For many cyclists, the thrill of traveling for days or even months on end is an exciting way to explore the world. Whether you go aboard or stay local, bike touring not only gets you out into nature, it also is a great way to exercise. But unlike short rides, long tours require that you pack all the gear you need and carry it with you. While backpacks may seem like the likely choice, they can actually put more strain on your body and make it less comfortable to ride for extended periods of time.
Instead, riders should look at the best panniers for touring, which can help you manage your gear for the duration of your trip. Touring bikes often have a frame and handlebars that are designed to be used with a bag. Bike panniers will sit over your back wheel and provide you with plenty of gear storage space. With different styles and sizes, there are plenty of options to choose from so that you get the best touring pannier. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, we have a list of quality products that will make it easy for you to choose exactly what you need.
How To Choose Panniers For Touring – Buying Guide
The best panniers for touring will be available in two different styles – traditional or convertible. Traditional bicycle panniers for touring are designed to be attached to the bike so that you can carry your gear. They may be a rear or front pannier, which means that you can attach the bag to your handlebar or rear frame. However, some styles are convertible, which means that it can be used as both a pannier and backpack. Convertible panniers are more common for commuters who will be frequently using their bike for transportation, as well as dismounting and traveling by foot.
The style you choose will be up to your personal preference. Some bikers prefer to have a traditional pannier, while other riders may want the additional straps, which they can use to easily carry their gear when it is not hanging from their bike. Panniers for touring reviews can help you decide what you need and whether a convertible or traditional pannier would suit you best.
When you’re going out on multi-day trips, you can’t always plan for the weather. While you try your best, an unexpected rainstorm may appear, which means that your bag needs to have a certain level of protection to keep your gear safe. Waterproof protection, which we’ll cover below, is essential. But riders should also look at whether the bag has any padding in the body to keep your gear safe.
Padded bike touring bags will keep your belongings safer and can even help cushion against small impacts, which may occur on bumpy terrain. Light padded is preferred because it keeps your gear safe, but it won’t weigh you down too much.
Another feature of added protection is whether there is a plastic piece screwed onto the exterior and base of the bag. When your pannier is hanging from your bike, it may rub against the frame at the base. Vulnerable seams can split, but the best touring panniers will actually have a hard plastic piece that acts like a shield to prevent wear due to excessive rubbing.
Waterproofing is another feature of protection that can make the difference between a top rated touring pannier and a cheap, useless bag. The best touring panniers will be fully waterproof to protect against all weather elements you may encounter on your ride. But there is a difference between water resistant and waterproof.
In general, water resistance means that the touring pannier can shed water for a limited amount of time before the interior becomes soaked. Waterproof bike touring bags will stop any water from penetrating to the interior and they will often have sealed seams for extra protection.
Most cyclists prefer a fully waterproof bike pannier because of the strong protection it provides against rain. Panniers for touring reviews can tell you the reliability of a bags waterproofing, or you can check the product information to see level of water resistance included in a specific bike pannier design.
With the weight of your gear to consider, you don’t want to lose precious pounds to heavy panniers for bikes. Instead, lightweight bicycle panniers for touring will allow you to pack all the gear you need without added unnecessary weight on your journey. For most designs, the bike panniers for touring will be 2 pounds or less. But don’t forget that most panniers are sold in pairs, so you would actually be carrying up to 4 pounds in just the weight of the bags.
Some panniers for bike touring will have attachments or places where you can hang extra gear. This often means that there are loops on the exterior, which can be used to carry more gear. However, not all designs have an attachment point because you have to be careful not to overload the bag. Riders should also be cautious of attachments because anything that hangs on the outside of the bag could get caught in the wheel or gears.
However, many bike panniers will have an attachable and detachable shoulder or backpack straps, which makes it easier to carry your gear. These strap attachments will often tuck into a pocket on the pannier to stay out of the way while you ride or they may be removed completely by unsnapping a buckle.
Q: Can Panniers Be Fitted To Any Bike?
The best touring panniers can be attached to any bike because they will have adjustable clips. More often than not, the clips on bike touring bags are located on a plastic track, which allows you to change their location and layout to better fit your bike and frame. However, some bicycle touring bags are only meant to be used with specific brand, so you should check the design before you make a purchase.
Q: How Do You Pack A Touring Pannier?
In general, you want to pack your pannier with the heaviest items in the center. This means that you put lightweight items, like clothes on the bottom to cushion your other gear and the heaviest items packed on top of that. This will give you better balance as you ride, especially if you are using a single touring pannier.
Q: What Size Panniers Do I Need?
Panniers for bikes come in various sizes from small to large, so you can choose exactly what you need and aren’t wasting or running out of space. The size of your bike touring bags may be determined by the location. Front panniers are often smaller than rear panniers because they have less space to hang from your bike. Larger bags will often need to be hung over the rear wheel and could allow you to carry up to 25 pounds in each pannier.
Q: What Side Is A Single Pannier?
If you choose to ride with a single bike touring bag or pannier, the side that you mount it on will be determined by your level of comfort and balance. The best panniers for touring can be hung on either side of the bike, but there may be a certain side which suits your needs better. Ultimately, you want to choose the side where you feel you can appropriately balance your bike and pedal. It may take some time to get used to, but eventually you should be able to find the proper balance.
Q: How To Attach Panniers?
Most waterproof bike panniers are attached using a 3-point clip system on the rear of the bike. The frame should have points where you can slide and lock the clips into place. However, some front panniers or other designs do use a secure loop that attaches around the frame. If you are struggling to attach your pannier, you should check for user instructions or even try reading panniers for touring reviews for installment tips and tricks.
Globo Surf Overview
Riders need their gear to stay safe while they ride, but it can be difficult to carry heavy weight for long distances. Top rated touring panniers will enhance your comfort while you ride by making it easy to attach your gear to the frame of your bike. By taking the weight off your shoulders, riders will be more comfortable so that they can ride for longer. Our article will help you find the best panniers for touring so that you can find the perfect tour setup and get a head start on your journey.
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Do you own one of the top rated touring panniers that made it onto our list? Let us know which touring pannier your favorite is in the comments section below.