You may have seen a little while back that we’d ordered one of the UPSO ‘Upcycled’ panniers from, well, UPSO.  

Good news everyone! It arrived very quickly after order, and has been used fairly well for the last few weeks as a daily pannier for commuting and on a longer trip across the south of England too.

I’ll be honest, I’m not really sure how to approach this review. One on hand, it’s a water-resistant pannier that will fit many types of racks due to the Carradice system it employs. It’s made of upcycled HGV curtains and as such each bag made is somewhat unique. But, really, it’s just a bag that fits onto a bike. No special pockets, nothing fancy gadget-wise, simple roll-top closure and a proven rack mount. It’s a good product, but not exactly setting the bike luggage world on fire. 

On the other hand, it’s simply beautiful in it’s, err, simplicity, and rare because of that these days. There’s no unnecessary pockets inside that can come unstitched, get in the way, or even make you actually find something that will fit into them because, well, you know, that’s what we do; actually there’s no pockets inside at all. It’s unique in it’s aesthetic design and uses materials that otherwise would have helped to bulk up landfills while they take 500 years to degrade. It uses an efficient latching system to attach to pretty much any rack out there, and lifts off with the use of one finger when needed BUT is as stable as it comes when affixed to a bike. 

So really, this product is perhaps like one of those E-Type Jaguar replicas you sometimes see on Top Gear, it’s as old a design as can be, but revamped not just with new materials, but with materials that help to satisfy the current thinking about being wasteful and damaging the planet further.

But wait. Those Jaguars cost a minimum of hundreds of thousands of pounds more than the real thing did, then or now! This pannier costs less than most of it’s competitors at a great value £45

To be honest, we’re losing track of our own metaphor now, so let’s conclude with this: 

The UPSO pannier is made from very tough but flexible materials that are designed to withstand the kinds of conditions you and your bike are unlikely to encounter. To all intents and purposes the pannier is as waterproof as you probably really honestly need it to be. Your laptop finally has a reason to use the case you bought for it at the same time as the machine itself and whilst you might hunt for small items in the cavernous interior you at least can be sure they’re in there. Why? Well, there’s nowhere else to put them, that’s why 🙂 

This is a quality pannier, and an incredible price, made by a company with a very solid reputation for these kinds of things. And it’ll be unique to you. Even if the hipsters discover them, each one is utterly not going to look like yours 😀

Somewhat underwhelming shoulder strap...
Somewhat underwhelming shoulder strap…
Small hosepipe base...
Small hosepipe base…

Negatives:

There’s no reflective parts to the bag. We’d like to have seen this (no pun intended!).

The base is made from reclaimed firehose, similar to the Brompton bag front of a few years ago.. But it’s a small piece and we think it could be much better sized to cover the base properly. 

The shoulder strap is really poor and we’d love to see a handle.

Final comment, it’s not a negative so not in the list in the same way, but I’d like to have seen bungy or net attachment points on the outside too. Any serious use of this bag will see it serve as a foundation for a lot of other kit that will be strapped onto it in varying ways. So, just a ‘make our life easier with kit management please UPSO!’ comment 🙂 

Simple insides...
Simple insides…

A great bag. You simply don’t need to spend any more money elsewhere.  Buy one, you’ll still have it to hand down to the next generation. Assuming it will fit to their self navigating hover-bikes of course 🙂

Carradice Attachments...
Carradice Attachments…

 

Please note, this is a review of a product that we sourced and purchased ourselves

 

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The Editor is a mysterious person who's knowledge of all things related to bikes and adventures is virtually legendary. He writes and photographs for Twisted Valentine as well as other print and sometimes online publications. If you have a problem... if no one else can help... and if you can find him... maybe you can hire... The Editor.