Altura Thunderstorm City 20 Pannier review

Well made and durable, with functionality for a demanding commuter

On bike
(Image credit: Emma Silversides)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Altura has taken the robustness and durability of a classic touring pannier and added functionality and practicality for commuters, or anyone relying a bike over a car for transport. Any contents are well protected while remaining quick and easy to access. The rack attachments are simple, sturdy and secure. The only thing missing is a shoulder strap, but there are eyelets for you to attach your own if you really want one. The Altura Thunderstorm City 20 is pricey at its RRP - you are only getting one pannier for £100 - but if you only need one pannier it's a good investment.

Reasons to buy
  • +


  • +

    Well made

  • +


Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No shoulder strap included

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

The Altura Thunderstorm City 20 Pannier has fast become my favourite pannier for shopping, errands and commuting. In terms of opening and closing, it's the simplest and quickest pannier I have come across. The roll-top is secured with a hook attached a single, V-form strap. The hook slides into one of 6 daisy-chain loops, to adapt to the panniers load. It's never once slid out of a loop. I’d say it’s less likely to fail in the long term than any kind of buckle. You can have the pannier opened, accessed and closed again in no time whatsoever - a priority in foul weather. 

Altura Thunderstorm City 20 Pannier: construction

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Emma’s first encounters with a bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling. 

With a couple of half decent UK road seasons under her belt, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there, spending two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, working primarily as a domestique for Emma Johansson. When Redsun folded, Emma was offered the opportunity to ride with a newly formed Belgian team and home to the first year senior and budding rider Anna Van Der Breggen.

After retiring, Emma returned to teaching, setting up her own tutoring business. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. While the road bike remains her true passion, she has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been sightings of Emma off-road, on mountain and gravel bikes… As if all of this isn't enough, she's been working as a freelancer since 2005, testing and reviewing the latest kit and sharing her insight into the sport.