I purchased a "Basil Mara XXL Double Pannier Bag"

The Basil Mara XXL Double Pannier Bag

Today, with a small load, they seemed to explode off and fly over the road. It appears that the stitching was meagre, which held the two straps to the panniers.

I could buy some belt strap material and use thick Nylon thread to repair and reinforce them, but doing this is time intensive I have found; I would prefer to attempt to return them and get new ones.

What advice can you give me on buying these saddled bags? Are some brands more sturdy than others or is it impossible to tell from brand alone? Street level shops I visited have a poor selection in London, these double panniers appear to be quite a rare breed - any good places to look? Recommendations?


I used to use separate individual panniers, but they were small, whereas with larger panniers my heel will clip them. To get around this, unable to get a rack which extends back far enough, I attached the top section of an old rack onto my current rack:

enter image description here

So any saddled bag would be hanging 2 inches further back thanks to the extended rack space, and the angle means they are further clear of my feet. A bungee cord hooks over the straps of the pannier, then over/around the rear of the upper pannier to secure it.

Stronger strapped, large double panniers would be perfect - I find it a little too fiddly to deal with individual panniers

  • you specifically want this style? I had something like these years ago from Decathlon (never tested with big load) but moved on to an independent pannier on each side, which clipped directly to the frame, these seem more common nowadays.
    – PeteH
    Jun 19, 2013 at 21:44
  • For the size of the load I have, I would prefer this style - have updated question
    – xxjjnn
    Jun 20, 2013 at 8:21
  • Your heal clearance problem is due to having a short wheelbase bike. There probably are purpose-made racks for mountain bikes that overcome this problem. There are many good brands of panniers such as Ortleib. I have a pair of relatively inexpensive TransIt bags that are beginning to fall apart after only 15 years. Before that I had Cannondale bags, but Cannondale has largely left the bag biz. Jun 20, 2013 at 11:18
  • I looked on the web and saw that your bags were 47l (presumably that's combined), also saw you live in London. As I said, I had some from Decathlon and they have in their current range a bag which looks a bit like yours, has a 50l capacity and comes in at £50. How they stack up quality-wise I have no idea but maybe it'd be worth your while to take a trip to Surrey Quays?
    – PeteH
    Jun 20, 2013 at 11:32
  • I'm going to try reinforcing what I have, as the design of all I've seen (sub £70) has been poor around where load bearing straps meet the pannier. Will get the "2x25L classic B'twin" if it doesn't work (and then reinforce that). Ortleib look great, but expensive!
    – xxjjnn
    Jun 20, 2013 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


Unable to find anything suitable in my price range, and skeptical I would find anything tough enough outside of it, I spent a day sewing, and reinforced what I have.

I used nylon strap, 50mm x ~3m, and double folded nylon thread (so there were 4 threads per stitch) to replace the prior straps. I was able to loop the strap around a seam/strap/flashing which was just through the hole, you can see the threads looping over it. I attached the straps' ends taut to the bottom of each pannier.

Nylon strap replacements sewn onto panniers

Saddle Panniers mounted on bike

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