BIKING

Best Bike Panniers: Keeping Your Gear Safe on Your Ride

Best Bike Panniers featured
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Are you planning to take your bike with you on a camping trip, but have a lot of questions on your mind? Are you are asking yourself how are you going to carry your gear and supplies since the bike doesn’t come with a boot like a car? Well, your problems can be solved with the best bike panniers, that will ensure your gear and supplies are kept safe on your bike.

Bike panniers are bags that can be strapped or clipped to the rear or front rack of your bike, and they make it a lot easier for you to carry around the basic things you need while you are on the go. However, finding the right panniers for your bike can be complicated as there are so many different models on the market. But, don’t worry, because we are here to help you make the right choice.

In this article, we will be uncovering the most important features you should take into consideration when buying a bike pannier so that you don’t end up with a model you can’t actually use. After that, you can read the in-depth reviews the best models on the market, and the products that are recommendable to buy alongside the reviewed product, for an improved overall experience. But first, you can check out the table below so as to know the different models reviewed in this article and what they offer.

Product Name Weight
(Ounces)
Dimensions
(Inches)
Volume
(Liters)
Best Use Price
Seattle Sports Titan 3213.5 x 11 x 618Camping and hikingCheck price on Amazon
Thule Adventure Touring49.623.6 x 11.8 x 7.826Hiking and campingCheck price on Amazon
Green Guru Gear Carbon 44.84 x 13 x 1422Camping and hikingCheck price on Amazon
Timbuk2 Tandem 34.2414.2 x 14.6 x 4.730CampingCheck price on Amazon
Avenir Metro 32.814.6 x 1.6 x 1.622CyclingCheck price on Amazon
Axiom Seymour DLX 304016.5 x 3.25 x 1230Camping and everyday useCheck price on Amazon
Ibera 2-in-135.212.2 x 11 x 3.918HikingCheck price on Amazon
Detours D2R 43.212.5 x 8 x 1534Camping and hikingCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

Whether this is the first time you’re looking for bike panniers or you’re looking to replace your old ones, there are some considerations you should definitely keep in mind to make your purchasing experience go more smoothly.

Not heeding these tips may result in your purchase not fitting right or not being suitable for your purposes.

Size

Bike panniers usually come in various sizes. Normally, smaller panniers are used for the front and larger ones are used for the rear.  Nevertheless, a few people prefer using large panniers for the front also.

The size of bike panniers is usually measured in volume, which is measured in liters. Front panniers range from 20 – 30 liters while rear ones are usually around 35 – 50 liters. If you want to consider the right size for your bike, you will need to take the amount of gear and supplies you will be bringing, into consideration.

bike panniers

If you are intending to cycle in cold atmospheres, you should know that you will need more space for a thick sleeping bag and extra layers.

Number of Panniers Needed

To determine the number of panniers you require, you will need to consider the number of days for which you will be away. If you will be gone for just a couple of weeks, two back panniers will be enough for the job.

However, remember that if you carry a ton of weight in the rear, it can make your front wheel come up and unbalance your bike. Other than balancing the weight and carrying additional gear and supplies, front panniers are really useful for keeping thing you want to use during the day such as snacks and extra layers.

Attachment Options

If you park your bike in open areas, you will likely want to take your stuff with you. Bike panniers fasten to racks utilizing a basic system of spring-loaded hooks, bungee cords or clips and are simple to detach.

bike panniers with attachment options

In addition, remember to always make sure that your panniers attach safely to your bike. If not attached securely, loads can shift while you are riding and make you lose control.

Material

The most commonly used materials in pannier bags are nylon and polyester. This is because they’re known to be quite durable and easy to apply coats to in order to make the panniers waterproof.

When looking at such bags, you should look at the denier or a Tex number of the fabric, as this refers to the linear mass density of the fabric. Think of it as a thread count for sheets. Keep in mind that the higher the number, the better the quality and the more expensive the panniers will be.

Waterproofness

If you are planning to cycle in wet conditions, consider opting for panniers that are waterproof. You would prefer not to need to hop off your bicycle each time it begins to rain to put on rain covers.

bike panniers

Although waterproof panniers are significantly more costly than water resistant or non-waterproof panniers, it’s an investment worth making.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Below, we have reviewed 8 of the best models available on the market right now. We checked their features and reviewed their pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision. 

Seattle Sports Titan Pannier Seattle Sports Titan Pannier

Price: Approx. $50

Weight: 32 oz

Capacity: 18 l

Dimensions: 13.5 x 11 x 6 in

Specific features: RF welded seams, waterproof body, reflective details, splash-proof zippered pocket, heavy duty clips to attach to the bike rack, compression straps, compatible with both front and rear racks

Best use: Camping and hiking

Description: If you’re looking for a pannier that’s both versatile and affordable, then Seattle Sports Titan Pannier could be the one for you. Consider the Titan Pannier as part of your gear the next time you plan on taking your bike with you on your next camping trip.

It has a very easy installation that’s extremely secure, so you’ll never have to worry about losing your things. However, it can be a bit difficult to remove when you’re ready to take your gear with you.

The reflective details also make it easier for you to be noticed at night, making this pannier the perfect choice for those who go biking on roads as well.

The main body of the pannier is exceptionally waterproof, but some have reported that the front zippered pocket doesn’t exhibit the same qualities, so it might be best not to place your expensive electronics in this part of your pannier.

PROS:

  • Large capacity
  • Keeps you steady
  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy installation
  • Firm attachment

CONS:

  • No vertical strap

Related: Are you looking for a bike phone holder where you will have easy access to your phone? We recommend the SG Dreamz Bike Phone Holder. Easy to set up, and keeps your phone safely in place as you ride.

Check the price on Amazon

Thule Adventure Touring Pannier Thule Adventure Touring Pannier

Price: Approx. $120

Weight:  49.6 oz

Capacity: 26 l

Dimensions: 23.6 x 11.8 x 7.8 in

Specific features: Vanishing hardware system, easy to attach, extra pockets to store safety light, waterproof, compression straps, reflective strips, integrated grab handles, detachable shoulder strap, versatile for front or rear rack, can fit on any kind of bike rack.

Best use: Hiking and camping

Description: Some say bigger is better, and they would be right about this pannier. The Thule Adventure Touring Pannier is designed to carry everything you could ever think of on your camping trip, and then some more.

It works very well for those who are interested in the outdoor adventures, riding to work, or even both, as it’s well-made and rugged enough to handle anything nature, and you, can throw at and in it. Its quality is pretty solid and should hold up to many seasons of rain. What is also great is that it works like most heavy duty wet sacks.

Furthermore, this pannier attaches to the bike rack very easily and even has a vanishing attachment hardware, so you won’t feel the fasteners digging into your back. For removing and attaching the pannier from the rack it will only take you a few seconds, so once it is attached, it is secure.

And if the black is not too visible for you, it’s also available in a bright yellow so that you can make yourself more visible to those around you, which we found quite useful if you happen to be riding in the night.

PROS:

  • Large capacity
  • Durable mounting hardware
  • Totally waterproof
  • Easy to set up

CONS:

  • Quite expensive
  • Bulky

Related: If you want an excellent rack for your pannier, we suggest you go for the Thule Pack-n-Pedal Tour Rack. It’s an excellent rack, and it’s easy to install. 

Check the price on Amazon

Green Guru Gear Carbon Cooler Pannier Green Guru Gear Carbon Cooler Pannier

Price: Approx. $83

Weight: 44.8 oz

Capacity: 22 l

Dimensions: 4 x 13 x 14 in

Specific features: Insulation, adjustable to fit most racks, reflective light loops, extra pockets for storing smaller items, bright colored patterns to choose from, adjustable strap.

Best use: Camping and hiking

Description: One thing that this pannier has going above the rest, is how well it can be used to store food. Green Guru Gear Carbon Cooler Pannier has insulation that’s perfect for keeping your food hot or cold, so you can enjoy a hot tasty meal or a cold beverage when you’re taking a break from your ride.

Furthermore, these bags were made with “green” in mind, as they’re all made from upcycled banners. So, by purchasing one, you’re doing your important part, to help save the planet. That also means that no two panniers are the same, so yours will be unique and easy to pick out from a crowd.

There’s also an adjustable strap that allows you to detach it from your bike and wear it over your shoulder, so you can carry it around more easily when you’re not riding, and keep your gear safe and close to you.

PROS:

  • Waterproof
  • Well-constructed
  • Made of high-quality material
  • Value for money
  • Good insulation

CONS:

  • Not large

Related: You can’t use your pannier without a bike rack. Therefore, we recommend the Ibera Bike Cargo Rack. It is extremely easy to install, and it will keep your pannier nicely stretched so that you use up all the cargo space. 

Check the price on Amazon

Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier

Price: Approx. $130

Weight:  34.24 oz

Capacity: 30 l

Dimensions: 14.2 x 14.6 x 4.7 in

Specific features: Waterproof, laptop pocket, reflective strips, available in three colors, can double as a shoulder bag.

Best use: Camping

Description: If you’re looking for a pannier to help you carry a lot of stuff, this 30-liter bag, will do the trick. Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier is large enough to hold a 13-inch computer, gym clothes, camping gear, and whatever you need to carry with you without jeopardizing the functionality of the bag.

However, exercise care to not overstuff your bag, as this reduces its ability to keep water out of the inside of the bag. It does have some reflective patches on the bag for increased visibility, but the manufacturer could have chosen brighter fabric colors to enhance the experience.

The biggest problem with this double-saddle pannier is that it is difficult to attach to your bike rack.

The security of the attachments relies heavily on gravity, and although the bags may not fall off your rack, they do tend to shift around while you’re riding. The elastic at the bottom connection will also stretch out after a few months of use, which can reduce the security of your panniers somewhat.

PROS:

  • Two-in-one saddlebag
  • Lots of pockets
  • Well-constructed
  • Can be converted into a shoulder bag

CONS:

  • Bags aren’t detachable
  • Lack of waterproofing 

Related: If you don’t have a cargo rack already, we recommend you to purchase the West Biking Universal Adjustable Bike Cargo Rack. It is a durable, versatile bike cargo rack for long distance touring.  

Check the price on Amazon

Avenir Metro Panniers Avenir Metro Panniers

Price: Approx. $33

Weight: 32.8 oz

Capacity: 22 l

Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.6 x 1.6 in

Specific features: Reflective strip, rear light attachment clip, internal pockets for smaller items, easy attachment, and shoulder strap

Best use: Cycling

Description: The affordable Avenir Metro Panniers, makes it easy for you to carry your gear and belongings, without having to break your wallet or bust your head while setting it up. At just a little under $35, you get 22 liters to work with, which is a lot more than other panniers you’d find at this price.

When it comes to design and durability, the nylon construction is quite durable and perfect for keeping out the moisture on those rainy days. The added shoulder strap makes it easy for you to carry with you when you’re no longer on your bike and when you want your gear to be close to you.

As for setting it up, it is mounted to the rack with just Velcro straps, so you should exercise care in inspecting these on a regular basis, as well as not using them when there’s no need, to ensure that they’re not wearing out.

PROS:

  • Well-made
  • Nice design
  • High durability
  • Very affordable
  • Extra shoulder strap

CONS:

  • Can only be mounted with Velcro straps

Related: Another product we think you may find really useful during your hike when you need plenty of gear with you, is the Docooler Top Tube Frame Pannier Double Bag. You can store small important items in it and you can easily access it. 

Check the price on Amazon

Axiom Seymour DLX 30 Pannier Axiom Seymour DLX 30 Pannier

Price: Approx. $65

Weight: 40 oz

Capacity: 30 l

Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.25 x 12 in

Specific features: Adjustable hooks to fit 6 mm – 20 mm racks, replaceable Rixen & Kaul Flip Lock, rear LED light mount, adjustable hook and bungee system, water-resistant polyester.

Best use: Camping and everyday use

Description: Tired of flashy panniers? These Axiom Seymour DLX 30 Pannier are designed to be low profile so you’re only drawing the right amount of attention to yourself.

When it comes to capacity, with 30 liters of cargo space, these bags are large enough to hold a lot of your camping gear, and other important stuff you might need during your outdoor trip.

And, what makes this model really useful, is the fact that you don’t have to worry about them fitting to your bike rack, as the straps are completely adjustable to fit almost any size. Furthermore, the waterproof and wind-resistant fabric the panniers are made of, make it easy for you to keep your belongings safe and what is more important, dry, and won’t slow you down on your ride.

All in all, we think that this product comes with a great price to quality ratio and is a good addition to your riding gear.

PROS:

  • Good quality
  • Excellent quality for the price
  • Well-built
  • Adjustable straps
  • Waterproof

CONS:

  • Not enough pocket

Related: Sometimes, your hike might extend into the night, either intentionally or unintentionally, so we recommend you to purchase the HZTech Bicycle Headlight in case of such circumstances.

Check the price on Amazon

Ibera 2-in-1 Bike Panniers Ibera 2-in-1 Bike Panniers

Price: Approx. $45

Weight: 35.2 oz

Capacity: 18 l

Dimensions: 12.2 x 11 x 3.9 in

Specific features: Elastic document holders, hook and strap attachment, converts into a shoulder bag, multi compartments, and 1680 nylon fabric

Best use: Hiking

Description: Other than the attractive style of the orange highlights on this Ibera 2-in-1 Bike Panniers, it’s also one of the most cost-effective bags for those shopping on a budget. With 18 liters to work with, they’re very suitable for those smaller items you don’t want to shove into your pockets or leave behind.

It’s a very simple design with plenty of pockets to work with, but there are some drawbacks. First, there are no zippered pockets, which does slightly increase the chances that you could lose your things, as well as minimizing the waterproof properties.

Secondly, the attachment clips are only on one side, which can make attaching these bags a bit awkward. Lastly, they don’t fit wide racks, so you may have to get a new rack to accommodate these or skip it altogether.

It is a great choice for those who are going on short camping trips, however, or those who pack extremely light.

PROS:

  • Detachable shoulder strap
  • Well designed
  • Durable
  • Suitable for off-bike use
  • Multiple compartments
  • Easy installation

CONS:

  • Not waterproof

Related: If you want a more portable bag with quicker access, and to add more cargo space on your bike, we recommend you to purchase the Ibera Bicycle Triangle Frame Bag. Easy to mount, easy to access the gear, it will definitely improve your overall biking experience.

Check the price on Amazon

Detours D2R Bicycle Pannier Set Detours D2R Bicycle Pannier Set

Price: Approx. $100

Weight: 43.2 oz

Capacity: 34 l

Dimensions: 12.5 x 8 x 15 in

Special Features: Adjustable four-point attachment system, suitable for a majority of rear racks, water-resistant ripstop nylon, waterproof rain cover, reflective strips, rubberized touch points, mesh side pockets, large front pocket, bungee cord top, rear water bottle holder.

Best use: Camping and hiking

Description: The Detours D2R Bicycle Pannier Set may look small and compact, but it certainly knows how to fit a lot of gear inside and around it. The stylish look of these bags will definitely turn some heads as you ride by, with its sleek design and minimalist appearance.

As for usefulness, there are plenty of added accessories to fit the other gear you can’t stuff inside, like your water bottle and jacket, which is actually not such a common thing on the pannier market. The bungee cord top makes it easy for you to tie and strap on any other external gear you may have, and will keep it in place during your ride.

When it comes to durability, the set is built to endure some abuse as well, so you’ll never have to worry about these bags ripping or tearing after your first trip. This definitely makes it worth your consideration.

PROS:

  • Durable construction
  • Extra accessories
  • Stylish look
  • Easy to set up
  • Rain cover
  • Excellent quick release

CONS:

  • No shoulder straps 

Related: You are looking for something to give you quick access to your iPhone while you ride your bicycle? We recommend the Vanwalk In Frame Bike Bag. It comes with waterproof touchscreen phone case, and additional bag for valuable items you might need during the ride.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

So, we are at the end of this article, and having discussed the various features to consider before buying a pannier for your bike, we hope you now have a clear idea of how to choose the right pannier. Before buying, remember to check important features of your potential pannier, such as its material and its waterproof properties.

bike panniers

While all the bike panniers featured in this article will prove to be a great buy, we can’t help but single out the Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier. It is large enough to hold all your stuff, well-constructed, has lots of pockets, and can be turned into a handbag whenever you feel like.

Now it is your turn to share some thoughts. Have you come across any of the products in this article before? We’d like to read about your experience with it in the comments section below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.