Allroad Touring Enduro Panniers and Cases
Depending on your routing interests, you could turn to urban or outback line of equipment, but think also about your needs to carry stuff. How much, how heavy, placement in the bike and what is really necessary to take with you. For sure you can take a lot and turn your bike into some kind of cargo carrier, but that would only make your bike too heavy, less agile and your riding less comfortable. I would say that it is an safety issue too. The more you are looking for adventure and challenges, the less weight you should carry. Basically I would leave the rear top case home and use the space for something low and light such as a water tight touring bag.
I try to minimize the amount of luggage and go slightly below my comfort zone, choose things that save space, are lighter than the ordinary, more versatile from the use point of view and dry easily. By doing a tour laundry in an hotel or self-service laundry shop, you can save a lot of space and you do not need to keep overdue laundry bag with you.
Allroad Touring Panniers
Allroad Touring Panniers are more robust and you can easily fasten more bags on top of the panniers. They carry simply the biggest loads. Panniers are usually made of aluminium which is less sensitive, durable, efficient in space and light in weight. Panniers are bigger than typical road bike cases, quite angular in design which makes them space efficient, but also less aerodynamic. Therefore panniers are not ideal for high speed touring, but that would be anyhow beside the point.
Panniers usually have inner carry bags which you can take with you to your accommodation leaving the panniers on the bike. This is practical also from the dirt point of view. You do not need to take the dirt with you to your hotel room. The inner bags are also lighter than synthetic cases with carry handles, making the daily luggage handling more convenient. For sure you can use inner bags with the synthetic cases too. It is simply most practical.
There are usually strap hooks on the lid and you can install additional equipment racks on the flat front and back end of the panniers. This is meaningful for example when you have a typical fuel tank of 20 liters and you have to stretch the fueling intervals with fuel canisters. Somehow I like the harsh adventure looks too. It fits to the overall character of allroad bikes. Universal allroad touring panniers can be found from TOURATECH ZegaPro, Hepco & Becker Xplorer, SW Motech TraX and GIVI Trekker OUTBACK for example.
Synthetic Touring Cases
Urban touring cases are quite robust, but also more flexible from the structure than aluminium panniers. Usually they are made of synthetic components and therefore having more material thickness and slightly less space, especially in the side cases. The synthetic touring cases may be also more aerodynamic which is good for urban touring and high speed riding, but also leads to less ideal space efficiency. Still there are alternatives that offer space for full face helmet in the side case. Anyhow this is more urban and every day biker feature.
In most of the cases the lid opens from the side of the case which is less practical without the inner bags. It may be annoying when items fall out when opening the lid. The side lid is relative big element and a bit flexible in nature which makes it challenging to keep watertight in relation to panniers with the top lid. The urban touring cases have usually carry handles on top of the case and seldom on top loading option with fastening hooks.
Usually you can quickly unfasten the touring case off the bike and carry it to your accommodation which is practical as long as the cases are clean enough. Otherwise you would caring dirt to your accommodation. Therefore inner bags are easier, cleaner way of handling the daily luggage routines and you can carry more bags at one time compared to hard cases. Anyhow I would always go with the inner bags. Universal accessory touring cases can be found from GIVI and Hepco & Becker for example.
Touring Rear Top Case
The rear top case can be used as versatile light luggage space during the tour. When you are riding, it can be used for your backpack and additional gloves, hoods, mid layers etc. When you park, it can be used for helmet and other active riding gear storage. Especially when you are riding with a passenger, some extra space is usually needed and the top case works also as a kind of passenger back rest. The rear top case is in it`s best on urban tours with good road conditions and of course as every day riding luggage space.
The rear top case is not practical for adventure touring when you need your bike to stay as agile and balanced as possible. Anyhow I would not advice to use the rear top case for anything heavy while riding due to the fact that it can have an enormous negative effect on riding, especially in emergency situations. The rear top case works similar to leverage force making the bike far less agile and exposing it to so called wobbling effect. This effect may also present itself in high speed and it is therefore very dangerous. Sometimes you can see even luggage racks on top of the rear top case and some stuff on it which makes the bike even more dangerous. I would not recommend to do that even on tarmac road conditions. When you are planning your tour, you should pay attention to weight distribution and stability.
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