When I came to start my first bike tour I had never ridden further than 70km in a day on my bike, never carrying anything except maybe a backpack. So when the time came around that I had to buy some panniers I was lost.
Impromptu and lack of planning could quite well describe my first cycle tour. I didn’t really organise much and went with the attitude that “eventually everything will sort itself out”. As luck would have it, it did. I am not sure how but I ended up with a great pair of panniers.
The Ortlieb design is absolutely flawless, some of the most rugged made things I have bought. Attaching them onto a rack is very easy as they have a simple lift mechanism which locks them securely into place. You can be sure they will not fall off in a hurry. The rugged design is maintained with the welded seams and the roll top closure, ensuring an unbeatable waterproofing. Ortlieb claim that it can be fully submerged in water and not let it in. I can vouch for this claim after using them countless times I have nothing but praise they have never let me down, no matter how hard the rain how hard they have been dropped or scraped along the floor, in mud on sand, they still look barely used. A real feat of engineering. The carry strap design is very innovative that it locks the bag down when in use but then when you finish cycling you have a useful shoulder strap freeing up both your hands.
I only chose the Ortlieb for their impressive capacity of 40L but it turns out they have many more impressive features. I was astounded at the quality of them and definitely a must if you are upgrading or thinking of investing in a pair of panniers. With a wealth of colours to choose from they cater for everyone’s wants and everyone’s needs.
PROS: Waterproof, Rugged, Large Capacity, Ease-of-use, Good design.
CONS: More expensive end of the pannier market but you get what you pay for.