Guest review: Thule Commuter Pannier

Great Bag, Thoughtful Design

Thanks to Austin R. for letting us feature this review!

My two favorite things about this pannier that set it apart from all others are the large external pocket and the clip system. The previous set of panniers I had would dig into my leg when off the bicycle.

The vanishing clips in this system make it comfortable to carry when off the bike, but also hold onto the rack really well and easily. I can stick this pannier on my bike significantly faster than I could my previous set and because the clips hold on from both above and below the rack I think they hold on better than the previous panniers I had.

The pannier came with a really powerful magnet to stick on the frame of the bike to hold the pannier on from lower down as well, but I didn’t (and still don’t) think it needs it so I never put the magnet on since I was somewhat worried about how the magnet would affect my laptop. Sometimes when the bag is especially heavy I need to pull up on it after attaching to make sure the clips spun back into the holding position.

Detail of the clip on the back of the Thule Commuter Pannier.

When buying I read various reviews that said the clips snapped or something, when I received my bag it came with two clip sizes: a smaller one already installed and a larger option. I noticed that the smaller ones fit just barely on the rack but did have a little push back so I installed the larger ones instead of risking the snap. I haven’t had any problems with it. The installation of the larger clips was clear on what needed to happen, but getting the springs into place was a little difficult but certainly doable.

The external pocket I find especially useful for sticking things in that I might want to pull out quickly (like a rain jacket or a water-bottle or two. I haven’t seen anything inside the main compartment get wet (I assume that I have ridden through significant rain storms but don’t have a particular one in mind). Both the handle and the shoulder strap are comfortable. The laptop sleeve is a separated pocket with a stretch top to hold the laptop close to the wall of the bag.

It is quite clear to me that Thule really thought about commuters when designing this bag. I am planning on buying this again as a gift for at least one of my two brothers. I frequently show it off to my cyclist friends because I am still amazed at how awesome the bag is.

About me as a cyclist:
I have been commuter cycling for 9 years in various urban and suburban landscapes and I do not use a car.

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