We have had many requests for an affordable, high quality panniers, so we found a company right here in Northern California to make our New Basic Loaded Touring Panniers.
The exterior fabric is VX21 from Dimension Polyant, maker of high tech sail cloths. This is a 4 layer laminant fabric consisting of a nylon exterior, an X-PlyR fiber-reinforcement layer, a PET sub-laminant and DWR substrate. This offers an ideal balance of weight and durability as well as providing a high level of water repellency.
Don't let the lack of visible stitching fool you. Every seam is double under-sewn providing maximum strength without creating wicking points for moisture to get in your bags. Zippers are #8 urethane coated reverse face to keep your stuff dry and have string tabbed sliders to eliminate that jingle, jingle as you roll down the road. Inside is a second layer of 420d packcloth to further enhance strength and protect your goods. The bottom panel is a ballistic nylon vented construction. Regardless of what style bag you get, crap (dirt, sand, water, etc) will get in just in the act of putting thing into and getting them out of your bag. The vented bottom allows a way out, instead of you needing to empty the entire contents of your panniers in order to clean them out.
Though it's a more expensive method of construction the zippers extend very low on these bags. As Murphy has proven so many times, that ONE thing you really need is always located in the hardest place to get to.
These fully opening panniers make even the most inaccessible dark recess to be not-so-inconvenient.
NEVER accept anything other than lock stitch construction on bags. Overlock and chain stitch construction is technology specifically intended for clothing and other non-weight bearing applications. Catch a loose thread and you can completely pull the entire seam apart like the top of a dog food bag. Lock stitch construction using nylon Tex 70 thread with UV protection is, well... the cat's you know what. Highly durable, stable, something to take pride in. All seams are bound to prevent the raw fabric edges from fraying.
Other panniers utilize all kinds of exotic and/or ineffective systems to connect them to your bike racks. This is because there are so many styles of racks out there. It's an endless game of giving up stability and security for convenience. Our panniers are designed to fit ONLY on the best racks available on the market. Bruce Gordon has been the long time leader in design, quality and construction of touring racks. In combination with Bruce's racks this simple 5 hook mounting system is the very best, bar none. Anything less is unacceptable.
Phil Woosley began designing and manufacturing bags while completing an Industrial Design program at San Francisco State University. He has over 25 years of experience in the Bicycle Industry and has toured extensively in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe.