Altura Thunderstorm City 20 bike bag review

The Altura Thunderstorm City 20 bike bag has quickly become my favorite bag for shopping, running errands and commuting. In terms of opening and closing, it’s the easiest and fastest bike bag I know. The roll top is attached with a hook attached to a single V-shaped strap. The hook slides into one of 6 daisy chain loops to adapt to the load on the pannier. It never slipped out of a loop once. I would say it is less likely to fail in the long run than any type of buckle. The bag can be opened, accessed and closed in next to no time – priority in bad weather.

Altura Thunderstorm City 20 bike bag: construction

The main body of the Thunderstorm City 20 is a two-tone polyester material with a TPU coating. All seams are welded. It has an IPX6 waterproof rating and I had absolutely no problems with it getting inside. I felt safe in the worst weather, with valuable items stowed in it; The content is 100% protected from the elements.

Inside Altura has two “open” pockets and one with a zipper and a key loop. There is light padding to protect everything in the bags. The largest can easily accommodate a 13-inch device. My 14-inch laptop just protruded from the top. The reinforced back provides extra protection – I was 100% sure my laptop was safe and secure. I also never worried about putting the bag on the floor; There is a lower kickplate directly under the pockets.

Image 1 of 6

KLICKfix

KLICKfix

(Photo credit: Emma Silversides)

Click the arrows to view more photos in the gallery

Image 1 of 6

KLICKfix

KLICKfix

(Photo credit: Emma Silversides)

Click the arrows to view more photos in the gallery

The 20 liter capacity with a 10 kg limit will satisfy the vast majority of commuters. Access is not difficult, although the opening is slightly narrower than some other panniers. Altura has folded the top edge to improve the watertightness of the roll-top closure. It probably helps to accommodate the single strap fastener too, and in my opinion this is totally worth a smaller opening.

Reflective details around the bag as well as loops for lights make them practical for dark commuting and those who value visibility.

With this construction, inner pockets and a functional carrying handle, the Thunderstorm City 20 weighs just over 850 g, roughly average for a bicycle bag. It is available in black and hi-viz yellow / black.

Assembly and carrying

The Altura Thunderstorm City 20 bike bag is attached with a robust Klickfix system that is suitable for every rail. I am currently testing a number of racks and have my own too – it attaches to all of them with no problem.

The mechanism for attaching it to the luggage rack is central, so the position of the bag is more flexible than others; The two hooks can rest over the down tube of a rack; they do not have to encompass the entire rail. The safety of the bag on the rack is not compromised, provided the arm is correctly positioned. The arm and hooks are simply adjusted with a Phillips screwdriver. I haven’t noticed any movement since I got dressed.

Altura does not include a shoulder strap on the Thunderstorm City. There are some loops on the top but they can easily accommodate one. The handle is well shaped and fits comfortably in the hand. It is possible that people with large hands would want it a little wider; it was simple wide enough for me.

Value and conclusion

I wouldn’t put the Altura Thunderstorm City 20 in a “commuter” category; I would like to use it for touring. For this reason I would say it’s comparable to Vaudes Rear Panniers which cost £ 130 for a pair or Thule’s Shield Panniers which cost £ 136 for a set. The Thunderstorm City 20 is expensive at its MSRP; You only get a bike bag for € 100. Personally, however, I am convinced of the quality and well-thought-out functionality. If all you need is a bag this is a decent investment and one that probably won’t disappoint. Why buy two when you only need one?

Specifications

  • Fully waterproof to IPX6 with welded seam construction
  • Roll-top closure
  • 360 ° reflective details
  • KLICKfix ™ universal rail fittings
  • Protective 13-inch laptop compartment
  • Inside pocket with zip and key loop
  • Lower step plate
  • LED attachment points
  • 10kg weight limit including package and contents (each pannier)
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