Cycling with a toddler on a child seat, there's not much space for a backpack (I'd like her to keep her nose!). I've got a front pannier rack, so sometimes take a front pannier instead. This works well, unless there's walking to do at the other end. Even with the strap attachment, an Ortlieb pannier is rather unwieldy.

I know that convertible pannier bags exist, which convert into rucksacks. These would be absolutely perfect... if they fit on the front rack.

Does anyone have a suggestion of a convertible pannier that can be used on a front rack? Or any other clever ideas?

  • 1
    Can you add a photo of your current front rack?
    – Criggie
    Jul 18, 2021 at 8:27

3 Answers 3


We try to avoid product recommendations here, but you've already mentioned Ortlieb, and they make a backpack adapter for their panniers. Front or rear.

  • That sounds like a really good idea, especially as the bike already has front and back pannier racks: a basket already might be a little bit overkill. Thanks all for the suggestions. Jul 18, 2021 at 10:06

Depending on the handlebar arrangement, a standard squareish rucksack can be put on a wide rack or deep basket over the front wheel if not too heavy. Under 10kg, shall we say.


I used to sometimes use my Altura Morph backpack pannier on the front for the same reason, and also when bike camping. It rides quite low, so you need to be careful in your choice of front rack, and avoid extreme cornering and very narrow spaces at ground level. Handling was fine, except when I used it heavily laden, with nothing on the other side, going very slowly - an issue with any front pannier. My commuting shoulder bag pannier (for a laptop) was too low, but a generic 15l roll-top with a shoulder strap worked well on the other side.

This is it on my tourer, on the far side of the front wheel. The rack is the same one I used on my hybrid, and the wheel size is the same, so the ground clearance should be almost identical.

Altura morph as front pannier

The near side front pannier is a Boardman waterproof one that will take a shoulder strap.

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