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Arkel Signature V Urban Pannier

- published November 2016

83

2016

RATINGS

Ease of Use
8
Versatility
5
Durability
8
Weather Resisitance
7
Features
5
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
83

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$149.95
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Secure mounting system
  • Waterproof liner
  • Shoulder strap

THE BAD

  • Uncomfortable carry handle
  • Minimalistic organization

THE VERDICT

The Arkel Signature V is a high-volume, high-quality pannier that is made in Quebec, Canada and contains its makers signature on an inside label. Its Cam-Lock® mounting system is the best of all the panniers in the test and its TPU- laminated nylon liner with fully-taped seams and roll-top closure makes it waterproof. However, despite its ample cargo capacity, it lacks convenient organization pockets.  

FULL REVIEW

EASE OF USE
The Arkel Signature V Urban pannier’s Cam-Lock® mounting system makes attaching and detaching fast and easy. Simply lift the loaded pannier by the Cam-Lock® carry handle, which disengages the cams, set the pannier Cam-Locks® on the bike rack and release the handle. The Cam-Locks® drop down and engage the bike rack. The Arkel Signature V Urban comes with a sturdy and detachable shoulder strap to make it convenient to carry from bike to office and back.  

VERSATILITY
The Arkel Signature V Urban pannier comes with a detachable shoulder strap that is wide enough to ensure a degree of comfort when carrying on the shoulder with a light load. However the shoulder strap lacks any padding and cyclists will experience some discomfort when carrying heavy loads.  

Our tester found this to be an issue only on farmer’s market and grocery runs when the pannier was weighted down with heavier goods. Enhancing the Arkel Signature V Urban pannier’s versatility is its flat bottom which allows the pannier to stand up on its own makes it easy for the cyclist to load and unload contents. Additionally, the pannier’s shopping bag-style handles when fully open makes it convenient (although not comfortably) to carry heavier loads to and from the bike. 

The Cam-Lock® mounting system will fit bike rack tubes from 8mm to 15mm in diameter. Each of the two Cam-Locks® are adjustable forward and aft to enable the pannier to fit almost any bike rack. 

DURABILITY
The Arkel Signature V is handmade in Quebec, Canada with 1,000 denier US-made Cordura® nylon and are signed by their makers. Additionally, the Arkel Signature V can be sponge-bathed with a wet washcloth or submerged in a sink and handwashed and air-dried if necessary. 

The Cam-Lock® mounting system is comprised of solid aluminum hooks that are strong, well-made, fully-adjustable and secure.

WEATHER RESISTANCE
The Arkel Signature V is made with a TPU laminated nylon liner with fully-taped seams and roll-top closure to make it waterproof. Our tester did experience a rain storm on a commute when testing this pannier and all contents remained dry, including a smartphone. 

FEATURES
The Arkel Signature V is rich on volume. With 28 liters of cargo capacity, our tester successfully carried a standard size paper bag full of groceries inside the main compartment. Its roll-top design and adjustable webbing clip allows for a great deal of flexibility in cargo capacity and a set of internal carry handles make it very convenient to pick up and move around when fully loaded. However, the internal carry handles are not padded so heavier loads dug into our tester’s hands.

A small zippered pocket inside the main compartment is ideal for carrying smaller items that need to be secure and protected from the elements, like keys, phone or wallet. However, its size is inadequate to carry keys, phone, wallet, pump and other necessary bike tools at the same time. A padded laptop sleeve holds up to a full-sized iPad or an IBM ThinkPad. 

A Velcro flap covers the grab-handle and the Cam-Lock® to prevent them from digging into the cyclist’s side or lower back (when carrying with two-inch wide shoulder strap) when walking or climbing steps.

Reflective elements include two wide strips on the front of the pannier.

How We Tested It

The base in this test were used for three weeks as  daily commuter panniers and for grocery, farmer’s market, and other general urban errand rides on distances that ranged from six miles to fifteen on a Civia Hyland and a Trek District.

For more reviews beyond this 2016 test, check out our bike helmet tests, bike shoe tests, along with our bike computer tests, and other related cycling gear tests

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Marie Malinowski

Marie Malinowski

Marie Malinowski is a Minneapolis-based mountain biker, bike commuter, backpacker, and trail runner who covers our cycling accessories categories.


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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$149.95
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Ease of Use
8
Versatility
5
Durability
8
Weather Resisitance
7
Features
5
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
83

Specs

  • Volume (unverified): 28 liters

Weight

2lbs 8oz

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