We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings when, in 1988, Serge Vigeant and Diane Laplante set out to design the best bicycle pannier bag available to cyclists period! From the very first pair of touring panniers he made for himself to any touring, bikepacking, randonneur series or commuter pannier you’ll find with the Arkel label today, one thing remains true, we care about your experience on the bike. We’ve always made and will continue to make panniers for cyclists like you; with the finest fabric (Cordura), the best zippers (YKK), the ultimate hook system (all aluminum Cam-Lock® system) and practical designs that make your cycle tour, commute or bike ride down to the corner store more satisfying.
Our bike panniers and racks are made by people who really love to ride! Our designs integrate countless hours of experience on the road and in the saddle and tons of customer feedback. There’s no better way to gather information than from the road. And yes we listen to our customers and continually improve our bags based on real-world experiences.
Arkel is also dedicated to community empowerment evidenced by the lively crew from CRDITED Estrie – a social service program for folks with Intellectual Disabilities and Pervasive Development Disorders. They’ve worked at Arkel’s Quebec headquarters since 2003. We think of them as a family around here. Once the designers have finished creating our bags and the seamstresses have stitched them tight, the gang from CRDITED Estrie goes to work assembling and putting the finishing touches on each pannier and bag.
We back our products with a no-hassle, lifetime warranty so you get peace of mind with every Arkel purchase. We also aim to provide the best possible customer service, we are dedicated to the complete riding experience from beginning to end as we know bikes and will assist you with whatever question you may have, from outfitting your bike for the next ride, urban commuting, touring or bikepacking adventures. If you have any questions about getting outfitted safe and proper, chances are we’ve answered it before and will have you covered when you call or write. If we don’t, you can be sure we’ll find the answer. Our website is filled with information on how to choose the right bicycle pannier equipment, tips, and instructions, even videos to help you get what you need and see how it works before you order it.
The People Behind The Name
You're Only As Good As The Company You Keep
We’ve been making panniers, bags and racks for a long time, in the old days, a bike had eyelets to mount a rack and you simply chose the proper panniers and you were set. Today, things are a bit more complex with so many types of bikes and riding styles. Choosing the proper panniers, racks or bikepacking bags for your bike can seem a bit overwhelming. Here at Arkel, we truly enjoy helping our customer friends navigate thru all these options. We love building quality gear that last and our passion is helping you get out there and ride! Our reputation for being as helpful as we can possibly be is our pride.
Paul, Arkel owner, is the company’s cheerful leader. He brings his passion for cycling and human approach to operating a business. When he sneaks away from the office, it’s for riding his bike along with his wife Louise, testing new Arkel products in the four corners of the world, Nicaragua,Vietnam, Chile, Morocco, Spain, New Zealand, Cambodia to name but a few. If you see him on the road or trail, don’t hesitate to wave hello and perhaps share bike stories, he’s got a few good ones to tell…
Linda will go where no one dares tread. She handles every aspect of the business, beginning in 2003. Keeping all the numbers straight and keeping the bags flowing, purchasing, accounting, payroll, invoicing, all those little daily routines. She hibernates most of the winter, but there’s no stopping her when Spring arrives. Loves spending her Summers on the lake with family and friends.
Sales / Customer Service / Web and Social Media
Yves came to Arkel in 2006 with years of experience in the outdoor / bike industry, bike mechanic and sales fields. When he can sneak out without Paul seeing him, Yves loves to play outside as much as he can, enjoys biking on gravel roads as often as he can. At home Yves lives in an all-women household, with two daughters and wife; side skills are master at braided hair and nail polish (flashy pink colored ones preferably). Yves is the go-to guy for all technical questions on fit, compatibility.
Kevin knows everyone in the industry and beyond it. He’s the man who brings customers and bags together. With Arkel since 1999, Kevin has helped design and innovate Arkel’s line, when he’s not out testing them, selling them or running booths at expos and trade shows. Kevin cycled across Canada with his father and two brothers when he was only 12! Continuing in the cycle touring tradition started with his father he’s toured Europe with his wife and four kids (age: 11 months, 4, 8 and 10!). Later when the kids were a bit older (age: 5, 8, 12 and 14), they spent a year travelling the world.
Louise knows her sewing. She’s been seen late at night at her sewing machine foot to the floor and machine smoking! She stays fit with country dancing 2 to 3 times a week and supervises a great team of seamstresses that work tirelessly day in day out to make our bags great.
Stéphane is a big guy and strong (certainly the strongest one here) with a big heart or should I say a soft heart. He oversees the assembly and packs most of the boxes that head out our door. He’s also the official “cutter”. Once the fabric is layered on the cutting table Stephane comes in with a sharp eye and a steady hand and cuts the fabric for all our bags. Curious of nature, he knows everything that goes on in the shop. Stéphane is car free and rides his bike all the time.