The Altura Arc 20 Roll Top Pannier is a mid-sized pannier created specifically with commuting in mind and is tough, fully waterproof and straightforward in design. It's a no-fuss, no-frills, day-to-day carrying solution.
If your bike has a rack, panniers are a handy way of tackling the day to day requirements of commuting. Many traditional panniers are designed more with touring in mind, and can be quite large for the job of transporting a change of clothes, shoes and a laptop and papers, but not so the Arc 20.
As the name suggests, it's a simple 20L roll-top affair, with a board at the back to stiffen the side facing the bike, plus reflective bits and bobs.
Sold singly rather than as a pair, the Arc 20 is made from tough waterproof fabric, using ultrasonic welding for low weight and to help retain a waterproof construction. Thanks to that waterproof fabric and the Velcro and roll-top closure, the contents of the bag stayed dry through a variety of exciting spring weather including deluges.
The main body of the pack will take a 15.6in laptop easily, although as there's no padding, you'd want that in a protective case of some sort, but even then there's still space for shoes and spare clothes.
Given that the primary use of a pannier of this size is likely to be either for commuting or general about-town errands, the inclusion of some sort of pocket for keys, phone and so on would have been useful, but is sadly lacking.
The pannier rack fitments are high quality Rixen Kaul, designed to be usable on a variety of rack tube dimensions from 6mm to 15mm. A sliding and rotating lever at the bottom enables the bag to be used on either side and helps secure the bag to the rack at any forward/back change of position.
The fitments are easy to use and adjust, and the pannier is stable when on, whether fully laden or virtually empty. A webbing carrying handle joins onto the fixtures area, making the bag both easy to remove and easy to carry when off the bike.
It's a well-made and tough bag, providing good protection against the elements, and it's not a bad price for what you get in terms of quality components and fabric. For anyone looking for a reliable and safe commuter pannier, this will do the job well.
Practical and tough pannier that's just the right size for everyday commuting
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Arc 20 Roll Top Pannier
Size tested: 20 litre
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 those looking for a mid-sized waterproof pannier.
Spot on for commuters.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ultrasonic welded seams with roll top closure to ensure a fully waterproof pannier.
* Welded seam construction
* Roll top closure
* PE board for back panel support
* Rixen Kaul™ Vario Hook System
* Strategically located retroreflective trims for increased visibility
* 10KG weight limit inc. pack and contents (each pannier)
* Volume: 20 Litre
* Weight: 0.62 kg
* Dimensions: 40 x 38 x 20cm
Vario Hook System:
The hooks can be adjusted to suit rack tube diameters from 6mm to 15mm by adjusting the screw in the hook. Comes with the centre lock fixture, and adjustable lower pannier catch.
Vario Pressure Hook System:
Self adjust pressure fit hook system suits racks 6mm to 16mm diameter. Just push the pannier onto the rack and secure the centre lock fixture and lower pannier catch in place.
KLICKfix Hook Sytem:
The KLICKfix system comes with inserts to fit 8mm, 10mm or 12mm tubing.
Available in red or grey
Extremely well made from high quality waterproof fabric with ultrasonic welding and top spec Rixen Kaul fixtures.
As a tough and waterproof mid-sized pannier it performed extremely well.
No problems with wear and tear and seems very good quality.
It's not designed to be light, but it's not that heavy either.
Pretty good value when compared with similar specced panniers.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Easy to use, and kept contents dry.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Quality, ease of adjustment of fittings.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could have done with a pocket of some sort.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, particularly an all-weathers commuter.
Use this box to explain your score
It's very good: a well-made, straightforward, tough, waterproof pannier. Useful for all sorts, including short tours, shopping and commuting.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
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, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
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.