Touring Panniers

We planned everything else about our three-week tour in a big hurry and at the last minute, so our equipment was no exception.  I designed and made these panniers in a real hurry, and there are a few things I’ll change next time around, but they served us well overall.

They’re shaped with a right and a left to maximize space in back while keeping good heel clearance in front.  The large main compartment is mirrored by a separate compartment accessible by a zipper front the outside to help separate clean from dirty, food from gear, etc.  Mesh pockets on the outside with shock cord over top provide a place to air out stinky jerseys or stash stuff quickly.  The forward sides have pockets that easily fit a jacket or water bottle and are easily accessible while riding.  There’s white reflective tape on the front and sides, and orange on the rear.  Each pair has a rear zippered pocket on one side and a removable tent pole pouch on the other.

And as always, light colored lining and a zipper inside for future repairs or modifications.  I made rain covers as well, although I’m not sure they’re really necessary except for the stuff in the outer pockets.  There are D-rings on top of the lids for lashing down additional stuff.  I chose blue with dark red accents; Jake went with neon green with bright orange accents for visibility.  The neon green fades very quickly, but still looks good.

Our trip journal can be found here:


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