Author Topic: inexpensive waterproof panniers?  (Read 9716 times)

ultros1234

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inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« on: October 23, 2012, 04:25:16 PM »
Hey bike commuters --

I'm trying to get in the habit of bike commuting in the rain, but I'm in need of good waterproof panniers to transport work clothes in our rainy SF Bay Area winters without getting them wet or dirty. I'm striking out on cl, and new ones seem to run upwards of $50. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks!

Use it up, wear it out...

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 04:35:23 PM »
What about sewing some waterproof covers for the panniers you already have?


sheepstache

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 04:36:26 PM »
It sounds like you have panniers already?  Crazy idea: can you just wrap the clothes in a garbage bag before putting them in the pannier?

jawisco

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 05:08:33 PM »
Cheaper than $50 is going to be tough - check bikenashbar for sales is the only way you are going to get cheaper than that (besides craigslist).

In the meantime, spray your panniers with a waterproofing spray from hardware store and put your stuff in 2 gallon ziplock freezer bags - this works better and is easier than trying to rig up a waterproof cover.

capital

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 02:11:31 PM »
Most nylon panniers are water-resistant, and will keep things dryish excepting a sustained downpour.

Garbage bags (inside the pannier) do indeed work perfectly well, though they can be cumbersome.

I bought the Nashbar waterproof panniers for a cross-country trip, and they did OK, but a lot of parts wore through & broke.

You don't generally see good-quality panniers on the used market because they're generally the sort of things people buy & use until they wear out. But that's a reason why it's sensible to spend upwards of $50 for them-- they're the sort of thing that provide good service for many years in exchange for that money.

For whatever reason, a lot of bike things end up costing significantly less at random British websites. For example, here's Ortlieb stuff for pretty low prices:
http://www.probikekit.com/us/catalogsearch/result/?q=ortlieb&brand=Search+by+Brand
I've ordered from that site before, and it's been fine in my experience.

zoltani

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 02:15:36 PM »
I bought my ortliebs in 2007, sure they were expensive, but they are still going strong after plenty of commuting, grocery getting, long haul touring, etc.  Spend the money up front and they will last a long long time.  You can't afford to buy cheap ones!

CanuckExpat

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 02:44:11 PM »
I can think of two suggestions that might help you.
One is that instead of looking for a waterproof pannier, you could see if a less expensive non-waterproof pannier that includes a detachable rain cover will work. One advantage of these is they tend to be lighter and cheaper than panniers made entirely of a waterproof material and you can choose from a bigger variety of form factors. The disadvantage is that may not be as useful in a huge downpour, and of course, if you forget to put on the rain cover, you will be out of luck. Using a garbage bag inside your existing pannier is along these lines, except you end up with the "rain cover" inside instead of outside. You might also be able to check if any of the separate rain covers they sell for backpacks would fit over your pannier.

If you want an inexpensive waterproof pannier, try stuff from the Seattle Sports brand. I believe I bought a pair for less than $50 when they were on a closeout sale on the REI outlet combined with an REI members coupon. (I only needed one pannier, so I ended up selling the second one on Craigslist). They also make a smaller waterproof rack-top duffel that was less than $25, also on close-out and combined with an REI coupon.

Here are the links  from REI and Amazon if you are interested in seeing more details and reviews:
http://www.rei.com/product/800388/seattle-sports-titan-panniers-pair-special-buy
http://www.rei.com/product/800389/seattle-sports-xud-waterproof-rackbag-duffel-special-buy
http://amzn.to/OiYEej
http://amzn.to/Tb0nR0

Note, I think Amazon sells a single pannier for the price they listed, whereas REI sold them as a pair.

cambridgecyclist

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 02:54:17 PM »
In my experience, panniers are one of those items where the quality is directly related to price. I have a set of Ortliebs Back Roller Plus panniers that were expensive (~$200) but have been through some horrible conditions -- rain, hail, snow, road salt, long bicycle trips, overstuffed to the point of breaking, grease, oil, scuffed, slid against concrete, kicked countless times -- and they still look practically new and work perfectly. They are completely waterproof, easy to use and well worth the original price.

desrever

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 06:39:51 PM »
These are a pretty good price/performance. The price is for a pair.

http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Cycling/PanniersBagsRacks/PRD~5024-309/mec-aqua-not-3-46l-panniers.jsp

swiper

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2012, 07:28:39 PM »
I find a milk crate type box and a sealine water proof bag works quite well :)  Added a link to a picture of my setup.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/B3qheC8rwxVJnwUxW-dFUNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

jpo

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zoltani

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2012, 10:38:02 AM »
Problem with the milk crate is that when you actually load some heavier items in it the bike becomes top heavy and handling is affected. 

sheepstache

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Re: inexpensive waterproof panniers?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2012, 05:41:48 PM »
I also have to sing the praises of Ortlieb panniers and bought mine from the site Ehgee mentioned, probikekit (check the terms of your credit card for the foreign transaction fee).

The OP did say they were trying to get in the habit of riding in the rain so personally I would spring as little cash as possible for something I might end up not liking to use.  I had already gotten in the habit of making trips and even tours with clunky hack solutions so I knew I would actually get use out of them.