Thule Pack 'n Pedal Adventure Touring Review
Cons: Low visibility, slightly complicated install.
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Thule Pack 'n Pedal Adventure Touring pannier proclaims a 26-liter capacity and weighs around 2.5 pounds. This bag only has one compartment and does not include a zipper pocket. It comes in Black or Zinnia (yellow).
Installation and Removal System
We gave the most weight to this category based on how quickly the panniers can get on and off the rack, as well as how the attachment system affects stability while riding. This system is simple enough and uses mechanical assistance to lock into place. By pulling on the cable, the connector pieces rotate, allowing you to place them on your bike rack. Once you release the tab, the pieces lock into place. Also, while the pannier is off the rack, you can flip this system around, revealing a flat surface. This is great for commuters on the go who want to use the shoulder strap, turning it into a messenger style bag without any connector pieces digging into their back.
Although it is pretty easy to use, we felt it is more difficult than some of the other panniers we tested, like the Green Guru Carbon Cooler, and therefore deducted several points. Also, it does not come out of the box with a stabilizing strap along the bottom to reduce any movement while on bumpy ground, but does have a place to attach something if you find it necessary.
The ability for panniers to house our stuff is the entire reason for purchase. This pannier passed our multi-day packing test, but under the assumption that it would be used as a pair. Although this is the largest pannier we tested, it was still a snug fit for our sleeping bag and a two-person tent inside a single pannier (demonstrated in the photos below), whereas the slightly smaller Ortlieb Classic easily handled all of our items inside one bag. This suggests that this bag does not have the full 26L advertised capacity.
Either while touring or commuting, pedaling through inclement weather is inevitable, so we we wanted to test how well these panniers would keep things dry. We ran a couple of tests to calculate the scores for this category. First, we exposed the panniers to a 20-minute moderate rain test using a sprinkler, and then submerged each pannier in a kiddie pool for a proper soaking.
This pannier kept our towels mostly dry by the end of the 20-minute sprinkler test. However, during our dunk test there was some leaking around the seams. The Thule proved to be far less waterproof than the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic, but much more water resistant than the Green Guru Carbon Cooler or the Timbuk2 Tandem.
Ease of Use
This pannier uses a rolling closure similar to those on the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic and Seattle Sports Titan, which makes it rather difficult to get into the bag without dismounting. We tested this pannier in Black, which is very difficult to see while riding. The reflective material is located on the side instead of on the front or back. If you're purchasing this pannier, consider choosing the Zinnia color for extra visibility.
This is a professional looking pannier, ideal for cyclists looking for a versatile model to take to the office and around town. It can also hold an ample amount of gear for touring.
This is the most expensive single pannier we tested at $120 per bag. It is a good option for professional commuters. However, given its low visibility, consider our Best Buy winner, the Seattle Sports Titan, which is about half the price. The Titan also comes in darker, less flashy colors but increases its visibility with better reflector placements.
The Thule Pack 'n Pedal Adventure Touring is a good commuting pannier, with ample room for anything you need. It is large enough for multi-day touring. However, due to the results in water resistance, we recommend you only take this system on shorter treks where you know weather will be good. Also, if visibility is a concern, consider the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic.
— Gentrye Houghton