Adventure-Spec Magadan Panniers (mk2)

As the market in my part of the world makes it difficult to actually have a look at products before I buy them I have to rely on the internet for information on what to buy - also what people tell me, but as we're not all the same, I sometimes have to rely on people who might see things differently.

I have for year been using hard panniers (aluminium boxes), but due to getting a different bike (BMW g650 xChallange) it was advisable to switch to soft luggage - based on the broken bone theory, and also if an alu box is dent it's leaking and it's difficult to fix on the road.... I'm not sure I'm a strong believer of the first theory, the other one I know all about. After hitting a "small" rock in Bulgaria in 2012 I spend 6 hours getting my panniers waterproof again....

Then enter the soft luggage, there are a number of producers, and due the exploits of Walter Colbatch (who can nearly walk on water - or so I've been told), everyone rave about the Adventure-Spec Magadan Panniers (mk2), so after seeing them first hand (they look right way), I decided to just in with both my feet pointing downwards.... right...

What I discovered after getting them on the bike was:

  • they sag, meaning there isn't much in them to keep the form (square), which is partly ok but ...

  • they are closed with Velcro, and as we know there is an active and passive side to Velcro, on the panniers the active side is pointing outwards when they are open ... bye, bye synthetic t-shirts....

  • Now I have a pair of Wolfmans Teton's they are too small for use for much more than a long weekend, but they are so much easier to deal with, strap them to the bike, and they stay there

  • the Magadans, will require one vertical strap (possible), but definitely a horizontal strap to keep them in place

  • And at the price they charge for them, one start to wonder what one is actually paying for

  • I had a very low speed spill on asphalt a few weeks back, and even without having anything with sharp edges in the bags, the outer fabric is worn through in random places

  • Now they have an Cordura 500 outer shell (fabric), then a kevlar layer which is supposed to make them secure to be cut open with a knife (someone told me that this is not the case ... can't remember who, so I say that is a verified fact), and then an inner shell (fabric) of Cordura 500. Cordura 500 is very resistant, and should not wear through, but it did...

  • the inner bags are obnoxious, who ever came up with the idea... oh, well, the material is so thick that they will take up around 10% of the bags volume

  • Getting some Sea to Summit, or Ortlieb bags is the only option to fix this issue, but that is even more money on top of the extra straps, and with the initial price of +400€ this is starting to become a very expensive friendship

  • the over the seat straps are annoying to say the least

  • Velco, who ever came up with that idea... it rips very easily, that is one thing, the other one is that with that idea out goes the idea of using proper straps and buckles (someone might have a brilliant idea)

  • outside pockets are 2x for Touratech 2 liter fuel plastic canisters, and 2x 1.5 liter for whatever kind of bottle which is 1.5 liter or less

  • The pockets for the fuel bottles I can live with, but pockets for 1.5 liter bottles, that is just plain ... (I'm not even going to say it out loud), I drink a lot of water, and it comes in 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 liter bottles, not I have to remember not to buy the 2 liter bottles again, which is silly. They could have thought that through a bit more....

  • did I mention the price

  • I bought them because I was convinced by other people that they were the right thing, after had them on the bike, I am just very annoyed that I ever bought them as they are very expensive and not very vell thought through.

    Due to this and other things, I am probably not going to use my xChallange on my upcoming vacation trip, I know that the Magadan's will drive me insane and that will ruin part of my vacation.

    I am not saying anyone should not buy them, but be sure you know why you spend your money on.


    Neil said…
    I find almost all Advenure products overpriced.One often goes on user reviews who im convince are payed to write possitive reviews.I will not be buying Magadans.I may buy some truck canvass make apattern and take it to a bootmaker to have it sewn up.Liners arte not rocket science .Even cheap waterproof yachting style bags work well.
    Just my opinions .
    Thats all.
    Casper said…
    I sold them last year, I cannot get along with soft luggage... I'll possibly try again (different brand) next time I plan an offload adventure.

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