Best Affordable Soft Panniers for Motorcycles

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Hey there! They say that if you can’t pack light, pack tight. But when it comes to motorcycle touring, packing light is easier said than done.

That’s why soft panniers are a popular choice for riders who want to carry their essentials without compromising their bike’s performance.

And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good set of panniers? They’re like the saddlebags of the motorcycle world – functional, stylish, and just a little bit badass.

Largest Capacity


Best for Cruisers


Best for Offroad


But what makes soft panniers so great?

For starters, they’re more affordable than their hard-shell counterparts. Plus, they’re easier to install and remove, and they won’t scratch your bike’s paint job.

But perhaps the biggest advantage of soft luggage is its flexibility. Soft panniers can be squished and molded to fit snugly against your bike, which means they won’t create any unwanted wind resistance or affect your bike’s balance.

So if you’re in the market for a new set of panniers but don’t want to break the bank, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best affordable soft panniers for motorcycles on the market.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a cross-country adventure, these panniers will help you carry your gear in style and comfort. So saddle up, grab your helmet, and let’s hit the road!

Soft Panniers

The Largest Soft Panniers


Capacity: 60 Litres
Expandable: ⚠️
Form stability:

Benefits & Features

Quickly pack more stuff – 60L volume (30L/ each) allows to easily fit sleeping bags, tents, and other large-size gear.

Keep your gear dry – no one likes discovering a wet sleeping bag in the evening. Rockbros panniers are waterproof so that’s one concern less to worry about.

Versatile luggage for different motorcycles – The beauty of the universal fit of Rockbros is that it can be attached to various bikes. Whether you own two or more motorcycles or plan to upgrade to a new one, you can keep this luggage and easily transfer it to your next bike.

Keeps its form when loaded and does not deform when heavy items (up to 10 KG) are loaded inside as many other textile panniers.

⚠️ More reflective materials could further improve passive safety by making you more visible to other drivers.

⚠️ Better to use with a pannier rack for a solid and stable attachment to the motorcycle.

Most Visible


Capacity: 50 Litres
⚠️ No
Form stability:

Benefits & Features

✅ Less storage space compared to RockBros but still has 50 litres of storage which is enough for most riders.

✅ Enhances passive safety by having a reflective yellow coating that makes you more visible in rainy conditions and when it is dark outside.

✅ Same level of Waterproofness as ROCKBROS provided by the PVC waterproof material.

✅ Designed to withstand the harsh impacts and rough handling that typically occur during motorcycle use, making it highly durable and able to endure many falls and beatings.

⚠️ Better to use with a pannier rack for a solid and stable attachment to the motorcycle.

Best For Smaller bikes and Short Trips

#3 Rhinowalk

Capacity: 28 Litres
Expandable: ⚠️ No
Form stability:

Benefits & Features

Better motorcycle handling compared to other panniers. Its shape enables the weight to be distributed closer to the center of the motorcycle, which enhances maneuverability and reduces stress on the suspension. It is ideal for off-road tours on smaller bikes.

Convenient loading. Thanks to its vertical design, this pannier can easily accommodate long items such as tents and sleeping bags. However, it’s important to note that it may not be suitable for carrying large three-person tents.

May be used without a rack. Although most soft panniers benefit from a mounting rack for safe and durable attachment to the bike. Rhinowalk panniers are designed with a forward vertical shape and multiple straps that minimize the chance of interference with the exhaust and rear wheel. As a result, they can be attached directly to the subframe without a mounting rack and secured to the footpeg mounts.

⚠️ Not as much space as with other panniers. Just 28 liters (14L each side). If you pack lite or go for a couple of days – Rhinowalk will do the job.

Best For Cruisers


Capacity: 58 Litres
Yes (36L compressed)
Form stability:
⚠️ Medium

Benefits & Features

Good Aerodynamics. The aerodynamic design results in lower air drag compared to more square designs, which enhances the stability of the motorcycle at higher speeds and reduces fuel consumption.

Variable Volume allows decreasing the width of the bike for easier filtering between cars if panniers are not fully loaded. On the other hand, if you have lots of luggage, open the zipper and get additional 22 Litres of storage space.

⚠️ Harder to securely attach to the bike due to the low number of straps on the pannier backside.

⚠️ If fully extended and loaded with heavy items, this pannier may lose its shape and potentially rest on the exhaust, which could lead to burn-through. Therefore, it’s important to avoid overloading it to prevent deformation.

Worth Mentioning

#5 Givi

Capacity: 40 Litres
Waterproofness: ❌ No
Form stability:
⚠️ Low

Benefits & Features

✅ Has multiple pockets allowing you to organize your stuff for quick access.

✅ Secure attachment to the bike. Givi has a lot of various straps on the back side allowing you to securely mount these panniers to the subframe or pannier rack if your bike has one.

✅ Expandable volume allowing you to make your bike slimmer for easier filtering if you are not fully packed.

⚠️ Deforms under heavy loads, so it’s not recommended to put more than 7 Kg on one side. A pro tip is to use bungee cords to provide additional stability and help maintain the shape of the pannier.

⚠️ Better to use with a mounting rack

❌ Note that Givi Panniers are not waterproof, so it’s recommended to use additional waterproof inner bags to protect items such as tents, sleeping bags, clothes, and electronics from water damage. This extra precaution can help ensure that your belongings stay dry and protected during your travels.


Do I need mounting racks for Soft Motorcycle Paniers?

Although it’s not necessary, using mounting racks can help secure soft panniers more effectively and minimize the risk of them hitting the wheel or sliding down and resting on the exhaust, which could cause burn-throughs and damage to items inside the panniers.

Why Soft panniers are considered less secure?

Hard panniers are typically secured with metal brackets and a lock, while soft panniers usually utilize simple straps that can be easily opened with bare hands and without any tools.

Why Soft panniers are considered better for offroading?

Soft panniers are typically made of flexible, durable materials like nylon or heavy-duty polyester that can withstand the rigors of off-road riding. They also tend to be lighter and more compact than hard panniers, which can be important for riders who need to maneuver through rough terrain and prefer a lighter motorcycle.

In addition, soft panniers have a lower profile than hard panniers, which can help prevent them from getting snagged on branches or other obstacles. They also tend to be more forgiving in the event of a crash, as they are less likely to crack or break upon impact.

Soft panniers have the additional advantage of partially absorbing the impact force during crashes that are common in serious offroading, which can help protect the motorcycle from damage.

In addition, during a fall while riding, there is a higher risk of injuring your leg if it becomes trapped underneath a hard pannier. With soft panniers, on the other hand, the material can deform and reduce the risk of leg injuries.

Overall, while hard panniers can be a good choice for certain types of riding, many off-road riders prefer the versatility and durability of soft panniers for their adventures.

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