Bike panniers UK 2022 | NationalWorld

These pannier bags and pannier racks are a perfect combination for commuters and touring riders – from waterproof pannier bags to heavy-duty pannier racks

Best bike bags and bike racks to store your essentials during a ride

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What is a luggage rack?

A pannier rack is a bag that attaches to a bike and provides an easy and convenient way to carry things while you ride.

Rack bags are typically attached to a component called a rack, which is itself attached to the frame of the bicycle. Most racks are designed to attach to a specific part of the frame, usually at the rear but sometimes at the front of the bike.

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We have the word “pannier” from Old French bread, which originally referred to bread baskets carried in pairs by beasts of burden. Panniers are used by all types of cyclists today, from the commuter with work essentials to the adventurer packing provisions on a bike ride.

The best racks and pannier bags at a glance:

How to choose a luggage rack and luggage bag?

We recommend you start by choosing a rack as only certain racks will fit your bike.

First you need to find out which parts of your bike frame could accept a luggage rack. Some bikes have eyelets on the dropouts that are used to attach many “standard” racks. On bikes that lack this feature, it is sometimes necessary to mount a luggage rack on the seat post or on the front of the bike.

If you are new to suitcases and luggage racks, try to get advice from someone with relevant experience before making any decisions. Bikes are very different and sometimes a subtle detail like the presence of disc brakes can make a particular bike incompatible with a particular pannier.

Once you’ve decided on a rack, you can proceed with selecting the ideal rack bag(s) for your purposes. Among other things, you should consider how much additional cargo you need to transport and which types of cases are compatible with your luggage rack.

M Part ATP3 Trail rear rack

M Part ATP3 Trail rear rack

Attachments at: Seat stays and dropouts (eyelets)

Constructed from strong, lightweight alloy, the M Part ATP3 Trail is a brilliantly efficient solution for hauling your panniers.

The luggage rack is attached to both the dropouts and the seatstay and is therefore only suitable for bicycles that have eyelets on the dropouts.

The adjustable arms that attach the rack to the seatstay slide out wide, allowing clearance to attach the rack to a variety of bike frames.

Shiny and snazzy looking, this would make an ideal rear rack for your commute – although mechanically it’s also capable of getting muddy on a road bike ride.

Texture on top of the rack adds extra support, while stays on each side do a great job of keeping side-mounted bags off the rear wheel.

Halfords rear rack

Halfords rear rack

Attachments at: Seat stays and dropouts (eyelets)

Here is an inexpensive rear rack from Halfords.

Constructed from lightweight aluminum, the rack is perfect for cyclists who want to carry a lot of gear without putting too much weight on their bike.

Mounting the rack is nice and easy, with simple hardware to attach the front of the rack to the bike’s seatpost, as well as an eyelet attachment at the bottom.

While this luggage rack’s brushed finish tends to easily leave marks, that shouldn’t affect its functionality.

Please note that this luggage rack is not suitable for bicycles with disc brakes or rear suspension.

Blackburn Outpost front rack

Blackburn Outpost front rack

Attachments at: Frame and front dropouts (eyelets)

Designed for bike touring around the world, the Blackburn Outpost Front Rack is a great option for cyclists looking for a smart way to load a lot of gear on the front of their bike.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of this rack is its adjustability.

You can load your panniers on the rack at different heights, which helps you get any given pannier as low as possible, resulting in a desirably low center of gravity.

Also, the top part of the rack is detachable, allowing for a more reduced design if needed.

The only debatable downside to this premium rack is the price. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent option for serious touring.

Ortlieb Back Roller Classic QL2.1 rear panniers (pair)

Ortlieb Back Roller Classic QL2.1 rear panniers (pair)

Ortlieb’s classic panniers work great and look great too, with a choice of stylish colors including orange, red, black and grey.

Instead of breaking with the mold, this bag absolutely hits the ground running. Its waterproof material is reliable and durable, and the roll-top closure is both highly effective and easy to use.

Another major advantage of this case is the ingenious “QL2.1” system with which it is attached to the luggage rack.

These include secure, adjustable attachments to both the top and bottom of the rear panel.

These bags are sold in pairs, one for each side of your rack.

Madison RT20 pannier bag

Madison RT20 pannier bag

Attachments at: Top rack and seat post

There’s a lot to love about this clever pannier from Madison.

Although the bag looks neat and small, it really makes efficient use of space, with fold-down side pockets that can increase the total capacity to 14.6L.

Another useful feature are the two zippered mesh pockets on the inside of the bag’s upper – ideal for storing essentials such as travel documents or spare batteries for the bike lights.

The exterior of the RT20 is just as feature-packed as the interior, with Scotchlite reflective strips to improve visibility, a loop for your bike taillight and convenient carrying handles for off-bike use.

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Halford’s pannier

Halford’s pannier

Type: classic (sold separately)

This pannier bag covers the basics very well and at a very modest cost.

Mounting on a luggage rack is easy: just use the sturdy clips on the back of the bag and possibly also the Velcro on the same side depending on the type of luggage rack you are using.

We were impressed with this bag’s roominess and resilience to the elements.

The three compartments offer enough space for all kinds of luggage, from camping equipment to laptops and lunch boxes.

And the water-repellent panels on the bottom and back did an excellent job of keeping our stuff dry during a test ride.

We recommend using two of these bags as a pair, with one on each side of your rack.