Dolphin 48 Waterproof Bike Panniers (pair)

VAT excluded

Waterproof panniers with useful front and side pockets, super practical when you need quick access to smaller items.

If your rack tubing diameter is bigger than 15mm (and up to 21mm), you will need the Oversized Cam-Lock. More details here

CAD$319.99

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Equipped With Our Cam-Lock® Mounting System

This patented technology allows you to securely attach and remove a bag pannier to your bike rack in seconds.

Key Features

The Dolphin 48s are large enough for expedition touring and double as excellent daily commuter workhorses. A toploader with sewn and taped seam technology that offers an Interloc® System that creates a watertight seal by folding the closures one over the other. Then it’s roll, clip and go. Two large completely independent waterproof compartments separated by an open access storage pouch that features small laser cut holes at the bottom for drainage – eliminating the need to store wet items inside the bag and doing away with water build up and condensation. Two additional mesh side pockets for convenient quick access storage. Includes our patented Cam-Lock® mounting system  – It won’t come off the bike until you want it to! Superior accessibility and the best in dry-bag technology has finally arrived.

Technical Specifications (Pair)

2.16 kg

Weight (4.8 lbs)

48 L

Volume (2930 cu. in.)

Position : Rear

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Talk to an Arkel staff member to guide you in your decision.

Reviews

Reviews

  1. Kathy Schonenberg

    I’ve only had a chance to use these on a two-day shake-down cruise, but got to put them to the test when the nice gravel road turned into a rocky mountain bike trail, we had to climb over downed trees, duck under a gate, and cross a creek where the bridge was washed out. These panniers held tight to my Tubus Cargo rack. Everything stayed put, even the small items I stashed in the mesh pockets and between the two pockets. I was able to put everything I needed (and a few things I didn’t) for one overnight in just these and a handlebar bag. Looking forward to many more miles and longer tours with these and the Dolphin 25’s I bought for the front.

  2. Rich Stewart (verified owner)

    Awesome. Period.

  3. Glen

    3rd set of Arkels. Loved the first ones so much that I bought my second set as I needed more space (Dolphin 48). The second set had a manufacturing issue (weather proof seam sealing detached) and after nearly 2 yrs of use-I called Arkel, they explained the issue and I got my 3rd set on the house.. I can’t recommend them enough to anyone I know who cycles and needs storage.. Customer service is 100% and for that fact (and a great product) I will be a loyal customer.
    I use 100% for commuting in all conditions. Plan to tour one day.
    Great idea having two sealable storage spaces with the middle space great for wet kit, as it can drain away as I ride. Those small pouches fore and aft I usually only put my cel phone (when dry) or some power bars etc.. two small for a normal size bike water bottle but ok for a plastic bottle..
    Cam lock system fantastic.. all clasps and retention systems bombproof. Took awhile but one hand off/on placement is easy to do. Always dry inside. I Like the full plastic backing as its easy to clean crud off and fends off rack abrasions. That said I haven’t tried any other Arkel pannier without the fabric backing.
    Great Job Arkel… I will be back.. need more stuff for other bikes 🙂

  4. mike

    Overall great panniers, I went cycle camping in France, was caught in torrential rains and no issue. I had to re-read the guide that comes with them to properly adjust the panniers back far enough that my foot, size 12.5-13 did not touch them.

    I agree with others that the outside pockets are not designed for water-bottles. That was clear when I bought them. So I keep water on the frame. Those pockets are good for small things that to not extrude past the shock cord.
    I found the pocket between the main and secondary compartment useful for things that can withstand squishing.
    Also I like the two compartments on each pannier. Much better for organizing than just one cavernous compartment. Yes an inside zippered compartment would be a bonus. Also some loops to allow for some shock cord to hold a jacket or loaf of bread.

    Given the volume in the 48’s I was happy to find I could pack my tent and sleeping gear in them and that my front panniers could be left to carry extra shoes, a bike bag, food, books and sundries.

    I really like these panniers.

  5. Mad Dog

    I love the 4 outside pockets which I use for water bottles. Those pockets are not super reliable as I have had the retaining bungee as failed along with the grommets coming detached. I don’t know what there original purpose was but I put them through my paces and they are still functional. I thought of going to the factory when I cycled across North America back in 2015 but I didn’t want to abandon my route along the North Shore of the St. Lawrence. The panniers are now looking a bit worse for wear and tear and could no longer be called water proof but I have managed to patch the holes in them with Duct tape. The holes were due in most part to abrasion. I do huge tours and usually have these bags stuffed and they do stick out (thus the abrasion). I would take these panniers over Ortliebs any day. The only thing I wish these had was the inner pocket like the Ortliebs have. I love the outer pockets where in one I keep stuff that I might require on the road or in the other stuff I rarely require. I have never seen better. Oh, I ride a recumbent tadpole trike. They should be available in bright yellow.

  6. MonkeyMind

    Overall they’re great paniers.
    I have had a few issues though;
    Nothing inside has gotten wet, but the outside of the bags seems to soak up a fair amount of water making it noticeably heavier.
    Also, i have to be careful how I load them, I’ve had the bag flex enough over a bump that it caught a spoak and broke it.
    I like how secure the attachment system is when it’s on, it’s super solid. That being as great as it is, I find it a bit finicky getting the bags on and off.
    Finally, I too have heal rub issues with things in the front mesh pockets and trouble losing things from the rear mesh pockets.
    I find them a bit floppy if they’re not stuffed so I’ve been putting a piece of webbing around them to sinch them in tighter to the bike.

  7. Old Divide rider

    I have four other sets of Arkel panniers and have been pleased with all of them except for being unable to keep water out. The rain covers did not help much in serious rain, even if I sprayed them with Niki Waterproofing. So I decided to get these waterproof ones for my latest bike.

    Two problems emerged in the very first ride. 1) The seemingly very useful water bottle holders on the panniers (two per pannier) did not work. If I put the bottles in the front holder, my foot would hit it. I put them in the back. I cinched down the “strap” to hold them in. Both bucked out and were lost! This is really two problems, the foot scraping and the bottles bucking out. I can solve this problem by strapping them down with my own straps or putting them in the panniers per se and not the holder. Still, it is a defect. The racks are Tubus Cargo Evo and the panniers are mounted as far back as possible on the lower rail. My foot is not that big, really.

    2) This 2nd problem is likely simply due to the roll top method of achieving waterproofing. The other Arkels I own all have a nice pouch on the top of the main pannier, front and rear panniers both. This is loads of help for keeping access to things you want fairly often but which are fairly small. That feature is lacking in this design. The only option is to have a large seat or handle bar bag, as when touring I used all four of the pockets on top of the panniers pretty often.

    While I have not put these to a serious weather test or tour, the overall construction seems very solid. I would buy them again, but I know now to find my own way to tie down water bottles. Other panniers I own (from Arkel and others) will hold bottles and they have never bounced out.

  8. Darryl

    I just concluded my cross-country tour; San Diego to Parris Island. I invested in Dolphin 48’s for the rear, and 32/s for the front; I could not be happier! With over 3000 miles on them, they protected my gear all the way, easy to gain access, and most of all….remained secure to my racks the entire time. The mounting system is phenomenal and with a little practice, I could mount all four panniers with one hand.

  9. Rick

    I use these bag for everything from daily commute to grocery shopping to self contained camping. One set of bags does it all.

  10. sergei

    I used the dolphin serie bags extensively and I believe they are the best on the market. I traveled by bike for a year from belgium to malaysia, and then went around New Zealand, going through every possible condition ranging from desert heat and sand to tropical thunder storms, and these bags are still going strong and are not leaking one drop. The hook system is by far the strongest on the market and I have seen many top end bags from the competition traveling the same roads (Ortlieb, vaude) with broken hooks or rails, despite not being as heavily loaded as the Arkels. This system is absolutely bombproof. I only had some very minor complaints regarding the design, more suggestions of things that could be improved than real problems, so I sent a short review to the guys at Arkel. Well, I don't know how big of an impact I had and I'm sure they figured most of it by themselves, but every single point have been adressed with this new generation. Awesome work guys!

  11. flip

    My primary transportation is by bike, and I'm moving all manner of things as a vegetable grower: clean/dirty/bulky etc…. Pros of bag: * substantial storage space * ease of open pocket for quick use * great craftsmanship * fast to put on and remove, yet tight and stable when on rack * inside surface is wipe-able and simple to keep clean. cons: * Would like to see a more substantial handle for off rack carrying. * The top velcro is great 90% of the time, but when I've brought the bags into work/public space, it's a bit loud and conspicuous to open the main compartment.

  12. Brandon

    Arkel has a wide variety of panniers, and they sent us a pair of their Dolphin 48 Panniers to put to the test on our tour this summer, living out of them for about a week. Knowing we were going to be gone awhile, I wanted something water-proof. I didn't want to mess around with rain covers- they'd just be two more things to keep track of, and I already lose my hat among other things a couple times a day as it is & it'll be somewhere I've already looked 5 times… so yeah, waterproof was the way to go for me. Last year was my first year touring by bicycle, and I only had one pannier (also an Arkel!). One pannier that's way over packed for a few days isn't ideal. It got the job done, but this time around I got a pair for the rear and it made traveling so much easier when the weight of your gear is distributed properly. Cole also let me use an extra pair of front panniers that he had (non Arkel), so I was really good to go- not to mentioned relieved. The Dolphin's performed great, & still look new after 300 miles of limestone, dirt, gravel, and paved trails, dirt roads, highways and byways later. From the city of Chicago to the small town of Frankfort in northwest Michigan. Arkel states on their site that "If you tour or commute and are willing to sacrifice some of the features that our regular touring and urban series bags have to offer in favor of protection of the elements, then the Dolphin's are what you want." Honestly, I don't feel like I sacrificed that much if anything at all. Michigan weather can be very unpredictable and I wanted to be prepared. I don't know what more you could really ask for in a pannier. Granted, I haven’t tried the other models besides their Utility pannier, but these were just what I needed. They're lightweight, weighing in at 5 lbs. for the pair with a volume of 48l / 2930cu. inches. Basically they hold a lot! They feature Arkel's patented Cam-Lock hook system that locks them to your rack when on the bike. They also have a molded plate on the back to reduce wear on the pannier. When off the bike they have a handle and d-rings for a shoulder strap. The Dolphin has a roll top velcro closure (more of a fold over than a roll) at the top for the main compartment that folds down and has clip-lock compression straps to keep things tight. Then there's a smaller zip pocket on the front with a weather flap for easier access to your valuables, meds, and smaller things that you might want to get at frequently. Behind that is an open "stuff" pocket- stuff it in and it's there- this pocket has a mesh bottom so anything wet can go in there while keeping everything else dry. They're also nice for locks and hats! Although I did lose my hat, looked through both panniers several times each, and found it in a stuff pocket right where I put it. Both sides have mesh pockets that pull and lock snugly for whatever you need. These also have reflective strips and piping as an added safety measure, which is always nice when you're carrying 50+ pounds of gear long distances or even across town. You never know when you're going to end up in traffic and those strips and piping could potentially save your life, but hopefully you're rocking lights too! I even used one for a carry-on bag on the train and packed everything else in the box with my bike…worked like a charm! I had plenty of room with room to spare. It's also a great price on a great pannier. The tent I took this time around had no spare room whatsoever, so I HAD to leave them outside at night. There was a thunderstorm one night, and it continued to rain on and off the next day. Nothing got wet except me and the outside of the pannier- everything inside was dry as a bone. These are top notch panniers in my opinion and are everything I need. They won't pop off of your rack, and they barely bounce- if at all. They're a totally secure, weatherproof, yet simple pannier at an affordable price. Two thumbs up…I'd feel comfortable traveling anywhere in these, and if I had my way they'd be my go to panniers on many a trip!

  13. Swervy

    I've had a pair of Dolphin 32 and Dolphin 48 bags and consider them the nicest set of bags I've ever owned. After using most of the other top brands on the market , I gravitated towards the Arkel bags because their mounting system is simple and secure. They are much more resistant to bouncing around on your rack, and I have yet to see them pop loose from the rack over many miles of dirt touring. In addition to the mounting system, the dry bag material keeps everything dry without the need for additional liners. These bags are very well thought out and constructed. Despite my desire to see a true roll-top enclosure, these are simply the best bags on the market for wet conditions, for people who love simplicity and durability, and for anybody needing a pannier to mount securely to a rack.

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