Altura’s new Heritage panniers are part of a range of luggage that includes a rack bag, bar bag and backpack, as well as a smaller pannier.
All are made from waxed canvas, a waterproof material with a history dating back centuries. This gives them a slightly worn and battered look from new.
Each pannier has a large external top pocket with a key fob and though its zip isn’t waterproof, it sits behind a large waxed canvas lip that should keep water out.
The pannier’s main section has a drawstring and toggle to secure it, a small zipless drop-in pocket and is lined in polyester, though there’s no laptop bag.
A detachable strap with a padded section comes in handy for when you’re off the bike. Each 20-litre pannier weighs 961g with strap, 11g lighter than a 20-litre Ortlieb Back Roller.
The panniers did a good job keeping out water. A direct shower spray resulted in no water ingress even through the seams. Water droplets form on the waxed canvas and just roll off and, while the seams aren’t waterproofed, I can’t imagine any rain short of a monsoon permeating.
An advantage of waxed canvas is that when it starts to lose its water resistance, you can reproof it to its original level of protection.
The rack attachments are from Rixen and Kaul. There’s no lateral adjustment of the Pressure Fit Vario Hook top fittings, though the lower rail hook is adjustable through a 20cm range.
Unlike Vaude and Ortlieb, which use inserts in the top fittings to adjust for different rail diameters, a small cross-head screw lets you adjust this on the Altura. It’s effective, quick and secure and, in spite of the lack of adjustability, I found the Altura panniers worked with multiple racks but it’s just about conceivable that some may not be compatible.
The panniers also stayed secure on the bike even over rough surfaces. They aren’t side-specific with each having a shackle lock carrier with reflective light loops.
These are a good-quality set of panniers with Altura’s usual value. They’re tough, easy to attach and, with spares available, they should prove durable too.