What to Buy Your Bicycle: Pannier Edition

I have a bicycle. I like accessories. My bicycle likes accessories.

Let’s not waste any more time.

Today we’re talking about panniers.

I’ve been searching for a good set of panniers for a little while now. What are panniers, you might ask? To quote Wikipedia, a pannier is a basket, bag, box, or similar container, carried in pairs and slung over the back of a beast of burden.

That means that this is a pannier:

from camelphotos

And this:

from outfitterssupply

And this:

from touratech

This is my beast of burden:

The Beast

I went on a quest (I love a good quest) for the perfect set of inexpensive panniers that suited my needs.

My needs can, at times, be vast. I need my various technologies, yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks (in case I decide to crochet instead), the occasional book or two, extra-large purse (to carry some of those needs in), water bottle (hydration is a large part of my day), and snacks (the other large part of my day). And like a little Girl Scout, I like to always be prepared. This means that if I can, I’m gonna schlep all of that stuff around with me.

So join me on my quest for The Perfect Panniers.

So here are some of the fruits of my search:

Avenir Metro Panniers

from amazon

These–from what I’ve seen–are your basic panniers.


  • water-resistant (to a point)
  • not solid-sided
  • ample reflective stripping
  • solid Velcro attachment points


  • somewhat small
  • slightly tedious to attach and detach
  • not waterproof

Price: $32.99 for set of 2

Avenir Metro III Panniers

from amazon

Okay, these are the next step up in size from the previous.


  • more room that the previous one
  • flat area for things that need to be carried horizontally (eggs, etc.)
  • weight of the side bags pulls the flat area down (no interior structure to prevent this)
  • still not water proof
  • still difficult to attach/detach

Price: $35.00 for set of 2

Axiom Dutch Shopper Panniers

from amazon

Also from Amazon, these panniers eschew the traditional black and make a bold statement of color.


  • large
  • reflective strips attached
  • appears to be easy to attach and detach
  • not black
  • only 1 photo of product
  • no customer reviews
  • no measurements (just volume)
  • no other colorways

Price: $109.99 for set of 2

Life Lesson: Always read the customer reviews–no matter what you’re purchasing.

Life Lesson #2: Always trust the customer reviews. If they cared enough to review it, they cared enough to tell the truth.

Ortlieb Back Rollers Panniers

from rei

These are for the more serious outdoorsperson.


  • completely waterproof
  • multiple colorways
  • need special attachments points for hooking mechanism
  • reflective strips do not continue around bag

Price: $165.00 for set of 2

Racktime Doubleit Rear Panniers

from bikebagshop

These are stylish and functional.


  • snaps onto rack
  • padded handle for adjusting bag
  • has smaller inside pockets for the little stuff
  • has built-in rain cover
  • multiple colorways
  • you need a special rack to attach the bags to (made by this manufacturer)
  • no reflective surfaces
Price: $60.30 for set of 2

Arkel Bug Pannier

from modernbike

These are for the most sporty of bike riders (I’m not one of them) (I believe they prefer to be call “cyclists”).


  • converts from pannier to backpack
  • has a handy place for helmet storage (safety first!)
  • multiple colorways
  • Somewhat small (18″ at the longest point)
  • No customer reviews
Price: $159.00 for 1
Vintage Swiss Army Ammo Panniers

from ebay

Used by the Swiss Army to tote ammo. Stylishly, of course.
  • Vintage
  • Beautiful
  • Very small (fits an iPad easily… and maybe a sandwich)
  • On ebay (so you may not be able to purchase when you want to)
Price: $116.00 for set of 2

Wald 582 Folding Rear Bicycle Grocery Basket

from amazon

This is the winner, folks. After much deliberation, the Wald 582 won me over.


  •  you don’t have to remove it every time you go inside like you would pannier bags
  • they fold in to 1 inch thick when you aren’t using them
  •  they don’t scream “Steal Me!” like some panniers do
  • you can set a bag inside the basket without undoing any straps or buttons, etc. which makes for easier access and egress
  • they won’t collect water when it rains
  • slightly heavy – they weight about 5 pounds (for 2)

from amazon

from amazon

from amazon

Price: $18.95 for 1

So there it is. What I think are the Perfect Panniers. 

suck it, martha.

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Categories: Life


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