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Best Bike Panniers in 2020 – Bicycle Rack Bags

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If you regularly ride your bike to work or school, having a bike pannier can be really beneficial, since you don’t have to carry all your stuff in a backpack and suffer from back pains, nor lug them all on a bike basket that can make steering a bit more difficult.

That’s because bike panniers work by attaching them to your rear rack, so you can carry more weight without, well, weighing you down. There are even lots of different types to choose from, such as singular and two pair panniers.

Check out these ten best bike panniers that are sure to make your daily commutes an absolute breeze and give you the best value for your money. There’s also a buying guide at the end to help you make the right decision on which commuter pannier is best for you.

10 best bike panniers

To help you find the best bike panniers for commuting, we’ve done hours of research and tested dozens of products to come up with this list of our favorite bike rack backpacks that will definitely transform your riding experience:

Ibera Bicycle Bag PakRak Clip-On Quick-Release All Weather Bike Panniers

Our best bet is the Ibera bicycle bag pakrak, which is a pair of all weather bike panniers that make use of a smart clip-on quick release system that allows you to simply attach and detach the bag within a few seconds and without needing to use straps.

These panniers are compatible with most carriers and can even be used with other top mounting rack bags by adjusting the bottom hook. The bags feature a stylish design and comes with multiple compartments, including a top zippered pocket along with two inside pockets, as well as a drawstring pouch.

There are also elastic bands that hold down the buckle straps, as well as a secure three point interlock connection to fully secure the bike panniers and give it a streamlined look. With these panniers, you can enjoy a large storage capacity, and even get a rain cover to protect the bags from the harsh weather.

  • Comes as a pair of 2 panniers
  • Rain cover included
  • Great water resistance
  • 19.8 lbs storage capacity
  • Suitable for commuting
View more by Ibera Store

Two Wheel Gear – Pannier Backpack Convertible

We also especially like the Two Wheel Gear pannier backpack, which is a convertible pannier backpack that works as a commuting and travel bag, giving you the utmost flexibility that you need for everyday city street riding.

It can easily attach to any standard bike rack, and conveniently convert to a professional backpack with a spacious storage space. It can even double as a laptop pannier with a space for a 15 inch laptop, so it’s perfect for work and school.

This bike pannier backpack is made of highly durable and waterproof TPE polyester and a military grade waxed canvas. The laptop sleeve is padded, and there are also internal and external pockets made of mesh and other materials for your accessories, drinks, and other items. There’s also an integrated reflective light attachment as well.

  • Available in 2 colors and sizes
  • 22 liter storage capacity
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Comfortable to use
  • 30 day commuter guarantee

Roswheel 3 in 1 Bicycle Expedition Touring Cam Pannier

Second runner up is the Roswheel 3 in 1 bicycle expedition touring cam pannier, a superior bike commuter bag that lets you gear up for your long ride and gives you all the space you need to bring your tools, gear, and other belongings on the road.

It’s made of reinforced polyester that’s highly durable and water resistant, features an angled bag design with multiple pockets to give you both storage space and pedalling freedom without your heels hitting the bag, and it also has a reflective logo to keep you safe on the road, especially at night.

And, this pannier is easy to attach especially on a road bike or a mountain bike. It also gives you a decent storage capacity, making it also suitable as a grocery pannier that you can use for weekly shopping trips.

  • Available in black and army green
  • Easy installation with 3 buckle straps
  • 10 gallon volume capacity
  • Built-in PE board
  • Sturdy and versatile
View more by Roswheel Store

Ibera Bike Pannier Bag

bike panniers choice4

Another excellent option when it comes to pannier bags is the Ibera Bike pannier bag, which is made of high quality materials that are 100% waterproof and can handle all kinds of weather to ensure that your personal belongings are always safe and protected.

It boasts of a well made and stylish design that features multiple compartments for all your storage needs, a smart quick release system that lets you connect the bag to your rack easily, and a secure three point connection that keeps the bag secure while you ride.

Plus, it’s also compatible with most types of carriers and other pannier bags so you can use not one, not two, but up to four panniers during your ride. The bag even has a reflective trim for your night riding safety, and has a hand carry strap for your convenience.

  • Available in orange and black
  • 100% waterproof construction
  • Stylish design with multiple compartments
  • Side mounting installation
  • Can be used simultaneously with other panniers
View more by Ibera Store

BV Bike Bag Bicycle Panniers

bike panniers choice5

Taking the fifth spot is the BV bike bag bicycle panniers, which essentially looks like a standard pannier messenger bag, but comes packed with lots of excellent features that make everyday commuting on two wheels as easy and comfortable as possible.

For one thing, it gives you a large compartment that can fit all of your personal belongings, including large books and water bottles. It’s actually a two piece pannier that is designed to rest on both sides of the rear rack, and each pannier features a front zippered pocket to store all those random small items and electronics.

More than that, other features of this pannier bag include an angled pocket design that allows for ample pedalling space, a 3M reflective trim for road safety, detachable and adjustable hooks, and a hand carry handle, all for your convenience and comfort.

  • Amazon’s Choice product
  • Available in black and gray
  • With hand carrying strap
  • High storage capacity
  • Great security features
View more by BV Store

WATERFLY 25L Bike Bag Bike Pannier Bag

bike panniers choice6

Ranking sixth is the Waterfly Bike Bag- bike pannier bag, a highly durable and water resistant pannier made of PVC material. It’s got multiple compartments including the main pouch, a small rear pocket, and double sized zipper pockets, so you can conveniently fit all your belongings.

It even makes use of a thick fleece and velvet lining to keep your electronic devices safe and scratch free. And of course, there are reflective strips on the bag and the included rain cover to keep you safe on the road. In fact, you can even attach a tail light on the bike backpack holder if you prefer.

What really sells this pannier, however, is that while it may look small, it actually boasts of an extensible volume of up to 25 liters by simply unzipping the size pockets as well as the second zipper on the main pouch. Plus, there’s also a removable shoulder strap so you can transform the pannier into an everyday shoulder bag. Talk about versatility!

  • Amazon’s Choice product
  • Available in black and orange
  • Fully waterproof construction
  • 25L storage capacity
  • Great value for money

ROCK BROS Front Roller Panniers Bag

bike panniers choice7

You might also want to check out the Rock Bros front roller pannier bag, a unique front rack mounting bike bag that is durable, waterproof, and tear resistant, since it’s made of high quality nylon and is TPU film shrouded. In fact, to further enhance its waterproofing capability, this pannier even makes use of a crimping closure method rather than the standard zipper.

With a large storage capacity of ten to twelve liters, you can easily fit all your daily commuting needs in this pannier, including a complete change of clothes for work, school, or even happy hour. The back side makes use of a hard board to keep the bag stable and less prone to wearing due to constant bumps, not to mention protect your belongings from damage.

What’s more is that it’s fairly easy to install just by attaching the two hooks beside your front wheel. The bottom of the pannier can even be rotated and adjusted sideways to give you the best position depending on your bicycle type.

  • Comes as a pair of 2 panniers
  • Available in black and yellow
  • Front rack mounting design
  • Free shoulder strap included
  • Great value for money
View more by ROCKBROS Store

Roswheel Essential Series Convertible Bike Trunk Bag

bike panniers choice8

Another excellent option from Roswheel is the essential series convertible bike trunk bag, a multifunctional saddle bag backpack that boasts of superior construction with lots of exciting features that really make a difference in your riding experience.

It’s made with a high quality and durable polyester and PU leather material, and further padded with a strong board and a rigid EVA foam to make it as solid and stable as possible, as well as help it keep its shape. It also features two reflective elements to enhance your road visibility.

Furthermore, it’s also tail light compatible, and can be used as a messenger bag by pulling out the hidden shoulder strap. When used as a bike rack bag, however, just securely attach it to the rack with the use of the four velcro straps for easy mounting. It works for most road and mountain bike racks, so you shouldn’t have a problem there.

  • Amazon’s Choice product
  • Available in 2 sizes
  • Top rack mount design
  • Easy to install
  • 1 year warranty
View more by Roswheel Store

Banjo Brothers 01130 Pannier Waterproof Backpack

bike panniers choice9

There’s also the Banjo Brothers backpack pannier, a waterproof bike rack bag that’s fully convertible and is designed for serious bike commuters. This is actually one of the best options for roll top waterproof panniers, since it’s built tough to withstand the elements especially under inclement weather.

It features a tapered profile that’s readily compatible with a lot of different rack types, and there’s a convenient pocket on the outer flap that hides two other generously sized pockets. You’ll also find reflective piping designed to keep you visible on the road, especially at night.

To top it all off, the built-in backpack straps are located on the opposite side of the pannier, which can be accessed by unhooking and flipping over the pannier strap. So, you can ride without any worry of loose straps, and still enjoy the convenience of having a regular backpack to bring with you anywhere.

  • Sturdy construction
  • Flap pockets and side pockets
  • Great water resistance
  • Suitable for commuting
  • Versatile tapered profile

Blackburn Wayside Bike Backpack & Pannier

bike panniers choice10

Last is the Blackburn wayside bike backpack and pannier, a convertible pannier backpack that can easily be attached to your bike rack, and just as easily be worn on your back. Like the Banjo Brothers, this one features a classic roll top design that gives you just the right amount of space you need for your things each time.

Meaning, you can make the bag smaller and more compressed, or larger and roomier, depending on how much stuff you are planning to carry. It’s also made of a wax canvas construction that is highly durable, steezy, and water resistant.

And, if you need more storage space, no worries- there are daisy chain loops made of tough webbing conveniently attached to the backpack, where you can attach your excess gear. There are also hook and loop attachments to securely fix the pannier onto your bike pack.

  • Available in black and tan
  • Hook and loop attachment
  • Waxed canvas material
  • With daisy chain loops
  • Extensible storage (exterior)
View more by Blackburn Store

Bike panniers buying guide

Bicycle panniers are arguably the best way to carry your stuff while you ride. But, how exactly do they work, and how do you go about in finding the best bike panniers for your needs? Here’s a quick guide to help you out:

bicyclist next to his bike

What is a bike pannier?

First of all, what is a pannier, exactly?

To put things simply, you can think of panniers as a bike rack bag, since these are meant to be attached to your bike rack. There are even front panniers which go on the front rack of your bicycle. They make travelling with heavy loads easier, since the load is carried by the bike, rather than on your person.

The best panniers are those that give you the right amount of storage space with a couple of organizing pockets inside and out. They should be made with durable materials, and are preferably waterproof, or at least come with a protective rain cover.

They should also be stable while you ride, and fit around possible complications such as seatstays or disc brakes.

Bicycle panniers generally attach to the rear rack of the bike with the use of universal hooks and straps, although some are attached on the front, which is preferred by some more experienced cyclists who make use of a heavier front wheel weight to their advantage.

What type of pannier do you need?

There are actually many different types of bicycle panniers designed for specific purposes, so it’s important to be careful when choosing one as to make sure you’re getting the right pannier that accommodates all your needs.

For example, small panniers are commonly used for everyday commutes, while larger ones are for touring and long distance rides. Rear mounting panniers are for everyone, and front rack ones are for more experienced riders.

There are also shopping panniers that can easily be unmounted from the bike, commuter panniers that can fit gadgets and laptops, and convertible panniers that can be transformed into a rucksack, shoulder bag, or saddle bag.

As such, you really need to think about what you need a pannier for. You might even benefit from a custom or purpose made pannier, such as briefcase pannier to hold documents for office work or messengerial services.

Placement

Again, take into consideration where you want the pannier to be mounted, and how. Do you want it on top of a bike rack, or hanging at the side of your bike? Should it be by the rear wheel, on top of the front wheel, or beside the front hub?

Rear mounting

For larger panniers, the rear side of the bike is best. But, you will need a long chainstay to prevent contact and have ample clearance. This unfortunately means that it’s not a great idea for a road racing bike or other lightweight bicycles with long frames where there are usually no eyelets, and the pannier can wobble or even cause the bike to swing.

As such, a rear mounted pannier, especially one that’s large and will carry heavier loads, is best for touring bikes, or even a road or mountain bike.

Front mounting

Now, when it comes to added storage, or just wanting a small and compact pannier, you can mount the pannier on the front fork by installing a rack at about the same level of the rear rack, or as low as the wheel hub. In this case, higher is better if you want to be able to carry lighter items such as a sleeping mat on top of the rack itself.

Protection

Since riding a bicycle means you’re pretty much exposed to the outdoors, your bike pannier should be able to offer you ample protection for your belongings to remain safe, secure, and dry the entire time.

This means being built with the right materials, having some form of padding for electronic devices, and making use of waterproof outer coating or cover. In this aspect, the Ortlieb pannier backpack really revolutionized the game.

Now, there are many different materials to choose from, with the most common ones being tarpaulin, PVC, and even coated nylon. If you can, check the water resistance rating of the material to see how well it will stand against rain and water splashes.

Attachments

Bike panniers are, by far and large, designed to be attached on a bicycle the same way, which is with the use of hooks and straps. Still, it can be a good idea to check how easy this process is and how long it takes. This can mean the difference between a time consuming and a hassle free transition from parking your bike to walking to your office door.

The thing is, the easier the bike bag is to attach, the easier it can accidentally come off during your ride. So, if you can’t find a good compromise, you need to decide what your priority is- security, or convenience?

Cost

One great thing about bike panniers is that they are generally affordable, with a price range of as low as twenty dollars to as high as a hundred. That said, it’s still a good idea to look for a product that works great and gives you the best return of investment.

While you can just get the cheapest model you can find, the higher the price, the better the overall quality. Better waterproofing, tougher materials, replaceable fixings, and whatnot. So, it may be worth it to invest a bit more money on a more durable pannier.

You also have to take into account the price of a bike rack if you don’t have one yet installed on your bike. This can also cost you an additional twenty to a hundred, so you need to be prepared for that extra cost.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right bike pannier for you should be based on your personal needs and requirements. Ask yourself what type of cycling you engage in, how much and what type of stuff you normally bring with you, what the road and weather conditions are in your location, and so on. This way, you’ll find a pannier that works perfectly.

Aside from the top ten panniers we’ve reviewed, other great options include Arkel panniers, Timbuk2 panniers, and Rei panniers, which all come from reputable brands and guarantee quality construction along with a host of useful features.