Ortlieb Velocity Backpack 2.5 Year Review

26 05 2010

My Ortlieb Velocity showing a bit of wear and tear...

Read my initial thoughts about this bag from early 2008 here and my 5 month update here.

This backpack has become my “go to” bag for most of my day to day backpack needs.

This is why:

  • 20L size is perfect for most loads
  • roll top closure lets you carry large odd sized items [bike fork] by leaving top open
  • waterproof bag makes it a no brainer when you want to carry a laptop in the rain
  • PVC fabric is very rugged
  • simple design is easy to use
  • fits well and is comfy even with a moderately heavy load
  • back of bag ventilates well

The bag it has displaced is an aging Camelback Transalp which was my favourite bag for years.  Interestingly the Transalp featured many small pockets to organize my stuff.  I figured the fact the Velocity is a simple bag with only a small organizing pocket might be a problem…as it turns out that’s not an issue and I rarely wish I had more pockets.

If you need a medium sized backpack and you care about waterproofness and durability this is a good bag to consider.

The excess belt straps req'd a ghetto DIY solution...

Stuff I don’t like:

  • basic black goes with anything, but some reflective material like Ortlieb puts on their panniers would make me happier riding late at night.
  • every bag made for cyclists should have a simple cloth tab to allow you to easily attach a red blinky…come on that isn’t rocket science.
  • the removable organizer pocket is handy, but it can slap around inside the bag making an irritating sound with every step you take…an extra snap at the bottom or some velcro would cure that issue.
  • the bag has a waist belt that is rarely needed due to the moderate size of the bag.  This belt comes with two plastic clips to manage the excess strap ends when the belt isn’t being used.  They were made of brittle plastic are broke early on requiring me to resort to a ghetto tape solution.  A sewn on velcro strap on each side would solve the problem while looking nice and lasting as long as you have the bag.

BTW – if you like what you see, but need more than 20L of capacity Ortlieb sells two larger bags similar to the Velocity.  I’m keen on getting the Messenger Bag Pro…I’m just waiting for one to cross my path on sale!