In this post we compare 7 of the best waterproof bike panniers. We make the comparison quick and easy for you, by including a chart comparing 7 of the best bike panniers. And then we discuss each one in more detail. We also include some videos. This post will help you to decide which waterproof bike panniers would best suit your own needs. Maggie and I have tried many different bike panniers over the years. Between us, we have decades of experience of bike commuting in rainy weather. Based on our experience, we have put together this list of 7 of the best waterproof bike panniers.
Chart Comparing the Key Features of 7 of the Best Waterproof Bike Panniers
|People who want high quality waterproof panniers for commuting and touring||Set of 2 high quality panniers with great storage space. Surprisingly, the low price includes rain covers. These panniers are highly rated for commuting and for touring. Multiple compartments and pockets means you can be super organized.||$72.67|
|People who want classic, rugged, waterproof panniers with a large capacity for commuting and touring||Set of 2 classic, rugged, and waterproof panniers. Easy to remove from bike, as Quick Lock hooks open automatically when you pull up on the handles. Strap doubles as a shoulder strap. Includes a handy pouch with a zipper to store your laptop||$200.00|
|People who want basic, totally waterproof panniers with large storage and minimal frills||Classic, wide range of waterproof panniers, usually sold in pairs. Completely waterproof, strong, and very spacious. Most have a very simple design – they are kind of like a large bag, with minimal frills, such as pockets or sub-divisions. Highly visible||$53.95|
|People wanting a dual-purpose pannier for a budget price||Not a set of two, this is a single pannier that is very versatile. It is a highly rated, very affordable, extremely water resistant pannier that converts from a pannier on the bike into a great-looking shoulder bag or briefcase off the bike. Super easy to get on and off your bike||Usually around $129. Please click here for current price on Amazon|
|People wanting a dual-purpose, good looking, simple pannier||Set of two slim-line, slate-gray (or blue) panniers; when carried over shoulder they look like a satchel. Very simple design, with a roll-top closure, and quite deep||Usually around $110. Please check current price on Amazon here|
|People who use multiple transport modes and want a stylish pannier that converts quickly into a useful backpack.||Can be easily and quickly changed from backpack to pannier and back again. Many handy pockets and a rain cover; super light and compact; safety lock to keep it on the bike; very good looking, with many reflective elements. Very rugged and very long-lasting||$179.00|
|Executives who want premium panniers to keep their work clothes smart, and that double as travel luggage||Set of 2 (joined) premium top-of-the-line commuter and touring panniers. Will carry your clothes (without creasing them) from your home to your office - or all over the world, as they are designed to double as carry-on luggage. Many ingenious pockets, and a waterproof cover that can be fitted over in seconds||Usually around $200. Please check current price on Amazon here|
Reviews of 7 of the Best Waterproof Bike Panniers
This pair of panniers is excellent value for money – two high quality, easy on and off panniers with great storage space. Moreover, the low price includes rain covers. They are highly rated for commuting and for touring. Plus, multiple compartments and pockets means you can be super organized. And they look good too!
Here is a great little video that shows how these panniers work.
This set of Ortlieb panniers made no. 2 on our list of 7 of the best bike panniers because it is a classic. Consequently, it has been well loved by many cyclists for many years. They are very highly rated, especially for being rugged, durable, and weather proof. Plastic coating and welded seams combine to make these panniers impervious to rain. In addition, the main compartment has a hermetical roll closure to ensure your stuff stays dry.
It’s a cinch to take these panniers off your bike, as the Quick Lock hooks open automatically when you pull up on the pannier handles. Also, the strap and buckle closures double as shoulder straps, so it is easy to carry these panniers off the bike. Inside is a flat pouch with a zipper to store your laptop.
The price includes TWO matching panniers. These are ideal commuting and touring panniers, thanks to capacity, waterproofness, and strength. I have noticed that the majority of bike tourers I meet are using Ortlieb panniers.
This video highlights how waterproof and durable these Ortlieb panniers are:
As we live on the West Coast (aka “the rain forest”), waterproof panniers are very important in our lives. So we are on an ongoing quest to find completely waterproof panniers. We have had good results with Axiom panniers, which are usually sold in pairs for around $100 to $170.
Axiom panniers come with a variety of model names. All of the names remind you that they are there to protect your stuff from the rain – such as Axiom Typhoon, Axiom Stormfront, and Axiom Tempest (are you sensing a theme here?). The colors and styles change from time to time, but the bottom line is that you get a big, strong, completely waterproof pannier.
Axiom Panniers are Waterproof!
We have transported laptops and cameras inside these panniers in monsoon-like weather without getting a drop of water on them. We almost drowned, but our stuff was just fine! This ability to withstand heavy rain comes from the heavy-weight polyester material of the bag, as well as from the fact that the top flap folds down over the bag for extra protection.
Most Axiom panniers have a very simple design – they are kind of like a large bag. As such, they have minimal to zero frills, such as pockets or sub-divisions. However, the new Axiom Tempest Hydracore P35 Plus Panniers are more complex and stylish than your basic polyester bucket.
Axiom Panniers are reasonably attractive and highly visible (thanks to lots of reflective details), and are available in black, grey, yellow or red.
Finally, Axiom panniers fit well and easily to any standard bike rack.
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No. 4: Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier Bag – Our Choice for a Stand-Alone Versatile Pannier, rated at fourth on our List of the Best Waterproof Panniers
When I decided to compile a list of 7 of the best bike panniers, I knew Timbuk2 was going to make the list! The Timbuk2 Tandem Pannier Bags are highly rated, very affordable, extremely water resistant panniers. They perform as saddle bags on the bike and convert into a shoulder bag or briefcase off-bike. This is a budget-priced, versatile pannier. It comes with a removable shoulder strap so that you can carry the bags in messenger or briefcase style, and fits a 15 inch laptop.
This video gives a good overview of this pannier:
The built-in magnets can be clipped together for a slim profile when carried off-bike. All in all, a stylish and convenient pannier system at a very good price.
Timbuk2 was founded in San Francisco 25 years ago by bike messenger Rob Honeycutt. Timbuk2 designs quality bags, packs, and accessories and has become “an industry leader in forward-thinking, sustainable manufacturing.”
I thought I would leave it to a more stylish person than me to highlight the most good-looking option in basic panniers. Note that despite the product picture, this pannier ships as a single pannier, not a set of two panniers. Nonetheless, well-known avid cyclist and blogger Ulrike Rodrigues highly recommends the Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX panniers.
She says: “slim-line, slate-gray Axiom Monsoon Aero DLX panniers, I regularly get compliments on them and when I wear one over my shoulder, it looks like a satchel not a big, goofy pannier. They are a very simple, Ortlieb-style, with a roll-top closure. They are quite deep, so for keys I punched a hole in the rigid plastic liner, threaded a thin chain through it, and then clip my keys to that. No problems whatsoever after 3 years.”
The Two Wheel Gear Backpack Convertible is ideal for bike commuting. This is because it can be easily and quickly changed from backpack to pannier and back again. It has many handy, clever pockets and a rain cover. The rain cover comes as a standard extra. It is super light and compact, and has a clever little lock to ensure you won’t lose it while speeding down a hill. (I have had that happen with another pannier, and a very kind fellow cyclist chased me down to tell me.) It is rugged and good looking, with many reflective elements. I must say I love the black and red styling.
Also, the Two Wheel Gear pannier sits high on the rack, making it easy to reach my keys, a snack or my phone without dismounting. I have had this backpack convertible pannier for ages, and I use it very hard, and find it to be totally rugged and long-lasting. No signs of wear and tear after years of use!
You can read an in-depth review of the Two Wheel Gear Convertible Pannier here.
No. 7: The Two Wheel Gear Classic 2 Garment Panniers – Ideal for Professionals Seeking the Best Waterproof Bike Panniers
I have saved the best for last. The Two Wheel Gear Classic Garment Pannier is pretty much the definitive top-of-the-line commuter and touring pannier. It’s a double pannier that straps over your rack, and will carry your clothes (without creasing them) from your home to your office – or all over the world, as they are designed to double as carry-on luggage and bike touring panniers. It ships with waterproof pannier covers that you can whip out when the clouds look threatening.
In this video, the inventor of the Two Wheel Gear Classic Garment Pannier, Reid Helmsig, shows off this great commuting backpack:
I can’t wait to take ours on a bike tour around The Netherlands! (I have the perfect panniers and bike, now I just need the perfect Lotto ticket.) It has just about every clever pocket you can think of, and the waterproof cover comes standard and can be fitted over in seconds.
We have done TWO in-depth reviews of the Two Wheel Gear Garment Pannier. (We liked it so much, we reviewed it twice!) Here’s a review from a woman’s point of view, and here’s a review from a man’s point of view.
See also: 7 Tips for New Bike Commuters!
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