12 Best Bike Panniers Tested and Reviewed

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A good bike pannier can really make a difference if you ride a bike often. You can take many things with you and you don’t need to take big backpacks. It’s also much safer than carrying something in the arms. The market is full of them and you can easily choose the one that fits you best.

On our list, you can find panniers that will cost more than 100 dollars but there are also some products dedicated especially to those who need to tighten the budget. The many panniers available out there have many different features, some you’ll need and some you won’t.

Like anything else, a simple decision becomes less simple when you have too many to choose from, so give our list a look and hopefully get an idea of what you’re looking for.

Last Updated: May 16, 2018
By Brian Price:

Take a look at our revised list, which includes a few new options worth checking out. Among the additions, you'll find picks from Thule and Seattle Sports.

Ortlieb Back Roller City
  • Ortlieb Back Roller City
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Waterproof material
  • Price: See Here
Axiom Kingston Commuter
  • Axiom Kingston Commuter
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Reflective logo  
  • Price: See Here
Altura Arran
  • Altura Arran
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Wide base
  • Price: See Here

12 Best Bike Panniers

 

1. Ortlieb Back Roller City

The Ortlieb Back Roller City Saddle Bag gives riders the best of a single and a double saddle bag. You can put the pannier over the bike’s rear wheels to evenly distribute the weight of your stuff or you can use only one bag, which you can take with you where you need it. This makes it a great choice if you want the space of a double saddle model with the flexibility and appeal of a single option.
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Style
This bike pannier is available in a beautiful black and white design. The sides and handles are black, while the front and back have a large white colored panel. The fabric front has the manufacturer’s logo simply stated on the front.

Features
The Ortlieb Back Roller City has reflectors on the sides to help keep you safer on the roads, even at night. Shoulder straps make it easy to carry your bike pannier with you as you go without having to hold on to small handles. The mounting hardware helps you install the pannier bags underneath the seat plate.

Specs
This model is made from waterproof material, so you can keep your stuff drier as you go through your daily commute. It can hold up to 40 liters of stuff, so it is a perfect large size for most bike riders. It can accommodate wheels up to 16 mm in tube diameter.

Value
The Ortlieb Back Roller City is moderately priced. While there are some bike panniers that cost less, those models offer fewer features. For a water resistant bike pannier that is solidly constructed, this is a great choice.
Pros
  • Constructed from a waterproof material
  • Relatively affordable
  • Double saddle
  • Easy to install
  • High quality
Cons
  • Plain colored bag
  • Not available in single saddle  

2. Axiom Kingston Commuter

The Axiom Kingston Commuter Single Pannier is a solid choice if you’re looking to buy one of the best bike panniers on a budget. Simply constructed, this bike pannier delivers many in-demand features despite being one of the most affordable options on this list. This is likely why it is among the most purchased and recommended bike panniers for newer bike riders.
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Style
This model is about as simple as a bike pannier can be. It is a black pannier bag with black buckles to secure the top to the rest of the bag. Its narrow design can fit smaller bikes easily.

Features
The Axiom Kingston Commuter Single Pannier includes a shoulder strap so you can carry the bike pannier with you when you don’t want to leave it on your bike. It has a pocket inside canopy. It has an available LED light mount if you would like to add your own light to it.

Specs
This bike pannier is constructed from 600D water resistant polyester. It closes with simple black buckles. The logo on the bike pannier’s front is made from a reflective material, so if you ride at night you can be seen.

Value
The Axiom Kingston Commuter Single Pannier is among the least expensive bike panniers on this list. It is extremely affordable and a great option for those first getting in to riding bikes. Although it offers only basic features for the price, it has the features most bike riders want.
Pros
  • Extremely affordable
  • Reflective logo  
Cons
  • Buckle closure
  • Limited features

3. Altura Arran Handle Bar

For a different bag configuration, you can try the Altura Arran Handle Bar Bike Bag. Rather than attaching to the front or rear frame like other bags, it attaches to your handle bars for easy access. It is a great option if you want a bag that stays within easy reach while you ride.
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Style
The Altura Arran Handle Bar Bike Bag is a good option if you need a wider bag than other options. Because of its shape, the Altura Arran is shallower and wider than other options. This lets it easily fit over the front wheel on the handlebars while holding as much as other bags. The wider design combined with the rigid structure, make it easier to carry things that wouldn’t normally fit into other bags.

Features
The Altura Arran Handle Bar Bike Bag features a square base that is shallower but wider than other bags. This lets it attach to your handle bars without interfering with your brakes or shifters. It also keeps everything within easy reach. It also comes with a removable shoulder strap for easy carrying.

Specs
The Altura Arran Handle Bar Bike Bag holds up to 5 liters of materials. It is wider than it is tall, giving it a box-like shape. It is made out of durable P-Tec 600 fabric with a semi-rigid structure so that it holds its shape well. The thick fabric helps it stay water resistant as well.

Value
In terms of value, Altura Arran Handle Bar Bike Bag offers a unique ability to carry wide objects. For the price, that could be a significant benefit when you need to make deliveries or have special items to carry that won’t fit into other bags because of their shape.
Pros
  • Wide base makes for carrying different objects easier
  • Easy to reach into to remove items due to the wide opening
  • Short design makes for easy mounting and access while riding
Cons
  • Short design may make carrying taller items more difficult
  • Mounting location limits bag depth
  • Configuration only allows for mounting one bag

4. Thule Pack n Pedal

Another great option for an alternative format, you can try the Thule Pack n Pedal Trunk Bag. It fits on the back fender of your bike in a streamlined configuration. It’s a great fit for bikes that need to fit into small spaces and travel at high speeds.
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Style
The Thule Pack n Pedal Trunk Bag has a thin body design. It mounts in a way that makes it aerodynamic, so you won’t have to worry about affecting your riding speed. It is also made of a rigid material that helps it maintain its shape, even with a full load. It is a great option if you need a slim profiled bike bag.

Features
The Thule Pack n Pedal Trunk Bag comes with a rear brake light that makes it a great attachment for the rear of your bike. That way, it won’t block your brake lights. It is water resistant as well to keep your packages dry.

Specs
The Thule Pack n Pedal Trunk Bag is designed to fit best on a Thule bike rack, but is compatible with any bike rack. It uses a hook and loop system to quickly attach and stay secure.

Value
In terms of value, the Thule Pack n Pedal Trunk Bag is best for riders that want to keep there aerodynamics consistent while being able to carry small packages. While the bag works well with any rack system, you’ll get the most value from a Thule rack. It can work without a rack at all, but that is not recommended.
Pros
  • Design is good for maintaining aerodynamics
  • Easily attaches and is out of the way
  • The lightweight structure won’t slow you down when riding
Cons
  • You get the most value out of the bag when using a rack
  • The small size limits its use
  • The position of the bag will likely block the rear light, so a different light is needed

5. Blackburn Wayside

The Blackburn Wayside Handlebar Musette Bag makes it easy to switch between riding and carrying your bag. It is designed to attach to your handlebars in a lightweight, but durable design. It comes with straps that you can use to wear the bag as well, giving you a variety of options for carrying it. It is a great option for messengers or riders that need to take their packages with them after riding.
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Style
The Blackburn Wayside Handlebar Musette Bag has a rustic feel focusing on using unfinished materials to give it the right look and feel. It is made out of waxed canvas which gives it the appearance of a messenger bag while making the bag more durable. Its small size makes it easily manageable for small packages, papers, or electronics on the go.

Features
The Blackburn Wayside Handlebar Musette Bag comes with straps that can hook onto your handlebars. While not the most aerodynamic, it does make it easy to access your packages while riding if you need to. The straps can also be used as a shoulder strap which makes it easy to carry your bag.

Specs
The Blackburn Wayside Handlebar Musette Bag measures 3 inches deep, 11 inches tall, and 13 inches wide. It is made out of thick waxed canvas to make it water resistant and highly durable. It also fits 305 cubic inches of space which is good for small packages or electronics. On the inside, it has a slip to protect important articles, and a pen sleeve.

Value
In terms of value, the Blackburn Wayside Handlebar Musette Bag offers the best value for riders that need take their bags with them. It is relatively inexpensive for a high quality riding bag, which can be used for work or other purposes. Overall, its durability and versatility give it a high value for most riders.
Pros
  • Waxed canvas makes the bag durable
  • Ability to take the bag with you makes it useful for more than riding
  • Attachment style makes the bag unobtrusive to bike operations
Cons
  • The bag is not attached aerodynamically
  • Small size and internal configuration can limit what you can carry
  • Waxed canvas can be rough to the rider’s skin and is not for everyone

6. Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX 35 Pannier Set

The Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX 35 Pannier Set is a good option if you need to carry more stuff than most people, especially if it is heavy stuff. You get a matching set which can easily be attached to your bike and detached for easy transport. The strong construction makes them great for people who travel moderate to long distances on their bike for work, school, or other daily activities.
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Style
The Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX 35 Pannier Set comes in a black 600D polyester finish. They are an aerodynamic matching set that attach to the rear of your bike. They are larger than many other panniers so they can carry larger loads.

Features
The Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX 35 Pannier Set comes with two matching panniers that are waterproof and dirt-resistant. With an aerodynamic shape, they are less likely to interfere with your riding speed. Each pannier attaches separately and they come with a shoulder strap for easy carrying.

Specs
The Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX 35 Pannier Set measure at 3.25inches thick at the smallest point, 14.5 inches wide, and 15.5 inches tall. Combined, they weight about 2.9 lbs. Each bag rolls down so that you can access your packages. They are made out of 600D Polyester which is waterproof and dirt-resistant.

Value
In terms of value, the Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX 35 Pannier Set is a great option for the durability and ease of use that they provide. The large amount of storage space is a major benefit as well. For the price, they are a great find compared to other bags in the same price range as they offer great storage, easy use, and will last a long time.
Pros
  • Matched set offers more storage
  • Aerodynamic design helps you ride
  • Highly durable and stain-resistant
Cons
  • Hard fabric can scratch contents
  • Dual bag design takes up more space
  • Bags make it harder to ride if their weight is uneven

7. Banjo Brothers Market

Perhaps the most common design for a pannier is the large box model and the Banjo Brothers Market Pannier delivers on that very well. It is big enough to hold a good amount of stuff with a configuration that makes it easy to do so, but it is not so big that it makes riding difficult. Combined with a rear rack, it is a great option for riding to stores and back.
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Style
The Banjo Brothers Market Pannier resembles a large box that you would use to store stuff that you bought at the grocery store. It is about as big as a grocery store bag, but has a rigid design so that it can hold in your purchases safely. The simple box design makes it well balanced and easy to fit stuff in.

Features
The Banjo Brothers Market Pannier gives you 1500 cubic inches of storage space. It has a heavy-gauge HDPE frame that helps it hold its shape while loaded. It is a great substitute for grocery store bags or reusable store bags.

Specs
The Banjo Brothers Market Pannier measures at 17 inches tall, 13.5 inches long, and 1.5 inches wide. It comes with an attachment hook and screws to mount on a rear rack. It is available in black and comes with straps so that you can use it as a bag.

Value
In terms of value, the Banjo Brothers Market Pannier is a great option for single shopping trips or multiple small item trips. For the price, it offers good water-resistant storage and can be used as a bag for multiple activities.
Pros
  • The bag is easily affordable for the price
  • Mounting process is easy and makes it unobtrusive to bike operations
  • The shape makes it a good alternative for shopping bags
Cons
  • Likely needs a rack to be mounted properly
  • Mounting multiple bags would be difficult
  • Bag is water-resistant, not waterproof

8. Two Wheel Gear 2 in 1 Convertible

If you plan on frequently using your bike pannier for traveling or carrying with you, the Two Wheel Gear 2 in 1 Convertible Commuting and Travel Bike Bag. It functions as a backpack or a travel bag depending on your needs. It is a great option for traveling to work, school, or on bike road trips.
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Style
The Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack has a distinct backpack shape with the appropriate separations on the inside to make it useful for school or work. Those separations can be adjusted so that you can use it as a travel bag if you are going on a bike trip. It is available in multiple colors including navy, black, and graphite.

Features
The Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack comes with a water-resistant covering which combined with the waxed finish on the bag mostly makes it waterproof. The inside configuration fits a 15-inch laptop, multiple mesh storage pockets, and bottle pockets. On the outside, it has connections for shoulder and sternum straps, keys, and lights.

Specs
The Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack measures at 17.5 inches tall, 12 inches wide, and 7 inches thick. It has three straps (two shoulder and one sternum) for easy and secure carrying. It mounts to 6-16mm racks. The waxed finish makes it water-resistant without the waterproofing cover.

Value
The Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack offers exceptional value for riders that need a bag to carry with them all day for specific needs. Students, in particular, will benefit the most from this backpack-like bag. Although it is more expensive than comparable bags, the construction and design make it a strong candidate if the design fits your needs.
Pros
  • Configuration is great for school and work
  • Waterproofing cover is a big benefit for daily riders
  • Mounting system makes it useful on all racks
Cons
  • Mounting may allow the bag to sway while riding
  • Internal configuration may make storing other things besides school and work stuff difficult
  • The price is higher than many riders may be willing to spend unless they are committed to riding every day

9. Bell Basil Bloom Double

The Bell Basil Bloom Double Bicycle Pannier is a beautiful and unique bike pannier for fashion forward riders. While its floral pattern might be a bit feminine, it certainly meets a demand. With its double pannier style and side pockets, it has the space you need to carry everything.
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Style
This model features a beautiful floral pattern printed on a water repellent polyester material. It has faux leather details to be even more stylish.

Features
The Bell Basil Bloom Double Bicycle Pannier closes with a pull cord and a zippered enclosure. There are large side compartments and a large front pocket that zips closed. There are double reflection strips on each side to increase visibility.

Specs
As a double pannier, there is a lot of space for storage. The dimensions of the pannier are 35 cm by 31 cm by 15 cm. There are two bands available so you can attach exterior straps or a child’s seat.

Value
The Bell Basil Bloom Double Bicycle Pannier is in the low to mid price range of bike panniers. However, its design makes it look like it is a more expensive bag. It has a fairly good set of features for the price.
Pros
  • Feminine and stylish design
  • Faux leather details
  • Lots of space
Cons
  • May be difficult to attach
  • More expensive than other options with similar features

Thule Adventure

Are you looking something for more bumpy terrain? Well, we’ve got something for you. This one has large capacity, all the materials are durable and the construction makes it very stable. The roof top design make this pannier very easy in use. Check out the rest of features.
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Style
Despite the fact that the pannier is very big, it doesn’t affect the riding speed. There are some colors you can choose and buyers were totally in love with yellow color. There are also darker colors if you don’t want your pannier to be dirty very fast.

Features
The compressions straps help you to adjust the tightness to your needs. The materials is sturdy and the overall construction is very durable. According to the users, it will last for a long time. The fasteners are made of metal, the bag is reinforced at the bottom. The pannier will be great for rainy days but reviewers also said that it gets dirty very fast. The special lights pockets enable you to put the lights inside the pannier and they’re clearly visible.

Specs
There’s one large storage compartments with too smaller pockets on each side. The mounting system is also very unique. There are special locking hooks that rotate, special cable connected with the hooks. Thanks to these, the pannier stays in place and the bouncing is also reduced. The 1648 inches pannier, is one of those with the biggest volumes on our list. This makes this pannier great for longer trips when you need to take a lot of things.

Value
Some people say that you get what you pay for. This is really true when it comes to this pannier. Paying 100 dollars for the pannier maybe a little terrifying at first time, as some people are able to pay less than 100 dollars for a bike. In our opinion, the price reflects the quality of the pannier so it’s a good investment.
Pros

Waterproof

Stable

Large capacity

Cons

Definitely on the more pricey side

Seattle Sports Titan

This pannier is a great option for those who like the simplicity and don’t want to spend more than 60 dollars on the pannier. It’s very easy in use, intuitive, the installation isn’t complicated as well. While testing, it was great both for commuters and for tourists. It’s not the most packable pannier on our list but if you don’t need to take many things, this one will be great.
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Style
Many other panniers have this cube shape that may not work for everyone. It has classic look so it’s not only great for sport cycling but also for everyday use. It retains its original shape even if it’s fully packed.

Features
The capacity of the pannier can’t be described as very big but thanks to the design, you can put a lot of things inside. Inside, there’s compression strap that allows you to secure your stuff. There’s also a pocket for smaller belongings like keys or phone. Despite the low price, this pannier will last for a long time, it’s comparable to the more expensive panniers. Many users described it as a solid one.

Specs
The mounting system isn’t very complicated, special plastic clips, rack but there’s no lock. Some users said that it affected the security of the pannier as it may slide. Thanks to the fabrics, the pannier is weatherproof. When it rains, your belonging stay dry.

Value
Well, this may be a surprise for you- this pannier can be bought by around 60 dollars. This is a very fair value, it’s almost half of the price of some different products on our list. However, this is not a pair, so sometimes the price is lower because there’s only one so be aware of that.

Pros

Inexpensive product

Very easy in use

Durable

Cons

The little zip pockets aren’t waterproof

10. Blackburn Local

If you need a small and affordable bike pannier, the Blackburn Local Seat Bag is a popular choice. It comes in a variety of colors and two different sizes, so you will be able to get the style you want. Additionally, the bag’s small size means you might be able to still use another bike pannier over your rear wheels, depending on your individual bike.
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Style
The Blackburn Local Seat Bag is petite, with a small profile that mounts beneath your bike’s seat. It is available in four different color combinations: black, white, orange, and grey. It is available in a small and medium size.

Features
This model is water resistant, as it is made from 210D polyester. There is a loop on the back of the bag where you can mount a bike. Unlike other bike panniers that will only attach to certain bike styles, this bag can attach to any type of bike.

Specs
The bag is available in two different sizes. The small size has 30.5 cubic inches of space, while the medium size offers 61 cubic inches. There is one exterior pocket. The bag closes with a simple zipper.

Value
The Blackburn Local Seat Bag is one of the least expensive models on this list. It doesn’t have many features, but its small size and zippered enclosures are less common on bike panniers in this price range.
Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Zippered enclosure
  • Small size
Cons
  • Small size
  • Limited features

 

The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Bike Panniers

To determine which bike panniers were considered the best, we closely evaluated what industry publications and customer reviews indicated were the best. We also turned to sales data, to see which models ranked as the most popular on webshops. To better understand this information, we separated it into four different key factors: Style, Features, Specs, and Value.

Style

A bike pannier is as much a reflection of your personal style as it is functional. We looked to see the style of the bike pannier, which includes its patterns, number of pockets, and color options. Many of the bike panniers are available in sleek black.

Features

The features of the bike pannier can include any number of design elements that the manufacturer created to increase the function of the bike pannier. This includes a lock, pockets, or whether the pannier has a double saddle. Some of the features are only available as optional upgrades, which is noted as relevant.

Specs

The specs include the construction material of the bike pannier. Many of the bike panniers are made from water resistant material, though not all of them are. Additionally, the storage capacity can make a difference in how helpful the bike pannier is.

Value

The bike panniers are closely evaluated in terms of their value. This includes how much of a deal it is compared to other comparable models, as well as how many features it offers relative to its price. For many buyers, this is the most important consideration.

 

Other Important Factors to Consider

In addition to these key metrics, there are other important factors to consider when buying a bike pannier. These are valid whether you buy your bike pannier online or through a local retailer’s shop.

Warranty Information

Some bike panniers have a warranty available that protects you against manufacturing defects. You should check to see what the warranty covers, as well as if you needed to contact the manufacturer or the retailer to have the bike pannier replaced. For instance, if the water resistant fabric doesn’t work, you’ll want to know what the next steps are to enforce your warranty.

Type of Closure

Bike panniers have different type of closures available to keep them shut. This includes velcro, snaps, and buttons. Not all closures will work well for what you need it to hold, so make sure that you choose a bike pannier with a closure type you like.

 

FAQ

Q: Is the bike pannier water resistant?

A bike pannier made from water-resistant material will help keep your stuff dry, even on humid or rainy days. Not all bike panniers are water resistant, so you’ll need to check the individual specifications of each bike pannier to know if it is water resistant.

Q: What is the bike pannier made of?

Bike panniers can be made from a lot of different materials. This includes leather, nylon, PVC, or synthetic materials. The material the bike pannier is made of will have to do with its function. For instance, PVC is less stretchable, but it is more water resistant.

Q: Is there a locking mechanism on the bike pannier?

If you plan on leaving your bike pannier on your bike while it is unattended, you may want to protect your stored items with a lock. Typically, this is available in two options. You can have a lock on the pannier itself or a place where you can attach your own.

Q: Does it have a single or double saddle?

Some bike panniers are called a single saddle and only have storage on one side of the bike. Others have double saddles where you can put stuff on both sides of the bike.

Q: What’s the capacity of the bike pannier?

Not all bike panniers have the same storage capacity. If you plan on taking a lot of stuff with you regularly, it is important to choose one with a larger storage capacity that fits your bike.

Q: Is it a “commuting” or a “touring” bike pannier?

Commuting bike panniers are ideal for short rides, perhaps to and from work each day. For longer rides, a tour bike pannier is ideal because it has different features to protect your items during long rides, such as water resistant material and locks.

Sources

  1. Alee, A Complete List of The Best Panniers for Bicycle Touring, Website, May 15, 2015
  2. Eve O'Neill, The Best Bike Rack, Basket, and Panniers for Commuting, Website, Sep 11, 2015
  3. Rob Woodworth, The 10 Best Bike Panniers for Commuting and Touring, Website, Aug 19, 2017
  4. Average Joe Cyclist, 7 of the Best Bike Panniers, Website, Aug 31, 2016
  5. Kristy Major, 11 best panniers, Website, Aug 04, 2016
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