Whether you’ve decided to go green and reduce your carbon footprint, get fit once and for all, or fast-track your daily commute, cycling offers a host of benefits, and it's now more popular than ever before. While there are endless bike accessories you can indulge in, a good bag is essential, especially if you’re using your bike for commuting, running errands, or taking a day trip.
There are many different types of bags to choose from, but if you’re looking for something with plenty of space or you're tired of lugging a backpack around, a trunk bag is probably your best option. Trunk bags come in a range of sizes but most are big enough for your daily essentials and a change of clothes or repair kit. The best thing about trunk bags is that they transfer the weight from your back onto your bike, meaning a more comfortable cycling experience.
There are countless trunk bags and retailers to choose from. You needn’t feel overwhelmed though, as we’ve done the hard work for you, and have identified the best bags on the market.
Whether you’re looking for something durable and weather-resistant, or lightweight and stylish, we’ve put together a list of our favorite trunk bags, complete with a buyer’s guide and answers to the most frequently asked questions - so you can spend less time browsing and more time on your bike!
Top 5 Best Bike Trunk Bag
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
This bag comes out on top thanks to its affordability and simple, functional design which makes it perfect for commuters. This compact bag is secured via three sturdy Velcro straps which can be installed on most bike racks. One point that stands out about this design is the thickness of the straps, meaning you can rest assured that the bag won't fall off in transit.
The extra zipped compartments are perfect for valuables and there's a convenient Velcro mini-pump holder on the side. This bag is portable and versatile: the handle and removable strap mean you can easily carry it into your office, and it's also got a handy water bottle pocket on the back for easy access when you're riding.
It's not waterproof, so some users recommend a waterproof spray but say that otherwise, this bag holds up well through rain and snow, without breaking the bank!
- Perfect for commuting
- Thick and sturdy Velcro straps which fit most racks
- Great if you're on a budget
- Tailgate hanger and reflective strips
- Velcro strap on the side for a mini-pump
- Drinks bottle holder
- Not waterproof
The Ibera PakRak boasts a “3 second, quick-release” mounting system for ultimate ease when installing and releasing your bag, perfect if you’re usually short on time, or if you’ll be taking the bag on and off a lot. One thing to bear in mind though is that you’ll also need an Ibera rear rack to be able to use this product, which you’ll need to purchase separately. However, users praise the unique “quick-release” system, which sets it apart from those that rely on Velcro straps.
This 17L capacity bag is deep enough to fit your everyday essentials inside without straining the sides, and the main compartment will fit a small laptop inside. The bag is sturdy and has a reinforced, padded main body for shock protection.
While the bag offers a durable, carbon-patterned “ABS” base meaning it can be set down on wet surfaces, it’s worth noting that it’s not waterproof, so if you’re concerned about the weather where you live, it may be one to avoid, or you could purchase the Ibera waterproof cover for extra reassurance.
- The quick-release mounting system sets it apart from other products on the market
- Deep capacity ideal for tablets or small laptops
- Padded body for shock protection - good for valuable items
- Reflective elements
- Bungee cords on top for extra storage
- Attractive black and orange design
- You need an Ibera rack to be able to use this product
- Some customers have complained about the quality of the zippers considering the price
- No water bottle holder
This Bushwhacker design is made of 600 denier polyester fabric and is durable and tear-resistant. It offers three exterior pockets with zippers which provide easy-access for important items, and a detachable shoulder strap, making it perfect for commuting.
The Mesa comes in red or black and has a four-point Velcro mounting system that is well-placed for ease of installation and removal. Customers loved this bag for its half-inch sturdy foam insulation meaning it keeps its shape while you're riding and provides extra shock-protection for valuables.
It'll also keep your drinks cool, so it's perfect for picnics or carrying your shopping home. The Scotchlite reflective trim adds visibility, and it also has a rear-light clip.
- Velcro straps mean it can be attached to most bike racks
- Foam insulation for added shape and protection and it'll keep your drinks cool for several hours
- Rear-light clip and reflective elements for low-light riding
- Detachable shoulder strap making it perfect for commuting
- No drinks bottle holder
- It's on the smaller side; at 12" long and 6" wide you'll fit a tablet inside but not a laptop
A good all-rounder, this trunk bag is basic but versatile: simply carry it by the handle if you haven’t got far to walk or turn it into a shoulder bag by attaching the convenient strap that comes with it. It’s also got bungee cords on top to attach larger items to. Customers loved this product for its “just-right” size and portability, meaning it fits snuggly on the rack when installed.
With its 8L capacity, the manufacturer recommends using it as a trunk bag for everyday usage, or even as a bike tool bag for any mishaps while you’re on the road. It’s built to fit on most rear racks via the four Velcro straps, which wrap around the rack to keep the bag in place.
We also liked this bag for its safety considerations; there are reflective elements on either side for cycling in low-light, and there’s also a tailgate hanger so that you can attach your rear light. With water-resistant fabric on the outside and a waterproof inner lining, your belongings will be kept dry while cycling in the rain, meaning you can rest assured that you’ll have a dry change of clothes when you get into the office!
- Versatile thanks to the detachable shoulder strap
- Compact, low-profile design - won’t attract unwanted attention
- Water-resistant outer and waterproof inner
- Velcro straps that fit most racks
- Reflective elements
- Bungee cords on top
- It’s on the smaller side. At 6.25 inches wide, you’re not going to fit a laptop in it, but if you don't need much room this won't be an issue.
If you’re looking for versatility, this bag comes out on top. The main compartment is expandable for extra room, and the two structured side panels can convert into expandable panniers for even more space.
This bag boasts a massive 20L capacity, and it will easily fit a 15-inch laptop inside. Thanks to the 600-denier, weather-resistant polyester and rigid side panels, this bag will hold its shape while on the road, keeping all of your belongings secure. It also has a shoulder strap for easy carrying, a water bottle holder on the back, reflective strips, and a rear safety-light clip.
Similar to the Ibera, Topeak promises super-fast installation thanks to the "QuickTrack" system, but you’ll need one of their compatible racks which come at an extra cost if you don’t already have one. This isn’t a cheap option, but users do praise the quality and capacity of the design.
- Plenty of room thanks to the expandable top and panniers. Will comfortably fit a 15-inch laptop along with clothes and other belongings.
- Shoulder strap
- Water bottle holder
- Bungee straps
- Reflective strips and safety light clip for night-time riding
- Fast installation and removal thanks to the "QuickTrack" system
- You need a compatible rack to be able to install this bag
- This product doesn’t have as many smaller compartments as some other designs
Best Bike Trunk Bag Buying Guide
We’ve shown you our top 5 trunk bags, but if you’re still struggling to decide on one, this handy buyer’s guide should give you an idea of what to look out for.
We aim to provide you with all of the points you need to consider when searching for the perfect bike trunk bag - so that you don’t end up with a product that is too small or doesn’t fit your bike rack.
The first thing you’re going to need to do before purchasing a trunk bag is to check whether your bike has a rear rack. The rear rack provides a stable framework to strap luggage onto your bike, and some bikes may come with them fixed on already.
If your bike doesn’t have a rack, you’ll need to buy one. The rack is then attached to the bike via the braze-on mounts that many bikes have, but if your bike doesn’t have these, most racks come with C clips that wrap around your frame.
If you’re buying a rack, it’s worth thinking about the kind of bag you want, and how you want to install it. If you’re looking for something that can be attached in a matter of seconds, the Topeak or Ibera models listed above might be ideal for you, but you’ll need to purchase racks from those manufacturers for compatibility.
However, most trunk bags are installed using Velcro straps, and these fit onto most generic bike racks pretty easily, though inevitably take more time to install and remove. If you’re likely to leave your bag empty and keep it attached to your bike while it’s locked up, then the speed of installation and removal won’t be too much of an issue for you. If you’re leaving it locked in a public place though, it’s worth purchasing something that you can easily remove and carry like a normal bag.
Some bags may look bigger in photographs, so make sure you check the measurements and think about any larger items you’re hoping to carry.
Most trunk bags are big enough to carry the essentials such as a change of clothes, your valuables, a bike repair kit or small pump, and a water bottle, but if you’re going to be taking larger items with you, such as a laptop, then you might need something that has an expandable top or fold-down panniers. Equally, if you don’t need the biggest trunk bag ever, go for something light, compact, and low-key.
One thing you’re going to want to think about is the weight of your trunk bag, as well as how much your rear rack can take. Most racks can carry between 20 and 50 pounds, which is sufficient for most people. A few heavy-duty touring models can carry up to 80 pounds. These racks typically have three supports per side, whereas your average rack has only two.
If you’re going to be taking the trunk bag on and off or carrying it into the office, you’ll probably want something that looks less like a trunk bag and more like a backpack or messenger bag.
Most trunk bags take this into consideration, and many have at least a top handle, but some have a detachable side strap too. If you’re looking for something for your commute, you’ll probably want something simple, discrete, and fuss-free, with a strap that tucks underneath when the bag is mounted.
Outer and inner material
If you find yourself cycling in the rain a lot, then you’re going to need to pay attention to the material of your trunk bag. Most claim to be water-resistant, meaning they’re fine in a light shower, but if you’re caught during a downpour you could find your trunk flooded if it’s not waterproof.
Some manufacturers market their product as waterproof – however, read the small print and you may find that they’re actually water-resistant – so make sure you read the full product description (or simply revisit our recommendations above!).
If you’re taking a laptop with you and want to ensure it stays dry, you might want to consider a waterproof cover for your trunk bag. You'll find them relatively cheap on Amazon, like this Ibera one. However, one thing to consider is that you may need to stop to put this on if you’re caught in a sudden rainstorm, and this will also add a few extra seconds when it comes to removing your bag. Alternatively, you could also go for a waterproof spray, but if you find yourself cycling in the rain a lot, it's best to go for something waterproof full-stop.
Most of the trunk bags we’ve picked out above have a range of features such as a rear light clip, extra zip pockets for valuables, and a water bottle holder, but it’s worth checking the specification of each bag carefully if you have any particular features in mind.
If you’re cycling in low-light then you’ll definitely want a reflective strip that most designs offer, as well as a tailgate clip so your light can be clearly displayed above the rack.
Water bottle holders are good for days out or cycling tours and trips and can prevent spillage, while zip pockets are always handy as they keep your wallet, phone, and keys secure so you can find them easily when you dismount.
Best Bike Trunk Bag FAQ's
Is a trunk bag worth it?
The answer to this question really depends on what you need to carry. If your load is light and you’re comfortable carrying a backpack instead – then a trunk bag probably isn’t necessary. However, if you carry between 40-50 lbs of gear, trunk bags are a good way to take the strain off your back and transfer the weight onto a rack.
What’s the difference between panniers and a trunk bag?
A trunk bag is secured on top of your rack (like the ones listed above), whereas panniers are split in two so the load hangs over each side of your rear wheel. Panniers generally hold more and are used frequently by touring cyclists.
How do I attach a trunk bag to my bike rack?
This depends on the bag you’ve purchased. Most have Velcro straps that are easily wrapped around most common bike racks, however, clip-in or slide-in styles offer quicker installation but are usually only compatible with racks from the same manufacturer.