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Old 04-23-09, 06:47 AM   #1
Zweibel
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Ortlieb Rack-Pack

I have two Classic Roller (back) for my bike and am now thinking of buying the Ortlieb rack-pack.
Can somebody tell me how it is attached to the rack?
There seem to be no instructions for this particular product on their website.
Does it have something similar to the quick-lock system of the panniers?
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Old 04-23-09, 07:11 AM   #2
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I asked Wayne at the Touring Store about the Ortlieb rack bag this Past December. It turned out to be not what I was looking for - I ended up with the Arkel rack bag - but he told me that it's essentially a waterproof duffel bag that hangs over the sides, depending on panniers to hold the sides up (Otherwise they sag.)

It doesn't come with a mounting rig - you need to use straps, bungee cords, webbing, etc. It can share straps with the back roller panniers by sharing buckles and straps.
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Old 04-23-09, 07:18 AM   #3
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Thanks neilfein.

I also would have liked to buy Arkel panniers/rack pack, but they were too expensive for me and difficult to get hold of here in the UK.

Since I have two classic back rollers, the rack-pack should work fine for me.
Happy touring.
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Old 04-23-09, 07:26 AM   #4
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The attachment mechanism is kind of a gimmick. It just attaches to the straps you would use to buckle and secure the rolled over top flap.
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Old 04-23-09, 08:54 AM   #5
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I've thought about getting the rack pack, but in the end I decided to not pay the ortlieb premium this time and just get a dry bag type stuff sack. Much, much cheaper and it's essentially the same thing!
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Old 04-23-09, 09:43 AM   #6
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I've thought about getting the rack pack, but in the end I decided to not pay the ortlieb premium this time and just get a dry bag type stuff sack. Much, much cheaper and it's essentially the same thing!
It's not exactly the same as a drybag - most drybags I've used open at the end of the bag, whereas the Rack Pack opens up longways, which gives you better access to the contents. Maybe there are drybags that open that way too, I don't know.

The Rack Pack buckles to the straps on the rollers that usually come up and over the top of the roll, in the middle of the bag, keeping the roll down. So you take the outside strap from each of the panniers and clip it instead to the rack pack. When I first tried this, it seemed rather flimsy and unconvincing, but after actually using it on a tour in 2008 I found it works well. I put a couple of bungee cords criss-crossed over the bag, along with a cargo net, and everything seemed to be fairly stable.

Here's a pic of the setup:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...?pic_id=281733

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Old 04-23-09, 09:58 AM   #7
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Since I only put my sleeping bag and tent (when not wet) into the dry bag, I don't really need to access it's contents easily during the day. It is easy to take the bag and tent out of a top loading dry bag. Personally I wouldn't carry anything other than the sleeping bag and tent, maybe a tarp, on the rack so maybe that's why I don't mind the opening. If you are carrying something else (what?) on the rack then one that opens longways could be beneficial.
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Old 04-23-09, 09:59 AM   #8
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BTW, I use a cargo net to secure my dry bag also, and if you need it for the rack pack to be stable then I am not sure I see the real benefit of the securing mechanism .
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Old 04-23-09, 10:15 AM   #9
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BTW, I use a cargo net to secure my dry bag also, and if you need it for the rack pack to be stable then I am not sure I see the real benefit of the securing mechanism .
You're right, but having the rack pack actually clipped in to the panniers does give just that little bit extra degree of knowing that the thing isn't as likely to fall off if a bungee snaps.

I kept all my clothing in the rack pack on my last tour in 2008, and that seemed to work well. I put the tent and other camping gear in the rear panniers, where I don't need to access them during the day.

Before I tried this setup, my usual configuration was to put the tent lengthways on top of the rack (i.e. oriented front-to-back), with the sleeping bag and sleeping pad crossways on top of that. All three were in their own drybags. This arrangement served to maintain access to the top of the Ortlieb rollers by raising the crossways bags above the rack platform (otherwise, if you just put stuff crossways directly on the rack, it tends to obscure access to the rollers). Here's a pic of that arrangement:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...580&size=large

I think as long as the stuff you're piling up high isn't too heavy, then it shouldn't affect stability too much.

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Old 04-23-09, 10:36 AM   #10
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The pack itself is pretty heavy. I thought that was a major disadvantage.
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Old 04-23-09, 10:47 AM   #11
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The pack itself is pretty heavy. I thought that was a major disadvantage.
I agree. I actually prefer the "Plus" version of the Ortlieb bags (i.e. cordura as opposed to PVC), having now tried both. The Plus fabric is lighter weight and I find the thinner cordura easier to roll up. But now I can't seem to find the Rack Pack in anything but the "classic" PVC, which is strange - I have an older black cordura Rack Pack from 1998 or so. Maybe they stopped making them in anything but PVC, I dunno.

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Old 04-23-09, 10:47 AM   #12
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Not sure what you intend to use it for - but I have a cheap Ortlieb waterproof sack with a roll top closure that I lay on top of my rack. It cost something like $20-30 australian (means it must be practically free in the rest of the world). At the time of this picture it was used for carrying my tent and sleeping mat (rolled around the tent). I tie it down with one strap and hook the front roll closure around the seat tube. Keeps everything neat, tidy and dry.






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Old 04-23-09, 10:55 AM   #13
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Not sure what you intend to use it for - but I have a cheap Ortlieb waterproof sack with a roll top closure that I lay on top of my rack. It cost something like $20-30 australian (means it must be practically free in the rest of the world). At the time of this picture it was used for carrying my tent and sleeping mat (rolled around the tent). I tie it down with one strap and hook the front roll closure around the seat tube. Keeps everything neat, tidy and dry.
Great idea! I might use that method if I don't try to put it longways across the top of the rack over the panniers.
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Old 04-23-09, 02:07 PM   #14
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Here's my take. I like to have both front and rear panniers for better weight distribution. Then I like a handlebar bag for convenience. Then I strap my tent to my rear rack. If I need more room that this, then I'm taking too much stuff and I'd rather leave something at home than add a rack pack.
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Old 04-23-09, 02:19 PM   #15
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Here's my take. I like to have both front and rear panniers for better weight distribution. Then I like a handlebar bag for convenience. Then I strap my tent to my rear rack. If I need more room that this, then I'm taking too much stuff and I'd rather leave something at home than add a rack pack.
Does your sleeping bag go in one of the panniers, or do you strap it to the rack?
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Old 04-23-09, 02:44 PM   #16
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Does your sleeping bag go in one of the panniers, or do you strap it to the rack?
I like to get it into the panniers if I can, but sometimes I strap it to the rack too. I use a down bag so it packs pretty small.
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Old 04-24-09, 11:19 PM   #17
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I have the Ortlieb Classic Roller and the Rack pack combination. The Rack pack can be clipped to the panniers with the strap that is usually used to hold the rolled top closed. I have never used it this way. I use two light bugee cords that I fabricated out of relatively stout shock cord (1/4"). I place the Rack pack perpindicular to the length of the bike's rack. This works really well for putting things like a rain jacket or a shed layer until I stop and stow them prperly. It is a good place to carry the tent poles. It is also a good place to put wet clothing to dry. I have the medium sized Rack pack and my wife has the small one. I carry my sleeping bag, thermorest and tent in the bag. I also scrunch a small down camp pillow, my running shoes, and a sil-nylon ground cloth in there also. She carries the same items, except the tent. We have used the panniers on several trips, but last summer was the first with the Rack pack. We were on the Pacific Coast in BC and I was really glad we got them. The are all they are advertized to be-waterproof!
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Old 04-26-09, 08:34 PM   #18
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I have used the rack pack to carry my sleeping bag, etc. It attaches very securely to the panniers, and I very much appreciated having dry sleeping gear each and every day.
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Old 04-28-09, 10:37 PM   #19
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I finally figured out how to post pictures. Here are a couple showing how we secure or Rack Packs. Thos two 1/4" bungees have seen several thosand miles without a problem.

panniers.jpg

At least I think I got it figured out!
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File Type: jpg panniers 2.jpg (102.7 KB, 66 views)
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Old 04-28-09, 10:47 PM   #20
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Now, if I could only figutre out how to type!! My wife uses a commercial made "spider" strap. Four hooks, on a small shock corded net. Notice how she stows her shoes under the Rack pack. My bike is not usually so cluttered. I just had a flat tire that tore up the side wall, and my shoes were were I could get to them easily. Tent poles are also stowed under the bungee cords.
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