Used plastic cans are surprisingly good raw material for panniers.
The only material you need for your homemade bicycle pannier is a couple of plastic cans and the parts to mount them. Here are the benefits of using plastic cans as a pannier body:
Canniers are tough.
HDPE plastic is resistant to cuts, puncture, shock and abrasion. Sacks are more easily torn by sharp objects you hit on the move, let it be thorns, broken branches or anything you pass by really. We have even seen sack panniers chewed through by rodents in a national park camping.
Canniers are waterproof.
Plastic cans were made to contain liquids. That works both ways.
Canniers are easy to clean.
HDPE is not just water resistant, but pretty water repellent too. Combine this with the rigidity and you will get a pannier that is super easy to clean.
Canniers look good.
A hard case with rectangular shape gives a clean look to your bicycle. It also gives that sturdy, serious feel of a touring set of motorcycle panniers.
Canniers are rigid boxes.
It is easier to pack into them and keep your things organized inside, compared to sack panniers. Also, cargo does not smash under its own weight inside a rigid container as much as in a sack.
Canniers are convenient to store.
You can keep it in sight because the rectangular shape gives a sense of tidiness. You can also store your stuff in it at the same time.
Canniers can be closed faster.
Closing a lid is much faster than rolling up the fabric of a sack pannier.
Canniers are completely fixed on your bike.
The stiffness of the Cannier body given by the structure of the plastic can makes it possible to fix it as a rigid part of the bicycle.
Canniers are bright inside.
HDPE plastic cans are translucent because of the homogeneous structure of the material, as opposed to fabric, which is not homogeneous. Exceptions are black cans.
Canniers are replaceable.
It is not easy to destroy a Cannier, but in case a bear smells your apples inside of it and opens it, you can just get a new plastic can. You can find plastic cans mostly anywhere - the more remote a place, the more people tend to have them because they use it for storage. (The picture is unrelated, we know you liked the dog.)
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