When it comes to weatherproofing your bike, and in this case, your bike’s accessories, a strong choice for a good brand would be former sail-maker Clarijs out of the Netherlands. They’ve been around since 1948, though in that time they’ve made saddles and sails, too.
From their pedigree as manufacturers of marine propulsion they developed some pretty good panniers along the way, not to mention flat box and crate covers, shopping bags, and rain canopies for Bakfiets.
Clarijs (pronounced “Claire-ICE”) products are all made in the Netherlands, constructed from Bisonyl PVC fabric. This fabric is very durable, waterproof*, color proof and resistant to extreme heat and cold. All Clarijs products come with a three year warranty.
*although the material of the bike bags (panniers) is waterproof, the bags themselves are not 100% waterproof. My bike is stored outdoors all day and night. I have noticed on my bags that after a big storm a little water will collect at the bottom of the inside of the bag. To help that water find the exit I have installed a drainage hole and that has worked great. I have also used tent seam sealer on the inner seam in a side by side comparison and noticed a significant reduction in the amount of water penetration. If you are in need of fully waterproof ‘drybags’ I would consider going with Ortlieb bags. But then I wouldn’t recommend leaving those on your bike day and night..
Since style is another important feature, Clarijs also offers their panniers, shopping bags, and rain canopies in a slew of different colors and even some unique prints.
Bike Bags (Panniers) – $125
We stock the Clarijs bike bags in the XL size which is approx. 15.75″ wide x 7″ deep x 12.6″ tall (40 x 18 x 32 cm). Ideally suited for racks that are about six inches wide and bikes with a long wheel base. We sell bikes with racks that are six inches wide and have a long wheel base. They give full coverage across the top of your rack so there is no risk of seams getting over-stressed and failing. There is a nifty anti-theft ring so you can secure them to your rack. They can be adapted to allow a bungee cord to be used in concert with them on a rear rack. If you feel like the panniers themselves ain’t enough. They also have a reflective stripe which we hope, for you, is a redundant feature because your bike is already lit up with lights! But it’s there if you need it.
Qibbel Compatible Bike Bags (Panniers) – $125
The issue of carrying cargo behind a child seat has long vexed us. These new (as of December 2016) Qibbel compatible Clairjs bags happen to be one of the more elegant options we’ve come across. Specifically for use with the Workcycles Fr8 rear rack.
Shopper Bags – $40
The shopping bags function as inserts that slide into the panniers so you can leave the panniers on your bike and take the shoppers with you. Treat them like you would any reusable grocery bag. Only these bags won’t tip over and the goods inside won’t get wet if you set em down on wet ground.
Rain Canopy Cover – $299
The rain covers aren’t something you’ll probably think about needing unless you have a Bakfiets style bike. But if you do have a Bakfiets, well, life without a rain cover could be pretty miserable (for whomever is riding in the box, that is!). Definitely consider extending the bike’s utility into rainy, slushy, snowy, or even just really windy days with this option. It comes complete with windows all the way around so the occupants can amuse themselves with views of their surroundings.
Flat Box Cover – $125
Sometimes you just need a cover to protect whatever you have stowed in the cargo box of your Bakfiets. In this case, the flat box cover is just a waterproof rectangle that snugs down onto the cargo box, keeping its contents dry. Ideal for people who store their bike ‘Dutch style’ outside exposed to the elements. As mentioned before, these come in a variety of colors, too, so you can still be stylin’ and practical at the same time, which is kind of what we’re all about as a bike shop.
Crate Cover – $25