Transport your gear in style with the best bicycle bags
If you cycle to work, chances are you’ll need to take your gear with you: a lock, change of clothes, your laptop, packed lunch, etc.
Sure, a regular backpack can sometimes do the job just fine – and bike-friendly covers exist to up their visibility (see the Oxford cycling cover) – but a cycling-specific bag will make life easier if you regularly pedal to work, cycle to the beach or the gym, or even to the city to go shopping.
Cycling-specific bags come with features such as a padded laptop sleeve, easy-access pockets, reflective detailing and attachment loops for essentials like locks and lights. They’ll also have ergonomic straps to hold the backpack steady while pedalling.
This buying guide includes advice on how to choose the best bag for your needs.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BAGS
Today, we have the luxury to be able to choose between literally hundreds of bags for cycling. Cycling bags generally fall into three categories, though: roll-top, messenger or panniers.
Roll top backpacks are very popular. They can hold a metric ton of stuff and are most usually water tight, too, given the roll top closure that seals the main compartment away from moisture.
Half-shoulder messenger bags – convenient if you need to get items out of the bag quickly. You can just swing the bag around your shoulder and open the flap to access the main compartment or any other smaller compartment which always seem to placed very ergonomically just under your hands.
Pannier bags are especially designed for your rear rack and are very practical for people who get sweaty when they carry their gear or carry wet / heavy loads on a regular basis. Many pannier bags can be taken off the carrier easily, some of them are even pannier / messenger or pannier / backpack. With the right equipment you can fit panniers to a bike that isn't designed to take them.
ROLL TOP BACKPACKS
Made of recycled PET, durable and waterproof, this bag is ideal for your busy city days. Its adjustable design offers you a storage volume of up to 21.5 L! The bag attaches easily and in no time to the luggage rack of your bike thanks to its integrated metal hooks. When you get off your mount, carry it in your hand or comfortably on your back thanks to its very practical straps.
If you are looking for a bag that can commute, get groceries and transport belongings around town every day and in all weather then the Barrage Cargo is never going to let you down. Capacity is cavernous beyond its humble 18L would suggest and the front cargo net supplements the storage for bulky items too. Built for durability, this bag will be with you for years.
Fantastic value for money, the modern Basil Urban Load Messenger Bag is made of waterproof fabric with polyester, with an eye-catching stormy grey and gold colour scheme. The water-resistant folding closure prevents rain from entering, so your gear in this bike shoulder bag is better protected. It is also a pannier and a shoulder bag in one. The bag has a removable strap so that you can carry it comfortably.
The Citizen is considered by many people to be one of the best messenger bags available on the market, if not the best one.
It is perhaps the most comfortable messenger bag on the market which is one of the top reasons to consider this bag. Chrome has designed the bag so well that it makes riding with the bag just as enjoyable as if you weren’t even wearing it. Beautifully made, it is a bag you won't need replacing.
Panniers are typically attached or slung over the back of your rear bike rack. A bike pannier is a great alternative to a tote bag or backpack, allowing you to carry a lot more items and weight so that you can enjoy riding around town. But they can also be two things at once, allowing you to take them on and off and use it as a shopping bag.
The cheapest option by far,
The genious Bikezac from the small Danish company COBAGS is a lovely tote bag that can be mounted on the luggage rack of your bike. Keep it on the bike when riding, detach it to take it to the supermarket or the shops, put it back, ride home!
VAUDE is one of the most sustainable bicycle brands out there. It offers functional, environmentally-friendly products made from sustainable materials. They are manufactured under fair working conditions along the entire supply chain. Since 2012, the company headquarters in Tettnang and all products manufactured there have been climate neutral. Their Aqua panniers are one of the favourite products in the team, as they are waterproof, very well made and are large enough to accommodate a wetsuit and a dryrobe when going to Seapoint. It is also easily detachable and has a strap so that you can also bring it to the shop and use it as a shopping bag.