Altura Night Vision 20 Pannier  £49.99

8/10

Well-designed to keep you visible on your bike with lots of reflective and bright orange. Reasonably priced for a durable waterproof pannier.

Weight 930g   Contact www.zyro.co.uk

by Jez Ash   July 20, 2013  

Altura Night Vision 20 pannier

The Altura Night Vision pannier lays its cards on the table from the outset - this is a great choice if you want to make sure you're seen when riding in the dark. A combination of fluoro orange and a lot of reflective decals should keep you safe from night-time Sorry-Mate-I-Didn't-See-Yous. In use, it's pretty problem-free, with good quality Rixen + Kaul fixings keeping it securely fixed to your rack.

The combination of waterproof Duratec 450 fabric and a welded construction means that the Night Vision pannier is waterproof without the need of any covers. I'd always opt for an inherently waterproof pannier rather than one that needs a cover, it's just less faff.

If you've used KLICKfix fittings before, you know what you're getting. Solid, durable hooks and catches, that are pretty straighforward to setup, and hold the pannier firmly in place. With some racks, removing the pannier requires a fairly firm pull, but you're never worried that things might go adrift. There's a rubber handle for carrying too, together with a detachable shoulder strap, although the presence of the hooks mean that you wouldn't want to be hand-carrying it too much, as with any pannier.

At the top is a waterproof flap, covering a draw-string opening, and held closed via a couple of straps, which have yet more reflective detailing. You could argue that this is marginally more convenient than the roll-top closure which is common on panniers, taking a second or two less to open if you don't bother closing the drawstring. If the pannier isn't full, a roll-top is perhaps a more reliably waterproof closure, but both work well in my experience.

There is an internal mesh pocket which I found useful for stashing a spare inner tube and pump, but no padded laptop sleeve. 20 litres is easily enough to take the normal commuter bits - a change of clothes and lunch or a laptop, or for use in touring. On one occasion, we managed to fit six bottles of wine and a winter coat in it, but I'm not sure how well any pannier would stand up to this sort of payload regularly.

One negative point is that the screws holding the fittings on to the back plate protrude on the inside. It looks like it wouldn't take that long for them to wear through the fabric inside, thus compromising the waterproofing. This isn't an issue I've noticed with other R+K equipped panniers.

Whether or not you like the orange and black styling is a matter of taste - it prioritises visibility above outright style. Personally I'm not convinced the fluoro orange really adds much in dusk conditions, but the generous reflective trim would certainly contribute to your safety.

Verdict

Well-designed to keep you visible on your bike with lots of reflective and bright orange. Reasonably priced for a durable waterproof pannier - only reservation is the screws protruding through the back plate.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Altura Night Vision 20 Pannier

Size tested: n/a

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?

Lightweight, waterproof pannier in a welded construction with lots of hi-vis reflective trim for added visibility. Ideal for city use.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

20L capacity

Waterproof welded constrcution

Rixen-Kaul™ KLICKfix® fittings

Lightweight, durable, waterproof Duratec 450 fabric

Highly durable Duratec 1000 base

Internal mesh pocket

Shoulder strap

360 degree highly reflective trim

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

Good quality fabric and ever-reliable R+K fittings, plus good solid back plate to keep everything away from the rear wheel. I'd like to see those screws shortened though, to remove the risk of damage to the fabric.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Gamely swallows plenty of stuff, keeps it nicely in position on the bike, waterproofing works well and visibility is superb - it ticks the boxes alright.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

Solid construction and fabric. Sort those screws out and it should last for ages.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
6/10

There are lighter panniers, but most of them sacrifice ruggedness or function.

Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Great value, with excellent visibility and the ever-reliable R+K fittings for a fair price.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It coped well with commuting and touring duties, and is certainly the most visible of the panniers I've used.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

R+K KLICKfix is always welcome, and for urban riding the visibility is a real bonus.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

My only real concern was how long it would take until the fixing screws wore a hole through the fabric.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes, although I'd probably prefer an all-black version with the same reflective trim.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 6  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Boardman CX team for the daily commute  My best bike is: Rose Xeon CRS

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

2 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

"R+K KLICKfix is always welcome"

IME doesn't really work that well on bigger-than-average racks, where it becomes a major PITA. Which is why I replaced my old Altura Orkneys with Ortliebs which have better, easier to use fittings that work on a bigger set of racks. But you do pay for them...

Pete Clinch
often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

posted by pjclinch [44 posts]
27th July 2013 - 6:16

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pjclinch wrote:
"R+K KLICKfix is always welcome"

IME doesn't really work that well on bigger-than-average racks, where it becomes a major PITA. Which is why I replaced my old Altura Orkneys with Ortliebs which have better, easier to use fittings that work on a bigger set of racks. But you do pay for them...

I take your point - on larger section racks it can be a little reluctant to release. Perhaps what I meant in reality was "R+K KLICKfix is sooo much better than the fixing system on the other set of panniers I've just finished testing..."

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [334 posts]
14th August 2013 - 15:12

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