Panniers, Bags and Straps
It's a constant struggle to decide what we will take along on a bicycle trip. While we want to reduce weight and volume,
the essential things are usually ok for a short trip but when we are on a longer voyage, the criteria change and the "nice to have" list becomes longer and longer.
What we use as pannier or bag usually depends on the final packing list and we of course always need to leave some space for provisions and whatever we still may buy while on the trip.
We do not have specific bags for tour biking, bike packing or e-biking, we just mix and match.
Functionality or the looks are to us more important than the brand name and we try to only buy panniers or bags which we can use on all our bikes. We also moved away from putting everything in big bags and we are now using straps to attach stuff on the bike.
Panniers : the traditional panniers seem to us still the best solution if you have lots of things to carry, they are handy and waterproof. Most of the ones we have are made by Ortlieb and so far, even the first bags which we bought more than 10 years ago are still in perfect condition.
Handle bar bags : we moved away from the traditional square and sturdy handle bar box and are now more inclined to go for food pouches and a handlebar harness with a dry bag.
Dry-bags : we use dry bags whenever something needs to stay dry and does not find it's place in a pannier. Again, this varies per trip, sometimes our down jacket is in a pannier, sometimes it's in a separate dry bag.
Straps : learning from the bike packing world, we now attach several things with rubber straps to our bike. Just like a belt, they have several holes and you can tighten the strap perfectly with varying loads during your trip. It's also super handy that you have certain things immediately at hand when they are not in your bags. As far as we know, there are 2 major players, the American Joie straps and the German Fixplus+. While they both are similar, we opted for the German brand as living in Europe, this seemed more logical.
We are not using frame bags or saddle bags as we always have to much stuff to carry and have a rack on all our bicycles anyhow.