Bicycle Panniers – A Complete List of the 25 Best Bike Panniers

four popular bicycle panniers

Are you looking for a high-quality set of bicycle panniers for running errands near your home, cycling to the office, or for use on your bicycle tour around the world?

A pannier is a backpack-sized bag that attaches to your bicycle (via your bicycle’s front or rear rack) and is used to store and transport your personal belongings with you on your bike as your ride.

Some of the pannier brands I recommend are:

  • Arkel (<– best for off-road riding)
  • Axiom (<– good quality + cheap)
  • Crosso

  • Lone Peak
  • Ortlieb (<– THE BEST: My personal favorite)
  • Vaude (<– popular in Europe)

Panniers are usually sold in sets of two (one for the left side of your bike and one for the right) although those wishing to conduct a self-supported bicycle tour may purchase two sets of panniers for their bicycle (one pair to be used on the bicycle’s rear rack, and the other to be used on the front rack).

The main benefit to using a set of panniers for bicycle touring (or local commuting) is that the weight of your gear (food, clothing, bike tools, etc) is placed onto the frame of your bicycle and not onto your back, neck, shoulders or body (which tends to cause pain, redness, sweating and discomfort). Other major benefits include a low center of gravity (which makes controlling your bicycle easier) and a compact means of transporting your gear (in comparison to a trailer, for instance, which can double the length of your bicycle). In essence, if you have something you want to carry with you on your bicycle as you ride, one or two sets of panniers is a great way to do it!

While there are other methods of carrying your personal belongings on your bike (such as with a trailer, backpack, or basket), panniers are the most popular means of transporting your things on a bicycle tour – whether that be a short bicycle tour near your home or a long-distance bicycle touring adventure on the other side of the world.

On this page you will find a list of all the companies in the world currently producing bicycle panniers of some kind. The pannier companies shown here have been listed in alphabetical order.



Altura Dryline Panniers are long established as a great all-rounder that are ideal for touring, commuting or leisure use. Key Features include 56 – 32 liter capacity (per pair), waterproof Dryline construction, front pocket organizer on the larger Dryline 56 pannier models, Rixen-Kaul KLICKfix fittings, highly durable mini rip fabric and reflective trim.

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two arkel bicycle panniers


Arkel’s bicycle panniers offer unmatched performance and durability in two distinct design categories: roll top, sewn and taped seam waterproof technology, and triple stitched, breathable cordura bike bags with layered waterproof protection. The Arkel difference includes an ironclad lifetime warranty, a patented Cam-Lock® hook system – on and off in seconds, no rivets, all aluminum and serviceable with one tool – multifunctional pockets, internal aluminum frames and the full-length heavy duty zippers that give you complete access to your gear. It’s hard to wear out an Arkel pannier whether using it for world expeditions, bike commuting or lighter weekend tours.

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Avenir panniers are designed to hold everything from groceries to books to bicycle equipment. The panniers are made of tough 600-denier nylon, with adjustable nylon strap mounting systems that keeps them securely fastened to the rear of your bike. The panniers’ main compartments are large enough for water bottles, clothes, food, and a host of other items. Other details include 420-denier ripstop nylon outer pockets, integrated ripstop nylon rain covers with drawstring tops and fully taped seams, generous reflective stripes for dimly lit days, and a rear light attachment clip on each bag.

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Axiom Performance Gear

This 25+ year-old company makes products that are designed and tested by avid cyclists, so every minute detail is painstakingly considered before a final design is approved. The end result is a lineup of superior cycling accessories that meet the specific, everyday needs of people who ride bikes. Axiom’s panniers are quality bags that work well as either touring or commuting bags.

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brompton bike bags


Because of the small size and odd shape of Brompton folding bicycles, bags designed for use with Brompton bicycles are small and usually meant to be carried on the front and rear ends of the bike. While the Brompton handlebar bags and rear rack packs are the most popular bags available, there are a few smaller panniers made for use with Brompton folding bikes.

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Brooks panniers

Brooks England

Named after a famous cycling routes that traverses the length of Britain, Brooks’ Land’s End and John O’Groats Panniers are designed for Britain’s incremental weather. This means a waterproof, light, and durable pannier that expands to fit your gear via the roll-top design. For weather resistance, Brooks constructs their pannier from a waterproof synthetic fabric that’s tough and durable for long miles on the road. Their bags attache to standard rear rack designs and have gear loops for simple lighting attachment points. The panniers are sold individually and come in two colors: Desert and Slate.

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Panniers are the most energy efficient way to carry your luggage on your bike… and Carradice panniers offer a low centre of gravity tha aids stability. Available in a wide range of styles and sizes – choose the ones that are right for you. Built to last, Carradice choose the fabric, fastenings and fixings for their durability and functionality. Plus, high-visibility reflectors and mounting points for LED lights are included with each bag, which will help to keep you safe on the road.

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Dry, simple, solid and waterproof. The route isn’t always smooth and the sun doesn’t always shine. Crosso panniers were created for the toughest routes and the heaviest rains. You’ll appreciate these bike bags when you’re in your tent at night, knowing that your things are safe andy dry inside your Cross panniers. Made in Poland, Crosso panniers are available in both a waterproof roll-top design and a lid-top design made of water-resistant Cordura fabric.

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The panniers made by Detours will fit securely on a rear rack using the adjustable four-point attachment system. A front zippered pocket and outside mesh side pockets combined with a spacious main compartment provide plenty of storage space. Contents in the main compartment are protected with a drawstring closure and a removable rain cover keeps gear dry. Each pannier features an adjustable, four-point attachment system suitable for most rear racks. Large front pocket and mesh side pockets (available on some models) help with organization. Diamond ripstop nylon is water-resistant and panniers include waterproof rain cover. Solid construction with rubberized touch points and Scotchlite reflective details for visibility.

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deuter bike panniers


A compact bike pannier with a rigid, washable back plate and a universal fit system. With a high front pocket and slender shape, the Deuter Rack Pack is the perfect storage luggage for cycle tours and local outings.

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Inertia Designs

Need to carry lunch for 12 and the kitchen sink? Then get the Inertia Designs Expedition Touring Panniers! The big brother of the company’s top-loading Touring Pannier, they feature reversible fanny pack hoods, horizontal and vertical compression, and modular reflective strips. Used in conjunction with the Cam Excursion or Cam Touring panniers you have enough room to take on a serious back country trip or an around the world tour. A 20° cutaway at the front of the bags maintains maximum volume and load placement while retaining sufficient heel clearance on any frame geometry.

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Jandd Mountain Panniers are designed for those on off-road cycling adventures and is made with versatility and rugged durability. The narrow profile of Jandd panniers allows them to work equally well as front or rear panniers, and the ease with which they convert to hand-held bags contributes to their versatility. Features: Rear mount only, horizontal and vertical compression straps. Large main compartment with hood pockets and gusseted side pockets. Can be used on either the front or rear rack of your bicycle.

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Lone Peak

Lone Peak has been making the finest quality packs since 1979. Today the company is still making packs in the USA that are tough, reliable and functional. Lone Peak designs and manufacture packs for bicycling, communications, as well as medical and custom applications. The company utilizes the finest materials available, superior design and construction to manufacture the best packs available. Every component of a Lone Peak Pack is chosen to contribute to the functionality, durability, and visual appeal of the packs.

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These heavy-duty Madden cycling panniers give you a great way to carry your essential gear on long excursions. Claw Suspension system uses two rolled steel hooks on ABS plastic support back. Bungee cords extend from both hooks and attach to S-hooks at bottom. S-hook with Delrin® buckle/nylon strap at the bottom of the pack attaches to strap running vertically from hook to top. Buckle-closing rain hood over togglecord closure protects main compartment from road debris. Mesh outer pockets. Approx. 19 x 10 x 5“, 950 each. 4 lb. Made of Polyester.

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Mainstream MSX

Mainstream MSX panniers are a contemporary product line built with modern, lightweight technology.  Made in Germany, these rugged panniers are both waterproof and built to last. Optional outside pockets allow for easy access to smaller items you wish to access frequently while touring or commuting locally with your bike. Plus, the large inner pocket on each pannier is perfect for safely storing your gear and keeping it dry on any cycle outing.

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Mountain Equipment Co-Op

These tough, top-of-the-line panniers make nomadic life easier and more efficient. On the road, universal hooks attach the bags securely to regular or oversized racks. Spindrift collars and floating lids let you overload them with the delicious baked goodies or farm-fresh produce you’ve bought along the way. In town, you can grab your U-lock from the custom pocket, and then pair the pannier handles together for carrying. Or clip the optional MEC Shoulder Strap into the built-in attachment points and sling them over your shoulder.

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Showing up at the end of your commute or touring day only to find soggy sandwiches, cellphones, clothes, and shoes is the bummer of all bummers. Avoid this cycling fiasco with Nashbar’s waterproof bicycle panniers. They are made with rugged 400 denier nylon, which is scuff, puncture and tear resistant. Plus, the panniers are treated with an EPU coating on the inside which seals the deal -literally. A roll-top closure on some models makes it impossible for water to work its way in – you pretty much have to throw the panniers in a river to get your stuff wet. With liters of capacity, you can hit the road for days or months with these inexpensive bike panniers.

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If your bike’s gonna replace your car, it’s going to need a trunk to haul your goodies – groceries, schoolwork, a change of clothes for when you get to work, etc. The Novara Gotham Panniers (formerly from REI) have got a lot going for them. Water resistant zippers keep moisture from leaking into the main compartment and top pocket. There is a side pocket that holds a rain cover for when the weather heads south. It’s easy to slip over the pannier, and has a reflective Novara logo for added visibility.

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German-made Ortlieb panniers are some of the highest-quality and most popular bicycle panniers in the entire world. Constructed with welded seams for strength and designed with easy access closures, these panniers are perfect for local commuting or bicycle touring around the world. Replaceable, adjustable, quick-release mounts the panniers quickly and easily on your bicycle’s racks. Lifting the pannier’s carrying strap automatically releases the QL1 system security catches, while releasing the strap causes latches to lock in place on your rack. Ortlieb panniers are usually sold as a pair containing both a left and a right pannier.

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two waterproof panniers blue and red

Pacific Outdoor Equipment Co-Op

Pacific Outdoor Equipment is a Montana-based company producing high-quality, environmentally conscious bicycle and outdoor products. Their waterproof bicycle panniers are of high-quality, featuring secure rack fasteners, a rugged design material, optional organizational pockets (on some pannier models), and a variety of unique colors. While sold mostly in the United States, this brand is growing in popularity outside of North America and can be found in Europe, as well as other bicycle-friendly locales.

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Rixen & Kaul

Practical, waterproof all-around panniers that can be used as front or rear panniers thanks to their smaller design. Wet clothes are easily stored in an outer compartment with net material for air access (on some models only). The panniers’ main compartment is designed with a proven roll closure, central tension belt, side reflectors and robust edge guard. Includes the patented KLICKfix Modul Rail for standard bicycle racks/carriers.

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Inexpensive panniers available in both large and small sizes – made for oversized or overflowing gear. Drawstring enclosure and mesh side pockets (on some models). 3M Scotch lite reflective banding and light hangers on each pannier for added safety. Rigid back panels reinforce panniers for easy mounting. Attach to bicycle with two top hooks and a quick-release clamp, a Velcro strap and an adjustable bottom hook.

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These extra large rack mounted bicycle panniers by Trek feature a basic attachment system with Tightrope safety cord that easily secures the pack to the rack. Fits most front, rear and low-rider type bicycle racks. 2,520 cu. in. capacity per set, with a built in rain cover.

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German-made Vaude panniers are perfect for riders who like organisation. These bike bags have a big main compartment with a top lid closure that keeps all your travel essentials neat and tidy. There is also a zippered outside pocket for more storage space. It has a hard back pro back plate for a stable and secure bag that can be easily attached to your bike. The reflective details make being seen in the dark easier for other road users.

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velo transit stylish bicycle panniers

Velo Transit

You can rest assured your gear will remain dry in a Storm-Proof Metro 20 Pannier. The modular design lets you add additional front and side pockets for more volume and organization. Side compression straps keep your load secure and a Front stash pocket is a perfect place to store your lock. Side blinker mounts let you light up your bags for great visibility. The KlickFix self-adjusting mounting hardware will mount to various racks with 8-16mm tubing. The Velo Transit Metro pannier is sold as a single piece and can be mounted on either the right or left side of your bike rack.

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How Do Panniers Attach To Your Bicycle?

Panniers attached to the racks on the front or rear of your bicycle with two small hooks at the top of the panniers and (sometimes, but not always) an attachment of some kind at the bottom of the bag. The hooks at the top of the pannier allows the bag to rest its weight on the rack, while the attachment at the bottom of the pannier keeps the bag from wiggling around while you ride your bike.

Higher quality panniers will not only have a locking mechanism of some kind on the hooks at the tops of the panniers, which helps to ensure that your panniers will not bounce off your bicycle racks when you ride in rough terrain or cycle over a large bump in the road, but they also allow the hooks on the top of the panniers to be moved forward or back, so that they can be adjusted to fit whatever type of rack you might be using on your bicycle. Being able to move your panniers forward or backward is important if you want to have your panniers fit properly on your bicycle. Proper fit ensures that your panniers will not fly off the bike while in motion, but also allow the panniers to be adjusted forward or backward if you find that they are hitting your toes or heels while you ride (a common problem with larger panniers and/or people with big feet).

On the bottom of most bicycle touring panniers there are two common attachments. The attachment found on the bottom of each pannier is either a bungee cord with a small hook on the bottom of it, which attaches to the metal rack by simply hooking onto the bottom portion of the rack… or it is a plastic or metal slide that slips around the backside of the rack in order to hold the pannier in place while you ride.

Inexpensive bicycle panniers will have no attachment of any kind at the bottom of the bag. Medium grade panniers will usually have a bungee attachment of some kind, but this bungee is usually unmoveable and can quickly wear out or break after just a short period of time. This is why the higher quality panniers have either a thick bungee cord attachment at their base or a thick plastic or metal slide, which can be adjusted into multiple positions for the best possible fit.

To attach a pannier with a bungee attachment at its base:

  1. Engage the bottom wire-hook of the pannier to any part of the rear rack near the wheel axle.
  2. Lift the pannier’s carry handle upward above the top of your rack and hook the pannier on your rack’s outer railing. Then release the pannier’s carrying handle. At this point, some panniers will lock to the rack automatically, while others will need to be locked and secured in place manually.
  3. Then make sure the hooks are well seated and that the bottom attachment is firmly in place.

Attaching a pannier with a plastic slide at its base is very similar:

  1. Slide the plastic attachment at the bottom of the pannier behind the rack near the wheel axle.
  2. Lift the pannier’s carry handle upward above the top of your rack and hook the pannier on your rack’s outer railing. Then release the pannier’s carrying handle. At this point, some panniers will lock to the rack automatically, while others will need to be locked and secured in place manually.
  3. Then make sure the plastic attachment at the bottom of the pannier is still in place behind the metal bike rack and that the hooks at the top of the pannier are firmly in place.

Note: Panniers that have a bungee attachment at the bottom are better for riding in off-road conditions, while those panniers with plastic or metal slides are better for on-road riding.

How Many Bike Panniers Do You Need?

Traditional touring bicycles are built to carry four panniers – two in the front and two in the rear. But just because a bike is built to carry a full set of panniers doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use that many bags. In many cases, using a full set of panniers is overkill and that’s where deciding between the use of two or four panniers can be difficult.

Like many things in the world of bicycle travel, there is no correct answer here. Deciding between the use of two or four panniers will depend on the size of your panniers, the length of your tour, the amount of money you are willing to spend, and any number of other factors.

That said, here are some guidelines to help you decide between the use of two or four panniers on your next bicycle tour.

  • If you are planning to be on the road for one week or less, you can probably figure out a way to carry everything you need in just two panniers.
  • If you are going to be traveling for more than a month, you will probably want to opt for four panniers.
  • If you are going to be carrying a stove, fuel, and all the food and water needed to cook you own meals, then four panniers is likely your best bet.
  • If you are bringing your computer with you, you might need the extra room provided by a full set of panniers.
  • If you want to carry your tent, sleeping bag and/or sleeping mat inside one of your panniers (something I recommend), then having four panniers is ideal.
  • And if you want to ensure that the weight of your gear is distributed equally across your bike (something that is very important), then four panniers is the way to go!

But if you can fit everything you need into just two panniers, then by all means, use two panniers.

If you are planning your tour well in advance, I recommend purchasing two rear panniers and then attempting to pack everything you will need for your journey on your bike. If everything fits (and isn’t overflowing onto the top of your rear rack), then you don‘t need to worry about purchasing a set of front panniers. But if you can‘t make everything fit on the back of your bike with just those two rear panniers, then you will need to go out and purchase a set of front panniers (and a front rack).

The key here is to do this with plenty of time before you leave on your journey. Due to the fact that bicycle touring is still a relatively small and unknown activity, getting your hands on a specific set of panniers at the last minute can prove to be difficult in many parts of the world.

Pannier Types: Roll-Top vs. Bucket

There are two major styles of panniers – each with its benefits and drawbacks.

Roll-Top Panniers

Many waterproof panniers come in a style known as “roll-top,” which allows the panniers to be rolled together and secured in place at the top of the bag. This design feature makes the pannier 100% waterproof. As long as the pannier doesn’t have any defects, you can drop a bag of this type in a river and the items inside would not get wet. This is a major advantage when traveling through parts of the world where rain and snow are common, or where there is a chance your bicycle might fall into a lake, river, pond or ocean.

The disadvantage to this style pannier, however, is that they require more material to make, because the fabric has to roll over itself several times at the top of the bag in order to become waterproof, so these types of panniers are usually heavier than their bucket-style counterparts. Roll-top panniers are also a little harder to get in and out of because the top of the pannier has to be unlocked, unrolled, rolled back up and then locked once again each and every time you need to get into the pannier.

Bucket Style Panniers

Bucket style panniers, on the other hand, can be waterproof or water-resistant, but they are not 100% waterproof in the way that roll-top panniers are. If a bucket style pannier were dropped in a body of water, everything inside the panniers would eventually be wet, as water would quickly seep in through the opening at the top. However, waterproof panniers of this type are technically waterproof when you consider that most panniers are not dropped into solid bodies of water, but are instead dropped on from above by rain and snow.

The advantage to bucket style panniers is that they are relatively easy to get in and out of. You just unzip or unbuckle the top flat of the pannier, roll back the fabric, and then reach inside to get whatever it is that you need. When you conduct a long-distance bicycle tour you will find yourself getting in and out of your panniers dozens of times each day, so the bucket style pannier allows this to be done with minimal effort.

What Size Panniers Do You Need?

Bicycle panniers come in a number of different shapes and sizes. Larger panniers are typically carried on the rear rack of your bicycle, while smaller panniers are carried on the front.

Sizes for panniers are usually listed in both liters and cubic inches.

Rear touring panniers typically come in sizes ranging from 40 liters (2441 cubic inches) to 60 liters (3660 cubic inches), although sizes in the range of 40-45 liters are more common and are recommended in most instances. 60 liter panniers are massive and are meant only for the longest and biggest of bicycle touring adventures.

Front panniers, on the otherhand, are much smaller and are usually between 25 and 30 liters (1526 and 1830 cubic inches).

If you opt to ride with only one set of panniers, then you’ll likely want to purchase a larger set of rear panniers (maybe 45 liters?). But if you are going to be touring fully-loaded with both a set of front and rear panniers, then you may opt for slightly smaller rear panniers (40 liters) in addition to the panniers you would be carrying up front (25 or 30 liters).

But again, the size of the panniers you purchase depends on what your goals are for your trip. If you are going to be carrying a bunch of camera gear, sports equipment or personal items, you might choose to purchase much larger 60+ liter panniers, and there is nothing wrong with doing that.

For most people, however, sticking between 40 and 45 liters for rear panniers and 25-30 liters for front panniers will be ideal.

If you’ve used any of the panniers listed above, what do you think of them? How could they be improved?

Also, if you know of a company making panniers that should be added to this list, leave a comment below with the name of the company and a link to their website… and I’ll be sure to add them to the list.


78 thoughts on “Bicycle Panniers – A Complete List of the 25 Best Bike Panniers

  1. Matt says:

    Crazy awesome list. I had no idea there were so many different bags to choose from. It really is a bit overwhelming when you think about it. Few of them look very good, however.

  2. Richard Lapierre says:

    I use Arkel gt-54 as rear panier and gt-30 (older model now the gt-18)in front as well as their big bag for the handlebar.I can’t say enough how much I love the bags!Extremely well made and durable.
    This is a small company of about 15 employees and the bags are all made by hand.Paniers are the only thing that they make and it shows.
    I’m from Quebec so i’m a little bias,(the company is in Sherbrooke Quebec)but if you want the best paniers this is definitely one of the brand to consider.A bit expensive but you pay for what you get.

  3. Radicalrye says:

    I’m a big fan of Detours B-49 panniers. Compared to a lot of bags in their price range they are well constructed, have great clips, and are very roomy. All you need is a rain guard, garbage bag, or some scotch guard and you’re set to ride in any conditions.

  4. Jim says:

    I have the Axiom panniers (pictured above; left). Only used them once, but found them to be good quality and a great value (compared to Arkel, which are big $$$) The mounting system is not a good, however. I’ve touring w/ a BOB trailer, but might try panniers again, just to see if they really are more convenient and work better for me.

    Chris Kat: I would go w/ a sturdy waterproof pannier if you’re commuting everyday w/ books. Wouldn’t want to get all that paper wet! (Ortlieb if u can afford; but Topeaks are cheaper…I’d read the reviews first)

  5. Jim says:

    Chris Kat: (They only carry Ortlieb, Arkel, Vaude…but all quality bags)
    Since your going to be using panniers everyday, I get something sturdy, with a solid & convenient mounting system…check out the Ortlieb line or Arkel’s “dolphin” or “commuter” bag. All a little pricey, but probably about the same a few college textbooks these days

  6. Joe G. says:

    Your link to Robert Beckman Designs (panniers) does not work. I suspect he is no longer in business. I could not find a working link on the web.

  7. Ivana says:

    ORTLIEBS ! for travelling I used them for 5 years almost, and never had problems °! Love them ! I think thta they are reallu the best , they never fell from your bike, they are absolutly waterproof ! expensive but the best !

  8. Andy says:

    I have used CROSSO panniers (rear and front) from Expert series for already 3 seasons.


    Good job CROSSO!

  9. Trek 520 says:

    I pick up beautiful nicely made, rugged and durable panniers Voyager from cycles Lambert . Just wish if all panniers today on the market match this quality .

  10. Louis Melini says:

    I’ve used Lone Peak panniers for touring and for daily bike commuting. I have one set that are over 20 years old. I’ve had some hardware replaced/upgraded for attaching to the rack and I replaced a broken buckle at either no-cost or very low cost. Books and binders to go to school, no problem. My only problem with the panniers was due to a raccoon that put a slice into my wife’s pannier quickly repaired by Lone Peak. They are made in Salt Lake City.

  11. Joe G. says:

    Does anyone know what ever happened to Robert Beckman Design (Panniers)? Did Rob retire? I still have two sets of Beckman panniers that we use on our touring tandem. I have yet to see panniers that were better made!

  12. battery bikes says:

    Hi all friends,
    I have just got one Arkel back rack pannier and it has worked very well. It is the Arkel “UB” Utility Basket. It has been very useful regarding keeping my stuff and taking them somewhere. Alos, these got quiet enough space to fill thestuffs. When you look for price then they are bit expensive, but trust me, its worth spending that much money.

  13. Mike Hamilton says:

    You might want to add Bushwhacker to your list. Their website is:

    It’s rather hard to find anything on these guys on the web. I spoke to a guy at the main office in Utah, and you can call them and order direct. I’ve noticed these bags are somewhat small to average-sized, like the mid-80’s stuff, but seem to be good quality.

    I had the same experience with Inertia Designs. The guys at that place had no idea who their retail dealers were, as they deal with distribution points, so there again you can order direct. Their bags are much larger than most, while being made with a medium-weight, tighter weave denier.

  14. Jim says:

    I used my black Axioms (pictured on above/left) for another weekend tour. They did the job, but the mounting system kinda sucks. Probably why affordable price. The bags are good quality, but the mounting hooks cannot be adjusted, and are too close together, which makes for an unstable ride. They wobble on rougher roads, and even droop toward the rear tire when loaded. My rack has legs that run right down the drop-outs. This could be a real problem.

    On the positive, I found a good a deal on a Large Arkel handlebar bag, and it’s awesome! Rock solid, huge, built like a tank, but a bit heavy…

  15. DM PDX says:

    I live in the Pacific Northwest (United States) and there are so many great small companies making handcrafted, custom bags out here! So much more character, durability and thoughtfulness in their bags than something off the shelf!

    Here are just a few examples:

    Swift Industries:

    Black Star Bags:

    North St Bags:

    I’m sure there are other crafty people making these all over the place. Support your local bike-bag artists!

  16. mark s graybeal says:

    i liked 2 i had years ago, big Cannondale, and Kirkland,( i dont see either anymore since ming got stolen with bikes) my Trek didnt lock onto rack and 1 fell off, i got othr replacemant but for groceries bag, now i latch together and use bungie cords to hold onto rack better, but the oftne come loose and get wound up in wheel, i wish i can aford the better/best, large, sturdy, no woble or going into spokes, tall, long ,deep but rack back so i dont kick with my heels. in Phnx a fire fighter mad special ones for bike cops and rescue, red almost rubber, for 1st aid i though bike pro msut have gone out of business

  17. Eric & Elaine Hendrickson says:

    What an outstanding list you have put together, wish we had it when we started. We used dog food containers but quickly switched to Blackburn bags around 1978, these were the first bags we had ever come across that were separate which work well but finally fell apart around 1992. Second set were waterproof axioms which also did their job better then the first set. They also gave use a number of years of service but finally died last year. We replaced them with waterproof Ortlieb bags with a kayak bag on top of the rear, we also did away with the larger handlebar bag and replaced it with a frame triangle bag which doesn’t bounce around as much. These bags should last until we can no longer tour. Each time we replace the bags they are better quality and better designed. BTW – We generally only tour off-road.

  18. Ulrich Hirschmann says:

    Amazing list.
    just came back with my Ortlieb front and back rollers from a 3 week vacation (bicyle tour) in Germany & Austria – which was in total 1015 km along the Danube river from the source in Donaueschingen to Wien/Vienna (Austria) – partially with a german-irish-french group. I have Orlieb since my first bicycle tour to Ireland more than 20 yrs ago. They are absolute Irland & waterproof. Was also in southern Spain (Andalusia) in spring time and on Kreate Island (Greece) in autumn. Last year also on a bicycle trip on the Danube to Budapest (Hungary). My Orlieb bags are now more than 20 years old as well as the Brooks saddle. I would not exchange them for other products.

  19. Gianluca Ferrari says:

    CANNONDALE (pre 1994, check old catalogs at
    KARRIMOR panniers (UK made pre 1996 then company sold)
    PAKIT panniers (UK made pre 1990 then brand disappeared)
    TIKA panniers (New Zealand made pre 1995 then company shutdown)
    MACPAC panniers (New Zealand made pre 1995 then discontinued)
    AVANCE panniers (Australia made pre 2000, check Abbotsford in Melbourne)
    SPORT ARSENAL (Czech Republic made)
    SERRATUS panniers (Canada made pre 2004, brand owned by MEC then discontinued)
    SCI CON (Italy brand, panniers product line discontinued)
    FERRINO (Italy, short-lived panniers product line made in china)
    INVICTA (Italy, short-lived panniers product line made in china)
    CINELLI (Italy, short-lived panniers product line made in china)
    AGU (Netherlands)

  20. James Needham says:

    Used to use beckman’s , now im totally Arkel . the problem with beckman is time , took me a year to get the rear rack and 6 more months to get the panniers and bar bag . The construction and attachment of the Arkels is far superior . The beckmans are now used for day jaunts .

  21. Allison Murray says:

    Yup, panniers win…their center of gravity is higher so less of a drag, and I have used both. I much prefer panniers over trailers. Trailers hold more, but when weight is equal, I go for panniers. Love em. I use trailers for grocery shopping, panniers for traveling. And get good panniers, Doite for example makes a great pannier, better than Ortlieb. Lots of space, outer pockets, durable, waterproof, visible, expandable. Gems!

  22. nell says:

    hi there all

    i’m new in cycling and i just gotten myself a folding bike (Ori Bike). I’m looking for suitable pannier to be fitted on my bike. I had the rear rack installed but unsure if all brands have the universal fit.

    i also notice most brands listed are not available in my country, Malaysia.

    would appreciate if you could provide some tips on obtaining a handlebar bag n panniers.

    many thanks!!

  23. Robert Dauphinais says:

    I had Ortlieb bags for many years and thousands of km, they did the job, it is a good manufacturer but since I bought Arkel bags, I would not go for another company, there are the best! More expensive? Yes but considering the quality, they are not.

  24. Robert says:

    I bought all kind of paniers in my life, 40 years of touring (sevreal weeks / year + commuting). Ortlieb paniers are perfectly waterproof and Axiom’s products are also very good but for the last 10 eayrs, my first choice, by far, are the Arkels. So well made, the design is perfect, Arkel’s people are taking in considaration all the needs we have. Also, Arkel’s quality is TOP. They are worth the price, really.


  25. Karen says:

    Hi we are travelling with 1 x hard tail mtb (no lugs for pannier racks), and one Dual suspension MTB no lugs, please give me some advise for racks and panniers, we are travelling Danube in May and need a good size water proof pannier set for each bike.

  26. karen says:


    I have 26″ dual suspension and hardtail MTb 26 ” and need a pannier rack for each bike,
    both bikes have no attachments or holes for traditional mounted racks. have done so much searching and have not found any suitable racks that will beable to hold the panniers.

  27. Mixen says:

    I am looking for bike panniers that are large for books, a nice durable material, come with weather-proof gear, are stylish, and come with straps.

    Reply to me please

  28. karen says:

    thanks for all the help we have gone with the Thule bike rack and the Panniers, now we are looking forward to a great vacation. Once we have done the tour, we will report back to the site.

  29. Eric Cregon says:

    i just got back from a trip from Colorado to Florida and i used Arkel Gt 54 rear and Gt 18 Front and i liked them. They worked well the zippers all worked perfectly they held everything i needed i like the tent roll. i fit my tent and bed roll in it. I loved how fast they came off when i needed to go inside or i use to throw them in my tent. i think the strap sewn to the bag for the lower hook was kind of a pain it alway got stuck and made it a bugger to get back on the rack especially with the weight of the rears. it could have been sleeved so the top of the hook that meets the bungee didn’t catch the elastic. And the pull handles to unclip the top cams kept falling in so i had to fish them out of the racks they could have been sewed into some kind of a keeper so they stayed at the top of the bag. I bought the big bar bag and right before i left i was trying to save weight so i took it off. Looking back i didn’t need it i would have been nice but not worth the weight. i took everything out of it and put it in my Arkel trunk bag i used that for everything. I love the bags could tweak a little and they would be perfect but i would still recommend them they road well, wore well and kept my stuff dry.

  30. Chris says:

    I have had (literally) dozens of different makes and models of pannier. And one Carradice saddlebag. I sold or gave away all the others.

    The Carradice carries all my stuff apart from stove, sleeping bag and tent (which get strapped to my minoura front rack) and a few things I want to get to quickly which go on a barbag. It’s enough for any touring I would want to do.

    Not waterproof like the Ortleib stuff I had before. But then, a couple of plastic bags fix that. Not as tough either – I have seen them with holes worn in the sides where they’ve been leaned against walls. But then, Carradice offer a repair service. Does anyone else?

  31. Lee R. Stork says:

    Hi Darren,

    Great article as usual and one that I wish I had read 20 years ago. I have 3 sets of panniers. I have my initial set of panniers which are Axion. they are small, inexpensive and useful. I paid $29 for them maybe 20 years ago. I usually use the Lonepeak set. They are my medium size ones. They cost me about $109. I bought them maybe 15 years ago. I also have the Arkel Tandem panniers. These are very large, very well made and about $500 about 8 years ago. I have front and rear racks. If I am buying groceries I use the 2 big sets. I can load about $60 to $120 from Walmart for a return trip home. I sometimes even carry a 20 pound watermelon or a 50 pound bag of popcorn. Keep up the good work.

  32. Colby Menning says:

    I plan on buying two rear Penrith Panniers by Carradice and attach to a SS Velo Orange rear rack attached to a Chainless Sonoma Dynamic Bicycle. Not aware of any superior rear rack to Velo Orange nor any superior waterproof rear pannier to the Carradice Penrith (prefer bucket type over sealed). Wanted to post this comment for any pertinent , knowledgeable guidance or insight.

  33. Lynda says:

    I have just purchased Blackburn Barrier panniers for an upcoming trip to Europe. They are waterproof and lock into the Blackburn rack, which seems like a nice feature. Does anyone have any experience with them. I am also touring on my Trek 7.3 purchased in 2012. Hope that works on both rode and some dirt tracks.

  34. Jack Kessler says:

    Waterproof and water resistant panniers are marketing hype. They are heavy, expensive, inconvenient, and frequently leak. Get lightweight sturdy inexpensive panniers with side pockets. Then put your stuff in plastic zip lock bags. They are light, cheap, do not leak, and are the perfect way to organize your stuff because you can see what’s inside. They also keep your stuff organized and easy to find – socks in this bag, undies in that one, camera here. They come in sizes from 5 gallons down to sandwich and are readily available even if the LBS is closed, nonexistent, or out of stock.

  35. Trekk says:

    Hi, I will be introducing a new style of panniers in the near future and will run a crowd funding campaign in in a month, please stay tune and I promise this will be the ultimate pannier with no hype just beauty and function.

  36. Ezra says:

    Thanks for this awesome article on Panniers. So many options out there!

    Definitely would appreciate you checking us out, we’ve got some awesome handmade / American made panniers from bag makers around the US. Some are waterproof, others are not, but great for commuters and tourers.

    Ride on!


  37. DubiousMan says:

    I just bought the Ortlieb Sport Packers. Cost me $280 Canadian. They are Over-Engineered! Too much finicky stuff to deal with. The top clips must be fitted with inserts to fit a specific rack size. If you have to shift from one bike to another with different racks sizes, do you have to change inserts? The bottom clip is a plastic pivot arm that is designed to fit any angle of rack. It rattles (even when screwed on tight), and has to be re-adjusted every time the pannier changes to a different bike and different rack.

    My old CycleTec panniers had heavy-duty springs, weather-proofed with a heavy plastic sheath, and big ring at the bottom to fit the bottom hook, and big open aluminum hooks to fit anywhere on any rack. Snug and secure! Easy on, easy off!

    German engineering of Ortliebs, has yet to convince me!!

  38. Saich says:

    I am looking for bike panniers for commuting, a nice strong material, come with weather-proof gear, have a good design, and come with straps.

  39. Forrest says:

    I shop owner I knew back in the early 2000’s turned me onto this company when I told him I wanted the biggest/best panniers. He said nothing comes close to Jandd expedition packs. I bought them and yes they’re a bit pricey, but they make every other pannier look child sized. If you want to hold gear for days this bag is insane. 112 Liters or expanded up to 162 Liters. Grocery shop all you want, it’ll fit.

  40. Lee Stork says:

    Hi Darren, Just reread this article I had read some time ago. Still super. Saw my last comment. Did have one thing that might add something. How about a pic of the sets of panniers for each manufacturer on a bicycle. Might add a little. For sure the Axion bags would look different than the Arkel Tandem on the bike.

  41. Scooter says:

    Years ago I did some 4 bag riding. Loved the solid feel it gave to my ride. I just finished 4 weeks touring in Europe (hotels) using a cheap pair of ROC panniers with attachable top bag, which were pretty doable. I had to remove the bags every night so Velcro straps to the lower rack spars are worthless. I used a bungie up and over the whole kit. My recommendations: take less stuff. Avoid rollers because I suspect it’d be tedious to stick everything down that hole every night. More pockets means more places to look in for that one lost item. Seems to me most of the panniers are overly wide leading to more wind resistance. (hotel biking requires less stuff). Wear a helmet. Oh yeah… stellar website.

  42. Clint Moore says:

    Thanks for the great review. I continue to be interested in the Mainstream-MSX bags. However, I am not able to purchase them on their website as they do not seem to ship to the U.S. Thoughts?

  43. David says:

    Would be great to have a pannier that I can lock up. I fear people opening them, but not as much as people putting crap inside of it.

  44. Godfrey says:

    Some of these bicycle panniers were so great that the one I bought in 2016 after a link from this site is still there. It was a great review then and I am planning to get one today to ensure that my bicycle rides are great. Keep up the good work

  45. Peter Lehman says:

    Britain has “inclement”, not “incremental”, weather, although I am sure that there are times where the weather is incrementally inclement. Not to be incriminating but also not incredulous. In conclusion, although, perhaps, inconclusively, I am not increasingly inclined to say more. (Laugh, if you have the inkling!)

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