Top 10 Best Panniers in 2018

As a cyclist, you know all about how important it is to choose quality components. The same goes for panniers and other cycling bags. Quality is also super important here, so you don’t risk buying a set of bags that fall apart in the middle of your adventures.

Besides the quality issue, you also need to spend some time considering what you need from your new panniers. That is what size they should be and if you need any special features.

Having checked hundreds of panniers reviews, we can say that the Thule Pack n Pedal is the best choice for most people.


Thule Pack n Pedal

Thule Pack n Pedal

The best reviewed panniers
Rated 4.44 out of 5

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PS: We have checked 408 reviews to make this top 10 list!
RankModelRating
1Thule Pack n PedalThule Pack n Pedal4.44Check Price
2Ortlieb Back RollerOrtlieb Back Roller4.40Check Price
3Blackburn OutpostBlackburn Outpost4.24Check Price
4Timbuk2 AlemanyTimbuk2 Alemany3.81Check Price
5Timbuk2 PortolaTimbuk2 Portola3.80Check Price
6Blackburn LocalBlackburn Local3.76Check Price
7Blackburn BarrierBlackburn Barrier3.38Check Price

How we rate the bags

We have checked 408 panniers reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It’s much simplier to find the best bags that way.


Not sure what panniers to choose? Read on as we are going to take a closer look at each bag!


1 – Thule Pack n Pedal

4.5 review stars Rating 4.44 based on 9 reviews

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Thule Pack n Pedal


Here’s what the reviewers think about the Thule Pack n Pedal:

Reviewers like these things about the Thule Pack n Pedal

  • Some users like how its reflective elements increase visibility from all angles.
  • Others also like the built in light attachment on the back of the pack allowing them to be seen in traffic.
  • Some bikers like the hideaway helmet attachment system feature of the bag which securely holds theur helmet when not in use.
  • Others like the presence of the padded, removable compartment with tablet sleeve which sits on top of the bag rather than against their back for greater comfort.
  • A number of owners love how the breathable shoulder straps and airflow channels on the back panel provide maximum comfort and ventilation.
  • The hideaway high visibility rain cover with reflective screen print impressed a lot of users as it increases the bag’s protection.
  • Many users find it very comfortable for both biking and walking.
  • Others find the front pocket is good for storing cables, adapters or whatever random thing.
  • Some users are impressed with how it folds down or expands depending on their needs.
  • Many owners thought it’s a well-designed backpack for people who commute or travel by bike and are exposed to the elements.
  • Others like how its side-squeeze nylon buckles keep it securely closed.
  • Some users laud the presence of a crush-proof compartment for more fragile items like a smartphone or sunglasses.
  • Many users recommend this backpack for the true commuter, whether on bike, motorcycle or foot.
  • Others like how the curved metal zipper pulls are ergonomic and supplemented with removable pull cord.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users noted the stiching on the handle is poor.
  • Others said after week of usage, the main reflector stop.


2 – Ortlieb Back Roller

4.5 review stars Rating 4.40 based on 103 reviews

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Ortlieb Back Roller


Here’s what the reviewers think about the Ortlieb Back Roller:

Reviewers like these things about the Ortlieb Back Roller

  • According to users, the Ortlieb Back Roller is very clearly designed for repeated use on long, demanding rides.
  • Other users pointed out that it has set a precedent for waterproofing, capacity, and bombproof construction.
  • Testers noted that the bag has all the features that we would look for in a well-thought-out pannier design.
  • Reviewers mentioned that the bag is a true cyclist’s pannier.
  • They noticed that it utilized a very secure hook-and-latch style mounting hardware that is expected to see on user-friendly touring models.
  • Users said that the attaching of things on this pack is easy.
  • Other reviewers also found that the hook located at the bottom is straightforward to adjust on the fly and didn’t require any tools to tighten completely.
  • According to some reviewers, its roll-top design provides a degree of over-packing to place more gear for emergencies.
  • Testers noted that the bag holds gear exceptionally well.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A tester had an issue with the mounting hardware of the bag.
  • A reviewer thought that it should have some thicker webbing on the handle and closure and more robust mounting hardware.


3 – Blackburn Outpost

4.5 review stars Rating 4.24 based on 155 reviews

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Blackburn Outpost


Here’s what the reviewers think about the Blackburn Outpost:

Reviewers like these things about the Blackburn Outpost

  • A user said he was so happy with the bag because it’s nicely designed,includes a velcro inner divider with padding, perfect fit for his dolphin battery.
  • One owner thought it looks pretty rad on his military green zombie apocalypse folder.
  • A lot of users love it for its high quality,rugged look and ample space for a number of items.
  • Others particularly liked the nice thick velcro straps that holds the bag well.
  • many users loved how they can move the straps to where they need them via the well spaced loops around outside of bag.
  • Moveable separater is also a favorite feature as it lets them partition the bag into two compartments of any size that suits their needs.
  • Others find the webbing loops along its bottom side perfect for Velcro strapping a compact pump.
  • Many who used the bag thought it’s sturdy,very durable, expandable and convenient.
  • Users were amazed with how the zippers never failed or jammed.
  • Reviewers thought it’s a good-looking bag that is convenient for getting things in and out while standing over the bike.
  • Others noted how it stays in place mile after mile, seems to be very water resistant and holds stuff securely.
  • Excellent quality material, zippers, and aesthetics,plenty of attachment points with solid velcro bands are some of the reasons for purchasing this bag.
  • Other users described it as great for carrying gear,solid piece of equipment for your day-to-day routes or long tours.
  • Many owners who tested it said it’s a good and stable frame bag, easy to get a good fit with the multiple mounting options.
  • One user who used it for bikepacking liked it for its high quality build with all sorts of space.
  • Another thing that users liked about the bag is the size and the fact that it can enlarge itself by unzipping the bottom section and allowing it to fold down.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user said it would be nice if some accessory straps were included.
  • Others didn’t like it because the velcro straps are not padded which results to scuffing the bike’s finish.


4 – Timbuk2 Alemany

4 review stars Rating 3.81 based on 19 reviews

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Timbuk2 Alemany


Here’s what the reviewers think about the Timbuk2 Alemany:

Reviewers like these things about the Timbuk2 Alemany

  • Most users said that this bag fits everything you need for the day like gym clothes, work clothes, lunch, toiletries, riding boots etc.
  • Users said that it clips in very easily and the carrying strap make it easier than other panniers to carry around.
  • Some other users said that they love the fact that it can get larger by opening the lid and smaller by rolling the top.
  • They also said that they love the fact that it’s spacious and sturdy.
  • Most reviewers said that they can bring this into the office and look good.
  • Some other reviewers said that although this product is not waterproof, it’s water-repellent and I’ve never had issues with getting my stuff wet.
  • Other reviewers said that the rack clips have turnable hooks that secure the bag in place.
  • Many users mentioned that there is a velcro strap at the bottom of the bag to secure it to the rack.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that it is difficult to adjust rack hooks,.
  • Another user complained that one button broke after a few weeks of use.


5 – Timbuk2 Portola

4 review stars Rating 3.80 based on 5 reviews

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Timbuk2 Portola


Here’s what the reviewers think about the Timbuk2 Portola:

Reviewers like these things about the Timbuk2 Portola

  • Reviewers thought that the Timbuk2 Portola pannier is durable due to its material.
  • Other reviewers remarked that it is comfortable to wear.
  • Users noted that it is a reflective pannier with a high capacity.
  • They also stated that it could be used for all conditions of riding.
  • Testers noted that its front zip pocket could be used for keeping small items in check.
  • Users found that its bucket interior could be a good substitute for a paper market bag.
  • Other users noted that the bag consists of a grab handle for easy lifting and hauling.
  • Testers found that the pack is lined with TPU for easy cleaning.
  • Many of the reviewers noted that this TPU lining also keeps various elements out.
  • Testers said that it the bag is compact and well-made.
  • Other testers also found its design to be attractive and stylish.
  • A lot of users indicated that it consists of a fast clip attachment.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer thought that it does not come in pairs.
  • Another reviewer indicated that the reflector stripes do not mirror each other.


6 – Blackburn Local

4 review stars Rating 3.76 based on 98 reviews

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Blackburn Local


Here’s what the reviewers think about the Blackburn Local:

Reviewers like these things about the Blackburn Local

  • A lot of users have mentioned that the Blackburn Local seat bag is durable due to its polyester material.
  • Others thought that the contents of the bag could be secured well through its zip closure.
  • Reviewers praised its versatile design.
  • Several users noted that the bag is water-resistant.
  • According to some users, the bag allows them to be visible at night due to the presence of a loop on the back to mount a light.
  • A reviewer mentioned that it has excellent load stability.
  • Testers noted that the pack could be attached to any bike easily.
  • Other testers indicated that the bag is at a full liter of capacity, allowing users to stash tools and food, among others.
  • Many wrote that phones could also fit just fine.
  • They also said that its design is simple yet functional.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A reviewer thought that the bag is smaller than expected.
  • Another user had issues with the length of the velcro strap.


7 – Blackburn Barrier

3.5 review stars Rating 3.38 based on 19 reviews

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Blackburn Barrier


Here’s what the reviewers think about the Blackburn Barrier:

Reviewers like these things about the Blackburn Barrier

  • Most reviewers said that the pack is waterproof.
  • Many users liked the fact that it has a quick access side pocket.
  • Users said that the interior velcro dividers are good for keeping things organized.
  • They also liked the fact that the flaps are magnetic and stick to the bag.
  • Some users said that it fits lots of stuff.
  • One great feature mentioned by many users is that it has two velcro straps at the bottom to connect to any standard bike rack.
  • Some reviewers said that they used it on long group rides and can fit lots of gear.
  • They also said that the bag is very well constructed.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that the opening won’t stay open on its own so you have to hold it open.
  • Another user complained that the bag size can hold many small items but definitely won’t fit a laptop.

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Buyer’s guide to panniers


If you are a cycling enthusiast and go practically everywhere on your bike, you are going to need to be able to carry items around. This is where pannier bags come in – they are specifically built to be able to take luggage on your bike. They also help to make you look less ridiculous as you cycle around, bags in hand.

There is actually a lot of choice out there when it comes to these type of bags which can make the selection process a little trickier for you. To simplify it a bit, we have come up with some criteria that will make it easier to pinpoint the right option. Here is what you should be aware of when choosing pannier bags.

What You Should Consider When Choosing Pannier Bags

Deciding on which pannier bag will work for you and your bike is more than simply choosing a sizable bag that looks good. There are numerous other factors that you will have to take into consideration, including how you will be using this type of bag. This is why you cannot simply choose the first pannier that you come across and like. Here you will find all of the information you will need to make a more informed decision:

What Purpose Will the Pannier Serve?

The very first thing that you will need to figure out is what purpose your bike pannier will serve. Typically, you will find that panniers are sought after two main purposes by cyclists – touring and commuting. These are rather different activities and thus, require rather diverse bags.

Commuting

If you commute by bicycle, then there is a good chance that you travel to school or work in this manner. This is why most commuters look for panniers that have lots of internal organizational features. This includes pockets and compartments where you can store various papers, stationery, and maybe even a tablet or a laptop.

The other thing that is required with these type of panniers is durability. After all, you are going to need a bag that can take a considerable amount of weight day in and day out. Also, it will probably have to contend with dirt and debris from the road as well.

Touring

Now, the precise needs of someone looking for a touring pannier can vary, depending on the type of traveler that you are. In most cases, though, you are probably looking for bags that can accommodate all of the items that you will need when traveling across greater distances. Therefore, you will need larger bags although organization isn’t as much of a concern here.

At the same time, those who ride touring bikes tend to prefer lightweight options so that they don’t feel the weight as much even when the bags are full. While durability is important, these type of cyclists prefer bags that can withstand rain and other environmental factors more.

As you can imagine, it is not only people with commuter and touring bikes that are interested in carrying items with them. However, when it comes to panniers, these are the two types of bikes that best support the bags and their carrying system. While bikes such as MTBs may be able to take these panniers, you will have a limited number of choices when it comes to size and design.

Where Will the Bag Be Stored?

You can’t simply sling your pannier on your bike and call it a day. Instead, you have to rely on pannier racks on which you can attach or hang the bags on. Some of these racks may come already attached to the bike or you may be required to fix them on yourself. The most common types of luggage racks for bicycles are front and rear racks. The placement of the racks on your bike will dictate whether you use front panniers or rear panniers.

If you want easy access to your luggage, it makes sense to keep your panniers up front with you. This means that you can choose to keep the bags next to the front wheel hub or above the front wheel. If you want your luggage within arm’s reach, a pannier near the handlebars will make the most sense. The panniers stored in the front tend to be smaller and more compact.

For those who want to carry larger loads, rear panniers are usually used, especially since you have more space to carry things here. The panniers are kept near the rear wheel and can also be fitted onto the top of the rack, near the seat as well.

How Large Should the Bags Be?

The most common sizes for pannier bags tend to be around 20 or 25 liters. However, these bags can range all the way from around 7 liters to 90 liters. This variance is so that you can find a bag to suit all sorts of trips.

If you just want a pannier to carry small items so that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of a backpack, then you will find that the smaller options will work just fine for you. The advantage of these smaller bags is that can be stored near the handlebars so all of your items are easily accessible.

For those who are looking for commuter panniers, though, will find that bags between 25 liters and 40 liters will be more than suitable. If you wish to go grocery shopping on your bike and want to carry everything in your panniers then you may want to invest in a larger option.

In most cases, touring panniers need to be quite large although this does depend on where you are traveling too. If you are going on a road trip, then it is worth it for you to choose as large a bag as possible. This way, you will be able to carry a greater amount of equipment and supplies with you.

Single vs. Double Panniers

Now, you can’t talk about pannier size without also considering single and double panniers. There aren’t any rules per se, when it comes to sizes of each of these panniers – they can be small or large. Typically, though, most people use small double panniers and larger single panniers.

If you are confused about whether to opt for one or two panniers, you should consider how much you want to carry. For smaller loads, for instance, under 7 kilos, you will be fine with a single pannier. Anything more than that, however, and you may want to consider double panniers. This is so that the weight will be more evenly spread between the two sides, making it easier for you to ride.

Are Waterproof Features Necessary?

Since you will be exposed to the elements every single day, it is only normal that you will consider a pannier that is able to protect your belongings from the rain. When it comes to protection from water, you have a choice between water resistant panniers and ones that are waterproof.

Your first question may be regarding what the difference between these two is. Well, water-resistant refers to the temporary shield that a bag provides to your possessions. Waterproof bags, on the other hand, should be able to keep your belongings dry even if the pannier was submerged in water.

Water resistant panniers are generally made from Cordura fabric and have regular fastenings and compartments. They are also more affordable than waterproof bags. If you are looking for a pannier for commuting, chances are that you will not require anything sturdier than a water-resistant bag.

Most touring panniers, nonetheless, should be made from waterproof material since you may not be able to duck into a building when you are on the road. These panniers are largely made from cotton duck fabric, PVC, or tarp. It is not just the material that makes these panniers waterproof, though, it is how they are designed as well. They are complete with roll-top closures to prevent moistures from getting in. They also have welded seams and no external compartments.

What Should You Look For In An Attachment System?

The attachment system of a pannier bag is the method in which you can secure the pannier to the bike. The most common options are spring loaded hooks, bungee cords, clips, and similar mechanisms. The type of system that you should look for depends on the type of biking that you are doing.

If you want panniers for commuting or for quick trips, then you will need a mechanism that is easy to handle. This means that you will be able to attach and detach the pannier to and from the bike in a matter of seconds. Thus, there is less hassle for you.

For those who are touring, however, you need something quite different. Here, these systems need to be able to securely hold the pannier to the bike frame. They need to be strong and durable, which is especially important if you are cycling over tough terrain. Under these circumstances, it is fine if it takes a bit of fiddling to attach or remove the pannier.

Safety Features

While pannier bags certainly don’t pose a threat to you, they can make it a bit more difficult to ride your bike, especially if you are not used to cycling with added weight. This, in turn, can make it more difficult to handle and maneuver the bike, making the activity slightly more dangerous than before.

So, what can you do to make this safer for you? Well, if you really aren’t comfortable with carrying too much of weight, you should place your panniers at the back, hanging down. This is because it tends to be easier to carry weight that is hanging low.

You should also test out the placement of the pannier before you set out. Basically, while you are cycling, your feet or the pedal shouldn’t come into contact with the bag behind you. If it does, you need to reposition the pannier or choose a smaller one for the journey.

If you want to use double panniers, then make sure that the weight that you are carrying is equally distributed between the bags. This will make it easier for you to maneuver the bike. If you want just one, though, remember to position it on the other side of traffic.

This is what you should consider when choosing pannier bags so that you are able to make a much better choice for yourself.


Selected reviews


Road CC reviewed the Blackburn Local

The Blackburn Local Rear Pannier is a practical choice for carrying everyday stuff. It’s not a trans-continental all-weather off-road touring tardis, though.

Posted 13 August 2016 by Mike Stead – Read full review


Tools & Toys reviewed the Ortlieb Back Roller

By using panniers like the Back Roller City and letting the bicycle carry your stuff for you, you can rediscover the simple joy of riding a bike simply to move from point A to point B. No adrenaline, no rush, and no sweat. It is a fantastic way to experience your city in a whole new way, and all it takes is a little push.

Posted 2 June 2015 by Alvaro Serrano – Read full review


Road CC reviewed the Ortlieb Back Roller

A good set of panniers can be an investment that sets you up for many years of happy load hauling. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll see plenty of Ortlieb’s Back Rollers on both commuters and grizzled tourists. There’s a reason for their ubiquity – they’re bloody good.

Posted 15 May 2011 by rob_simmonds – Read full review


Bike Radar reviewed the Ortlieb Back Roller

Both a commuting and touring favourite, Ortlieb pioneered the fully watertight, seam-sealing process. Lightweight, high quality, fully waterproof panniers – expensive.

Posted 3 July 2007 by BikeRadar – Read full review



Notes about this top 10 list


The list was last updated 19/09/2018.

The list shows the best reviewed panniers from a much bigger list of selected products. The list should not be considered a complete list of all available, excellent panniers

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


About MightyGoods

Here at our site MightyGoods, we have checked thousands of reviews in order to build the biggest directory of backpacks, luggage, handbags and lots of other bags.

So far we have checked more than 2,1 million reviews!

Using our bag review summaries, we aim to help you find the perfect bag without having to spend a lot of time reading an endless list of reviews.


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