Best Bike Panniers Tested and Reviewed

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Having a quality bike pannier (or two!) can really make a difference if you’re a frequent rider. Although backpacks can be an essential accessory for cyclists, some may not like the bulk of an extra bag on their back. Bike panniers are a great option for both commuters and touring riders who want a convenient way to carry all their belongings.

Meant to attach to a bike rack, bike panniers often come with a variety of features intended to make life a little easier for cyclists, like multiple compartments, easy to carry handles, and straps where you can attach all your extra riding gear! You’ll find a great variety on our list of best bike panniers giving you a place to start your search; whether you’re looking for an upgrade or you’re shopping for your very first set of bike panniers, we’ve got your back.

Don’t forget to check out our criteria to see all the reasons why these bags made the cut for our list of best bike panniers, and take a peek at our FAQ for common questions concerning bike panniers!

Last Updated: August 10, 2018
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By Max Knapp:

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. 08/1018 This update brings three new bike panniers to our list, including the Roswheel 3-in-1 panniers that come with an extra top back, a pair of Bushwacker bags that are a great starter system. The Ibera bags with a super convenient quick-release snap system were also added and even made it to our top three list, so be sure to give them a look! We also updated our FAQ to include more relevant questions.

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
Ibera PakRak Panniers
  • Ibera PakRak Panniers
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Quick-release clip system
  • Price: See Here

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

Ibera PakRak Clip-On Quick-Release Bike Panniers

The Ibera PakRak Quick-Release comes with a pair of bike panniers that are great for commuters in need of a versatile bag. The quick-release rack clips are compatible with most carriers and are a snap to use, making it easy to take your bags with you wherever you go.
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Style
With reflective trim and a sleek black design, these bags are stylish while being functional. They are built to clip onto most bike racks easily and can be carried separately by the one-handed top handle.

Features
There are multiple usable compartments and an additional drawstring closure for overflow. The quick-release system is a huge draw, allowing you to attach and remove your bike panniers in a flash and with little difficulty. Some people have had issues with their clips breaking, but this typically happens after some significant damage, like having their bike fall onto the clips. It also comes with a rain cover so you can protect your bags from the elements.

Specs
The capacity of these bags is 15L and there are a total of three pockets: two large inside pockets and one top zippered pocket. You can carry up to 19.8lbs, but the recommended carry weight is 10-15lbs.

Value
For this pair of bike panniers, the price is more than decent. They have plenty of great features and the quick-release attachments are a huge draw. These definitely work with a mid-range or flexible budget if you’re a commuter who needs bike panniers that can keep up.
Pros
  • Quick-release clip on attachments
  • Compatible with most racks
  • Multiple compartments
  • Trim is reflective
  • Has a hand carry strap
  • Carries up to 15L
  • Rain cover
  • 3-anchor attachment
  • Stylish
  • Decent price for the pair
Cons
  • No shoulder strap
  • Issues with durability

Roswheel 3-in-1

Roswheel 3-in-1
If you’re one of those bicyclists who feels like there’s just never enough room in your bike panniers to sort all your stuff, then these are the panniers for you. With an extra bag on top that is detachable and wearable with a shoulder strap, you can finally feel free to organize easily.
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Style
These are fairly easy to attach to most bike racks and are very bold with a large reflective logo on each side. The angled design on each side helps keep your bags away from your pedals while you’re in motion.

Features
These panniers come with an additional top bag that you can carry using the handles or shoulder strap, which is fantastic for those who like to carry a little extra with them. It has a removable laptop sleeve and mesh compartments and is made of the same durable fabrics as the panniers.

Specs
The outer material is a reinforced 1000D polyester that has a PU coating, making it water-resistant. A sheet of easy to clean PE lines the back of the bags to help keep the shape and prevent extra wear. A combination of Velcro and buckles with adjustable straps attach the bags to the rack, while the top back is attached using 4 different adjustable buckles. The total volume capacity is 37L.

Value
This is a very affordable set of panniers and the extra storage makes it more than worth it. They are priced like a beginner set of panniers with all the features of a product meant for experienced riders.
Pros
  • Reinforced Polyester
  • Water-resistant
  • Reflective print
  • Unbeatable price
  • Angled design
  • Extra top bag for even more storage
Cons
  • Material isn't very rigid

Bushwhacker Cimmaron Red Panniers

Bushwhacker Cimmaron Red Panniers
These panniers from Bushwacker are a great pick for casual touring bikers. With two main compartments and side pockets, they are a little more versatile and are worth considering if you need something basic.
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Style
In a high-visibility red, each pannier has a tapered design that will help keep your feet and pedals clear.

Features
To help keep you visible at night there are several blocks of reflective trim. Compression straps secure the side pockets and there are multiple attachment points so you can clip on whatever extras you may need, i.e. extra tail lights.

Specs
There are two main compartments and two gusseted side pockets on each pannier. They are made from durable 600D polyester and are connected by a bridge designed for use with 5” racks. They’re also compatible with the Mesa trunk bag from Bushwacker.

Value
These are middle of the road bike panniers with a price tag to match.
Pros
  • Two main compartments
  • Compression straps to secure pockets
  • Reflective trim
  • Gusseted pockets
  • Tapered bottoms
Cons
  • Meant only for 5” racks
  • No carrying strap

6. Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX 35 Pannier Set

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 a 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 can have a variety of different closures 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 it better to get a basket or a pannier?

A: Bike baskets can be super useful if you want an easy way to transport a small bag or just have a small distance to travel. Bike panniers can be more convenient for those who have a long commute or that have to carry more and don’t like the weight of a basket on the front of their bike. Since it’s all about preference, neither option is better or worse than the other. It just depends on what your needs are and which one will be a better fit for your lifestyle.

Q: Do I have to have a rack on my bike to use a pannier?

A: Most panniers are designed to be attached to a rear rack on your bike so that they are easy to attach, carry, and detach. This is probably the most secure and common way to use a pannier and is highly recommended. There are some bags, however, that can be mounted on the seat or handlebars like trunk bags or top tube bags, or that have their own attachment system for easy placement. You can find something that works best for your bike and your needs.

Q: Can I use the same bike pannier for commuting and touring?

A: Although some bike panniers will have features that favor one or the other, it’s important to take into account what your personal needs are. No two commutes or touring trips are the same. For example, if you have a rather long commute and need a heavy-duty bike pannier that is extra-durable, carries a lot of stuff, and is water-resistant then you could probably also use it on most touring trips. Alternatively, if you like fair-weather, short trips then you could probably use most basic bike panniers that work for many average commuters.

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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