Hands-on Gear Review

Thule Pack 'n Pedal Adventure Touring Review

Price:  $120 List
Pros:  Professional appearance, ample room for gear or groceries, vanishing hardware.
Cons:  Low visibility, slightly complicated install.
Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
Volume (L):  26L
Dimensions (in.) (H x W x D):  15.7 x 11.8 x 7.1
Weight (lb.):  2lbs 9oz (single)
Manufacturer:   Thule

Our Verdict

The Pack 'n Pedal Adventure Touring Pannier is No Longer Available as of 2016
The Thule Pack 'n Pedal Adventure Touring is a touring pannier that earns a high overall performance score. This large single pannier is a great option for tourers aiming for a professional look to take you from the backcountry and into the office. It even has vanishing attachment hardware, so you don't have to worry about connector pieces digging into your back. However, if you're in the market for a touring specific pannier that is more waterproof, consider our Editors' Choice award winner, the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic, or for those pinching pennies, the Seattle Sports Titan, our Best Buy winner.


RELATED REVIEW: The 10 Best Bike Panniers for Commuting and Touring

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Gentrye Houghton

Last Updated:
Wednesday
January 13, 2016

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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).

Performance Comparison


While testing out stability on the rack  Jeremy performs a bounce test in Colorado National Monument.
While testing out stability on the rack, Jeremy performs a bounce test in Colorado National Monument.

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.

These attachments rotate by pulling on the tab  and once off the rack  the whole attachment vanishes by flipping back into the pannier.
These attachments rotate by pulling on the tab, and once off the rack, the whole attachment vanishes by flipping back into the pannier.

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.

Capacity


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.

With an empty pannier  we prepare to perform our multi-day touring pack test with a two-person sleeping bag  two-person tent  single sleeping pad and camping stove.
The results of our multi-day pack test  this pannier only holds our two-person sleeping bag and two-person tent leaving our stove and sleeping pad to find their place in another pannier.

Water Resistance


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.

After dunking  water leaks slightly into this pannier through the seams.
After dunking, water leaks slightly into this pannier through the seams.

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.

Even in broad daylight  this pannier is difficult to see on the road. For increased visibility we recommend you go with the yellow color option as well as wearing bright clothing yourself.
Even in broad daylight, this pannier is difficult to see on the road. For increased visibility we recommend you go with the yellow color option as well as wearing bright clothing yourself.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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

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Most recent review: January 13, 2016
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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