Happy Trails Teton 7.5" Clif Cut Review

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Sep 28, 2018
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#1
Here's my review of Happy Trails Teton 7.5" Clif Cut panniers on my 2014 S10:

1. What: Happy Trails Teton 7.5" Clif Cut panniers on Happy Trails SU racks with all Happy Trails mounting equipment. No paint, pre-drilled, matching locks.

2. How Much: Paid $559 new free shipping during their winter sale Dec 2018 and that included panniers, rack, locks, and mounting hardware. In the end, I wanted what I wanted but price is always a factor. I have bought both Givi and Jesse new in the past, so its more about getting what I want the first time over initial cost but the cost (very inexpensive) was a happy plus.

3. Mounting: I removed the passenger handles and reused the upper bolts vs using the HT provided. This brought the panniers in almost 2" narrower than HTs stock setup. This also forced messing with the rear cross brace. I was going to cut and weld but was able to bend/under pressure and drill new holes and made it work without breaking out the welder. I used the bolts vs the larger knobs for the top inside mounting to keep stuff from catching on the knobs inside the panniers.

4. Results: Super pleased. I like closing the panniers without having to lock them (Jesse, Givi) and they stay closed when riding. I like one key lock per pannier vs two (Jesse). Service/communication from HT and packaging was superb, no issues. I measure the width at just under 32" wide which is one of the narrower setups. Its not as much volume as others (26 liters each) but with the wider opening, it seems to work for how I use it and I like the narrow width.

5. Future Plans: Will use the "empty" space on the non-exhaust side with probably a tool tube or something. Thinking of mounting water bottle / thermos bottle on back of a pannier but may leverage the side/rear mounts of the aux fuel tank for that instead to keep panniers drill hole free. Water proof is a big requirement for me.
 

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Clawdog60

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#2
Nice! I went with the non clif and I’m 9-1/4 wider than yours. Yeah mine is ugly wide but I was afraid I wouldn’t get all of my long trip stuff in them. What is the width of the bottom of each box? Im going to come up with others for daily use.
 
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#3
I struggled with size but errored on narrow. The main width is only 6", the top is 7.5" wide. For commuting, its perfect, maybe will get huge Tusk panniers for $220 later for camping. Or will get another set of bigger happy trails as I really like the panniers.
 

Byron

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#4
I want to give a shout out to Happy Trails(HT). I ordered these same panniers and about a week later ordered a top box with the tail bracket. HT sent me an email saying that I will need the riser kit for the top box. Because I ordered these a week apart they were still working on the panniers order. I called and the sales guy told me that they were going to take off the extra set of matching keys for all 3 boxes and giving me the riser kit for free exchange. That was a deal for me because that kit is much higher price than the matching key set. So, HT is a good company in my book! I went with them because I have the HT center stand on my Vstrom. One of the springs broke and I sent them an email asking them the price to replace and they sent me a whole kit at no cost.
 
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#5
Update:

I've been using the panniers for some time now and for one long cross country trip. Really like the panniers, for every day use its just the two happy trails panniers. For this trip, I had to carry way more stuff than for a normal work trip, so I put my Givi 52 (maybe 58!) liter trekker outback on top. For the travel time, all my gear was in the topbox, my work and "at destination" gear was in the two side panniers. I was able to fit all my clothes, laptop, laptop accessories, tools and two pairs of shoes all in the two HT panniers.

It was nice to quickly remove the givi (turn key, pull off) and take it into the hotel each night while crossing the country. Dont have that quick off with how I have the HTs setup (bolted) but was pleased I could leave them locked and no one would take stuff just sitting on the bike in not the best areas (cheap hotels).
 

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#6
Dude thank you SO much for this review. The details you provided, along with the very clear pictures and measurements, are more helpful than you know. HT should hire you to redesign their site ffs.

But even now, I am undecided between the 7.5" and 9". -_-
 
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#7
Dude thank you SO much for this review. The details you provided, along with the very clear pictures and measurements, are more helpful than you know. HT should hire you to redesign their site ffs.

But even now, I am undecided between the 7.5" and 9". -_-
Oh good, glad the write up helped. I would error on narrower vs less narrow:
- forces you to pack less (I tend to fill what I have)
- narrow looks better (IMO)
- If you need storage for big/bulky, put that in the top bag
- if you really really regret not having wider, spend $209 shipped for a pair of med or large TUSK panniers and have both

I went this route and am pleased. I havent had the "need" for buying the TUSK or another set of Happy Tetons in wider. I commute daily and carry my clothes for my gym workout with me, carry laptop case, coffee thermos and usual tools and extra layers all in the cases.
 
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#8
Oh good, glad the write up helped. I would error on narrower vs less narrow:
- forces you to pack less (I tend to fill what I have)
- narrow looks better (IMO)
- If you need storage for big/bulky, put that in the top bag
- if you really really regret not having wider, spend $209 shipped for a pair of med or large TUSK panniers and have both

I went this route and am pleased. I havent had the "need" for buying the TUSK or another set of Happy Tetons in wider. I commute daily and carry my clothes for my gym workout with me, carry laptop case, coffee thermos and usual tools and extra layers all in the cases.
Indeed. I just placed my order for your exact bags. I mainly commute and do a good bit of splitting. Also prefer to pack light and a giant roll top duffel with these should be more than enough.
 
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