Ortlieb or Vaude

As job prospects are becoming increasingly positive, I'm starting to look at getting ready for some real cycle commuting, and apart from anything else, this means a replacement for my ageing pannier with an all weather bag.

At the moment I'm looking at panniers, because then they can double up for touring as well. It seems the two candidates are from Ortlieb or from Vaude. I'm sure half a dozen people have used one or the other, or even both. What are the advantages and disadvantages? Are there other candidates I've missed?
 

Randomnerd

Formerly known as Woodenspoons
Location
North Yorkshire
Arkel. More expensive than Ortlieb, but better materials and incredibly strong. Ortlieb over Vaude
 
I've used both but the Vaudes must be about 15 years old. The Ortliebs were more recent and must be about 11 years old.
I'm guessing the Vaudes that you are looking at are the Ortlieb lookalikes. My Vaudes are more fabric like than tarpaulin like material used today.
I prefer the Vaudes for commuting and touring. For commuting I don't carry much stuff and for touring I prefer having pockets (yes I know some Ortliebs have pockets or they can be attached.)
I also prefer the carrying handle on my Vaudes but having Googled what's on offer today the handles now look similar to Ortliebs which I don't like.
I think if I was to choose between what's available today I would base my decision on capacity and compatibility with the rack. I'm sure they are both equally waterproof.
 
I have an arkel handlebar bag & agree it's too quality. However, their panniers are too expensive for me.

I've never used Vaude, but did tour with someone who did. Not as waterproof off the bike (think wet ground) as ortliebs - although that may just have been that model.

I have used Ortlieb Classic Front & Back rollers and have not a single complaint. Yes, lack of pockets can be an issue.

Beware though, I also have a set of newer Backrollers - the luminous ones made of different material than the classics. I regret that choice. Not as robust nor as waterproof as the classics in my opinion.
 

Moodyman

Guru
I chose Vaude over Ortlieb as they offered a version with a pocket and the rear (wheelside) has full plastic backing. This makes the bags stiffer (reduce likelihood of catching the wheel) and avoids abrasion of fabric against the rack.

The Ortlieb attachment system is marginally slicker, but both are good and spares are plenty available.

It's been a while since purchase, but if I recall, the Vaude's were slightly cheaper than their Ortlieb equivalent.

No water ingress in mine and I've toured in horizontal rain.
 

robgul

Guru
I chose Vaude over Ortlieb as they offered a version with a pocket and the rear (wheelside) has full plastic backing. This makes the bags stiffer (reduce likelihood of catching the wheel) and avoids abrasion of fabric against the rack.

The Ortlieb attachment system is marginally slicker, but both are good and spares are plenty available.

It's been a while since purchase, but if I recall, the Vaude's were slightly cheaper than their Ortlieb equivalent.

No water ingress in mine and I've toured in horizontal rain.
There is also an add-on pocket for Ortliebs - fixes firmly but can be take off fairly easily - not cheap but they make the bags a bit more flexible on required capacity variables (e.g. if I use the bags on my Orbea Gain ebike I put the charger in one of the pockets

Rob
 
Having read the advice I took a deep breath, girded my loins and ordered a pair of black Ortlieb classic bags, oin the basis I'll need to cycle to or from an interview next week so I'll need more space than my rather battered Altura allows, ditto for any future commuting.

The Ortlieb, and Vaude versions were so close in price it came down in the end to what looked nice. The Rose own brand was a few Euro less but it was worth paying the extra not to feel like I was riding a billboard.

We shall see what we think when they arrive.

PS: As I now have two panniers, what is the etiquette for when I only need enough to fill one? is the correct approach to fill the other with newspaper or bubble wrap to keep up appearances or is a half brick considered necessary to avoid riding in circles?
 
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PS: As I now have two panniers, what is the etiquette for when I only need enough to fill one? is the correct approach to fill the other with newspaper or bubble wrap to keep up appearances or is a half brick considered necessary to avoid riding in circles?
You won't regret the choice! They'll last year's.
Handy hint: Look to putting some plastic piping on the rack and removing the adjustable inserts on the bag mounting mechanism. They will sit better and you never have to worry about losing one of the inserts.

As for your dilemma, I've been known to pack my trangia, coffee, food and a book for a leisurely ride home! Mind you, Germany at this time of the year may be pushing it! :laugh:

Best of luck in the interview!
 

Crankarm

Legendary Member
Location
Nr Cambridge
I've used both along side each other. Older Vaude bags before Vaude changed the Aqua Plus to their current specs were very good. I preferred them over my Orlieb Roller Classics mainly because of the hard plastic back plate, the easier on off hooks and the better less tapered more square shape. My rear Aqua Plus panniers also had a very useful water proof side pocket. I used mine everyday for about 4-5 years but wear began to show after about 2 years. First set had to go back under warranty as the water proof zips to the outer pockets failed and the fabric had started to hole at pinch points which was a real PITA as Vaude are NOT an easy or pleasant company to deal with. Then Vaude changed their fabrics, the buckle and carrying hook designs of their Aqua Plus panniers which in my view were inferior and more flimsy and fragile than their out going versions. I concluded it was purely down to cost which was such a shame as the old buckles and hooks etc were good imhe. So I returned to my Ortlieb Roller Classics. The shape of Ortlieb panniers is lightly less square and more tapered and the hook mechanism is slightly different and a tiny fraction more fiddly to get on a rack but once you get used to them they are fine. Its been a few years now probably about 5-6 years since I returned to Ortlieb and tbh Ortlieb panniers are more durable and the fabrics harder wearing. Ortlieb offer a 5 year warranty, Vaude only 3. After only a short time the fabric of my Vaude Aqua Plus had started to hole at the ends/sides when you rolled the top of the bag to close and seal, the crease points of the fabrics. Also after about 2-3 years holes started to appear in the base of the bags and after 4-5 years the welded seams in the base split letting water in. Time to bin them. My Ortlieb panniers are still going strong. I have both the heavier fabric coated on both sides Roller Classics and lighter Cordura based coated on one side Sport Packer panniers. Both have performed faultlessly and continue to do so after about 5 years. I have various colours and they are all still pretty much new looking. The grey Sport Packer panniers I use the most have slight wear after 5 years solid use but still look pretty new. Also Ortlieb have a better system to attach their top rack pack bag although I have modified my set up to make it even easier to get the bag on and off. I still have a pair of smaller Vaude Aqua front panniers which are like new, but these are of the older design and feel very rugged. I some times use them when I go on tour fully loaded, but I also have several Ortlieb front pannier options as well. It helps having good kit you can rely on. Durability wise I think Ortlieb are better than Vaude. I had Altura panniers once many years ago. A sieve offered more protection against water ingress. Never again.

Enjoy your Ortlieb panniers I am sure you will have many years of happiness with them. I always carry them as a pair. Using only one at a time is so uncool and beaches rule #5.
 
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Then Vaude changed their fabrics, the buckle and carrying hook designs of their Aqua Plus panniers which in my view were inferior and more flimsy and fragile than their out going versions. I concluded it was purely down to cost which was such a shame as the old buckles and hooks etc were good imhe. So I returned to my Ortlieb Roller Classics.
It's interesting that you say that because I came to a similar conclusion about the Vaude fabrics: they didn't look as tough as the Ortliebs.

So here they are:

500257


First impressions are pretty good, although I have to admit that contrary to @Crankarm's advice I was thoroughly uncool and went out with only one this morning.
 
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