Honestly never thought of the Trailer as a PITA. I have used panniers for groceries and around town. I have only gone touring with my trailer. It works great both on and off road. I wonder what panniers would be like on single track?
Loc: Central Texas
I use panniers only for very long tours - longer than cross-country/continent. For cross-country and shorter tours I prefer getting everything into a big silnylon stuff sack/frameless pack, a large handlebar bag and an underseat tool pouch. This is strictly ultralight, of course, but the difference in resistance is noticeable and greatly appreciated.
Basic gear list: tarp, groundsheet, single pole, stakes and guy lines to hold bike up (can substitute for or supplement pole. Sometimes I use a hammock, but find the tarp to be more compact and versatile for biking.
down quilt, closed cell foam pad
Esbit cook kit w/500 ml cup (Eating out is easy when biking. I rarely do mch more than cocoa and maybe oatmeal).
O2 raingear such as DriDucks, extra running shorts and wool T, one extra pair of socks (ankle)
toiletries and first aid camera journal and maps
I usually carry compact tools sufficient to do most repairs as well as two extra tires and tubes because of the perils of broken glass.
The camping kit and clothing go in the silnylon stuff sack/pack. The rest in the handlebar bag and tool kit.
Loc: spotaylvania, va
trailer for me cux its easier to transfer between bikes, i made my own with half inch metal tubing shaped into like an oval but with straight sides, wire mesh for cargo(top and bottom), and have a shock system with air filled tires.
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I used panniers for road touring. You have to get used to them. My bike and all my gear weighed around 80 lbs or so, maybe less, but not much. I don't think I would have wanted a trailer, I flew with my bike and gear, so that would have been one more big box to ship.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.
Well, I haven't yet posted this up on bikepacking.net for my setup, but this is more or less the type of setup that most backcountry riders and racers would use. A seat pack and frame bag on the bike and as small of a pack as you can on your back. Still do have a number of people who just use a rack in the back too.
There are some who do it, but I couldn't see trying to ride the trails with panniers. Just too big, low and wide and they would get tore up by vegatation, rock gardens or tree crossings. Plus, with everything on the bike, the bike would handle too poorly. The one downside of the seat pack is you can't get off the back and down (back yes, just not down) when doing steep technical terrain. Just have to adjust to it or walk a section if it seems to scary. It does make it something of a different game when you're trying to ride with all the gear.
Big? It's only a 1800ci Osprey Talon 33. Guess it seems big when you're used to riding without anything on your back. Half the size of the Aether 60 I had been using for backpacking.
I actually bought the pack to use for light backpacking and figured I'd give the bikepacking a shot and see how it worked for it too. Works great, and not too much weight in it. I carry my kitchen, food, misc clothes and other stuff and my sleeping pad, which I just fold into a big block to use up space.
There is still extra room in the seat and frame bags and I hope to get things to where I can just have a 6-700ci, 10 liter pack, like the Talon 11, on my back. Minus the sleeping pad, I can almost cram everything in to my Camelbak HAWG (smaller 2000 model). Not much of anything I can drop, but I know it will work if I just relocate a few things to the bike packs.
I went with a group of 4 guys that found free camping at night. I did not have to transport my gear, even though I could have easily with 18lbs total (including pannier). They found drivers for our minivan to move the vehicle to the nighttime stops. The towns were gracious and loving. The 23,000+ bikers were courteous. It was a rush; Addictive; Amazing.
I was on the verge of hypothermia and heat exhaustion. But I pulled out. Going 40+mph downhill with hundreds of bikers at a time was exhilarating. Talking with all styles of people was great; unicycles, 6í tall cycles, bicycle built for 6; legless (that guy averaged 20mph).
I knew a bright guy named Glen Brown who built plastic bicycle fairings in the late 70's /80's. They were really fun to use and they kept you warm in the winter. He also came up with an aerodynamic pannier with internal pockets. He called it the "Tailwind". Since the Specialized Pannier in the picture has the same name and shape I'm wondering if Glen sold his idea to Specialized.
_________________________ If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*
* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.
Thanks. That name rings a bell. The photo doesn't show the ones I remember, but that doesn't mean they couldn't just be a different year model than the ones I have in mind. I'll keep a watch for Trailwind as I continue to search.