Rather than get a new set right away when the second one came apart (mid-ride, alas--that was quite a day), I pulled out an old crate that I've had since I was about 15. My tastes in colour schemes have changed just a bit in the intervening years:
|Yep, I'm dressed as Elphaba. It was Halloween.|
I was not dressed as Fiona, despite many people who guessed her first. Eeep.
this one (a pair of this one, that is) from Green Guru that's made of recycled banners, which is a nice bonus here in Su-Land.
What's also great about these, as opposed to the crate, is that having the crate was affecting the way I was sitting, which changed how my muscles and everything else operated. No prizes for guessing how bad of an idea that is if you don't want worn-out quads. There's nothing wrong with using a crate and bungees, of course, but I do recommend that anyone going down that road take a bit more time than I did to consider its effect on your body and adjust as necessary.
Being able to carry things is a big part to being a transportation cyclist. It's easy enough to just wear a backpack, but putting it on the bike makes the trip a lot more pleasant, and having something that properly hooks onto the bike will work a lot better than trying to hold things or hang bags off the handlebars (please don't do that!) while riding. The best solution, as ever, is the one that works best for you. Just keep in mind that the weight limits on panniers are a thing.