but many try to sell them for $100+.)
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Old 09-20-07, 05:18 PM   #11
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The roller classics are in theory more waterproof but the bike packers seem more convenient. I have the rollers and like them. By the way, stick with the classics. The plus models have a better mounting system, but, in my experience, the inner waterproof fabric isn't as durable.
I use the Ortlieb Bikepacker Plus panniers. I have over 20,000 miles on one set and 7000+ miles on a second set. I have not experienced any durability issue with the waterproof fabric. All 4 have proven to be completely waterproof even in multiple days of heavy rain.
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Old 09-20-07, 05:29 PM   #12
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It seems like the only benefit to the roller is that you can submerge them if need be. That might come in handy if I ever plan a float trip by canoe or something and need dry bags, but i don't see that happening in the near future. The dual purpose factor is something to think about though.
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Old 09-20-07, 06:37 PM   #13
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Buy Ortlieb - will outlast anything else so cheaper in the long run and mount it on a decent rack like Tubus or Bruce Gordon.

Cheers

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Old 09-20-07, 06:46 PM   #14
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I use the Ortlieb Bikepacker Plus panniers. I have over 20,000 miles on one set and 7000+ miles on a second set. I have not experienced any durability issue with the waterproof fabric. All 4 have proven to be completely waterproof even in multiple days of heavy rain.

You have the bikepackers and I have a pair of the rollers. Every time you roll the tops you end up creasing the sides in the same place. This crease has started to break down the inner waterproof layer on both panniers. To their credit, the panniers still keep the rain out, but I bet that won't be the case for very long. Also, the outer fabric retains water to the point where I've had to hang dry the panniers because they were dripping wet. The classic PVC fabric sheds water like a champ and hasn't shown wear in the creases.

Perhaps the bikepackers are a better design for the plus fabrics. I prefer the classics. It's good to hear your panniers have held out for so many miles. A true testament to the quality of Ortliebs.
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Old 09-20-07, 10:20 PM   #15
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Yeah, i have learned this lesson before with a rack. I bought a cheapo rack online and after about two weeks of use had the thing falling apart.
Right now i am using an Arkel utility basket for around town grocery getting and even short tours, but it is big and bulky and when i load it up and put it on the bike it makes handling a bit strange since it only goes on one side of the bike. This is not really a problem when getting some groceries or other items around town, but on the short tours i have done it can be a PIA.

Any opinions on which ortliebs to get, the roller classic or bike packer classic?
I like the Rollers do to the fact that they have a shoulder strap that needs no futzing with; it's there and ready to use.
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Old 09-20-07, 10:22 PM   #16
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By the way, stick with the classics. The plus models have a better mounting system, but, in my experience, the inner waterproof fabric isn't as durable.
The outer material on the Plus models fail to bead water after awhile without a reapplication of waterproofing spray. Classic all the way!
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Old 09-20-07, 10:57 PM   #17
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Watch Ebay like a hawk. I snagged a set of Ortlieb Front and Back Roller Classics for just a little over what the Back rollers would cost new. When I got them they were practically new, just a few cosmetic scuffs. There are deals to be had, in my case it was really low BIN's because a guy was trying to unload them before his next tour. He tried the panniers and a trailer, and decided to go with the trailer for off-road versatility.

Last edited by Mchaz; 09-20-07 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 09-21-07, 07:45 AM   #18
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You have the bikepackers and I have a pair of the rollers. Every time you roll the tops you end up creasing the sides in the same place. This crease has started to break down the inner waterproof layer on both panniers. To their credit, the panniers still keep the rain out, but I bet that won't be the case for very long. Also, the outer fabric retains water to the point where I've had to hang dry the panniers because they were dripping wet. The classic PVC fabric sheds water like a champ and hasn't shown wear in the creases.

Perhaps the bikepackers are a better design for the plus fabrics. I prefer the classics. It's good to hear your panniers have held out for so many miles. A true testament to the quality of Ortliebs.
I agree - the outer fabric of the Plus model does retain water but this doesn't adversely affect the waterproofing quality. The panniers stay dry inside even when the outer fabric (I believe it is Cordura) is wet. I find the outer fabric dries quickly too.

From an aesthetic standpoint I should say that the Plus fabric fades with time. Both set of my Bikepacker Plus panniers began with a beautiful red. The 20,000+ mile pair are now a light pink. The 7000+ mile pair are still red but, if one held them up to a new set, one would notice that they are fading, too. I don't know if the Classic style is faded by environmental factors. The fading doesn't bother me. It gives the panniers a look of well-earned character. Like a good olde cowboy.
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Old 09-21-07, 08:31 AM   #19
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BikeBuckets...
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Old 09-21-07, 11:13 AM   #20
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Large Glad trash bags will make any pannier waterproof... and pretty cost effective too!

Aaron
+1, except I favor trash compactor bags. They're much stronger so they last longer.
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Old 09-21-07, 11:20 AM   #21
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How do you attach the trash/compactor bags to the panniers? what about the attachment to the rack?
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Old 09-21-07, 12:53 PM   #22
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Well, I just put an order in for the back roller classics. I think i will not regret it if the quality is as good as i hear.

Finally i decided on these because i like the fact that i can throw my sleeping bag in one of them and not have to worry about it if it starts pouring rain.
Now i am equipped with the arkel utility basket for around town grocery getting and random shopping errands, and will have the ortliebs for extended rides and short tours.

Thanks for all of your input!
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Old 09-23-07, 10:18 AM   #23
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+1 on the Nashbar panniers, especially once you remove the hardware and replace/reinforce it. I took the rivets out and replaced them with nuts, bolts and silicone washers with a large piece of plastic on the inside to keep it all from wearing through. Mine had loops of velcro at the top to help secure them to the rack, that worked nicely with some extra stitching to keep it strong.

Now I have plastic buckets, heavier but bulletproof.
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Old 09-23-07, 05:53 PM   #24
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I just picked up a set of the REI panniers for $30 bucks at thier used gear sale. The tag said they were retuned becuase they fell off the bike a couple of times, I checked them over and didn't find anything wrong with the mechanism. For $30 for the pair, it was worth the risk!
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Old 06-03-08, 09:05 AM   #25
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Have you looked at Bikebins.com?
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