The Altura Night Vision pannier lays its cards on the table from the outset - this is a great choice if you want to make sure you're seen when riding in the dark. A combination of fluoro orange and a lot of reflective decals should keep you safe from night-time Sorry-Mate-I-Didn't-See-Yous. In use, it's pretty problem-free, with good quality Rixen + Kaul fixings keeping it securely fixed to your rack.
The combination of waterproof Duratec 450 fabric and a welded construction means that the Night Vision pannier is waterproof without the need of any covers. I'd always opt for an inherently waterproof pannier rather than one that needs a cover, it's just less faff.
If you've used KLICKfix fittings before, you know what you're getting. Solid, durable hooks and catches, that are pretty straighforward to setup, and hold the pannier firmly in place. With some racks, removing the pannier requires a fairly firm pull, but you're never worried that things might go adrift. There's a rubber handle for carrying too, together with a detachable shoulder strap, although the presence of the hooks mean that you wouldn't want to be hand-carrying it too much, as with any pannier.
At the top is a waterproof flap, covering a draw-string opening, and held closed via a couple of straps, which have yet more reflective detailing. You could argue that this is marginally more convenient than the roll-top closure which is common on panniers, taking a second or two less to open if you don't bother closing the drawstring. If the pannier isn't full, a roll-top is perhaps a more reliably waterproof closure, but both work well in my experience.
There is an internal mesh pocket which I found useful for stashing a spare inner tube and pump, but no padded laptop sleeve. 20 litres is easily enough to take the normal commuter bits - a change of clothes and lunch or a laptop, or for use in touring. On one occasion, we managed to fit six bottles of wine and a winter coat in it, but I'm not sure how well any pannier would stand up to this sort of payload regularly.
One negative point is that the screws holding the fittings on to the back plate protrude on the inside. It looks like it wouldn't take that long for them to wear through the fabric inside, thus compromising the waterproofing. This isn't an issue I've noticed with other R+K equipped panniers.
Whether or not you like the orange and black styling is a matter of taste - it prioritises visibility above outright style. Personally I'm not convinced the fluoro orange really adds much in dusk conditions, but the generous reflective trim would certainly contribute to your safety.
Well-designed to keep you visible on your bike with lots of reflective and bright orange. Reasonably priced for a durable waterproof pannier - only reservation is the screws protruding through the back plate.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Altura Night Vision 20 Pannier
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Lightweight, waterproof pannier in a welded construction with lots of hi-vis reflective trim for added visibility. Ideal for city use.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Waterproof welded constrcution
Rixen-Kaul™ KLICKfix® fittings
Lightweight, durable, waterproof Duratec 450 fabric
Highly durable Duratec 1000 base
Internal mesh pocket
360 degree highly reflective trim
Good quality fabric and ever-reliable R+K fittings, plus good solid back plate to keep everything away from the rear wheel. I'd like to see those screws shortened though, to remove the risk of damage to the fabric.
Gamely swallows plenty of stuff, keeps it nicely in position on the bike, waterproofing works well and visibility is superb - it ticks the boxes alright.
Solid construction and fabric. Sort those screws out and it should last for ages.
There are lighter panniers, but most of them sacrifice ruggedness or function.
Great value, with excellent visibility and the ever-reliable R+K fittings for a fair price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It coped well with commuting and touring duties, and is certainly the most visible of the panniers I've used.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
R+K KLICKfix is always welcome, and for urban riding the visibility is a real bonus.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
My only real concern was how long it would take until the fixing screws wore a hole through the fabric.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, although I'd probably prefer an all-black version with the same reflective trim.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 35 Height: 6 Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Boardman CX team for the daily commute My best bike is: Rose Xeon CRS
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Jez spends his days making robots that drive cars but is happiest when on two wheels. His roots are in mountain biking but he spends more time nowadays on the road, occasionally racing but more often just riding.