The North St. Gladstone Grocery Pannier ($55) is a US-made pannier that is literally designed to carry a sack of groceries. There are so many benefits to parking the car and running errands on a bike. It’s healthier. Cheaper. Cooler. Less soul-sucking. You also get a better parking spot. I could go on and on but I won’t (this time).
To be fair, I must first disclose that I love North St. products. They’re always so well made (in the U.S.A) and come in a plethora of exciting color schemes. I have a North St. Morrison pannier in a funky teal and hot pink color scheme (I’m so over the solid black pannier). It’s going on three years old and shows no signs of wear or fading from its near-daily use. I expect the same longevity from the Gladstone.
On to the review!
What I love
- Simple mounting system. The North St. Gladstone Grocery Pannier’s mounting system consists of two simple, non-locking, durable metal hooks that hang from the top of the bike rack and lower metal hook. All you have to do is clip the bottom hook first then the top. To detach, lift from the top first than detach the lower hook. I like this simplicity, it certainly fits on my bike’s rack, but other cyclists may not be as lucky. The metal hooks are riveted in place and do not adjust forward and aft making it unable to accommodate all rack styles.
- A shopper’s delight! It’s designed with two sturdy long grab handles that are made from durable webbing. This allows the pannier to be carried as both a handbag and a shoulder bag from bike to grocery store or home. It has a single main compartment that does an excellent job of holding the equivalent of a full paper sack of groceries. Its convenient dual carry handles and simple mounting system allows the cyclist to easily and quickly remove it from the rack and bring inside the store as reusable shopping bag or shopping tote
- Very well made. The North St. Gladstone Grocery Pannier is made from military-grade 1,000 Denier waterproof Cordura nylon shell and an X-Pac vX21 waterproof liner. It is relatively simple to clean with a washcloth as long as it is not mud-caked. If mud-caked, it will require a full submersion in a bathtub or shower. The mounting system hardware is a durable vinyl coated metal. The bungee that secures the bottom hook is a heavy and wide elastic band and the bottom hook is also vinyl-coated metal. It’s pretty much built to last. Love that it’s Made in the U.S.A too.
What could be better
- Non-padded grab handles. Carrying loads that contain heavier items like juice, milk and catfood dug into my hands.
- Minimal weather-resistance. The North St. Gladstone Grocery Pannier is not waterproof, and its weather-resistance is minimal. Although the cyclist will need to check the weather forecast before heading out, I found that it did a good job of repelling water that splashed up from rain puddles. Unfortunately, I also encountered a leaky milk carton which ended up penetrating the canvas inside the pannier.
- What?! No Storage? A couple extra storage pockets would be nice. Right now it has nothing other than the big main compartment for a sack of groceries. It would be nice to have a pocket for my wallet and phone.
Parting thoughts (and one parting shot)
The made in the U.S.A North St. Gladstone Grocery Pannier is a minimalist durable pannier that is designed for running errands and grocery shopping. I love its fast and simple rack mounting system that securely attaches the pannier to the rack. I love that it’s lightweight and can be used as a shopping tote and is Made in the USA–Portland, OR.
What’s not to love, other than the fact that it has not even a small internal compartment to hold my phone and wallet. Still, the North St. Gladstone Grocery Pannier is a Gear Gals Piece of Recommended Gear.