The 10 Best Bike Panniers

Updated February 06, 2018 by Chase Brush

10 Best Bike Panniers
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you want to get the most out of your ride, a set of quality bike panniers is a good investment. Whether you commute to work the environmentally friendly way, or enjoy taking long cycling trips and tours, these handy carriers will ensure you always have enough room onboard to haul clothes, groceries, tools, spare parts, food, water and more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bike pannier on Amazon.

10. ArcEnCiel Front Tube

If all you need is something to hold your phone and other small accessories, check out the ArcEnCiel Front Tube, which latches on to your frame to provide quick and easy storage for all your essential items. A transparent PVC window makes accessing your screen a cinch.
  • headphone jack for music or calls
  • anti-slip leather on bottom
  • not water-resistant
Brand ArcEnCiel
Model B1007-01-02@#GM
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Bushwhacker Omaha

Go green on your next trip to the grocery store with the dual Bushwhacker Omaha, which can accommodate one full-sized grocery bag on each side of your bike, and which store flat when not in use. Their open-top design means there's no fussing with buckles or lids.
  • detach easily with 2 metal hooks
  • strong sturdy carrying handles
  • may swing back and forth when full
Brand Bushwhacker
Model pending
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Avenir Metro

Urban commuters will appreciate these Avenir Metro, which come equipped with two spacious main compartments and two reinforced outer pockets for a grand total of 1,380 cubic inches worth of storage. Reflective strips keep you safe during overcast and dark weather.
  • attach via wide velcro strips
  • strong nylon construction
  • don't secure to frame well
Brand Avenir
Model 03984N08
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

7. Timbuk 2 Tandem

The versatile, two-in-one Timbuk 2 Tandem can be used as carriers for your bike, but also as shoulder bags when they're dismounted. Their slim profile and weatherproof tarpaulin exteriors keep you looking stylish and protected anywhere you go.
  • clip together via magnets
  • flap closures with buckles
  • awkward to carry when full
Brand Timbuk2
Model Timbuk2
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. ArcEnCiel 45L Carrier Bags

The stylish and vintage-looking ArcEnCiel 45L Carrier Bags are a premier choice for long-distance adventurers or for the busy bike messenger. They're made of thick waterproof organic canvas, and boast a 130-pound maximum load capacity.
  • inner foam for added gear protection
  • aiguillette accents on both sides
  • could offer more attachment options
Brand ArcEnCiel
Model B1019-01@#GM
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Roswheel 3 in 1

Even heavy packers should find plenty of room for their gear in the Roswheel 3 in 1, which feature several different compartments for storing all manner of camping or other equipment. The top bag quickly detaches from the side panniers and can serve as a day pack, too.
  • bottle holders on each side
  • made with water repellent fabric
  • top bag may sag a little when empty
Brand Roswheel
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Topeak MTX TrunkBag EXP

The functional Topeak MTX TrunkBag EXP is built to last, featuring a water-repellent 420-denier nylon construction and strong, durable stitching. The top compartment expands to hold more gear, while a handle offers easy carrying once your bike is parked.
  • divided main compartment
  • rigid molded side panels
  • waterproof cover sold separately
Brand Topeak
Model 63009807
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Anyget Top Tube

The compact Anyget Top Tube is perfect for short commutes and day trips that don't require hauling a ton of stuff. Its low-profile keeps it from getting in the way of your leg movements, and reflective tape increases safety when you're riding at night.
  • anti-tear and anti-impact fabric
  • fits most mountain and road bikes
  • top bungee cord to attach items
Brand Anyget
Model pending
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Ibera Quick Release

These Ibera Quick Release clip onto and pop off your bike rack within seconds using a streamlined three-point connection. All of rhe straps are secured by an elastic band, so you don't have to worry about them getting caught in your spokes.
  • built-in rain cover
  • adjustable attachment points
  • highly water resistant
Brand Ibera
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic

The popular Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic incorporate fully waterproof PVC-coated polyester fabric, so you don't have to worry about stopping or getting your stuff wet in the rain. The roll-top closures make accessing whatever you're carrying quick and easy.
  • small inside pockets for electronics
  • secured with compression straps
  • great for touring or commuting
Brand Ortlieb
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Choosing Bike Panniers For Daily Use

If you use your bike for frequent crosstown commutes (without the need to carry a laptop or documents) or for short trips for exercise and recreation, then a compact set of panniers is a great way to carry your phone, some snacks, keys, and other small sundries. Consider a set that goes over the central tube of your bike, as this positioning can best center the weight you will add, admittedly minor though it may be. These compact panniers can also be a good choice for the cyclist who needs lots of gear, as they allow the addition of larger panniers on the back of the bike.

If you use your bike while shopping for groceries or other goods, consider basket style panniers that remain open on the top. These allow for easy loading and unloading of items, and can easily accommodate larger items like a gallon of milk or irregularly shaped items like a tall baguette. Of course the drawback with these options is the lack of privacy and the lack of protection against rain or other elements.

A good choice of panniers for the urban cyclist is a set that slings two narrow bags on either side of the rear wheel and offers additional storage space atop your rear of the bike. The side pouches should be able to accommodate a laptop or tablet and even a folded shirt and slacks, while the upper compartment can house other items, such as wallet, phone, charger, and more. A great set of panniers is the ideal way to make your bike as useful as possible.

The Right Bike Panniers For Long Distance Travel

For the distance ride, such as with bicycle camping trips, there are plenty of large pannier sets ready to help you tote along plenty of water, food, and supplies. Once you know how much gear you want to be able to carry, you can search for panniers that offer appropriate capacity. Your next choice should be about materials: make sure to choose baggage that can protect their contents against rain, mud, and any other substances you're likely to come in contact with while underway.

And consider whether or not you need to be able to easily remove your panniers. If you're in the middle of nowhere, this might be less important. If you will need to leave your bike locked up somewhere rather public, then it's imperative that you can pop those panniers off the cycle and keep them with you.

Of course there is a tradeoff to be considered when bringing gear along on a human powered trip: the more weight you load onto your bike, the more effort you will have to expend to move it along. It's a good idea to choose larger bike panniers for longer, multiple day trips, but that doesn't mean you have to load the bags to their capacity. And of course leaving some extra room in your panniers means that you can always acquire new goods, foods, or souvenirs along the way.

Carrying Gear Through The Years

The first device that can fairly be called a modern bicycle was first released in 1885. It was called the Rover and was designed by a British man named J.K. Starley. The bicycle as designed by Starley was, for the first time, both an affordable and practical means of transportation. Soon bikes were being used for everything from personal transportation to the ferrying of goods and messages to military applications; soldiers atop bicycles were a frequent site during the dark years of World War I, for example, and bikes were still often being used in World War II as well. Today bikes are used as the primary means of transportation by hundred of millions of people worldwide.

But of course the first "panniers" weren't created for a bike, but for a horse. The saddlebag is, as the name suggests, comprised of bags that hang below or behind a rider's saddle, hanging over each side of a horse's flanks. Other saddlebags can be large and bulky and are designed to be affixed to a pack animal, usually a donkey or mule, without a rider atop the animal. Saddlebags were usually made of leather, though brilliant Native American examples were also created by weaving cloth, often involving intricate patterns and vibrant dyes.

In centuries past, saddlebags were used to carry everything from a cowboy's food during a long ride on the range to the mail of the famous Pony Express to medical supplies to, of course, arms and ammunition.

Modern equine saddlebags are usually made of synthetic materials such as polyester and ripstop nylon. Still their purpose remains the same: to carry gear while out for a ride in a manner that's comfortable both for horse and rider.

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Last updated on February 06, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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