I love my Arkel Panniers, they are amazing. However, I wanted some more space than what the front and rear panniers could provide. So, like many cyclists I decided to get a rackpack from Ortlieb for some extra space. The great thing about the rackpack is that it has integrated fastening system with Ortlieb’s back roller rear panniers. The panniers and rackpack are connected by the pannier’s existing straps and buckles and is a truly ingenious system. (and difficult to photograph 🙂
Since I have Arkel rear panniers, there was no straps and buckles on my pannier, so I decided to add them. And if you decided to go with a similar setup, you can do the same.
All you need is:
– 2 male Ortlieb (or equivalent) buckles
– 2 female Ortlieb (or equivalent) buckles
– 2 m of nylon strapping
– Needle and thread
How to do it:
1. Loop the strapping around the aluminum rail and attach a female buckle. Stitch the strapping together.
2. On the rear of the pannier there is a short length of black nylon strapping for the metal hook of the fastening system of the pannier. Use this to loop a short length of new strapping for the male buckle and stitch together.
3. Create a strap which will loop from the bottom of your pannier to the top, with a male on one side, and a female on the other to connect the two buckles you stitched on in steps one and two.
That’s it. It’s fairly simple, and it only takes a little bit of time to put together. In the end you will be able to fix a rackpack securely to your panniers, and have massively increased what you can carry on your bike. The strap can also be used without the rackpack and you can fasten things between it and the panniers, such as your rain jacket or a bottle. You can also remove the strap altogether from the top or bottom, and since the strapping is looped and stitched to itself, all the buckles for the rackpack attachment can be removed at anytime without any damage or wear to the panniers.