Commuting Accessories

Review: Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Pannier

This pannier bag gets top marks

A robust and essential piece of kit for cycle touring, the Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus panniers are some of the best I’ve tried.

First up, the panniers look great, and as they’re available in a three different colours, so you can pick the perfect pair to compliment your bike.

For me, the best feature is that they’re incredibly watertight  –  not only are they fashioned out of very hardwearing, waterproof Cordura, the large main pocket has a double draw string closure and a flap to ensure the opening to the bag is fully sealed and that all your belongings are protected from the harshest elements.

The bag is reinforced on the side closest to your bike so that it keeps its shape, and an internal sleeve behind the zippered inside pocket fits a laptop nicely. The main pocket itself is very roomy and I was able to carry substantial amounts gear without any problems.

The shape of the bags – wider at the top than the bottom – ensures that you won’t catch the panniers with your heels whilst pedaling. The compression straps are useful for reducing the overall size of the bags if you don’t have much gear, and are also good for attaching additional items.

Multiple pockets help you keep organized – the generous outside pocket has a neat fold over and seal flap and is a quick and easily accessible place to store goodies that you may want to access quickly without having to fully open the main compartment.  It doesn’t have a zip or fastening though, so best not to risk irreplaceable items such as your passport which would definitely be better off elsewhere.

The mesh pocket in the main compartment is extremely useful for securely storing phones, maps, or the aforementioned passport; items that you may need to access quickly but don’t want to lose. It may sound like a simple feature, but it’s a really good one – digging around in a giant bucket of a bag without pockets can really get on your nerves.

The panniers attach using Ortlieb QL2 system which is incredibly easy to use – to attach, you simply pull the carry handle and clip onto your rack, and to remove, you do the same. The handle itself is great for transporting your bags without your bike, or you can use an attachable shoulder strap if you prefer to keep your hands free.


Overall this is a top notch pannier bag.


Top notch quality. The two large reflectors are great when the light begins to fade.


Not many cons I can think of with this product!

Price: £160

Stockist: Ortlieb


Also worth a read: 

6 Healthy Bites for the Bike

10 of the Best Road Bikes for Under £1,000

8 of the Best Vintage Bike Events This Summer 


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