Tailfin, designer and manufacturer of Technical Bikepacking Equipment, is pleased to announce a new extended range of pannier bags with the release of the 5L and 10L Mini Panniers.

The two new models are intended to complement the existing Tailfin 22L Super Light Pannier and 22L Ultra Durable Panniers. But beyond just being additions to the range the new Mini Panniers have been designed to perform unlike any traditional pannier system. Created strong and secure enough for serious off-road riding, it’s our intention for them to finally put pannier bags back in the running for use on modern bikepacking adventures. Perfect for the pannier sceptic bikepacker worried about the extra volume, weight and performance issues a normal pannier setup brings to the party.

We think well designed pannier bags are an excellent choice for bikepacking, offering some obvious advantages over the usual cage/strap/drybag method of carrying additional kit. Pannier bags offer easy access to your kit without needing to undo and remove additional straps. Our Mini Panniers fit securely and with complete reliability – no need to keep readjusting straps and ill fitting dry bags. Plus the Mini Panniers will also have a longer life as there are no fixing straps that can wear through precious dry bags when faced with mud and other trail debris.

Tailfin 5L and 10L Mini Panniers Need to Know

  • 5 litre and 10 litre capacity respectively.
  • Hard and Softgood integration – unlike any other pannier bag on the market resulting in bombproof reliability, stiffness and serviceability.
  • Shaped to create a minimal profile, reducing the risk of snagging on tight trails.
  • X Clamp mounting hardware is a game changing attachment mechanism:
  1. Single lever operated cam that provides an over centred clamping mechanism (NOT just a hook) for  zero rattle and perfect fit
  2. Principally made up of three CNC machined 6061-T6 alloy components combined with various bushings and pivots
  3. Designs is modular and user serviceable in the event of any damage
  • Internal CNC machined and lightweight 6061-T6 alloy frame adds stiffness and stability directly inside the bag.
  • Ships with two modular T Hook compression straps providing two closure options – roll top or side closure.
  • T Hook compression straps can also be used across the front of the bag to attach further luggage or provide extra load compression.
  • 100% waterproof welded Hypalon and ripstop nylon construction.
  • Compatible with all Tailfin racks including the original T1.
  • Additional shims allow mounting to any brand rack, front or rear.
  • 5 year, no quibble warranty
  • Crash replacement warranty
  • Ship parts anywhere in the world service
  • Weight: 310g* (SL5), 380g* (SL10). *without optional side straps
  • Pricing: 5L – £60/$85/€70, 10L – £80/$110/€95

Game changing mounting hardware and stability

Both Mini Panniers take all the learning we’ve gained from the last 4 years of our 22L Panniers and build on it for increased reliability and performance.

The most important consideration for this new range was to create a pannier system that can provide absolute reliability even when used on trails you would never take a ‘normal’ pannier system on. We wanted them to be stable, light, rattle free, provide dependable reliability, be easy to use and have the ability to service/repair in the field.

Pannier systems have been ignored for modern bikepacking for good reason.

  • Traditional pannier internals are flexible so the contents wobble and move around as the bike goes over every bump on the trail
  • Load distribution using a traditional style rack and pannier can negatively impact the handling and ride experience.
  • Traditional panniers don’t ‘clamp’ onto racks, they merely ‘hook’. This introduces points of wear for both bag mechanism and rack tubing as tolerances are not as critical as with a clamping mechanism
  • Traditional pannier systems are noisy. Riding on anything other than smooth tarmac can result in a rattle filled ride.

How to make pannier bags suitable for modern bikepacking

The new Mini Panniers all start with a completely redesigned X Clamp attachment system. The new mechanism is a triumph of engineering and manufacturing and follows on from the success and feedback from the original X Clamp (still found on the larger 22 litre pannier bags). The three key clamping components are CNC machined from 6061-T6 Aluminium, shot blasted, anodized and then screwed together with stainless steel shoulder screws and nylon bushings. The result is a rock solid clamp mechanism that creates an almost seamless connection between rack and bag. It is operated with a solid and satisfying single finger lock/release cam lever. The design of this lever provides positive feedback to the user when fully closed and fully released, resulting in an incredibly tactile feel for increased rider reassurance.

The cam lever features a replaceable nylon bushing that eliminates any metal on metal wear and provides a uniform and reliable movement, ensuring a smooth action throughout the life of the clamp. We have also been at pains to protect all moving parts from dirt and water ingress to further enhance the reliability of the system – essential for a product designed to work anywhere in the world and over any terrain.

To complete the integration between luggage and bike, the X Clamp is screwed to a rigid internal structure found inside a false pocket within the bag. Like the X Clamp this internal frame is also CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminium alloy. This allowed us to save weight whilst retaining strength to cope with even the worst crashes. Rigorously tested on our in-house fatigue and shock loading machines, the frame is strong enough for us to happily recommend both sizes of Mini Pannier for off-road applications.

A thoughtful, waterproof bag with clever features

One of the key targets for the new Mini Panniers was to create a highly durable bag whilst keeping the weight as low as possible. This pushed us to follow the same dual material construction as our 22L Superlight Pannier. Durable Hypalon laminate material is used in all high wear areas of the bag and is matched with a lighter weight, more flexible ripstop nylon in the upper portion of the bag allowing for easier rolling and flexible load carrying. This material choice alongside the lightweight aluminium parts drops the weights of the 5L and 10L to 310 grams and 380 grams respectively – highly competitive compared to the competition and very appealing to gram counting racers and riders.

The entire structure is high frequency welded, guaranteeing a completely waterproof bag. Being a British brand this is a feature very close to our hearts! Undertaking our testing in the damp areas of South West England and Wales we completely understand the importance of keeping kit dry and safe.

The wide top opening of the bags allow for easy and rapid packing even when attached to the bike and the subtle tapered shape ensures your load is cradled in a rattle free way without creating any potential dead space.

Each Mini Pannier (sold separately) ships with four additional T-Hook compression straps (two pairs). These can be attached to the side of the packs either vertically or horizontally, and offer additional functionality. The pack can either be closed like a traditional roll top dry bag with a single clip at the top for simplicity and ease of use. Or, by utilising a pair of the T-Hook compression strap sets, the pack can be closed with a clip down each side – reducing load volume quickly and efficiently. The T-Hook compression straps can also be attached horizontally to provide further compression or for attaching additional items to the front of the bags.

Designed for both Tailfin and generic racks

The Mini Panniers are designed to work best with our own range of Racks or AeroPacks, but they also play well with other brand’s racks – both front and rear. Included with every bag are a range of clamp spacers that allow it to fit to the industry standard 8,10 or 12mm tubing diameters – covering the majority of racks. The lower hook can be rotated through 360 degrees allowing customisation to ensure a safe and solid fit with almost any rack. Perfect if you already have a favoured metal rack setup on your bike but want to run the Tailfin Mini Panniers.

Buy well and buy once OR Buy cheap, buy twice?

Taking the question of value head on, we wanted to acknowledge that it’s easily possible to purchase similar or larger capacity pannier bags for substantially less money. At the same time, it’s worth mentioning that you can spend considerably more money purchasing considerably smaller or less functional bikepacking packs.

We believe the value of these packs is well beyond the precision machined components, 100% waterproof packs, outstanding reliability and the simple fact that they just work for bikepacking. The value of our packs also lie in the warranty, ease of repair and our renowned after care service.

Our no quibble 5 year warranty and Tailfin Crash Replacement Service isn’t just lip service – we go above and beyond to ensure anyone using our gear is well looked after. Should anything happen to the packs, we are able to ship individual components, screws, repair patches, entirely new bag skins or complete products direct to the customer wherever they are in the world, making sure the wheels keep turning.

The Tailfin 5L and 10L Mini Panniers are available to buy individually from www.tailfin.cc in Tailfin Black only from 19th August 2021. The 5L costs £60 ($85 / €70) and the 10L £80 ($110 / €95).