We have been waiting for a long time to see what the German company, well known for their cycle touring luggage and accessories, would release to supply the ever growing popularity of bikepacking setups; for those wanting to load their bikes to head further off the beaten track, or to simply travel more lightweight on a cycle trip. And finally, last week, we were excited to receive a set of the initial new Ortlieb bikepacking range, which will be available in the Pannier shop from mid-May 2016.
Here is a little more information in the meantime…
The initial range is three bags in one single size and one colour – a dark slate that we like a lot. There is the Ortlieb SEAT-PACK which fastens securely to the seatpost and saddle rails of almost any bike, the Ortlieb HANDLEBAR-PACK which fits easily and securely to the bars using twin straps and adjustable spacers, and the Ortlieb ACCESSORY-PACK which attaches to the front of the handlebar-pack:
A fourth bag – a frame bag – is due in 2017.
Ortlieb have used their PVC Free PS21R Nylon fabric for the bags, so (as with all Ortlieb products) you can guarantee a 100% waterproof bikepacking bag range that is robust, practical and lightweight: the Seat-Pack, Handlebar Pack and Accessory-Pack are 430g, 417g, and 206g respectively. Given their experience with panniers, things like loops for attaching lights and modest reflective panels are integrated on the front of the handlebar pack, and rear of the seat pack for added visibility on the road.
With only one size in each bag type, Ortlieb’s sizing follows the largest volumes possible from comparable bag brands: 8-16.5L for the seat-pack (adjustable due to the roll closure and a valve which lets out excess air when compressing contents) with additional space available under the cords on the top of the pack; up to 15L for the handlebar-pack (again, adjustable due to the twin roll closure setup); and 3.5L for the accessory pack, useful for stowing readily accessible items on the road.
They are big bags.
The seat pack requires a clearance of 15cm+ from the underside of saddle rail to topside of tyre (or mudguard) and the handlebar pack 20cm+ from the underside of handlebar to topside of tyre (or mudguard).
We have to say, whilst they following this first test, the bags (seat-pack in particular) are a bit fiddlier to fill, adjust and load onto the bike in comparison to other bikepacking bags we’ve used - the seat pack. However, given Ortlieb’s celebrated robustness and 100% waterproof guarantee, we are sure their bikepacking bag range will more than make up for it once gotten used to – a new option for travelling cyclists heading off on an overnight cycle tour or more lightweight on longer trips. Team up these bags with a set of front panniers, if needing to carry more gear on an unsupported cycle tour…
The Ortlieb bikepacking bags will be available from the Pannier Shop mid-May 2016...