Most bike tourers know that bicycle touring panniers are the best storage solution. After all, cycling is already tiresome as is, so there’s no reason to make it more of a hassle by carrying a backpack with your luggage. That’s why a bike pannier is essential especially since you won’t have to carry your gear manually.
You simply have to install a rear bike rack and attach the pannier. However, finding the right panniers can be quite confusing, all the more so if you’re a beginner.
That is why I have chosen ten of the best panniers for touring so you can choose the suitable product for your bike. Once you’ve got your pannier, you’ll find that bicycle touring can be hassle-free with the right equipment.
Table of Contents
- Best Pannier for Touring Reviews
- What to Look for When Buying Panniers for Touring
- How to Set Up and Use
- How Do You Pack a Touring Pannier
Best Pannier for Touring Reviews
1. Ibera Bike Pannier Bag
I’ve been using the Ibera Bike Pannier Bag (Pair) for several weeks and so far, its performance is beyond satisfactory. This product features waterproof bike touring panniers constructed out of 600D polyester and 500D tarpaulin. These materials are welded using ultrasonic seam technology, resulting in secure and tightly sealed bags.
Moreover, these panniers consist of several compartments. Each bag features an extra-large reinforced container, an interior zippered pocket, and an exterior waterproof zippered pocket. The reinforced compartment, in particular, provides a capacity of 15 liters. Besides, you can choose whether you use these bags individually or as a pair.
You may also like the fact that this product is a clip-on bag, thereby offering a simple mounting system. You simply have to rotate the clip sticking out of the bag to mount the waterproof panniers. Doing the reverse will unmount it and all of this usually takes only a few seconds. Also, at the bottom of the clips, there’s a bottom hook that locks the bag to the rear carrier’s sides to avoid unnecessary swinging.
Notably, the product also comes with a strap that can be found on top of the clips. This component is used to turn this pannier bag into a handheld bag in case you don’t want to leave it with the bike. Plus, there’s a reflective stripe on the side of each bag so you can alert drivers to your bike when they approach you.
2. Roswheel 14892 Touring Pannier
I would also like to introduce the Roswheel 14892 Touring Pannier – a product that is very affordable and boasts a unique design. The main selling point of this package is that it comes with three bags – one on each side and one on the top. While the side bags are similar in size, the top bag is relatively longer; hence, it provides more storage, leading to a total capacity of 37 liters.
Furthermore, all of the bags are made of 1000D reinforced polyester and PU coating. As a result, you get to enjoy a flexible, lightweight, durable, and water-repellent surface. This also means that the coating can be washed easily. On top of that, there are big reflective logos on the side bags, making it the perfect night cycling companion.
Impressively, the side bags are of perfect size – large enough to contain essential items but not too large that it hinders the pedaling action. Besides, the brand installed polyethylene sheets on all bags so the bag’s shape is maintained even after putting a lot of items inside.
As for the installation, you’ll find that it’s quite easy especially since the product comes with several straps. The top bag contains 4 buckles; there are 2 Velcro straps on the side bags, and three additional clasps with adjustable straps for further security.
3. BV Bike Bag Bicycle Panniers
I believe the BV Bike Bag Bicycle Panniers would be the perfect choice if you’re the type of cyclist who often travels on rough roads. This is mainly because of the secure mounting system of the product.
The area between the pannier bags consists of 4 straps used to secure the bag into the rear carrier. What’s more, each bag consists of an adjustable bungee hook to secure the lower section on different kinds of racks. Hence, you can rest assured that the bag will remain stable horizontally and vertically.
Moreover, the pannier bags are built with 1000D Cordura fabric and 600D polyester, resulting in a solid and durable product. With the product comes a front pocket and a large compartment with a capacity of 26 liters. Since the pannier bags contain a back panel, their structure is maintained even after long and rough trips.
Another impressive detail about this product is the zipper pull tabs on both ends of each pocket. This makes closing and opening the compartments a lot easier than usual. Besides, these pull tabs can also serve as hooks for keychains, tail lights, and other tiny bike accessories.
It’s also admirable how the brand added several other features. These include a 3M Scotchlite reflective vinyl seam on the front pocket which is meant to provide visibility when it’s nighttime. You may also like the handle on top of the bags if you want to turn this product into a handheld bag.
4. Ortlieb Back-Roller QL2.1 Panniers
If you prefer simple bicycle panniers for touring, I’m sure you’ll like the Ortlieb Back-Roller QL2.1 Panniers (Pair). The main reason why this will appeal to you is the simple 20-liter main compartment. Since there is only one pocket, you don’t have to stress yourself out with the packing process. Besides, this compartment is accessible by moving the roll-top cover backward, hence the product’s name.
Furthermore, this product is a durable and waterproof bicycle pannier made of polyester, so you can expect that it can endure moderate to heavy rainfall.
There are also several elements on the exterior. One component that I’m quite fond of is the reflective patch found on both sides of the bag. These patches serve as extra visibility when you’re cycling at night. You will also notice several buckles and straps outside the bag. These are straps that can be used to turn this pannier bag into a daypack bag.
You may also find the attachment system to be commendable. Each pannier contains three secure tabs found on the side which usually faces the rack – two top tabs and one bottom tab. These tabs are adjustable in case the initial setup is not compatible with your bike’s rear rack.
As for how you can mount it, you simply attach each tab to the rack. There is also a handle strap located on top of the bag. The panniers can be detached by pulling this handle strap upwards.
5. ROCKBROS Bike Touring Pannier
One of the most durable cycle panniers that I’ve ever seen is the ROCKBROS Bike Touring Pannier. This product features a waterproof pannier made of dense 840D Nylon and TPU film. Therefore, all items contained within the pannier are safe from getting wet.
This also results in an easy to wipe the surface, which is why it’s compatible with trips involving muddy environments. There are also hard boards on the exterior of the product to protect the contents as well as the bag itself from impact.
The internal construction of this pannier is also not to be underestimated. Much like the exterior, the interior is durable and consists of a hard plastic board to support the bag’s shape. Additionally, the main compartment has a capacity of 27 liters per bag and also comes with mesh pockets for smaller items. This compartment can be accessed by rolling the enclosure upwards, resulting in more accessibility.
The attachment system is also quite impressive. The brand opted for a three-point mounting system consisting of two brackets and one rotatable tab on the back. These can all be adjusted without a tool, adding to the flexibility and convenience of the product. Besides, the bag can be detached easily by pulling the strap at the top of the pannier.
Moreover, you get to enjoy a safer night cycling experience with reflective logos on both sides of each bag. Other details that you will notice include the rounded foot pads that protect the bottom of the bag, the buckles welded using heat press technology, and the elastic bungee cords for storage of items such as umbrellas.
6. Ibera Bicycle Bag PakRak Pannier
If you like the previous Ibera product, then the Ibera Bicycle Bag PakRak Pannier (Pair) would be a treat. Much like other Ibera models, this pannier prides itself on its effortless clip-on system as well as a quick-release function.
Each bag consists of three mounting brackets – two at the top and one at the bottom. The top brackets can be attached to the rear carrier by rotating the orange clip sticking out from the bag while the bottom bracket serves as a hook. I should also mention that all of these brackets are adjustable to meet every bike’s needs.
On top of its convenient mounting system, you also get to enjoy an accessible main compartment. Since the closure is being held by flyaway buckle straps and elastic bands, a single click to the straps can open the pannier. The internal construction also consists of 2 large pockets for an organized distribution of items. Besides, there is a zippered pocket at the top of the bag for smaller objects.
7. COFIT Bike Trunk Bag
If you’re itching for a multi-purpose pannier, I think the COFIT Bike Trunk Bag is a perfect choice. The product has a trunk bag design, making it suitable as panniers for motorcycle touring.
This pannier features a unique structure with three large compartments and a side pouch. There is a main compartment and 3 side pockets, two of which are zippered. Altogether, the bag has a capacity of 25 liters despite being only 650 grams in weight.
Furthermore, the brand committed to its multi-purpose function by adding one handle and a flexible 70-130 cm shoulder strap. Hence, it’s possible to use it as a handbag or a shoulder bag. Plus, the pannier is very durable as it is made of Nylon Oxford fabric that is resistant to wear and tear, resulting in a long-lasting product. You also get a rain cover with the product for when there’s downpour.
Another thing I like about these bike touring bags is the reflective tape on the sides of each bag. Such a feature provides safety when cycling at night or in the dark.
8. Two Wheel Gear Pannier
Another multi-purpose product that I think you would like is the Two Wheel Gear Convertible Pannier Backpack. This product serves as a pannier and can be converted into a backpack. Initially, the back of the pannier consists of strap buckles and a pocket. However, you can take out the backpack straps from the zippered packet and unfasten the strap buckles to turn this pannier into a professional backpack.
Furthermore, this bag can be attached by pushing the red latch from the bag’s back into the bike racks. Doing so will lock this latch and secure the pannier. To prevent unnecessary movement, you can also attach the adjustable lower strap buckles to the side of your pannier rack. Also, take note that the latch is compatible with racks with a width of 6 to 16 millimeters.
Another impressive feature that I’ve seen about this bag is the distribution of compartments. On its exterior, there are side pockets for water bottles. As for the interior, you will find several pen holders, a mesh phone pocket, a zippered mesh pocket on the front side of the bag, and a sleeve pocket at the very back which can accommodate 15.6-inch laptops. Overall, the total capacity of this bag is 22 liters.
Fortunately, this product comes with a rain cover. Hence, you can use it in rainy seasons. Moreover, the backpack form of this product features a sternum strap if you want to further secure the bag.
9. ArcEnCiel Bicycle Panniers
Do you often go on long trips? If so, I suggest looking into the ArcEnCiel Bike Bag Panniers. This product’s main compartment boasts a whopping 50-liter capacity which can be adjusted up to 130 pounds. This is due to the large main compartment and the exterior side pocket. Take note that the main compartment can be easily accessed by unfastening the Velcro straps and rolling the closure.
Notably, the product uses ultra-durable, long-lasting retro canvas material and PU coating, resulting in a rainproof and easy to clean surface resistant to tear and abrasion. On another note, the brand incorporates a built-in PE board which can protect the contents of the bag from shock and impact. On top of that, you also get a rain cover in case of heavy precipitation.
There’s no reason to struggle with the attachment system either. This is because the product uses adjustable Velcro straps for fastening so you don’t have to use tools. There are 3 buckles in between the panniers for the rear rack, of which there are two lower straps for the sides of the rack.
Other noteworthy features include a top handle design for a handheld bag, a wide reflective leather trim for safety at night, and 2 adjustable straps at the top of the bag to secure large objects.
10. FANWU 50L Bike Panniers
Our last entry is the FANWU 50L Bike Panniers. The key factor of this product’s appeal is that it has a little bit of everything – durability, aesthetics, convenience, and utility.
To begin with, this product is manufactured with dense, reinforced polyester along with PU coating. Hence, this pannier’s surface is waterproof and anti-sludge. The brand also made sure to secure the main compartment by adding an extra layer of waterproof nylon cloth as well as a PE board to maintain the shape of the bag.
Moreover, this product consists of multiple compartments. There is a large main compartment, a side pocket, and a front pocket with a mesh pouch, summing up to a capacity of 35 kilograms. You can also use the bundle belts at the top of the bag to carry large items such as sleeping bags and tents.
It’s also fascinating how FANWU added adjustable velcro straps on the main compartment so it can be secured in case of harsh weather conditions. The same goes for the other compartments as they are equipped with durable, water-resistant zippers. Besides, the product comes with a rain cover so there’s no need to worry about your properties getting wet.
Another notable feature regarding this product is the incredibly simple mounting system. The product consists of 4 hooks and 4 straps that can easily be attached to the rear carrier sides and rack. As expected, these panniers consist of reflective logos which can enhance your visibility at night.
What to Look for When Buying Panniers for Touring
When looking for the best bike panniers for touring, it’s important to look for certain features. Personally, I look for seven traits before deciding on a pannier to review. Let’s take a closer look at these features:
If you plan on touring, there’s a high likelihood that you will experience rainfall. This is precisely why it’s important to look for a waterproof bag. If the product is not waterproof, it should be at least resistant to rain or comes with a rain cover.
Easy On and Off
You will also benefit from a pannier that is easy to take on and off the bike. That’s why I recommend mounting systems that don’t involve the use of tools. Perhaps the best example is the clip-on system.
I also like to look for bags that are characterized by stiff padding. This is mainly because firm padding does not only protect the contents of the bag, it can also maintain the shape of the pannier.
There are several types of closure systems when it comes to panniers. Some are more complicated than others. I suggest going for bags with a roll-top as it is the easiest to manage much like the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic. Panniers with buckles on the closure are quite tempting due to their security.
Upon looking for a pannier, you will encounter products that can function as a different kind of bag. Some panniers can be used as backpacks, shoulder bags, or bike camping panniers. Of course, some products are used as a pannier only and nothing else. What you choose will depend on your preferences and requirements.
Obviously, you have to look for bags that are made of high-quality materials or at least durable ones. While it may increase the price a little bit, this is a worthy investment if you go bicycling touring frequently.
Weight, Size, and Capacity
You should also consider the weight, size, and capacity of the pannier. You should look for lightweight bags with a large capacity. As for the size, it’s up to you whether you want a large or small bag.
Although there are great products like the Arkel panniers or the Carradice panniers, due to a missing feature, they are not as effective as the bags mentioned here.
How to Set Up and Use
The steps on how you can attach a bike pannier ultimately depends on which product you purchased. As previously said, there are different mounting systems. Below are some of them:
- Straps: Panniers with straps are usually easy to attach. You simply have to bind the straps into the rear carrier and lock the buckle. Many cyclists prefer this mounting system since it doesn’t require the use of tools.
- Clip-On: There are also a large number of bags with a clip-on mounting system. This is perhaps the easy way to attach the bikes since you simply have to rotate a clip and the brackets will automatically connect to the rack. However, you need to adjust the positioning of the brackets according to the shape and size of the rack.
- Mixed: Rarely, you will find panniers that make use of straps and clips. Other than that, there’s really nothing special with this kind of mounting system.
With that being said, you have to take the mounting system to account when setting up and using the pannier. You should also have a rear rack installed on your bike. Otherwise, a pannier will not do you any good.
How Do You Pack a Touring Pannier
Normally, it’s up to your habits how you pack your items on a pannier for touring. However, there are general rules to this task and it will do you good if you know them.
To begin with, you should only pack items that cannot be used while cycling since the only way to access the rear pannier is to get out of the bike. That’s why I recommend packing things such as laptops, clothes, and sleeping bags. Things that are quite vital such as a medkit or a phone should be accessible at all times on your front bags.
I also advise you to put heavy items on the bottom of the pannier. Doing so will help balance the weight of the pannier. Besides, putting bulky objects at the very top will put a heavy burden on the items at the bottom and may result in serious damage. However, the best touring panniers will have padding at the bottom to minimize potential damage. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Bike touring is a serious matter, which is why you shouldn’t do it half-heartedly. There are times when you will encounter obstacles, and one of those obstacles is storage. Since most bicycles do not have a built-in storage system, you just have to install one.
By knowing the best panniers for touring, you will also have an easier time getting ready for bike touring. Hopefully, you can find a product that meets your requirements and preferences.