Best Bike Panniers: Haul and Load Your Gear
Carry everything you need for school or work with these high-quality bike panniers
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Many people use their bicycles as a way to commute around the city or to and from their homes. It’s healthy and fun to zip around on one, but carrying things can be difficult. That’s why there are panniers designed specifically for bikes. Think of them as backpacks for your bike. They allow you to carry around your gear, groceries, and equipment while you focus on the road. Check out the best bike panniers on the market.
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Benefits of Bike Panniers
- Take the weight off you. These products allow you to add weight to your bike rather than you, helping to eliminate any strain or pressure.
- Don’t restrict your ride or vision. Quality panniers conveniently sit on a back panel, so they won’t restrict your vision or control, unlike baskets or saddlebags.
- It allows you to carry large volumes. If you use your bike as your main transportation, you’ll sometimes need to carry shopping, clothing, or other items. These products are designed for large volumes, so you can take your essentials with you.
Types of Bike Panniers
As the name suggests, a briefcase pannier is designed for carrying a laptop, making it ideal for the commuter. Some of the best products are designed so you don’t need a laptop sleeve. These types of panniers tend to be one of the thinnest designs, since they’re built with protection and durability in mind, as opposed to capacity and size. Many briefcase panniers detach from the bike easily and convert into a shoulder backpack for easy transportation while off your bike.
This type of pannier is the smallest and fits the front of your bike. Many of these products fit the front wheel, though they’re not designed for heavy loads. Alternatively, they connect to your handlebar similar to a bike basket, but with added protection and support. As front panniers are smaller than rear ones, you can avoid overloading your front wheel and straining your bike.
Rear panniers are the most popular panniers and feature two compartments so you can store items on both sides of your bike. You’ll need a rear rack to attach one to your bike panel. They have a capacity of around 20 liters and are designed for shopping trips. These have some of the best style panniers and come in a range of volumes with waterproof, durable features to protect your items. Most feature a roll-top closure, so you can conveniently access your belongings when you need them.
Banjo Brothers is based in the United States and was launched in 2003. The company prides itself on designing functional and affordable panniers. Their waterproof bags are great for bike commuters. One of their best products is the Banjo Brothers Waterproof Pannier, which features reflective accents to keep you safe on night rides, as well as convenient storage side pockets to itemize your groceries.
Hide & Drink
Hide & Drink produces high-quality, handmade bike products that come with a lifetime warranty. The brand uses luxury materials such as 100 percent leather for a stylish and long-lasting pannier, while attaining a beautiful appeal. Unlike other brands, Hide & Drink has a wide collection of panniers, ranging in colors, designs, and styles. One of our favorites is the Leather Frame Bag, which features a Velcro closure. This product is great for people on the go and features a roll-top closure.
Roswheel was founded in 2008 in the United States and sells an array of bike accessories. The company creates a range of bicycle accessories, including a plethora of quality panniers to choose from. Their Multifunction Bike Pannier is designed with an angled pocket to prevent your heel from hitting the bag while riding. The bag is easily detachable and can convert into a shoulder bag. Alternatively, the Water-Resistant Bicycle Pannier uses ultra-durable materials and is a great choice for long rides.
Bike Panniers Pricing
- Under $20: For this price range, you can expect a pannier within a volume of around 15 liters. These panniers are some of the simplest designs, featuring up to two storage compartments within the bag while remaining water-resistant. They’re not suitable for carrying bulky items, such as grocery shopping.
- Between $20 and $50: If you have this budget, you can purchase a durable pannier, designed with high-quality materials that don’t break, snap, or bend easily. The pannier can carry weights up to around 20 liters without adding any restrictions to your movement.
- $50 and up: For panniers over $50, you’re looking at leather products with a volume up to 35 liters. These panniers feature multiple compartments to help you locate your items, and they also attach and detach to your bike easily, thanks to the mounting system. Many panniers over $50 can convert to a backpack for versatility, too.
Opt for a capacity that’s suitable for your needs, as a larger, bulky pannier isn’t always the best choice. Take into consideration the weight of your bike and whether or not you can steer your bike with a full-capacity pannier. A heavy-duty bike can carry a heavier pannier than a lightweight bike with a thin frame.
Some of the most luxurious panniers convert into a backpack once removed from your bike. This is great if you intend on walking with a bag and not always biking everywhere. Consider if this versatility is essential to your routine, and if so, purchase a versatile design.
You ride your bike outside, so make sure your pannier is well-suited for weatherproofing. Look for the best panniers with waterproof materials such as high-density nylon and TPU film form a rain cover to protect your belongings. These materials are also easy to wipe clean after biking in muddy locations.
- Safety Features. If you use your bike at night, opt for a bag with safety features, such as reflective components. A reflective logo enables drivers to notice you in dark conditions. You may also wish to choose a bike bag with several attachment points to securely connect it to your bike without any risks of falling.
- Attachment Point. Some of the best bike bags feature multiple attachment systems that allow you to adjust the bag into a comfortable and safe position on your bike rack. This prevents the pannier from bouncing out, and it can be easily detached with a quick-release system. Most rear panniers require a bike rack.
- Suitable Compartments. Perhaps you’re looking for a pannier to store multiple items. If so, one with multiple compartments offers easy access to your belongings when you need them. There are many storage designs for your needs.
Best Bike Panniers Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Even if the pannier is water-resistant or waterproof, you may not want to leave it outside in the rain to avoid water seeping through the material to the gear inside.
- Make sure the pannier is securely attached to the bike rack before setting off. Check that the cables and connections are properly connected to prevent them from falling off.
- Make sure everything is firmly in the pouch before carrying or riding with the bag. They can fall out if they are not secured.
Q: Will a pannier protect what’s inside during a fall?
A: That is a difficult question to answer without knowing what is inside of the pannier. If there is enough padding in the bags, then everything should be ok during a light fall. However, if it’s a heavier impact, the bags may not be able to protect what’s inside. They are designed for carrying and hauling gear.
Q: Where should I keep a pannier when I’m not using it?
A: Make sure you store it somewhere out of the elements and where animals can’t get to it. Consider putting it someplace high or in a storage shed.
Q: How many pounds can a pannier hold?
A: This will depend on the brand and manufacturer. Typically, a pannier is capable of holding around 20 to 25 pounds. Any more can slow down the bike and cause it to be heavier on one side.
Q: Will a pannier fit on any bike?
A: Not necessarily. Your bike must have a basket either in the front or the rear in order to properly mount the pannier.
For a great and versatile double-storage pannier, consider the Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier.
Save some cash and check out the Rhinowalk Waterproof Bike Pannier for a sturdy and waterproof pannier.