The 9 Best Bike Bags of 2023

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TripSavvy's Pick

With its sleek, minimalist design and eco-friendly materials, we simply adore the REI Co-op Junction Seat Bag—it checks all the boxes for most cyclists. For the road biker, the Arkel Commuter Urban Pannier keeps your things organized and protected from the elements.

A big, bulky backpack can be a major pain if you're out and about on your bike. The wrong bag can bang around awkwardly on your shoulders and weigh you down. Everyone from daily cyclists to occasional two-wheeled travelers can benefit from using a bike bag. From panniers to saddle packs to frame bags, a good bike bag offers a compact, easy way to store and carry all your everyday essentials while you ride.

Each of the bags on this list has been thoroughly vetted, and each is an excellent pick for cyclists of all ages, abilities, and preferences. Special consideration was given to water-resistant options, attachment methods, and of course, a variety of sizes. No matter what type of bike bag you're looking for, we've got you covered.

These are the best bike bags on the market right now.

Table of contents

Best Overall: REI Co-op Junction Seat Bag

REI Co-op Junction Seat Bag

Courtesy of REI

What We Like
  • Spacious but light

  • Eco-friendly materials and manufacturing

What We Don't Like
  • Cotton straps could be more durable


The best go-to choice for most cyclists is the REI Co-op Junction Seat Bag. At just 6.5 ounces and measuring 5 x 10 x 5 inches, it's a lightweight and unobtrusive option. The rugged exterior is crafted from water-resistant oxford nylon, with a durable water repellent, made for fending off back tire splash.

Fitting snuggly underneath your seat, this bag is roomy enough for all the basics, like your lock and a spare tube. It features a large zippered opening and two internal pockets. The compression straps also help keep the load tight which is a nice design touch if you're riding on bouncy trails or roads. All that, and this bag is made with bluesign-approved materials, which is the global textile industry's leading standard for environmental health and safety. Yes, please.

Price at time of publication: $50

Capacity: 4 liters | Dimensions: 5 x 10 x 5 inches | Weight: 6.5 ounces | Materials: Ballistic nylon

Best for Road Biking

Arkel Communter Urban Pannier

Arkel Commuter Urban Pannier

Courtesy of Arkel

What We Like
  • Has reflective material on all sides

  • Attachment system is easy to operate

What We Don't Like
  • Capacity is limited to day trips

Wherever you’re headed on your bike, carrying a few essentials with you on the road is where the Arkel Commuter Urban Pannier comes in. For easy, safe, and convenient transport of your laptop, lunch, phone, and other belongings, it’s tough to beat this bag. It’s weather-resistant, completely lined with waterproof fabric, and made from hardy, durable Denier Cordura nylon and Sunbrella acrylic. So you can bet it’ll guard against anything the road throws your way. We love the organized storage factor, too. This bag has a built-in laptop compartment (with an internal backplate to protect your computer against shocks) and two outside zippered pockets for easy access to your wallet, phone, and keys. And the flap lid lets you quickly reach inside, unlike a traditional roll-top closure.

Price at time of publication: $240

Capacity: 23 liters | Dimensions: 17 x 6 x 12 inches | Weight: 2.6 pounds | Materials: 1000D Cordura nylon, Sunbrella acrylic

Best for Mountain Biking

Osprey Raven 10 Hydration Pack

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What We Like
  • Features hip belt pockets

  • Reviews confirming durability

What We Don't Like
  • May not fit slim body types securely

For mountain bikers who need something a tad more rugged than your average bike bag, the Osprey Raven 10 is a solid pick. Comfy and stable, this bag was designed specifically with mountain biking in mind. Naturally curved shoulder straps, an AirScape suspension system, and a back panel keep this bag close to your body, allowing for dynamic movement. A dedicated compartment at the bottom holds a Tool Roll (for everything from mini-pumps to tire levers) and an integrated 2.5-liter reservoir, so you can stay hydrated while you ride.

Price at time of publication: $155

Capacity: 10 liters | Dimensions: 9 x 8 x 17 inches | Weight: 1.5 pounds | Materials: Nylon

Best for Commuting

Topo Designs Rover Pack Mini Backpack

Topo Designs Rover Pack Mini Backpack

Madewell

What We Like
  • Versatile and practical

  • Stylish

What We Don't Like
  • Cannot be returned through Madewell

Want to feel like you live in Copenhagen on your bike commute? (Ah, if only.) Do as the Danes do (wear multifunctional streetwear rather than complex gear while biking, that is) and get the sleekly designed Topo Designs Rover Pack Mini Backpack, which functions as a backpack-bike bag hybrid. All the must-have features are there, including water-resistant fabric (1000D nylon base), a water bottle pocket, and a built-in laptop sleeve. Plus, this bag just looks plain cool with its slim silhouette and vintage-inspired design, available in stylish shades like natural, mustard, and dark green. For shorter journeys and commutes, the Rover Pack Mini has you covered.

Price at time of publication: $79

Capacity: 10.5 liters | Dimensions: 13.5 x 8.5 x 3.75 inches | Weight: 10.5 liters | Materials: Cotton canvas (1000D nylon base) with water repellent finish, 210D nylon

Best for Travel: Everlane The ReNew Transit Backpack

Everlane The ReNew Transit Backpack

Courtesy of Everlane

What We Like
  • Sleek profile

  • Attaches to rolling luggage

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks some cushioning

For an elegant, classy pick that’s great for travel, get the Everlane The ReNew Transit Backpack. This pack holds everything you need to go everywhere, and the streamlined organization makes it easy to access all of it—there’s a 15-inch exterior laptop pocket, interior slip pockets, catch-all zip pockets, and even two water bottle holders. This bag is available in four fashionable, neutral colors and boasts a classic, utilitarian, Scandi-cool style. And as if we couldn’t love the ReNew Transit more, it’s made from 100 percent recycled polyester.

Price at time of publication: $95

Capacity: 27 liters | Dimensions: 17.5 x the 7.25 x 12 inches | Weight: Not listed | Materials: 100 percent recycled polyester with wate-resistant finish

Best Waterproof: Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic Pannier

Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic Pannier

Courtesy of REI

What We Like
  • Adjusts to your rack

  • Durable and versatile

What We Don't Like
  • No individual option

Hardcore cyclists who want to ride daily—rain or shine—would do well to invest in the Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic Panniers (they come as a pair). The coated polyester fabric (plus roll-top closure) offers serious waterproof toughness, so you never have to worry about water seeping in while you ride. That, and this heavy-duty bag was built to carry the goods, with a 40-liter capacity—you can just as easily use it for a bikepacking trip as you can for commuting and running errands. Large reflectors and a comfy shoulder carrying strap only serve to sweeten the deal.

Price at time of publication: $200

Capacity: 40 liters (pair) | Dimensions: 16.5 x 12.6 x 6.7 inches | Weight: 4 pounds, 3 ounces (pair) | Materials: PS 490 nylon, PD 620 nylon

Best Saddle: Topeak Wedge DryBag Saddle Pack

What We Like
  • Available in three sizes

  • Secure, roll-top closure

  • Great for biking in dark conditions

What We Don't Like
  • Sizing is somewhat irregular

  • Items may be difficult to access

Offering foolproof protection for all your biking essentials, the Topeak Wedge DryBag Saddle Pack is a tried-and-true pick if you prefer a saddle pack design. Simple, to-the-point, and practical to the nth degree, this bag is designed with QuickClick mounting, a quick-release mounting system that allows for fast, easy, and tool-free mounting (who doesn’t love that?). A tough, waterproof outer keeps everything dry and safe, and a rear-facing attachment lets you affix a rear light if desired. And the reflective detailing really increases your visibility in low light, which is a huge plus.

Price at time of publication: $43

Capacity: 1.5 liters | Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.1 x 4.3 inches | Weight: 8.2 ounces | Materials: Nylon

Best Pannier: Banjo Brothers Minnehaha Series Canvas Grocery Pannier

What We Like
  • Easy to secure and release

  • Holds a good amount of groceries

What We Don't Like
  • Attachment design could be sturdier

Take the weight off your back and attach the Minnehaha Series Canvas Grocery Pannier to your rear rack. This chic little pannier is relatively compact and lightweight (measuring 13 x 8 x 11.5 inches and just under 3 pounds) while offering plenty of capacity and protection, thanks to the HDPE panels and steel folding frame. Handily, you can detach this bag and bring it to the store using the wide carrying handles. When you’re not using it, it folds perfectly flat.

Price at time of publication: $65

Capacity: 18 liters | Dimensions: 13 x 8 x 11.5 inches | Weight: 2.81 pounds | Materials: 20 ounce canvas

Best Budget: Timbuk2 Bicycle Seat Pack

Timbuk2 Bicycle Seat Pack

Courtesy of Timbuk2

What We Like
  • Features loop for blinking light

  • Sleek and aerodynamic

What We Don't Like
  • No seat post attachment

Cyclists on a budget, look no further than the wallet-friendly Timbuk2 Bicycle Seat Pack, which is all you need for a day of trekking but doesn’t cost as much as other similar-quality models. This bag is definitely compact, at 3.74 x 3.15 inches, and is excellent if you just need something to hold your keys, cards, phone, and maybe a little cash. It attaches to your seat hardware with hook-and-loop straps, so everything stays securely fastened as you glide. The black reflective color has Gem reflective mesh, too, so you stay nice and visible on the road.

Price at time of publication: $29

Capacity: 0.75 liters (medium) | Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.1 x 3.9. x 7.9 (top w x bottom w x h x d ) inches | Weight: 5.6 ounces | Materials: Not listed

What to Look for in a Bike Bag

Water Resistance

Even if you don’t live in a particularly rainy climate, getting a waterproof bag is a good idea if you plan on doing virtually any biking in the rain. To ensure your gear stays completely dry, seek a bag with waterproof fabric and seams—you’re looking for an explicit “waterproof” label here, not just something water-resistant. If you don’t plan on biking in inclement weather, a pack with any level of water resistance will do just fine. 

Attachment Options

Certain bags attach differently to your bike, and some are easier to get on and off than others. For example, seat bags with quick-release mounting brackets are easy to disconnect, as are panniers that attach to racks. 

Size

What will you be using your bike bag for? Commuting to work, bikepacking, or simply getting from one brewery to the next? How you plan on using your bag will determine what size is right for you. Seat bags, which attach under your saddle, tend to be small-capacity. Frame and handlebar bags are great for holding small items like your wallet and phone. And panniers are rack-mounted bags that can carry heavier loads (and thus are ideal for running errands and getting to work). Or, you could opt for a bike messenger bag or backpack for everyday bike commuting and urban cycling. 

You also need to choose the size that best fits your bike and won’t interfere with your movement while pedaling. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What should I carry in my bike bag?

    It depends on your experience level and the typical intensity and duration of your rides. At a minimum, consider bringing a tube, hand pump, tire lever, assorted bike tools, patch kit, and lock. You should also bring snacks and a travel water bottle.

  • How should I clean my bike bag?

    First, wipe or shake off mud, dirt, or dust. Then, douse or spray your bag with warm water. Scrub the bag with a gentle soap using a soft-bristle brush and allow it to air-dry. Typically, you should avoid using a washing machine and dryer unless the product's tags or retailer's site specifies that you can. You might also consider looking into a specialized wash for cleaning outdoor gear.

  • Will a bike bag slow me down?

    This, of course, depends on the style and size of your bike bag and how much you decide to cram in. Heavier bike bags will slow you down more than lightweight bike bags. So if you're concerned with speed or planning to race, pay attention to the bag's weight without anything inside and then try to be cognizant of what you're packing.

Why Trust TripSavvy


Justine Harrington
is passionate about urban cycling, mostly so she can avoid getting behind the wheel of a gas-guzzling, mega-polluting death machine (aka a car) as much as possible. To that end, she’s always on the hunt for accessories and apparel that make her bike rides more enjoyable—and it brings her great pleasure to share her finds with others. In fact, her time spent researching and vetting dozens of bike bags will be worth it if it means that even one person is encouraged to ride her bike to and from work every day.

Article Sources
TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. bluesign. "Your Partner in Responsible and Sustainable Textiles." Accessed Dec. 21, 2022.

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