Arkel XM-45 Bicycle Panniers: An In-Depth Evaluation

by jpc_touring-bicycle

Excessive-quality, water resistant, retro, and hard. These are 4 phrases I would use to explain the XM-45 bicycle panniers from Arkel.

A number of months in the past I used to be despatched a set of Arkel XM-45 panniers and their matching rain covers. On this evaluation I’ll describe in nice element the make up of this specific pannier, share my ideas with regard to its strengths and its weaknesses, and let you know whether or not or not it is a pannier I’d suggest on your travels.

To Begin… A Transient Intro To The Arkel XM-45 Pannier:

The Arkel XM-45 is Arkel’s highest promoting bicycle pannier for the touring market. The corporate really makes a bigger set of panniers (known as the GT-54), however these specific panniers are completely enormous (3,300 cubic inches) in comparison with the XM-45s (2,800 cubic inches). The XM-45 panniers are giant sufficient for most individuals and are ideally formed for the wants of almost each touring bicycle owner.

On their web site, the corporate explains that this set of panniers was initially designed for off-road mountain biking, however due to their tall, slender profile (which helps to make sure heal clearance whereas pedaling); the compression straps that cross the entrance of the baggage that enable for max compression; and the internal lining that works to guard your valuable gear… these specific panniers have develop into a favourite for 1000’s of  individuals touring by bike.

Options That Make The XM-45 Bicycle Pannier Distinctive

The next is a listing of a few of the options that make the Arkel XM-45 pannier so extremely widespread.

Made Of Excessive-High quality Cordurra

The XM-45 panniers are made out of a high-quality, water resistant material known as Cordura. This is identical materials used within the manufacturing of backpacks and panniers produced by different out of doors corporations. It’s a favourite material amongst out of doors manufactureres due to its ruggedness and its means to shed (though not utterly deflect) rain, snow, and different such outdoors forces. I’ve personally acquired letters from individuals touring by bike in distant components of the world they usually said to me in these letters that the explanation they selected to journey with Arkel panniers was due to simply how robust and seemingly indestructible the material is – even in probably the most harsh environments.

Extremely-Sturdy Zippers

Moreover the high-quality material, the pannier makes use of three top-of-the line zippers (one used on the highest lid, one used on the facet pocket, and one bigger zipper that runs down the facet of the pannier for individuals who want to load their belongings from the normal sideways place.) Zippers as an entire are one thing many pannier producers attempt to keep away from, because the zipper is normally the very first thing to interrupt on a bag akin to this. However the zippers used on these Arkel panniers are high of the road they usually’ll run for years earlier than it’s a must to fear about them breaking or giving approach.

Compression Straps

The compression straps on the XM-45 panniers are distinctive in that not like different bicycle pannier compression straps that sometimes run in both a vertical or horizontal method, the compression straps on the XM-45 panniers run in a diagonal sample, crossing the middle of the bag at its center (See the photograph above). This not solely provides you an effective way to compress your bag right down to its smallest potential dimension, nevertheless it additionally permits the straps themselves to be stored quick, so they continue to be out of the best way and are simple to handle each time it’s good to get into your baggage.

Prime-Loading With Facet-Loading Zipper

Conventional touring panniers have been designed to be loaded from the facet, very like you’ll do with a suitcase. However lots of right now’s hottest bicycle touring panniers are designed as top-loaders, which means that you just load your gear into them from the highest, form of such as you would do when placing rocks in a bucket.

Whether or not you’re somebody who prefers loading your gear from the highest or the facet, the XM-45 panniers provide the better of each phrases, as a result of whereas their core design is that of a top-loading bag, the massive facet zipper does provide the choice of opening the bag on its facet and loading your gear in that approach.

Absolutely-Lined Predominant Compartment

That is one other function that makes the XM-45’s shine! Every of the panniers has a fully-lined inside. So along with the exterior Cordura materials that gives the robust, water resistant shell round your belongings, the inner-liner provides one other layer of water-resistance and high quality to the bag itself. This liner, identical to the outside of the bag, is accessible from the facet and closes on the high with a easy drawstring.

Prime Of The Line Pannier Attachment System

How your panniers connect to the racks of your bicycles is one other key issue to contemplate when buying a set of panniers. Having a high quality attachment system is extraordinarily essential – particularly in case you plan to make use of the panniers on any type of long-distance tour. Fortunately, the attachment system on the again of Arkel panniers is without doubt one of the finest within the trade. Some would possibly even argue that it’s the finest on this planet!

The panniers connect by a small bungee-mounted hook on the backside of the bag and enormous, industrial-strength, self-locking cams on the high. Better of all, the attachment system works with both 10mm or 8mm racks, so it doesn’t matter what dimension rack you’ve got, the Arkel panniers will be just right for you! (The picture above exhibits the panniers mounted on an 8mm rack.)

A number of Pockets For Organizing Your Gear

One other good function of the XM-45 panniers is that they’ve three completely different compartments by which to retailer your gear. Many panniers solely have one compartment and this makes organizing your issues considerably tough. The XM-45’s, nonetheless, have three compartments: one giant one within the middle, a small one on the facet, and a small one within the lid.

Brilliant & Flashy Design

If security is a priority of yours, the intense attention-getting colours of the panniers proven on this evaluation actually do a superb job of telling passing motorists that there’s a bicycle up forward. Whereas the XM-45s at the moment are available in each yellow and black colours, each fashions include 3M reflective stripes on the outside… and the rain covers (in case you select to get them) are available in a vivid neon yellow shade that additionally works wonders to alert passing automobiles of your presence.

Non-obligatory Rain Covers That Match Like A Glove

Lastly, with regards to the additional rain covers, those made to suit the XM-45 panniers match like a glove. Should you’ve obtained your panniers stuffed to the max and want to guard the gear inside your baggage from a sudden obtain, simply slip the sunshine, colourful rain covers over your panniers, tighten the drawstring and proceed in your approach. The covers themselves are manufactured from light-weight 1.9 ounce Coated Rip-Cease Nylon and are designed in order that after slipping them round your panniers, you merely give a tug on the covers’ elasticized drawstring they usually’ll shut tightly round your panniers in order to maintain the contents inside dry and safe.

Advantages Of The XM-45 Arkel Pannier

Whereas there are numerous causes the XM-45 panniers from Arkel are so widespread, I consider the three largest advantages of this specific set of panniers is that they’re tremendous robust (and due to this fact good for individuals touring long-distances on a motorcycle); present superior heel clearance when put next with different bicycle panniers in the marketplace (even my pal Josh (proven within the photographs on this evaluation) who has a dimension 15 US foot was in a position to mount the XM-45 panniers on the again of his bike and journey with none interference in any respect); they usually include three completely different compartments that make organizing your belongings oh really easy.

Drawbacks Of The XM-45 Arkel Pannier

That mentioned, the principle downside to those panniers is that they not 100% waterproof. As time goes on, I believe having set of waterproof bicycle panniers goes to be increasingly essential to many, many individuals. And even though the panniers do have further rain covers that may be bought, many will see this as simply one other merchandise to purchase and one other merchandise that they’ve to hold on their bikes (along with the panniers and all of the gear they’re already towing.)

One other small downside to the XM-45s is that they’re on the heavy facet with regards to touring panniers. Each panniers weigh a complete of 4.3 lbs, which is heavy when in comparison with many panniers from different bicycle corporations.

My Total Ideas & Impressions

Total, I’ve been tremendous impressed with the standard and design of the Arkel XM-45 bicycle panniers. So far as perform and design is worried, they’re high of the road and I’d extremely suggest them for any sort of bicycle using – whether or not or not it’s commuting close to your property or using your bike all the best way world wide. If I might change something in regards to the panniers, nonetheless, I’d need them to be waterproof (with out the necessity for extra rain covers) and ever so barely lighter. Apart from that, they’re unbelievable and I like to recommend you contemplate getting a pair for your self!

My Ranking: 9 out of 10

Extra info may be discovered at

Do you’ve got a set of Arkel XM-45 panniers? If that’s the case, what do you consider them? Add to this evaluation by leaving a remark under.

Evaluation Standing: The product featured on this evaluation was despatched to me free of charge for the aim of this evaluation.


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Arkel XM-45 Bicycle Panniers: An In-Depth Evaluation  
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