ARKEL Dolphin 32 bag, £108 (pair), www.arkel-od.com
Arkel isn’t as well known as some pannier manufacturers, but the Dolphin 32 has proven a great all-rounder with its simple, no-frills design. We found the large external open pocket useful for storing a spare layer, and the zipped waterproof external pocket ideal for wallet and keys. The 16-litre internal capacity is waterproof thanks to 400-denier ripstop nylon which you can weld, sew or tape if it tears.
However, fixing the pannier to your rack is a little awkward — the hook and strap that secures the bottom of the pannier takes time to get the hang of. The solid back makes this set fairly hefty at 1.9kg each. But if you’re after good value and reliability for commuting and touring, the Dolphins are an excellent choice.