Blackburn's Barrier rear pannier bag is a waterproof, roll-top pannier bag with a 20l capacity, front waterproof zipped pocket and visibility panels.
The roll-top is a little less stiff than other roll top pannier bags we've tested, foregoing the usual flexible plastic sealing strip in favour of a suppler fabric version, this makes it much easier to fold and roll which, in our minds makes it potentially more waterproof than others. The buckle to secure the roll top is reassuringly chunky and clicks home in a solid fashion, the vertical compression and tie down strap works on a carabineer system rather than a buckle which can be a bit of a faff but gives you the same result in the end.
We loved the front waterproof zipped pocket for storing essential small items in, it means that you don't have to go through the laborious task of unrolling and re-rolling the top every time you want to get something out of your bag and it's big enough to store phone, keys, GPS, inner tube, mini tool, and sunglasses in.
The side visibility panels add to the overall great aesthetic of the Barrier panniers but you can't see much in terms of gear through them, they are, however, useful for rear lights if you've got a trunk bag in the way of your seat post.
The fixing system is surprisingly simple but works, at least in terms of getting the pannier on to the rack and results in a secure fit on our Tortec Epic steel rack.
Getting the pannier off is another story, the Barrier misses a trick here by not having a simpler way of prising bag from rack which unfortunately is what you need to do. Simultaneously pressing two impossibly small, hard to reach and stiff levers is not something you want to do too often.
The Barrier pannier retails at a slightly lower price point than their Ortlieb and Vaude equivalents but we expected them to be a bit more of a bargain due to the obviously cheaper, and less successful fixing system which is the only real downfall of an otherwise great pannier bag.