Just as a few of the original bikepacking bags arrived at my house in time for summer gravel adventures, I was at Sea Otter checking out Ortlieb’s all new bikepacking lineup for next year. The German brand made a few tweaks to existing product in order to render them more mountain bike friendly, while adding other bags for those that still prefer the gravel route.
If heading out for a longer trip or maybe a winter adventure that requires more gear, the Ortlieb Gravel-Pack ($170 for a pair) is your bikepacking specific pannier. Made from the same abrasion-resistant honeycomb nylon material as the current bags in the lineup, the Gravel-Pack is lighter (1160 grams or 40.9 ounces for the pair) than a typical touring pannier yet still fully waterproof.
You get 25 liters of storage space between the two panniers and two hooks at the back for securing the bags to your rack — an extra level of security for riding over rough roads. The Gravel-Pack set will start shipping later this fall.
For 2018, Ortlieb took the feedback from those who bikepack on their mountain bikes and downsized both the Seat-Pack and the Handlebar-Pack. The new Seat-Pack M ($145) offers 11 liters of storage as opposed to the current 16.5 liters and a single Velcro attachment makes it more dropper post friendly. The Handlebar-Pack S ($125) shrunk to 9 liters at 15.7 inches wide and 6.7 inches in diameter.
New to the lineup is the Frame-Pack Top Tube ($135) for those riding a full suspension mountain bike or for those who still want access to their bottle cages. At just 4 liters, it will hold a few easy access essentials like a rain jacket and some extra snacks.
Finally, Ortlieb added the Cockpit-Pack ($55), a small, less-than-a-liter waterproof bag that sits on your top tube to hold your phone and snacks to eat on the go.