Review: Velobin lockable pannier

A woman rides her bicycle which boasts a hard plastic pannier bag box
Pros: practical for utility cyclists, durable, lockable, waterproof. Cons: fixed capacity
Cycling UK's volunteer communications officer tested the box-style plastic pannier with a lockable lid

Velobin lockable pannier £64.99

The Velobin pannier is something I tested 15 years ago in its previous incarnation as the Bikebin. It seemed like a bit of a novelty item at the time but proved surprisingly useful. My husband used it regularly for years to carry bike and gardening tools, and I used one for commuting until, after too many bashes into a narrow railing, the rack hooks gave way. The basic design of the Velobin seems to be much the same as the Bikebin but with a few refinements – for example, the Rixen Kaul hooks seem a lot stronger. (In any case, Velobin now offers a five-year warranty.)

The rigid, recycled plastic box is a convenient alternative to a fabric pannier for trips around town. No more fiddling with clips, zips or straps: just flip open the lid and grab what you need. As with any single-compartment pannier, you may need to rummage for small items.

Quick-release hooks, a carry handle and a shoulder strap enable it to go with you easily. Or if you’re just popping into a shop you can leave it on the bike, locking the lid of the Velobin and securing it to the bike’s rack with a cable lock. (Assuming you have the lockable version of the pannier – there’s also a non-lockable model for £59.99.)

Velobin claims the product ‘will never leak’ and it certainly withstood a heavy Cumbrian downpour. The polypropylene material feels robust and the carrying capacity of up to 10kg is perfectly adequate for small shopping trips, utility journeys, and commuting – any clothing can be neatly folded rather than squashed up.

While I wouldn’t use the Velobin for touring (I’m a ‘take everything you can squeeze in’ kind of traveller), the flat lid does provide a handy platform for carrying more stuff on top – assuming you attach a pair of Velobins. There are five handy loops around the lid to hook luggage straps onto.

There’s a choice of colour combinations: black with a blue, red, yellow or black lid. Velobins are sold singly and can be fitted to either side of a rear rack due to the tapered shape. Each has a capacity of 17.5 litres and weighs 1,100g.


A practical alternative to traditional panniers for everyday cycling journeys. Some rattling and shaking might make it unsuitable for things like cameras and laptops, unless they are well-padded and secured safely.

Other options

Ortlieb Bike-Shopper £49.99

A mint-green coloured soft pannier bag

Waterproof 20-litre shopping pannier with a shoulder strap, Quick-Seal closure, and excellent QL2.1 hooks that allow single-handed removal from the rack. 

Specialized Coolcave Pannier £29

A black pannier bag made from hard plastic

A 19-litre pannier made of rigid, 50% recycled plastic. It’s equipped with KlickFix hooks and comes with a cargo net; a lid is an optional extra.

Our test promise

At Cycling UK and Cycle magazine, we are proudly independent. There’s no pressure to please advertisers as we’re funded by your membership. Our product reviews aren’t press releases; they’re written by experienced cyclists after thorough testing.