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AltRider Hemisphere Sport Touring Waterproof Soft Panniers Reviews

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I have been using AltRider   Hemisphere Sport Touring Soft Panniers for 3 months now and it is time for a quick review.

I have always been a fan of soft luggage for off road use for the simple facts that it holds gear more securely on rough roads and is more forgiving and less painful when its laying on top of me when I run out of talent.  My first impression of the Hemisphere Sport Touring Soft Panniers was that they were a very simple design.  They don't have a dozen straps dangling from all sides of the luggage which is great when loading and unloading my gear.  I do want to note that on the AltRider website that it stats that " The AltRider sport touring soft panniers are designed for paved road riding only. "  This being the case, I decided to test them on some of the roughest roads Death Valley had to offer.

One requirement for the Hemisphere Soft Panniers is a hard rack, so I decided to install a Tusk   Rack which worked perfectly with the Hemisphere Soft Panniers. The hook and loop attachment is about as simple and easy as it gets to attach the bags to the rack.


The second point of attachment is from the front of the panniers to the foot pegs.


The third point of attachment is to the back of the tail rack.


These three points of attachment hold the bags securely and at no point during my riding did I feel things shifting or bouncing around on the bike.

The roll top waterproof main compartments, separate, lower rear loading compartments, and the included top mount dry bag provide plenty of room to carry all of my camp gear on multi day adventures and compresses down small enough to hold less gear for day trips. 

Here is a photo of the left side with the removable dry bag.


The dry bag is seam taped and kept all of my gear dry during my last trip to Death Valley.  I decided to ride Death Valley on what was the wettest weekend of the year.


Warm Springs in the Rain


The two lower compartments include roll top dry bags to carry heavier items low for a better center of gravity.  I used the right side for tools and used the left side for water and camera gear.



This is a photo of the included dry bag for the top of the rack. 


Many of my rides are well over 200 miles between gas stations and I carry a RotoPax.    I was concerned that the RotoPax would not work and was pleasantly surprised to see that the RotoPax was held   securely with one of the provided tie downs. No shifting at all! There are two tie downs included to securely hold the dry bag or any other gear you will want to carry.


One issue with the Hemisphere Soft Panniers is that the design covers the pillion/passenger area including the passengers handles. I would guess that half of my rides are spent with my wife, Brandy, on the back of my bike so I had to make one modification and add handles to the luggage.  I don't necessarily want to recommend this to other 2Up riders, however it worked out great for Brandy and my riding style.  Brandy wraps her arms around my waist in all technical or fast sections of trail and she uses the handles while on the highway or flat non technical sections of road and trail.  I used four screw links and two "dog bones" that are used for rock climbing quick draws to build the handles.



Please click on this LINK to be directed to AltRiders website for all the technical specifications and AltRider videos on the Hemisphere Sport Touring Soft Panniers. 

I wanted to note that the Hemisphere Sport Touring Soft Panniers held up remarkably well off road and will no doubt hold up to anything that a sport touring rider can throw at them.



I hope that you enjoyed my review!


Brandy and Jesse "GeoMoto" Kimball are avid adventure riders and organize the Flying Monkey Adventure Rally every October in Southern Utah. 

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