If you want to carry more on your bike than what's in your water bottle holder, the best bike bags will store all of your essentials in a hardy, weather-resistant build — ideally, with a few features that make your time on the open road easier, whether that’s a headphone port so you can listen to music out or an insulated compartment to hold your lunch. In terms of crunching the specs, you'll want to take into account bag size, capacity, and weight to ensure it's up for your ride.
A small seat pack or handlebar bag will encourage you to pack only the essentials. Larger bags, like panniers, are great for carrying a lot at once but might be an adjustment for the casual user since they can be bulky. A rack trunk (or rack bag) is a good compromise that offers more cargo space, although you can’t fit a full load of groceries (for that, panniers are the way to go). Keep an eye out for the bag's total capacity, typically measured in liters, to help determine if the bag is sized to your needs. For longer commutes or bike-packing, you'll want a bag that's also lightweight (think: less than 2.3 pounds).
No matter what kind of bag you're considering, it should at least be water-resistant but if you're a serious cyclist, you may want to consider paying more for a solidly waterproof option that will keep your stuff dry even if you yourselfget drenched. You can also invest in a waterproof nylon sack to ensure that, no matter what bag you go with, your gear stays 100% dry even in the most gnarly weather.
With all that in mind, these are the five bike bags that stand out.
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