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You’re planning your next (or perhaps your first) touring trip – the route is planned, your bike is dialed, and you are starting to put together a list of gear you need to take. You’re going to need something to pack it all in, right? We think the ideal gear carrier comes in the form of the best pannier for bike touring that attaches to a rear rack.

Panniers are the perfect way to stash lots of gear without having to use a backpack. They come in a variety of sizes to suit the length and style of your next trip, whether they are a multi-pocket design, a single pouch, or perhaps convertible into a backpack for off-the-bike use.

The Adventure Junkies Bike Touring Experts have put together their top 10 panniers for touring that will suit a variety of different needs and budgets. All the panniers on the list below have plenty of different features depending on what you’re looking for, so you’re sure to find the right one for you!

For more of our top biking gear recommendations, check out the Best Bicycle Touring Tires.

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Quick Answer - The Best Panniers for Touring

  1. Blackburn Wayside
  2. Banjo Brothers
  3. Burley Pannier Set
  4. Timbuk2 Tandem
  5. Benno Utility
  6. Axiom Seymour Oceanweave P35+
  7. Ortlieb Gravel-Pack
  8. Salsa Touring
  9. Thule Shield
  10. Axiom Monsoon Oceanweave P23+

 

Comparison Table - Best Panniers for Touring

PictureNameWeightGear CapacityWaterproof?StylePriceRating
Blackburn Wayside2.05 oz19LNo, Water ResistantPannier And Backpack$4.5
Banjo Brothers4.1lbs18LYesPannier And Backpack$3.8
Burley Pannier Set2.2 lbs. per pair22L per pairYesPannier - Pair$4.1
Timbuk2 Tandem2.9 lbs. per pair30L per pairYesPannier And Shoulder Bag$4.6
Benno UtilityN/A30LNo, Classified Water ResistantPannier$$3.9
Axiom Seymour Oceanweave P35+2.11 lbs. per pair35L per pairNo, Classified Water ResistantPannier$$$4.2
Ortlieb Gravel-Pack2.9 lbs.25L per pairYesPannier$$$4.8
Salsa Touring1.8 lbs.27LYesPannier$$$4.1
Thule Shield3.8 lbs. per pair28L per pair (14L each)YesPannier And Shoulder Bag$$$3.9
Axiom Monsoon Oceanweave P23+2.11 lbs.23LYesPannier$$$4.6
PictureNameWeightGear CapacityWaterproof?StylePriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Bicycle Touring Panniers

Blackburn Wayside

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top
  • Dimensions: 11” x 5.5” x 16.3”
  • Weight: 2.05 oz
  • Material: Waxed Canvas
  • Style: Pannier And Backpack
  • Waterproof?: No, Water Resistant
  • Gear Capacity: 19L
Features
  • Converts From A Pannier To A Backpack
  • Daisy Chain Webbing To Attach Extra Lights And Gear
  • Waxed Canvas Provides Water Resistance

BEST FOR: EVERYDAY TO ADVENTURE

This is a multipurpose bag that can take you from your everyday office job to your weekend adventures. This bag transforms from a backpack to a pannier by simply unclipping the backpack straps and tucking them into the zippered pouch on the back of the bag. 

This classic pannier features multiple pockets for separating out your gear, daisy chain webbing to attach lights or extra gear externally, and solid straps for attaching it to a rear rack. Made from a durable and water resistant wax canvas, this bag not only looks great but is also up to the task of bikepacking off the beaten track.

Banjo Brothers

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top And Flap
  • Dimensions: 15.5" x 11.5" x 6.75"
  • Weight: 4.1lbs
  • Material: 1680D Polyester
  • Style: Pannier And Backpack
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 18L
Features
  • Multi-Pocket Design To Separate Gear
  • Replaceable Waterproof Liner
  • Reflective Piping For Added Visibility

BEST FOR: MULTI PURPOSE USE

This utilitarian bag has the ability to switch from pannier to backpack in seconds, making it really useful for those who are always on the go. Being able to take it off your rear bike rack and simply sling it over your shoulder means you can easily carry your valuables with you both on and off the bike.

Fitted with a replaceable waterproof liner in the large main compartment to keep your gear dry, alongside 3 other large compartments, there is plenty of room for carrying lots of gear and keeping it separated. The heavy duty and durable outer shell is fitted with reflective material and has plenty of areas to place an extra light to help you be seen when riding at night or in low-light conditions.

Burley Pannier Set

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top
  • Dimensions: 14.5” x 10 x 6”
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs. per pair
  • Material: PVC
  • Style: Pannier - Pair
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 22L per pair
Features
  • Brightly Colored For Visibility
  • Simple, Yet Functional Design
  • Lightweight

BEST FOR: ROUGH WEATHER

Sometimes all you need is a simple solution – a single compartment waterproof bag that carries your gear. The Burley Pannier Set is exactly that solution.

The simple design of this pair of panniers makes them extremely lightweight. They weigh in at only 2.2lbs for the pair, yet they’re able to carry a decent sized payload of 22L. Perfect for helping to keep unessential weight down on the bike! 

These panniers are made from a super durable and waterproof PVC with heat sealed seams to stop water from leaking in. Paired with a roll top closure, you can rest assured that these bags can withstand torrential weather. They have a carry handle on top so they are easy to take on and off your bike and they are bright yellow to help you stay seen when you’re on your next bikepacking adventure.

Timbuk2 Tandem

Specs
  • Closure: Flap And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 14.6” x 14.2” x 4.7”
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs. per pair
  • Material: 600 Denier Polyester
  • Style: Pannier And Shoulder Bag
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 30L per pair
Features
  • Top Pocket To Stash Essentials
  • Magnetic Joiner To Convert To Shoulder Bag
  • Grab Handles For Easy Lifting

BEST FOR: ON ROAD BIKE TOURING

When you want to look good while bike touring, check out the Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier Set. These sleekly designed panniers come as a pair and are also able to be carried as a shoulder bag when not being used on the bike. Featuring a magnetic joiner system the bags simply join together – attach the strap that comes with the bag and sling it over your shoulder.

The bag’s main compartment is large enough to fit a 15” laptop alongside plenty of other gear, with various compartments to help you stay organized. Plus it features a smaller zippered pocket to stash your essentials such as keys, cash, and your phone. The bags are also waterproof with an over flap and buckle to ensure you gear stays dry and secure.

Benno Utility

Specs
  • Closure: Flap And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 10.2” x 21.6” x 16.5”
  • Weight: N/A
  • Material: Nylon
  • Style: Pannier
  • Waterproof?: No, Classified Water Resistant
  • Gear Capacity: 30L
Features
  • Large Carrying Capacity
  • Multiple Straps For Extra Capacity
  • Wide Opening For Easy Access

BEST FOR: LARGE CARRYING CAPACITY

If you have a long journey that takes you off the beaten path of civilization and you need to carry a lot of gear, or you just don’t like to travel light, then the Benno Utility Pannier Bag could be worth checking out. 

A huge carrying capacity of 30L means this bag should be able to carry just about anything you need, featuring a super wide opening for easy access and to help fit in bulky items. It also has an adjustable velcro strap so you can store larger items. Simply open the bag and secure your gear with the straps. There is a small stash pocket on the front for storing your essentials and lots of straps and loops to attach extra gear or lights on the outside of the bag. This is a great option for those who like to travel with all their creature comforts.

Axiom Seymour Oceanweave P35+

Specs
  • Closure: Drawstring With Flap And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 17.3” x 10.6” x 5.3”
  • Weight: 2.11 lbs. per pair
  • Material: Recycled Fishnet Plastic And Polyurethane
  • Style: Pannier
  • Waterproof?: No, Classified Water Resistant
  • Gear Capacity: 35L per pair
Features
  • Made From Recycled Materials
  • Drawstring Closure For Easy Access
  • Reflective Material Used For Added Visibility

BEST FOR: LIGHT BIKE TOURING

If you fancy a little bit of bike touring, but prefer to mostly ride when the sun is shining and stay in hotels or an Airbnb, the Axiom Cycling Gear Seymour Oceanwave range of pannier bags could be the right solution for you.

These bags are made from recycled materials and feature many different pockets and pouches inside and out to keep your gear organized. There is also plenty of space on the outside of the bag to attach extra gear. 

The main compartment closes with a drawstring and an over flap to ensure your gear is kept securely inside, safe and dry. These lightweight bags, although not waterproof, are water resistant so they are perfect for the bike tourer who is happy to wait for the sun to shine before saddling up.

Ortlieb Gravel-Pack

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 11.8” x 9.8” x 5.5”
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs.
  • Material: Polyurethane-Coated Nylon
  • Style: Pannier
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 25L per pair
Features
  • Waterproof And Dustproof
  • Lightweight Yet Durable Design
  • Wide Opening For Easy Access

BEST FOR: GRAVEL RIDING

These panniers have been designed specifically for bike touring on gravel. They are not only waterproof but also dustproof – simply follow the closure instructions of rolling the top 3-4 times and you will have dry and dust free gear at the end of your ride.

Although these appear to be a simple single pouch design, they are in fact extremely high tech. The durable outer material is extremely lightweight and waterproof, paired with a sturdy and adjustable system for mounting to your bike racks. A top handle makes carrying easy and the symmetrical design means you can mount these on either side of your bike. If you’re planning a multi-day gravel adventure, these bags are worth taking a closer look at.

Salsa Touring

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 7” x 9.5 - 12”
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs.
  • Material: Nylon
  • Style: Pannier
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 27L
Features
  • Convenient Carry Handle
  • Brightly Colored For Added Visibility In Low Light
  • Inner Pouch To Store Valuables

BEST FOR: MULTI-WEEK EPIC ADVENTURES

Big rides tend to mean carrying a lot of gear. That’s no problem for the Salsa Touring Pannier which has a whopping 27L capacity! Not to mention a stack of other features which make it one of the better choices for longer bike touring trips.

The single compartment design is made from a durable and waterproof material, paired with a roll down top and buckle that keeps your gear secure and dry. It also comes with a small removable inner pouch so you can store valuables in one place that’s easy to grab when you arrive at a destination. And a nice touch from Salsa is the color scheme – bright red, so that you are easily seen out on the road. Safety first!

Thule Shield

Specs
  • Closure: Flap And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 10.2” x 21.6” x 16.5”
  • Weight: 3.8 lbs. per pair
  • Material: Nylon, Plastic, Steel
  • Style: Pannier And Shoulder Bag
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 28L per pair (14L each)
Features
  • High Visibility Design With Reflective Elements
  • Waterproof And Dustproof
  • Detachable Shoulder Strap

BEST FOR: HIGH VISIBILITY AND HIGH QUALITY

Thule are renowned for making high quality bags and racks and the Thule Shield Pannier is no exception. This beautifully designed and sleek looking pannier features a reflective print on the outer shell for excellent visibility alongside light mounting points to ensure you are seen when out on the road. 

Constructed from a waterproof and dustproof material with welded seams, paired with a roll down top and double buckle system, you can be confident your gear will stay dry and dust free. The interior is a single large pouch with an organizational sleeve at the back to tuck away any essentials you may want to grab quickly, such as your phone, wallet, important papers, or snacks! It is a slightly smaller bag at 14L per bag but a great option for those who like to travel light.

Axiom Monsoon Oceanweave P23+

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 18.5“ x 11.3” x 5.3”
  • Weight: 2.11 lbs.
  • Material: 600 Denier Reclaimed Polyester
  • Style: Pannier
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 23L
Features
  • Made With Recycled Materials
  • Separate Electronics Organizer Pouches
  • Compression Straps To Control The Load

BEST FOR: THE DIGITAL TRAVELLER

Vloggers, bloggers, digital nomads, this is the pannier for you. Every small detail has been well thought out with a place for your laptop, cameras, GoPro, smart phones, and any other digital gadget you could think of. 

This pannier comes with separate pouches to keep your digital gear organized, alongside a variety of external zippered pockets and plenty of hooks and straps to attach additional gear. To protect all your expensive equipment, this pannier is waterproof and dust proof with a roll down top and many buckles to keep it secured. If you need all the bells and whistles, this bikepacking bag is the obvious choice.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING PANNIERS FOR TOURING

SIZE MATTERS

Panniers come in a variety of sizes and shapes. It’s important to consider exactly what you plan on taking with you, how much space it takes up, and how much it weighs before figuring out which type, style, and size of pannier you will buy. You want to be sure to select a pannier that will accommodate all your gear.

Watch this video about the effect weight has on your bike when riding it to make sure you don’t accidentally buy too many panniers and overpack – you don’t want to fall off your bike because it’s too heavy!

 

STYLE

There are three main styles of panniers. Depending on your requirements, you may look for one with these specific characteristics:

Pannier Only

These are a pannier only system, generally with a hard back for rigidity when attached to a bike mounted rack. They will commonly have a handle on top for carrying them.

Pannier And Backpack

These convert from a pannier to a backpack. They feature two backpack straps on one side and often have a softer back panel for comfort. The straps will either be fully removable or rolled away so as to not interfere when being used as a pannier.

Pannier And Shoulder Bag

These convert from a pannier to a shoulder bag by the use of a strap which is typically removable. It makes them easier to carry.

 

WEIGHT

There are two weight considerations:

The Weight Of The Pannier should play a role in selecting a bag – you want something lightweight as it is important to keep weight down when bike touring. The more everything weighs, the more energy you will expend cycling and the harder it may be to ride up some of those big mountains.

The Weight You Can Carry – Just because you can buy a huge bag and fit everything except the kitchen sink in there doesn’t mean you should. Traveling light is going to make the journey much more enjoyable as you will be able to cycle with more ease and tackle more interesting and exciting terrain – like big mountain passes.

Plus, an overloaded bike is an unstable bike. Carrying too much for the size and strength of the rider is not safe. So select your gear list wisely – take a look at our suggestions of what to pack here.

 

WATERPROOF VS WATER RESISTANT

If you plan on riding rain, hail, or shine, look for a bag that is rated waterproof to ensure your gear stays dry and safe.

If you are a fair weather rider and plan on staying inside warm and dry when it’s raining outside, then you could consider a water resistant option. Water resistant panniers will keep puddle splashes and short periods of very light rain out, but are not guaranteed to keep water out completely. Consider packaging your gear in plastic bags within the pannier if you choose a water-resistant option, just to be safe.

Choose wisely as you don’t want to be caught out in a summer rain-storm with your gear and gadgets in a pannier that won’t keep the weather out.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

PANNIER

A commonly used name for a bag that attaches to the rear rack of your bike. Smaller panniers can also attach to a front mount on a bike.

CLOSURE SYSTEMS

Roll Top is where the top of the pannier closes together and then folds over itself to roll down. This closure system is often used on water proof and dust proof bags as it ensures no air or moisture can get in.

Buckle System is a male – female plastic closing device. It is made of two pieces that lock into one another forming a strong closure. To open you simply push two pieces of plastic together and it releases.

Flap Or Overflap is an additional piece of material that comes over the top of the pannier.

CARRY HANDLE

Small handle on the top of the pannier. This handle makes it easy to carry the pannier and also helps to align the pannier when mounting it to the bikepacking rack.

DUSTPROOF

These panniers have been designed to stop dust getting into the pannier – a fully waterproof pannier is not necessarily dust proof. If you are traveling on dirt and gravel roads, having a dust proof pannier can be useful to protect any digital equipment.

DAISY CHAIN

A wide strap that is attached at multiple points. It is used to attach clips or hooks for storing extra gear on the outside of a pannier.

READ MORE

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