Seattle Sports Waterproof Pannier — Long-Term Update

Way back in September of last year, I posted a review of the Seattle Sports “Fast Pack” waterproof pannier. Here’s how the bag looked when I first got it for review:

shiny new bag

Well, this bag has been on many journeys since last year…hundreds of miles of “soul crushing” loads of pointy-cornered hardbound library books, groceries, dress shoes, tools and assorted other weights. The bag is discolored from sun exposure, tree sap and road grime and has been through 15 or 20 rainstorms, cold weather and any other condition central Florida could throw at it. Here’s how the bag looks now:

she looks rough, but she's still tough!

My verdict on the pannier is this: this bag is indestructible. I’ve stored it outside for all these months on three different bikes, and the only time water ever entered it was when I left it open accidently and my neighbor’s poorly-aimed sprinkler shot over the fence and soaked the bag. Since the bag’s liner hangs from the rim of the external waterproof layer, I simply pulled the liner “inside out” and it dried in a matter of hours.

Despite the bag’s rather wretched appearance, there are no loose seams, gouges or tears anywhere on it. I’ve carried 40 lb. loads of books in there, fully expecting those corners to punch through, but this bag took it all and asked for more!

The mounting system continues to impress me…I’ve never bucked the pannier off its rack mounts despite those punishing loads and they hold tight to virtually every rack I’ve hung the bag on. That’s good quality and great design, in my opinion.

Sure, there are flashier bags out there with more features, but I appreciate the understated “workmanlike” appearance of these panniers. They get the job done without drawing too much attention to themselves. It’s like this: If you value your loads and need them to arrive clean, dry and safe, these panniers by Seattle Sports are hard to beat.


  1. BodhiSativa May 30, 2008 7:47 pm 

    That bag looks nice.
    I have been mildly disappointed with an ortlieb that I have been using for about a year. I have bucked it twice, both from the clasp inadvertently sticking instead of closing and grasping the rack. One of those times it got stuck in the spokes and tore the corner out. Now it has a hole in it and customer service has not been the best to deal with beyond send it in for repair.

    That is a tough lesson to learn of the weakness of a back/clasp system.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Mike Myers May 31, 2008 2:50 am 

    That pannier looks pretty big. I’ll bet it holds a lot. Is it only a single?

  3. Ghost Rider May 31, 2008 3:48 am 

    The bag has a capacity of 750 cubic inches, and yes, it does come as a single rather than a pair.

  4. Methane June 10, 2008 10:44 am 

    I have a pair of Ortleib classic paniers and I think they are fantastic! Easy to go on and off and mine seem very tough. They hold a ton of gear as well. Don’t count them out!

  5. David September 11, 2008 10:12 am 

    Are these easy to put on and take off? I have to lock my bike up in a public place and my timbuk2 bag is starting to kill my back!

  6. David September 11, 2008 1:09 pm 

    Fantastic! thx i think i’ll move this way.

  7. Jeffrey Sinnott December 29, 2010 12:35 pm 

    The bag looks very practical and simple. I really like the cinch strap feature shown in the photo. You didn’t really describe the mounting system, though. What type of rack hooks does it have, and is there a lower hook or clip? Are they metal or plastic?

  8. Ghost Rider December 29, 2010 1:01 pm 


    take a look at the start of this article…there are links to my original review (which addresses your questions directly).

  9. Chris December 24, 2012 8:14 pm 

    I know this is like two years after the last comment, but I am thinking about getting a set of these for a long-term bicycle tour, and was wondering how you think they’d hold up? I have three specific questions –

    1. Do you think the hook and clip mechanism will hold up long-term? It looks well made, but also like the repeated stress of clipping and unclipping might eventually snap the hooks.

    2. Is the hook mechanism attached to an internal back plate? And if so, how rigid is it and does it cover the entire length of the back of the pannier?

    3. What is the material on the front made of, how thick, and how abrasion-resistant is it? (How does it compare to other high-quality panniers like ortlieb, arkel, etc.)

    Are you still using this pannier?

  10. Ghost Rider December 24, 2012 8:29 pm 

    @Chris — the hooks seem pretty durable…several years of use and no failures yet.

    There is a rigid inner panel that the hook system is bolted to. It covers almost the entire inner side of the pannier. For long-term touring, bring some extra small bolts and washers just in case there’s a hardware failure.

    The material is pretty strong — abrasion-resistant enough for all of my uses.

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