Utility and Adventure

The Basil Kavan II Double Bike Pannier Stays Put While You Ride

What Is It?

The Basil Kavan II Double Bike Pannier from Basil is the perfect solution if you’re looking for a simple way to haul your gear but don’t know where to start. Panniers — bags that connect to racks, either at the front or rear of your bike — from this Netherlands manufacturer are a great way to get gear off your back and onto the workhorse that is your bike. This makes them very popular for commuting and touring purposes because you can ride without being weighed down. Whether you’ll be carrying stuff to and from work, or plan on taking a mountain bike tour, the Kavan II can be adjusted to fit nearly any rack, regardless of tubing diameter or fittings. They are made from heavyweight, water-repellent canvas, and come with wide straps and brass hardware. Not only are they really cool looking and functional, they can also transform your bike into a machine of utility and adventure.

Initial Thoughts

With the growing trend in bike commuting and touring, there seems to be a surplus of bike panniers on the market. When considering which product would be most useful, it’s important to know how much you want to carry. Basil’s are big, beautifully constructed bags, which could easily carry a few days worth of groceries for two people. We loved that the Kavan II had two large main compartments, distributed the weight evenly on our bike, and were angled to accommodate the motion of the pedals. The product comes folded flat in the package, but each bag includes three stiffeners to help keep a reinforced shape while on the go — even when fully loaded. The lids are foam-filled to give them structure and to prevent sagging.


The Kavan II’s mounting system couldn’t be any more straightforward. The four straps at the top of the pannier utilize simple sliding loop-style fasteners and at the base of each bag there are single connectors with belt loop-style clasps. This pannier is flexible enough to use on practically any rack. It is tough, yet stylish, and looks amazing on classic euro-style utility bikes. Another plus? There are dual-reflective stripes on all sides.

Feel like wearing your gear? Basil’s Urban Fold Messenger Bag is another impressive way to stay organized and stylish on the go. Made from water repellent, recycled canvas, it can be used as both a messenger bag or as a pannier with it’s easy Hook-On System. The padded compartment can hold laptops up to 15.4″ in size. It also comes with a rain cover and shoulder strap.

Basil Urban Fold Messenger BagCons

Getting the bags on and off is not a super quick affair.  This appears to be the only drawback. If you’re in a rush and you need to take the bags inside with you, you’ll need to have some patience.


When maneuverability and simplicity are key, panniers are the ultimate solution. The Kavan II’s minimal and durable cargo-carrying design is an excellent way to safely transport gear on your bike. Some bags have distinct advantages over others when it comes to towing specific load weight and items. This one is intended to carry a lot, as well as endure your daily commute and the beating of traveling through a host of weather conditions and terrain.

Just make sure you remember to distribute the weight evenly between bags to ensure your bike maintains balance. The lower you are able to pack the heavier items, the better balance your ride will be. Other than that, get ready to experience a product that can stand up to some considerable abuse on the road.