Sport Packer Plus Pannier Review

Beth Puliti

Panniers are bags designed to attach to a bike frame via a bike rack. They take the weight of whatever gear you are carrying (i.e., tools, extra layers, bikepacking gear, etc.) off of your body and transfer it onto your bike. You want any extra weight off of your body because after a while, and especially on longer bike rides, it will cause you discomfort and possibly even pain.

Durable Design

At 15.7 inches high, 9.8 inches wide, 5.5 inches deep, and offering 1,831 cubic inches of space, the Sport-Packer Plus is the little sibling to the Bike-Packer Plus pannier.

Both are waterproof, made from resilient Cordura fabric, and claim to be resistant to abrasions. On an extended international bike tour when one of these bags was knocked off the rack by the sudden opening of a car door, it skidded across the road but you’d never be able to tell. I’ve also never had an issue with a single drop of water making its way inside. So, to my knowledge, its waterproof claim is accurate as well.

I was able to easily and quickly access the contents of this pannier by unclipping two buckles that keep the lid secure. Once that’s open, a drawstring cord cinches a separate protective liner shut, so that natural elements, such as dust and snow, are kept out of your bag. Though I haven’t used it, I imagine the integrated inner pocket is helpful to keep small loose items from falling to the bottom of the bag. Of note: there isn’t much extra space under the lid of the Sport-Packer, so I was unable to quickly store anything there, such as an extra layer or recently-purchased food.

Mounting the Sport-Packer is made simple by a tool-free system that allows you to adjust via rails and knobs. To release the bag from the rack, simply pull up on the built-in handlebar and the top two hooks release from the rack. The panniers will mount to any rack, so long as it isn’t over 16 mm in tube diameter.

Eight, 10 and 12 mm reduction inserts (2 pairs per size) are included to fit different sized racks.

At Home On & Off Road

The pannier’s low-profile is as at home on wide open-roads as it is on narrow singletrack. I believe, if paired with frame bags, these panniers are part of an ideal setup to carry gear on a bikepacking trip. I, personally, have used them on paved, gravel, and dirt roads as front panniers, with the Bike-Packer panniers in the rear. It helped significantly to even out the weight distribution on the bike. I also am set to use them on a bikepacking trip, in addition to frame/handlebar bags. Ortlieb says the smaller size of these panniers are also ideal as rear panniers on a child’s bike.

Ingenious Elements

After you’ve removed the bag from your bike, or really any time you’d like to rest it on the ground, feet at the base of the bag keep it from falling over. A nice feature that lets you root through your stuff off the bike easily, and a feature you don’t really appreciate until you own a set of panniers that doesn’t stand upright.

An included shoulder strap clips on to built-in side hooks super easily, and is ideal for those times you find yourself with panniers, but not your bike.

Like navigating an airport. Or the platforms of a train station. Or flights of steps at a hotel. In short, I ended up using this feature way more than I thought I would.

It can’t go without saying that these panniers are so well-crafted that they show no signs of wear after 5,000 kilometers and five months of daily use.  Reflectors on either side of the pannier were appreciated—while they aren’t that relevant in the woods, they are vital when I’m sharing the road with vehicles.

Available colors: lime-moss, signal red chili, denim-steelblue, and granite-black.    

Optional accessories: carrying system, outer pocket, mesh pocket, bottle cage, 20 mm QL2.1 hook, and antitheft device.

MSRP: $210.00 

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Your Citation
Puliti, Beth. "Sport Packer Plus Pannier Review." ThoughtCo, Aug. 30, 2016, Puliti, Beth. (2016, August 30). Sport Packer Plus Pannier Review. Retrieved from Puliti, Beth. "Sport Packer Plus Pannier Review." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 22, 2017).