Green Guru Dutchy Review
Cons: Not watertight, mounting system not as secure as others
Manufacturer: Green Guru
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Dutchy from Green Guru is well-thought-out and downright simple and fun to use, and is a superb choice for getting groceries, taking picnics, or jetting around town to run errands. Its boxy dimensions are great for hauling larger loads, but it doesn't have the packability or waterproofing we'd look for in a dedicated commuting or touring pannier. While it doesn't outshine its other competitors in any particular category, it receives respectable scores across the board and is perhaps the most user-friendly pannier we tested.
Urban panniers are most convenient if they can be quickly mounted to and removed from your bike, but they must also offer a secure hold while carrying heavy and bulky items. The mounting hardware on the Dutchy is straightforward and easy to use, with its two simple hooks at the top of the bag with an elastic strap at the bottom. Although the permanently fixed hooks are not adjustable, the lower elastic loop is adjustable to help accommodate different rack shapes and sizes. This system makes mounting and removing the bag quick and easy.
It seems like this particular model is designed for more casual riding, as we found that the mounting system wasn't very secure with a full load at higher speeds, where the extra weight seemed to bounce the bag around quite a bit. While we wouldn't expect most urban riders to seek out rough terrain on the way back from the grocery store, be aware that your cargo could get tossed around if you encounter some curbs or bumps on the way home!
The overall storage ability of the Dutchy is quite impressive, as this model is intentionally designed to accommodate a standard-sized paper grocery bag. During our testing, we found that the shape also complements the dimensions of 12-packs and boxed macaroni quite well, and is just the right size to pack along the fixings for a delicious beach picnic! The boxy shape is also ideal for capturing other bulky or awkwardly shaped cargo.
This model has one interior sleeve to help keep some smaller items organized, but again, its true strength is its ability to hold bulkier items. Despite its boxy shape, we are impressed with how easily it folds down when not fully loaded.
Recycled or upcycled materials don't always equate to high-quality materials, but with this pannier, that's not the case. The thick and burly billboard material used on the outer shell is definitely quite stout. Made to withstand UV exposure and all types of weather, these materials provide great reinforcement for urban adventures that may experience abrasion from rough surfaces.
Beyond the durability of the external fabric, the straps and securements of this pannier are made of high-quality webbing and plastics. As a handy little bonus feature, this pack comes with a built-in cutting board that perfectly fits the outline of the bag and acts as a stiff bottom support.
While a pannier designed for urban riding probably doesn't need to be as watertight as a touring pannier, we still hold all test models to the same testing standards. The billboard material exterior of this pack can shrug off water with ease, letting virtually no moisture in from the top or front of the pack. The nylon sides don't provide a fully sealed closure and are less resilient to water and mud, but were able to keep the contents dry during our overnight rain test.
Despite lacking a fully sealing closure, the Dutchy is equipped with gussets that fold out to cover the openings at the top of the bag. With these fold-out gussets employed correctly, rain or road spray aren't able to enter the bag. However, these gussets didn't protect the contents after a dunk in the river. For that reason, we cannot award this model our waterproof seal of approval, though we consider it protective enough for typical urban riding in wet conditions.
Ease of Use
This is one of the most user-friendly bags in our entire lineup. Requiring absolutely no tools or assembly, this model is ready for use right out of the box and is very easy to mount and dismount from the rack. The adjustable shoulder strap makes off-the-bike carrying a breeze, though we wish it had the ability to detach from the pannier when not in use. Other additional features include webbing loops on either side of the bag to attach bike lights for extra visibility, and a plastic insert at the bottom of the bag for use as a cutting board.
While the Dutchy doesn't have many high-end features like fully waterproof construction, or a fancy adjustable mounting system, it's also one of the overall least expensive models in our lineup. Users looking for an urban pannier that provides simple, easy to use storage volume for hauling groceries or cruising around town will appreciate the value.
Overall, the Green Guru Dutchy is an ideal pick for hauling boxy grocery items or carrying oddball assortments of supplies you would expect to bring on a picnic or a day out and about around town. With its upcycled materials, user-friendly design, and reasonable price tag, this unique and eco-friendly pannier is a solid choice for urban cruisers.
— Nick Bruckbauer