When cycling, comfort is the number one factor, (and safety!. And if you're trying to find a way to put the weight on your bike and not you then you're in the right place.
This is where bike bags like panniers come into play! Bike panniers are extra features every commuter cyclist should consider adding to their two wheels.
They're an absolute essential for touring cyclists, with less back sweat guaranteed. If you're on the hunt for the best pannier bags, you'll love what we have to offer!
Why Pannier Bags?
Panniers are bike bag accessories that carry items, usually with two compartments. Pronounced as pan-ee-yer, pannier comes from a French word that means basket.
It usually mounts over or hangs off of the side of an adult bike, either in the front, back, or both. Ideal use for long-distance touring or to hauling stuff around town.
Pannier bags can hang on purpose-built bike racks called pannier racks. The rear racks are mounted to bike frames, usually on the seat stay assisted by the seat clamp or post.
Rear panniers are usually meant to take anywhere between 8 to 20 kgs. Generally, a cycle pannier can carry heavy cargo on rides longer than 15 minutes. Plus, they allow for free air ventilation at your back, unlike backpacks or rucksacks.
Bike Pannier Bag Handy Features
As stated, panniers are usually mounted on rear racks attached onto the bike frame. These frames both bear the weight of the load and keep the bag from getting into the spokes.
They can be water-tight or can be worn with external covers in the event of rain. The design and quality materials (like on Bobbin panniers) ensure they last a long time under the demands of bike touring or commuting.
Some are better for touring and carrying bulkier items, such as larger panniers. Others are best for commuting with, say, a laptop - like double panniers.
They typically offer a carrying volume between 10 - 25 litres (20 - 45 lbs) and are ideal for carrying cargo or bulkier items. When buying one, you need to find one that best fits your needs.
Features to look for:
- Rugged construction. Panniers can take a beating as you ride day-in and day-out. So look for one with reinforced stitching and well-made grommets vs sewn-on straps. Plus, you'll need a model with well-made, durable bungee cord fasteners.
- Rigid back. A feature that keeps the pack mounted firmly to the bike's rack. A pannier that lacks this may eventually slump and wear and will hold less stuff. It's like a tent without a frame or a backpack without a frame.
- Separate compartments. Look for waterproof panniers with at least 3-4 compartments. Multiple external pockets allow you to hold more stuff; internal pockets are a plus, too! These external pockets (side & top) are the ones most readily accessible for things like maps, food, etc.
Saddlebag vs Pannier Rack Bike Bag
Saddlebags and panniers are designed for similar purpose - to carry off luggage from the riders’ backs (in differing capacities). Each has its own qualities, and you should know about their differences before you plan to buy them.
In terms of weight, a pannier bike bag will usually weigh more than a saddlebag or saddle pack. A saddlebag typically attaches underneath the bike saddle and is mean for smaller items.
Panniers may also come with carrying handles and shoulder straps. Saddblebags will usually be detachable pouches with no handles.
Sold on Pannier Bags?
Panniers are excellent companions on mid and long-range bike commutes and tours. And if you're looking for one, we've got you covered!
1. Daytripper Pannier
Dimensions: H: 49cm (full), 40cm (folded) D: 9cm, W: 37cm
Capacity: 13 litres (folded, as pictured), 17 litres (unfolded)
This Daytripper pannier looks very smart on and off your bike. It comes with chunky tote handles and a removable shoulder strap.
What's more, with one large internal and one external pocket great for storing keys and phones. It's made from high quality and heavy-duty water-resistant cotton.
Two metal clips are riveted on the back so the bag can be attached to a rear carrier rack. This will especially work on our city bikes.
Colours available: Camel, Red, Midnight Blue, and Cerulean.
2. Button Double Pannier
Dimensions: H: 30cm, D: 10cm, W: 25-34cm
Capacity: 2 x 9 litres
The Double Pannier bike bag lives for its name as it's a two-bag joined together. They flop over the sides of the rear carrier and are kept in place with poppers.
Made from unlined heavy-duty showerproof cotton, nickel hardware and cotton webbing. It features a simple and clean construction style.
Plus, it offers plenty of space for other items like groceries. They can also be carried by the handles on the top or by the detachable shoulder strap.
Note: It must be mounted as far back as possible on the rack. If not, you will get a heel kick.
Colours available: Camel, Dusk (Pink), Midnight Blue
3. Toggle Double Pannier
Dimensions: H: 24cm, D: 10cm, W: 29-35cm
Capacity: approx. 2 x 7.5 litres
The Toggle Double Pannier bike bag is almost the same as the button one. Instead of buttons, it features toggles.
This bag has charming leather toggle closures and nickel hardware. What's more, a sturdy carry handle on top and a detachable shoulder strap.
The quality material won't disappoint you; it's made from unlined heavy-duty showerproof cotton. Colours available: Red and Midnight Blue.
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Dimensions: L: 20cm H: 8cm W: 11cm
This Daytripper Saddlebag is suitable for use with most saddles. It's big enough for keys, phone, wallet, multi-tool - literally, all the essentials!
It simply buckles under the rails and around the seat post. Plus, it features an envelope-style closure with a nickel turn lock for added security.
Made from unlined heavy-duty showerproof cotton, with leather straps. Colours available: Camel, Red, and Midnight Blue.