(Photo via Bontrager)
In case you're wondering pannier is pronounced "panyair." In order to avoid sounding like a greenhorn, avoid saying "paneer" which is an Indian or Farsi word for cheese. A pannier is otherwise known as a saddlebag but everyone knows that no woman wants to even have that word in her vocabulary, so pannier it is
The Bontrager Grocery Bag Pannier sells for $50. At first I thought that was bit pricey but the quality of the bag is really excellent. I liked it so much after I bought it that I bought a second one. The hooks fit snuggly on my Planet Bike Eco Rack (which I adore) and they don't budge. I always have at least one of them with me when I'm on my bike. I've even received compliments on the bag when off the bike from people who thought it was just a purse . Personally, I don't think it makes an attractive purse but it's nice to know maybe it's not screaming "pannier." The bags are sturdy and they hold a lot of stuff. There's even an inner liner that comes out and lets the bag hold even more. I have not tried using the bag in the rain, but I don't think they are considered especially waterproof. Besides the small outer pocket there is a very small inner pocket but other than that there's just one large inner space. My one wish is that they were a bit prettier or had a bit more personality but I understand why they made them so generic - they are really a utilitarian pannier anyone can use. Overall I'm very happy with these bags and would definitely recommend them.