Best Bike Panniers Buyers Guide

So you need a bike pannier, something to put on your bike. It has advantages over shoulder bags and your traditional backpacks. They are generally larger and not as sweaty to carry. Along with this, they are much easier to waterproof.

Personally, we like bike panniers. As they can only be used on the bike, it’s not going to get lost around the house, its there on your bike where it’s needed like the boot of your car.

So in this list here, we are looking over some of the best panniers around, that we could find for you. But before that, we need to look at where on your bike it goes, and what is one? If you are a new look below.

 Are you looking for some great accessories for your bike if so check out our guide here

where can the Pannier go?

Waterproof Pannier for Cyclists | OverBoardA pannier will usually hang over the sides of your bike as shown in the picture above. They usually are located and will fit three places. Firstly the rear wheel, the top wheel, or lastly the front wheel hub.

The most common place is the rear.

So for this position, the bike needs to be one that has long chainstays. This is because the panniers over the rear wheel needs to leave space for your heel.

So this rules out your racing bikes, and bikes with that similar build. As the lightweight bikes are more prone to swaying.

But touring bikes on the other hand tend to have much longer chainstays. so this can work well on your touring bike.

So when you are looking for that extra space, for a camping trip for example. Then you could put the panniers on the fork also. This is a good use of your bikes potential carry and pretty much the limit!    

This works well if you have a high front rack for carrying some lighter items on top of the rack. 

Rack construction

Madison Summit SS rear rack (1).jpgSo what is the rack made from? 

Bike racks can be made from aluminum or steel rods. Steel is the cheaper option, and not as good in my opinion. They are in my opinion, rattly and flimsy. 

Aluminum rods are the better option, and a good quality one if right can carry heavy loads.

So you could go with the tubing, which is a much stronger option. And will carry heavier loads. 

So the material is important, yes, but the rack needs a good design. Triangulation is needed to help it.  So look out for that, a rack that a rectangle from when seen from the back of the bike will be much more flexible, than one that slopes inward from the bottom.

Racks can have some nice extra features such as the ability to hang your pannier. Some also have mounts at the back which you can put a light on.

What if my bike doesn’t have eyelets?

So any bike that you are intending to use to carry panniers will have eyelets on its frame, to bolt on a rack.

But this is not the case for all bikes. But there are some options for you.

Many manufacturers manufacturer racks that fit fine on a bike eyelets. Options like thules pedal rack straps on to the seat stays. And this one fits on nearly any bike that you throw it at.

Pannier options

There are a huge amount of bicycle panniers that are out there. For all sorts of uses, if you into commuting to work, or if you are after a big one that you want to load up with as much as possible. 

So with this in mind, you need to have a good think about what you are going to use the bags for. 

So with this in mind, you may need on that can safely carry your laptop if its a bag for commuting to work. Or if you want one for shopping, touring and the like, then large rear panniers are a good choice.

You may need something more specific, then there is also an option for a purpose made pannier. You can get ones for briefcases etc, you can get a pannier that is specialized which would do a better job than a general built one.


Lomo Dry Pannier Bag Hi-Vis - on bike.jpegSo your pannier will also need protection from the elements, to keep everything inside nice and safe.

You don’t want to be that guy with a plastic bag over flapping behind you as you are going to work in the rain. Many of these protections are hugely waterproof. 


QL2 attachment.jpg Bike panniers are securely attached to the rack of the bike with secure mechanisms, because they lock close, the hooks can’t bounce off the rail.

So this helps avoid your bag bouncing off and rolling away after going down a steep descent.

Pannier recommendations 

VAUDE Aqua Front Backpack


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This pannier is tough, roomy, and it’s waterproof. Vaude’s pannier will last for years.

They have a volume of 48 liters and amongst the biggest panniers you can get on the market. There’s plenty of room in there for your laptop, shoes and the rest of your work gear easily will fit in this giant of a pannier. So an external plate made from plastic helps the pannier keep the shape. This also can support the internal pockets.  It has great waterproof material, inside the bags themselves altogether this makes a tough pannier.

Thule Pack ’n Pedal Tote 

This pannier is a  gives you one large compartment, and it’s great for shopping, it can be carried over your shoulder or by hand because its hooks can fold when not needed.

It works well with the Thule racks, but this one will fit on most racks you may have.

Find out its latest price here on Amazon

Upso Potters Pannier

Upso Potters Pannier.jpg

This pannier is a lovely looking one, that will last you for many years. It will do you a great job in keeping your stuff dry and secured to your bike.

This brand has a range of bags available, which they use recycled materials and are an eco-friendly company in general.

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Carradice Super C A4 Pannier 

carradice super c a4 pannier.jpeg

This option, the carradice pannier is made in Britain, and you can count on it being tough and durable. This is shaped to take a4 files and anything around that size with ease, its a more specialty pannier than a do it all one. 

It is lovely to look at and well made to boot. Crafted with cotton duck, which is a waterproof waxed fabric. it’s very hard-wearing and will keep your items dry very efficiently. With a little bit of reproofing wax, it is going to last you many years.

Find a Carradice latest price here on Amazon

Ortlieb Vario

Ortlieb Vario.jpg

Find out its latest price on Amazon today

So this one looks a bit like a rucksack. Or could pass as one. But that aside its a great pannier. 

It is very well made and a tough fully waterproofed pannier styled bag. With a very simple roll-up closure.

The best selling point of the ortlieb is that is can transform so quickly into a rucksack. This gives it bonus points for its adaptability.  And the harness has good padding, and is comfortable to wear.