Brooks England Suffolk ReviewNovember 3, 2016
- Fast & easy clip-on/off on bike rack
- Comfortable carry handle
- Durable construction
- Waterproof main compartment
- Exterior pocket is not waterproof
- Minimal organization
- No shoulder strap
The Brooks England Suffolk is a high-quality waterproof pannier that is made in Europe. It has a fast and easy rack mounting system that securely attaches the pannier to the rack. It has a retro, classic design that is well-made and attractive. However, its versatility is limited without an attachable shoulder strap.
EASE OF USE
The Brooks England Suffolk mounting system is incredibly fast and convenient to attach and remove from the rack. The 16mm hooks are always in the open position when carrying the pannier by its grab handle, providing there is some weight in the pannier. Otherwise, the hooks open when the cyclist pulls the grab handle. An adjustable lower plastic hook attaches to the lower part of the bike rack for added security while riding.
Start by connecting the hook to the bottom of the bike rack and pull upward on the grab handle. Set upper hooks onto the rack and release the grab handle. Once the cyclist sets the pannier onto the rack and releases the grab handle, the two hooks lock securely onto the rack.
The Brooks England Suffolk does not come with a detachable shoulder strap, however our tester was able to attach a strap from a Timbuk2 messenger bag to the two canvas strap loops. Carrying the Brooks Suffolk by the grab handle was plenty convenient and its durable and thick padding allowed for a comfortable carry with a heavier load.
In addition, the mounting system is fully adjustable to accommodate a variety of rack designs.
The Brooks England Suffolk is made in Europe with a high-quality polyester Bluesigncertified fabric with waterproof polyurethane coating. From a distance it looks like classic canvas. Construction is outstanding and thoughtful. The mounting system is comprised of solid plastic hooks that are strong, well-made, fully-adjustable and secure.
Additionally, the Brooks England Suffolk can be sponge-bathed with a wet washcloth or submerged in a sink and hand washed and air-dried if necessary.
The Brooks England Suffolk is made with a lightweight and waterproof synthetic fabric on the outside and a TPU laminated nylon liner with fully-taped seams on the inside. The roll-top closure makes the main inside compartment waterproof. Our tester did not experience a rainstorm on a commute when testing this pannier but did drench it with a garden hose. All contents inside remained dry; however, contents in the outer pocket were slightly damp along the edges.
The Brooks England Suffolk has 22 liters of cargo capacity. Its roll-top design and webbing strap with adjustable metal clip hook allows for a great deal of flexibility in cargo capacity, although the clip can be a little fiddly to unhook. A padded carry handle makes it convenient and comfortable to carry heavier loads by hand from bike rack to office. However its lack of shoulder strap means it cannot be carried cross-body or over-the-shoulder.
A snap on each side of the roll top outside the main compartment helps to close and keep the roll-top tidy when securing. An outside pocket with flap cover secured with two Velcro tabs is ideal for carrying smaller items that require easy accessibility, wallet, pump, keys or other tools. However because it has a flap cover secured with Velcro tabs it is not fully waterproof. Items that need to be secured or protected from the elements are best carried inside the roomy main waterproof compartment. Two external stretch mesh pockets on each end are ideal for carrying a water bottle or bike lock.
While the Brooks England Suffolk can hold an IBM ThinkPad, it does not have a separate compartment and there are no smaller organizational compartments inside.
There are no reflective elements on the Brooks England Suffolk.
Marie Malinowski is a Minneapolis-based mountain biker, bike commuter, backpacker, and trail runner who covers our cycling accessories categories.