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Ortlieb panniers or ...?

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Tim330, 18 Dec 2017.

  1. graham bowers

    graham bowers Über Member

    NW Leicestershire
    I've been very pleased with my 40 litre classic backrollers. They were new this summer but have had quite a few wet days, some very wet, and didn't let a drop in.
  2. froze

    froze Active Member

    If you want the best get the Ortliebs, but they are expensive and I've heard from a few tourists that they wear out after about 2 years on the road. As far as I'm concerned, I can't see spending that kind of money for Ortliebs only to have them last only 2 years, so the heck with them I buy cheaper Axiom, I got the Monsoons because they hold 45 liters total. The Axiom's are NOT as water tight as the Ortliebs, but I sprayed my bags with a water repellant (which I'll do twice a season), then I put anything I don't want to get wet in zip lock bags, and so far no problems even in a downpour the inside of the bag didn't get wet, and the Monsoons don't have an optional water proof cover. I paid $129 for mine but the Orts would have cost me twice that. The Axiom seems to be a decently made product too. I haven't had them long enough to see how long they'll last but someone I ran into had his for 2 years and he was still using them but his has a different model from the Monsoons I got, his model is no longer made, so I'm not sure how his experience will reflect on how long mine will last, I don't recall what model he had. Another trick you can do to water proof a water resistant bag (proof and resistant are not the same), is simply take a plastic trash bag with cinch cord and line your pannier then put your stuff in.

    I don't have front panniers, haven't needed them yet, they make stuff so light and small nowadays I only need rear panniers. I do have a front handlebar bag, which again I went cheap only because the reviews were high, and they were right it is a good bag, anyway it's the Ibera large model that only cost $43.

    I also use a Topeak Aero Wedge large saddle bag which I always carry on the bike touring or not, but after 5 years it has a rub area on the seam that opened the seam up just a bit, so I'm going to try a cheaper saddle bag by BV and get the large version, it got high reviews and it cost half as much as the Topeak.

    You can watch You Tube and gain a wealth of information on backpacking and bike touring, the good ones are the ones that show you how to do it real cheap. Here in America we have Walmart, and many experience tourists, and those on You Tube get a lot of their stuff from Walmart because they find it to be almost if not just as good as the more expensive stuff but cost at least half as much. I example after watch You Tube I got a small camping fry pan, a pot, lid, handle, and a plastic cup in a kit for $8 and it works good and it's lightweight. Walmart also has a cook kit that is nonstick but it is quite a bit heavier then the one I got, but you only get a pot with a lid and a spatula, but the price on that one wasn't bad either at $15. Only problem with Walmart is that some of the stores will carry more of this sort of stuff then others, and it's seasonal, so you have to go now if you want to make sure you get a decent selection.
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2018
  3. HobbesOnTour

    HobbesOnTour Regular

    The Netherlands
    40 l sufficient? It all depends on what you want to bring! ^_^
    But I think the Ortliebs are great! My first self-supported tour half my panniers were full of books! :training:
    My back roller classics have clocked up over 10,000km are are still in perfect working order.
    A friend has the Vaude Aqua Plus and while I love the idea of pockets, it's a pain in the ass to stop and cover the bags with the raincovers when it's raining (especially when they also have to cover themselves up at the same time! Plus, off the bike care needs to be taken to keep them dry on wet ground. Once my ortliebs are closed I have no worries.

    Don't overpack the Ortliebs because you do need to roll them down a few times to make sure they stay water-tight.

    I carry my stove & food in my front panniers and here the waterproofing can be an issue because rain can get in as these are open more times in a typical day. Then they stay wet!

    I have the old system and for anyone having the same problem a handy hint is to remove the inserts altogether and instead put some high-pressure tubing (from any hardware store) on your rack. It protects the rack, removes all vibration and you need never lose an insert again.

  4. Regulator

    Regulator Treachery is noble when aimed at tyranny.

    I’ve never heard of Ortlieb wearing out. Let me guess.... Axiom are made in the USA?
  5. Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    @froze, not sure where you are getting reports of ortlieb's wearing out after 2 years from. Had my bikepacker pluses for getting on for 20 years. Still look good as new. I wouldn't use semi waterproof panniers of any sort for touring. They often get put down on wet ground and if i am wildcamping or bivvying they are sometimes just left out in heavy rain. Which they are fine with.

    Your experience/feedback doesn't seem to match that of many folk on here. Or other touring forums.
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2018
  6. furball

    furball Über Member

    There is no guarantee that the materials used in the manufacture of new panniers are the same as those used 20 years ago.
    Having used other panniers before Ortliebs I'm not an Ortlieb fan. There are better designed pannier on the market.
  7. Adrian

    Adrian Heed the elf's wisdom

    Which are?
  8. Blue Hills

    Blue Hills Guru

    How do you think it has changed? For the worse?
    What do you think are the problems with Ortliebs?
    Honest questions.
  9. Perhaps Arkel? Not that I have any issues with most panniers. Buy something nice, and you only buy once. Tried cheap panniers, and an experience with them does a good job of sellling Vaude, Ortlieb, and Arkel.