Ortlieb Packer Plus
£144.95 from Wiggle.co.uk
These have got to be the item that I’m most in love with; I could hardly fault them. Insanely waterproof, practical, big, functional, easy to use – love them love them love them.
I had one (small) problem with them – the front pouch on one started to have its thread unravel. Not drastically, but obviously I was concerned. Not to worry, when I got back to the UK, Wiggle promptly replaced the faulty pannier, and so far so good!!
When I bought these I got lucky and paid only £100 through Wiggle, but it looks like everyone has recently raised their prices. Although they’re expensive, if you want something dependable and effective, these are a top choice. The biggest mistake, is to buy “cheap” bags which are only splash resistant; you’ll soon regret it when you set up camp and pull out wet clothes, sleeping bag, pillow……
Did I mention how much I like them??
Update from the Road: 8000km later these bags are working just as well, and have survived surprisingly well considering some of the scuffs and scrapes I’ve put them through. In fact, still the only major damage to the bags was caused on the second or third day of cycling in Holland, when I decided to have a little crash.
Although the bags are fully waterproof (as much as the other bags available from Ortlieb), the one disadvantage to this style compared to rollers is their inability to be fully sealed. My thoughts with this are more in relation to nightime, when there seem to be increasing number of cockroaches, slugs, mice etc determined to crawl into my bags. It doesn’t take much however to keep them roach-proof.
More waterproof than a seal
Plenty of storage spacee, in main compartment and easy to access front pouch
Convenient carry strap (used one bag as carry on luggage on plane)
Replacement parts readily available.