Commuting on a bike has its perks, but it also has its downfalls. Fighting your way through thongs of noisy, smelly traffic in the pouring rain is never the best way to start a day. And let’s not forget that your back will be aching from carrying your work gear. Even the toughest cyclists among us admit that sometimes taking a car to work is the easier option.
We may not be able to stop the rain, but we can point you towards a bike pannier that can be strapped on to your bike rack to give your back a break. Below are the top panniers that will transform your morning commutes for the better. Now there’s no excuse to give into temptation and take your car to work!
The Best Bike Pannier
Ibera’s Bicycle Bag PakRak All Weather Bike Panniers are a great option. Compatible with most carriers, all you have to do is adjust the hooks to the rear of your bike and away you go! And these panniers have been designed to limit side swinging thanks to their three-point interlock system.
Worried about your items in the rain? Although they aren’t waterproof, customers assert that when left in heavy rainfall, the water-resistant nylon and rain cover will protect them nicely. And when cycling at night, the reflective trim will brighter you up in the dark. It’s safety at a bargain; what more could we ask for?
- Includes all weather rain cover
- Smart clip-on and release system
- Large pannier of 15L capacity with numerous apartments
- Zero side-swinging thanks to secure three-point connection
- Reflective trim improves nighttime visibility
- Brand Ibera
- Model IB-BA9-PAIR
- Weight 2.25 pounds
BV’s plush panniers are excellent, thanks to their large zippered pockets, reflective trim, and their sturdy carrier handle. Basically, the panniers are designed to make life on the road as convenient as can be. The angled pocketed design – as well as making sure the rider has pedal space – is ideal for storing your keys and wallet for easy access.
The four shelf straps and two bungee hooks are detachable and height adjustable to ensure your pannier is stable and secure. Plus, your riding experience will be made even smoother thanks to the rigid back panels that maintain structure while riding and for sliding off the bike rack easily.
- Adjustable hooks compatible on most cycle racks
- Angled pocket design grants cyclist more pedaling space
- Nighttime visibility ensured by 3M Scotch Lite reflective trim
- Rigid back panel allows pannier to slide on and off bike rack easily
- Can be transported off road due to carrying hand
- Brand BV
- Model BV-BA104P
- Weight 1.5 pounds
Ortilieb’s aesthetic Back-Roller City Rear Pannier is for those who want to spice up their riding gear. The classical design of this Japanese-imported model is one that won’t go out of style anytime soon. Plus, the unusual bright-white color will certainly turn heads on the street. Yet what we find most irresistible about Ortilieb’s design is the QL1 mounting system that will keep the pannier snugly strapped on without exception.
This durable pannier is made from polyester fabric with a PVC coating, making it 100-percent waterproof. And if owning just one of these generous panniers is enough to make you squeal, Ortilieb included two for the price of one and sells its panniers as a pair. Once you experience life with a pair of these panniers, you won’t ever want to cycle without them.
- Rear Pannier uses reputable QL1 mounting system that can easily be installed on racks up to 16mm
- Made from durable polyester fabric with PVC coating
- Includes slots for mounting Ortlieb carrying system
- Nighttime visibility enhanced by Lateral 3M Scotchlite reflectors on both sides
- Brand Ortlieb
- Model F5003
- Weight 3.5 pounds
Looking for an adventure? Roswheel’s 3 in 1 Multifunctional Touring Cam Pannier will stand by you through thick and thin. Manufactured from 1000D reinforced polyester with PU coating, the bag is water resistant, durable, and ready to hit the road running. It can hold up to a whopping 37L – about ten gallons of stuff – allowing you to store enough supplies for days on the road.
As well as the practical angled bag design allowing for enough pedaling space, the ergonomic handles have additionally been designed with their rider in mind, allowing them to be easily carried off road. They’ll also be safer on-road thanks to the reflective lining and logos lighting up the bicycle rear on dark routes.
- Design includes reflective handles as well as two side reflective logos so cyclist can be safe at night
- 1000D PU-coated reinforced polyester maintains rigid design
- Pannier can hold up to ten gallons of gear
- Comes with a one-year warranty against materials and workmanship defects
- Constructed from water resistant and durable canvas material
- Brand Roswheel
- Model 14892-A
- Weight 2.43 pounds
It’s not often that you find a company that place such trust in their product that they offer a twelve-month warranty for quality-related issues. But Rhinowalk have designed their pannier to combat whatever adverse weather comes its way. Made from sturdy 1000D polyester material and coated with PVC on both sides, the pannier is anti-tear, wear resistant and heat resistant.
Some of our favorite features include the easy disassembly; the multi-layer layout so one can remain organized on tours; and the hierarchical pocket design that allows easy access. For commuters, the bag even has space for a 14-inch laptop! Worried that Rhinowalk talk the talk but won’t actually deliver? Buy it and find out for yourself – we promise you won’t be disappointed.
- 100% waterproof bag made of polyester material with waterproof PVC coating
- Bag is anti-tear, wear resistant, and heat resistant
- Adjustable nylon shoulder strap is an easy on/off construction
- Comes with 12-month warranty for quality-related issues
- Spacious bag can hold up to 25-27L capacity
- Brand Rhinowalk
- Weight 2.5 pounds
City-dwellers with no car are truly living the dream. Paying no road tax, no insurance, and beating your fellow commuters to work while getting fit at the same time is every city slicker’s dream – until you have to go grocery shopping. Purchasing a pair of Bushwhacker’s Bicycle Grocery Panniers will save your weary arms and legs from lugging heavy bags back from the store.
Each pannier is able to hold one full sized grocery bag worth of shopping and can easily be stored away when not in use. Taking them on and off your bike to ease the load or switching to your commuter pannier is simple thanks to the steel hooks keeping everything secure and making for an easy on/off. And they’re yours for a steal.
- Two panniers designed to attach to the top of the rack
- Designed for grocery shopping and able to hold one full sized grocery bag each
- Three-point mounting system stops panniers from swinging back and forth
- Easily stored thanks to flat folded construction
- Cost-effective solution to your grocery shopping problems
- Brand Bushwhacker
- Weight 4.8 pounds
Calling all commuters! Stop your pannier search now. The word often used to describe Ibera’s Bike Trunk Bag is ‘perfect’, and we aren’t all that surprised. Its large enough to hold what every commuter needs yet small enough not to limit your riding style. And if you need even more space, then the durable zippers are long enough to securely attach even more items on the top of the pannier.
Worried about your work items getting tossed about on the road? The pannier’s reinforced padding will protect valuables like laptops from getting bashed, even when in a crash. And swinging will be minimized thanks to the hard base keeping the pannier mobile. Plus, the quick-release mounting system grants this pannier with an easy on/off system – not like you’ll ever want to ride without it!
- Fragile possessions protected due to reinforced padding
- Quick-release mounting system only compatible with Ibera Racks
- 360-degree reflective trim protects cyclist when riding
- Hard base stops bag from swinging
- Hand carrying strap and detachable padded shoulder strap ideal for off-road use
- Brand Ibera
- Model IB-BA11
- Weight 2.3 pounds
Are you fed up of opting for dirt-cheap backpacks that start to disintegrate after only one cycle? Kolo Sports’ Bike Pannier Bag is the upgrade we all need in our lives. Made of durable and waterproof Nylon, the pannier won’t give up without a fight. All your items will be kept in place – even your water bottle due to the ergonomic side water case.
If you’ve struggled to install clip-on panniers in the past, the Velcro straps on Kolo Sports’ model shave precious time off of your morning commute. What’s more, its structural support is phenomenal: with piping on all edges to reinforce its shape and heavy-duty zippers to keep your gear compact. It’s so much more than ‘just a saddle bag’, this pannier will be your biking partner for years to come.
- Padded inserts enhances and maintains overall structural support
- Made of durable and waterproof nylon fabric
- Ergonomic design includes two secure zipper pockets
- Velcro construction maintains overall pannier shape
- Side water bottle case includes elastic drawstring to keep bottle secure
- Brand Kolo Sports
- Weight 1.2 pounds
Made with 300D polyester and PU leather, Roswheel’s Essential Series Convertible Bike Trunk Pannier isn’t one to give up without a fight. A whopping eight liters of capacity will keep a rider happy on tours, commutes, and training. And for nighttime nights, Roswheel’s reflexive logo will enhance a rider’s visibility.
Roswheel offer one year against material and workmanship defects. But the likelihood of material defects actually occurring is slim due to the durable 300D polyester and PU leather it’s manufactured from. And you can count on the strong HDPE board and EVA foam to keep it in good shape. Not too big but not too small, it’s the perfect pannier for a serious rider.
- Made from durable 300D polyester and PU leather
- Spacious bag holds a generous eight liters of capacity
- Comes with a one-year warranty against material and workmanship defects
- Four durable Velcro straps allow for easy mounting and release
- Pannier can be used as a rear rack, handbag, or messenger bag
- Brand Roswheel
- Model 141466
- Weight 1.1 pounds
RosWheel’s army-green pannier is for trend-setters who still want to look fashionable on route. This model will blend in with the shrubbery and forests on your tour and offers a large fifty-liters of capacity. And if you need any extra space for your belongings, the top bundle belt allows space for a tent or any other large carry on.
Sold on the design but skeptical concerning the longevity of RosWheel’s pannier? There’s no need to be thanks to the innovative pulp technology that increases the pannier’s strength through heat and pressure. As a result, the high-density Retro canvas coated in waterproofing polyurethane coating is tear and abrasion resistant.
- Stylish camo-green pannier able to hold up to 50 liters of capacity
- Rainproof, tear resistant, and abrasion resistant design thanks to organic canvas
- Can hold a generous 13 gallons of capacity
- Top buckles allow for extra room to strap on resources like tents
- Top handle belt easy to remove
- Brand Roswheel
- Weight 4.8 pounds
If you’re a rider that wants to start investing into your fitness future, BV’s Bicycle Rear Pannier Set will whip you into shape. Purchasing this pannier set will stop a rider making excuses to go out and train, regardless of the weather or how many belongings they’re carrying. Its built-in all-weather rain cover, side pocket design and shoulder strap are all fitted to maximize convenience.
Made of durable nylon, the reflective blue or orange-colored side strips aren’t the only thing attracting riders to this model. Containing two sturdy plastic hooks as well as a bottom Velcro strap, we’re pretty sure you could take these panniers on a world-cycle tour and they’d make it back in one piece!
- 3-point connection encourages easy on/off whenever you need
- Reflective trim keeps cyclist safe when riding at night
- Side pocket design allows easy access to all items
- Bottom Velcro strap included to secure lower position of pannier
- Rigid back panel supports overall compactness of model
- Brand BV
- Weight 3.88 pounds
TOURBON have produced a bag geared towards vintage-lovers everywhere and it is simply stunning. Manufactured from canvas, cyclists who scoot around on retro vintage bikes are delighted to have a hip pannier finally compatible with their hippy exterior. And after cycles, you can be à la mode when sauntering down the street thanks to the shoulder bag strap.
Coming in a set of two, the snaps allow you to roll up one side and attach it securely to your bike rack. Plus, the D-rings grant you that additional security for locking the bag to the rack. For those looking for a pannier that can be carried around the office without embarrassment, TOURBON’s model will fulfil all those needs and more.
- Panniers made of waxed waterproof canvas
- Easy storage thanks to collapsible structure
- Top handle and shoulder strap allow for user to carry bag in many different ways
- D-rings make process of locking bag to rack easier
- Two panniers in single purchase
- Brand TOURBON
- Weight 2.65 pounds
Fed up balancing your two shopping bags precariously on your handle bars when cycling back from the grocery store? Banjo Brother’s Market Pannier will have you cruising home without a care in the world. A whopping 1500 cubic inches of space is available for commuting, running errands, and picking up produce at the market.
What we love the most about this model is that its user can easily take it into the store with them thanks to the long handles and wide shoulder strap. All your groceries will be protected inside the pannier by the cinch-down flap. Finally, the pannier folds in order to save space when not in use. If we were to list all its features we’d be here for days! Best to buy it for yourself and let the pannier do the talking.
- Ideal for weekly grocery shopping runs
- Potential sagging prevented thanks to heavy-duty HDPE frame on back and bottom of pannier
- Ballistic reinforcement pads prevent wear and tear over time
- 1500 cubic inches of space ideal for carrying possessions
- Pannier can be transported off-road thanks to shoulder strap and long handles
- Brand Banjo Brothers
- Model 01085BAN
- Weight 2.65 pounds
Originally created in San Francisco, Timbuk2’s Tandem Pannier is as jet black as the Golden Gate Bridge is red. And it’s just as practical too. Timbuk2’s owner Rob Honeycutt’s former occupation as a bike messenger opened his eyes to the impracticalities of sustainable urban mobility and, by designing this functional product, aimed to get more cyclists out on the roads. And it’s working!
Made of 600D polyester and coated in PVC, the classic saddle bag pannier features a front zip pocket for loose items and an internal stretch pocket that can hold up to a 15-inch MacBook on daily commutes. Timbuk2’s removable shoulder strap, the water-resistant tarpaulin exterior, and the built-in magnets that clip together for to ‘de-pannierize’ the bag when off the road are all noteworthy features. To sum up, it’s an American-made pannier that wishes to honor its humble cycling roots.
- Easily accessible front zip pocket handy for storing keys and wallet
- Pannier is laptop friendly as internal stretch pocket can hold a fifteen-inch MacBook
- Bag can be easily transported thanks to ergonomic handles
- 100% Waterproof
- Durability maintained due to buckled top flaps and lined interiors
- Brand Timbuk2
- Model 1572
- Weight 2.89 pounds
Last but certainly not least, TOURBON’s Shoulder Tote Bag is an accessory designed for all women cyclists out there. For any gals out there who want a bag that’s practical but looks good too, the durable, waterproof vegetable-tanned leather is ideal for any trip to the shops or any long grocery haul.
We particularly love the two sturdy hooks on the back of the pannier that attach to the rear seat without any difficulty. Don’t be put off by unreliable hooks that scratched your bike in the past; the metal clips are coated in plastic to avoid this problem entirely. Ladies gather round; with room for your 15-inch laptop, your lunch, and various bits and bobs, we’ve finally found a bag that doesn’t scream’ tragic-looking cycle bag’.
- Bike pannier tote can be used as a fashionable carrier
- Made of durable waterproof canvas and vegetable-tanned leather
- Back contains two sturdy hooks that attach to the rear seat
- Generous size of bag can store 15-inch laptop
- Metal clips coated in plastic are strong and won't scratch the bike rack
- Brand TOURBON
- Model TB835CA
- Weight 1.23 pounds
What to Consider When Buying a Bike Pannier
Finally! The only way to make bike commutes better – apart from sunshine of course – is owning a bike pannier. Gone are the days when sore backs plagued your existence and balancing both grocery bags on each side will be a chore of the past. Yet how do you differentiate between the fantastic and the failures? By asking yourself these questions, you’ll outwit the scammers and end up with a pannier you can really trust.
Will the mounting system be quick and secure? – We recommend opting for metal hooks coated in plastic to secure your pannier properly.
Will you often be cycling in the dark? – If so, most well-designed panniers have a reflexive trim to keep you safe at night.
Do you often carry your pannier around with you? – Wave goodbye to sticking out like a sore thumb on the street when lugging about all your cycling gear. A well-designed pannier will incorporate a sling-strap or full backpack shoulder straps that allows its owner to switch into pedestrian mode without any hassle.
Benefits of Bike Panniers
- They take the strain off your shoulders
Without a bothersome backpack weighing you down, your body and mind will be free to focus on endurance and the road ahead.
- They’re every commuters dream
Ever attempted to fit all your work gear in your bag and had a nervous breakdown? We certainly have. Panniers are incredibly spacious, allowing you to carry more weight and volume. Some even include zippers that allow for a rider to carry more on top.
Different Types of Panniers
So, you’ve done your research and are ready to find the pannier for you. Not so fast! There exists a wide variety of panniers out there, each one designed for a different type of cycling.
- Panniers for Touring
In the world of panniers, touring models are all the range. These sacks are 100% waterproof and designed to survive substantial wear and tear. Quite simply, if you don’t purchase an expensive, high-quality pannier from the get-go then you’ll end up spending more money replacing all your stuff due to knocks and water damage! Choose a lightweight touring pannier, with a roll-top design and high capacity. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at a rough tour when your pannier bites the dust on day one.
- Panniers for Bike Commuting
Why more people don’t commute to work astonishes us. Instead of being stuck in miles of traffic, it’s undoubtedly preferable to zoom past the unhappy drivers and arrive at work early. And you’ll look even better doing so with a Commuter Pannier. When selecting the one for you, make sure that it has laptop space, easy mechanisms which allow the pannier to easily be attached and detached, and side pockets for easy access to keys, wallets, and work IDs.
- Laptop Panniers
Due to cycling’s affordable nature, students are a section of the demographic indebted to its accessibility. And all students out there are joined at the hip to their laptops. Laptop panniers allow them to enjoy their commute to lectures without stressing about where to store their laptop safely.
- Townie Panniers
These bags are as niche as their name suggests. Townie panniers are geared up to carry heavier items like groceries and clothes; essentially all the tasks that a ‘townie’ does regularly.
- Backpack Panniers
Last but certainly not least, backpack panniers are a step up from commuting panniers. Cycling to the shops but don’t want to leave your pannier on your bike? Backpack panniers will be your trusty companion on the ride in as well as a fashionable accessory when walking up the street.
How to Install a Bike Pannier Rack
As well as purchasing a trusty pannier, installing a sturdy rack for it to rest on is a central part of the process.
- Take some time to evaluate the task before you: Make sure you’ve got your trusty wrench, allen keys, and scewdriver close by before you begin. Likewise, you should know before installation what size of bolt you require. Don’t worry; most frames use the same bolt sizes for all biking accessories.
- Install the Rack: This process should be simple: firstly, secure the two sliding arms under the rack, leaving them loose so everything can be attached correctly before the final tighten. The same logic persists for the bolts.
- Level the Rack: Adjusting the rack at the eyelets, keep persisting until your rear bike rack is level. Take your time over this; an uneven rack screams out lack of attention to detail.
- Align the adjustable arms with the bolts: The next step is to slide the adjustable arms down until they meet the seat stay – the part of the bike frame that connects the top of the seat tube to the rear fork dropouts. When the holes on the end of the arms match up with the bolts, tighten both the bolts and the adjustable arms securely.
- Final Tightening: Gripping the nut with a pair of plyers or a wrench, retighten the Allen bolt without turning the nut. This intricate securing process will ensure that your beloved pannier won’t tumble off at a moment’s notice.
Now all that’s left is to jump on your bike and go where the wind takes you!
Best Bike Pannier FAQ:
Q: What are bike panniers and how do they work?
A: Bikes as one of the oldest forms of transport are continuously being developed. And bike panniers are one of the accessories that turn them from a simple commuting machine into integral tools. They’re designed to fit in three main locations: next to the rear wheel, next to the front wheel hub, and at the top of the wheel.
Q: How much should I spend on a bike pannier?
A: Bike panniers start from a budget-price of fifty dollars right up to around one-hundred and thirty dollars. Don’t be a cheapskate and base your search around what’s the cheapest pannier out there. Of course, how much you ultimately spend depends on how much you have. Yet in order to end up with a pannier for life, we recommend splashing the cash on a brand you can trust.
Q: Are bike panniers waterproof?
A: All bike panniers are waterproof to a certain extent. Cheaper panniers will be described as rain-proof or water-resistant whereas more expensive panniers will be constructed out of completely waterproof fabrics. Examples of such durable and waterproof fabrics are Cordura fabric, rubber canvas-style fabric, and polyester. Yet the most important feature to make these bags as waterproof as they can be is their coatings: the best bags are covered in tough PVC to make them fully waterproof. And the most waterproof panniers will contain welded seams as well as including an ergonomic roll-top closure or a buckle-down lid to keep the rain out for good.
Our Top Pick
So, what pannier out of the incredible selection exhibited in this buying guide would we trust to see us through a long tour? Ibera’s Bicycle PakRak Clip-On Quick Release All Weather Bike Panniers top the lot. With its quick-release system, multiple compartments, and stylish design, it’s a winner out on the road and on the street. And when you require a little more space, the drawstring pouch holds overflowing items securely in place. If we could give this pannier six stars we would!