Novara Commuter Rack Trunk

Priced: $39.83 Rated:   - 5 stars out of 5 by 18 reviews.
Novara Commuter Rack Trunk
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Color: Buzz Yellow / Carbon
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The Novara Commuter Rack Trunk features panniers that easily fold up and stow away when not in use—deployable, zip-away panniers let you increase capacity from 500 to 1,430 cu. in.



  • 100% post-consumer recycled PET body fabric is tough enough for the daily grind

Weather and Wind:

  • High-visibility raincover hides away when not in use, but is easily accessed when the rain drops start to fall


  • Zippered molded-foam pocket panels house the panniers in a neat, cleanly finished design


  • Main compartment includes interior mesh pockets and key clip


  • LED clip loop lets you attach your own rear safety light, sold separately, to the Rack Trunk
  • Reflective detailing and decals increase your visibility to motorists
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Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Best use:Bike commuting & touring
Dimensions:13 x 5 x 6 inches
Gear capacity (L):23.4 liters
Material(s):Recycled polyester

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Novara Commuter Rack Trunk Reviews:


My gold standard for daily use

This trunk is a permanent fixture on my primary bike. It is always fully deployed, containing spare tubes, parts, tire pump, first aid kit, backups of things I tend to forget or loose (gloves, hat, etc), a cargo net, rain covers for the helmet and seat and more. The load is always unbalanced due to the central lighting battery pack in the near side pannier, but the product stands up to those stresses well.

I appreciate the lighter color even though the trunk is normally concealed under the fabric covering streamlining my large recumbent bike. You never know when the cover will not be usable and visibility is always critical. The one thing that is a bit annoying is the Velcro attachment, due only to the lack of clearance between my particular rack and fender arrangement. Things are very secure once attached.

The trunk stands up well to daily use totaling over 10,000 miles a year, including an average of 145 days of bike commuting a year. I am on my second one, as the elastic cords that secure the panniers got beat up after a few years and I did not feel like fabricating new ones. I am purchasing my third one on sale to have on standby in case I manage to trash something again.

While I have carried a netbook in the trunk pannier on the Seattle To Portland ride, I normally need an additional commuting cargo pannier for my thermos, lunches, clothing, papers, etc. and a grocery sack pannier for shopping. My wife says I carry too much, but I perfer to reduce car usage. I can strongly recommend this product to anyone who is not committed to carrying nothing that will not fit in their jersey pockets.
Kirkej at REI on 12/12/2011

Works well for me

This is a great pack. I like the visibility of the yellow material, and the reflective piping, while not a lot of square inches, is highly visible. The panniers hold a surprising amount - like a 5 pound bag of dog food with room to spare. They won't work for serious grocery shopping, but should be plentiful for many commuters (probably won't hold a laptop computer, though a netbook would fit - would need its own padding, though.) The main part of the trunk isn't huge, but I easily keep a cable lock, spare tube, tire levers, patch kit, small first aid kit, and a multi-tool in it with room to spare. The rain cover is a nice plus, though know that it won't cover the panniers in their deployed position. I like the fact that this is constructed with recycled materials. I'm going to be adding another bike to my stable later this year, and will absolutely buy another of these packs for my second bike. The strap for a tailight/blinkie is properly sized to securely hold a light (presuming the light's clip is properly designed - my Planet Bike tailight is very secure.) The only complaint I have and it's minor is that the double zipper for the main compartment, with the two zippers linked by a strap, has remained pretty stiff for a couple months now and takes a bit of jockeying to open most times. Overall, I'm completely pleased.
GaryTX at REI on 08/08/2011

Love this bag!

This is a great bag! I have an unusual rack (very narrow - 15 x 3.5-4.5). I first bought the Navarro basic commuter bag, but the bag's design prevented me from installing it on my rack. I thought I was wasting my time buying the (larger) Commuter Rack Trunk, but I was totally wrong. The bag fit easily on my rack. On top of that, the fold-out panniers add a surprising amount of storage space. I don't know that you can put a ton of weight in the bag (you aren't going a major grocery trip with this bag). But, I was easily able to visit my public library and fit my (heavy) U-lock and cable along with a library book, a DVD, and a couple of CD's and had room to spare. I also like that I can fold up the "mini'panniers" when I don't need the extra space. The internal pouches will likely come in handy (haven't had to use them yet). I like the spot on the back of the bag for a rear light to be clipped on. And the sale price (I paid [$]) just can't be beat. I was surprised by the earlier comment about no carry handle. If the bag isn't stuffed with heavy items, the strap for the dual zippers should provide an easy way to tote this puppy.
Psyclist at REI on 01/01/2012

Excellent bike bag

I got this from the store and it rang up at about [$] (I note this must've been a clearance item at the time because they are now selling these for full price at the store). I was immediately sold based on the price and features.Originally I was looking at Topeak trunks however they were more expensive and had less features.There is plenty of room for everything in this trunk. For long rides, I can keep my cell phone, wallet, keys, lunch, anything else I might need for a ride. Best of all, I don't need a backpack to carry anything.I've never used the panniers, however I use the side pockets all the time and the rain cover when necessary (a great feature to have!).I was hesitant about all the yellow, but it's actually pretty good for visibility.Since the trunk seems to slide around a bit on my bike rack, I purchased a separate cargo net which holds the trunk firmly in place. Since I keep the cargo net with me all the time, if I can't fit everything inside the trunk, I can stack stuff on top of the trunk and the cargo net will hold that.The only problem now is I bring too much stuff biking with me and that adds a lot of weight!I guess it gives me a better workout.
bakshi6 at REI on 11/11/2010

Best trunk ever!

This trunk has been the best addition so far to the rear rack on my commuter bicycle. It is always packed with a spare tube, a toolkit, a cable lock, and some energy bars. In addition I can carry my wallet and cell phone in the main trunk section without having to cram everything together.

When I'm going farther than the office, the fold-out panniers are perfect for stashing not just my raingear and extra clothing, but gear for a fellow rider as well. I can keep a spare pair of shoes in one pannier comfortably too. They're not big enough for a laptop, but I already ride with a Timbuk2 messenger bag when I need to carry mine.

The panniers fold in very nicely when not in use. The raincover hasn't been necessary so far, but I expect I'll use it this fall -- in the meantime, it can be taken out to make more room for carrying soft items in the top zippered section.

The versatility of having just a little bit of extra carrying space makes this worlds more useful than previous trunks I've had, and the pockets and zippers are all quite durable. Mine has even survived being hit by a car with just a cosmetic scuff to show for it -- great quality gear!
Saska at REI on 07/07/2009

Pretty good accessory...

I didn't really do much research on these bags when I bought this one. What primarily attracted me to it was the price and the fact that I didn't have to replace my rear rack so that a bag would attach to an equipment rail. I've been pleasantly surprised by this bag and would recommend this to friends.

The main compartment holds every gizmo, gadget, etc that I think I might need on a ride with some room to spare. Like other owners I'm not sold on the though of using the pannier attachments for anything heavy or touring but it is nice to stow the occasional groceries, windbreaker, etc. I will admit that I rode home once with two bottles of bourbon (one in each pannier) and they arrived home intact so I know I can trust them to stay put and not break fragile items.

I feel the bright yellow is an asset and helps with keeping me visible to drivers. The two velcro straps have kept the bag solidly in place while I've been doing some forest rides in Georgia and Florida.

I happened upon this bag by chance and would gladly buy it again as a gift or replacement. It's tough and does a good job.
ATL_Matt at REI on 05/05/2010

Not love at first sight, but...

I am not a big fan of yellow, so I was not attracted to this immediately in the store. However, after sorting through the other trunks (and the fact there was an REI weekend sale going on that made this a really good deal), the other features (and on-line reviews) sold me on it.

It attaches easily to the rack of my Novara Randonee, so can be quickly removed if you have to park your bike a walk elsewhere. It easily holds all the gear I carry habitually (Wallet, phone, keys, bike tools, headlight and tail light, with plenty of room for a few other similarly sized items). After riding to the store today to get a small item, I wound up getting a bunch of other things. Pulling out the side panniers was just the ticket.

Considering how well it shows up to drivers, I guess I am getting to appreciate the yellow color.
OB01 at REI on 09/09/2011

A good bag indeed

I use this bag everyday on my commute. I bought it for its versatility and its visibility, and so far both are working out just fine. Not super spacious, but big enough for a lunch bag, work clothes, a stuffable rain jacket and a small first aid kit for just in case. Generally I use the central compartment with one pannier, maybe the second if I have to bring jeans. And I like the ecosensitive thing too. The 2 reasons I didn't give it 5 stars are the rain cover and the light loop. The rain cover, though integrated, attached and yellow, doesn't cover the panniers. So if you ride in the rain and have a large load, part of it will get wet, but not too wet. And the light loop is tiny, I'm not sure what would fit on it. Definitely not my planet bike blinker. Overall, a great bag I would recommend to anyone.
funkinslick at REI on 09/09/2010

A very nice addition to my Novara Safari

I have used this trunk/pannier for commuting and touring. I have no complaints. The installation is simple AND sturdy, which surprised me since all it's just a couple of Velcro straps sewn to the bottom.

The panniers seem a little thin, and may not be durable enough for long trip tight stuffing, but mine have held up strong. You can't fit a sleeping bag, but my one person lightweight tent fits well.

I love the trunk portion. I keep the bike tools in there for long hauls. I pack my sleeping bag on top of it, since there's no need to have immediate access to tools.

It's very water resistant even without using the included rain cover.

The panniers pack up neatly and tightly which is nice, because I'm not always touring nor needing them.

This really is a well thought-out very convenient product.
TGBiker at REI on 06/06/2009

Nice pace with fold out panniers

I will use this for carrying stuff the I cannot carry in my Camelbak pack. The panniers are smaller than I thought but they are big enough to carry my choral folder (I ride about 8 miles, one way, to church for choir rehearsals and Sunday services). It will also hold a standard note pad with the pannier unzipped. While the panniers are smaller than I thought they are big enough for my needs and a good value for the price. The main Trunk is big enough to hold my Kryptonite Evolution U Lock along with other supplies.

I will use this in combination with the Topeak Explorer MTX Rack that I also purchased at the same time. I feel this will help me carry stuff that I cannot easily carry in my Camelbak pack.
Charles on 2 wheels at REI on 04/04/2010