5 Best Bike Panniers in 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

It might be pretty uncomfortable to cycle around with extra weight or bags on your body. In addition to reducing your reaction time, it can make it pretty challenging to control your bike.

This is where bike panniers come in. They take the weight off your body and transfer it to your bike.

As a result, you get to arrive at your destination fresh and active. Also, you’re in better control of your bike as you cycle.

Bike panniers come in a simple design that makes them easy to attach to and detach from your bike. This way, you get to cycle to your workplace, mall, or school easily.

For a cyclist out there who love bicycle touring and commuting to work using a bike, there are classic and style panniers that will accommodate all the supplies.

There are various models and designs of panniers for bikes. After careful investigation and hours of research into the best products, I arrived at these five top options.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Bike Panniers

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the bike panniers that most people buy).

  • Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack Convertible Top Pick
  • Ortlieb Back-Roller City Rear Pannier Runner-up
  • Axiom Unisex Adult Pannier Bag Monsoon Hydracore 32 Runner-up

Top 5 Best Bike Panniers in 2020 – Our Reviews:

1. Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack Convertible

For every digital nomad out there who go to work with their laptop and other digital gadgets, this Two Wheel Gear bicycle pannier is a terrific choice and a top contender of the Arkel Bug Pannier Backpack.

There are many compartments in it that make it the best choice for people in this category. You get a dedicated compartment for laptop, interior mesh to hold cables, extension cords, chargers, work gear, etc.

It gives you the needed flexibility to commute to work without the extra stress on your shoulder. It uses a pretty effective plastic mounting system, and there’s even a set of hooks that holds it tightly over the bicycle.

Some clips secure the backpack straps at the bottom too, giving it a snug and secure fit.

The multiple compartments in this bike pannier provide the perfect storage system for your entire office supply. You get 22 L per pair as well.

It features 600-denier TPE-coated polyester and a rain cover to guard against downpours. This means all your things are protected even in the rain.

Pros

  • Two-year warranty
  • Protection against rain
  • Durable and sturdy fabric material
  • Lots of storage pocket available
  • Zips open fully, which gives full and easy access to the storage area

Cons

  • It isn’t large enough for extras like clothes, lunch park, etc.

2. Ortlieb Back-Roller City Rear Pannier

If the idea of classic bike panniers appeals to you, the Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic is the right choice. The aesthetic design will add class and color to your bike, spicing up the style.

This roll-top option from Ortlieb is simple and great. It’s a terrific touring pannier that with a cam lock system to hold your things secure.

There’s a single large area where you can arrange your gears, supplies, and work accessories. This makes Ortlieb Back Roller Classic an excellent choice for cyclists who prefer to have their things in a single place.

The material also makes it a top waterproof pannier, as well as the heavy-duty PVC-coated polyester fabric and the roll-top closure feature. 

This bicycle pannier from Ortlieb will fit any rack provided the rail’s diameter is up to 16 mm. The attachment system gives a snug fit on the bike while commuting, which offers any rider peace of mind on any journey.

Pros

  • Made with durable PVC material
  • Fully waterproof
  • Roll closure keeps all your things dry
  • QL1 mounting system gives a secure fit
  • Lateral 3M Scotchlite reflectors, which gives nighttime visibility

Cons

  • The absence of organization (single large main compartment) in the design makes keeping small items a challenge
  • No handle for carrying it when off the bike

3. Axiom Unisex Adult Pannier Bag Monsoon Hydracore 32

This is one of the best panniers that will give you the best value for your money. The bag comes with top quality features, making it stand out among many in its class.

Axiom Monsoon has many pockets, including side pockets, to store many things. In addition to the 45 L capacity for users to store their things, there’s the opportunity to store other stuff on the bag’s exterior too.

The bike pannier comes in a dry bag style construction design which utilizes tough 600D polyester. This makes it one of the top water-resistant bags.

The Reflective Axiom Logo makes it safe for use in low visibility conditions—this an excellent choice for all cyclists out there. Plus, there are shoulder straps, which makes these bags easy to convert to shoulder bags for easy carriage.

Pros

  • Good quality design and superb workmanship
  • Impressive storage area
  • Fully waterproof design
  • Comes with carry handle and shoulder strap

Cons

  • Lower attachment on the rack works better for flat surfaces

4. Timbuk2 Tandem Panniers

For people that need the best waterproof panniers, the Tandem Pannier bag from Timbuk2 is a great choice. It comes in a stylish design, making it ideal for everyone who wants to start bike commuting.

Besides being one of the best waterproof choices for bikers, the organization is superb, making it fit to handle and keep easy track of all your stuff. There’s a space too for a laptop and small items like keys.

The rest is a large main compartment that can hold everything like shoes, books, etc.

One of the things that make this bike pannier stand out is the removable shoulder strap. This way, on packing your bike, you can carry it like a bag to your office.

As a result, the bike panniers fit much like saddle bags or a handlebar bag while riding. You also get to use it as a shoulder bag while walking to the mall or office.

There’s a bike rack attachment, which is easy to get on and off. It comes with hook and loop straps as well.

Lastly, Timbuk panniers are made of strong 600D Poly Non-P PVC, so you can expect it to last.

Pros

  • Strong handle for easy walks to the office
  • Users enjoy a lifetime warranty
  • Good storage space
  • Durable and high-quality material

Cons

  • Absence of a quick detach system
  • Water-resistant but not waterproof

5. Ibera PakRak Clip-On Quick-Release All Weather Bike Panniers

Are you a cyclist looking for bike touring panniers compatible with any weather condition? Then, the Ibera Bicycle Bag PakRak is the right choice.

Weighing a little above three pounds, this is one of the best rear panniers that will stand the test of time. It can work with most bike racks, carriers, and fits perfectly on your bike without any stress.

Even though it isn’t one of the waterproof panniers, the bag features water-resistant nylon that will secure your items. The quick-release system makes it easy to attach and detach your gear in a twinkle of an eye.

There are multiple compartments in it to fit all items within its 15 L capacity. You also have an elastic band, external buckle, and compression straps to keep it secured.

There’s a reflective trim light that gives out light when cycling at night. This makes this pair of panniers safe for night riders.

Overall, these Ibera panniers are top choices when it comes to panniers for touring, camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing. Users can use it as a set or by themselves.

Pros

  • A 3-point interlock system gives a secure lock
  • Reflective
  • One of the most spacious bags available
  • Easily attach and detach in seconds
  • An affordable price tag with impressive quality

Cons

  • Not great for long distances

Factors to Consider When Buying Bike Panniers

Capacity

You’re better off with high-quality panniers that will accommodate all your items. Don’t go for excessively large panniers as the extra weight could affect motion.

The weight of your bike matters as well.

If you have a heavy-duty bike, carrying a heavy pannier will not be an issue. If your bike has thin frames, go for small panniers.

Versatility

In other words, your bicycle panniers should not be useful only on the bike. There should be features that will allow you to use it as a cycling backpack.

It could also be an alternative way to carry the bag. As a result, something like a grab handle or carry strap is vital.

If you’ll be going to places where you’ll have to leave your bike at some point, this is a great feature. People who want to use their panniers as travel bags will find this feature helpful. 

Waterproof

In daily bike commuting, you need a pannier that can keep your item away from the rain. As a result, waterproofing is one of the features you should consider.

The best waterproof panniers are made from high-density nylon and film material. These keep your item safely covered away.

Also, cleaning or washing the bags will be easy as well.

Safety Features

This is a factor you should consider if you’ll cycle at night. There are pannier options that have reflective components.

The idea behind this is to alert drivers and other road users of your presence while cycling at night.

Another safety feature you should consider is how secure it attaches to your bike racks. Ideally, choose a pannier with several attachments to reduce the risk of the bag falling off.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Bike Panniers

Q1: How do bike panniers work?

Most bicycle panniers use a universal method of attachment.

There will be a rear rack attached to your bike. Using a set of hooks, the pannier hangs off the rail.

You can either mount it on the front fork or near the back wheel. Bike panniers can either be the front or rear type.

If you fit a front pannier near the front wheel, the possibility of dragging down on the ground reduces.

Q2: Are panniers secure?

Panniers are designed to fit securely on the rack of your bike. They come with a sophisticated method of attachment, which makes them safe.

As a result, there’s a low probability that the panniers will fall off. No matter your cycling speed or the nature of the road, it’ll give a snug fit.

Q3: Are they waterproof?

Most quality pannier bags come with waterproofing capacity to an extent. There are quality and durable panniers constructed strictly from waterproof fabrics.

Ideally, you want a pannier that is made of waterproof fabric like polyester or rubber fabric.

When buying your pannier bag, check the coating. PVC coating on the bag makes it completely waterproof.

Q4: What do I need to carry my pannier?

You need a rack to attach it to your bike.

They need a compatible bike rack to attach on successfully, which gives a secure fit on the bike.

The good news is most panniers and rack are compatible. As a result, all you need is to get a rack that works for your bike and be confident that the pannier will fit.

Conclusion

Everyone out there who needs a high-quality pannier will find this review helpful. Commuting to work, the grocery store, or your friend’s place will no longer be a stressful experience.

This top selection is the result of hours of research into the top panniers, so you can be confident that these products will serve you.

If you’re a tech guy and you work with computers and other gadgets, one of the best options is the Two Wheel Gear Pannier Convertible.