Here is my full review the Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack LITE 2.0 which is designed with some very clever tricks up its sleeve and is a great solution for those who commute by bike to work or are thinking of doing so.
Voted “Best bike pannier to hold a mobile office” by Wirecutter (NY Times).
Following my other review of the Garment Pannier 2.0 we wanted to look at other options for day-to-day use and more of an ‘everyday’ bike commuter bag – The Pannier Backpack Convertible LITE 2.0 seemed like the perfect fit and is perfect for those quick trips to the office, gym or even the pub! ( Still counting the days)
Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack Review
(As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases)
Product Type: 2 in 1 Bike Commuting and Travel Bag
Colour: Black ( also comes in Graphite Grey)
Where to Buy: Amazon
Bag Features –
- Converts from pannier to backpack in seconds
- Secure, fast attachment to standard racks sized 6-16 mm
- Padded 15-inch laptop sleeve
- Quick access padded soft pocket for phone or sunglasses
- Bottle pockets with umbrella/U-lock strap
- Reflective design with loop for light
- Modular Attachment System (M.A.S.) / Helmet Attachment
- Includes high visibility rain cover
Out of the Box – First Impressions
Packaging was not much to speak of, just came in a clear plastic bag which was perfectly fine complete with all tags/ instructions attached.
The first thing I noticed about this bag was it initially looked very compact and lightweight, I liked the red/ orange colour accents on the piping and zips which stood out against the black and looked very cool.
Worth also mentioning the two reflective patched on the shoulder straps for extrta visibility and they have also put hooks for your helmet on the outside pocket which is very handy.
Having owned other products from Two Wheel Gear I know the quality of their stuff is top-notch and this was no exception, it has an expensive feel to it and nothing looks cheap and tacky so this was good to see. Worth also noting this is not a cheap product at $179 / £130.
Is it Waterproof?
Yes, this bag is waterproof and made out of high quality waterproof material which is essential if you are carrying clothes and your laptop. This will be enough in light rain showers, however for extra protection the Backpack Pannier also comes with a fluorescent rain cover for those extremely wet days on your commute.
The rain cover takes up hardly any room and is found in the outside pocket for easy access complete with a clip to make sure it remains fastened to the bag.
Setup and Ease of use
The dual-purpose element of this bag is very cool as when in ‘Backpack’ mode you would never know this doubles up as a pannier as the mechanism is hidden away behind a flap at the back of the bag.
There are instructions attached to the bag which are pretty straight forward, however I was a bit confused initially on where to tuck away the straps, but this was illustrated and they tuck back into the inside of the flap after you detach them at the bottom. You then need to tuck this flap into the same pocket which was a bit tricky at first but made sense to ensure everything was nicely tucked away.
What I love about these products is they are so easy to clip onto to almost any bike rack by using the KlickFix mechanism. There is a spring-loaded red ‘catch’ in the center of the rail which you simply push down and it secures nicely onto the rear rack.
The two clips at the bottom where the ‘back straps’ were clicked into can now be used to secure the bottom of the bag to the lower part of the rack as illustrated in the image above – very smart!
Bag Storage and Compartments
Initially the bag does look very ‘compact’ and has a storage capacity of 22ltrs, however the storage compartments and pockets have been very well thought through and I was surprised how much Stuff I could get in here.
The Pannier Backpack Convertible has been designed with the commuter in mind, specifically the padded laptop pocket which will fit a 15.5″ laptop, netted pockets for your chargers and cables along with some handy pen compartments
There is plenty of room in the main storage area for extra clothes or gym gear, lunch etc if needed – perfect for day trips or trips to the office. I also like the small padded pocket on the outside at the top for sunglasses, phone etc which can be easily accessed.
Stretchy bottle holders are located on the sides of the bag, on the left side there is also a simple Velcro strap to further secure an umbrella or could be handy if you have a longer drinks canister. Another nice touch is the helmet hooks which come in really handy.
Pros + Cons
- Functions well as a backpack and a pannier
- Perfect for commuters
- Easy to use
- Great quality materials and components
- Could do with more padding at the base of the bag
- Instructions are brief
Similar Product comparisons
2 in 1 style backpacks are not a unique concept and there are many other options out there on the market for less than the cost of this bag, however what puts the Two Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack ahead of the field in my view is the quality of materials and components in addition to the thoughtfulness of the design – both as a backpack or pannier each function performs really well and is built to last.
In the past I have bought panniers that’s are a total fail when it comes to straps coming off after a few months not to mention can be quite a hassle attaching to the rack. Any cyclist will tell you, carrying weight on your back for long periods of time can start to take its toll on a bike, so as an ‘all in one’ solution the The Pannier Backpack Convertible LITE 2.1 is a sound option. The overal user rating online is very high with other owners happy with the quality and versitility of the bag overall.
Timbuk2 Deploy Convertible
The other closest comparision I could find was the Timbuk2 Deploy Convertible, which has good reviews, however it is much larger bag and could be conisdered ‘overkill’ as an everyday option.
The Tumbuk2 may be a consideration if you need more space however some of the reviews claim that clips started breaking after a short time when overloaded but without reviewing this bag myself it would be un-fair to comment further on this. (As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases)
Final Thoughts – Two wheel gear Pannier Backpack
When you are not on the bike you can use simply as a backpack which is a good size and not too bulky. They also do a larger version (30ltr) which although is almost identical, it’s certainly not as compact so I think they have got the size spot on with the ‘Lite’ model reviewed here.
My only very small criticism of this bag would be that personally I would like to see more protection at the bottom should you need to put on the floor, just to further protect any contents inside and also the bag itself. But most of the time it’s either on my back or on the bike so it’s not a deal breaker.