Friday, July 24, 2009

Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Panniers Product Review: Results In

Last night, I decided to take my Ortlieb Panniers to the local farm stand and then to my boyfriend's softball game. You may remember in my initial thoughts post and long distance biking post, that I concluded the Ortlieb Panniers were great for touring, but the jury was still out if they were good for everyday things. I've pulled my final review for the Ortlieb Back Roller Panniers here.

Ortlieb Panniers for Around the Town

Spending around $165 for this set of panniers was hard to justify for just one recent cycling trip. I really needed to be sure these were something I could get a lot of use out of. I brought one to the local farm stand, and found that the panniers large bucket shape easily let me slide in my veggies. They did get jostled around a bit by the time I made it to the softball game, but I really liked that I had an extra sweatshirt in there and didn't have to worry about if it would wet in the pannier. Given the amount of rain we've seen in New England this summer, I'm all for waterproofed anything.

Over the Top?
The panniers weren't too much for everyday use. I brought just one and didn't feel off balance at all with just a few grocery type items. The only thing that screamed "hello I am a cyclist" at the softball game was the bright yellow color I had chosen. Since Ortlieb has many colors options, this could be easily remedied by choosing another color. In the end though, I am happy to be more visible on bike trips.

Conclusions
I found the Ortlieb Panniers to be excellent for long distance biking and around town use. The one downside of the panniers is the single inside pocket. So if you aren't really organized type of biker or don't have a front pouch on the bike it might get frustrating.

Pros
  • large size
  • waterproof
  • durable
  • ease of use
  • many colors options- and bright yellow for visibility
Cons
  • not many pockets or ways to organize
  • top loading could make it difficult to find rain gear in a pinch
  • roll down top needs to be carefully rolled to prevent water seepage
My Loaded Bike on Day Two
Bike Tripping
Ortlieb Panniers On the Road
Entering Acadia National Park
Read Initial Thoughts about Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Panniers
Read Long Distance Biking with Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Panniers

Disclaimer: Product Reviews are based on opinion only and are not intended to condone, encourage, or promote a product. Some products are sent to me by the manufacturer or affiliates and are mine to keep. I mention this specifically on products sent to me. Compensation and/or product and/or services never interfere with the review of the product. Otherwise, products and services are purchased by me for personal use. Panniers were purchased by me.

2 comments:

Justin said...

I enjoyed your review of your panniers. I also wish they had more pockets. Although, they seem to be made with durability in mind. I picked up a set last summer that also included the front. They have served me well. I like using one of the front ones on the rear rack for short trips. Keep writing.
-Justin

bettymountaingirl said...

Thanks Justin! I really appreciate your comment :) I'm getting ready to use them a bunch this year too...