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Bike Bag Buyer's Guide

What are the best bike bags?

Buying the right bike bag means thinking carefully about the style of riding you do and the gear you need to carry. In this guide we'll go over how to get the right bags for your style of riding, so keep reading to get started.

How to choose the right bike bag

Every rider should at least have a flat repair kit for their bike, but many riders want to bring more gear along for the ride. Depending on how you ride, you’ll likely have certain priorities that your bike bags need to be in line with. Here are a few of the most important factors to keep in mind when shopping for a new bike bag:

Carrying capacity

Do you need to carry a little gear or a lot? If you’re out for a quick road ride, you’ll want something smaller and sleeker than a bulkier bag with tons of room that’s probably much better for commuters.

Attachment & portability

Do you anticipate needing to take your bags off your bike regularly or will they live on your bike most of the time? If you commute and want to bring your bags inside with you, getting a bag that can pop on and off easily is a great idea.

Weather resistance

Does your environment or typical ride length have you riding in bad weather often? If you’re carrying gear that you don’t want to get wet, investing in some weather resistant or waterproof bags will ensure your stuff doesn’t get soggy.

Weight & profile

If you’re riding a road bike or trying to go fast, keeping weight down and your bike’s aerodynamics on point is important. Riders who want to keep up their speed should go for lighter, rackless bags that keep the weight centered on the bike.

What are the different styles of bike bags?

Pannier Bags

Popular uses: commuting, bike touring 

Attaches to: front rack or rear rack 

Bike pannier bags are great for riders who prioritize carrying capacity, and portability. If you’re a commuter or a bike tourer who wants to carry a good amount of gear and be able to easily take your bags off the bike, panniers are the way to go. They attack to the sides of your front or rear rack and are typically used in pairs.

Rack Top Bags (Trunk Bags)

Popular uses: recreational riding, commuting 

Attaches to: rear rack 

Rack top bags, or trunk bags, attach to the top of your rear rack and are great for riders who want an easily accessible bag for their gear. They typically don’t have as much carrying capacity as a pannier bag, but some trunk bags do have fold out pannier options for increased storage.

Handlebar Bags

Popular uses: road riding, recreational riding, commuting, touring, bikepacking 

Attaches to: handlebars (usually via straps) 

Handlebar bags come in a wide variety of designs and sizes, so just about any rider can make good use out of one. A major benefit is the bag is out of the way but still easily accessible. Whether you’re looking for a small bag to carry a flat repair kit in or you want to store your valuables or roll up your camping gear, there’s a handlebar bag out there that you’ll love.

Frame Bags

Popular uses: gravel riding, touring, bikepacking, commuting 

Attaches to: inside of the front triangle of your bike’s frame 

Bike frame bags are a great way to utilize all that space in the front triangle of your bike. Frame bags can vary in size, so whether you need to carry a little gear or a lot, the frame bag will keep the weight centered and out of the way for great performance.

Seat Bags

Popular uses: road riding, gravel riding, bikepacking 

Attaches to: seatpost and seat rails 

Bike seat bags are great for riders who want a light bag to keep their gear out of the way so they can still ride fast. These bags are more aerodynamic than most bags, so they’re a favorite of riders who want to keep up their speed and performance.

Backpacks for biking

Popular uses: mountain biking, commuting 

Bike backpacks are great for riders who want to bring gear and repair kits on a ride but want to keep that weight off their bike to maintain nimble handling. Many of these backpacks are great for off the bike activities too.

More ways to carry gear on your bike

Bike Racks

If you don't want to use a bag, you can just strap gear to your rack with a bungee chord or something similar.

If you want to use panniers or trunk bags, you’ll need a front or rear rack for your bike. Most racks (but not all) attach to specific mounts on a bike’s frame, so you’ll want to make sure you have the appropriate mounts before buying. Some racks attach to the seatpost via a clamp, but you’ll want to do your research here as well.

Bike Baskets

Bike baskets are a fun, stylish, and easy way to carry gear on a ride. Baskets will either attach to your bike’s handlebars, or a front or rear rack. If you want something affordable, baskets are the way to go.