|Panniers: Saddlle &
|Panniers, Slings & Bear
sided, soft sided, Saddle Panniers, Packing Panniers,
all in a variety of colors, styles and materials to suit
every budget and Packing need. There is a tab that shows
some of the differences between Pack Panniers and Saddle
Panniers. For 1-3 day camping trips, we recommend
starting with Saddle Panniers since they are so easy to
just load and tie on a saddle horse.
There are many types of panniers and pannier material.
Hopefully, this guide will explain panniers and material
sufficiently to allow you to make the best choice for your
- Pack panniers are normally used with pack saddles.
Pannier straps wrap around decker arches or saw buck
- On deckers, you can put straps through hook slots and
use pannier hooks for easier loading and off
- Some pack panniers straps can be adjusted and used on
a regular riding saddle.
- Most pack panniers have a wooden dowel at the top of
the pannier to keep the pannier shape and for the pannier
straps to wrap around.
- Pack panniers are more expensive than other types of
- Recommendation: If you like canvas panniers, I strongly recommend you
purchase canvas panniers with leather ends if your pack
panniers rub against trees, rocks and brush on narrow
trails. The additional expense is worth it because the
leather end canvas pannier will last much longer.
Additionally, you won't have to pay a saddle shop to repair
it like a normal canvas pannier when it tears or wears
- Saddle panniers are designed specifically for use on
a riding saddle. However, some saddle panniers can be used ,
with great difficulty, on pack saddles also.
- Saddle panniers do not ride as securely on a saddle
as pack panniers ride on pack saddles. Therefore, saddle
panniers need a strap that goes around the pack animals
stomach with a good teeth buckle to help keep the saddle
panniers balanced and secure.
- Recommendation: I would not
recommend that anyone purchase a saddle pannier unless it
has at least one stomach strap and one strap to connect the
- Recommendation: I would strongly
encourage you to buy a good saddle breeching and breast
collar if you are going to do much packing with saddle
panniers. Especially if you go up and down hills. The
breeching will prevent the saddle cinch from slipping
forward while going downhill. A saddle cinch that slips
forward will cause a significant cinch gall that will
require weeks to heal before you can use your horse/mule
- Recommended if you are short on
pack animals. Don't overload your pack animals as it is much
more difficult for a horse to carry pack gear than a riding
horse to carry you.
- Recommendation I suggest you
purchase very large triple saddle bags for your riding
horses to prevent overloading pack animals or leaving
required items at home. You can fill these triple saddle
bags with bulky, lightweight items.
- Ensure that you don't put hard items on the side of
the saddle bag that touches the horse. These hard objects
will bounce up and down on the trail and cause pain and
possible injury to your horse.
- Normally made of poly/plastic or
- Hard panniers naturally protect the packing items
much better than soft panniers.
- However, hard panniers carrying capacity is usually
less than soft panniers.
- Top pack and H Pack panniers ride well on hard
panniers lids because of their even surface.
- Hard panniers are varmint proof and are great for
storing food and kitchen items.
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