14 Best Waterproof Bike Panniers for Touring & Commuting in 2022
A complete list of the best commuting and bicycle touring pannier bags, from the cheapest to the fanciest
Despite being dominated mostly by Ortlieb, the bike panniers market is very lively, either for commuting, bicycle touring, and bikepacking, with dozens of brands manufacturing very good alternatives to Ortlieb, most of the time for a fraction of the price.
We compiled this list of the best bike pannier bags for touring and commuting in 2021/2022 hoping to help you figure out which pannier to buy.
How to choose the right bike pannier
What is the best bike pannier for you?
When making the decision on which bicycle pannier to buy there are a few factors to keep in mind. The first is for sure the use we intend to make of these panniers.
Daily groceries, commuting, and occasional short touring? You can stay cheap, maybe buying water-resistant (not 100% waterproof) low-cost panniers and use a rain cover when touring. Some prefer to use a commuter’s backpack.
Long-term bicycle expeditions? You’ll want something sturdy and 100% waterproof. You also might want to consider getting a dry bag or going for a bikepacking setup.
Then there are the different type of closure systems, which can give quicker or slower access to the gear inside the pannier (I personally prefer roll-top), the mounting system and compatibility with your bike rack, which should be checked before purchasing a pannier.
Some like smaller compartments and pockets, some prefer one single big chamber to carry also the bulkier items. Then there’s the price factor.
In the end, is up to you and your personal tastes. What we’ve done here is put together some of the most interesting bike panniers on the market, creating a table of comparison which can help you find the similarities and differences between expensive and cheap bike panniers on a glance.
We decided not to include prices since these vary a lot, you can click on the “check the latest price button.
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How we compile our gear guides: during the almost 10 years of cycloscope.net our team personally tested dozens of similar pieces of gear. For what we can't test personally, we involve other people in the cycling community to give their feedback and opinion about gear they have used. Our decade-long experience in bicycle touring enables us to find the key cons and pros of every product we mention.
The Best Bike Panniers in 2022 in Detail
Ready? Here our selection of the best bike panniers available with all their technical characteristics, find the model that best meets your needs and check the price. If you have other models to suggest, contribute to the comments section at the end of this article!
Arkel Orca 35L
Topeak DryBag DX
Vaude Aqua Back Plus
Green Guru High Roller
Thule Pack’n Pedal Tote
Lone Peak Millcreek Pannier
Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic
Ortlieb Back-Roller Plus
The Blackburn barrier is an affordable bike pannier with a lot of qualities. The welded-seam waterproof construction and roll-top, zipped openings protect your gear from all kinds of weather.
Interlock racks, bags can be secured with a key zipped exterior pocket
For our African bicycle expedition, we wanted to have the sturdier and most reliable panniers available, road conditions vary from terrible to worst here and we don’t want to worry about bags jumping off or being torn apart by the ubiquitous thorn trees.
Early this year (2019) MSX Mainstream launched its new line of panniers and bikepacking bags. It consists of:
The SLR 55 MX – Front Controller Bags: 26 liters capacity bike pannier with roll-up magnetic closure
SL 55 ZX luggage carrier bags: 26 liters capacity pannier with roll-up closure, top flap cover, internal pockets, and front zipper
Aqualung saddlebag: 18 liters reducible to 9 liters
The CLS 55 MX handlebar bag: 8.8 liters, rigid frame
They also manufacture a bikepacking-style handlebar bag and a waterproof backpack which we won’t treat in this article. All of these products, including the saddlebag and the handlebar bag, are 100% waterproof.
QuickLock system with one-hand operation. Three-point mounting OTS-V 8 pipe Ø 8mm to Ø 16.5mm
100% water and dustproof
Reflective security elements: PLUS-MINUS symbol elements
Arkel Orca 35L
Arkel front or rear waterproof bike panniers ORCA 35 come equipped with Arkel’s patented Cam-Lock® mounting system. Welded-seam technology ensures that the bag will stay dry, patented Cam-Lock® mounting system will keep the bags on the rack, regardless of the load or road conditions.
Many smaller details make this bag unique, an internal organizer for easy access to documents, maps, tablet, wallet, etc. This means you won’t have to empty half the bag to reach these.
A plastic protector at the bottom backside of the pannier adds protection between the bag and the rack and will avoid any premature wear caused by friction against the rack. Arkel also added D-rings for an optional shoulder strap.
Our pick, the best fusion of quality, customer service, and price. The fully waterproof tarpaulin is ready to fight against fearsome enemies: mud, water, and dust.
Armed with welded panels, seals, and rolling closure will keep your stuff dry even in rainstorms and stream crossings.
Other advantages of Dry series are low price and weight and impressive capacity, you can store all your camping gear in one single bag. When your ride ends you will appreciate how easy it is to clean them.
It’s just enough to spray them with water. Made in Poland. We used Crosso Panniers for several years, here’s our personal review.
Steel (not adjustable) or Plastic (Locking Adjustable)
Topeak DryBag DX
The Topeak Pannier DryBag DX is a large capacity, waterproof pannier featuring a sonically welded and fully seam-sealed 420 denier and 840 denier exterior.
A watertight roll-top closure provides maximum protection from road spray and wet weather. Its quick-release Hook and Lock system attaches the pannier securely to the rack and makes installation and removal quick and easy.
It is perfect for touring in wet conditions or for daily commuting.
The Taiwanese brand Ibera was established in 2004. Like is lately happening a lot in China, Massload, the firm behind the brand has been in business manufacturing bicycle parts under contract for major American and European companies for many years, has decided to establish his own brand.
The PakRak bicycle panniers feature 2 large reinforced compartments, 2 side pockets, Hand-carry strap, Reflective trim. They are among the cheapest bikepacking panniers, but not fully waterproof.
Water-resistant, needs rain cover to reach 100% (Provided)
2 large reinforced compartments, 2 side pockets, Hand-carry strap
Vaude Aqua Back Plus
The waterproof rear panniers Aqua Back Plus are manufactured at the German VAUDE company headquarters near Lake Constance with durable, PVC-free tarpaulin material.
With a roll closure that allows you to customize the size of the bag and seal it so that it’s watertight. An extra inside pocket and outer welded pocket makes it easy to store things separately.
The bags are securely attached to the right and left sides of the back gear rack with the QMR 2.0 system, which also allows for easy adjustment and quick on-and-off.
With a bike lock, they can be directly locked onto the QMR hook, making them the safest cycle touring panniers. Reflective elements ensure also high visibility in traffic and low light conditions rides.
Drawstring bag for storing wet cloth Rubber handle
FAQs About Bike Panniers
Can a pannier go on any bike?
To be attached to the bike, bicycle panniers need a carrier, also known indeed as pannier rack. Be sure your bike’s frame has the correct mounting points (called braze-ons) to fit the pannier rack of your choice. Most panniers can be mounted on any rear rack, while front racks can usually support only small panniers (this depending on the pannier bags’ mounting system).
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