A Complete List of The Best Panniers for Bicycle Touring

There’s a great variety of panniers available, although you wouldn’t think it given the popularity of Ortlieb bags. What I’ve done here is picked out a whole bunch of great bags from small-handmade to large-scale manufacturers to showcase the differences in price, weight, features, sizes and styles. I encourage you to have a look into each brand, as I haven’t described every model.

It’s worth noting that there is no perfect pannier for all occasions. You will be trading off between the durability of construction materials (as well as whether it’s waterproof or not) and the weight of the bags.

We also feature a list of convertible pannier backpacks for wearing on and off the bike HERE.


Altura Ultralite Packable Panniers
Altura Ultralite Packable Panniers

With a 480g total weight, the Ultralite Packable Panniers are super lean. What’s more impressive is that they are waterproof too! And when you don’t need to use them you can roll them up and pack them away. Magic.

Altura Ultralite
16 Litres
480g Pair
£59 Pair

Other Models
Orkney 56 (£125 Pair)
Orkney 34 (£110 Pair)
Fuse 42 (£110 Pair)
Fuse 32 (£100 Pair)
Dryline 56 (£100 Pair)
Dryline 32 (£90 Pair)
ARC40 (£80 Pair)
ARC20 (£45 Each)
ARC15 (£40 Each)
Arran 46 (£70 Pair)
Arran 36 (£55 Pair)
Arran 16 (£35 Each)
Night Vision 20 (£60 Each)
Urban Dryline (£60 Each)


Arkel Dry-Lite Panniers - PathLessPedaled
Arkel Dry-Lite Panniers – PathLessPedaled

The Dry-Lites are some of the lightest panniers in the world at 454g for the set. They will go up a hill faster than the other bags here!

Arkel Dry-Lite
14 Litres Each
454g Pair
USD $90 Pair

Other Models
GT54 (CA $399 Pair)
GT18 (CA $154 Each)
Dolphin 48 (CA $269 Pair)
Dolphin 32 (CA $219 Pair)
Orca 45 (CA $229 Pair)
Orca 35 (CA $209 Pair)
XM45 (CA $299 Pair)
XM28 (CA $249 Pair)
T42 (CA $249 Pair)
T28 (CA $194 Pair)
B40 (CA $179 Pair)
B26 (CA $149 Pair)


Axiom Tempest Hydracore P45
Axiom Tempest Hydracore P45

The Tempest Hydracore bags offers a waterproof design, plus laptop sleeves, lots of pockets and straps. Rixen and Kaul clips keep the bags on your rack.

Axiom Tempest P45
22.5 Litres Each
1225g Each
CA $299 Pair

Other Models
Tempest Hydracore P36 (CA $249 Pair)
Tempest Hydracore P27 (CA $219 Pair)
Typhoon Aero DLX 45 (CA $179 Pair)
Typhoon Aero DLX 35 (CA $159 Pair)
Cartier DLX P26 (CA $179 Pair)
Cartier LX 25 (CA $139 Pair)
Seymour DLX 45 (CA $125 Pair)
Seymour DLX 30 (CA $110 Pair)
Seymour DLX 20 (CA $95 Pair)
Kingston Commuter 18 (CA $85 Each)


Blackburn Barrier Panniers
Blackburn Barrier Panniers – Singletracks

Blackburn has been putting together a big touring and bikepacking range over the last few years. The Barrier bags are waterproof rolltop bags with an external pocket. The clips are adjustable and the bag can be used with Blackburn’s interlock system, ensuring the bags can’t be removed from the rack unless you use a key.

Blackburn Barrier
17 or 20 Litres Each
US $109 Pair

Blackburn Central Rear Panniers
Blackburn Central Rear Panniers – Emily Walley

The Central Rear Panniers are relatively small and compact, featuring laptop sleeves, pockets and zips for all your goodies. They are water resistant (but come with a waterproof cover) and compatible with Blackburn’s interlock system. These are best for round town.

Blackburn Central Rear
13 Litres Each
US $129 Pair

Other Models
Central Rear Pannier (US $99 Each)
Local Cooler Pannier (US $80 Pair)
Wayside Backpack Pannier (US $80 Each)
Central Shoppers Bag (US $70 Each)
Local Saddle Bags (US $65 Pair)
Local Rear Pannier (US $55 Each)
Local Grocery Pannier (US $45 Each)


Brooks Suffolk Panniers - TomsBikeTrip.com
Brooks Suffolk Panniers – TomsBikeTrip.com

These Brooks panniers look fantastic and work very well thanks to their rolltop design, waterproof materials and Ortlieb clips and fittings. They are an ideal combination of style and function!

Brooks Suffolk
22 Litres Each
US $150 Each

Other Models
Brick Lane Panniers (€180 Pair)
Devon Panniers (€560 Pair)
John O’Groats (€110 Each)
Land’s End (€130 Each)


Carradice City Classics Penrith Pannier
Carradice City Classics Penrith Pannier

This is one of the most classic-looking panniers you’ll find. It uses a waterproof cotton material and is finished with proofed cotton linings, cast metal fixings, thick vegetable tan leather and leather bindings.

Carradice Penrith
15 Litres Each
1450g Each
£130 Each

Other Models
Super C Rear (£120 Pair)
Super C Front (£90 Pair)
CarraDry Rear (£85 Pair)
CarraDry Front (£55 Pair)
CarraDura Rear (£60 Pair)
CarraDura Front (£50 Pair)
CarraDry Rucksack (£60 Pair)
Originals Kendal (£100 Pair)
Super C A4 (£65 Each)
Super C Shopper (£70 Each)

Chrome Industries

Chrome Saddle Bag RollTop Pannier 20
Chrome Saddle Bag Rolltop Pannier 20 – BlueLug

The Rolltop 20 is a waterproof pannier with a built-in laptop sleeve. Interestingly it comes with a specially-designed frame which is mounted to your rack, allowing the bag to be built without any clips or hard wear. This results in a pannier that can be comfortably carried off the bike.

Chrome Rolltop 20
20 Litres Each
US $160 Each


Crosso Twist 52 Panniers
Crosso Twist 52 Panniers

Crosso bags are made in Poland and are considered to be a good alternative to Ortlieb or Vaude. They use a simple hook and bungee system and are designed to offer a lot of heel clearance. Their largest panniers get to 30L each!

Crosso Twist 52
26 Litres Each
925g Each

Other Models
Expert 60
Expert 40
Classic 46
Classic 30
Twist 35
Dry 60
Dry 30


Fairweather Pannier Bag - BlueLug
Fairweather Pannier Bag – BlueLug

These Japanese-made bags are designed to be both a backpack and a pannier. Simply pull out the shoulder straps from the pocket and you’re good to go. The outer is made using canvas, and a waterproof inner keeps your gear mostly dry. You can get this pannier in five different colours.

20 Litres Each
US $172 Each


Hyalite Rear Panniers - PedalingPaul
Hyalite Rear Bike Panniers – PedalingPaul

These panniers by Hyalite (related to the now defunct Pacific Outdoor Equipment) are both waterproof and comparable in weight to Ortlieb’s lightest offerings. The panniers taper back in order to afford more heel clearance from pedal strokes making them suitable for bikes with shorter chainstays. Like other bags on this list, the clips are made by Rixon and Kaul.

Hyalite Rear
22 Litres Each
843g Each
US $199 Pair

Other Models
LTW Rear Panniers (US $189 Pair)
LTW Front Panniers (US $95 Pair)
Super Rear Panniers (US $265 Pair)
Front Panniers (US $95 Pair)
Swingline Pannier (US $199 Each)
Co-Op Cool Pannier (US $99 Each)
Co-Op Pannier (US $95 Each)
City Bike Pannier (US $129 Each)

Lone Peak

Lone Peak Mount Superior Panniers
Lone Peak Mount Superior Panniers

Lone Peak panniers are made near Seattle in the USA. The Superior isn’t waterproof, but comes with a rain cover to pop on if needed. Most of Lone Peak’s panniers have lots of external pockets and straps which allows for quick access of your bits and pieces.

Lone Peak Mount Superior
27 Litres Each
790g Each
US $220 Pair

Other Models
Mount Rainier (US $200 Pair)
Kings Peak (US $189 Pair)
Millcreek (US $155 Pair)
Sundance (US $119 Pair)
Parley’s Summit (US $149 Pair)
Foothill (US $89 Pair)
Glacier Peak Backpack Pannier (US $129 Each)
Dome Peak (US $89 Each)

Mainstream MSX

Mainstream MSX SL 55 Panniers
Mainstream MSX SL 55 Panniers

This little known company (outside Germany) produces some lovely gear. High-quality clips, straps and materials make this a product designed for life.

Mainsteam MSX SL 55
23 Litres Each
€130 Pair

Other Models
ML 55 Avantagrade CX (€90 Pair)
SL 55 Avantagrade CX (€100 Pair)

Mixed Works

Mixed Works Blackbird Panniers
Mixed Works Blackbird Panniers

The Blackbird is a simple rolltop pannier made by Crosso in Poland. Like other bags on this list, the clips are made by Rixon and Kaul. The minimalist styling of these bags is lovely!

Mixed Works Blackbird
25 Litres Each
750g Each
65 Euro Each


Ortlieb BackRoller Classic Panniers
Ortlieb BackRoller Classic Panniers

The Backroller Classic panniers set the standard for bicycle touring. The rolltop design allows you to cram more than 21 litres into each bag and the durable fabrics and materials last decades. People have ridden all over the world with these bags!

Ortlieb Backroller Classic
12.5 Litres (F), 21 Litres (R) Each
950g Each (R)
US $180 Pair

Ortlieb Backroller Plus Panniers
Ortlieb Backroller Plus Panniers

The Backroller Plus are the same great design as the Classic, but use lighter weight fabrics to remove 220g from each set of panniers. It is my experience that the Plus material is equally as durable as the Classic. I’ve used my Backroller Plus bags in over 40 countries, although I have seen examples of bags that have torn.

Ortlieb Backroller Plus
12.5 Litres (F), 21 Litres (R) Each
840g (R) Each
US $225 Pair

Ortlieb BackRoller Pro XL Panniers
Ortlieb BackRoller Pro XL Panniers

The Backroller Pro XL bags are new for 2016. They feature a rolltop design, a front pouch and are constructed using both the Classic and Plus materials. They have a 70L capacity! Here’s my write-up about why you may need the Backroller Pro bags.

Ortlieb Backroller Pro
35 Litres Each
1000g Each (R)
US $275 Pair

Other Models
BikePacker (US $200 Pair)
BikePacker Plus (US $240 Pair)
BikeTourer (US $295 Pair)
Commuter Bag (US $180 Each)
Vario Backpack Pannier (US $160 Each)
BikeShopper (US $100 Each)
Downtown (US $170 Each)
VeloShopper (US $140 Each)


Overboard Classic Panniers
Overboard Classic Rear Panniers

The OverBoard gear is all pretty bombproof, 100% waterproof and cost-effective.

OverBoard Classic Rear Panniers
17 Litres Each
1090g Each
US $179 Pair

Other Models
Classic 12L Front Panniers (US $136 Pair)

Richard Jones

Richard Jones Convertible Panniers
Richard Jones Convertible Elite Panniers

Here’s a unique product. It’s a front and rear set of panniers which convert into a single hiking pack! Richard has been making these bags since the early-1980s, using two aluminium struts for rigidity as a backpack. There are nine compartments for storage on the Elite model, and three if you’re using just the rear panniers. It takes about five minutes to convert the panniers into a hiking pack, and vice-versa.

Richard Jones Convertible
22 Litres (front section), 43 Litres (rear section)
2950g (Elite Set) or 2040g (rear only)
US $495 (Elite Set) or $282 (rear only)


Salsa Touring Panniers
Salsa Touring Panniers – PathLessPedaled

The Salsa Touring Panniers are a new product for 2015. These rolltop waterproof bags have a secure clip system which looks to be adjustable enough to suit most racks. Their choice of material is heavy but durable; great for lengthy tours. Like other bags on this list, the clips are made by Rixon and Kaul.

Salsa Touring
14 Litres (F), 27 Litres (R) Each
US $90 Each

Swift Industries

Swift Industries Roll Top Pannier
Swift Industries Roll Top Pannier

Swift have blossomed into an awesome custom pannier manufacturer. Their bags are all are water resistant and many offer heel clearance so that you can use them on bikes with short chainstays.

Swift Industries Roll Top
23 Litres Each
1360g Each
US $260 Pair

Other Models
JR Ranger (US $220 Pair)
Hinterland JR Ranger (US $260 Pair)
Short Stack (US $300 Each)
Mini Short Stack (US $260 Each)
Mini Roll Top (US $210 Pair)
Roanoke Backpack Pannier (US $180 Each)


Thule Pack n Pedal Panniers
Thule Pack n Pedal Touring Panniers

Thule have put together some really nice bags for their ‘Pack ‘n Pedal’ range. These Touring panniers have vanishing hardwear at the back, ensuring no hooks dig into you when you use the pannier with the shoulder strap. A rolltop design allows easy bag access, and Thule have incorporated a mesh pocket to put your LED light so that it can shine through the material.

Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Touring
27 Litres Each
US $119 Each

Other Models
Shield Rear (US $149 Pair)
Shield Front (US $129 Pair)
Commuter Pannier (US $119 Each)
Touring Front (US $99 Each)
Tote Pannier (US $79 Each)


Vaude Aqua Back Plus Panniers
Vaude Aqua Back Plus Panniers

Vaude is the main pannier competitor to Ortlieb. The materials they use are most similar to Ortlieb’s Classic gear. What you tend to get with Vaude is a bit more space in your bags plus a pretty decent range.

Vaude Aqua Back Plus
25 Litres Each
1190g Each
€140 Pair

Other Models
Karakorum (€130 Each)
Bayreuth (€130 Each)
Aqua Delux Pro (€140 Pair)
Aqua Deluxe Rear (€125 Pair)
Discover Pro Rear (€140 Pair)
Discover Pro Front (€120 Pair)
Road Master Rear (€110 Pair)
Road Master Front (€100 Pair)
Aqua Rear (€115 Pair)
Aqua Front (€100 Pair)
Plugride (€90 Each)
Augsburg (€90 Each)
Cycle 28 Backpack Pannier (€100 Each)
Cycle 22 Backpack Pannier (€90 Each)
Aqua Deluxe Single (€70 Each)
Aqua Back Single (€65 Each)
Newport (€80 Each)

Velo Transit

Velo Transit Retro 20 Panniers
Velo Transit Retro 20 Panniers

The Retro 20 panniers are made in Seattle USA. They employ high-quality, waterproof materials in combination with Rixen and Kaul hardwear to produce a solid and attractive bag.

Velo Transit Retro 20
18 Litres Each
US $135 Each

Other Models
Trekker 20 (US $120 Each)
Metro 20 (US $120 Each)
Retro 15 (US $115 Each)


YNOT Panyay Panniers
YNOT Panyay Panniers

The PanYay! is an adjustable, durable pannier that is made-to-order and can be colour-customisable.

YNOT PanYay!
21 Litres Each
907g Each
US $149-189 Each

Other Brands We Haven’t Covered

Banjo Brothers
Carsick Designs
Duluth Pack
Frost River
Gilles Berthoud
Green Guru Gear
Industrial Sewing Workshop
Mont Bell
Rixen and Kaul (Klickfix)
Seattle Sports
Sport Arsenal

Don’t forget to check out our list of bikepacking bags HERE and pannier backpacks HERE.

  1. An English company called Overboard make waterproof bags and duffles ,as well they make a handlebar bag and panniers.

  2. Excellent list. Wish I came across this during my research. I ended buying Crosso Twist 35 (1150g) cordura for long tours and Dry 30 (1200g) for day-to-day shopping trips. Lauded as Ortlieb-like quality at fraction of the cost. But I liked their lightweight and simple design (steel hooks). Plus I only paid £100 ($150) for both pairs, plus a 30L duffel/dry-bag. Served me well.

  3. Why are these panniers so expensive? And is there anything good-looking, reliable and waterproof in $50 per piece range?

  4. You may wish to check out their backpack panniers and aaaaallllll the other things they make – it’s quite a list! 🙂

  5. Just to correct something you mentioned under Arkel: the featherweight Dry-Lites are indeed waterproof since I have two of them and they have weathered severe storms with no moisture getting inside. Essentially small dry bags with roll tops, they are now made of the same material as the more expensive Dolphin series. The Dry-Lites are actually only 12.5L each for a grand total of 25L for the pair (my accurate water volume measurement). If you don’t like the Dry-Lite’s velcro rack attachment and would like the regular clamp-on style, Arkel’s heavier Orca series now has a 25L pair for use upfront in addition to the larger Orca 35s and 45s.

    BTW The Hyalite panniers (formerly Pacific Outdoor Equipment) are virtually dead in the water. There is no longer a company website and a thin presence on Facebook. The odd bit of stock still appears here and there but don’t expect any company help if you have problems or need replacement parts. Regardless, I recently picked up a pair of like-new Hyalite panniers on eBay and ordered some spare rack attachment parts from VeloFred online (the Rixen & Kaul distributor in North America). So Hyalite support really isn’t a big concern if you happen across a bargain on those panniers somewhere.

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