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Best panniers.

Old 02-23-21, 06:49 PM
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Best panniers.

Looking to get some panniers, front and rear. I知 wanting a set that can take me from a weekend trip to a cross country trip And also last for years. Waterproof is a must. I知 looking at the Ortlieb Roller Classics but was wondering what you all thought. Thanks
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Old 02-23-21, 07:15 PM
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Ortlieb Packer series are the best for me.

Are you going to ride across the country?
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Old 02-23-21, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Ortlieb Packer series are the best for me.

Are you going to ride across the country?
That痴 my goal in a few years when I retire from the fire department. Until then I have some shorter trips planned.
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Old 02-23-21, 07:45 PM
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You will have trouble on this forum finding anyone that will tell you to not get them. My Ortlieb rollers are 10 years old. Not cheap, but lasts a long time. A bit heavier than some of the other options but that is one reason that they last so long.

Photo from 2010:



Photo from 2012:




Photo from 2013:



Photo from 2016:



Photo from 2017:




Photo from 2017:



I have also used some Carradry panniers, Axiom, and Nashbar. And I still have those panniers, I probably will use the Carradry ones in the future for some trips too. Bought a pair of vintage Cannondale Overland panniers, might use them some too. But the Ortliebs will always get consideration for future trips.

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Old 02-23-21, 08:23 PM
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If waterproof is absolutely needed Ortleib is pretty much the answer. People who use Ortliebs are rarely dissatisfied, they are durable and waterproof and will hold up for a long time. Though if waterproof is not needed then Arkel GT-54s are AWESOME!!! Some many pockets and really excellent durable Cordura fabric that just can't be damaged easily and the mount system is fantastic.
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Old 02-23-21, 08:23 PM
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Well, here's one person who isn't on the Ortlieb bandwagon.
And I have 35 years touring experience.
Although, I will admit that many people swear by them.

I prefer panniers with multiple pockets and compartments.
Ortliebs are just a big ole bucket.
Arkels are about as heavy and sturdy and pricey.
But they allow for more packing options and things are easier to get to.
Plus they have rain covers - and I use interior liners.

BTW - I tend not to ride in the heavy rain.
If it's going to rain all day - I take the day off.
Not only is it less pleasant riding in the rain - but more dangerous.
I usually pick drier climates or times of year to tour in.
Granted, if I were going to tour in the tropics, I might get Ortliebs.

PS - I really take too much stuff, but I usually solo.

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Old 02-23-21, 08:49 PM
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The above illustrates my pet peeve about threads asking for 鍍he best. Some prefer compartments. If you do, Ortlieb痴 will not be the best for you. (Note that the Packer series does have some minimal compartmentalization.) I used to use highly compartmentalized bags and thought I would mind the Ortlieb style, but I ended up not minding. But some people want something different. You need to refine your wants to know what will be best for you.
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Old 02-23-21, 09:12 PM
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These questions are just general questions. I’m not going to run out and buy whatever someone suggests. But it gives me an idea what’s out there hearing from actual users. Isn’t that what this forum is about?
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Old 02-23-21, 09:24 PM
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I prefer the Ortlieb Rollers, but the Packer series bags are also pretty nice.
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Old 02-23-21, 10:34 PM
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Whole lotta Ortlieb going on here, but truthfully there are several excellent brands such as Arkel and others

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Old 02-23-21, 10:35 PM
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Put me in the Ortlieb camp. They have a good solid mounting mechanism that is easy to remove and install. And when they say waterproof, they are exactly that. You could roll them up and use them as floats if you were so inclined.

As to the organization, I organize them with ziplocks. I started that practice before I got the Ortliebs because my old panniers weren’t water proof. Frankly, I like the bucket like nature of the Ortliebs. I never found the pockets on my old panniers to be all that useful. Nothing really ever fit in the pockets all that well so there was a lot of wasted space. I use bikepacking bags now as well (not on the same trips) and that’s the biggest problem I have with them as well...too many small cavities where things just don’t fit.
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Old 02-23-21, 10:41 PM
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Waaaay back in the mid-late '70s I used Cannondale Overlanders. I Still have a few sets that are 40+ years old. No, they're not 100% waterproof, but that's why they invented Zip-Loc bags!
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Old 02-24-21, 06:38 AM
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Looking at this thread you would think that Ortliebs only come in yellow. So, I figured I should post a photo of a bike that a friend tours on.



His Ortliebs are the City version, different closure, lacks some internal stuff, a bit lighter and a bit cheaper. You might have noticed that I often strap some rain gear or other clothing on top of my front panniers, but the City version that my friend owns lacks those straps.

There was mention of the multi-pockets on some Arkels above. A friend of mine has crossed USA twice plus several other trips with his Arkels, photo below. But he always puts the rain covers on them, even on sunny days. His are red, the rain covers protects them from UV so his panniers look brand new under the rain covers, but his red handlebar bag faded really badly in the sun.



On the Ortliebs, some people have noted that the inserts in the hooks that are used to fit the hooks better to the diameter of the rack tubing can fall out. I do not use the inserts at all, instead I used some clear plastic tubing from teh hardware store (3/8 ID, 1/2 OD, slit lengthwise) to protect my rack from chaffing, see photo below.



In the photo I used electrical tape around the plastic tubing, since then I have added some zip ties and use less tape now.
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Old 02-24-21, 09:44 AM
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I'll add some pics of the Carradice Carradry bags.. just because. They are also waterproof and robust but have a shaped flap and drawstring opening instead of the roll top.
The attachment system is adjustable and secure for small and large rack tubing diameters. So far I have the front bags, HB bag, Saddle bag and probably will get the rear bags to complete the set. I've also gotten the expedition rack for the saddle bag so it's easily removable.


I originally wanted to buy smaller Ortliebs but could not source the front city rollers anywhere locally at the time. I could order and get these in a week from jolly old England. I would have been happy with them as well I think.



The rack for the saddle bag so it can be removed easily. I've since adjusted it lower.




The idea for my modular system. Being able to add or remove capacity as needed.



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Old 02-24-21, 09:49 AM
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I carry a couple of spare Ortlieb clips in my seat bag. In over 20,000 miles of touring my wife and I have only lost one clip. However, the use of tape or other rack protection , as Tourist in MSN shows, is a good idea.

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Old 02-24-21, 12:45 PM
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Ortlieb all the way. I have had these for ten years now. They were eight years old in this picture. I like the simplicity of the roller classics. They work well, completely waterproof, can hold a lot when closed, and can be left open on top for large items when running errands. They are a great value since they work so well, and last a long time.
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Old 02-24-21, 02:47 PM
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I went with the Arkel 'Orkas' which are their roll-top waterproof option. But I live in Canada and Arkel is a Canadian company.
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Old 02-25-21, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. Just ordered the Roller classics front and rear from REI. Also a front Tubus Lowrider from Modernbike. Looking forward to putting them to use.
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Old 02-25-21, 02:15 PM
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My oldest pair of Ortliebs is 13 or 14 years old now. Here's a complaint: they've faded (red).

After daily commutes for a couple years, a cross country trip, after a couple more years I started worrying they were going to disintegrate from UV damage because of the fading, and bought some replacements. Haven't needed the new ones yet.

So I guess, instead of damning with faint praise, that's praising with faint damns.
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Old 02-25-21, 02:39 PM
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I got the yellow panniers, I didn’t care for the color but thought the visibility would be better.
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Old 02-25-21, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
I got the yellow panniers, I didn稚 care for the color but thought the visibility would be better.
I prefer black panniers because I sleep in the 背ild a lot, but on the road I hang an extra neon safety vest over my outside rear pannier.
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Old 02-25-21, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Thanks for all the replies. Just ordered the Roller classics front and rear from REI. Also a front Tubus Lowrider from Modernbike. Looking forward to putting them to use.
Some years REI has a sale price on Ortliebs in March. My local REI has told me that they will refund the difference if you buy something and it goes on sale very soon afterwards, but I do not recall the time period, and you have to ask wtihin that time period.

The lower hooks on Ortlieb panniers are not designed to handle the larger diameter of Tubus Tara front racks. Some have said, no big deal and use them anyway. Others have ordered different hooks. I made some different hooks out of some aluminum bar that I stretched inner tube rubber over the aluminum. So, when you get them, ... ...

If your rack is black, I bought some black fingernail polish at Dollar Tree, use that to touch up any wear spots on my black racks. Tubus also provides some adhesive backed plastic that you can use to protect the paint at wear spots.

I think it best to use blue (removable) thread locker on rack bolts to make sure they do not vibrate loose. Several brands, the last time I bought any, this is what I bought:
https://www.truevalue.com/6-ml-remov...hread-locker-1
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Old 02-25-21, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The lower hooks on Ortlieb panniers are not designed to handle the larger diameter of Tubus Tara front racks. Some have said, no big deal and use them anyway. Others have ordered different hooks. I made some different hooks out of some aluminum bar that I stretched inner tube rubber over the aluminum. So, when you get them, ... ...
You learn something every day. I never had problems with Sports Packer on my Tara.
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Old 02-25-21, 09:52 PM
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It has not been an issue for my Front Rollers on my Tara rack. I'll have to take a closer look the next time I use them

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Old 02-26-21, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
Looking to get some panniers, front and rear. I知 wanting a set that can take me from a weekend trip to a cross country trip And also last for years. Waterproof is a must. I知 looking at the Ortlieb Roller Classics but was wondering what you all thought. Thanks
Sounds like you already bought what you want, but I pipe up with some comments. You may of may not find some of this is true for you as you go along in your touring career.

The weekend vs cross country thing I have found to be moot. After much tinkering with optimizing of packing lists I have found that I take exactly the same stuff regardless of trip length. Season and location make some difference, but once I got my gear really dialed in even those made way less difference than you might think unless you start talking real winter camping. Also if you really want to you can adjust what you carry over the course of a multi month tour. I pack super light, but and just take the same gear regardless of trip length with only a little concession for the specific trip. The same can be done for whatever packing style you choose from super light to super heavy.

On the waterproof thing... I have found that it is often more important to choose between the one big envelope versus a bunch of pockets. I like one big compartment if I am using panniers (and yes I like waterproof). That said I have found that I like tinkering with alternate packing options using bar rolls, dry bags, and other unusual options. I find that some very small ultrasil stuff sacks in the main bag help organize and separate items. I color code them and size them so that I can pack items tightly enough that they are compressed.

I am kind of glad I bought VERY inexpensive nashbar panniers when I was packing heavy. They held up okay and I didn't regret buying big $$$ ones when I stated packing lighter and lighter and didn't need the capacity any more. I have since crossed the country with 14# of UL backpacking gear without using any bike specific bags, but still might use the small nashbar front panniers. I doubt, I'll ever use the big panniers again unless it is for errands like shopping at home. When I started touring it never occurred to me that would happen.

The panniers you chose are nice ones and will most likely suit your needs for years to come.
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