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Reviews of Arkel Orca 45 Waterproof Panniers (Pair) Gray

Arkel

your price $249.99 + ships free

WatchWatch PART NUM 731768

StarStarStarStarStar Arkel Panniers

by
Ownership: one year
Tech Knowledge: somewhat high

They're Arkels. Completely waterproof. Roomy

StarStarStarStarStar Stay away -- mount design is absolutely TERRIBLE for a premium price.

by
Ownership: two weeks
Tech Knowledge: high

Pros

Waterproof, good materials and bag construction.

Cons

The mounting is TERRIBLE and totally unreliable.

There is no way to prevent sliding, flapping, theft or accidental detach.

I like Arkel products. I have 2 other sets of Arkel panniers: Dry-Lites, Classics from 2009 with an adjustable solid metal locking lever.

I've tested these on 3 different racks: Tubus Evo, Topeak, Jandd Expedition Rear Rack Tall Boy.

8 Reasons to avoid these:

1) The cams are PLASTIC.
2) The cam locks NEVER fully close.
3) The cams CANNOT be tightened against the rack.
4) The cams JAM open after pulling the release handle.
5) They slide — the cams swing OUTWARD, completely prevents hook adjustment against a rack's vertical or horizontal supports.
6) NO positive locking mechanism at the top— if the handle is accidentally pulled, they will fall off .
7) NO positive locking mechanism at the bottom — all you get is a non-adjustable bungee cord.
8) NO place on the back for zip ties to prevent theft and flapping in rough terrain.

Stay away -- at this price point, the mounts should be outstanding.
Total disappointment -- did not bother trying them on the road.

Other Thoughts

Arkel has changed all their panniers to this terrible plastic cam lock design.

StarStarStarStarStar Great commuters

by
Ownership: more than a year
Tech Knowledge: somewhat high

Pros

Nice size
Waterproof
Good hardware
Well built
Some reflective details

Cons

None so far.

Other Thoughts

I use these almost every day for commuting to and from work. I am very happy with the way they have performed. If you are looking for a great medium sized bag, they fit the bill for sure. You can run these on both a front or rear setup.

StarStarStarStarStar Arkel Panniers

by
Ownership: one year
Tech Knowledge: somewhat high

They're Arkels. Completely Waterproof

StarStarStarStarStar Great first set of panniers

by
Ownership: a few months
Tech Knowledge: low

Pros

My first set of panniers. Used for a two week tour of English countryside. Held up well in the seasonal rains (which could be extensive some days). Would recommend larger bags if you plan on doing a tour of similar time period (I like to travel light and made some sacrifices!).
Would recommend : )

Cons

The small pocket on the front is ineffective for substantial storage beyond small items such as batteries/papers.
A bit awkward to carry (i.e. through the airport or on the train).

Other Thoughts

Great set of bags! Held up well on my first tour.

StarStarStarStarStar The Only Panniers You'll Ever Need

by
Ownership: more than a year
Tech Knowledge: somewhat high

Pros

Bombproof/simple mounting system
WATERPROOF (rode 54 miles in torrential rains with NO leakage!)
Great storage capacity
Hardware repairs (if ever needed) can be found at any hardware store

Cons

Price, but I don't mind paying a fair price for a quality product that will give me years of usage and great company support.

Other Thoughts

I recently purchased a set of Arkel Orca 35's for my wife. I've had a like pair for over 1 year and they have over 600 miles of trail wear. I started bike travel years ago with a pair of Kirklands then moved on to Lone Peak which I used for years. Wanted waterproof panniers and purchased Ortliebs. I hated the mounting system and too many finicky parts like inner drawstring, and lack of storage space. I couldn't decide between the Arkels and Axioms. Got a great deal at Modern Bike and so glad I purchased the Arkels. Waterproof, and I mean PROOF! 35's are the perfect amount of storage capacity for me. They are rated for front or rear use and I use them in the rear. Easy/secure mounting and hardware can be found at any hardware store if a part fails. Roll top keeps dust and weather out and locks down with 2 clips. Small exterior pocket just holds my small camera. 2 inner pockets for guide books/maps, money. Material is welded and all edges are clean and finished. I have moved to a frame bag/handlebar roll/seatbag for some of my solo fat bike trips but I still use my Arkels on 3-5 trips a year. Get a pair you won't be disappointed, I can guarantee it!

StarStarStarStarStar Arkel Orca 35 as Rear Panniers

by
Ownership: a month
Tech Knowledge: somewhat low

Pros

Very practical and easy to use panniers. You can swap them from front to rear panniers if you choose, I have only had them as rear panniers but it's always nice to have options. The inside organizational pocket/sleeve along with the outside waterproof pocket are super convenient and offer that extra option to keep your smaller gear and important daily items organized while still having the stuff everything style main compartment. Plus, they look real sweet. The waterproof is a bonus option not often associated with the more "style wise" panniers but these got both covered fully!

Cons

I have been taking it somewhat easy on the panniers since I got them but they are already showing some wear in areas where they rest again the wall in my garage. I thought it was a little strange that the panniers seemed to be so clearly affected by the light amount of wear that they were receiving. Literally all I did was rest them against the wall in my garage and they rubbed again the wall a little bit while I was preparing them and putting my work items in them. This light bit of use left obvious worn blemishes/spots on the panniers were they were touching the wall, hopefully this doesn't create any issues with the waterproofing in the affected areas...

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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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Capacity is the total capacity, measured in cubic inches. If two bags are included, this is the rating for both bags combined.

These bags are usually larger and are designed to fit on rear racks.

Waterproof bike bags are fully waterproof with sealed zippers and materials that repel water even when soaked.

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