Open discussion: Bike Panniers or Bike Trailers?

Here at the Bike Shop Hub we love both bike panniers and bike trailers for our commuting and touring needs. Some of us swing more to one side then the other, but we want to know which one you prefer and why? Check out this article we wrote awhile back discussing this very dilemma, Panniers VS. Trailers, the battle royal.

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8 thoughts on “Open discussion: Bike Panniers or Bike Trailers?”

  1. The Edge says:

    I’m gonna have to say I am definitely a pannier man. Not to say that bike trailers don’t have there place, but I like having the weight of my load centered around me which helps keep the bike a little more maneuverable.

  2. BJN says:

    Panniers for most riding. They’re just a lot easier to deal with. However, there’s only so much that panniers can carry, so when the load is heavy and/or bulky, a trailer is the way to go (or a trailer and panniers on the bike).

  3. big jonny says:

    I have to go with the trailer. Reason? I’ve never found a set of pannier that I don’t strike my heels on. I’m 6′ 4″. That said, carrying stuff on a rack is great. Same with a front bag of some sort. But, when I need to carry a few things, I use the trailer.

  4. TruckStopSally says:

    I would say I like trailers, panniers are just too Euro.

  5. Optimus Prime says:

    I can go both ways when I’m on long tours. A set of front panniers for clothes, food and small tools, and a trailer to carry all the bulk items works for me.

  6. Ted says:

    I’m looking to come up with a solution that’ll increase the likelihood that other people in my family will be motivated to do errands and commute by bike. I’m on the fence.

    I’m thinking a typical grocery haul is about six bags. So what I’m really weighing is a trailer vs. panniers on an Xtracycle.

    I think I’m leaning toward the trailer. Ask me again tomorrow.

  7. Ian... says:

    My main use for luggage is for grocery trips.

    I’ve tried both & prefer carrying a bit less with panniers/top of rack for the sheer maneuverability through traffic – it’s a bicycle sized package & fits into bicycle sized spaces.

    That said, the ‘trailer’ I tried was a kid hauling device. Getting ready to leave a supermarket one day, I was accosted by an old lady keen to have a look inside (presumably at the kids that weren’t in there LOL).

    The look on her face was one of, “Have I seen a box of cornflakes or lost me marbles?!”

    Priceless, and occasionally worth taking the trailer for ;>D

  8. Bill says:

    When it comes to unsupported long-distance touring, there seems to be room for debate on this question. But for my needs–namely, hauling a lot of crap around in a big city–the trailer wins, hands down. Two racks plus four serviceable panniers comes to at least $400 worth of gear; for far less money you can get a good trailer that carries more stuff with less fuss over straps, closures, etc.–and you don’t need a specially designed touring frame to hitch one up. Unless you’re already riding a Long Haul Trucker or a 520 (etc. etc.), a trailer will deliver more hauling capacity per dollar than panniers.

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