Reviewed By: A customer from Harrisburg, PA USA on 6/11/09
I recently purchased the Arkel XM 28's as a compact rear pannier for my bicycle commutes to work in warmer weather. I also could use them as fronts in tandem with a larger set of Ortlieb's I already possess. If you are unfamiliar with Arkel, they are a Quebec, Canada company specializing in high-quality, durable panniers. They source only the best and toughest materials available: Highest count cordura and ballistics nylon; unbreakable buckle closures; heavy duty YKK zippers. They provide a serious life-time guarantee. They also source everthing from North America, and manufacture in Quebec. I am very impressed with the overall quality of the product. The size is perfect for my lower volume summer commutes, and the two layer waterproof liner is nice. The Arkel attachment system is easy to apply to most racks (I use a Tubus cargo), and solid once applied. They remove and replace on the rack quick and easily. The external "X" lashing system secures unwieldy loads in the exterior mesh pockets, and it cinches the internals nicely. The black interior could make low light searches for items in the bottom area difficult. Lid-top pockets are sized for any number of items. You can find many cheaper pannier options out there; but you won't find them at this level of quality, and made/sourced in North America. Serious tourists and regular commuters will appreciate the bomb-proof build of these. Our Canadian friends do a great job with these and I give them a 5 star rating on overall quality.