Joe recently reviewed the Two Wheel Gear Classic 2.0 Garment Pannier. I thought I would add my own review, because I am sure many readers would like a woman’s perspective on this unique pannier, designed for cycle commuters who want to look like the boss when they get to the office.
I recently started a new job, and much to my delight the office is within an easy commuting distance from our home. Add a six-month bridge closure for repairs to the Patullo Bridge, and it was obviously time to get back on my beloved commuter Easy Motion Street 650 (which I reviewed here).
I have written a post before about the challenges of being a woman bike commuter (see Tips for Women Bike Commuters).
I have always found it a bit of a challenge, and this time around I only have basic end-of-ride facilities and not much storage room at my office – so it’s back to packing full gear in and out every day. As I’ve lamented in other posts, there are not many options for a business professional to arrive on a bike in all kinds of weather and still be dressed sharp for the day.
Luckily, the good people at Two Wheel Gear had already thought about this problem and designed a solution. With a focus on the professional who bike commutes, Reid Hemsing set about creating the perfect cycling garment bag for people who need to get their clothes to the office in great shape – the Two Wheel Gear Classic 2.0 Garment Pannier.
Reid started with the old flight bag configuration. He kept all the separate storage areas, and a clip to fit a hanger for work clothes, and added to the concept. Reid has added small storage pockets that are perfect for jewelry and dainties, and kept the bag lightweight by using mesh rather than solid materials. I find the small pockets really handy to keep my jewelry safe and accessible, rather than having it disappear into a cavern.
There is also a generous space for your laptop, which will also expand to take a couple of files too. The laptop is cushioned by your clothing (on the inside of the rack) and an expandable pocket on the outside. All in all, this pannier allows you to hang 3 to 5 garments, plus pack in your shoes, towels, toiletries, work files, 17 inch laptop, tools, and accessories.
The outside pockets on the Two Wheel Gear Classic 2.0 Garment Pannier are large enough for shoes, purse, lunch … whatever you can think of.
Fitting the bag onto the bike took a few tries to get right, but in the end it was very easy to attach. My Emotion Street 650 is a European design, with an integrated rear rack that is slightly thicker than the racks sold in North America. I have had panniers fall off more than once, and even lost my beloved Arkel a few years ago. The Two Wheel Gear Garment has clips that easily grab onto my rack. There is also an ingenious little “C” clip that locks onto the middle of the rack to ensure you don’t have any wiggle room for the sucker to jump off mid ride. These little clips have a nice cord attached to easily attach and detach.
I always place the pannier with the zippers facing away from me because I found that facing the zippers forward meant that my heels would brush the pannier. This is obviously the way it is meant to be mounted, as this puts the reflective details at the back.
Getting my Professional Clothes to Work in Good Shape
I assemble my work clothes on a hanger or two, and then attach them through the clip in the pannier that is designed to hold hangers. I tuck my dainties into a separate pocket, and my jewelry for the day into one of the mesh storage compartments in the top corners. I try to keep my storage pocket allocation consistent, so that I can quickly and easily put it all back together on the other side.
Storage for Keys, Cell Phone and Cycling Glasses
Another nice feature is the top pocket which sits on top of your rack when the pannier is in place for a ride. This is a great storage area for your keys, cell phone or cycling glasses. It also can fit a small cable lock.
The Two Wheel Gear also comes with a bright yellow rain cover that simply slips over top of the whole pannier. The rain cover sits in its own integrated pouch. When you are using the rain cover, it ingeniously creates a small zippered pocket at the top. Again, a great place to keep keys, since the pannier pockets are completely inaccessible when the rain cover is in use. Clearly, Reid has thoughtfully considered every bit of utility that a pannier can offer.
Best of all, the rain cover works! I was caught in a torrential downpour mid-ride, and was able to quickly deploy the rain cover and continue my ride. I wish I had thought of carrying a waterproof rain jacket that day, but at least the rest of my clothes were dry!
The Two Wheel Gear Classic 2.0 Garment Pannier is a godsend for this passionate cyclist who still has to dress professionally at the office. Thanks Reid Hemsing!!
This kind of incredibly practical pannier helps with the challenging process of becoming car-free. You can read here about how I have started cycling more and more, moving step-by-step to greater health and eventually – one day, I hope – a car-free life!
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