These are the entry level Altura panniers and come in any colour you want, so long as it’s black with a white reflective trim. They have a capacity of 46 litres which should be enough space for an overnight trip, and a rack pack can add extra capacity if you need it. They are also available as a 36 litre pair. I’ll be adding extra capacity if I need it with a 32 litre back pack, though certainly won’t need to fill that to capacity!
It’s probably too large for my needs at the moment as I’m looking at most a 3 night trip, and you can always strap the tent on top of the pannier rack with bungees. They’re sturdy, and have both a spacious rear and a lid pocket. There’s also plenty of room inside the main panniers and I could easily fit all my camping gear inside with the tent on top of the rack, but with slightly more judicial packing, that would probably fit in as well. They’re compact enough to use on trips as well, being ideal to stow the gear I’d usually keep in a back pack such as spare tubes, tools and for stowing the helmet when on the cycle path. In an ideal world, they could do with being smaller for daytrips, but that’s an unfair gripe as these are strictly a multiday pannier.
These aren’t the kind of items that you can get a feeling for without a fair bit of use. So far they’ve sat there, minding their own business, which is fine as the last thing you need is to continually kick them with your heels. My gut instinct is that they’ll provide a workmanlike service as they’re well built and there’s little to go wrong. They’re certainly a mid-range pannier, and you might want to invest in lighter more expensive ones if you’re all set for a long trip or waterproof ones if you feel they’ll be useful.
Manufacturer (RRP): Altura (£64.99)
Volume: 46 litres total (23 each)
Weight: 1.44kg the pair
What’s good: Inexpensive, spacious and rugged pannier. They’re black, so they match my bike!
What’s bad: Would be safer if they weren’t black, but you can get a high viz cover that’s probably a good investment. Not waterproof. Not the lightest on the market.