Scicon TransAlp 2.0 Bicycle Pannier/Backpack

By Darren Alff on - Download my FREE bike tour starter guide!

If you’re looking for a way to carry your belongings around with you both on and off your bicycle, the Scicon TransAlp 2.0 might just be the perfect product for you!

This unique transport system functions as both two small 10.5 liter bicycle panniers, and one large 21 liter backpack when walking around on foot. With rain covers for the panniers (not shown in the video above) and a comfortable backpack design, the Scicon TransAlp 2.0 is a great product for both bicycle commuters and tourists alike.

If you watch the video above you will see how the TransAlp functions both on and off the bicycle.

In order to transform to two separate pannier bags into a backpack, just detach the panniers from the bicycle and throw one pannier on top of the other. Then, tuck the large fabric flap (that functions as the backside of your backpack) into the elastic band at the tail end of the bottom-most pannier and clip the two panniers together using the four small buckles on both sides of the bags. Then, simply unzip the large top pocket at the top-most pannier and pull out the two shoulder straps. Extend the straps towards the bottom-most pannier and pop them into the small plastic buckles at the bottom of the bag. Presto! Your backpack is ready to go! Just toss it on your back, attach the chest buckle (if so desired), and take off walking. It really is that easy!

Not only is the backpack easy to assemble after just one or two practice tries, but the backpack is surprisingly comfortable. In fact, it might even be the most comfortable pannier/backpack I’ve ever used.

With all the positive attributes I’ve listed above, the Scicon TransAlp 2.0 might appear to be a no-brainier purchase, but there are a couple negatives to this unique cycling product.

First of all, there are no real instructions that come with the bag, so figuring out how to attach the panniers to the bike and then transforming the two panniers into a backpack takes some trial and error. Watching the video above will certainly help.

Secondly, the panniers lack the advanced mounting brackets that most of today’s modern bicycle touring panniers are equipped with. Instead, the TransAlp’s panniers seem to simply hang over the top of your bicycle’s rear rack and buckle into place, but not really locking into place like so many other bicycle panniers tend to do.

Third, the panniers are really small. Too small, in fact, for me to fit my 13 inch MacBook Pro inside of them. The small size of the panniers drastically reduces the amount of gear you can carry, and the overall manner in which you use the product.

Finally, depending on the type of rack you are using, your shoe size, the length of your chainstays, and a whole host of other factors, you may find that the TransAlp panniers hit the heels of your feet a bit as you ride. I know that with my large, size 12 US feet, this was the first thing I noticed about the panniers during my initial test run with the product.

While dedicated bicycle touring panniers are typically designed to curve away from the heels of your feet so that they don’t snag on your heels as you ride, the TransAlp panniers actually have small external pockets that jet out from the panniers themselves, making it difficult to avoid a confrontation between the front side of the panniers and the rear side of your feet.

While the Scicon TransAlp 2.0 is described as a bicycle touring product on the Scicon website, and it certainly could be used that way, I think the product is really better designed for bicycle commuters.

While the panniers could use a better mounting system and their external pockets need a small redesign, the backpack is comfortable and easy to use. But for the touring cyclist, the panniers are way too small and just aren’t big enough to carry any significant gear

If the panniers were larger and the backpack performed the same way it does now, this would be a product that I would both use on a regular basis and highly recommend. But because of the few small problems with the panniers, I would have to give the Scicon TransAlp 2.0 a rating of…

My Rating: 8 out of 10

For more information, please visit: www.sciconbags.com

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About Darren Alff

My goal as the Bicycle Touring Pro is to give you the confidence and inspiration you need to travel by bicycle anywhere in the world. I do all of the work on this website by myself. Since 2007, all of the articles, books, emails, interviews, photos, podcasts and videos have been created by me in my spare time. Thanks to the generous donations I receive from readers like you, I'm able to focus on creating regular, high-quality content; invest further in developing the website; and cover the costs related to my bicycle touring activities.

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4 Comments

  1. Dodson

    June 25, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Adventure Cycling recently had an article about convertible bike packs from Richard Jones, which look as though they might be a better choice for a long-distance tourist…

    http://www.convertiblebackpacks.us/

  2. tony chavez

    June 25, 2013 at 10:54 am

    i need panniers that can hold a 17 inch laptop on each side, plus enough room for books and other supplies.

  3. Richard Jones

    January 22, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Darren – uou still haven’t eviewe my convertible touring panniers/backpack. What are we waiting for?

  4. Pingback: FOR SALE: My Used Touring Bikes & Panniers – Bicycle Touring Pro

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