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We review Vaude's Karakorum three bag pannier combo which is designed for long tours with lots of gear.

vaude karakorum
Overall Score
Good carrying capacity
Could have been provided with smaller rain cover for individual pannier

The Vaude Karakorum is a classic three pannier system for serious luggage carrying potential on long tours.

Total carrying capacity across the three bags is 68 litres with additional potential to strap gear to the spider straps on top of the upper compartment.

Weight of the combined package is 2.5kg which although isn't the lightest out there is reasonable considering its size.

The panniers can be separated into two sides and an upper which can also be used as a comfortable backpack for day trips away from your bike.

The side panniers have one large main compartment and an outside zip pocket which gives you quick access to smaller items. The upper is separated into two sections with a removable divider giving you flexibility in how you want to use it.

The Karakorum panniers aren't waterproof so a raincover which covers the entirety of the system is provided. A single pannier raincover would have been a useful addition for shorter day tours where less gear is required but this is a minor grumble.

The retention system is simple and effective and Vaude provide a variety of rubberised clip inserts to suit different diameters of rack tubing, this helps to ensure a tight and stable fit.

The two top clips fasten with a gentle push down on the top of the bag, the lower clip, which is adjustable to suit most styles and designs of rack, pulls the lower portion of the pannier tight into the side rack - the result is rock solid even over bumpy terrain.

A good yank on the handles above the side panniers releases them, this is tricky to do with the top pannier attached so requires removal of the top prior to removing the sides.

Overall, a great option for multi-day tours.

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