The Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Bag from Germany is considered to be the premier cycling pannier for bicycle touring.
What I Like About the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Bag
Waterproof Pannier – these bags have roll tops like those used for boating dry bags which prevent the rain, dirt and dust from getting into your panniers. If you have ever been cycling on a rainy day you will appreciate this when you arrive at your destination.
Durable – whether your bicycle touring takes you across forest tracks or desert roads the extremely durable outer fabric has proven its strength in numerous tests.
Mounting – the mounting hooks can easily be adjusted with an Allen Key (size 3). The lower section of the pannier change be changed fast in order to adapt to your bike rack to prevent the pannier from sliding and pivoting. You don’t want a situation where you hit a bump along the bike path or road and have your pannier falling off.
Shoulder Strap – if you have ever carried panniers up the narrow stairs of a small European hotel or in an airport on your way to the destination you will realize how valuable the shoulder straps can be.
What I Do Not Like About the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Bag
Pockets – I am a fan of pockets for smaller items I may need to get at quickly while out on the road and it would be nice to have one. I use a small handlebar bag when bicycle touring to get around this problem.
Price – more expensive than other styles but these considered the best available and well worth the extra cost.
Who Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Bag is intended for
- Perfect for bicycle touring
- Can be used individually for local shopping or sports activity
- Many cyclists use these bags for commuting especially in regions with lots of rain
Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Bag Features and Specifications:
- Pair of rear bicycle touring panniers
- Sides made of PS490 nylon material, front and back of PD620 (Polyester fabric)
- Waterproof with roll closures
- One inner pocket
- QL1 mounting system fits 8mm, 10mm and 16mm top rails
- Top QL hooks and lower sliding hook adjustrable with Allen key #3 (not included)
- Shoulder strap
- Highly reflective Scotchlite reflector
- Volume 2441 cubic inches
- Manufacturer warranty of 5 years
- Weight of 4 pounds, 3 oz for the pair
- Available in several colors
Also available from Amazon is the Ortlieb Front Roller Classic Bag.
What People are Saying About the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Bag
I personally disagree with the rating of 4 stars as many long distance touring cyclists consider these some of the best available panniers. Overall the Ortlieb Back Roller received very positive ratings from people who have purchased and used the. Many people commented about riding in heavy rainstorms and still finding everything dry.
Cyclists find them easy to install, and pull off nice and quick. They’re secure once installed, too. The long strap is nice so you can carry them purse-style, otherwise the handle can be used.
They expand a lot, and hold a nice load of groceries. My only gripe is I wished they included a small easy-access external pocket (waterproof isn’t necessary).
You get what you pay for with cycling gear, whether you’re dealing with tires, rain gear, or panniers. Ortlieb panniers are widely considered the gold standard for commuter and touring gear–expensive, yes, but totally worth it if you want to buy the good stuff and be done with it.
You can also check out other panniers for long distance cycling by clicking on this link.
One reviewer was convinced to purchase a pair of Ortlieb bags after taking note of a similar set a friend of mine had been using continuously for ten years; they scarcely showed any wear at all. If you are serious about bicycle touring the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Bag (and front bags if necessary) get our recommendation as a safe buy.