A collaboration between fashionable British accessories designer Ally Capellino and Carradice of Nelson, the Cavo Pannier is a smart, stylish shoulder-bag-cum-pannier designed specifically for cyclists.
Made predominantly from shower-proof heavy duty oiled cotton fabric, as is the signature of many of Carradice's saddle bags, the Cavo also uses a coated canvas base and strong leather for the strapping. There's a rugged plastic zip fastening on both the main compartment and the front pocket, as well as the interior valuables pocket, and an optional webbing strap is supplied as is a waterproof rain cover.
At first glance the bag looks every inch the stylish shoulder bag, with a compact enough size and shape to easily manage. The only giveaway that it can be fastened to a bike rack as a pannier is a pair of stout but discreet leather straps with press studs and small hooks at the back that simply undo, slip round the rails of the rack and then do up again.
There's a robust leather carry handle at the top too, and a decent amount of reflective piping (but quite subtly done).
Surprisingly, this is a bag that will almost certainly appeal equally to both male and female users. Available in smart unisex black or tan, it's a bag that could happily do double duty as a Man Bag or lady's Sac-a-main.
The size is such that it'll take a small notebook or iPad comfortably, with room for a few bits and bobs as well. It's not designed to be the sort of pannier you pile all your worldly belongings into, it's designed to be a smart office or day to day bag that you can hang on your bike. It just oozes quality too.
It fits easily and securely to a rack, and the toughened coated base and rugged leather patch at the base of the rear mean it's not going to get beaten to death by bouncing off the rack struts occasionally. There's no securing mechanism for the bottom, but it doesn't swing much anyway, given its relatively compact dimensions.
You will want to use some sort of sleeve for extra protection for your computer.
The attachment straps for the rack aren't obtrusive at all when not in use. It's not light and it's certainly not cheap, but it is exceptionally well made and ought to last close to a lifetime.
I've stuck this one on my birthday/Christmas wish list already... possibly in both colours. I'll even turn a blind eye to the name.
Tough, smart, stylish and functional. A versatile bag that will last for years.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Ally Capellino Cavo Pannier
Size tested: Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at style conscious cyclists who want a functional bag that looks good too, on and off the bike.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Oiled cotton canvas
Coated canvas bottom
Leather strap and buckle front fastening
Detachable adjustable webbing shoulder strap
Plastic zip on main body, front pocket and internal zipped pocket
Leather strap and metal fastening attachment for rack.
Dimensions - 33cm long x 29cm tall x 9cm deep
Available in black or brown
Superbly well made using top notch materials and craftsmanship.
Performed just as it should.
This isn't going anywhere in a hurry. Unless someone steals it because it's so lovely.
Quite meaty, but it's not designed to be a lightweight bag.
You might well end up bequeathing this to your kids, it's so well made, and it's British, so excellent value all round.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Spot on as a smart bag you can use on and off the bike.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Style, quality, craftsmanship.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing at all.
Did you enjoy using the product? Immensely.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely. I'm dropping hints now.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No, but only because I'd be jealous.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Fully functional and ruggedly handsome bike bag for gents or ladies.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.