Even if you’re not biking cross-country, you still need a good way to carry items while cycling to work or running errands. You can do away with your makeshift bungees and get the most out of your bike rack with a bag or pannier to help haul your stuff. These are five of the best ones available for day-to-day use like shopping or bicycle commuting, and all of them attach to your existing rear rack.
Ortlieb Bike Shopper
The Ortlieb Bike Shopper incorporates some handy technical features into a straightforward single pannier design. First of all, it’s waterproof – polyurethane coated polyester fabric, welded seams, and a sealing top zipper keep your cargo dry in sloppy weather. An inner pocket keeps your keys and phone handy, and reflector patches at the front and back add visibility. The Ortlieb Bike Shopper measures approximately 16”x13”x7”, which translates to a volume of 1,220 cubic inches (20L). Ortlieb’s QL2 mounting system allows easy removal, and dual straps make it convenient to carry when you’re on foot.
The Ortlieb Bike Shopper is available for $93.45 at Amazon in white, silver, or black.
Detours Teeco Pannier
The Detours Teeco Pannier is a single side-mount bag that features aluminum stays in the front panel to give it structure. A heavy-duty rubber bottom adds durability and provides a sturdy base for loading the bag standing up. Stainless steel clips attach the Teeco to your rack (just make sure your rack can handle a side-mounted bag), and backpack-style shoulder and sternum straps let you carry loads off your bike as well. A mesh drawcord top and side panels let you see the contents of the bag while providing ventilation for gear like workout clothes. The Detours Teeco weighs two pounds and measures approximately 17”x11”x6” with a 1,300 cubic inch volume.
The Detours Teeco Pannier is available at Amazon for $49.50.
Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP
The Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP is the Inspector Gadget of rack bags – it can transform from a compact commuting or shopping bag to an expanded tour-style pannier for serious hauling. This bag is designed for use with Topeak’s MTX bike racks, which allow easy clip mounting and removal. The top-access main compartment is adequate for most daily travel, and the rigid panels integrated into the 600-denier fabric help the bag keep its shape. A carry handle and integrated water bottle holder add convenience. If more carry space is required, the side pockets open to reveal drop-down side pannier bags that increase the capacity from 1,250 to 1,500 cubic inches.
The Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP is available for $69.97 at Amazon.
Pacific Outdoor Equipment CoOp Pannier
The CoOp from Pacific Outdoor Equipment is a functional and durable pannier. It’s constructed from 420D coated nylon and measures 14”x15”x9”, for a volume of 1,830 cubic inches (30L) – perfect for a run to the store. A strap converts the CoOp to a shopping tote, and the bag folds flat for storage when not in use. Welded seams add durability and water-resistance for everyday use.
You can find the Pacific Outdoor Equipment CoOp Pannier at Amazon for $67.96.