Bike Panniers: Packing, Pronunciation, and Perks

bike pannier

Whether you’re a novice biker or a pedaling pro, you will need a bike pannier that’s as mobile as you are. But wait...what is a pannier? The term itself comes from a Middle English borrowing of the Old French pannier, meaning 'breadbasket'. Nowadays, it’s what we call a style of bike bags that is 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.

Over the years, the cycling community has heavily debated how to pronounce pannier. Consider it the biking version of the Jif vs Gif pronunciation debacle. We’ve heard everything from pan-yer to pa-nee-uh to pa-nee-ay, but which is right? Or are all options correct and just depend on your geographic location? If you have a few minutes to spare, the Path Less Pedaled settles this debate once and for all in this video.

(Spoiler alert: it’s pan-yer.) 

 

Pannier Perks

Now that you have a handle on what a bike pannier is and how to pronounce it, it’s time to cover the basics on this bag’s primary perks. 

  1. Carry more: Bike panniers are often complimented as the best bag for bike commuters. Not only is it quick and easy to fasten to your bike’s rear rack, but it can also easily store all of your daily essentials. From errands to working out to meeting up with friends, this bag can handle carrying everything you need in your day.
  2. No sweat: We love cycling, but understand sometimes it can get hot and sweaty. Staying cool is a top priority, particularly during the summer. With a bike pannier you can say goodbye to sweaty straps and backpack heat.
  3. Functional features: Unlike the standard backpack or tote bag, a bike pannier is packed full of functional features, such as secure clips, waterproofing, storage compartments, and more! A waterproof bike pannier is ideal for unexpected showers (you might get wet but your things won’t!) Additionally, having secure attachment clips allows you to ride freely without a lopsided or swinging bag. 
  4. Safety First: A bike pannier is a safe way to avoid getting tangled or dropping your items. With your items safely stowed away, you can stress less about carrying your items and focus on the road. Our Po Campo panniers have secure, super-strong magnetic attachment buckles and smartly-designed reflective accents for extra visibility at night, providing safety when on the road. 

A large capacity, stylish, and waterproof bike pannier is packed full of features for living your life by bike. Still not sure if you can fit all of your daily essentials? See what fits in our Bergen Pannier Bag 2:


 

Picking your Bike Pannier

At Po Campo, we have three pannier bag options available that are perfect for commuting or every day activities. Which bike pannier is perfect for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

bike pannier

Irving Backpack Pannier 2

Both backpacks and panniers are suitable for your commuting needs, but why not combine the best of both worlds? Our Irving Backpack Pannier 2 converts between the two in seconds. With criss-cross elastics to store your helmet while walking around!

bike pannier

Bergen Pannier 2

This waterproof bike pannier is ready to take on your busy schedule! It is thoughtfully designed for function, nighttime visibility, and withstanding all outdoor elements. Once you arrive at your destination, the Bergen can be easily detached and fashioned as a crossbody bag.

bike pannier

Mardy Cargo Pannier

Last but certainly not least is our Mardy Cargo Pannier. This is our highest capacity waterproof bike pannier yet, packed full of features for bikepacking adventures. Its super-strong Fidlock® magnetic buckles can handle bumpy roads and unexpected street potholes. From extra storage to security, this bag is loaded with features to help make your life seamlessly mobile. 


We’re a team of avid cyclists, passionate about making thoughtfully designed, thoroughly user-tested waterproof bike panniers as mobile as you. If we’re being honest, many bike panniers on the market are not the most stylish accessories. This style issue may be the primary reason why you’ve opted for a standard backpack or purse, which isn’t ideal for biking commuters. At Po Campo, we create bike bags that can go along for the ride, and look good after. While bike panniers might be a new consideration for you, we’ve been perfecting features for years that are ready for your mobile life. 


Pannier Packing Tips

Regardless of which bike pannier you pick, there’s a simple pleasure in an organized bag. Before you hit the road, practice packing your pannier a few different ways to ensure you can easily access important items off-bike and that you’re comfortable with the weight distribution on-bike. For those of you who are new to bike panniers, you may be asking yourself, “Will I feel off-balance with a single pannier having all that weight on one side of the bike?” The answer is no! You won’t feel unbalanced, but depending on the weight of your pack you may feel a pull when you get on/off your bike. And yes, we know, packing a bag is a pretty basic task, but it’s a nice practice to prevent your bike pannier from becoming a cluttered blackhole.


Tip #1: Pack your heaviest items on the bottom. Whether it be a pair of work shoes or a Harry Potter book, you’ll want those heavy items on the bottom of your bag for stability. Not only will your weight distribution be more even, but also you won’t squish the other items in your bag. 

Tip #2: Use storage compartments. Regardless of the brand or style of the bike pannier you purchase, be sure to use available compartments on the interior and exterior of your bag. If you’re packing your lunch, consider storing it in a separate compartment to contain any spills. Or if you’re changing out of your sneakers, make use of your shoe storage compartment to avoid stinking up your whole bag. 

Tip #3: Empty your bag weekly or bi-weekly. It’s easy to mindlessly toss items into your bag. Empty water bottles, paperwork, gym clothes, banana protectors, and after a few days these small items can get heavy! Make it a habit to empty your bag to avoid carrying around unnecessary items. 

So there you have it, the pronunciation, packing, and perks of panniers. Now you can confidently ride around town with a smartly packed pannier both on and off your bike.

Enjoy the ride!


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