For me, panniers are the best commuting bags. In the winter, they mean you don’t wreck your expensive raincoat by putting a rucksack on your back; in the summer, they avoid that sweaty back problem. They keep the weight lower on your bike, to help improve handling, and they avoid straining your back muscles, too. This set from dhb are smart, lightweight and good value.
Panniers don’t need to be fancy, they just need to be secure, robust and waterproof. These tick those three boxes.
Neat and effective mounting
The dhb Waterproof Pannier set uses a neat and effective mounting system, to secure them to the rack. The quick release clips should fit almost any rack tube, and the lower t-handle does a good job of keeping the panniers in towards the centreline of the bike. The hook system is easy to operate, and robust as well; I’ve been using these for commuting for a number of months, and the racking system is still working faultlessly.
Daily commuting also demands that panniers be robust. These are made from a strong PVC material, with a twill finish added to the outside for a touch of style. The fabric is enough to brush of water, grit, dust and everyday abuse; so it is perfect for UK riding conditions! There is also reflective detailing on both ends of the panniers, to help in low light conditions. This PVC material remains the best for panniers, in my opinion.
Roll-top waterproof closure
The final vital attribute of good pannier, is waterproofing. Panniers get bombarded with spray and rain, and keeping their content dry is a must. These dhb Panniers use the common roll-top waterproof closure, which is simple and effective at sealing in the content, and sealing out the elements. The roll-top closure is secured with a two-part strapping system: featuring two large elasticated buckle straps on each end, and one securing strap that pulls over the top of the roll-down. This two-part closure is very secure, and many panniers will only feature one of the two, so it’s a good double security option!
Inside the pannier, there are no pockets or compartments; but rather a good amount of space, to house anything from your shopping to laptops or books. If there is one minor negative on this design, it’s that the back-panel of the pannier isn’t particularly rigid, which means the bag is a bit floppy when loading/unloading; this is a minor defect though, and of course the lighter weight nature of the back panel brings down the overall weight of the pannier set.
Overall, these dhb Waterproof Panniers are a great set of commuting bags. They are big enough to house a normal sized laptop and books, or to carry a small shopping trip with ease; yet they are lightweight enough that they don’t feel cumbersome when lightly loaded. They are waterproof, robust and secure; and they are good value for the pair, too. A very sensible commuting or touring option.