The Ortlieb Handlebar-Pack QR is a rackless 11-litre capacity IP64-rated bar bag for bikepacking that uses a new cord-based quick-release clamp system, allowing you to quickly remove the bag, leaving no bracket behind.
Functionally, the Ortlieb Handlebar-Pack QR (no catchy names here) is more like a traditional saddle bag than a modern bikepacking bar bag, opting for a cavernous single sack, rather than a harness with a separate stuff sack.
It is also much larger and less solid compared to old-school bar bags, such as Ortlieb’s classic Ultimate Six.
The bag costs £125/$160 and is available now.
How does the Ortlieb Bar-Lock system work?
The Ortlieb Handlebar-Pack QR is the first bag to use the brand’s new Bar-Lock system.
This system attaches the bag to a bike via two cords – which Ortlieb calls ‘ropes’. These are affixed to the plastic cradle bolted to the back of the bag that hugs the bar. The cords then wrap around the stem before securing on the mount.
Both cords are length-adjustable and are fixed in place with a locking knob.
Once adjusted to length, one of the cords loops around the bike’s stem and simply hooks onto the mount.
The other cord has a cammed plate – which Ortlieb dubs the closure lever – attached to the end of it. This slots into a groove on the plate and, when clamped down, secures everything.
If that slightly unwieldy explanation didn’t make much sense, I suggest you turn to Ortlieb’s video for a demonstration.
We’ve been fiddling around with the bag for a few weeks and, while it definitely takes a bit of effort to get it set up the first time, it’s a fairly painless affair once you get your head around how it works.
The whole setup is similar-ish to the longstanding Rixen Kaul KlickFix bracket, though in this case, the bracket is fixed to your bag, so it isn’t left behind when removed.
The bag will work with all common bar clamp diameters, from 25.4mm right up to 35mm, and is rated to carry up to 5kg.
Ortlieb only recommended running the bar bag on alloy bars. According to a press briefing we have seen, this is because any grit or dirt between the clamp and bar face could damage the bars.
What size is the Ortlieb Handlebar-Pack QR?
The Ortlieb Handlebar-Pack QR has space for up to 11 litres of stuff and measures roughly 32cm wide when loaded (though it will bulge a bit if you over-stuff it). Ortlieb says the bag will work with drop bars sized 40cm and above.
Given this bag is more likely to be used with gravel bikes, which typically have bars wider than 40cm, most riders should have sufficient space to fit the bag to their bike.
There are two additional side pockets on either side of the bag. These are stretchy enough to easily fit in even a spare bottle if you so wish.
Straps run from the clamp on the back of the bag, around the base and onto the front. This helps cinch everything down if you have a particularly bulky load, though an internal plastic stiffener also helps maintain the bag’s structure.
Two straps also sit inside the bag to secure loads internally.
An additional internal accessory bag is also available.
Is Ortlieb’s Handlebar-Pack QR waterproof?
All of Ortlieb’s bags are constructed using its seam-welded PVC-free PU-coated nylon fabric. It is only available in the black/grey finish pictured.
It is IP64 rated, meaning it is dustproof and ‘splashproof’. Realistically, this means your stuff will stay dry in the very wettest downpours but the bag is not fully submersible due to the roll-top closure.
The bag is available now for £125/$160 (EU pricing TBC). Stay tuned for a full review on BikeRadar in the near future.