I got the call to review the Classic 2.0 Garment Pannier from Two Wheel Gear (2WG), and of course, the first thing I did was to read the review of the Classic on CBB. At first I was a little worried about what I got myself into, but a quick review of the 2WG website calmed my fears. They made a lot of changes to the bag and I was excited to run it through the paces. The bag arrived a week later with the rain covers included and I quickly was impressed by the build quality of the bag. It is much nicer than the garment bag that I currently use for travel and has a built quality that matched or surpassed other panniers that I have personally used. And as you will see in the following review it is a solid bag that is great for carrying your clothes (whether they be dressy or not) to work or on travel.
The bag on my mountain commuter.
Now, I dont exactly fit the profile of someone who would really use this bag to its full extent. I dont often have to dress up as an engineer in a R&D role in a laid back company. Despite that I do wear clothes at work and it is nice for them to be wrinkle free and easy to carry. In the past I haven’t been able ride to work on days where I had to dress up, so although small, I do have a need for a bag such as this on occasion. I also discovered a neat feature that will make this bag a part of my weekly rotation. So onward to the review!
The “tunnel” over the top of the rack.
In the last review on CBB a significant portion was spent on the mounting system, and more specifically, the drawbacks. I am pleased to say that 2WG incorporated a Universal RIXEN & KAUL Vario Mounting system into the back. What is that you ask? Well it is basically a set of mounting hooks to hold the bag, a lower catch to keep it from moving on the rack, and a center lock to ensure it wont come off the rack. They even have a handy setup guide on their website with a nice video to walk you through it as well. (Full disclosure I just found that while writing the review, but somehow managed to set it up right on my own. I guess all those years of education where good for something.) Getting the bag on the rack isn’t the easiest at first, but you definitely get the hang of it after a couple of times. The bag extends over the top of the rack (in my case a Tubas Vega) and leaves a “tunnel” as seen in the photo above. On a rack with a lower mounting bar the bag sits much closer to the top of the rack. This small space can make it hard to engage the center lock. A nice to have on the Classic 3.0 would be a lever at the back of the bag that would engage these. Wink, Wink!
En-route to work on the Urban Trail.
Once you have the bag on the rack you dont have to worry about which route you take to work. Up here in Flagstaff I can choose from numerous routes, and in the summer the favorite is the local urban trail with some short MTB trail linkers. Once mounted, the bag is super secure! It definitely outperformed the other pannier that I usually use, hands down. It handles hopping curbs, bombing descents, and anything else I threw at it. One drawback, like most panniers is that with a lot of weight your bike can get a bit squirrely in the front.
That’s a whole week worth of work clothes!
The layout of the bag is very well thought out. The carrying strap works great and tucks under the outside pockets while you are riding. The bag has a nice loop on top that lets me hang it on the towel rack at work. The computer pocket and the outside pocket on the same side of the bag are oriented so that they aren’t dumped out when it is hung up. Tip: This is a handy place to put your lunch and my large lunch bag fits easily. And the biggest advantage of this bag over my other panniers is that I can put a week worth of work clothing inside. It even accommodates full size wire hangers. This pannier lets me bring my clothes to work for a week and then bring a small bag the other days. Then I can take the real MTB trails if I want without any load on my bike.
And my lunch fits easily in the big outside pocket too!
The monsoon (rain) season has been a little weird up here in Northern Arizona this year so I only got to try out the rain cover once. It has a neat design where it clips to the outside of the bag and unfolds over the entire. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it in a small rainstorm so it wasn’t a great test, but based on the material and construction I think it would work for almost any weather. I will have to test it in the snow later this year!
Top secret work photo showing the bag in action.
Overall it is a great bag that is very well made. It will let you ride to work and put on wrinkle free clothing. I would not hesitate to travel with it and now I could even ride to the airport from home. That being said, it is a much larger bag than I need on a daily basis, but I will continue to use it to shuttle clothes to work on a weekly basis. The worst thing that I could say about the bag is that I am going to have to move my rear light from the seat post to another location because of the height of that bag. In other words, it is a really nice bag and certainly worth the money.