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Dry bags as panniers

Old 06-10-12, 05:33 PM
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Dry bags as panniers

Coming from a kayaking background, I have lots of dry bags. Seems like these roll top dry bags could be hung on a back rack by the roll top and then strapped down using bungies Os straps. Anyone ever tried this?
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Old 06-10-12, 06:48 PM
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staehpj1 is the expert on this. Refer to some of his informative lightweight touring threads.
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Old 06-10-12, 07:00 PM
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You can do it, but...

1) They're less robust than bike-specific baggage. E.g. you'll tear your dry bags much faster than you would panniers.
2) They're less convenient than bike-specific baggage, since you'll need to use bungees or some other means to secure the bags.
3) Some people (but not everyone) like pockets and other ways of organizing their gear.

Given these caveats, which may not bother you at all, you can certainly tour with dry bags, and people do it on occasion.
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Old 06-10-12, 07:32 PM
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Some panniers are made of EXACTLY the same material as dry bags - for the same reasons. Differences? Dry bags tend to be cylindrical in shape, bike specific panniers tend to be rectangular, and most have a stiffner in the side that goes against the rack.

If you wanted to do a conversion, some companies like Arkel sell their mounting hardware separately and an stiffner can be added when installing the hardware. I occasionally use an unmodified dry bag across the top of the rear rack.
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Old 06-10-12, 10:43 PM
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my Ortlieb front and back roller bags work . rugged and easy to mount and remove

they are essentially dry Bags ..
Easy to take off and bring into your tent , or put bike in bus cargo holds.

their rack pack is a side opening dry bag.
they go across the rear rack.

May be as a dry liner for sewn together bags .. which will leak?

[NB .. below]
By the way Rixen and Kaul are competitors of Ortlieb's , not the same parts .

Ortlieb has it's own spare parts stream..

R&K sell in bulk to other bag makers , like Carradice & others..

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-14-14 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 06-11-12, 01:54 AM
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Ortleib rolltop bags have a mounting system that prevents any contact between the heavy duty fabric and the rack or bike metalwork. You can buy these mounts (from Rixen and Kaul) and screw or rivet them to your bag, with a correx stiffening backplate inside the bag. Obviously this will require you to pierce holes in the bag and even if you use sealant, the performance under water pressure is compromised, but for pannier use it is fine.
Most good panniers have a heel cutout profile to avoid heel clip. Square laptop bags are often tilted to create room for the heel to spin.
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Old 06-11-12, 03:43 AM
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I like using both together, dry bags and small waterproof panniers. Strap the round bags to the top of your racks and the handlebars. Panniers work great for kitchen gear and the incompressible stuff.



Compression sleeve for attaching the bags to the handlebars (dry bag would be an insert then) would make it an even better setup.

Last edited by mikhalit; 06-11-12 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 06-11-12, 04:29 AM
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It seems like you are looking for Ortlieb panniers, as others have said. Good quality.

z
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Old 06-11-12, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Piratebike
Coming from a kayaking background, I have lots of dry bags. Seems like these roll top dry bags could be hung on a back rack by the roll top and then strapped down using bungies Os straps. Anyone ever tried this?
Yes and it worked out fine. I found that the Sea to Summit Ultrasil bags that I used on my recent San Diego to Sarasota tour were a bit too fragile to suit me. I think that something just a bit heavier like the Sea to Summit eVAC ones would be my first choice. Ones you bought for kayaking should be fine since they are probably heavier duty.

I just strapped them on top of the rack for my last trip and have since decided that I might try bungeeing them to the side of the rack.


This setup worked out fine


I plan to do something like this in future trips


Prussik knots for lower attachment points

I may do something like the second picture in the future except my packing list has gotten minimal enough that it may be overkill for my upcoming trip. I find that it makes sense to figure out what I am taking and then pick the bags to suit the specific load allowing a bit of space for extra food and water if long stretches without services are likely.

I have some journals and articles with way too much detail on this on crazyguy. Follow the link in my sig line if interested.
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Old 06-11-12, 07:29 AM
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Thanks Pete.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:00 AM
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I use some cheap, Nashbar panniers, and things that need to be dry go in drybags in the panniers. Spent more on dry bags than I did on the panniers, but the dry bags can be used on and off the bike.
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Old 06-11-12, 01:01 PM
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I use one very large dry bag. Before i got my front painiers I loaded everthing into the dry bag placing half the gear at the bottom of the bag and half at the top with an empty space in between. I draped that over the rear rack and strapped the two sides in the horizontal plane. Worked great. Now that I have front panniers I still use the large dry bag rolled up on the top of the rear rack. I like to hike to less accessible camp sites and the dry bag has backpack straps. I load everthing into the dry bag, hide the bike in the woods, and hike to camp.
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Old 01-11-14, 09:58 PM
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I use four, 5 liter dry bags mounted with straps horizontally on front and rear racks. The top of the bag is to the rear. They are lighter and present less of profile to the wind that regular panniers. A couple of precautions;
1. Carry your daytime needs in a top rack bag. Carry nightime/morning items in the dry bags
2. Cinch up tightly. A little movement means abrasion. I added clear strapping tape to cover the forks so the paint would not wear off. Since you never put the bags on exactly the same way, a little wear should not be a problem. I also did a strip of orange duct tape on the rear bags for good measure.

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Old 01-11-14, 10:42 PM
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I haven't done it but the set-up I would consider is two 8 or 13liter Sea to Summit BigRiver dry bags clipped together then draped over the front rack then secured to the two vertical struts. The problem with dry bags is that they aren't designed to rub constantly against pokey things, even heavy PVC bags can get worn through. Dry bags on racks with a flat surface is a no brainer. Dry bags hanging off the side require some diligence in securing the load as the last thing you want on a bumpy or high speed run is the bag getting dislodged or worse into the wheels.
I did do a tour with a folding bike that had a medium sized duffle/dry bag strapped vertically in front of the steerer tube. Worked great and made for easy carry of gear on trains when off the bike and coupled to the rear rack bag.

If you have straight bars checkou Revelate designs bar bags.
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Old 01-12-14, 10:11 AM
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Somebody noted early on in this thread`s first life that dry bags are usually more cylindrical than panniers. I found accidentally that oversized ones (S-S, at least) are flatter and more box shaped when only using a small load down at the bottom. I like that shape better, and have been using it on my rear platform. I wonder if that`s what Staehpj1 is doing in the second picture?


Originally Posted by JPWilcox
I use four, 5 liter dry bags mounted with straps horizontally on front and rear racks.
Nice. Small wheels make for some great options as far as gear loading goes. JPW, those aren`t standard Bike Friday racks, are they? It looks like your rear platform is nice and low rather than raised up to full "pannier clearence" height.
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Old 01-12-14, 10:33 AM
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You can attach dry bags to a bike without a rack. You just need some cam straps.

https://wheelsofchance.wordpress.com/...0/16/bikepack/

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Old 01-12-14, 12:47 PM
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rodar: Good eye. Bike Friday makes a nice folding rack that rides rather high above the rear wheel. I modified a Delta adjustable rack by removing the extensions and drilling a holes to make it work. I can still insert my fenders in this set-up. And it clears Ortlieb Front Rollers. But this gave me a low riding rack.
When you look at the physics of loading a bike, the more you can lower the payload the more you lower the center of gravity. Adding a low payload feels like an increase in stability.
You can see my complete review of the aero qualities of this set-up: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=12911
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Old 01-12-14, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
JPW, those aren`t standard Bike Friday racks, are they? It looks like your rear platform is nice and low rather than raised up to full "pannier clearence" height.
That's what I did with my BF. The local shop had cheap Sunlite brand aluminum racks with telescoping rod connecting to the dropout eyelets for 26"-700c adjustment. By cutting the rod and using the adjustment hole
for mounting the rack the rack sat as low as possible to the rear fender and the bike could still fold. The bag that went on the racks was a Jannd rack bag. Unzipped and expanded the bag fit right up under the seat.
i haven't seen those racks in awhile but it's very solid with such short struts. Off the bike the bag was strapped to the medium duffle bag and the whole package small enough to fit in an above seat storage in plane or train.

https://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FRRPII
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Old 01-12-14, 05:11 PM
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Good ideas here. Be aware that dry bags are much lighter than panniers. The less weight you tote, the better. i've not crossed over, but have sure given it some thought. All a matter of touring philosophy.
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Old 01-13-14, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by nun
You can attach dry bags to a bike without a rack. You just need some cam straps.

https://wheelsofchance.wordpress.com/...0/16/bikepack/

WTF? Cervelo camping bike? w/ Brooks Pro?
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Old 01-13-14, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bike Hermit
WTF? Cervelo camping bike? w/ Brooks Pro?
Sure, Cervelo RS with a Brooks Swift saddle, gearing is now 46/34 x 12/36
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Old 01-13-14, 07:09 PM
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I have been using the same 35Liter Sea to Summit dry bag on my rear rack for almost 15 years. The only reason it has lasted this long is that I created a light weight shell around it with three attached cinch down Fast-Tex straps. All abrasion from dust and small gravel and mud attacks the shell not the dry bag. Just something that has worked for me very well.

Also FYI: I recently bought two of the lightest S2S sil-nylon dry bags. I was disappointed by the fine print which warned against sun exposure which would void the warranty.
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Old 01-13-14, 11:31 PM
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Arctos, any pictures of your shell system? It sounds interresting, but I can`t picture it in my head.
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Old 01-14-14, 10:43 AM
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Not everything you carry needs to be kept dry. For instance, I took my dacron sleeping bag on a tour that might as well have been underwater. The bag never got wet. It just had a stuff sack. Something about compression kept it dry. There is always stuff like tools, and shamppo bottles, and rain coats, that pretty much takes care of itself.

So yeah, dry bags for a few things should be fine.

Next thing is how to hang them. This is a case where instant removability which is only necessary some of the time, is the enemy of simple solutions. If you really want clip on clip off, I would probably get some panniers, maybe cheap nylon ones for your bags.

Or:

https://uncooped.com/chrisjob/posts/2...cycle-panniers

There are other things you can make panniers out of, google DIY panniers, and look at the images for ideas.
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Old 01-14-14, 10:59 AM
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By the way, those of you who want ultralite, or to make your own waterproof bags, you might consider making some out of silnylon. There is a fancy design for this that makes an air tight balloon. I use one for a swim bag for open water swims, where it keeps your stuff dry, and acts as a life preserver. But the basic design is just a stuff sack with the neck twisted and rolled down. In panniers the compression to keep all that closed comes from packing, and putting the necks down. That eliminates most of the fancy stuff in the more complex designs. The sealant for silnylon is silicon seal.
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