Our Dolphins are the most functional, durable, waterproof dry-bags on the market. 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.
9 customer reviews
I torture my Dolphins
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.
Great with a few issues
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.
Solid overall, but a few issues remain
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.
Unsurpassed quality and durability
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.
Great all round bags.
I use these bag for everything from daily commute to grocery shopping to self contained camping. One set of bags does it all.
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Arkel Panniers - designed for cyclists, by cyclists