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Anyone using Ortlieb pannier backpack?

Old 06-01-12, 07:22 AM
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tarwheel 
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Anyone using Ortlieb pannier backpack?

Now that I've got some Ortlieb panniers I've become aware of all the accessories they offer. Most intriguing to me is the kit that converts a single pannier to a backpack. For just $39 retail, it seems like a useful accessory. However, I'm not sure if it's any lighter than just carrying a small backpack would be, but it seems well designed for cycling and way to get extra use out of your panniers. When touring, I have often found it useful to have a backpack to use once you get to your destination and set up camp. You could use it to pick up food at a local grocery or to carry swim gear if you went to the pool.

Anyone have one of these pannier converters or the Ortlieb backpack who could relate their experiences?

https://www.ortliebusa.com/CartGenie/prod-205.htm
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Old 06-01-12, 07:35 AM
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I've been curious about that as well. Was more thinking about on/off ease for commuting, but it sounds cool in theory. Would be cool if it folded enough to fit in the pannier when not in use. On/off ease with a fully loaded pannier and ability to carry would be key deciding factors for me.
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Old 06-01-12, 09:14 AM
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They are a huge compromise. The rigid back of the pannier makes them still not very comfortable to carry for a longer time; whereas they can be handy to just pop into a shop, or something like that.

Often even a cheap rucksack, carried along with you in the pannier, will be more comfortable to wear off the bike.
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Old 06-01-12, 10:03 AM
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I had a friend with the backpack accessory for commuting. The nature of our work required us to be on and off the bike repeatedly throughout the day, and to bring stuff with us. Because mounting the backpack stuff is slightly clumsy, it didn't take long until she was carrying it by the shoulder strap, letting the half attached backpack straps dangle.

For shopping, I just latch my panniers onto the shopping cart.

My new favorite bag is the REI Flash 18. It's just big enough for a long day hike, weighs almost nothing, rolls up into a tiny ball and I can wear it all day without any discomfort. I'm trying to get my touring load to fit into two front panniers and the Flash on the rear rack with anything I might need for a quick jaunt off the bike.
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Old 06-01-12, 12:19 PM
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Thanks for the tip on the REI Flash backpack. It costs and weighs about the same as the Ortlieb adapter and can double as a stuff sack.
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Old 06-01-12, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
My new favorite bag is the REI Flash 18. It's just big enough for a long day hike, weighs almost nothing, rolls up into a tiny ball and I can wear it all day without any discomfort. I'm trying to get my touring load to fit into two front panniers and the Flash on the rear rack with anything I might need for a quick jaunt off the bike.
I love my Flash 18 as well. It makes the cut for me even when my packing list is down to bare bones (under 15 pounds of gear and bags). It is a mere 10 ounces at least mine is, not sure about the current model. I use it as:
  • My carry on bag or even personal item when flying to of from a tour.
  • My only bag on non-bike trips of up to 4 or 5 days.
  • A bear bag.
  • A laundry bag.
  • A stuff sack.
  • A grocery hauler.
  • Extra capacity whe I need to carry extra stuff for short sections of a longer tour.
  • A day hike bag.
  • A trail running bag.
  • And even a night or two of minimalist backpacking.

It is one of my favorite gear items.
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Old 06-01-12, 12:55 PM
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The backpack converter is pretty bad if you plan on actually carrying it for any substantial amount of time. I used it on some hikes, and it really hurts the shoulders and under arms after some time. I'd recommend against it,

The link you provided sates "new and improved", i have no idea if that is more comfortable, as I used the previous design.
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Old 06-01-12, 01:42 PM
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I used an older REi Rucksack as the stuff sack I packed things in
to strap on top of the rear rack.
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Old 06-01-12, 07:46 PM
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I carry the Sea-To-Summit Ultra-Sil Pack. At 2.4 ounces I use it for day-hiking, grocery runs, and stuff sack.
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Old 06-02-12, 05:11 AM
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If you are looking for a waterproof backpack, I have one of these and use it regularly for travel. It however won't function as a pannier.
https://www.rei.com/product/833202/se...rs-special-buy
Since it is on their outlet website, stock is limited.

Another similar option, fewer bells and whistles, backpack straps are not as nice but weighs less and volume is slightly more. I also own one of these but have not used it yet, so can't say much about it.
https://www.rei.com/product/800384/se...rs-special-buy
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Old 06-02-12, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
I carry the Sea-To-Summit Ultra-Sil Pack. At 2.4 ounces I use it for day-hiking, grocery runs, and stuff sack.
Ahh you bet me to it I find my quite comfortable even with a bit of a load.

Andrew
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Old 06-02-12, 07:31 AM
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I've got one, and it's rubbish. It's quite uncomfortable, and takes up a massive amount of room in the pannier.
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Old 06-06-12, 02:00 AM
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Glad for the above feedback on the Ortlieb offering like this. I've been curious about it too. Instead I picked up the Sunlight Fortress Backpack Pannier a while back. Which is also a huge compromise. On the rare occasions when I use it I run leather strap through its top handle to secure it to the rack as it has a tendency to jump ship otherwise. The pad and straps take up a fair amount of space inside it when it is on the bike, and it is only a medium sized pannier to begin with. As a backpack its not the most comfortable thing. I haven't taken it on any hikes, but I have worn it for several hours a number of times. I'd give it an "OK" rating, providing you strap it to your rack and don't expect it to be too comfortable/go too far in it. It looks like they discontinued it, but they pop up here and there including ebay.

You'd think somebody would be able to execute something along these lines a little better. I know it is always going to be a compromise, but there's got to be a better way than everything I've seen so far. The Sunlite could be greatly improved just by having different shoulder straps that were more ergonomic. Of course part of that might be that I'm 6'2" and barrel chested, the first time I put it on I got the impression that it would fit someone much smaller than I much better, but I still think the straps would be less than ideal. Their shape is weird.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:25 PM
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I use mine, but it's not for everyone. I have the backroller classic panniers, and I positioned the mounting clips slightly to the rear of center on the QL system rail so my heels don't hit the bags while pedaling. This means if I want the pannier centered on the backpack, I have to readjust the position of the clips back toward the center of the rail. I find that it stores just fine inside the pannier during the ride. In my opinion, it's sturdy and lightweight, but I'm not an ounce-counter. It isn't designed to be worn comfortably for long hikes, but it's good in the city when it's raining, and you need to run your errands hands-free. I'm near Seattle, so this is happens about 300 days a year. I ride a Trek 7.3 FX for fitness, errands, commuting, and the occasional getaway, so I'm not really touring with it.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:44 PM
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I was wondering whether anyone's tried the Vario QL3 backpack/pannier combo. The backpack conversion is an integrated part of the bag instead of an add-on, so maybe more comfortable?

I'd like to go and test it at the store, but I don't know of anywhere locally that stocks anything more than the basic backrollers. I asked my LBS about the lack of stock, and was told they tried and found that most Ortlieb stuff moves too slowly, and costs too much to sit on the shelf, to offer them as anything but special orders.
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Old 06-21-12, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by neil View Post
I was wondering whether anyone's tried the Vario QL3 backpack/pannier combo. The backpack conversion is an integrated part of the bag instead of an add-on, so maybe more comfortable?

I'd like to go and test it at the store, but I don't know of anywhere locally that stocks anything more than the basic backrollers. I asked my LBS about the lack of stock, and was told they tried and found that most Ortlieb stuff moves too slowly, and costs too much to sit on the shelf, to offer them as anything but special orders.
Looks interesting, but yowsa, that ain't cheap.
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