First Impression: Deuter Rack-Pack I Panniers

We’ve received a set of the Rack-Pack I panniers from Deuter USA for review. Up until this point I’ve used a messenger pack for all my cargo carrying needs, however there have been plenty of times where I have to forgo bringing something along because there’s not room or it’s to heavy.

This is where panniers come into play. More capacity and not as punishing to carry heavier loads.

Deuter Rack-Pack I Panniers

Installing the Rack-Packs was a breeze. Here’s a picture of the locking mechanism that holds the panniers to the rack:

Deuter Rack-Pack I Panniers

As you can see, the packs have a full 360 degree lock onto the rack. To disengage this you simply pull up on the handle and it opens the bottom tab of the mechanism. So to put them on the rack involves pulling up on the handle and setting them on. Then getting the panniers off involves just grabbing the handle and pulling them off. It was extremely fast, easy and efficient. So far this is my favorite aspect of the packs.

The storage area is kept safe and dry with the draw string and the top flap that’s secured with two sets of your standard plastic clips.

Deuter Rack-Pack I Panniers

Deuter Rack-Pack I Panniers

Some other specs on the Rack-Pack I’s…

Space: – 2500 cubic inches (42 liters) of storage
Weight: – 3 lbs. 8 oz.
Storage: – main storage area. one side pocket and one top flap pocket… both zippered.

Deuter Rack-Pack I Panniers

My one nit-pick with the packs is the color choices. Black/Graphite (tested) and Gray/Blue are the available colors and both are pretty muted. I’d like to see a nice bright option for visibility. I’m switching from a bright orange messenger pack and on my ride this morning I felt much more invisible due to the overcast morning, black/blue clothing and, now, my dark colored storage.

Updates will come as I get some more use out of these…

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0 thoughts on “First Impression: Deuter Rack-Pack I Panniers”

  1. Fritz says:

    I’ve gone through the high-visibility stage; these days I prefer the muted colors.

    Panniers & racks are good. A problem I have is that because I can carry more, I *do* carry more and junk accumulates in the bags.

  2. Josh says:

    Think that these could easily take a MacBookPro? Or, even better, a small backpack that had my clothes and said laptop in it?

  3. Tim Grahl says:

    Josh, it can probably hold a macbook pro. My 13″ macbook in a thick protective sleeve fit easily. You may have to forgo the backpack as your clothes and computer will prob have to be put in separately… but keep in mind how easy these things are to put on and off your bike. That’s what really surprised me about them. You literally just grab the handle and lift it off. I’m thinking you wouldn’t need a separate backpack since you can take these into the office with you.

  4. Josh says:

    Unfortunately it’s not a short walk from where our bikes are stored to our office… a coworker that I commute with is convinced that a pannier to hold his backpack is the way to go. 🙂

  5. Fritz says:

    Yeah, lifting them off the rack is a handy feature.

    Water proof and seam sealed? Will they protect your stuff from rain and grime?

  6. Sarah says:

    I’m curious how well the locking snap will hold up? Are they plastic? It just seems somewhat less durable than the metal hooks on Jandd and other panniers I have seen.

  7. Tarek says:

    This looks like the mounting system used on the Ortlieb panniers, which I’ve got a set of. I’ve been really happy with them; it’s a secure mount with plenty of options to adjust, and it is *really* easy to put on and take off.

    I use the Office Bag Large with a Tom Binh Horizontal Brain Cell inside for my MacBook Pro, which gives me ample protection against bumps and scrapes. The Brain Cell lives inside the Office bag, and I can reach in and slide out the laptop without removing the Brain Cell from the bag.
    It’s not the cheapest option, but considering how much of my life is on the laptop, it’s a price I’m happy to pay.

    Josh, I believe they make a Macbook specific version of the Brain Cell.

  8. Fritz says:

    Hey Iowa Sarah, good to see you here at CBB! I didn’t know you hang out here.

  9. Tim Goss says:

    I bought a similar set of panniers (Detour Transit Tour panniers) last fall because I was looking to carry my laptop some other place than in a back pack. I had a foam sleeve fabricated for all of $7. Here’s what it looks like:


  10. Sarah says:

    Hey Fritz, I’m sure I found the link via your blog, so yeah I’m still out here! :-p

  11. Dan says:

    How well are they holding up this first year? I see that they are under $100 shipped from Sierra Trading Post and am considering purchase.

  12. Billy Oblivion says:

    Ditto Dan.

  13. Loren says:

    I’ve had these for two years. They’ve held up very well – never had any problems with them even when stuffing them to the brim. They ARE NOT waterproof though. If it starts raining try to get under cover or at the very least prevent water from pooling on the tops – it’s not fun opening up your panniers to find a puddle in the bottom.

  14. Andy B! says:

    I’ve had the Rack-Pack II panniers (mine are configured with two top pockets – one with built-in rain cover; rear-facing, roomy convex tools pocket; and obverse-side zippered mesh pocket) for almost nine years of year-round commuting in Boston. I typically ride using only one pannier at a time unless I’m off to the market.

    About two or three years ago, one of the springs in one mounting hook failed in the pannier I’ve mostly been using the last few years. In the past couple of weeks, the other failed, and today, I hit a pothole that broke one of the mounting hooks. You cannot fault the construction on these – whether you consider I’ve been using these for nine years, or just four-and-a-half.

    And no – not waterproof, but that’s what supermarket checkout bags are for. (I’ve heard of occasional nasty mildew surprises in the waterproof bags, anyway…)

  15. Mary says:

    I’m interested in Deuter rear panniers with the built in rain cover. Which model(s) have this? My sister purchased a pair of Deuter panniers, Rack Pack model, which has this feature. I’m having trouble seeing this anywhere else..

  16. Nelly says:

    Hi Mary, the Rack Pack 1 is standard cordura type fabric so you could try spraying the surface with a scotchgard or some other water resistant material, otherwise covering the outside will give you the best waterproofing. I’ve owned mine for over 10 years and used them for at least three of those years of daily commute with relatively heavy contents. No problems with durability at all. I, like others, used to put my clothes, laptop, etc in a plastic bag inside the pannier so that I could guarantee that they didn’t get wet.
    Overall, I think the Deuter bags have been excellent.

    There are some brands that stock waterproof bags, I think Ortlieb has one, and there may be other Deuter models with waterproofing, check their website.


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