Axiom Monsoon Oceanweave P18+ Urban Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Durable and waterproof, recycled materials, nice laptop sleeve
Cons: Expensive, no shoulder strap, non-adjustable mounting system
Manufacturer: Axiom Gear
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Axiom Monsoon Oceanweeve P18+ Urban scores well across the board with high-quality materials and construction, a waterproof design, an easy to use mounting system, and user-friendly storage options. It doesn't have any major weaknesses and does a good job of blurring the lines between a touring-specific pannier and a commuting or urban pannier.
The Oceanweeve P18+ Urban comes with a simple and effective mounting system that consists of two spring-loaded hooks that immediately adjust to fit a wide variety of bar sizes without the need for any tools or additional hardware. The additional flip-lock tab on top and slide lock hook on bottom help to keep the pack firmly secured to the rack. One drawback that we identified with this user-friendly system is that the locations of the two main spring-loaded mounting hooks are not adjustable.
The P18+ Urban falls in the middle of the pack in our storage ratings. With a listed volume of 1379 cubic inches (22.6 liters), the main storage compartment is supplemented by a removable internal laptop sleeve, a small external zippered pocket, and an assortment of external compression straps and daisy chains. Surprisingly, this is one of the only models in our lineup that provides external cargo straps in order to accommodate bigger or bulkier items.
While we appreciate the removable internal laptop sleeve, its size and design make it a little awkward to carry around. The other storage sleeves and pockets attached to the laptop sleeve are useful when stationary inside the bag, but aren't very secure while carrying the laptop sleeve on its own. For this reason, we likely wouldn't carry the laptop sleeve separately from the pack. Also, while it was able to comfortably fit our slim 13" laptop, it barely fit our slim 15" laptop. While this removable sleeve is a nice idea in concept, it could have been executed a little better.
The Monsoon P18+ is a very durable pack with its 600 denier reclaimed fishnet polyester construction, and high-quality straps, buckles, and hardware. Similar to other urban style panniers, the P18 isn't quite as durable as the heavy-duty touring panniers with their thicker materials and burlier construction, but this model ranks well when compared to other commuting or urban style panniers and packs. All Axiom products also come with a lifetime guarantee.
The Monsoon P18+ scores well in the weatherproofing ratings with its Hydracore liner that has an IPX5 waterproofing rating (which means it is rated to be protected from water projected from a nozzle). The P18 also has a user-friendly roll-top closure system with side straps with buckles to seal out water. While this is an effective system, the very best roll-top closures that we've tested have both center cinch straps and side straps with buckles.
Ease of Use
The Monsoon Oceanweave P18+ has several user-friendly features that help it stand out from the rest of the lineup. It is one of the only models we've tested that has external compression straps to tie down big or bulky cargo items, it has a handy internal padded laptop sleeve, and it has reflective accents for additional riding safety. All of this is in addition to an easy to use mounting system and an intuitive roll-top closure system. Right out of the box, the Moonsoon is easy to use without any adjustments, tools, or extra hardware.
The P18+ has a list price that is on the higher end of the lineup. While it is certainly a high-quality product, there are other options of similar quality and utility that are much cheaper, or that come with a pair of bags for a similar price. Because of this, we don't think this bag provides a very good value, and think that most riders would be better suited with other products that more specifically meet their needs or that provide similar performance for a lower price.
The Axiom Monsoon Oceanweeve P18+ is a consistent performer in a high-quality package that is durable, waterproof, and easy to use. While it doesn't stand out in any certain rating metric, it has solid performance across the board and seems to blur the lines between touring panniers and commuting or urban panniers. With a high price tag, it doesn't provide the best value, but it will provide plenty of utility for years to come.
— Nick Bruckbauer