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Ortlieb Vario QL2 Pannier / Backpack Evaluation

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Here’s our latest featured product: Ortlieb Vario QL2 Pannier / Backpack, one of our Panniers. Seriously, you need to check it out brought to you by Ortlieb. We give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Ortlieb Vario QL2 Pannier / Backpack

360deg View
As its name reveals, Vario is a flexible miracle of space that can be quickly converted from a convenient bike pannier into a comfortable backpack.
The waterproof Vario is made of tear and abrasion resistant nylon fabric and features a handy roll closure. It offers space for DIN A4 files and a 15.4 laptop.
Vario is available with QL3 or QL2 system for mounting to the rack. The padded carrying system with shoulder straps and adjustable sternum strap can be easily stowed away in the front pocket, and quickly and easily fixed to the rear if needed. A bike helmet can be fixed to the mounting provided on the pack.
System (?)
IP (?)
20L 49.4 oz (1.4kg) QL3 d6/w4 1700 16000
Height: 19.7 in. (50cm) Width: 11 in. (28cm) Depth: 7.9 in. (20cm) Weight: 42.3oz (1.2kg) Volume: 20L
QL2 mounting System 3D-welding 2 outer neoprene pockets (not waterproof!) Inner pocket 2 reflectors
Carrying system Helmet fixing to attach your helmet to the bad (see picture above)
Related Articles
Which Ortlieb Panniers fit on Which Bicycle Rack? Difference between the Ortlieb QL1, QL2, and QL3 systems
Additional Info
Ortlieb Vario QL2 Specs Ortlieb Vario QL2 Instructions Compare Ortlieb Pannier Specs Compare Ortlieb Materials Ortlieb IP-Symbol
Quick-Lock3 anti-theft device E 124 Padded Notebook Sleeve
Winner of the Outdoor Industry Award 2009 and Eurobike Award 2009
Top Prioduct of the Magazine RADtouren 2010
4.5 Star by www.road.cc in 2010
Milestone by the Magazine Trekking Bike 2010
Only $126.95 – Click here for details…

Panniers News Articles

Cycle Doc

Sat, 11 Jan 2014 14:42:08 -0800 I am planning my first cycling holiday. What is the best way to carry my luggage? SP, Southampton The key is to attach luggage to your bike, not to yourself. Then the answer hinges on how much kit you need. http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/ingear/2_Wheel…

On Foot in the Moroccan Mountains

Wed, 22 Jan 2014 02:45:00 -0800 There's nothing like a remote trek through Morocco to help you find freedom and peace of mindespecially when the day ends with Berber whiskey and a delicious lamb tagine. http://news.yahoo.com/foot-moroccan-mountains-1045…

Costumer helps transport 'Dangerous Liaisons' cast back in time

Wed, 08 Jan 2014 23:57:28 -0800 Amid a sea of lace, ruffles, petticoats and panniers, Rebecca Spafford seems quite at home. http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20140109/ENTERTA…

Saabs mania for perfecting the female form

Thu, 23 Jan 2014 14:26:49 -0800 Elie Saab, like a scientist in a laboratory of tulle and silk, seems to be on a quest to discover the ideal female silhouette. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Lifestyle/2014…

Bridge Results

Tue, 04 Feb 2014 08:50:00 -0800 Hereford BC: Club Championship Round 1, 1 Ben Britton and Chris Chowney 64.17%, 2 Mike Ralph and John Thacker 62.08, 3 Roman Klis and George Barrett 57.08. http://www.herefordtimes.com/sport/other/10986254….

Today’s featured item, Ortlieb Vario QL2 Pannier / Backpack, was was chosen from the category Panniers.

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  1. Reply

    Front Panniers, Yea Or No? I’m going on a long bike tour, as you probably guessed, and my backpacks are interfering with my pedals because they are so full. i could fix the problem by stacking more on top of my rear rack, or i could get front racks. i’ve heard a few suggestions that front racks should be avoided unless totally necessary, though i’ve forgotten why. so would it be better to stack my gear and have all the weight in the back, or balance it out with a pair of front racks?

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    1. Reply

      There are 2 different styles of front rack. A loaded high front rack will create an unstable steering condition, whereas a loaded low-rider front rack will stabilize your steering.
      The whole idea is to equalize and balance the whole load. I prefer to use large, low-rider, front panniers with my heavy stuff. The mid-weight stuff is loaded in mid-size, rear panniers, and the lighter stuff is on top of the rear rack. Each grouping is balanced side-to-side.
      Loading low, front panniers will change your steering characteristics, and will take a bit of practice to get used to.

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  2. Reply

    Rear Panniers? Vaude karakorum , independent advice , to buy or not buy , lot of pannier but not sure !

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    1. Reply

      I don’t know about “Vaude Karakorum”, but I have owned the Cannondale front and rear panniers for the last 18 years, and overall I’ve been satisfied with them. They are more expensive, and if you use them a lot, they will have to have to be patched and have worn out zippers replaced.

      I hardly ever use the front panniers except when I tour. I like the fact that the Cannondale bags have a frame and open from the side, so they can support camping gear or pizzas on top with bungee chords. A lot of bags have no frame, so you would have to pack them just so they can support a load on top of the rack. Top loading bags would be better for carrying long items that extent out of the bag, but the Cannondales can still do it by closing the zipper from both sides to secure the item poking out the top.

      They come on and off easily — maybe too easily. I wish there was a way to lock the bags to the frame or rack so that I could lock the zippers together with small travel locks and not have to take them off all the time to avoid theft. 4 panniers can be hard to carry with your hands. Maybe, they should be designed to carry on your back somehow?

      I used to use my rear Cannondale bags every day, but now I am in the habit of buying $5 shoulder bags at thrift stores. They are cheap, easier to carry, and are better for carrying things like glass jars and long items that extend out of the bag.

      Keep in mind that if you plan on touring like I have, 4 pannier bags may not be able to carry all your camping gear, food, tools, clothing, etc, and the bike may not be able to take the weight. In such a case, you would need a trailer or a 2nd person to help carry heavy tools and camping gear. You should have a 2nd person to split the cost of hotel rooms and for safety anyways.

      If you plan on just using hotels and restaurants when you tour, then 4 panniers should do the job; however, on my last tour, I wished I had had a tent because it can be hard when you have to make it to the next town to get a room when it’s late and dark. Hotels tend to pressure you out of the room by 11:00 A.M. anyways, so why pay for 1/2 of a nights sleep.

      I also bought the Cannondale handlebar bag and the Cannondale seat bag, but I took them back because they were so small that they were not worth it. Of course they would work if we didn’t have to worry about theft. I have lost 1 bear bell and 2 computers (I don’t know why they steal these without a mount???), proving that anything not locked or fastened gets stolen.

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  3. Reply

    Lolita Pannier? I want a lolita organdy pannier but i can’t find one. are there any stores or websites anyone suggests?

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    1. Reply

      A pannier isn’t a skirt, it’s underwear that’s meant to poof out a skirt. You’re never ever supposed to wear one without a skirt while wearing lolita. (Unless you’re doing punk lolita, then sometimes it looks okay.)
      I wouldn’t buy from cosmates, their things are generally very low quality. While that wouldn’t matter much since it’s not meant to be seen, I think that the majority of their panniers aren’t really poofy enough.
      Petticoats and panniers are basically the same thing, knowing that will hopefully help your search.
      http://www.inthestarlight.com's poof petticoat is very nice, I have one myself. It is a tad pricey for something like that though, so I would try http://www.annahousefashion.com
      Anna House’s prices are in HONG KONG DOLLARS, so after you convert them to US dollars their stuff is very nicely priced. Their shipping is a bit expensive, though, it’s probably only worth buying from there if you’re going to buy one or two other things while you’re at it to get a better deal on shipping. All their things are very nicely priced and very good quality.

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  4. Reply

    Question About Bike Panniers? If you only use one pannier, will you be off balance. Is it better to just use two but not fill them up all the way.

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    1. Reply

      Front panniers (low riders) are best used weight balanced, but unless a single rear pannier is heavy (more than 10-15 lbs / 5-7 kg) it won’t make the bike unstable. That said, balancing the weight between two panniers is preferable.

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  5. Reply

    Yamaha Thundercat Panniers? I have a 1997 yamaha thundercat i am wanting to know where i can get some side panniers for it and will they obstruct the pillion i live on yourshire uk but will pay postage and i am willing to travel to pick them up.

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    1. Reply

      The only company which makes (or made…) hard luggage that will fit a Thundercat, is Nonfango. If you can’t track down a set, you’ll just have to use some throw-over panniers instead.

      View Comment
    • Ben
    • February 12, 2014

    Bicycle Pannier Bag Suitable For Racquets? Are there any cyclists and racquet sports players out there who can recommend me a decent sized, modestly priced pannier bag for my new bike? I will need to carry two racquets (for tennis, badminton, squash) for the most part, maybe fitting one in each side. Right now I am carrying them in a rucksack which works well as I can fit two racquets in its laptop compartment but would like to have my back completely free when I ride. Has anyone else done this?

    Cheers in advance.

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  6. Reply

    Panniers For Kawasaki ER5 ? I’m going to university in a fortnight and i’m living at home 20 minutes away. So i need to get some panniers for my motorcycle to take stuff to and from. Its a Kawasaki ER5, 1998 ( i think). I’m just not sure how they are secured to the bike; do the panniers come with the fittings, are they already on the bike, or do you need to buy them separately? Also, ive found that some panniers don’t fit on certain types of bike. Can anybody help me out?
    I know what types of luggage there are for bikes, its the fittings to fasten them on im confused about

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    1. Reply

      I’ve had hard and soft panniers on various motorcycles, i would suggest hard panniers for serious touring etc, but on a small bike like the ER5, i would either go for a topbox, (security) or soft panniers, then they can be detached and taken with you into college/uni/work,soft panniers ahve a strap which secures under the seat followed by two over the seat, with bungees to keep eveything in place,

      also beingg a student, money will be important and you can pick up soft panniers for ?20-50, whereas hard panniers rails and fixings will cost you over ?100-150, and ER-5 luggage will be hard to resell, or obtain 2nd hand., its just not that kind of bike.

      ER-5, bandit 600, Katana 650

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  7. Reply

    Grocery Panniers? I am looking to get a new bicycle this summer and would like input on Panniers for Grocery Shopping. I am needing something insulated and weather resistant/proof (I live in Florida). I would be shopping for a Family so it must be able to hold a decent amount. Any ideas/suggestions would be great.
    I am looking specifically for Bicycle Panniers and don’t like the look of motorcycle bags.
    As for a trailer – I already have one and I was mainly looking for the paniers as we do our LARGE shopping at a Warehouse Club, so this is more for the items that we run out of or for going to the local farmer’s market.

    I am a SAHM of 3 kids so we go through some thing quickly at times

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    1. Reply

      I have an old white Blackburn pannier in my basement I’ll sell you for $1 + $25 shipping. It is just a standard pannier. You can buy bags, or strap crates to it; or whatever. It think it looks cool when city girls have crates on the back of their bikes. It is just a nice condition white pannier I pulled off of a girl’s bike I bought for parts. Blackburn racks are popular, and expensive. I believe about $40-$70 new. email me if you are interested. paypal, or money order.

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  8. Reply

    Best Motorcycle Panniers For Camping? I have a suzuki GSX750w naked bike. and need to find the right saddlebags or panniers that will suit for camping gear and tent for week tour. thanks
    yes i have had a look on e bay and googled it but still have no idea which are best for my bike or which are most suitable for camping. but thanks for your answer
    haha cheers for that rottendog. but i think i’ll give that one a miss ?
    thanks to dimo J for your answer i might end up doing just that. the exhaust is a c*nt right enough. cheers
    thanks boglin , although that was about as helpfull as tits on a bull… if black bin liners were an option for me i wouldnt have postede the question

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    1. Reply

      Nice looking bike, but that upswept exhaust will really interfer with your right side pannier. And, as far as I could tell with a quick web search, no one makes panniers for you. You might consider making your own brackets and mounting whatever strikes you as being big enough.

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