The Stitchers at at Swift Industries have been keeping a careful eye on the travelers of The Path Less Pedaled for a year now. Not only are we totally intrigued by the stories Russ Roca and Laura Crawford bring into our sewing studio via their website, but we have a particular interest in their gear: both cyclists are touring with front Swift Industries Mini Short Stack Panniers.

One year, and about 7,000 miles into their voyage we asked Laura to send us her panniers in exchange for a set of new front bags. Three motivations: first and foremost, our old hardware was not doing its job on Laura’s bicycle, secondly we wanted to look closely at the quality of our craft and the materials we source to make sure they’re lasting, and last it is an opportunity to get an idea of our advancements from someone who spends every day with our products. When your panniers are HOME for a year, it’s vital that they perform superbly.

Here are photos of Laura’s returned bags. I’m very happily surprised by the minimal impact such extended touring has imposed on our sewing. I’ve gotten closer photos of the points of wear.

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Upon arrival of her new Mini Short Stack Panniers, Laura wrote:

“Like I said before, there is a noticeable improvement in craftsmanship in this set, you have been busy!  The new hardware is so much better.  The new bungee, being heavier-weight and mounted higher, has a lot more tension in it, so it holds on so much better.  Hopefully, it’ll continue to hold on so well, and won’t stretch out over time.  At any rate, I’m definitely more confident of their ability to stay put on the rack. The bags themselves are beautiful. Thanks, Laura”

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