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Bike panniers or 2 Dry Bags?

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WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Bike panniers or 2 Dry Bags?

Hey folks!

I am planning my first bike trip (from the south of Spain back to Austria in Summer) and I'm trying to figure out my luggage arrangement. Basically I am wondering if I should use 2 20 liter dry bags that I'd attach on the top of the back-rack or 2 of the vaude-aqua panniers.

Dry bags are cheaper and a lot lighter

probably not as convenient to attach and get stuff out of quickly
no extra space on top of the rack (in case I'd need more space than I plan to)

another problem might be that one dry bag would carry a lot of incompressible stuff like cooking equipment...

Thanks for any thoughts and comments from the more experienced bike-travelers :)


WS Member Imagen de WS Member
i'm gearing up for a tour

i'm gearing up for a tour this summer, my first one. I think that panniers are the way to go. How about 2 panniers and a dry bag on the rear??

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I guess it depends on what

I guess it depends on what you want... if you prefer lighter traveling but not as convenient the dry bags seems like a good option. found a good thread here as well:

register to see the pictures

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Pannier vs dry bag

You did a good job of assessing pros and cons and I am only weighing in to reinforce your points. Dry bags keep things dry but are difficult to arrange things - or more accurately, to RETRIEVE items (hint: they are always at the bottom!).

A typical pannier gives you more convenience when it comes to storing, arranging, and retrieving your crap.

What I have done is to use waterproof panniers on the front and traditional panniers in the back. I use a dry bag for my sleeping bag that I strap on the back rack.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member

I'd go two panniers and a bar bag (like this You don't need to buy the waterproof panniers, you can always use a dry bag or heavy duty plastic bag inside a pannier for things which really must stay dry. As soon as a dry bag has a tiny hole it is no use for keeping stuff dry - where as panniers will last for years and years.

Alternative answer - borrow panniers from friends one weekend and go on a practise tour, next weekend borrow dry bags. That also will give you a chance to decide what you need and what you don't.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
The only pro for a dry bag is

The only pro for a dry bag is that they are cheaper.

They are harder to fit or store than panniers.

I usually only buy Ortleib panniers. They are expensive but are excellent.

But I recently bought a pair of pannier bags from a company in Denmark called BILTEMA. They are excellent panniers. Very waterproof and tough, similar to Ortleib but at a fraction of the price.

€67 for a pair.

If you need help with these, just ask.

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