Ortlieb has long been the leader in waterproof touring bags so the only suprising thing about its entry into the trendy bikepacking market is that it didn’t come sooner.
Ortlieb took its time to get the line right, and debuted three bags at Sea Otter: a seatpack, a handlebar bag and an accessory pack. All three are manufactured using Ortlieb’s proprietary RF welding process instead of stitching, which is meant to create a stronger union of the all-nylon material. The bags, manufactured at Ortlieb’s German factory, are also PVC-free and waterproof. The seat pack holds 16 liters in its most stretched state and can shrink down to half that size when it’s compressed via the adjustable rolling closure. A purge valve keeps the bag tightly sealed to reduce tail wag and it has two sets of reflectors so that the rider can be seen when the bag is in its fullest or smallest size. The body of the bag incorporates a polyurethane stiffener to lend structure, but keep weight down. It attaches using a grippy material that adheres to the seatpost with Velcro that Ortlieb developed in its factory. Unlike traditional Velco, Ortlieb’s own can be welded directly to the bag, reducing the need for glue. The seat pack costs $160 and weights 420 grams. It will be available in May.
The handlebar bag packs from 15 liters down to 7 and fits various styles of bikes and bars via a set of foam spacers. Other features include an injection-molded rail for support, two reflectors and external netting for a jacket. Retail is $170.
The snazziest piece in the new line is the accessory pouch, which can attach onto the handlebar bag to hold a phone, snacks or whatever riders want to keep easily accessible. It can also attach directly to the handlebar, or be used as a stand-alone hip back or should bag with the included strap. Retail is $70.