I'll often use just one bag but adding the second one is beneficial for balance. These bags are so easy to put on and take off, seal contents completely and carry a lot of stuff! Here in Michigan, I will pick up deposit cans & bottles while cycling secondary roads (10 cents each) and use one bag for such while clothing & tools occupy the other bag. I just turned in 240 cans at the grocery store. Not a bad return for cycling the countryside, while enjoying the scenery and the healthy exercise.
Have used several times now. First use was on a multi-day mountain bike-packing trip. Wet, rough trail with a lot of brush overgrowth. Lots of bike pushing due to poor trail conditions. But, through all the overgrowth hitting these panniers and the very wet, rainy conditions, I never once had a problem with these panniers. They stayed put on my rack until I wanted to remove them, and the contents stayed dry inside. No complaints. Worth the price.
Ortliebs are large, durable, reflective, and waterproof. That's the good.
The less good...
With no outside pockets, you have to open and dig in your big bag to find even the small oft-needed items. The bag is so deep and dark that it's hard to find them. (And the small items go to the bottom.) There are two internal pockets at the bottom but I haven't yet found them useful.
This inconvenience is compounded by the roll up and clip closure method. Like a dry bag, works great for waterproof-ness (as long as you do it right and don't overfill) but with the shoulder strap also needing to be unsecured on the clip at the bottom outside of the bag, just opening and closing takes a while. So, overall, getting & stowing things quickly is not a strength of this no-outside-pockets design! Use some other bag for oft-needed items.
Rubberized waterproof-ness is a double edged sword. Great for keeping water out while it's closed but... What about when you have to open it (open side up) in the rain or when your stuff is already wet from camping in rain? You're just gonna' hold all that moisture inside for good! Indeed, this happened on my first tour with these.
I recommend setting the adjustable rack clips as wide apart as your rack will allow. My friend had hers narrowly set and, with the weight, the black bar with the clips bent and the edges of the bag started drooping outward.
Haven't really gotten the point with the shoulder straps yet... Most of the time, it just seems to be in the way and make it harder to open and close. But, without them to hold the outsides ends of the top-roll down, I'm not sure I can safely lose 'em. I want to carry them by the handles - but they don't seem strong enough for a heavy full bag. Are they just meant to unlatch the rack clips?
Commuting daily in the Pacific Northwest, there are Ortlieb panniers as far as the eye can see, and for good reason. These are simply the best in terms of durability and design. I have used these panniers for my commute, bikepacking trips, grocery runs, and have yet to find a purpose in which they fail. Setting them up does require some thought and patience since not all rear racks are created equal (I had to invert the adjustable rail to fit my Blackburn rack), but once installed, they are a breeze to get on and off. If you are looking for a quality pannier with an amazing warranty (5years), look no further. These are more than a worthy investment.
Arrived exactly as planned. Used this product for multi day trip. easily fitted what I wanted. Was less of a hassle than I though to gain access throughout the day. Never moved from installed location. Have not had yet the opportunity to try in heavy rain but I am confident ! Since some colleagues bought the same !
Really great, straightforward and versatile bags. Should work on most racks, comes with adjustable sizing if your rack is more thick or thin metal. Love not wearing a back pack or messenger bag on longer non-commutes, planning some future camping rides.
It's hard to beat these rugged, waterproof bags. The lower latch really gives tremendous flexibility, I've mounted these to four different racksbikes without any problems. Having started with the old straphook system twenty years ago, the mounting system is well worth the price. But I can't say I'm thrilled with the hook inserts - kinda of a pain to install, and I suspect that over the years they'll disappear. As someone else suggested, I did one ride leaving the inserts off and because I strapped a tent on top of the rack anyway, the bags didn't rattle and were still secure. Highly recommended.
I have used the panner bags ... I like them .. they come off & on easy ... the locking system seems to work well... I road 12mi pouring rain & all my gear inside was dry ... I was impressed... great equipment...
Ortlieb brand was highly recommended by my local bike shop. After several months of using these I am in complete agreement. I commute to work almost every day. Bags are easy to install and remove from my rack. Lots of room inside. I have been caught in the rain and everything inside stayed nice and dry. The carrying strap makes it easy to carry a bag over the shoulder.
I have used Front Rollers in the past and just acquired the Back Rollers for this year's journey. Completely watertight when rolled correctly, easy to mountun-mount, and huge capacity ... mine are visible yellow.
Im able to fit enough clothes and personal supplies for 7 days between the two of these. They are easy to put on the bike and to take off to carry with you. Very happy with this purchase.
I bought these bags to use primarily for commuting to work and they have already proven their worth - easy to attach and detach from the rack, easy to adjust position on rack (so your heels don't hit). The bags are well made and the waterproofing is so necessary. Looking forward to taking these bags camping!
I got these panniers to hold my backpack and work wear. It is very hot in the summer and a backpack leaves your back very sweaty. Theses bags hold everything you could need for commuting or shopping.