Only one brand of bags has exceeded my needs and performed
beyond my expectations:
Ortlieb Bicycle Panniers. I am much harder on equipment than
a smaller person. I'm a big guy and a little clumsy. Usually my
equipment gets beat up quickly. My Ortlieb panniers were the only set of bags that did
not fail at some point. I am still using them years later and believe
that they may last for many more years to come.
It not surprising that these bags are made
in Germany. The Germans are at the forefront of
international travel and the bicycle touring equipment industry. It
must be a very popular sport among its citizens. More than half of
all the international traveling cyclists I meet are from Germany.
Below are the bags that I own, use, and depend on for the
remainder of my tour, which includes some of the more rugged places on
Cycle touring panniers are
some of the most important
pieces of gear you can own. These saddle bags need to remain securely on
the bike while keeping gear safe and dry on the roughest of roads and in the most extreme
weather conditions. If a pannier fails, it endangers all of the
contents in the bag and can even cause a dangerous crash. In addition
to camping gear and clothing, I also have electronic equipment
to keep up my website. This high tech gear includes a notebook
computer and a digital video and still camera. This fragile gear requires
exceptional performance from my panniers to keep it dry and off the pavement.
During my first two years of this trip I used three
different brands of bicycle panniers: a Cordura cloth brand, DeTour (formally Vaude) and
Ortlieb. They seemed like top of the line bike panniers and were all
well recognized in the professional international bicycle touring
circles. At first, all three brands of bicycle touring bags looked to
be of equal quality and clever design but time, sun, dust, rain, accidental
drops, and tragic crashes exposed the differences in the bags and produced a
clear superior product line. The Ortlieb bike bags are all below.
Waterproof panniers with a unique roll-top closure. Symmetrical shape allows
more leg room. Not only ideal for use on long cycle tours; they are also
suitable for everyday use as a shopping bag or shoulder bag. Can be used with
the carrying system as a daypack.
High specification design rear pannier made of Cordura fabric with spacious
lid closure and QL2 mounting system. Even fully loaded; the pannier can be
closed and is therefore particularly suited for extended tours. Outer mesh
pocket with zipper (not waterproof) increases packing volume.
Waterproof panniers with a unique roll-top closure and constructed of an
exclusive Cordura material that is completely watertight and welded. Utilizes
Ortlieb's QL 2 Mounting System. Its symmetrical shape allows more leg room.
Not only ideal for use on long cycle tours; they are also suitable for
everyday use as a shopping bag or shoulder bag. Can be used with the carrying
system as a daypack.
Made of durable Cordura(R) nylon with polyester; coated
with PVC for water resistance
With 3D welded seams, these panniers will keep your gear dry
on rainy rides. Constructed with welded seams for strength. Designed with an
easy access, roll-top closure. Replaceable, adjustable, quick-release
security catches mount panniers quickly and easily on racks--also removed
easily. Lifting on pannier carrying strap automatically releases the QL1
system security catches, while releasing the strap causes latches to lock in
place. Please note: This item is sold as a pair.
Constructed with welded seams for strength
Designed with an easy access, roll-top closure
Replaceable, adjustable, quick-release security catches
mount panniers quickly and easily on racks--also removed easily
Lifting on pannier carrying strap automatically
releases the QLR-system security catches, while releasing the strap causes
latches to lock in place
Waterproof Seat Bag:
Ortlieb Saddle-Bag Micro Saddle Bag
After a couple years of bike travel I
realized that my waterproof panniers were great but the stuff in the
regular seat bag got wet, stayed wet, my tools rusted, and mold grew.
The mounting system is very high quality and detaches from the seat easily
The Saddle-Bag Micro from Ortleib is an ultra
lightweight, waterproof seat bag with a roll-up closure. This size is an
excellent fit for road or mountain racing applications.
* Roll-up closure with elastic bands lets you
cinch down the bag, and offers a tight hold * Polyurethane-coated nylon
waterproof fabric * Simple click mount attaches with 2 screws to seat rails;
mount remains on bike and allows 1-handed removal of saddle bag * Reflective
highlight improves nighttime profile * Protects against dust penetration and
water splash from all directions
Highly water-resistant, with durable welded seams. Lid has
inner stiffener and is easy to open and close with one hand. Lockable
mounting fits up to 31.8mm handlebars. Reflective logo. This versatile
handlebar bag features a rigid lid, a removable shoulder strap, and a
in the rain all day and keep your camera dry with these Handlebar
bags with lid closures, including lockable mounting set, for handle bars
with diameters up to 31,8mm, PU-coated Cordura®, 2 outer mesh pockets (Plus)
with zip, inner pocket, internal dividers, shoulder strap, reflector.
Ortlieb Ultimate Map Case
Mapcase for all Ortlieb Ultimate (L or M) Handlebar Bags
with removable mapcase feature. New version: won't turn yellow over time.
Padded nylon camera insert for Ultimate models (sizes M +
L), with movable dividers for individual adjustment. Also suitable for
Hip-Pack. Not waterproof! Height 7.5 in. Depth 4.7 in. Width 9.8 in. Weight
Ortlieb GPS Cover / Case for Handlebar Bag - Horizontal Model
Details Have your GPS or PDA within the field of vision, and
still know it is protected from moisture, dirt and dust. The ORTLIEB GPS
cover is also a contemporary transport solution on the bike for your mobile
phone or communicator.
This padded Ortlieb sleeve insert protects
laptops with 13 in. and 17 in screens. It provides horizontal storage inside
the Ortlieb Sling-it and Office-Bag, and a vertical fit inside backpacks or
* 2-way zipper runs along 2 sides for
convenient packing and unpacking * 2 outer pockets (1 on each side) hold
accessories; also includes 2 grab loops for easy removal * Please note: The
sleeve insert is not waterproof * Ortleib Sling-it and Office-Bag are sold
2-way zipper runs along 2 sides for
convenient packing and unpacking
2 outer pockets (1 on each side) hold
accessories; also includes 2 grab loops for easy removal
Please note: The sleeve insert is not waterproof
Ortlieb Sling-it and Office-Bag are sold
Features 3M Scotchlite™ reflectors to increase your visibility in poor
light. Made to mount on low-rider front racks or rear racks, these feature
snug-fitting lids that allow for higher load capacity. Outer mesh pockets
are spacious and feature zippers to hold contents secure. QL2 suspension
system holds bags secure and is easy to load and unload. Surrounding
compression straps allow size of panniers to be altered. These panniers are
the perfect size for your daily commute, or to strap on to children's bikes.