Axiom Storm Front Pannier Review

I’ve had the Axiom Storm panniers for about 3 years now and have some general observations about them.  I’ve taken these on all of my cycle tours and regularly commuted with one of the pair for 2 years until I bought a cuter Basil but they still get a use when the weather looks changeable.

Pros:

  • External pockets – each pannier has two zip pockets accessible with out getting in to the main part of the bag.  One on the outside of the flap and one on the inside.  Although the outer pocket zips look like the sealing type, I wouldn’t rely on these being waterproof as it seems to wear out.  But the pockets are great for stashing stuff quickly – keys, maps, money, lights, spares, tools.
  • Waterproof.  I’ve taken these into some pretty gnarley conditions (tropical storms, torrential rain causing major flooding) and they haven’t leaked yet.
  • Flap cover.  This is a great feature.  Not only is it the location of the pockets, it adds additional waterproofing and protection for the internal contents.  You can also clip in a jacket or other item you want quick access to.
  • Highly visible.  Several large reflective logos – front and sides.  Bag comes in bright colours.
  • Fold quite flat.  After use, they pack down well to be put in the bike box or on the shelf.
  • Simple attachment system.  The hooks and bungee system is simple and fool proof.  It is easy to tell if you haven’t put them on correctly.  No moving parts.
  • Strong lower point hold.  The hook at the bottom of the bungee keeps the bag against the rack.
  • Size.  Each pannier is approximately the same size as a grocery green bag.  This is a great amount.  Large enough to get everything around.  Small enough that you don’t bring stuff you don’t need.
  • Stands up on its own.  Once there is some stuff in the bag, it stands up on its own.
  • Can still use a racktop bag with both panniers on.

Cons:

  • Handles or there lack of.  Once you have gotten them off the bike, they are awkward to carry.  This is my biggest gripe.
  • Bungee cord.  This is going to perish one day and slacken off.  It hasn’t yet and luckily bungee cord is cheap to replace.
  • Slow to attach to bike.  There are quicker systems out there.
  • Not lockable.  You can’t lock the pannier closed.  You can lock the pannier to the bike but not the pannier from opening.  I’m sure you could rig up some kinda locking cable to fit through the loops and buckles but I would have liked this feature as standard.
  • Bounce.  Although it hasn’t happened yet, I think in certain circumstances, you probably could bounce the pannier off the rack.

Wear and Tear after 3 years:

  • External zip pockets waterproofing cover is deteriorated from normal use
  • plenty of scuffs
  • no tears or seam de-lamination
  • rust on screws
  • rubber on hooks has come off exposing metal
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