There is not much that can be said about Ortlieb panniers that isn’t already in other reviews. They are renown for being THE best, and it’s true. They are made super strong and are extremely durable. Most cyclists we meet have Ortileb panniers, regardless of the length of their trip. And we know why.
We had an instance where we unexpectedly hit a hidden speed bump and a rear pannier popped off the rack and rolled down the road. It was through no fault of the pannier hooks, it was a big accident, but the pannier really bounced down the road and suffered no damage. A few cosmetic scrapes, but it proved just how durable these bags are. They are 100% waterproof with 2 tight roll downs at the top, and with the luggage straps, are easy to carry around airports or on over night trips off the bike. They have the added benefit of being completely watertight on the inside as well, and we have used ours for storing bags of ice and keeping drinks cold when we have a few days in one place. They keep the ice frozen for hours. An ideal esky!
We LOVE the additional external pockets that we bought for our front panniers. The were super easy to add-on and are awesome for storing snacks, rain coats and anything else we may need to access regularly or in a hurry, without having to unpack the bike.
Road touring is dirty business, especially when it rains. And at the end of the day, you have to drag all your dirty panniers into your tent. But these guys are super easy to clean with a rag (or a dirty sock, or a baby wipe) and the you are free to sling them into the tent, sparing everything else from the road ming you accumulated.
The only very minor gripe we have with them is the plastic inserts for the hooks, meant to allow for a tighter connection on the racks. It’s a nice idea, but the inserts are just plastic and ours have broken or fallen out. Just as easy to wrap an old tube on the rack for a tighter connection with the original pannier hooks. More sturdy and much more reliable.
We clip our thongs/flip-flops/jandals on the outside, sling our spare tyres around them, and sit our lock on top of the rear bags. The roll down top is awesome for securing a bag of veggies & groceries without getting them squished.
Overall, you wont find a better waterproof pannier. Worth every penny.
We thank the good people at Allegro Bikes every single day for helping us out with our awesome collection of Ortlieb.
We have 2 large panniers on the rear, and 4 small panniers on the front and the classic handlebar bag.