- They never failed us! Review by Sean
We rode these to Dawson City, Yukon and they never let us down. At first, we thought we could not afford Arkel bags, but luckily we ended up buying a used touring bike that came with a full set. The other bags we had with us were no match for the Arkels - Their zippers jammed and broke. Their attachment hooks bent. Their "top-down" openings were terrible to use. The T42/T28 combo however performed flawlessly and were just a dream to use on a daily basis. We have refused all other bags since. The initial cost is higher than the made-in-china bags out there, but these are an investment that I'm confident can be passed down through the generations. If you want a bag that will last for one tour, look elsewhere. If you want something that will go the distance... well, you're on the right page.
(Posted on 6/4/12)
- Durability! Quality! Review by Tom
I've had my T-42s for about 5 years. They are TOUGH and I use them for everything: long road trips, to the beach, shopping, daily commutes. These are truly the 'Lexus' deal in panniers. I looked at every other option before opting for Arkel, and so pleased with the results. I connect mine to the Red Rock rear rack and it's a great marriage. Don't hesitate just because these may have a slightly higher price point than the competition. These panniers are tougher than a pig's nose. And put them in your will: they'll certainly out last you!
(Posted on 3/15/12)
- Great bags Review by Janet
I have owned my set of T-42 bags for 8 years. I used them for two tours in 2004 along with a set of T-28s. They were perfect for my needs. On the second tour, we rode during four inches of rain on the C&O trail. We were drenched and dirty, but everything in our bags stayed clean and dry using the rain covers. Since that time, I have used my bags sporadically for errands but they are now back on my bike as I prepare for an upcoming B&B tour. My only regret is that my bags were made before the cam-lock system. I do have a commuter bag with the cam-lock system and it is great. The bags are certainly durable and easy to use. If I ever wear these out, I will be sure to get another pair.
(Posted on 2/18/12)
- five years...and counting Review by Jaelanne
I remember thinking that I couldn't really afford these when I bought them, but after five years, I can honestly say they may have been the best investment I have ever made. They were bought in red to match a commuter bike named Cherry Jubilee, and have since served my touring and cyclocross bikes. They have never fallen off, and even on occasions when I forget to zip the top right compartment, I have never lost anything off them. The red has faded a bit from heavy use, but not a single rip or tear. They have carried groceries, lab samples, laundry, costumes (including feathered headresses) school projects, camping equipment, and even helped me move. I have used them as a base for wide things (car free girl can bring home pizza without melted cheese running off the pie). I love these bags, and as for 'lite touring'...you'll be shocked to see how much these bad boys can carry!
(Posted on 11/10/11)
- T42s plus GT18s Review by Chuck
I purchased a set of Arkel T42 and GT18s a year or so ago and have been using the T42s for commuting. This summer I finally used all four of my bags for a 528 mile trip most of the way around Lake Erie. The bags were perfect and had plenty of capacity for my self contained trip. I'm not sure why the T42s are marketed for credit card touring. For me the combination of T42s and GT18s are perfect for a self contained tour. The one thing that I did notice is that the zippers on the T42s are a bit less heavy duty than the GT series whcih is something that I think that Arkel could and should upgrade. Overall I am very pleased with my panniers, they performed well in wet weather with the rain covers and were a pleasure to use.
(Posted on 8/28/11)
- Great so far... 3 years of use Review by Paul
Michael, at 'The Broken Spoke' in Iowa City, recommended these to me after he had a pair for years/miles. They seem to be holding up like they were new - great quality product.
(Posted on 8/18/11)
- They all worked seamlessly. Review by Robert H. Kloet
Yes we have the GT18’s, Dolphin 48’s, T28’s, T42’s, Tailrider Trunk Bags and the Big Bar Bag for a total of 15 individual panniers. All from Arkel. Most of them were acquired for our 23 day unsupported trip in the Netherlands last year although my wife has had a set of T42’s for years and has used them on many other cycling trips.
They all worked seamlessly. The GT18’s and T28’s were used as front panniers while the rest were used as rear panniers. We travelled with 3 children aged 10, 12 and 14. The zippers and material were excellent. Travelling with a teenage daughter you can imagine her panniers were already full at the beginning of the trip. This made no difference to her as she ran across items almost every day that she had to have. Mostly clothes and yes she managed to stuff them into those panniers every day. But the panniers worked perfectly like they were made for the carefree teenager.
Every morning we hooked them up and at the end of the day unhooked them and hauled them up usually at least 2 sets of stairs if not 3 or 4. This also worked wonderfully. I have to admit the kids kind of abused them a bit. Elevators were not common and yes the panniers were occasionally seen flying down the stairs end over end as the kids dropped them at the top of the stairs. I could hook up the 19 individual panniers in a matter of minute’s basically due to so the Arkel cam-lock system. Not one of those panniers came unhooked on route or was damaged in any way on the trip. And yes the bikes with the panniers attached were dropped on occasion. (When I say dropped think cycling along and wiping out.)
We’ve also used them on numerous other bike trips we go on annually. I plan and organize two trips a year and this fall we will be cycling in Prince Edward County for three days with two pairs of T42’s. We now use them almost daily for trips to the library, the grocery store or wherever we are going. I would highly recommend these panniers. My local bike store, Pieriks Cycle, carries them and I’ve also order them on-line which worked perfectly as well.
(Posted on 7/7/11)
- a very satisfied customer Review by Paul Natelli
Hello Ives I have my Arkel T-28 and T-42 panniers and they are absolutely bullet proof and work extremely well. Been on three tours and all is well. Paul Natelli, a very satisfied customer.
(Posted on 3/24/11)
- Great bags but the zippers still need work Review by Allen
I am on my third set of T-42's and use them all year long - snow, rain and heat. These bags are tough,spacious and dependable but in the end it is always the zipper that fails. Avoid stuffing them to the point of bulging and you will probably get longer life from them. Despite the zipper problems I still maintain that they are worth the expenditure and are quite reliable. The adjustable hook location is quite useful and allows you to compensate for winter footwear which tends to be bulky and prone to kicking the edge of the bag.
(Posted on 1/22/11)