Knog Boxer Dog rackless panniers & backpack review£97.99

Alternative to traditional rack

BikeRadar score2/5

Knog's rackless panniers sound like a good idea – you avoid the extra weight, cost and fitting hassle of a rack and attach a set of panniers directly to the rear of the bike.

The Boxer Dogs consist of a pair of sturdy joined bags supported by a stiff internal wire frame with small, slide-on wire hook mounts. You get three large plastic mounts for your frame, resembling oversize jubilee clips, where hooks on the bags are meant to drop into – in theory meaning you can just hook the bags on and off your bike. They are clearly aimed at city commuters as they have room for a laptop.

The problem is that bikes come in all different shapes and sizes, and seatstays and seatposts in particular (ie. just where the Knog system is supposed to clip onto the frame) are set at different angles. Try as I might, I couldn't find a suitable mount from the many in my garage that would allow the panniers to sit upright when fitted. 

I eventually settled on a Dahon Jack as it had a pretty typical 26in-wheeled rear frame geometry. The plastic mounts go on easily enough but the Achilles heel of the concept is that the seatpost mounting clip only goes in after a real tussle, due to the fact the bag is not sitting upright. There are no diagrams showing exactly the panniers are supposed to sit. 

Knog boxer dog rackless panniers: knog boxer dog rackless panniers
Knog boxer dog rackless panniers: knog boxer dog rackless panniers

The system might just work for a bigger 700c frame with a very upright seat tube/seatpost angle, but you really need much more flexibility for the place and angle of the clip-on mounts. 

Quickly removable rackless panniers would really suit a small folding bike where the lack of rack would be at a premium, but this system won't fit anything of the sort. And yet another quibble: the plastic frame attachments don't look that durable.

This is all a great pity as the bags are well made, with a wheelside waterproof tarpaulin covering and tough fabric for the bag outers with chunky zips. Perhaps the cleverest bit of design is the hollow 'N' shape of the cavity, allowing you to sling over a spare pair of smart trousers or a jacket. 

There are plenty of office-organiser type pockets and even a laptop space (for up to 15.5 inch models). However, we don't recommend using this –  you are going to get too many jolts, even in well padded panniers.

A pair of straps pull out through a small access zip in the top to convert the whole affair into a backpack – though rain can now easily get in through the open zip.         

Knog boxer dog rackless panniers: knog boxer dog rackless panniers
Knog boxer dog rackless panniers: knog boxer dog rackless panniers

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