This is an article dedicated solely to one of my favorite Brompton bags, the Touring Pannier. I love bike bags that I can pack and pack and still seem to have a bit of room left over.
The Brompton touring pannier is just that kind of bicycle bag. The design of the bag is based around a cavernously roomy interior pocket with a roll top closure to seal everything inside. Elastically closed webbing encircles the front and sides of the pannier for extra stuff-it-in storage and two large outer pockets sit on either side of the rear. These elastic pockets are great for storing snacks, gloves, raincoats, and anything you need to get to in a pinch. The two rear pockets also have roll top closures ensuring you'll never lose your cell phone or wallet even if you turn the bag over and shake it. The Brompton Touring Pannier attaches to the frame in the same way as all other Brompton bags, via the front carrier block. This keeps the weight low and centered by moving independently of the handlebars and supported almost directly above the front wheel axle. Yep. Brompton put their best design instincts into the Touring Pannier. Mine has sure served me well.
Now that we've looked at some of the features that make the Touring Pannier different from other Brompton bags, let's take a look at some of the real world applications which the Brompton Touring Pannier are ideal for.
First off there is grocery shopping. You could use Brompton's folding basket but what if you need a little extra space? How many times have you wanted to just ride down to the farmers market and pick up a loaf of bread, some fresh fruit, and maybe some fresh basil and spices for dinner? With the Brompton Touring Pannier you'll have enough room to fit in a bottle of wine or two on the way home! Or if you're just doing regular grocery shopping, fold your Brompton and use it as your shopping cart as you wheel through the store. When you've cleared the checkout just roll down the top, unfold your bike, and you're off. Easy...
Do you ride everyday, rain or shine, mud or slush, snow or ice??! Well I don't either, but I do ride almost everyday. I just cut it off at mud and ice, everything else I'm good for. Where does the Brompton Touring Pannier fit in with this? Well, if you like to, or need to, carry a lot of stuff with you from home to work and back i.e. change of clothes + shoes + snack + laptop + books then you'll need a big bag to put all that in, right? The Brompton Touring Pannier is just such a bag. Big enough to handle any commute, and if it rains just throw on the bright green rain cover. It keeps all your belongings nice and dry.
Why isn't this first? Well, you may have a point there but I kept you reading on right? I've ridden with a fully loaded Brompton Touring Pannier from New York City to Philadelphia. It was nearly 20 hours on the road with about 30 or 40lbs of stuff (don't ask me why I packed so much) in the pannier. I found that the extra weight in the front really helped my Brompton track better and I almost was able to ride no hands. Don't try that on the regular bike... I did have to be careful when parking the bike that the weight wouldn't shift and tip everything over, but I quickly learned to unhook the Touring Pannier and lay it next to the bike. Over bumpy roads and smooth stretches the Brompton Touring Pannier held up beautifully. Yanking it and jerking it and stuffing it and pulling it had no effect in the end. The bag itself looks almost brand new save a few fruit stains from grocery runs here in the city. Be careful when you pack any of your Brompton bags full of peaches. No bag can keep a ripe peach from exploding if you dip into a pot hole.
Well that's about it. I love my Brompton Touring Pannier and if it sounds like you would use it similar to the way I use mine you'll love it too. Take a look at all Brompton bags available and then decide whether the Brompton Touring Pannier is right for you.