Nano Panniers Review: Revelate Designs’s 2023 Water-Resistant Bike Bags Are Perfect for Bikerafting

A Roll-Top Improvement on an Already Stellar, Time-Tested, Ultralight Set of Nano Panniers

Steve Fassbinder illustration

Photos & Video by Steve “Doom” Fassbinder, adventurer & owner of Four Corners Guides.

“Over the last 20 years of riding, having used just about every kind of gear-carrying scenario, I’ve found nothing better than the latest Revelate Designs Nano Pannier offering. If you want to do a credit-card bike tour and carry nothing, these aren’t for you. However, if you want to do a trip where you carry actual stuff, this is an option you should consider.” ~Doom

Check out the latest The Bikeraft Guide review on our new YouTube Channel, made in the Four Corners Guides base camp gear room. Read the transcription below, plus check out RD’s Nano Pannier specs directly from their website. Also, visit for a more in-depth, geekier tech review of the nano panniers. And read more reviews on our blog!

Fun Fact: Did you know that “panniers” are named after the French word for baskets?

From the Revelate Designs website

“Think of these bags as frame bag supplements that stay on your bike; designed to carry dense and heavy stuff like food, water, and fuel with a low profile form. With a bikepacking mindset you still put your bulky, high water sensitive items like clothing, sleeping and shelter gear in a waterproof handle bar setup, seat pack, or on top of the rack deck.”

  • Price: $250.00
  • Full Challenge Sailcloth 200 denier UHMWPE / Polyester woven laminated fabric
  • Super tough rattle free mounting with metal hardware. Speciality high cycle life (10,000+ cycles) hook and loop straps
  • Fiberglass internal and exterior stiffeners
  • High density closed cell foam frame sheet
  • Made in the USA with domestic and imported materials
  • Please note: These panniers are made with a minimum of seams but are not fully waterproof.
  • Weight: Pair: 18 oz / 510 gm
  • Volume: 7-11 L Each side
  • 420-680 cubic inches each side
b'Playable Nano review'



I would say the Nano Panniers are great for bikerafting in that often you’re carrying more stuff when you’re bikerafting like a boat, PFD, paddle, maybe a throw bag, things like that. So you’re just gonna end up having that stuff in other places. But the gear that would normally live in those other places will have to find a place to live. And this is a great place to keep all that other stuff. Cause a boat and a PFD won’t fit in here, but your sweet roll might have your boat instead. And then all the stuff you would keep sweet roll probably be rolled up in here. This is the newest, the latest version of the nano pans from Revelate Designs. And they’re different from the old Nanos. The old Nano Panniers had a zipper. These are just a simple roll top and they hold a little bit more.

They very similar in that they are a saddle bag style. So they just hang on the rack like this and attach to the bottom. But again, no zippers, and a much simpler roll top only. I haven’t used any other panniers other than the Nanos in a really long time. But the Nanos had a zipper. They were nice, but the zippers tended to get a little stuck on your gear. And, you know, zippers just don’t last as long as a simple roll top design. Other panniers that I’ve used in the past have just been big, bulky and heavy and probably weigh like five times as much as these do. All right, I’ll just show you how they work. Very simple. One clip, one clip,


One roll, and then we just take out your stuff.


I’ve just got a bag in there just to demonstrate what I normally carry in my panniers. It depends on the trip. Sometimes I carry food, sometimes a stove, sometimes water, sometimes boating gear, sometimes a throw rope, sometimes patch kit, pump tools. Sometimes cams, sometimes a climbing rope. It just depends on the trip I’m doing. And it’s a bag that can hold anything. Super simple setup,


Saddle bag style and just over your rack. And then you have these adjustable tabs here. So depending on the width of your rack, you can adjust all these.


Good adjustment. And they just sit on top


And basically the weight of the bags just holes ’em

Revelate Designs Nano Panniers

But there are these little straps on each side and tighten that up. And then just go to the other side and do the same thing. These are so, so simple to put on and off that I like. When I stop for camp, I usually just take ’em off and like bring them to where I’m camping, like the campfire or whatever.


Um, instead of having to like go back and get things out of ’em, I just pop the bags off and bring it to where I am. So taking ’em off is simple.


Just undo these two little straps and then you ready to party.


As far as waterproof goes, these are roll top bags. So no roll top bag is actually a dry bag. Dry bags are airtight. These are not airtight, so they’re not a hundred percent watertight. But they will repel water.  I wouldn’t put these underwater and submerse them ever. If you were going to be doing that, like say you were packrafting and you had ’em on your bike and you wanted things to be completely dry, I would put a separate drive inside with all my gear inside. But it is a roll top design. They’re made out of waterproof material. Anytime you get little holes, like I’ve got a couple of little holes right here just from like running into some rocks or something. So if you were submersing that, you know, you’d have a leak there, but these are pretty easy to fix.


I would just put some Tyvex tape inside there and that would be a pretty easy fix for me on this. If you’re bikerafting, you know, if I don’t have a zipper boat or a cargo fly boat, usually I do not. I’ll put these actually saddle bag style right on the stern of the boat hooked to the two tabs that come on packrafts, literally just right behind myself and then while I’m boating I can actually like get into these if I need to. It’s pretty convenient. It helps counterweight your boat. Normally you have your bike on the front and a lot of gear there, so it’s nice to have like a counterbalance in the back of some weight, some heavier gear in the back. They’ve been on several trips. I can’t say how many miles, but, off-road trips, some gravel touring, some bikerafting trips as well.


Yeah, about a year and a half worth of work worth of use. And really they just have this one abraded area right here from running into something. And that also could honestly be from setting my bike down on Sharp Rocks. I’m almost positive that’s what that’s from. These are pretty unique bags in that they’re super light, they’re durable for what they are. They’re water resistant. They keep it super simple. If you’re used, if you’re used to using a seat bag, but you just, and you like it because it’s light, these are, they’re also light, like an equivalent weight, but you can carry a lot more stuff. So sometimes you just need to be able to carry more things, bikerafting trips, longer expedition style trips. You just need more room, you need more capacity. So I think these kind of fit the bill for most things.

I’m Steve “Doom” Fassbinder with Four Corners Guides and I approve this message.

Follow Doom on Instagram!

Disclaimer: Doom has worked with and used Revelate Designs bike bags for a decade.