North St. Woodward Convertible Featured in Gear Patrol's Best Panniers for Bike Commuting List

North St. Bags Woodward Convertible Backpack Pannier Made in USA Best Bike Commuting Pannier

The Best Panniers for Bike Commuting

By MEG LAPPE

As a recent convert to the world of bike commuting, I realized that while you can stick with just the bare bones, your bike commute can go from doable to nearly perfect with the addition of a few key accessories. Beyond a bike and a helmet, it’s helpful and safe to have lights, a bell and a pannier. All these add-ons make commuting fast and convenient.

While there are a variety of bells, headlights and taillights that have all worked for me, I’ve had the most difficulty finding a durable pannier. It needs to clip on and off quickly as I lock my bike up outside overnight, keep my laptop safe over bumps and terrible road conditions and have plenty of storage for all of my work clothes if I bike to the gym first. Convertible backpack straps are a bonus. While some people can swing a messenger bag or backpack over their shoulders and ride, I found that I could hold much more on the bike if I just attached my bag to it — and I didn’t show up to work with a big sweat stain on my back from said bag.

North St. Woodward Convertible

This pannier and backpack comes from the Pacific Northwest, so you can bet that it’s waterproof. There’s a lifetime warranty on the Woodward, which backs up its craftsmanship (each bag is made by hand). It comes in tons of colors - each with reflective detailing so you don’t have to worry about riding at night. The internal laptop sleeve is a must-have, and the external pockets make it easy to stash your phone so you can check directions at stop lights.