Grand touring panniers for self contained touring
: 3kg / 6.6 lbs (pair)
: 54 l. / 3300 cu. in. (pair)
Roam the world in style with the best touring panniers in the business. Accessibility, flawless design, durability and three layers of waterproof protection! Multifunctional pockets, tearaway tent, toiletry and tool pouches and an integrated drybag liner. It's a roomy, waterproof home away from home. Arkel's flagship GT-Series panniers equals the gold standard of touring bags. An internal aluminum frame supports the load and the full-length heavy duty zippers give you complete access to your gear. At 3300 cubic inches, this bag gives you the freedom to take whatever you want and be ready for anything the road has to offer.
The GT-54 is our workhorse touring model, with an overabundance of features and amenities born of experience on the road. Arkel went further than the common “bag” in which you cram gear like there’s no need to retrieve it. We understand the need for organization when we’re on the road for weeks on end, living out of our panniers; the need to find a tool quickly, or to know that the sleeping mattress is well protected from the weather. Every detail comes from on-the-road experience, and the result will enhance your own touring
Most other panniers on the market are made symmetrical – it’s easy, just flip the pattern. At Arkel, we know that some features need to be there only once. As form must follow function, our panniers ended up being slightly different from the right side to the left side. Some features are distinctive, like the tube pocket for a sleeping mattress (no need for two) or the Flip Flop pocket for a toiletry kit (who’s carrying two toothbrushes?). The result is a distinctive, well-designed pannier that is made to fit your needs.
As Shakespeare said: “To be waterproof or not to be waterproof, that is the question”! How do you combine the advantages of multiple functional zippered pockets with total waterproofness? We achieved the absolute best of both worlds by adding a 100% waterproof liner inside the whole main compartment of the GT-54’s. The liner is made of a lightweight, fully waterproof, polyurethane coated nylon. The zippers on the liner allow for full frontal access of the main compartment in the same fashion as the front panel of the bag itself. Frontal opening of the main compartment allows for easy access and functional organization of the contents. Still, come the monsoon rains, your belongings will be kept absolutely dry. Moreover, there are essentially no problems of moisture and mildew associated with roll-top type watertight bags. Indeed, the best of both worlds, for you to enjoy!
Dual zipper sliders provide frontal access to the inside. The liner is bolted through the back plate and can be removed by simply undoing the bolts. The bright yellow color of the liner helps locate things in low light.
You can quickly stash the liner away by rolling it up to the ceiling of the main compartment and hooking it up with the elastic loops sewn at the top. The liner takes no space and is completely out of the way.
You want to separate your clean set of clothes from your dirty socks, shoes even wet towel? Everything can be stowed in the main compartment but the clean stays clean inside the liner while the rest stays outside, awaiting the perfect timing for a stop at a Laundromat along the way!
Unique to Arkel, the tube pocket is the feature that is most noticed by our customers. Carrying long items, such as a sleeping pad or tent poles has always been somewhat of a problem. The tube pocket allows you to carry these items securely inside. This makes the whole system easier to use and protects your gear more than just strapping it on top of the rack. It is removable for those days when you don’t need it.
A bag is a bag, right? At Arkel, we beg to disagree. While the GT-54 is full of outside amenities, the inside isn’t neglected either. An aluminum internal frame and a rigid bottom shelf (quite unique!) prevent sagging. It also allows the panniers to fold flat for closet storage. The outside has the looks, but the inside is where the living takes place.
There are countless details on an Arkel bag. The pockets feature our unique Smiley Zippers for the widest access ever in the corners. Each YKK zipper has die-cast nickel sliders with full metal tabs, and we added our own pull tabs.
It’s easy to skimp on safety. It doesn’t add to a bag’s sex appeal and is usually not a selling point in stores. But we ride at night or in the rain and fog and we know that being seen is critical. For that reason, the GT-54 has reflective ribbons on all exposed sides so no matter what direction the car (or logging truck) is coming from, your visibility will be enhanced. When riding at night, be sure and use a strong headlight as well as rear and side lights/reflectors.
While touring, taking a shower is not optional! Strong of that knowledge, we went on to create a pocket that is quick to grab and fun to use. Moreover, it’s also a waist pack if you need it!
A pannier has to be used and mishaps will happen, like forgetting to close a zipper, or to buckle a strap. At Arkel, we go to great lengths to make sure that an unbuckled strap will not fall down into the wheel. It calls for a lot of stabilization, but it’s worth it. Here you can clearly see the compression strap totally unclipped. As you can see, it would be impossible for the webbing to get anywhere close to the rear wheel. Simple, but rarely done by anyone else.