Quality Pannier recommendations

Festus

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Looking for probably 2 sets of panniers for horse packing for this fall. I'm leaning towards the hard side panniers for this trip.
We have a really good quality set of soft ones that my buddy got custom made in Idaho years ago, but we are probably taking 4 pack horses with us this year so looking to add more options.
Anybody have or know of some real quality ones that they would recommend?
 

JLS

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I don’t know if Outfitters Supply in Columbia Falls is still around, I’d check there first. Why hard panniers? I have one set of fiberglassed 1/4” plywood. They are heavy and I don’t feel are as efficient for packing.

Make sure you get some of the hooks to go onto the leather straps and hook to the Decker rings. Makes life a lot easier.
 

Festus

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JLS - we were thinking hard sides because we have seen a ton of people using them lately, including the forest service guys, and we figured they use theirs a lot more than we do so there must be something to it.
Is soft the better way to go??
 

rmyoung1

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Another option, just to muddy the waters, is to use a set of Poly inserts in a set of canvas, soft-sided panniers. It gives you some versatility that the hard-sides do not. (You can always revert to a soft-sided set-up if you so desire). Plus, a new set of soft-sides and a set of inserts is still cheaper than a nice set of hard-sides. I bought a set of these a few years back even though my dad was skeptical. Turns out, he loved them.

 

dan.kirkpatrick

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I have a top quality custum built decker,,1/4 horse bars,,brand new that im looking to sell if your looking for one,,i think ive got a set of new canvas bags too for it,again brand new that ive never ended up using,,id like to sell it as a whole package,,i f your interested p m me.
 

JLS

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JLS - we were thinking hard sides because we have seen a ton of people using them lately, including the forest service guys, and we figured they use theirs a lot more than we do so there must be something to it.
Is soft the better way to go??
The answer to that is "it depends".

I was always a huge fan of mantied loads, because of the simplicity, adaptability, and low cost. I used the wood boxes because I came by them cheap (i.e. free), and we used them for certain camp items like lanterns that could break.

I've also used soft panniers, and if you're on an extended trip where you are loading and unloading every day, they are pretty handy. Even more so if you are traveling light.

I would take an honest look at how you are using them, as in longer trips where you are moving camp each day? If so, panniers can be a plus. If you are just packing in and setting up a camp, I don't see much benefit to them.
 

kansasdad

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The answer to that is "it depends".

I was always a huge fan of mantied loads, because of the simplicity, adaptability, and low cost. I used the wood boxes because I came by them cheap (i.e. free), and we used them for certain camp items like lanterns that could break.

At first I thought you were fat fingering the keyboard, but looked up mantie, manting (sic?......mantiing??) and mantied meanings.

https://www.trailheadsupply.com/blogs/news/the-mantie

Uncle Dutch had wooden boxes, leather and canvas panniers, with leather the favorite. He did keep the "snake bite medicine" in the wooden boxes. Ol Jim Beam would come in handy in case of snakebite, he always claimed.
 

Tjd

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Trail max Iron Cloth.. best there is... hands down! You can add poly inserts if you want
 

Sytes

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I don’t know if Outfitters Supply in Columbia Falls is still around, I’d check there first.
They're still present in C. Falls. Great people.

********

There's a difference between the canvas and cordura material. I had a train wreck when I tried the cordura material hard sided plastic inserted panniers. At least it happened at home and not in the field. The sound caused by the movement really triggered him to do the standing dance and then the blowout.
He'd been packed with good canvas in the past without issue. My attempt, outside the round pen, with that change in pack material set him back as a pack horse. 😕 It was a one step forward, three steps back setting.

Not sure if this is common though may be worth round pen work with that type of material, if you go that way to make sure the movement sound and branch scratching differing sound from canvas works for your horses.
 

2rocky

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I have the High Country Hard panniers, a set of "Utard bags" and a set of Canvas and leather Panniers that are not as deep as the U-bags.

I feel like there is quite a weight penalty for the Hard HC panniers. 47 pounds I think for the pair. But they make nice tables in camp.

I learned Mantying on Deckers so that is my go to for duffle. I'd look at the hard liners and put them in the deeper U bags...
 
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