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Ortlieb Rack Pack

Old 10-02-23, 02:56 PM
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gna
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Ortlieb Rack Pack

I ran into some German Touring cyclists this summer when I was on one of my short tours. Of course, they had all Ortlieb bags. They both had a Rack Pack, which clipped to their back panniers. I thought it looked like a nice system, so I'm toying with the idea of getting one of the smaller ones, 24L or 31L. I thought I could put my tent and sleeping bag in there.
Three questions:
  1. Those of you who have one, is it useful?
  2. what do you carry in it?
  3. What is reasonable price for one? Some sellers on FB Marketplace have it at under $60, which seems too good to be true.
I'm wondering if a wet tent in a waterproof bag would be a mistake, though...
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Old 10-02-23, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by gna
I ran into some German Touring cyclists this summer when I was on one of my short tours. Of course, they had all Ortlieb bags. They both had a Rack Pack, which clipped to their back panniers. I thought it looked like a nice system, so I'm toying with the idea of getting one of the smaller ones, 24L or 31L. I thought I could put my tent and sleeping bag in there.
Three questions:
  1. Those of you who have one, is it useful?
  2. what do you carry in it?
  3. What is reasonable price for one? Some sellers on FB Marketplace have it at under $60, which seems too good to be true.
I'm wondering if a wet tent in a waterproof bag would be a mistake, though...
I have the 31 liter one. I usually carry food in it, but often have some items that do not pack well, like hiking shoes that go into it too. The 31 liter one also works quite well as an airplane carry on bag.

I bought mine over a decade ago, I have no clue what prices are running these days.

I always put my tent in my front right side pannier. Tents are always wet in the morning, does not matter what you put them in, they will be wet at the end of the day too.

I had it for several years before I realized that I was doing it wrong. This video explains how to do it right.

Below, my heavy touring bike.



And, same Ortliebs on my light touring bike.



I usually strap my rain gear on top of my front panniers, did that in both of the above photos.

I often put a piece of cardboard or coroplast inside the Rack Pack to give it some structure, the cardboard or coroplast is folded to be like a half cylinder shape in the bottom of the bag, that way it does not sag down in the middle when it is mostly empty. Note below, you really need to make sure that both rear panniers are loaded to the same volume, so the bag sits level above the panniers.



What I like most about it is that if it is only half full, or even less, it still straps on nicely. Often by the end of a trip I might have a pair of shoes and only a few other things in it, but it does not flop around.

When in the store you see the big plastic box of croissants, it is nice to have a bag with enough volume so that you don't have to eat them all at once. I think they lasted for three or four days.


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Old 10-02-23, 04:53 PM
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You mentioned sleeping bag, wondering where to put that. I use a compression stuff sack for my sleeping bag, sometimes also put a down vest in the same stuff sack. Put that in the top of a rear pannier. I like to put the least dense stuff up high, and sleeping bag is less dense than a lot of other stuff. Heavy stuff like tools go in the bottom.





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Old 10-02-23, 05:35 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I usually put my sleeping bag, exped, and pillow in one back pannier and clothes in the other:

Loaded
Tent goes on the rack. I was blessed with good weather, so I didn't need to bring much in the way of clothing, but a longer tour I would need more cold weather clothes, so I'm thinking I may need more space. A compression sack for my sleeping bag would help gain some space.
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Old 10-02-23, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by gna
A compression sack for my sleeping bag would help gain some space.
Probably the best pannier space-saving item Iíve bought. Got one for my water resistant down bag, long size. Compresses down to nearly the size of a cylindrical football. I can fit it and all my off-bike clothes for warm to chilly weather in one Ortlieb Back Packer with plenty of room to spare if I need it for things like grocery items.
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Old 10-02-23, 08:14 PM
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I'm also debating a smaller/lighter tent. I have the Kelty Monarch 2, but I have a lead on a Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1. Trying to decide if the extra space is worth the weight.

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Old 10-02-23, 08:36 PM
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There are four Ortlieb Rack Pack users in our family: my wife, me and our two daughters.


I carry all my camping gear in sil-nylon water proof compression sacks. The orange bag on the left is a compressible pillow, blue bag is tent and rain fly, orange is Thermarest sleeping pad, red bag carries the tent poles and stakes, and the yellow bag is sleeping bag. I have carried a wet tent a lot in the sil-nylon compression bag, and never had a problem with getting other gear damp. I dry it as soon as I can, or am using it again the next night. The total wight of bag and gear is about 10 lbs.




The Rack Pack also fits into our packing strategy when we are traveling to the start or finish of our tour by rail or plane. That is another story.

Last edited by Doug64; 10-13-23 at 09:36 PM.
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