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Dry bag-style packpacks?

Anyone have any experience w/ a dry bag-style backpack, like the Ortlieb Velocity and similar? Not sure where on the waterproofness-cost curve I want to land.
2015-04-30 09:31:45
I've had an Ortlieb pannier for a couple of years and have been happy with their ability to keep water out; the top of the bag rolls up and provides a pretty effective barrier. I can see this not quite working if you're overloaded and don't have quite enough fabric for the roll. It sure beat my previous bag which used velcro + flap. Ortliebs are expensive; they make you buy two at a time. I would say that on the whole the price/performance is reasonable. A caveat: I use my bike a lot and always have a bag on it (like your typical commuter). At this point a couple pieces of plastic have broken off (a clasp and the stay retainer). Their on-line spare-part prices are actually reasonable, but have yet to organize myself to buy them. (The bag remains quite usable.) Also: whatever you get be sure to try it with your rack. Amazingly, this stuff is not all that standardized...
2015-04-30 14:02:36
As far as backpacks go, I've only got experience with the (pricey) Chrome Ivan. I like it a great deal...the roll-top main compartment has never allowed rain to sully my dainties, and the completely separate large laptop compartment keeps my electronics from bathing in dirty clothes funk or lunchbox crumbs. I usually carry my office clothes and lunchbox in the main compartment, and a laptop + tablet + cables in the separate slot, plus random commuter accessories (like my rain cape) in the non-waterproof exterior pockets. It's held up well for two years of regular use..a little grungy, but nothing has given way.
2015-04-30 14:22:45
I used an Ortlieb backpack for a while, before going to panniers. It was wonderfully waterproof and very comfortable. The surface that rides on your back has these high-density foam rib things that keep the backpack from plastering to you and getting super hot. A down side to the Ortlieb pack for me was that it's just a big, cavernous waterproof sack, just like their panniers. For a backpack, I would have liked some compartments. Also, my Ortlieb pack has nowhere to clip a blinky.
2015-05-01 06:30:19
I noticed that. Think I'm going to go with one of the smaller Banjo Bros bags.
2015-05-01 07:59:23
If you already have Ortlieb rolltop panniers, a pretty awesome solution is to check out the backpack converter. It has regular backpack straps and clips on to the regular pannier. I'm super into it. I got mine at Thick for maybe 35-ish bucks? here's a link
2015-05-01 09:30:02
@Ahlir - I had the clips on the side of my Ortlieb bag break recently, and they sent me replacements for free when I called customer service. I think the warranty on the bags in five years, so if yours are pretty new you should just give them a call - they were very helpful.
2015-05-01 09:50:41
Arkel has some rolltop backpack offerings now: They have a lifetime warranty and I've had good experiences with their warranty service. I own four panniers from them Also made in Canada
2015-05-02 13:40:23
I have a banjo brothers commuter backpack and really dig it. I love the side pockets. It's got a light loop, and easy mounting for a phone holster. It's a bit heavy, but I don't have any issues with my gear getting wet and it's held up to daily use for 2 year or so. On the other hand, I have a friend selling a used ortleib messenger backpack for $65. PM me for details if you're in to that idea and I'll put you in touch with him.
2015-05-04 12:19:55
Has the replaceable liner caused any issues?
2015-05-04 12:34:59
No problems with the liner on my banjo bros bag. Liner is secured around the top with velcro, never shifts around or anything. It's pretty thick, so it's not the lightest liner, but mine hasn't had any holes punched in it from my tools or any of the other junk in my bag. If you do puncture the liner, it's cheap to replace, but I havn't had to mess with it. My only complaint is that I wish the straps were a bit longer, but I can fix that with a few bucks worth of webbing and some new buckles. If you want some extra pockets, all city and banjo bros made a bag together which is a few bucks more than the standard commuter pack, but has more external pockets and cargo straps.
2015-05-04 12:43:06