ATS Hummingbird RP Pannier Models

For all types of bicycle touring, from the the most efficient ends of ultra-lightweight touring to tandem touring and expedition-oriented touring, the Hummingbird RP panniers are far and away the most advanced, and economical panniers of a very comprehensive and conventional design that have ever been built.  Nothing even comes close.  Essentially, in terms of design and performance, they have it all and they do it all.  The RP models combine the best mounting systems with the best compression systems.  They match the most advanced systems of gear distribution and loading within the panniers, to designs which provide the best access to gear.  These unique Hummingbird panniers also combine the best overall stability and load-carrying qualities with the very finest craftsmanship and attention to detail.   All of these things come together to create ultra-lightweight panniers, starting at about 24 ounces per pair, which have both superb performance-to-weight and performance-to-cost ratios.  They, among panniers of a conventional design, represent by far the most advanced designs, detailing and performance.

My ambition in designing the Hummingbird RP Sojourn model was to create the most advanced, ultra-lightweight panniers for all bicycle tourists by making them available to fit an extremely wide range of racks utilizing a variety of exceptionally stable four-point mounting systems.  It was also my goal to, within their design, develop the highest levels of versatility and efficiency.  Versatility is the product of custom-building the panniers in three different lengths, 14, 16 and 18 (14" panniers for low-mount racks and 16" and 18" panniers for rear and high-mount front racks) and in a variety of depths (from the rack outward) starting at 2 and progressing laterally in increments of an inch: to 3, 4 and 5.  Making the panniers in a multitude of sizes allows them to always be quite narrow relative to the amount of gear that they must carry, and ensures that gear will always be loaded as close to the center-line of a bicycle as possible.

The extreme level of efficiency in the RP Sojourn is the result of combining the broadest range of details and the most-advanced designs of any panniers in a model that has a phenomenally low weight.  The very intricately detailed Hummingbird Sojourn may weigh as little as 24 ounces per pair depending upon how it is custom-designed and built.

A Hummingbird RP 16 Sojourn rear pannier fitted to an inexpensive rear rack utilizing an ATS Four-Point Adapter: ultra-stable, ultra-lightweight.
The RP Sojourn model is a superb pannier for all types of touring and for cyclists who favor a relatively uncomplicated design.  Because it is so lightweight, yet carries gear in far and away the most stable and effective way of any pannier, it can be used in all conditions, from commuting to the most serious expedition-oriented touring.  It's exceptionally stable (the most advanced four-point mounting systems, extremely effective dual-strap compression/stabilizing systems, twin-wall HDPE plastic load supports, etc.) and lightweight design, coupled with the most advanced and precise gear-loading system, is especially beneficial to tandem and expedition tourists who normally carry their gear in panniers that are both far too heavy and woefully unstable.  Because the Sojourn is built in several vertical sizes, among tandem and expedition panniers it will always be by far the narrowest relative to its carrying capacity.  This is especially important given that tandem and expedition tourists, who can benefit the most from ultra-stable, narrow panniers, typically use panniers that project outwardly from a touring rack much too far.  For any type of touring, including the most-demanding touring conditions, the Sojourn simply is far more advanced in every element of design.

Like all Hummingbird RP models, the Sojourn is custom-built and is available with numerous options in fabrics, zipper types, colors, mounting systems and most importantly, compartmental designs and sizes.   

Base price: $350 per pair 

Even when cyclists have carefully selected and minimized their touring gear, there are conditions and types of touring which require larger panniers.  The Hummingbird RP Sojourn panniers in the 18 version, with a lateral depth of 5 from the rack outward, have a carrying capacity of about 1900 cubic inches per pair.  For many cyclists involved in high-performance touring, panniers of this size will be quite sufficiently large, but for expedition and tandem touring panniers that have a greater depth and carrying capacity may be essential.  In such a case, another compartment (that has a vertical divider to bisect the compartment into fore/aft halves) is added to the outer face of the panniers to increase their volume.  This model of pannier in the Hummingbird RP line, which has dual lateral-, and seven separate, compartments, is the Continental model.  As a medium- or high-volume pannier, it is always custom-built and available in a number of configurations, including those that have an inner compartment depth of either 3, 4 or 5 and an outer compartment of 1.75 or 2.75.  Each version of the pannier, size-wise, is determined when it is ordered relative to the capacity requirements and design preferences of each customer.

Like all Hummingbird panniers, the RP Continental model has a wide range of design features that contribute to a dimension of craftsmanship and performance that is far beyond that of any other panniers.  Design that contributes to the highest levels of on-the-bike performance, including a wide range of four-point mounting systems and the most effective dual-strap compression systems, is an integral part of the design of the Continental. In addition, 100%-support, dual-relieved aluminum plate stiffeners are also combined with twin-wall HDPE load supports (in the bottom of pannier compartments) to create the highest level of pannier stability and contribute to the very best bicycle handling qualities in touring bicycles.

In areas of panniers that receive a lot of stress, such as under the carrying handles, very durable fabrics like 500-denier Corduara, are doubled over the primary lightweight (blue) of the panniers. Using heavy fabrics in small patches only where it is needed helps keep pannier weight very low.
In superior products, especially very lightweight ones, it is many smaller details of design that add up to create superb performance.  One unique feature of the Continental and all ATS and RBD panniers, is its five-fabric construction to provide excellent durability at the lowest possible weight.  Only in places of highest stress are fabrics like 500-denier Cordura used, and in those places, like in the bottoms of panniers and under the carrying handles of the panniers, it may be doubled or even tripled as a reinforcement.  In areas of the panniers which have little stress, very lightweight fabrics are used to keep the overall weight of panniers as low as possible.

Another very important detail of the design of the RP Continental, with its large carrying capacity and numerous compartments, is that it is always custom-designed to be as narrow as possible. In this type of pannier it is crucial that, especially in the 18" version, it have a loading design that provides great access to gear, especially at the bottom of the panniers.  The RP Continental panniers absolutely do.  Each pannier compartment is accessed by 40 long access zippers that run nearly to the bottom of the panniers and provide the best access to gear.

In an ultra-lightweight pannier, to develop a high level of durability, the design of its lightweight zippers and how they are sewn in place is also critical.  Each zipper is designed to have the smoothest operation and ensure the longest zipper life by virtue of the fact that zippers are of an inverted design (zipper coils face the inside of panniers where they receive less wear and exposure to the elements), are sewn in place utilizing a special dual-pass method in which only one line of stitching (of two) faces the outside of the panniers and that are sewn in place by a unique method which eliminates raw fabric edges along the zipper tape which can foul zipper operation and is ultimately conducive to zipper damage or failure.  In addition each pannier is designed with extremely rounded corners to facilitate the smooth operation of zippers, each zipper has a specially designed pull tab at its end to help make using the zippers as easy as possible, and in keeping with a long-standing tradition of addressing the important details of design as no other products do, each pair of Hummingbird RP Continental panniers is custom-built with the availability of three difference zipper size choices: 5mm (the standard, lightest size), 7mm and 9mm.

Every small detail of design in the Continental has been carefully executed to ensure that its performance is vastly superior to that of any other pannier.  It is available to fit a very wide range of racks (Tubus, Gordon, Jandd, Nitto, Blackburn, Topeak and many others).  For the highest level of performance at the lowest weight, it is made to fit all Hummingbird IFT racks.

Base price: $425 per pair (does not include mounting system prices)        

The RP Modular Continental model. The ultimate in versatility and performance. Unlike any pannier in the world. Here it is in a 16" version
The RP Modular Continental panniers have a unique feature.  This design goes way back in the late 1980s, when I first designed tandem-specific touring panniers.  It was then that it occurred to me that some of the people that would be using the panniers for tandem tours would also want to use them on single bikes, for every-day use in riding and commuting as well as in long-distance touring and for short bicycle trips.  Many tandem panniers are simply overly large when used on single bicycles, so I came up with a design in which zip-on, zip-off pockets and compartments allow parts of the depth (from the rack outward) of panniers to be removed to make them compatible with a wide variety of uses on single bikes.  For instance, if 18" tandem panniers are 8 deep and have a total of capacity of 3200 cu. in. I might design them with inner compartments that are 5 deep and with outer pockets that have a depth of 3", so that when the outer pockets are removed what remains is a pannier of 2000 cu. in. for touring on a single.

I love the versatility of this design, and over time I've varied the depth of both of the inner and outer compartments widely to make all sorts of combinations in pannier size, for both tandem touring and touring on singles to develop the greatest performance potential in the design.  For instance, if I want to keep the panniers very narrow in the front panniers for both a tandem and a single bike I might design 18 panniers that have an inner compartment of 3 and an outer compartment of 2 in depth.  This combination provides an overall size of 2000 cu. in., which is a quite useful size in a front pannier for many types of tandem-specific bicycle trips, and when the outer pockets are removed a very narrow pannier of 1200 cu. in. remains providing low wind resistance and an effective volume for use on a touring single as well as an extremely lightweight pannier for use on a tandem.

Many cyclists that purchase the RP Modular Continental use racks that I did not build. To create the highest levels of performance, ATS Four-Point Adapters and ultra-stable mounting systems, like the one in the photo, are used to transform the Continental into a dimension far above other panniers.
Through the years I've built many different types of panniers in numerous designs with zip-on, zip-off pockets and compartments.  I've custom-designed them in 14, 16 and 18 vertical sizes to create the most versatile of all pannier types.  A wealth of experience has been used to create the Hummingbird RP Continental pannier designs of today.  This model is the most advanced, most versatile pannier of a conventional (with a dual- or triple-relieved aluminum plate stiffener opposed to a design with an aluminum internal frame) design in the world today.  It is available as a custom-built pannier incorporating all of the normal Hummingbird pannier options including choices in five-fabric construction (you may choose as a primary fabric type either 2.4 oz. Ripstop nylon or 3.4 oz. 200 denier Oxford nylon), zipper type (either 5mm or 7mm zippers).  There is also a choice among several ultra-stable, four-point mounting system types for use with a full range of rack brands and designs.  And as with all ATS and RBD panniers, the RP Continental is custom-built in a multitude of sizes, with three different and vertical pannier options (14", 16" and 18") and several compartmental designs.

Base price: $475 per pair

Hummingbird RP panniers are shaped differently than IFT models and therefore have their own custom-fit covers.  They are of an easy-on, easy-off design that utilizes a strong, yet very lightweight bungee cord to hold the covers in place.  Hummingbird RP Rain Covers are always custom-fit.  Made of extremely lightweight silicone-impregnated Ripstop nylon fabric, they are of a unique design that was developed to minimize their overall weight.  Price:  $70 per pair