Observations: What do I think about the Ortlieb Bike-Tourer panniers? These are wonderful panniers for the more casual tourist who doesn’t have a huge daily mileage goal. The stiff sides of the bag keep the main compartment from collapsing, so they hold their shape when empty. I think of someone doing a tour in wine country who wants to dress nicely when off the bike, so they can attend wine tastings, or dine in nice restaurants in the evening, wearing clothing that isn’t wrinkled up from being crushed all day in a tightly-loaded soft-sided pack. These are also GREAT shopping bag and commuting panniers. Bags that hold their shape when empty are very easy to fill when grocery shopping, and these bags look so classy, that even a well-dressed business person will not be self-conscious when carrying them into a professional environment. Would I take them on a fully-loaded transcontinental tour? Not my first choice. Because they always hold their shape, even when less than fully loaded, and they have flat sides and sharp corners, these bags are less aerodynamic. I worry that if I am caught in a strong head-wind on a long day’s ride, that they will slow me down a bit because they catch more wind. Also, the stiffeners in the sides and lid add weight. A pair of Bike-Tourer panniers at 38 liters volume weighs about 2.25 pounds more than a slightly larger pair of Back Roller Plus touring panniers. For that fully self-supported cross country tour, I will save some weight for going over the mountain passes, and perhaps slightly improve my aerodynamics by using soft-sided panniers. For that wine-country tour, or a wide variety of in-town shopping and commuting uses, I don’t know of a nicer pair of bags than the Bike-Tourer Pannier’s!