10 December 2012

Product Review: The Bobbin Straw Pannier...

It's one of the most popular cycling bags on the market, and after being sent the Bobbin Straw Pannier for a review* by the lovely folk over at CycleChic, I can understand why.

Having seen this pannier on quite a few ladies bikes while out on my travels, one of the first things that struck me was how stylish it looks. Made from tan-coloured woven straw, it's a simple, unfussy design with a rather vintage feel to it. This works very well with my Pashley and would do with any other vintage style bicycle. I do have a thing for loud and bright panniers, but a classic one like this certainly has a place in my bike wardrobe.

Of course, it's not all about how beautiful a pannier is... practicality and functionality are key! If like me you were wondering how a bag made of straw would work, the Bobbin is lined and bound with waterproof fabric. The material feels smooth because of this, and the inside stays dry.
Further protection comes with the zip-close feature, and the Velcro flap for extra protection against showers. Having used it in the wet weather we've been having recently in London, I can certainly say it does the job.

Three rear clips (in a colour that matches the material - a nice touch) attach the Bobbin pannier to your backrack:
There are a couple of clever and unique things about this fitting system that I really like:

  1. the locking clip (the one in the middle) is adjustable, allowing you to twist and tweak it to fit either a skinny or chunky backrack
  2. you can tighten the clips which swivel, with a screwdriver if they become loose over time.
The clips are made from durable and heavy duty plastic with metal spring hinges, allowing the pannier to sit very securely on your bike, and not do that annoying thing of banging-about while cycling.

Size-wise, the Bobbin Straw measures up really well. Using it off the bike with the carry handles (which are JUST the right length - huzzah!) is fantastic. The only hiccup for me is that it's not large enough for my MacBook Pro (an older 15"model) but the pannier is a decent size...
The measurements are: Width: 39cm, Height: 37cm, Depth: 16cm, and the capacity is 23L. It will happily house a smaller laptop or tablet device (like the iPad I have in there in the top photo) with my usual essentials in there. Additional storage comes with the inner-zip pocket for smaller items, and a phone pouch which both my personal and work phone fit into nicely.

Bobbin have certainly done their research when it comes to this pannier, including 2 removable inserts for the sides of the bag which give it that rigid and smart looking shape. In my opinion, this is where some pannier companies can fail by only having an insert to line the bottom of the bag, neglecting the sides to keep it from sagging in on itself.

It has got to be said, I've found it rather hard to fault this pannier. Stylish, practical and thoughtfully designed, the Bobbin Straw pannier will certainly stand the test of time and durability. I will go as so far to say this is the best cycling bag that I've reviewed so far...

The Bobbin Straw Pannier currently retails at £55 on cyclechic.co.uk... AND if you order by Noon on 20th December, you'll have it in time for Christmas delivery... defo one for your Cycling Christmas Wishlist if you have one.

*This bag was kindly gifted to VCG by Cyclechic for a review. 


Anonymous said...

Jools where are your lovely grey shorts from?

Clare R said...

I've had my eye on this pannier for over a year now. Looks so great. Still intend on getting one!

Unknown said...

Great review Jools. Well done.

Joseline Moore said...

Great job as always:)

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