Panniers - Hard vs. Soft? Opinions on Wolfman Expedition?
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Thread: Panniers - Hard vs. Soft? Opinions on Wolfman Expedition?

  1. #1
    Senior Member 50short's Avatar
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    Panniers - Hard vs. Soft? Opinions on Wolfman Expedition?

    Hi all. I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on new touring bags and think I've settled on the Wolfman Expedition Drybag Saddlebags...unless somebody can convince me otherwise. I've looked long and hard at the Tusk aluminum boxes but can't get myhead around the 26lbs empty weight. Do any of you guys have experience with either of these? Any body have some stories they can share to help me decide? Getting ready to ride the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail in spring and will be going unsupported campng for four days.

    Thoughts?
    God willin' and the creek don't rise.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    How about Tinman Tim's box's?
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    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    I happen to have gleaned some valuable lessons in this area from some poor planning and cheapskatery.

    26 lbs for those Tusk panniers is pretty heavy, but not as heavy as my ammo can panniers! 20 lbs each, which makes a very noticeable difference on this bike before you even start filling them with junk! Big, square boxes hanging off the sides causes some serious drag too, resulting in much lower fuel economy at highway speeds.

    What I loved about them though was the sheer volume of storage, and the ease of opening and closing them.





    Still, the weight and cumbersomeness of such big boxes on such a compact bike was too much for me so I forked out for the Wolfman Expedition Dry Bags after my first trip with the steel behemoths.

    On road they were (literally) a drag, off road they were downright unpleasant. The fishtailing was bad enough, add in the mental picture of one of those boxes coming around and snapping my tibia in half and it almost sucked all the fun out of playing in the mud.





    As you can see in the pics, although the Wolfman bags are bigger than other soft luggage options they're still waaay smaller than the big boxes. This could be seen as a negative or a positive, having smaller luggage can help guys like me leave behind some of the stuff I'm inclined to take but don't really need to. Less stuff = less weight, and of course the soft bags themselves weigh basically nothing compared to 26 or 40 pounds.

    The system of straps you have to navigate to get into the bags are kind of a hassle, but they sure do the job of securing everything when the going gets bumpy. There is still a slight increase in drag with the Wolfman Expedition Dry bags, but far less noticeable than what I experienced when I was running the boxes.

    Whatever the drawbacks, I've taken to running the Wolfman bags full time. They're usually barely noticeable and they often come in handy.

    That's been my experience anyhow.
    Fred, MCC1776, 50short and 2 others like this.
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    Senior Member Leben's Avatar
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    I did the Trans Wisconsin Trail last July. I was VERY happy that I used the Wolfman Expedition bags. It rained about half the time and I never had to worry about my gear getting wet.

    Tinman Tim makes mounts and a brace to use with a cycleracks rack. From the looks of them I think I may prefer them to the mounting I currently use. They look very sturdy.


    A side note on the Trans Wisconsin Trail. As far as I am concerned, the TW is the PERFECT bike for this kind of riding. It handled all conditions well and I appreciated it even more in the sand as I got near Lake Superior.
    Fred and 50short like this.

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    Senior Member 50short's Avatar
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    Great feedback guys, thank you! I'm thinking the Expedition bag is the way to go. The TW doesn't have a lot of power to spare, especially on long trips. Gotta save weight where I can.
    Fred and MCC1776 like this.
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    Junior Member fsteiner's Avatar
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    I've seen guys use Giant Loop Bags? Looking at the web page, there are different kinds. They cost alot and are probably out of the price range. Just a thought.
    Products » Giant Loop

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    Senior Member MCC1776's Avatar
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    Would you rather backpack around with a polymer/aluminum box strapped to your back or a lightweight backpack? If you have to ditch your dub and hike out, what's more versitle? If you're weaving through a tight trial, what's more forgiving? If you are fording a water crossing and slip on some mossy rock, what would provide the best water protection?
    50short likes this.
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    Senior Member small's's Avatar
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    One nice thing about the wolfman bags is they are waterproof. When I was down in missouri riding we crossed a moss covered road that went under water about 6 inches. Needless to say I went down and my left givi box had about 3" of water in it

  10. #9
    Senior Member 50short's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCC1776 View Post
    Would you rather backpack around with a polymer/aluminum box strapped to your back or a lightweight backpack? If you have to ditch your dub and hike out, what's more versitle? If you're weaving through a tight trial, what's more forgiving? If you are fording a water crossing and slip on some mossy rock, what would provide the best water protection?
    That is a great way of looking at it. I suppose you don't see a lot of backpackers toting giant aluminum boxes. Not even the Germans.
    God willin' and the creek don't rise.

  11. #10
    Member Sledhead's Avatar
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    I use Ortleib soft bags on my klr. Totally waterproof (live in a rainforest). Cyclerack is in the mail, then will order some adapters for the tdub.
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