Reviews of Arkel Dry-Lites Panniers

Arkel

your price $89.95 + ships free

BuyBuy PART NUM 299405

StarStarStarStarStar Great design and super light!

by
Ownership: a month
Tech Knowledge: high

Pros

Completely waterproof
Attaches to bike quickly
Super light
No zippers to break

Cons

Not designed to hold a lot of stuff
Would love it they sold in hi-viz colors for commuting
The bags can't be mounted individually

Other Thoughts

These bags are very well designed and waterproof. They weigh 1/4 as much as several other pannier sets I own. I'm excited to try them out on a lightweight bike tour. They don't hold a ton of stuff...which is good because it will force you to pack light. Would love to see a future design in hi-viz color so cars can see me better.

StarStarStarStarStar Arkel Dry-Lites Panniers

by
Ownership: a few months
Tech Knowledge: average

Pros

Light weight

Cons

Not as easy to adjust for heel clearance

Other Thoughts

Great for bike packing rather than touring (AK trail riding)

StarStarStarStarStar Accomodates Upgraded Touring Bike

by
Ownership: several months
Tech Knowledge: high

Pros

This really was a purchase out of necessity as the rear rack that I had special ordered when I purchased the Specialized Diverge touring bike would only accommodate certain rear panniers. More specifically, I needed a pannier that I could strap gear (tent & sleeping bag) onto. The Topeak bags could not accommodate such gear. The fabric is lightweight and during cross country transit when bike is being transported in the travel bag in the carriage bin underneath the bus, I use the packed panniers as the carry-on luggage.

Cons

It takes a little while to secure the bag onto the rear rack with the velcro straps, but this goes with the territory on this particular design which is not really a "con", but instead a slight inconvenience. I do sense that one will learn to streamline this procedure over time after repetitions of the task are experienced. Do not forget to secure the braces on the bottom of each bag to prevent them from flapping around. I really like the buckle on top of the bag which enables easy closing and quick securing of it.

Other Thoughts

Be particular in packing the tool bag as it must be secured inside the checked luggage, or bike bag in this case, as the NTSA does not allow potential weapons to be taken inside the bus where the driver and other passengers are located.

StarStarStarStarStar Lightweight, super sturdy and functional

by
Ownership: two weeks
Tech Knowledge: high

Pros

Really wonderful price

Folds down flat and small

Sturdy fabric

Waterproof, roll-down construction

Horizontal steel bars on top and bottom for lots of stability

Crazy Velcro attachment to the rack seems to be pretty strong and difficult to steal (I hope)

D-Rings on the top of the bags add places to lash things; can probably be used to attach the panniers without the Velcro.

Securely carries a lot of doughnuts and keeps them dry in the most impossible conditions.

Cons

Only comes in black

The crazy Velcro makes removal or front-rack use difficult

Didn't come full of doughnuts.

Other Thoughts

There is a reason these panniers are becoming a bikepacking standard, at least when riders use rear panniers.

StarStarStarStarStar Nice medium size and waterproof!

by
Ownership: a few months
Tech Knowledge: average

Pros

I really like that these bags are medium sized (keep me honest in packing light), are very waterproof as I learned in a downpour recently, and are lightweight themselves. Also, the velcro attachments are superstrong and could be used on a variety of racks. Easy to use and carry on the bike and by hand off the bike.

Other Thoughts

The dark interior is hard to see things. Wish it were lighter colored.

StarStarStarStarStar Light Touring

by
Ownership: a few months
Tech Knowledge: high

Pros

Very light weight good for small bike frame easy to use high visibility stripe

Cons

small - good for an overnight tour but not days

Other Thoughts

seen on a lot of other bikes for overnight camp outs

StarStarStarStarStar Light and tough, just amazing.

by
Ownership: one week
Tech Knowledge: average

StarStarStarStarStar Arkel Drylights

by
Ownership: a month
Tech Knowledge: average

Pros

Lightweight
Moderate Size
Easy to Mount on rear rack

Cons

Closure could have better design - difficult to close when full
Minor problem with heel strikes - had to modify hold downs
Be aware of size - OK for one person, but marginal for two persons on multiday trip.

Other Thoughts

Overall a very good set of light duty bags - we tried to use a single set for two people's "stuff" and they were a bit small for a three day ride where we each needed to carry two sets of bike wear, a set of "non bike" clothes, a dock kit and a pair of shoes... for each of us. Had a minor heel strike problem with my Specialized Roubaix - needed to modify the hold down system to bias it completely towards the rear - but then it was fine. However may have been due to the "hacked" blackburn rack I have on the Roubaix. When completely full the closure was a bit difficult - however if we had less in the bags it would have been fine. Did some riding in light rain and it kept everything completely dry.

StarStarStarStarStar Perfect for day trips

by
Ownership: a month
Tech Knowledge: average

Pros

Just getting ready to take these on their maiden voyage so haven't tested them yet, but they appear to be perfect for our needs. Flying with bikes and have no extra room for bulky panniers. Needed something to carry extra items just for the day, not a weeks worth of clothing, although they hold a sufficient amount. They roll up into a tiny roll, making them perfect for packing for traveling, are very light and appear to be waterproof. The Velcro is very strong and they securely attached to the rack with just Velcro tabs and the hook at the bottom. Not quite as easy to get on and off as they make it look, so I think we will just be unloading and leaving the bags on each night.

Cons

Top closure seems a bit bulky, but I'm sure it adds to the waterproof factor. Closes up like a dry bag.

Other Thoughts

They are so light, I can't see that a shoulder strap is really necessary. Seems that it may be a a bit awkward.

StarStarStarStarStar Exactly what I was looking for!

by
Ownership: a few months
Tech Knowledge: average

Pros

Extremely durable
Completely waterproof
Lightweight

Cons

None.
These bags are exactly what they are advertised as!

Other Thoughts

I would recommend these bags to anyone looking for ultralight tour gear, or just city commuting.

StarStarStarStarStar Fold over the top twice and they are completely waterproof.

by
Ownership: one year
Tech Knowledge: high

Pros

They are very lightweight, easy to get on and off the bike. Fold over the top twice and they are completely waterproof. They look good.

Cons

I used these with a older Blackburn rack, that is lightweight and I thought would be perfect for these panniers. The panniers keep their shape by a wooden dowel that goes along the bottom. The problem is these panniers if the very bottom is not filled up with stuff the pannier looses shape and in rough terrain or a speed bump have a tendency to fold into the back tire as the dowel does not go the complete length of the bottom. Thus I have had the rear of each pannier go into the spokes and have broken both of the dowels. The rack I used was slight and lithe, which exacerbated the problem. But why use a Tubus rack for the lightest pannier there is?

Other Thoughts

The panniers are attached to each other so you have to use both at all times. The instructions that come with them on how to attach are rather confusing but they attach quick and stable just putting them on the rack and cinching them down.

I've used these panniers on five tours in Thailand, I live here, and they are perfect for staying in hotels, and carrying light weights. The lack of stability can be overcome by compressing things towards the bottom of the pannier, but still, I feel this is a design flaw.

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Arkel

"Our designs integrate countless hours of experience in the saddle and from tons of customer feedback. There's no better place than the open road to gather information. We listen and continually try to improve our saddlebags. We back our products with a no hassle warranty so you have peace of mind when you purchase Arkel."

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