During our cycling trip along the Rhine in Germany my cycling buddy borrowed my OverBoard Panniers. I had two reasons to be jealous.
The first was that he had packed way less than me and thus could fit everything in the two 16 litre panniers. The other was that the panniers were completely waterproof and looked great.
The OverBoard panniers are rated as 100% Waterproof cycling panniers (Class 3). True to their word, they kept the clothing inside completely sealed. This is thanks to the folding mechanism at the top, which OverBoard use in many of their bags.
The mechanism also means that the bags could potentially be filled above capacity. As when it is unfolded it provides a much wider storage area. However, this would likely compromise the waterproofing from the top of the bag.
The panniers fitted quickly to the rack (a Topeak Super Tourist). During the ride on a couple of occasions when the back of the bike shoes made contact with the panniers one of the clips came loose. However, this problem could have been resolved had my friend used the velcro strap that more firmly fastened the panniers to the rack. Being the friend that I am, I neglected to tell him this until after 5 days of cycling.
The panniers also have a small pocket at the front for any items that require quick access. These largely remained unused as their capacity is very small. However, for any quick documents or small tools that needed reaching, they would have been useful.
When unclipped, the bags were easy to carry around thanks to the big strap at the top. This also made things easier at the airport as the straps could be threaded through each other to check the item in as one piece of luggage.
In terms of capacity, the 32 litres seemed just about enough for 5 days of cycling along with four more days of holidaying if you pack light. However, if you wanted to go camping or take more clothes with you, then you would need a couple more panniers at the front or a backpack attached to a rack (my DIY solution).
OverBoard panniers overall review
The OverBoard panniers cost £72.99. This is a fairly average price for panniers of 32 litre capacity (combined) and you get full waterproofing and a sturdy design that won’t move on bumpy cycling paths. We couldn’t find anything at fault with the OverBoard bags and during our cycling trip they served us well.
For more info and to buy: Overboard Bike Panniers
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.