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 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, also for bicycle touring, with dozens of brands making very good alternatives to Ortlieb, most of the times for a fraction of the price. We compiled this list of the best bike panniers in 2018 hoping to help you figure out which pannier to buy.

How to choose the right bike pannier

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.

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. However, you can sort from the cheapest to the most expansive by using the price tag column, as a rule of thumb, for each $ symbol there you should add about 10$ ($$$$$ = 50USD).

 

Bike Panniers Comparison Table

You can sort the items or filter using the search box
Model NameFabric and materialsWaterproofVol.MountsVisibilityWeightClosure SystemAdd Ons Price Tag
Blackburn Barrier
Nylon?Radio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
17LPlastic locking hooks, adjustabletop design
Visibility panels
948gRoll TopInterlock racks, bags can be secured with a key
zipped exterior pocket
$$$

Rosewheel Tour Pannier
PVC mesh fabric
PE board support
Radio frequency welding
100% Waterproof


20L
Quick mounting hooksReflective silk screen logo
1300gRoll topStraps for shoulder carry$$$$

Arkel Orca 35/45/25

touring bicycle pannier Arkel Orca
CorduraRadio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
35LPlastic/steel
Adjustable
8 mm – 15 mm
Reflective logo1180gRoll topoptional shoulder strap
Internal organizer
Ext zip pocket
$$$$$$$
Crosso Dry 60/30
TarpulinRadio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
30LSteel (not adjustable) or Plastic (Locking Adjustable)Reflective logo890gRoll TopHandle$$$/$$$$
Topeak Pannier Dx Drybag
420 denier / 840 denier nylonRadio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
25LSteel (adjustable)Reflective paint1400gRoll TopHandle$$$$$$$$$
Ibera PakRak Panniers

1680D nylonWater resistant, needs raincover to reach 100% (Provided)30LPlastic (adjustable)Reflective trim.
900gTop lid with buckles2 large reinforced compartments, 2 side pockets,
Hand-carry strap
$$$
Brooks Land's End
Cordura(?)100% Waterproof20LPlastic (adjustable)N/A800gRoll TopN/A$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$
Altura Sonic 25
N/ARadio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
20LPlastic (not adjustable)
Locking clips
Reflective Detail
LED attachment points
N/ARoll TopN/A$$$$$
Altura Ultralite Vortex 30
N/ARadio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
15LStrap and plasticAltura Darkproof® Technology
superior retroreflectivity
500gRoll TopShoulder Strap
Packable
$$$$$$
Vaude Aqua Back Plus
PVC-free tarpaulin
100% Polyester; 1000 D Embossed Thermoplastic Polyurethane coated
Radio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
25LFully adjustable QMR 2.0 attachment system
lockable QMR
Plastic
reflective logo1060gRoll Topwelded outside pocket
inside pocket
shoulder strap
$$$$$$$$
Green Guru High Roller
Upcycled Bicycle Inner Tubes
10oz Vinyl Waterproof Tarp
Aerospace Mesh
Foam Padding
Nylon
HDPE Plastic Framesheet
Weather resistant sewing loops28LMetal Rack Clips
(adjustable)
Reflective webbing light1590gRoll TopBackpack straps$$$$$$$$$$
Thule Pack'n Pedal Tote
Non-PVCWeather resistant (needs raincover for 100% waterproofness)26LInnovative flipping system
Magnet bottom attachment
(Plastic)
Reflective strips1270gZip + Top LidShoulder Strap
clipping system hides when carried
$$$$$$$

Lone Peak Millcreek
N/AWeather resistant (needs raincover for 100% waterproofness)33LPlastic 2 sizesReflective strips1180gZipLarge front pocket
Front mesh pocket for wet storage
Horizontal cinch strap
$$$$$$$
Nashbar Waterproof
400 denier nylon with EPU backing100% Waterproof31LSteel (not adjustable)Reflective Logos on side and rear850gRoll TopN/A$$$$
Axiom Seymour
600D recycled fishnet Polyester with water resistant Polyurethane
Ultra-stiff Polyurethane backing
Weather resistant (needs raincover for 100% waterproofness)28LSteel (not adjustable)3M reflective accents and light clip750gTop LidDrawstring closure helps to manage load; Mesh side pocket with elastic closure; Zippered rear pocket; Mesh front pocket with elastic closure; Daisy-chain webbing loops$$$$


Detours D2R
Diamond ripstop nylonWeather resistant (needs raincover for 100% waterproofness -included )28LAdjustable, four-point attachment systemWide reflective stripes
1270grucksack-style underneath flapFront pocket and mesh side pockets$$$$
Seattle Sports Rain Freighter
VinylRadio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
21LHeavy-duty hooks clip (Plastic)Reflective detailsN/ARoll Top2.5L splashproof zippered pocket
Symmetric design
$$$$$$$$


Ortlieb Back Roller Classic
Polyester single and double coated with thermoplastic coatingRadio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
20LHeavy-duty adjustable hooks clip (Plastic) 3M Scotchlite reflectors950gRoll Topintegrated inner pocket
Shoulder strap
$$$$$$$$


Ortlieb Back Roller Plus
CorduraRadio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
20LHeavy-duty adjustable hooks clip (Plastic) 3M Scotchlite reflectors840gRoll Topintegrated inner pocket
Shoulder strap
$$$$$$$$$$


Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus
Abrasion-resistant PU laminated CorduraRadio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
21LHeavy-duty adjustable hooks clip (Plastic) 3M Scotchlite reflectors1280grucksack-style underneath flapOuter Pocket, Bottle-Cage, Mesh-Pocket$$$$$$
$$$$$$


RockBros Waterproof
840D Nylon + Water resistant polyester
PP back board
Radio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
27Ladjustable hooks clip (Plastic) - 360 rotatable bottom hook
Reflective logo885gRoll TopDrawstring bag for storing wet cloth
Rubber handle
$$$$$
Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX
600D Polyester HYDRACORE inner
Ultra-stiff polyurethane backing plate
Radio frequency welding
100% Waterproof
22.6LRixen & Kaul® VARIO 2 spring-loaded hooks 6mm-16mmReflective logo
Front and rear LED light clips
790gRoll TopTriple webbing
Carry handles; Shoulder strap
$$$$$

the best bike panniers in detail

Blackburn Barrier

Best touring panniers Blackburn

Welded-seam waterproof construction and roll top, zipped openings provide ultimate weather protection while our compression and load system offers another level of safety for your cargo.

Check what’s available at

Blackburn Sports Official Amazon Shop – Blackburn on Janson USA


Roswheel Touring Pannier

touring bicycle panniers roswheel

Roswheel is a Chinese company making some good bikepacking and cycle touring bags. The Tour Series Pannier is designed for long trips. It has a payload of 20 liters, you can stuff pretty much anything in it, food, clothes, tent, etc.

Seam welded and roll-top closure make the bag 100% waterproof, Reinforced PVC mesh fabric is easy to clean. The pannier comes with a strap for shoulder carrying. PE board at the bottom supporting the heavy load and make sure the bag doesn’t collapse. With the mounting hook, it is easier to load and unload too. Available only in black.

Check the official Roswheel store on Amazon


Arkel Orca 35L

touring bicycle pannier Arkel Orca

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.


Crosso Dry

 

bicycle touring panniers Crosso Dry

Our pick, the best fusion of quality, customer service, and price. 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. 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.

Check what’s available at Crosso Official Amazon Shop


Topeak Dry Bag DX

touring bicycle Topeak bags pannier drybag

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.

Check what’s available at Topeak Official Amazon Shop


Ibera PakRak

bike touring bag iberia

The Chinese 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 enstablish 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 but not fully waterproof.

Check what’s available at Ibera Official Amazon Shop


Brooks Land’s End

best bike with panniers Brooks

The world-renowned saddle brand Brooks also manufactures bike bags, and they are pretty styilish. Brooks Land’s End is probably the most attractive of all the panniers in pannier-ville, but it comes at a significant higher price.

The material these panniers are made of is also significantly lighter than Ortlieb’s, but the lack of rigidity takes away some of the bucket effect that makes the pannier retain its shape.

Check what’s available at Brooks Official Amazon Shop


Altura Ultalite Vortex 30

 

best bike pannier Altura Ultralite Vortex 30

When weight is key, these panniers are the ideal companion. Designed to be lightweight and versatile whilst durable enough to meet the demands of adventure touring. Supplied as a pair with the option of fitting one or the pair to suit different requirements.

Check what’s available at Altura Official Amazon Shop


Altura Sonic 25 Waterproof Pannier

touring pannier altura sonic

Fully waterproof, durable panniers engineered to meet the demands of the toughest touring adventures. With the KLICKfix™ Universal Rail System, and the roll top closure, these bags are easy to use and super stable on the bike.

Check what’s available at Altura Official Amazon Shop


Vaude Aqua Back Plus

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. Reflective elements ensure high visibility in traffic and low light conditions.

Check what’s available at Vaude Official Amazon Shop


Green Guru High Roller

Green Guru High Roller Pannier Backpack

The High Roller is a super durable and sleek bike pannier, made from upcycled bicycle inner tubes and recycled fabric, that serves as a backpack off the bike. With its stormproof construction and striking good looks, it keeps the elements at bay while you ride. The quick mount system secures to virtually any rack system.

Another great feature if this pannier bag is that it comes with backpack straps! The price tag though is pretty high, and it is also among the heaviest bicycle panniers on this list.

Check what’s available at Green Guru Official Amazon Shop


Thule Pack’n Pedal Tote

best bike bags for touring Thule

Urban-style bike bag that easily transforms into a carry bag with comfortable handles or shoulder strap. It features a very cool locking system which hides behind a panel for a more comfortable portability.

Check what’s available at Thule Official Amazon Shop or Thule shop on Outdoor Play


Lone Peak Millcreek Pannier

This bike pannier by Lone Peak has the interesting feature of opening up completely, like a suitcase. Very handy when it comes to organizing and fetching gear.

Check what’s available at Lone Peak Official Amazon Shop


Nashbar Waterproof

Nashbar bike pannier bag

Nashbar’s Waterproof Rear Panniers are made of rugged 400 denier nylon which is scuff, puncture, and tear resistant, and treated with EPU coating on the inside. A roll-top closure makes it impossible for water to work its way in, you pretty much have to throw these panniers in a river to get your stuff wet. With a whopping 31 liters of capacity, you can hit the road for months with these panniers.

Check what’s available at Nashbar Official Amazon Shop


Axiom Seymour

Bike Panniers Axiom Seymour Oceanwave

Every bag in the Seymour series uses a new fabric which they call Oceanweave, that contributes to reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans. These bags are the world’s only cycling bags to be made out of recycled fishing nets. They hope this product will inspire others to become a part of a solution to this environmental crisis.

Check All Axiom Products

on Official Amazon Shop – on Jenson USAon REI


Detours D2R

bicycle panniers Detours-D2R

These basic and ugly-looking panniers are among the cheapest you can find. Made of lightweight, water-resistant ripstop nylon and with a sturdy rubberized bottom, these panniers are built to handle weather, and have enough room for a few days’ supplies, perfect for camping overnights or credit card touring.

Check what’s available at Detours Official Amazon Shop


Seattle Sports Rain Freighter

Best Bike Touring Panniers Seattle Sports rainfreighter

Founded in 1983, Seattle Sports is one of the few outdoor gear companies still making (some) of their gear in their own US factory (Nogales, AZ).

Their first products were dry bags, and they were a pioneer in using radio-frequency seam welding (a method that uses the high-frequency waves and pressure to create a molecular bond) to build tough but affordable bags.

I really like the design of this vinyl panniers, with their big welded waterproof front pocket they look like a great alternative to Ortlieb.

Check what’s available at Seattle Sports Official

Amazon Shop – REI shopOutdoor Play


Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic

best panniers Ortlieb back roller classic

Ortlieb doesn’t need any introduction. These German bike panniers are leading the market since decades, at least when it comes to bicycle touring.

The Ortlieb Back Roller Classic are probably the most sold bike panniers in the world. They have been tested by thousands of tourers all around the world, in the most extreme conditions.

The price though is not super friendly, and there have been some complaints about quality not being the same as before.

Check all Ortlieb products

at Official Amazon Shop – at REIat Janson USA


Ortlieb Back-Roller Plus

waterproof panniers Ortlieb backroller plusBasically the same as the Back Roller Classic, but using Cordura instead of polyester as the main material. Cordura makes these full waterproof bicycle panniers even sturdier.

Check all Ortlieb products

at Official Amazon Shop – at REIat Janson USA


Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus

waterproof panniers ortlieb bike packer plus

Another Ortleb update, these sturdy waterproof pannier feature also a front pocket. The closure system is rucksack style underneath a flap. Like the Back Roller Plus, these panniers are also made of Cordura. They are though among the most expansive panniers out there, priced around 250USD for the pair.

All Ortlieb bags can be turned into a backpack using the Ortlieb carrying system for panniers

Check all Ortlieb products

at Official Amazon Shop – at REIat Janson USA


RockBros Waterproof

Waterproof bike pannier RockBross

A good alternative to Crosso Dry, this waterproof panniers feature a useful drawstring bag for storing wet cloth. Priced around 50USD each.

Check what’s available at RockBros Sports Official Amazon Shop


Axiom Monsoon Hydracore

touring pannier Axiom monsoon

A set of waterproof, roll-down style panniers for the cyclist who rides rain or shine. Suitable for front or rear use

Check All Axiom Products

on Official Amazon Shop – on Jenson USAon REI


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best touring bike panniers

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One Response

  1. Bryan Eckert

    I will vouch for the Ibera Pak RakK panniers. I have those, and some Ortlieb rollers. Bought them on a whim.

    Last trip I went on, it rained torrential downpours one entire day, and off-on rain the following day. I just slipped the rain covers on, everything stayed bone dry in the torrential downpours. The second day I left the covers off, and everything still stayed dry.

    The top flap with drawstring underneath is very easy to get into, and you can separate camping/clothing under the drawstring and leave a light jacket or rain coat on top just under the top flap for easy access. Much better than rolling/unrolling to get into.

    They also seem very well made, as are the other Ibera items I’ve since bought. The Pak Rakk system is great, if you buy their trunk bags or grocery bag they clip right on (I have the pak rakk and the grocery bag).

    Reply

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