Bike bags are getting more and more sophisticated, often combining pannier performance with the ease of use and versatility of the messenger bag. The Messenger bag from the d'Azur range by Dutch bike luggage specialists Basil is designed to be a combination of casual styling, rugged materials, handy features and on and off bike useability.
In an aged, sandy sort of colour canvas fabric, the d'Azur isn't a bag that screams out 'laptop inside' and is styled very much true to its name, as a messenger bag.
Big brother to the 25 we reviewed some time ago, the dhb Slice 30-litre rucksack is for those who need a bit more space without compromising comfort or a bike's responsiveness. Kitchen sink commuters will be delighted to know it takes a 15inch laptop, change of clothes, shoes, stout lock(s), A4 folder and pretty much any bike/rider essentials you'd need for the concrete jungle or a weekend's trail blazing.
Like Polaris's similar courier bag, the Aquanought Backpack is a tough, welded-seam PVC bag that's 100% waterproof. It's even bigger, with a capacity of 30 litres and a couple of external shock cords that you could use to strap on a soggy commuter jacket or camper's sleeping mat.
Designed to be a do-it-all backpack for commuters and leisure cyclists, the Roadsign bag from Howies isn't intended as an all-singing, all-dancing technical rucksack. It looks good and it serves a purpose, while adhering to Howies cool image at the same time.
If you didn't know that Cordo were Dutch you'd probably guess just by looking at this CRD pannier set. It's a one piece unit with the panniers joined by a plastic hinge that clips onto the rack. It's got a lock as well, for added security. The Dutch are usually regarded as being way ahead of us when it comes to commuting and carrying stuff, but this isn't one of their best efforts, in fact it's pretty poor.
This trunk pannier bag from Arkel is possibly made by rugged men in checked shirts who used to fell wood by day and fight bears in their spare time but are now putting all their efforts into constructing super tough bicycle luggage from a log cabin somewhere in Canada. Possibly (would such men call it a Tail Rider? - ed… hmm possibly I suppose).
This burly courier bag from Lezyne is full of neat touches and is well put together to boot. You can fit a decent load in it and your kit will stay dry too. It's not at its best when overpacked but for medium sized loads and the daily commute it's a hard-wearing workhorse.