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Ortleib knock-offs?

Old 12-30-20, 09:39 AM
  #1  
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Ortleib knock-offs?

Looking for cheaper equivalents (or rough equivalents) to Ortleib Bike Packer panniers. Waterproof, E-Z attachment, ideally one or more internal/external compartments. For bike touring.
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Old 12-30-20, 11:05 AM
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You'll find some knock off products on Alibaba Express for low prices. This is a pretty conservative forum here, I don't think you'll find many people who've been willing to try such products sight unseen. Quality will likely be all over the place. And FWIW anywhere you want to ask about or review such products be ready for political and moral arguments.

Aside from that I've toured with traditional Ortlieb but I currently prefer Arkel Dry-Lites, which have dual bonuses of being lightweight and inexpensive. They are small though, and they don't have compartments (I use ultralight stuffsacks to organize my stuff).
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Old 12-30-20, 12:27 PM
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Try Axiom
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Old 12-30-20, 12:30 PM
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I honestly don't understand what the advantage of a knockoff would be. Pay the money for the Ortleb, they really are not that expensive considering how well made they are, how well they perform (no leaking), and how long they last. I have had mine going on ten years now, and they are still in great shape. They are always on my bike, and have withstood multiple tours, in very inclement weather. They have never leaked.

I spent about $150 for my Roller Classics, so about $15 per year so far. They now are $190. Your cost per year will still be low. If you buy a cheap knockoff, there are no guarantees the mounts will be as good, and no guarantees they won't leak. You can figure on replacing them before you would replace an Ortlieb. In the end, you will most likely pay as much, if not more by buying a cheap knockoff.

As others have stated, there are other reputable bag manufacturers, some that sell bags less expensive that Ortliebs, but of good quality. I prefer Ortliebs, but Arkel makes great bags as well. I would go that route before I would buy a knockoff.
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Old 12-30-20, 12:58 PM
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I've noticed Burley bags are very Ortlieb like, in that they have a similar material and style. Don't know about the mounting system though. They're like half the price, however, having seen them around at stores.
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Old 12-30-20, 01:00 PM
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Just be advised that when you say "cheaper," you are referring to both price and quality.
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Old 12-30-20, 01:47 PM
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I am a shopper myself but I have found Ortliebs to be sold at a fair price. Many years and many miles, for mine and my wife's bags ... still like new. I had a problem a few years back with one of the plastic parts. Ortlieb helped me out at no cost
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Old 12-30-20, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I honestly don't understand what the advantage of a knockoff would be. Pay the money for the Ortleb, they really are not that expensive considering how well made they are, how well they perform (no leaking), and how long they last. I have had mine going on ten years now, and they are still in great shape. They are always on my bike, and have withstood multiple tours, in very inclement weather. They have never leaked.

I spent about $150 for my Roller Classics, so about $15 per year so far. They now are $190. Your cost per year will still be low. If you buy a cheap knockoff, there are no guarantees the mounts will be as good, and no guarantees they won't leak. You can figure on replacing them before you would replace an Ortlieb. In the end, you will most likely pay as much, if not more by buying a cheap knockoff.

As others have stated, there are other reputable bag manufacturers, some that sell bags less expensive that Ortliebs, but of good quality. I prefer Ortliebs, but Arkel makes great bags as well. I would go that route before I would buy a knockoff.
+1. I bought my first Ortleibs 22 years ago. "Retired" them and bought replacements 12 years ago. I still use the first pair every time I go to the Farmer's market. Over those years I have: replaced the hardware 3 times, twice for the old, once for the new. Patched one leak. (Pierced the first with a very shape kitchen knife. Repaired with a standard raft patch and glue. Completely permanent repair and I haven't looked at it since. All four panniers pass the simple test. I can fill them with water and use them as water jugs. (I don't. They'd kill my racks! But if I had to cross the Sahara, I'd go Tubus.)

Over the years, the hardware has gotten better but stayed compatible. Easy to get. I've simply gone to bike shops and ordered it. Several different shops, never an issue.
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Old 12-30-20, 02:32 PM
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If you want good waterproof panniers that are cheaper than Ortlieb, Carradry are an option.

I have no clue where you are located, if you are in Europe, Vaude may be another option.

I think that Axiom still makes waterproof panniers.

Several years ago some people bought Nashbar panniers that were waterproof, not sure if they still sell them.

Sierra Trading Post often has Ortlieb stuff on significant discount, but selection is poor.

I have a set of the rear Carradry panniers. I found their mounting hardware to not play well with the Tubus Logo rack, I fabricated some of my own lower hooks to use instead. Mine are several years old, there were some sewn through seams that I should have applied seam sealer to before my very wet trip, I since have sealed those seams.

Ortlieb are the most durable of the waterproof ones, but if you do not need the durability, then you could save some money. Also, Ortieb makes the "City" version at a lower cost, they lack a few things that the Roller panniers have.
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Old 12-30-20, 02:41 PM
  #10  
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Try Ortleib, they make their own product and it is quite high quality. Knockoffs are not desirable under any conditions and never something you should actually look for. You want actually low cost go Ortlieb you want expensive find whatever junk knockoffs exist out there. Ortlieb costs what it costs because it is a high quality long lasting product that holds up to abuse really really well. They are fully waterproof and many many many people have toured with them for long periods across continents in some really rough conditions. To find something similar that are as low cost as Ortleibs is tough, you can find cheap stuff but again cheap stuff won't last and may not be as waterproof, durable and have as good of a mounting system.

If 79pmooney can get over 22 years out of a pannier that is pretty damn cheap at under $9 a year and since he is still using them for different duty it could potentially be even cheaper because they are still getting used. One could drink one less 4-6 pack of beer each year and there is $9 saved or just have 1-2 fewer fancy coffees or use 3-4 fewer gallons of gas. Quality is well worth paying for when you get that kind of longevity.

If you want a cheaper Ortlieb go with the Back-Roller City and you will save $45 right there and get less room but if you pack right you may not need that extra space?!
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Old 12-30-20, 03:13 PM
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A friend that I toured with in Ohio this past fall had recently purchased a Chinese knock off pair of yellow Ortlieb-like panniers. They looked similar but the material was not as thick or heavy duty as the Orts. Also they had a similar attachment method but the plastic hook(s) was not as heavy and flexed more. They seemed to work for him OK on their maiden tour but only time will tell how they will hold up. If you're really interested, I can find out the name and where he purchased them thru.
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Old 12-30-20, 05:10 PM
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I've heard good things about Arkel bags; https://www.arkel-od.com/
Not sure how the price point compares to Ortleib bags.
They have waterproof options, made in Canada, etc.
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Old 12-30-20, 06:11 PM
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Also keep an eye out for used Ortlieb ones. Some people get them and go on one trip and never use them again so they end up on Craigslist or FB marketplace etc. in essentially new condition for substantially less than new prices
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Old 12-30-20, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
Also keep an eye out for used Ortlieb ones. Some people get them and go on one trip and never use them again so they end up on Craigslist or FB marketplace etc. in essentially new condition for substantially less than new prices
Yes, this is a better bet. If you buy Ortleibs, keep in mind you can use them a year or two and sell them for a pretty good price too. Used generic panniers are basically unsellable; used Ortleibs sell in a flash. Ebay often has used Ortleibs for sale at $100 - $130 a pair for rear rollers and that is a pretty good deal for both seller and buyer. Our shop also rents Ortleibs by the week and there are online sources that ret them as well.

The Arkels are great but near the price of the Ortleibs.

Think of the incremental additional cost for Ortleibs, not the total cost, and think what you would pay at the end of a long rainy day in the saddle and to not be opening up a soggy sleeping bag and nothing left that is dry to put on. Then spending the next AM looking for a laundromat where you can put everything you own in a clothes dryer and trying to repack everything in garbage bags you just bought to hopefully keep your newly dried clothes from getting soaked again. Then trying to make up the half day you just lost... What would you pay to avoid that mess?

There are some good Ort alternatives out there, but those good alternatives are around the same price as the Orts.
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Old 12-30-20, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
I've heard good things about Arkel bags; https://www.arkel-od.com/
Not sure how the price point compares to Ortleib bags.
They have waterproof options, made in Canada, etc.
Arkel makes some of the finest touring bags but as far as price, they are not cheap however their waterproof Dolphins and Orcas are close with Ortlieb (a tiny bit more) but their non-waterproof stuff like the GT-54s which I bought are a lot more expensive but way more features.

Arkel is for those who like luggage and storage pockets and neat compartments and may have interest in some waterproof stuff and may not.
Ortleib is for those who want durable waterproof with a large cavity.

Both are excellent quality and will last forever you just need to figure out what works best for you. I really like the organizational capabilities of the Arkels which is why I got them but (also tons of space) but it is not for everyone. Also the rack connection system is different and maybe the Ortleib system might work better or maybe the Arkel system would work better.
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Old 12-31-20, 07:06 AM
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I agree with some of the others. If you need to save a few bucks, buy them on eBay. Even new unused ones are sold for 50% off. You have to be a bit patience but it is definitely possible to buy new to very good condition used packs for 50% off.
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Old 12-31-20, 08:20 AM
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These may be the ones:
https://www.amazon.com/Ibera-Bike-Pa...ef_=ast_slp_dp

Less, but not that much less in price. I tried several, including Performance Bike's house brand of panniers. Wish I would have just bought the Ortliebs outright and skipped all that.

Originally Posted by robow View Post
A friend that I toured with in Ohio this past fall had recently purchased a Chinese knock off pair of yellow Ortlieb-like panniers. They looked similar but the material was not as thick or heavy duty as the Orts. Also they had a similar attachment method but the plastic hook(s) was not as heavy and flexed more. They seemed to work for him OK on their maiden tour but only time will tell how they will hold up. If you're really interested, I can find out the name and where he purchased them thru.
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Old 12-31-20, 08:31 AM
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..passing thought.. if you're looking for waterproof, a common way to make a non-waterproof pannier into a waterproof pannier is to line each bag with a trash-compactor plastic bag. It works, and is inexpensive. White bags also help in seeing inside a pannier..nothing gets lost in the dark..
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Old 12-31-20, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
I've heard good things about Arkel bags; https://www.arkel-od.com/
Not sure how the price point compares to Ortleib bags.
They have waterproof options, made in Canada, etc.
Arkel makes excellent waterproof bags, but they are just as expensive as Ortlieb (in some cases more expensive). You can't go wrong with Ortlieb or Arkel. I own bags from both manufacturers and they are well worth the cost IMO.
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Old 12-31-20, 01:19 PM
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Food for thought?
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Old 12-31-20, 01:54 PM
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Fishboat makes a lot of sense. I've seen, but never used, panniers made of plastic buckets. Those should be waterproof to one meter, or better.
Considering the durability of Ortliebs, used might also be a viable solution.
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Old 12-31-20, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
I watched that video recently. Lots of really good non-waterproof options that will keep your stuff dry in light to moderate rain. It really depends on your specific needs and the weather conditionsin which you ride. Personally, I like and prefer waterproof since I live in Florida.
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Old 12-31-20, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
I watched that video recently. Lots of really good non-waterproof options that will keep your stuff dry in light to moderate rain. It really depends on your specific needs and the weather conditionsin which you ride. Personally, I like and prefer waterproof since I live in Florida.
I'm also looking to start using panniers and, since I live in Vancouver, I'm leaning towards waterproof.
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Old 12-31-20, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
Every tour I have done has included enough heavy rain to affirm my need for waterproof panniers. On one tour I was actually riding into Hurricane Irene. I simply do not worry about my gear, and clothing getting wet. Once I have set up camp, I can get out of wet clothes, and into dry clothing. I don't have to dry out my gear. It's a nice feeling. It is not a nice feeling to remain wet all night, and into the next day.

At home as well, I like having waterproof bags. I have been caught in the rain while out running errands, and all my groceries, etc., stay dry. The same was true when I was commuting.

I have other city type bags on one bike, and around town, in nice weather, I like them, but for all around use and especially touring, I want want my bags to be waterproof.
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Old 01-01-21, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by fourfa View Post
You'll find some knock off products on Alibaba Express for low prices. This is a pretty conservative forum here, I don't think you'll find many people who've been willing to try such products sight unseen. Quality will likely be all over the place. And FWIW anywhere you want to ask about or review such products be ready for political and moral arguments.
....
yes, yes.

you can great some super awesome stuff from china at a bargain price, or you can get total carp with no warranty and no refund....and that can be from the same seller/importer just days apart. i've bought bags that lasted in jungle conditions for years, then same bags from same seller barely lasted a half a summer touring on pavement.


sometimes a famous label will contract with a chinese factory, provide material+10%. factory provides for the contract amount, then uses the excess stuff to make identical goods with different labels.

other times, after the production run, the factory continues to make the identical goods with cheaper, lower-quality materials.

then again, factory owner may decide on his own to copy the arkels with shoddy materials and sell them as alkels or a4kels.




momma always tol' me, buyin' from alibaba was like a box 'a chaw-ka-lits............
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