Preview: Detours Ballard Market Pannier/Backpack

It’s springtime and time for new product lines… Our friends over at Detours sent me a couple new bags to review and I will be putting them to the test over the coming fine weather months.

I’ve already had the opportunity to take the new Ballard Market Pannier on a very bumpy maiden voyage commute last Friday am sharing my first impressions. Still to come will be my first impressions and review of the waterproof Coffee Bag which is designed to keep some smaller items dry and secure.

The Detours site provides the following description of the Ballard Market Pannier:

Seattleites flock to the Ballard neighborhood every Sunday for one of the best farmers market in the Northwest. If you’re rolling up on a bike, this is the perfect pannier to take with you. An easily hide-able padded shoulder harness lets you wear the pannier as a backpack when browsing the stalls, and two simple yet sturdy pannier clips attach to your bike rack for the ride home. A lightweight waterproof base keeps your bag dry from street spray, and a removable raincover protects your goods when the skies open up. Interior organization and a laptop sleeve makes this a great option for a casual office commuting as well! Distinctive prints make this bag just as beautiful as the fresh produce you’ll haul home.

Available in Black, Red or our exclusive Herman Yu Dahlia print.

Best uses: Around town, commuting
Volume: 920 cubic inches
Dimensions: 11 x 5.5 x 15 inches
Average Weight: 2 pounds
Price: $69.00

I rode with this Ballard Market Pannier on a long commute last Friday.

Ballard Market Pannier attached to my bike

It fit more than everything I needed for work and for my bike, and it felt so much less clunky than the Banjo Brothers Market Pannier that I’ve been using (that RL also reviewed a while back).

A peak inside the Ballard Market Pannier

Part of it could be that it’s because I finally packed only what I really need. My bags tend to accumulate “baggage” over time and I end up with quite a hefty load after a while.

My commute followed a lot of bumpy roads and the pannier remained securely in place on my Blackburn rear bike rack.

Ballard Market Pannier clips securely to bike rack

If I ever chose, I could also wear this bag as a backpack via nicely padded straps that easily pull out to make backpack straps.

The Ballard Market Pannier becomes a backpack

No more need to decide between a backpack or a pannier!

I also received a few compliments on the bag – bonus! 🙂
Being chic on a bike goes a long way towards making this my new “go to” bag.

Stay tuned for the full review after I’ve put in a few more commutes with this bag.


  1. Ghost Rider

    Wow, that looks crazy-sturdy! Good tight stitching and thick webbing…I am looking forward to details about the rack-mounting clips; they’re often the Achilles heel of panniers.

  2. SaddleAmericana

    Yes! I love seeing reviews of panniers — it means it’s big time touring time! The best way to spend a summer is in the saddle!

  3. Matt

    Nice! Seems like a really well-thought-out design. I’d probably prefer total waterproof-ness rather than a removable raincover, but otherwise seems good.

  4. Mike Myers

    That looks like an excellent product.

  5. kat

    Looks pretty…and I love the backpack conversion! My only concern would be that there is no lower attachment to prevent swinging.

  6. The Daily Cycle

    Look like an awesome bag/pannier. Thanks for sharing. I am more of a trailer man for long hauls, but if I ever considered panniers this would be the one.

  7. Elizabeth (Post author)

    @kat, I was initially concerned about the lack of lower attachment, too, but so far I have not noticed any problem. In fact, this bag is very stable on my bike. The clips keep is securely fastened to the rack (vs the hooks that my Banjo Bros. panniers use) and the base of the bag seems to anchor it in place. I’ll be sure to report any issues I encounter in my full review after putting it through the paces.

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