When you travel by bike, the chances are that you’ll want to do a bit of walking too. And for walking, what’s a better way to carry things than in a backpack?
Some of the smarter, more practical pannier manufacturers have cotton on to the idea of a convertible backpack pannier; a bag with shoulder straps as well as pannier clips. There are products that are rather simple, others come with systems that can hide away the hooks and straps when you don’t need them.
For those of you that already have Ortlieb panniers, I’ve included a product below that will convert your existing pannier to a backpack. And for my list of ALL pannier manufacturers, head over HERE.
Altura Versa Morph Backpack Panniers
The Altura Versa Morph cleverly hides the pannier hooks on the outside of the backpack which results in a more flexible (and presumedly comfortable) back section. The 20 litre capacity should be good for a laptop (up to 15 inch) and a few clothes. The retail price is £79 Each.
Anhaica Bag Works Backpack Panniers
Anhaica use canvas which has been treated with locally-sourced bees-wax on this stylish pannier. The roll-top design allows you to squeeze in lots of gear and the zip-away bag straps make conversion to a pannier really simple. US $220 Each.
Arkel Bug Backpack Panniers
The Bug is Arkel’s convertible commuter pannier, complete with helmet compartment at the front. It’s easy enough to zip away the backpack straps for use as a pannier. CA $179 Each.
Arkel GT-18BP Backpack Panniers
The GT-18BP is designed to match in with your other Arkel front pannier. It features a waterproof liner and hidden backpack straps to make it a versatile touring product. CA $179 Each.
Banjo Brothers Convertible Backpack Panniers
This cost-effective bag offers excellent storage, as well as lots of zipped compartments, clips and straps. It comes with a removable waterproof liner for the times when you’re riding in wet conditions. US $80 Each.
Blackburn Wayside Backpack Panniers
The Wayside is another good-looking, well-priced convertible pannier with lots of compartments. US $80 Each.
Fairweather Backpack Panniers
The Fairweather pannier is stylish and functional, with fold-out straps built-in so that you can wear it casually. US $172 Each.
Lone Peak Glacier Peak Backpack Panniers
The Glacier Peak has zip-away clips and a strap system which can reduce the overall capacity of the bag so that you can fill it evenly. US $129 Each.
North St Bags Morrison Backpack Panniers
The North St Bags Morrison Convertible is a waterproof pannier that can be converted to a backpack in seconds. This model has a padded laptop sleeve and has a capacity of 18 litres. The bags are 100% made in-house and the fabrics are locally sourced in the USA. US $189 Each.
Ortlieb Vario Backpack Panniers
The Vario is Ortlieb’s specifically-designed convertible pannier bag. It is designed to be comfortable to wear, waterproof and stylish. The pannier mounts using the QL3 system, which is a sidebar attached to your rack – resulting in a hook-free design. US $160 Each.
Ortlieb Pannier Carrying System
If you already own Ortlieb panniers, this is a handy backpack adapter which will allow you to wear your pannier in relative comfort, as the padded panels of the carry system keep you at distance from the mounting clips. Like all Ortlieb products, it is designed well and will probably outlast nuclear winter too. US $29 Each.
Richard Jones Convertible Hiking Backpack Panniers
Here’s a rather 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’s 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. US $282 Set.
TimBuk2 Noe Commuter Backpack Panniers
The Noe pannier is a very understated bag which can be carted around on the bike, toted by the handle or worn like a backpack. The pannier panel zips away when not in use making this bag ultra versatile. US $159 Each.
Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack
Two Wheel Gear makes a very neat backpack pannier. It’s waterproof and will fit a laptop as large as 15″ into its padded sleeve. There’s a foam-padded back panel which helps to make the bag as comfortable as possible off the bike. US $149 Each.
Vaude Cycle 28 Backpack Panniers
Like all Vaude products, the Cycle 28 looks great and is made well. Unlike many of the other bags here, the hooks are adjustable so that you can get a really good fit onto your rack. The pannier clips zip away in seconds and roll into a compartment at the bottom of the bag. It’s available in a smaller 22 litre size too. €110 Each.