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Pack Saddle Shop
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There are many types of panniers and pannier material.
Hopefully, this guide will explain panniers and material sufficiently
to allow you to make the best choice for your needs.
at this site.
- Pack panniers are normally used with pack saddles.
Pannier straps wrap around decker arches or saw buck crutches.
- On deckers, you can put straps through hook slots
and use pannier hooks for easier loading and off loading.
- Some pack panniers straps can be adjusted and used
on a regular riding saddle.
- Most pack panniers have a wooden dowel at the top
of the pannier to keep the pannier shape and for the pannier straps
to wrap around.
- Pack panniers are more expensive than other types
- Recommendation: If
you like canvas panniers, I strongly recommend you purchase canvas
panniers with leather ends if your pack panniers rub against trees,
rocks and brush on narrow trails. The additional expense is worth
it because the leather end canvas pannier will last much longer.
Additionally, you won't have to pay a saddle shop to repair it like
a normal canvas pannier when it tears or wears through.
- Saddle panniers are designed specifically for use
on a riding saddle. However, some saddle panniers can be used , with great difficulty, on pack
- Saddle panniers do not ride as securely on a saddle
as pack panniers ride on pack saddles. Therefore, saddle panniers
need a strap that goes around the pack animals stomach with a good
teeth buckle to help keep the saddle panniers balanced and secure.
- Recommendation: I would not
recommend that anyone purchase a saddle pannier unless it has at
least one stomach strap and one strap to connect the pannier bags.
- Recommendation: I would strongly
encourage you to buy a good saddle breeching and breast collar if you are going to
do much packing with saddle panniers. Especially if you go up and
down hills. The breeching will prevent the saddle cinch from slipping
forward while going downhill. A saddle cinch that slips forward
will cause a significant cinch gall that will require weeks to heal
before you can use your horse/mule again. Click saddle
breeching if want to look at the saddle breeching and breast
collar I have for sale.
TRIPLE SADDLE BAGS:
- Recommended if you are
short on pack animals. Don't overload your pack animals as it is
much more difficult for a horse to carry pack gear than a riding
horse to carry you.
- Recommendation I suggest
you purchase very large triple saddle bags for your riding horses
to prevent overloading pack animals or leaving required items at
home. You can fill these triple saddle bags with bulky, lightweight
- Ensure that you don't put hard items on the side
of the saddle bag that touches the horse. These hard objects will
bounce up and down on the trail and cause pain and possible injury
to your horse.
- I have some exceptionally large triple
saddle bags on the website if you require them.
- Normally made of poly/plastic or aluminum.
- Hard panniers naturally protect the packing items
much better than soft panniers.
- However, hard panniers carrying capacity is usually
less than soft panniers.
- Top pack and H Pack panniers ride well on hard
panniers lids because of their even surface.
- Hard panniers are varmint proof and are great for storing food and kitchen items.
- Designed for packing bulky items such as alfalfa
- Utah panniers are great for packing out elk quarters.
I use them for packing 80 lb alfalfa cube bags and packing out meat
to keep my pack panniers clean and prevent stains.
- Utah panniers do not have dowel on top of each
pannier bag and do not have a lid.
H-PACK & TOP PACK PANNIERS:
- Both H and Top pack panniers ride on top of the
pack saddle and pack/saddle panniers.
- Panniers are designed primarily for packing clothing,
and other lightweight bulky items.
- H and Top pack should be a low silhouette. Probably
no greater than a 12-13 inch depth. A tall top pack has a tendency
to rock the pack saddle and making it become loose.
- H pack fits between the crutches on a saw buck
very well, but can also be used on a Decker
- Salt panniers are designed for packing in salt
blocks, two salt blocks per pannier bag.
- Salt panniers should be reinforced with leather
because of the salt block rubbing on the pannier.
- Salt pannier bags are normally very short, 19-20
- Salt panniers can also be used as regular pack
panniers on small horses, mules and donkeys. Normal panniers are
just too big for these small animals.
BEAR RESISTANT PANNIERS:
- Panniers certified to be bear
proof by the US Forest Service.
- Some wilderness and national forests require bear
proof panniers to help prevent bear attacks.
- Insert liners fit inside of panniers.
- Inserts allow you to pack items better, provides
protection to pack items and retains the shape of the pannier.
- Normally made of a poly material.
- I recommend inserts which have lids as these inserts are varmint proof and good for food storage.
- Metal frame with shelf that attaches to pack saddle.
- Shelf folds up when not in use.
- Hauls All allows individual to pack in oversize
items such as coolers, tent frames, fence posts, propane, etc.
- Attaches to pannier straps and then hooks to decker
- Makes loading and unloading panniers very quick
- I use pack scales to ensure each pannier bag is
within 1-2 lbs of the other to prevent the pack saddle from becoming
unbalanced and shifting.
- It is difficult to overload a pack animal using
panniers because of the limited volume in most panniers. Unless
you are packing alfalfa pellets or grain.
- I prefer larger panniers to ensure sufficient volume/space
for my packing requirements.
- Normally the width of panniers determines the difference
between carrying capacity of different panniers. Most panniers have
similar length and width but vary greatly in depth.
water resistant and durable. The classic pannier material. Drawback
is that blood stains canvas easily. Leather end canvas panniers
IRON CLOTH: Extremely
durable and tough synthetic material. Much more durable than canvas.
Cleans easily to prevent staining.
and more durable than canvas but not as strong as Iron Cloth or Kevlar
Tough. Courdura comes in many grades and quality varies tremendously.
Ballistic courdura is a much higher quality than normal cordura. Cleans
easily to prevent staining.
waterproof and cleans easily.
pannier made. Some aluminum panniers are bear proof.
panniers that provide added protection for breakable items.