We have a selection of front and rear bicycle touring panniers to carry and protect your gear.
You will need to decide how many bicycle touring panniers you require. For a 1-4 week trip staying in small hotels or bed & breakfasts I find I can fit everything in two rear panniers plus one handlebar bag. However I had friends on the same bicycle tour who did use front & rear panniers, but I pack very light. If I was camping then I would also require front panniers.
What to look for when purchasing touring bicycle panniers:
- Protection against the elements – some bicycle panniers are waterproof, others are water resistant. One option with many styles is to purchase pannier covers.
- Volume – how large are the panniers. Are they made for commuting or bicycle touring? You will want a large compartment with several small pockets for smaller items. Look for a bag over 2,000 cubic inches.
- Durability – fabrics and materials used in the construction
- Weight – how heavy are the panniers themselves, remember you will have to carry the panniers. The German made Ortlieb brand pannier is a little heavier, however it is considered one of the most durable and waterproof models available.
- Mounting – at the top some bicycle panniers you just hook over the racks. Other panniers have a clip that actually snaps on to the rack. A spring loaded bottom hook keeps them on your bike. In either case you do not want your panniers falling off the bicycle when you hit a bump.
- Style and colour – this is a personal choice. Some cyclists like bright colours for visibility and others a darker colour or black so the mud from the road does not show.
- Safety – many bicycle panniers do have a reflective strip on them, important in rainy conditions which you are sure to encounter.
- Handles – when you need to carry the pannier into a hotel, on a plane or train or while sightseeing etc. some panniers come with handles. Other models offer shoulder straps. When you move every 1-2 days in a foreign country and need to climb narrow European hotel stairs don’t under estimate this feature.
Displayed below are some of the major brands of touring bicycle panniers from the most trusted brands.