The Top Budget Pannier: Elops 500 Waterproof Bike Bag

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Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic Panniers

Take a load off your shoulders with the best pannier bags for touring and commuting.

Panniers are a utilitarian solution for carrying luggage on your bicycle. Allowing the bike to take the weight rather than your shoulders, they’ll also allow you to carry far more in terms of both weight and volume compared to using a backpack.

They can be used alone or as a pair, ensuring you arrive fresher at work or helping you haul your camping gear with you on holiday;. However, if you’re carrying lots of weight, you’re best spreading it between two (or even four) for the sake of balance.

Jump Best panniers at a glance:

  1. The top all-round panniers: Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic: RRP £120
  2. The top budget panniers: Elops 500 Waterproof Bike Bag: RRP £24.99
  3. Best large volume panniers: Thule Shield : RRP £130
  4. The top retro and repairable panniers: Carradice Super C: RRP £135
  5. Best mid-priced pannier: Overboard Classic waterproof: RRP £54.99
  6. The top pannier that’s also a backpack: Blackburn Wayside Backpack Pannier: RRP £74.99
  7. The top functional waterproof: Arkel Dolphin 32LRRP: £175

How do cycle panniers work?

Most panniers work on a basic and near-universal system of attachment. A pannier rack bolts onto fixing points on your bike; the panniers then hang off the rack via a series of hooks.

Mounting can be either beside the back wheel or on the front fork. Most riders prefer to start at the rear before loading up the front of the bike, although more experienced cyclists often prefer the handling afforded by placing more weight over the front wheel. Traditional touring bikes are designed with pannier loads in mind.

Panniers tend to be designated as front or rear-specific. The main difference is that smaller front panniers won’t risk dragging on the ground when fitted beside the front wheel. This means you can also use most front panniers on the back of the bike, but not vice versa.

How much should I spend on panniers?

Panniers range in cost from around £50 a pair to several hundred pounds. As you spend more you’ll get tougher materials, waterproofing, and replaceable fixings.

Racks themselves vary in cost from around £20 to £100, with specific models for disc brake bikes, or to fit with very wide tires.

Elops 500 Waterproof Bike Bag


Capacity per Pannier: 20L

An affordable option but with enough quality. These Decathlon Elops brand bags meet the IPX4 standard, meaning they will keep your kit dry in any situation without falling into the water.

Looking more expensive than expected, their shirts were rolled up first and then tied together with a pair of buckles. Unfortunately, this premium styling doesn’t extend to the back of the bag, where you’ll be faced with a more basic attachment system.

These are simple hooks supported by a tab that you turn to prevent the pannier from popping off the rack. At the base you will also find Velcro loops instead of the classic rails. This makes it a little harder for them to adapt. However, at that price, we wouldn’t complain too much.


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Top Mid-Priced Pannier: Overboard Classic waterproof