Ortlieb Panniers and Packs Comparisons . . . and FAQ

PLEASE NOTE that this page is still under construction . . .

  • This page has been posted before a thorough proof-reading for content and organization.  Some new Ortlieb products have been introduced since this page was started.  This is essentially a very wordy rough draft, but you might find it useful as is.  Forgive me for a typos or incomplete information.
  • Get a cup of coffee — preferably caffeinated — before you attempt reading this page!
  • There is a lot to read because there is a lot to say about Ortlieb panniers and packs — and because this page has not yet been edited to improve organization and eliminate repeated information.
  • If you understand how Ortlieb has named their different panniers and handlebar bags, you will find it easier to tell them apart.  Here are some basic facts about the Ortlieb panniers that will help you make your choices.  Below the Panniers and Handlebar Bag info you will also find a Frequently Asked Questions section.  Once you have read this page, please go back to the Ortlieb Panniers, Packs and Accessories and click on the individual photos and links for more thorough descriptions of each model.
  • You are welcome to contact me if you have questions this page doesn’t answer, but it can be a real time saver if you can read this page before you contact me.  This page should help answer many or all of your questions, or help you know better what you need to ask in an email or phone call.  Thanks! Wayne

Are you having pannier heel clearance issues?

  • The three photos above show various adjustment possibilities for Ortlieb QL-1, QL-2 and QL-2.1 Top Hooks.  These adjustments can help you move the panniers farther back on your rack when you need extra heel clearance.   After reading this page, if you are having heel clearance issues with Ortlieb panniers, please call Wayne.  If possible, please email Wayne first with photos of your current pannier and rack setup.  This will help me fine-tune my setup tips for your rack.  The photos should clearly show the position of all pannier hooks on the back of your pannier, and where you have them placed on your rack.  Please take the photos with only one pannier on the rack, so you can show views of the back of the pannier through the rack.  I will often have tips to help you improve heel clearance.
  • SORRY!!!  PHOTOS COMING SOON!  ASK WAYNE FOR HELP IF YOU ARE HAVING HEEK CLEARANCE ISSUES.
  • In the three photos above you can see how all Quick Lock QL-1, QL-2 and QL-2.1 pannier hooks can be adjusted.  Imagine these panniers mounted on a rear rack, and the front of the rack is to the right of the photos.  If the adjustment of the first photo does not provide adequate heel clearance, move both of the pannier hooks forward on the pannier as in photo number 2.  Turn photo number 3 around to face photo number 2, and it is a mirror image.  Place the panniers in photos number 2 & 3 on the rack in the same place they were in in photo number one, and the panniers are then offset away from the rider’s heels.  I hope to have new photos posted soon that will better show the adjustments for pannier heel clearance.  Restated — move the hooks on the back of the pannier toward the rider’s heels, and you have then moved the panniers away from the rider’s heels, and improved heel clearance.  Be careful.  You want ENOUGH heel clearance, not EXTRA heel clearance.  If you move the panniers unnecessarily far behind your heels, you are moving the center of gravity behind the rear axle, and that is not good for bike handling.  An inch or less of heel clearance is best.

Ortlieb Touring Panniers with the “Quick-Lock” QL-2.1 Mounting System . . .

  1. Ortlieb makes two basic touring pannier styles – Packers and Rollers.  The names Packer and Roller refer mostly to the methods used to close the panniers . . .
  2. There are two methods for closing Roller series panniers.  Rollers have extra fabric at the top of the bag with buckles at each end.  To close the Roller panniers, simply squeeze the top sides of the bag together, roll them down a couple of turns and buckle the ends to the shoulder strap.  The shoulder strap attaches in a “V” to a hook near the bottom front of the pannier.  The shoulder strap keeps the ends of the rolled top bent downward so water can’t get in the ends of the rolled closure.  Then a front strap can be routed over the top of the roll and fastened to top back buckle.  The front strap helps keep the rolled top closed.  You can also close Roller panniers without using the shoulder strap. There is a male buckle half at one end of the rolled top, and a female buckle half at the other end.  Roll the two sides of the fabric down together,  loop the two ends toward each other until the buckle halves will click together.  Route the front strap over the top of the roll and fasten it to the top back buckle.  The top of the bag will then be closed in more-or-less of a circle.  This explanation is long, so Roller panniers may sound a bit complicated to operate, but with just a little bit of practice, you will find Roller panniers extremely simple and intuitive to open and close.
  3. Packer series panniers have a double drawstring collar at the top of the bag – and a lid.  To close the pannier, tighten the drawstrings, pull the lid over the top of the bag, and then buckle the lid to the vertical front straps.  The Bike Packer Plus panniers have side compression straps that close the lid of the outside pocket.  These pocket straps also help compress the load in the main compartment.  These horizontal compression straps are only on the Bike Packer Plus panniers, not the Sport Packer Plus or any of the other Ortlieb panniers.
  4. Bike Packer and Back Roller Panniers are generally used as larger volume rear panniers.  The Bike Packer Classic and all Back Roller panniers (Classic and Plus) have the same rated volume, 40 liters (2451 cubic inches).  The Bike Packer Plus panniers are rated at 42 liters after the addition of outside waterproof pouch pockets – not on any of their other panniers.  Note that there are other factors that affect the volume of the Bike Packer Plus panniers.  Depending on the way they are packed, the volume is affected.  Please read more about the Bike Packer Plus volume on the Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Panniers Page.  Some tandem cyclists will use Bike Packer or Back Roller panniers as large front panniers, because they need to carry gear for two riders but only have one bike.
  5. Sport Packer and Front Roller Panniers are generally used as smaller volume front panniers when part of a front and rear set, but they also work perfectly as smaller volume rear panniers.  Sport Packers are rated at 30 liters (1831 cubic inches), and Front Rollers are a bit smaller at 25 liters (1526 cubic inches).  In 2016 the Front Roller Panniers will be renamed Sport Rollers, to ease the confusion about whether Front Rollers may be used on rear racks as well as front racks.
  6. All Classic panniers are made of the Classic PVC fabric that looks and feels like the slick and shiny fabric on a river raft, or on “dry-bags” that are often used by rafters and kayakers.
  7. All Plus panniers are made of the Plus “Cordura” fabric that has a more cloth-like appearance.  It is a laminated fabric with a highly waterproof inner layer that adds strength to the Cordura.  The Plus fabric is a bit lighter in weight than the Classic fabric, but easily as waterproof, and equal in durability.  Most tourists think it looks a little better than the classic fabric.  Hey!  Looks are important!
  8. ALL 2015 and later Packer series and Roller series panniers, with the Plus Cordura, or Classic PVC fabric use the new QL2.1 Quick Lock mounting system, adjustable without needing tools, with automatic opening and closing of the upper hook by lifting and releasing the strap handle that is connected to the top hooks.
  9. The QL2.1 TOP Hook system adjusts with various inserts to fit rack rails from 8mm to 16mm diameter, and optional 20mm top hooks are available.   Adjustable hooks at the base of the panniers keep the bottom mounted securely to the side of the rack.  The sliding top hooks can be repositioned to allow precise placement on the rack top rails.  This can also help move the panniers toward the rear of your rack, providing better heel clearance while riding.  Optional extra top hooks can be added to reinforce the mounting system when you take your panniers off-road.
  10. The QL-2.1 LOWER Hook is more adjustable than previous versions, with an adjustable width opening, and the QL-2.1 lower rail where the lower hook rides, can be inverted to give you optional higher mounting hook positions.  The QL-2.1 Lower Hooks can be adjusted without tools by means of a knob that can be turned with your fingers.  The QL-2 lower hooks can be pointed right or left – or down.  They slide along one of two elliptical rails, and provide more mounting positions than the QL-1 hooks, and will fit a wider variety of racks.  The QL2.1 pannier mounting system is simply terrific!
  11. Choosing QL-2.1 Top Hook Inserts. When you receive your panniers you will have 16mm diameter top hooks.  These 16mm top hooks come with separate 8mm, 10mm, and 12mm hook inserts that you can snap into the top hooks to step the inside hook diameter down to fit the most common rack top-rail diameters.  Note that most racks are made from 10mm diameter aluminum rods or steel tubes, so for now the 10mm inserts are the most commonly used size.  We are likely to see more 12mm rack-top rails in the future.  It is a good idea to keep any hook inserts you don’t use in case you end up needing them for another rack later.  A few racks are being made with 16mm or 20mm diameter top rails, especially on some of the new electric bikes.  If you have a rack with 20mm diameter top rails, you will need to purchase the optional QL-2-1 20mm Top hooks.  The 20mm top hooks are made specifically for 20mm rack tubes, and do not come with inserts.  To summarize . . . the standard QL-2.1 Top Hooks that come with the panniers can fit 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, and 16mm rack-top rails, and 20mm top hooks are available as an option.
  12. QL-2.1 Top Hooks will also fit on the previous generation 2014 and earlier QL-2 top rails. If you have older panniers with QL-2 top hooks, you can upgrade to the new QL-2.1 top hooks if you like.
  13. Mounting your Ortlieb panniers to your rack: The top hooks hang on the top rails on your rack, similar to the way you might place your four fingers over a chin-up bar in your doorway.  And there is a mechanism in the hook that closes under the rack top-rail, much like your opposable thumbs can close under that chin-up bar.  To place an Ortlieb pannier on the top rail of your rack, simply pull up on the strap while you set the panniers on the rack.  Once the pannier hooks are firmly seated on the top rail, release the strap handle, and the hook’s “thumb-pieces” will close beneath the rail.  These “thumb-pieces” keep the panniers from bouncing off of the rack when you tires hit bumps.  While you are placing the top hooks in place, you will also guide the QL-2.1 Lower Hook in place behind one of your vertical or horizontal lower rack tubes.
  14. All Classic panniers are made from the Classic PVC fabric. This is a strong, durable, and waterproof fabric that is used in many dry-bags for kayakers and river rafters.
  15. All Plus panniers (and handlebar bags) are made from a lighter weight laminated Cordura fabric with a highly waterproof inner layer.  Plus fabric waterproofing and durability is equal to the Classic fabric.  Plus panniers and handlebar bags often have features that are not on the Classic panniers.
  16. All Ortlieb panniers (and handlebar bags) are made with waterproof construction. High Frequency Welded seams and highly waterproof fabrics make them watertight and dustproof . . . and so watertight that some tourists have been known to do their laundry in their Ortlieb panniers!
  17. The Roller pannier design provides the ultimate in waterproofing. The rolled closure may keep a mountain biker’s gear dry, even if the packs get momentarily submerged during stream crossings.  Roller panniers might be the best choice for someone who will be riding off-road or through the rainy season in the tropics.   And if they fit your budget, Roller panniers are a great choice for any bicycle tour.  Though the Roller pannier closing system is not as immediately familiar as the lid-and-strap Packer pannier system, once you have used the roller system you will find them super simple to open and close.
  18. Packer panniers are effectively waterproof in the rain and for splash from passing vehicles — in other words, they are equal to the rollers in almost any situation other than submerging your pannier. Water could get in under the lids of Packer panniers if they were submerged, but otherwise, your gear will stay dry.  Some tourists feel that the lid-and-strap design is easier to load and unload, and it might provide easier access to your gear during your ride.  I have a customer who rode for three months through the rainy season who emailed me to brag on the Packer panniers waterproofing.  Another customer rode for three weeks in Washington State (where everyone understands the value of waterproof gear!), and he also wrote me to say the Packer series waterproofing was fantastic.
  19. Knowing the above facts should help you recognize each pair of panniers from its name.  For example, I know from the name Bike Packer Plusthat they are the larger waterproof rear panniers with lid-and-strap closures over drawstring top main compartments, and they are made from the Plus Cordura fabric.  Back Roller Classic panniers are typically larger rear panniers with the roll-top closure, and they are made from the Classic PVC fabric.
  20. Bike Packer Classic vs. Bike Packer Plus Panniers . . . Bike Packer Classic panniers are the same design as the Bike Packer Plus panniers, but are made from the Classic PVC fabric instead of the lighter weight but just as waterproof and durable Plus Cordura fabric.  Remember that a Bike Packer Plus pannier has a built-in waterproof outer pocket on the lower face of the pannier, with lateral compression straps for closure . . . meaning that the outer pocket serves double duty as a pocket for carrying small items, and as a compression system in the middle of the pack to help control the load inside the pannier.  The Bike Packer Classic panniers do not have these waterproof outside pockets and compression straps.  The Bike Packer Plus is the only Packer or Roller series pannier that has the built-in waterproof outer pocket.
  21. Sport Packer Classic vs. Sport Packer Plus Panniers . . . Sport Packer Classic panniers are the same design as the Sport Packer Plus panniers.  They are made from the Classic PVC fabric.  The Sport Packer Plus Panniers are made from the lighter weight but just as waterproof and durable Plus Cordura fabric.  Sport Packer panniers do NOT have outer pockets on the lower faces of the panniers.
  22. Anti-Theft Devices work with any pannier with QL-2 or QL-2.1 top hooks.  These light-weight cables with a loop on the end can be nested behind the top rails.  Pull them out, loop them around the rack rails, and lock your panniers to your bike rack with mini padlocks.  The padlocks are not included.
  23. Packer and Roller panniers are not just for touring. Both designs can work great for grocery shopping, commuting, and just about anything you want to carry that fits in the size packs you choose!
  24. You can increase the volume of any Ortlieb touring panniers by adding these accessories . . . Small Outer Pockets, Mesh Pockets, or Water Bottle Cages for Panniers.  See them on this page . . . Accessories for Ortlieb Panniers and Packs.
  25. If your panniers do not provide enough volume for your load, see how Ortlieb Rack Pack Dry Bags can be added to the top of any rear Ortlieb panniers.

Ortlieb Handlebar Bags . . .

  • Ultimate 6 Plus and Ultimate 6 Classic size Medium Handlebar Bags come in a wide variety of colors to match the Plus and Classic series panniers.
  • Ultimate 6 PRO Medium Handlebar Bags only come in BLACK, and they have some features that are not on Ultimate 6 Medium handlebar bags.
  • Ultimate 6 Small Handlebar Bags come in both Plus and Classic versions to match the Plus and Classic Series panniers.
  • Ultimate 6 Compact is a much smaller bag for those who only need a few convenience items on their handlebars.  It is basically a small shoulder bag that can be mounted on a bicycle handlebar.
  • Ultimate 6 Classic LARGE Handlebar Bags only come in the Color Asphalt/Black, and Size Large Ultimate 6 Plus Handlebar Bags only come in Granite/Black.
  • Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Medium Handlebar Bags are made in both Plus and Classic versions to match Plus and Classic panniers.
  • The Ultimate 6 Plus Medium Handlebar Bag is a match for any of the Plus panniers.  The Ultimate 6 Plus bags are made in the same fabric as the Plus Panniers, and in the same colors.  The Ultimate 6 Plus Handlebar bags have small outside mesh pockets that are not on the Ultimate 6 Classic bags, and they come with an Internal X-divider.
  • The Ultimate 6 Classic Medium Handlebar Bags match the Classic panniers, and come in most of the same colors.   There are no outside mesh pockets on the Ultimate 6 Classic bags.  The Internal X-divider is NOT included with the Ultimate 6 Classic, but is available as an option.
  • All Ultimate 6 Medium Handlebar Bags have the same beautifully made Handlebar Mounting Bracket with a Locking Release Lever.  The Ultimate 6 brackets can fit any size handlebar, including the new 31.8mm over-sized handlebar diameter.  A Bracket Extender is available for set-ups where you may need to have the handlebar sit a couple of inches farther forward from the handlebar.  An optional Map Case or GPS Case can be added to any Ultimate Handlebar Bag.
  • You can mix Plus packs with Classic packs, but you should know that the fabric color tones and textures won’t exactly match.
  • The New Ultimate 6 Pro Medium Handlebar Bag has a feature that addresses the switch to digital technology.   There is a GPS compartment built into the lid with a clear touch-sensitive panel that allows you to operate your GPS or smart phone through the lid!  In addition there are padded Velcro internal dividers that work much like the dividers you often see in camera cases.  The Ultimate 6 PRO only comes in Black.  See a complete description on my Ultimate 6 Handlebar Bag page.
  • Click Here to See the Various Ortlieb Handlebar Bags Described Above.
  • EVERYONE ASKS . . . “What’s the difference between the Ultimate 6 Plus and Ultimate 6 Classic handlebar bags.”  The Ultimate 6 Plus has features that are not on the Ultimate 6 Classic, such as the Plus Cordura Fabric, small mesh pockets on the lower sides of the bag (visible in the photos on the Ultimate 6 page), and an included internal divider to help you organize the main compartment.  The Ultimate 6 Classic is made from the Classic fabric, has no mesh pockets, and the internal divider is optional but not included.  They both have included shoulder straps and both will accept the optional Map Case, GPS Case, Padded Camera Insert, and Handlebar Bracket Extender.  The Ultimate 6 Plus is the fabric and color match for the Plus series panniers, and the Ultimate 6 Classic is the fabric and color match for the Classic Panniers.
  • All Ortlieb Handlebar Bags come with a mounting bracket.  I get asked this question a LOT.  Handlebar bags just wouldn’t be handlebar bags if they couldn’t be attached to the handlebars.  Extra mounting brackets are sold separately because many riders like to have mounting brackets on more than one bike, so they can quickly move the bag from one bike to another without having to remove and reinstall the mounting bracket.
  • The New Ultimate 6 Small Plus and Classic Handlebar Bags are mates for the Plus and Classic series panniers.  They have a Map/Mobile Device Case built into the lid.  It is basically as smaller version of the Ultimate 6 Pro . . . very nice for those who just don’t carry as much gear.
  • Wayne says:  I will never go on a long distance tour without my handlebar pack!  It is where I keep items I like to access quickly and easily without having to get off of my bike ‒ items such as my camera, energy snacks, tissues, keys, wallet, money, ID, passport, a map in the top window, etc. . . and I also use it for a waste basket.  When I ride up a mountain pass, I often find myself so focused on the ride that I don’t want to stop for photos.  With a camera living in my handlebar pack it is easier to talk myself into pulling off the road for a quick photo opportunity ‒ without having to dismount the bike.  I can step down, straddle the top tube, take a quick photo and be back in the saddle in seconds – so I don’t mess up the rhythm of my climb.  And later, I don’t regret missing the photo.  If I need to take a restaurant or restroom break, the handlebar bag comes off of the quick-release bracket and stays with me, hanging from the shoulder strap, so I don’t risk having my critically important items stolen.  If you have not used a handlebar pack on your tours, you just don’t know what you have been missing!
  • If you have never used a handlebar bag, you may worry that you will not like the way your bike handles.  The first time you ride with a handlebar bag, you will definitely know it is there, and it may be a little disconcerting.  But soon you will quit feeling the differences you noticed on the first ride, and riding with a handlebar bag will become your new normal.  Before long you will feel like something is missing if you go for a ride without it!  If you are worried that you won’t see the road in front of you, don’t worry.  It won’t be long before you will realize that you don’t watch the road passing under your front wheel anyway.  You’ll know the front wheel is always centered on your handlebar bag.  If you watch the road go under your wheel when you ride, you will eventually become well acquainted with a parked car!
  • Click Here to See the Various Ortlieb Handlebar Bags Described Above.

QL-3 vs. QL-2.1 Mounting Systems.

This section is under construction.  Below are some thoughts about QL-2.1 and QL-3.1 Mounting Systems.

  • QL-3 Pannier Hooks are not an upgrade from QL-2.1 Pannier Hooks.  They are simply different designs, intended to be used under different circumstances.
  • If I have more than one bike, and they have different rack setups, I prefer the QL-2.1 system because it is easier to use on a variety of racks.  There is an external hook system on the back of the pack, but I can usually adjust the hooks so that they don’t bother me when I use a pannier as a shoulder bag.  Or let’s say that I have only one bike that I use for both touring and commuting.  I won’t want a bolted-on QL-3 bracket.  I can effortlessly switch back and forth from a touring pannier to a briefcase pannier if both panniers have QL-2.1
  • If I had a consistent daily commute with the same bag, and routinely parked my bike in a bike rack, then got on a commuter train, then got off the train and had to walk a half mile to my office, I would use the QL-3 system that does not have external mounting hooks on the back of the pannier.  In a situation like that, shoulder bag comfort would be more important than flexibility in mounting the bag on bike racks.  I would likely have a dedicated commuting bike that I didn’t mind parking outside all day, so that using the QL-3 system would not interfere with using my touring bike. They are both great pannier mounting systems.  Choose based on your particular bike commuting situation.

FAQ . . . Even after reading what I have written above, customers often have questions about Ortlieb packs.  Here are answers to some of my MOST Frequently Asked Questions . . .

  • What is the difference between Plus and Classic Panniers?  Plus panniers have the Plus Cordura fabric described above.  Classic panniers have the Classic PVC fabric.  All Plus and Classic series panniers have QL-2.1 top-rails that can accept the optional Anti-Theft Device which allows you to lock your panniers to your rack with mini padlocks.  Packer Plus Panniers only (not Rollers) have outside pockets, for carrying or drying small items.  Both Plus and Classic panniers have the same QL-2.1 lower hooks.   I have seen no significant durability difference between the classic and plus fabrics.
  • What is the difference between Back Roller Plus Panniers and Back Roller Classic Panniers?  They are the same volume and basic design.  The Plus version is a little lighter in weight, and the Plus fabric is more flexible and easier to close in a tight roll.  And they have the differences listed one bulleted item above in the Plus vs. Classic description.
  • What is the main difference between Packer Panniers and Roller Panniers?  Rollers have the rolled closure like a river rafter’s dry-bag.  Packers close with a lid over a draw-string top main compartment.
  • Can I use Bike Packer or Back Roller Panniers on my front rack?  Yes you can, but I don’t usually advise it.  A really large pair of panniers on your front fork might steer you off the road sometime.  The larger surface area could act like a sail in a strong crosswind.  Some tandem riders do use large panniers on both the rear and front of their bikes.  Tandems may be less affected by crosswinds because of their long wheelbase and stable handling.
  • Can I use Front Roller or Sport Packer Panniers on my rear rack?  The only thing that makes these “front” panniers is the fact that most front and rear set-ups will have the smaller panniers up front.  They work equally well as smaller volume rear panniers.  In 2016 the Front Roller Panniers will be renamed Sport Rollers, to ease the confusion about whether Front Rollers may be used on rear racks as well as front racks.
  • Are Roller Panniers more waterproof than Packer Panniers?  Yes, if you submerge them when you fall in a stream riding off-road, or spray water up under the lid with a hose – unlikely!  For rain coming down or blown sideways by the wind, or splash from passing vehicles, all properly closed Ortlieb panniers are effectively waterproof.  I have had many customers brag on Packer pannier waterproofing after touring through weeks of rain in the Pacific Northwest, and places like Vietnam in the rainy season.
  • What is my favorite Ortlieb touring set?  My favorite combination when it is the volume you need is probably the . . . Ortlieb Bike & Sport Packer Plus panniers plus the Ultimate 6 Plus Handlebar Bag with a Map Case.  If I need more room on a fully self-supported tour, I will add a Classic Rack Pack – usually in the size Medium.  See this combination on my Ortlieb Matched Sets page.  Changing to the Ultimate 6 Pro from the Ultimate 6 Plus is a good option, especially if you are going to use a GPS unit.  I am not certain if I have a preference for the 6 Plus Medium handlebar bag or the 6 Pro.  They are both great, just different.  Note that I had problems deciding on a favorite set.  They are all good.  For some lighter and faster touring, I might go for the Back Roller Plus and Sport Roller Plus panniers instead of the Bike Packers and Sport Packers.  They are all great packs, and personal preference for Packers or Rollers is valid.
  • Are the Pannier Anti-Theft Devices a good idea?  They are an excellent idea IF you don’t get a false sense of security when using them.  Don’t leave your packs out of sight because you didn’t want to take the time to unlock them.  Sometimes on a tour, especially a solo tour, you will take a calculated risk and leave packs on your bike for a few moments.  My best example is probably a restroom break.  You are unlikely to want to take two pairs of panniers into a public restroom, so you will leave the panniers outside, and just carry in the handlebar bag with a shoulder strap – with your valuables in the handlebar bag.  The locks give you an extra measure of security.  They can be cut by someone with the right tool, but they could significantly slow down someone without a tool.  Remember that the Anti-Theft Device only works with Plus series panniers.
  • What spare parts do I need for my tour?  It is unlikely that you will have problems with the mounting hardware.  The vast majority of my Ortlieb customers never get back to me needing spare parts.  It is possible to have a problem from a factory defect.  Sometimes a part may not have been sufficiently tightened and is lost.  Usually, if a part breaks, there was some memorable event that caused the problem.  It is possible to break a pannier hook in a crash for instance, and off-road riders seem to try as hard as possible to break things.  If I was going on a very long tour, or an off-road tour where I might be facing tough riding conditions, I would consider getting and extra set of Top Hooks.  The top rails on Ortlieb panniers can accommodate extra hooks.  Split a pair of top hooks between two individual panniers and you’ll have three tops hooks on each pack.  Leave a tag end of webbing strap on each extra hook so you’ll be able to open and close the hooks.  If you crash and break a hook or even two of the three on a pannier, you can move an extra hook over from the other side and be on your way with both panniers safely attached.  Off-road riders often like to get an extra lower hook as well for each pannier.  There are two high and low mounting positions for the lower hooks.  Put a lower hook in each position, and the bottom of the pannier will be extra secure.  And if you break a lower hook, you’ll have a spare already in place.
  • What is the Ortlieb Warranty? . . . 5 years against manufacturer’s defects.  I know, most US manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on just about everything.  They realize that most people don’t use products for a lifetime, so very few claims will be made after 5 years.  European companies are more realistic about warranties.
  • Once you have read this page, please go back to the Ortlieb Panniers, Packs and Accessories, and click on the individual pannier and packs links for photos and more thorough descriptions of each model.