|Blackburn Central Shopper's Bag - a snazzy satchel with perfect styling for the office.|
However, I still had misgivings. This is a new product line for Blackburn, thus lacking reviews. Plus the bag was advertised with only two photos, even on Blackburn's own website, which left me a little suspect. It's easy to take lots of digital photos. But, because I could get the bag at half price and backed by Blackburn's reputation, I took a leap of faith, and ordered the bag.
|That's one humongous pannier!|
|Hooks snap easily and securely onto rack. I also secure lower Velcro-type connection to rack.|
In some respects, the bag is a behemoth. One co-worker asked if I felt lopsided, riding with one large pannier. Looks are deceiving. I carry the same weight as before, but the bag appears and may actually be larger, due to it's structure. I never felt unbalanced using the previous pannier, and because I ride a very stable bicycle I never suspected weight would become an issue with the new bag.
|Three attachment points for carrying strap.|
There are red accents on zipper pulls, tiny loops and elastic bands for clipping lights, and multiple reflective spots, including the logo. There is clearly some sort of padding sandwiched between outer and inner fabric for structure and comfort, plus a short stiff plastic piece around the base. I love the bottom material; it feels like neoprene, with four nubs, much like luggage. The bag brilliantly stands upright in my cubicle, with or without items stowed inside. And if that weren't enough, there is an exterior zippered pocket, for easily retrieved small items.
Blackburn utilizes this special clip system on multiple products, and if you also purchase their proprietary interlock rack, one can lock multiple panniers, using one key. The other uniquely designed bag feature is the lower two Velcro-like straps, neatly disguised into the design, handy for added security when folded around rack struts.
|A pannier with only a drawstring for closure is obviously not waterproof.|
*Update, November 2016: After 6 months of continual use, both latches broke within a week of each other, but main hooks are still in place. Read here for my solution to re-secure pannier to rack.