New Loox Varo Backpack Pannier review - detachable shoulder straps will work for some, but there are more elegant solutions

A decent two-in-one pannier and backpack but dual purpose comes with plenty of compromises; it's not remarkable at being either

Image shows the New Loox Varo Backpack Pannier mounted on a bike
(Image credit: Emma Silversides)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The New Loox Varo Backpack is really well-made with a capacity to satiate most commuters, plus a well designed tablet/laptop sleeve. Attachment to the rack is secure, though rather fiddly. As a backpack, it's comfy and convenient. If you're a fair weather commuter, this should serve you well. If you venture out in all weathers, you'd better stow the shoulder straps away while riding and carry a cloth to wipe down the rear of the pannier before you sling it on your back... There are bound to be compromises when something is trying to be two different things - the Varo is a decent pannier and rucksack but it's not outstanding as either.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Generous capacity

  • +


  • +

    Comfy backpack

  • +

    Internal detachable neoprene sleeve

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    May intefer with rear mech

  • -

    Attachment to rack is fiddly

  • -

    Backpack compromised in damp conditions

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

New Loox wasn't a brand familiar to me prior to this test. However, the company has actually been around since 1948, admittedly just a small family affair specialising in leather bike baggage in its infancy. Maybe the Burger family were to the Dutch as Brooks were to the English. 

Companies expand, though, and manufacturing is outsourced. Unsurprisingly, New Loox baggage isn’t made in Holland anymore. But the brand still claims to offer the high quality and impeccable customer service that was originally associated with the company.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1