« on: March 11, 2005, 03:41:42 am »
I've only done two self-contained tours: northern tier in 2002 and the great divide from Mexico to Jasper in 2004. Before the northern tier I bought my first set of panniers, Ortlieb Back Rollers (2441 cu/in). Then for the great divide bought the Ortlieb Front Rollers (1526 cu/in) to even out the weight on the bike. With close to 7000 miles (2,500 off road) on the back rollers there has never been any sort of problem with them. In the 3,200 miles of mostly off road travel with the front rollers there has never been a problem either. I've seen lots of rain, especially on the great divide and everything stayed completely dry. More time riding and less time worring about your gear. I was so confident in them that I didn't need to worry at all during heavy rains that the down bag and tent might get wet. The attachment system is such that they cannot come off while riding even the roughest of roads yet are easy to pop off at camp. Coming out of two days of rain on the great divide before Steamboat Springs the bikes and panniers were covered in mud. The first bike shop we saw, Ski Haus, had a hose outside that we used to hose the bikes and bags. We popped off the panniers and gave a thourough high pressure soak while leaving the contents safely dry inside. I've also used them at camp to do laundry in. Throw in the clothes, add soap and water, roll closed and shake vigorously, repeat, add fresh water for the rinse cycle.....clean clothes. I like having one large opening and use smaller nylon bags to organize my stuff.
Negatives might be the price but with the supurb attachment system, excellent reliability, and complete protection from the elements I feel it's worth it.
True, I've never used any other brands but how the Ortliebs have performed and lasted I'm sold.