Bike bags are awesome! They make bike packing possible. With a bike bag set up you'll be able to safely and securely attach your gear for epic adventures or convenient commutes! There are lots a different types of bike bags with pros and cons for each. So here we go with a rundown of the most common bike mounted storage options.
Panniers offer a ton of storage space all in one place and can be mounted as a single bag or in sets. They can also be mounted to most rear racks and specialized pannier lowrider front racks with attachment points. Panniers are great for larger items like sleeping bags, sleeping pads and tents. They also make killer grocery run bags while you're around town. They can be a bit spendy and need a rack to attach to which adds weight and stays on your bike even when the panniers are off. You'll need to pay attention when loading these bags that they are evenly weighted if using two and not too heavy when using a single.
There are few different ways front bags can attach they will either secure directly to your handlebars and headtube via straps or make use of a platform rack or basket. These bags are great for quick on the items like snacks, electronics and other high use gear. Generally only smaller volume handlebar bags will attach using there own straps so you will be adding some hardware for larger ones.
Frame bags have the most centered point of gravity which makes it a good place for your heaviest items. This is where I generally store all my tools and smaller heavier items. Not all frame bags and universal fit and will interfere with your riding if improperly fitted or attached. You'll also need to be careful about the width of the items you are putting in a frame bag. Any bulkier item that can shift may start rubbing your legs and become a problem.
Seat Post Mounted Bags
Not my personal favorite but have some benefits and work great for some riders. These tend to be a choice with riders that use dropper seat posts and have frame geometries that do not lend themselves to other types of bike bags. Make sure to pay attention to the post attachment point and test before a long trip. These bags can have some serious side to side movement if not well fit to the bike.