As the least expensive pannier setup we tested, the Ibera Bike Panniers are a great way to enter into the world of bicycle commuting without spending a fortune. For around $55, you can save some money on gas while getting a little exercise. But, if you're looking to get the biggest bang for your buck, we suggest you check out our Best Buy award winner, the Seattle Sports Titan. That pannier is more versatile for commuting and touring than this one, and only a little more expensive.
Ibera Bike Panniers Review
Cons: Doesn't fit wide racks, attachment clips are on only one side, no zippered pockets.
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ibera Bike Panniers are a set of two bags that come attached together by plastic clips. The whole set weighs just over two pounds. The panniers can be used as a set for a capacity of 18 liters, or as a single bag if the day calls for less gear. These bags are made with durable 1680 nylon, with orange piping around the edges and reflective material on each end for added visibility.
Installation and Removal System
We placed the highest amount of weighting on this category in our scoring because we feel that it is also directly related to the security on the rack. The Ibera Bike Panniers use a more secure attachment system than the Timbuk2 Tandem. Ibera panniers have a clip on one side of the system and use Velcro at the bottom of both bags to tighten the them down to the bike rack. As long as both bags are fairly equally weighted, we did not experience any issues with this system. However, these panniers earned a lower score because we felt the system was more time consuming and not as tight as some of the other panniers we tested, like the Green Guru Carbon Cooler.
Capacity determines the versatility and best uses for each of the panniers we tested. These panniers scored lower in this section because they are slightly small, which limits their versatility. Although these panniers are a great option for work and school commutes, they were a tight squeeze for our multi-day touring test. We were able to fit most of our camping gear into them, but needed to tie the sleeping bag to the top of the rack. This would be fine for a few close-to-home or overnight tours where you need only a single change of clothes and minimal food that could fit inside a backpack. However, for longer trips we suggest purchasing a true touring pannier like the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic.
Not only do we rely on panniers to cart around some important cargo, but we also rely on this cargo to stay dry. We placed the Ibera Bike Panniers under sprinklers for 20 minutes, and then completely submerged them in order to simulate potential rainy day situations.
These panniers do not completely seal like the Ortlieb or Seattle Sports models we tested and therefore failed the dunk test. However, we were pleasantly surprised that after 20 minutes under our sprinklers the contents were kept pretty dry. Some water seeped through the seams, but we feel confident that during short rain exposure our stuff would stay dry. However, if you carry any electronics on rainy days we strong suggest you put your computer or phone in a dry-sack or Ziplock bag.
Ease of Use
Although this set of panniers doesn't have any zippered pockets like Green Guru Carbon Cooler, there is a durable plastic buckle to keep the main compartment closed. This is a nice feature compared to the Velcro closures used on the Carbon Cooler and the Timbuk2 Tandem.
The Ibera Bike Panniers are outfitted with bright orange piping for a little flair and visibility. Although there is reflective material on the ends of the panniers (so drivers will notice you), we found that the piping and reflectors were not enough to make our reviewers feel safe while riding along a highway. If you're concerned about your safety, we recommend going with a set of panniers that come in bright colors, like the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic or the Thule Pack 'n Pedal Adventure Touring, or have larger reflective patches like the Seattle Sports Titan.
If you're new to the commuting world, this set is a great way to get started for the budget conscious consumer. These are ideal mostly for commuting to work or school.
For the price, the Ibera Bike Panniers are a higher value pannier and will last quite a while with the tough nylon used. We felt that the buckle closures, in the long run, will last much longer than those using Velcro, like the Green Guru Carbon Cooler.
If budget is a main factor in buying the right panniers, these bags are a great option. The Ibera Bike Panniers will easily get you to and from work, with extra room for a few groceries on your return to home.
— Gentrye Houghton