High Country Supply

Types of Pannier Systems
  Protection and Security for your camping gear while packing into the back country  
Panniers: Saddlle & Pack
Panniers, Slings & Bear Boxes 
Hard sided, soft sided, Saddle Panniers, Packing Panniers, all in a variety of colors, styles and materials to suit every budget and Packing need. There is a tab that shows some of the differences between Pack Panniers and Saddle Panniers. For 1-3 day camping trips, we recommend starting with Saddle Panniers since they are so easy to just load and tie on a saddle horse.

Pannier  Guide

There are many types of panniers and pannier material. Hopefully, this guide will explain panniers and material sufficiently to allow you to make the best choice for your needs.


  • Pack panniers are normally used with pack saddles. Pannier straps wrap around decker arches or saw buck crutches.
  • On deckers, you can put straps through hook slots and use pannier hooks for easier loading and off loading.
  • Some pack panniers straps can be adjusted and used on a regular riding saddle.
  • Most pack panniers have a wooden dowel at the top of the pannier to keep the pannier shape and for the pannier straps to wrap around.
  • Pack panniers are more expensive than other types of panniers.
  • Recommendation: If you like canvas panniers, I strongly recommend you purchase canvas panniers with leather ends if your pack panniers rub against trees, rocks and brush on narrow trails. The additional expense is worth it because the leather end canvas pannier will last much longer. Additionally, you won't have to pay a saddle shop to repair it like a normal canvas pannier when it tears or wears through.


  • Saddle panniers are designed specifically for use on a riding saddle. However, some saddle panniers can be used , with great difficulty, on pack saddles also.
  • Saddle panniers do not ride as securely on a saddle as pack panniers ride on pack saddles. Therefore, saddle panniers need a strap that goes around the pack animals stomach with a good teeth buckle to help keep the saddle panniers balanced and secure.
  • Recommendation: I would not recommend that anyone purchase a saddle pannier unless it has at least one stomach strap and one strap to connect the pannier bags.
  • Recommendation: I would strongly encourage you to buy a good saddle breeching and breast collar if you are going to do much packing with saddle panniers. Especially if you go up and down hills. The breeching will prevent the saddle cinch from slipping forward while going downhill. A saddle cinch that slips forward will cause a significant cinch gall that will require weeks to heal before you can use your horse/mule again.TRIPLE SADDLE BAGS:
  • Recommended if you are short on pack animals. Don't overload your pack animals as it is much more difficult for a horse to carry pack gear than a riding horse to carry you.
  • Recommendation I suggest you purchase very large triple saddle bags for your riding horses to prevent overloading pack animals or leaving required items at home. You can fill these triple saddle bags with bulky, lightweight items.
  • Ensure that you don't put hard items on the side of the saddle bag that touches the horse. These hard objects will bounce up and down on the trail and cause pain and possible injury to your horse.


  • Normally made of poly/plastic or aluminum.
  • Hard panniers naturally protect the packing items much better than soft panniers.
  • However, hard panniers carrying capacity is usually less than soft panniers.
  • Top pack and H Pack panniers ride well on hard panniers lids because of their even surface.
  • Hard panniers are varmint proof and are great for storing food and kitchen items.

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High Country Supply
140 E Stetson No 311
Hemet, CA 92543
United States
Ph: 866-389-0018
e-mail: jumpswest@gmail.com

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Saddle Panniers and Matching Top Pack
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