Last week we received our first big delivery of the new and updated BikePacking range from ORTLIEB, for the most part, it's just a colourway refresh - doing away with the classic Slate and replacing it with a nice Matte Black which is very reminiscent of the Limited Edition BikePacking Range from a few years ago.
But for some products it’s not just a fresh colourway - ORTLIEB has added a few improvements which have been lead by feedback from riders using their products out in the wild, and presumably some instagram’ers because - you, know, that’s the world we live in now.
BikePacking Frame-Pack and Frame-Pack Toptube
Firstly, following rider feedback the zipped access point for the bags has been switched to the drive-side of the bag. Typically, riders will place their bike on the ground or up against a wall with the drivetrain facing away from a surface meaning previously, the access was from the often inaccessible side of the bike which made it a little bit of a nuisance to get to anything inside those bags.
Easily fixed and the aforementioned Instragram’ers will approve of this one as it will make their photos look a little nicer.
But the big update is that all these top tube affixing bags now feature a channel which the top tube sits in - this now allows for bikes with cables running along under the top tube and the strapping points have been improved with more fixing points so that you can move the straps to other locations on the bag to avoid any on frame obstacles.
ORTLIEB has made some minor improvements to the Handlebar-Pack, they have added little toggles to the purge valve which will help open them when you need to release the air trapped inside the bag as you roll to close it.
Also, a small Cam Lock has been added to the stabilizing strap which extends around the top of your headtube which will make it easier to release.
The BikePacking Seat-Pack has a few new tricks, firstly, the smaller of the two Seat-Packs (the 11-litre version) now features the same bungee cord webbing as the larger version - previously this webbing was only featured on the larger bag. The cam locks on both sizes have been improved to further improve their durability and finally, a small toggle has been added to the purge valve which should make them easier to handle and operate.
ORTLIEB has also slightly further reinforced the front of the bag to help minimise sway - the principle being that if the bag is firmer at the point it meets the saddle then there isn't much scope for the bag to compress and expand creating a swinging motion whilst on the go.
There are also two new products to their BikePacking collection, a new roll closing Frame-Pack Toptube bag and a new Fork-Pack. The Frame-Pack Toptube RC isn’t all that different from the regular version but features a roll closing top rather a TIZIP secured zipper down the side of the bag.
The new BikePacking Fork-Pack however, is interesting, it comes with its own new Quick-Lock S adapter system which can mount to the eyelets on your fork or onto bottle cage mounts - this pack weighs practically nothing at less than 300g with the fitting system but provides just over 3 litres of additional storage.