Ortlieb’s Back-Roller Classic is a 20-litre, waterproof polyester rear-mount pannier that boasts something of a classic design. These shiny, colourful German-made bags have become ubiquitous among cycle tourists and commuters alike.
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As the name suggests, the Back-Roller Classic uses a kayaking-style drybag closure system. Fill your pannier, then roll the top over three to four times (a hard strip of plastic at the top of the rear panel helps with roll integrity.)
A strap with a clip is then pulled tight over the top of the roll. You can secure further by attaching the shoulder strap to a clip on the front or, if you’re not using the shoulder strap, by locking the two clips atop the bag.
Ortlieb’s QuickLock 2.1 system is simple to use: lift the pannier by the handle attached to the hooks and they open; drop them over your rack and they close. (You get three inserts for different-sized rack tubing.)
You can adjust the width of the hooks by lifting a plastic clip and sliding left and right. A lower rack hook is also adjustable. Lift the handle and the panniers are released.
Each Back-Roller weighs 950g and is rated to take a 9kg payload. An internal pocket will take a laptop and also has a little zipped mesh pocket for the small stuff you need quickly.
The rear of the pannier is protected by a thin plastic card. Crucially, the hardwearing polyurethane material with welded seams, combined with the roll closure, means these panniers are waterproof.