Tadpole Trikes

Can I Carry Luggage On My Recumbent Trike?

Different Ways to Carry Luggage on a Recumbent Trike

If you want to carry luggage, your trike is the perfect vehicle. After all, most of the time, you’ll want to be carrying things with you (e.g., picnic, library books, groceries, etc.).

There are some terrific accessories you can add to your recumbent trike which are extremely convenient if you want to carry luggage.

First off, start with a luggage rack which can be mounted behind the seat as there’s plenty of room.

Carry Luggage With A Luggage Rack

Carry luggage with a luggage rack

The racks are made from tubular high tensile aluminium alloy which makes them feather light. The materials and design have been tested to their fully load capacity for 100,000 cycles on a vibration machine.

The luggage rack for the Magum Standard & Magnum XL is created from 12mm tubing and is rated at 40 kg (88lbs).

The luggage rack for the GT20 is 10mm tubing and rated at 30 kg (66 lbs).

Using the luggage racks, there are a couple of different methods we’ve used to carry luggage, or groceries, that have worked very well.

Carry Luggage In Panniers

Carry luggage with Arkel Panniers

Panniers are saddle bags which hang on both sides of the luggage rack. We’ve used Arkel 60 litre panniers which are high quality panniers. Carrying groceries home in these is a piece of cake … especially if you’ve purchased cake from the store!

Arkel Panniers clip onto the luggage rack

The bags clip onto the luggage rack and clamp tight.

Carry luggage with Arkel Panniers which clip onto the luggage rack

They’re easy to take on and off the luggage rack. In fact, you can take them right on into the store and load them up directly. Talk about being environmentally friendly! No plastic shopping bags as well as no car emissions on the way to the store. Can’t get much more green than that … especially if you’re on a Greenspeed recumbent! (Sorry … couldn’t resist that pun!).

Arkel Panniers clip onto the luggage rack

The Arkel panniers come with reflective strips built in. The camera flash catches the reflective tape giving you a bit of an idea of their reflective capabilities.

Arkel Panniers Have Reflective Strips

Are the above panniers on the wrong way? …technically the below image is considered correct, the pointy bit is supposed to tuck under the seat but the rack is far enough away and there is space between the seat still, the bed roll part sticks up in the air like a sore (non-aerodynamic) thumb as below. Swapping them side to side tucks the bedroll in behind the seat and noone can write you a ticket for that!

Panniers sore thumb

There is plenty of room to add a sausage or two.
A sausage or os
A sausage or two
And a “behind the seat” water bladder or hydration pack.

You’ll find plenty of combinations and after a bit of practice, you’ll be able to last many days on the road in quite reasonable comfort.

A couple with two trikes can carry an awful lot of gear. Perhaps one trike could sport a B/B motor with a solar panel on the top and she can tow he up the hills… well, no, we can’t say that as one bike is not permitted to tow another.

Perhaps he should have the motor so he doesn’t get left too far behind!

Other Options to Carry Luggage

Another method we’ve tried and tested is the use of top boxes (the same as used on motor bikes/mopeds).

Carry luggage using top boxes with the luggage rack

Our top boxes have transported all sorts of things such as basket balls, remote control cars (needed when going to play in the park), picnics, first aid supplies, extra drinks, groceries, books (from library visits), swimmers & towels, sunscreen, bike chains & locks, etc. You get the idea … very versatile.

Using top boxes to carry luggage

These plenty of room between the top box and the back of the seat for an extra bag to be hung off the back of the seat.

As the top boxes are weather proof and lockable, they’re great for carrying things you want to keep safe and dry. They generally have a large and very prominent reflector which adds to visibility.

Don’t Forget the Water

Water bottle holder

There’s even a place for the essential water bottle. By adding a bottle holder, the water container can be easily reached whenever it’s needed. In our case, that could be for drinking or for squirting your brother! (We ride with kids … in case you’re wondering). You can also add a water bladder or two behind the seat with each one carrying about 3 litres of water. A tube can hang over the top of the seat and you can suck a drink as required.

Well, that’s how we carry luggage. If you have any other ideas, we’d love to hear from you!