ORTLIEB present the brand new Seat-Pack QR saddle bag and surprise with a new and innovative attachment mechanism. The promise: absolutely waterproof and offering full trail suitability. Is there something to this concept or does hooking on the saddle rail turn out to be too fiddly? We found out for you!
Finally, the work’s over, heading for the weekend, finally biking! The week has dragged on like a chewing gum and you’ve spent every evening tweaking your route and optimizing your gear. You weighed everything, packed it up, unpacked again and stowed back in the bags just a bit better than before. Your bike and you can’t wait to finally head out into nature, your retreat and freedom! The new saddlebag was a gift for your birthday and gave you quite a thrill at home with an impressively low weight with a surprisingly high packing volume. But now this question creeps up: already after the first ride it starts rockingfrom side to side like a small barge in rough seas, just in the safety of your saddle, right behind your buttocks . No matter how tight you pull the straps, the rocking and dancing doesn’t stop – even though you hear no music playing – and accompanies you the whole trip. Your legitimate question after the tour is: With the now really large range of bikepacking bags and equipment, is there no solution that could offer more stability?
The ORTLIEB Seat-Pack QR bag in detail
The answer from Bavaria is: Yes, there is! It comes from the house of ORTLIEB, is sustainably produced in Germany and is called the Seat-Pack QR. In addition to the already available Handlebar-Pack QR, the industry giant has also released a Quick Release version of the PVC-free, one-piece saddle bag, which has a volume of 13 l and is now available for € 159.99. The new bag is designed to accompany you on all upcoming adventures, whether on your gravel bike over the dirt roads, road bike over the Alps or mountain bike over some rougher trails. The good news for all riders with a dropper post under the bum: the Seat-Pack QR bag is also compatible with hydraulic seatposts thanks to an adapter. The required adapters are included in the scope of delivery and require only 4.3 cm space on the post. As you’ve come to expect from ORTLIEB, the bag should protect your belongings from moisture with the well-known roll closure even in heavy rain showers and can be mounted and dismounted within seconds thanks to the Seat-Lock fastening system. Through the construction which usesa stiffener inside the bag, four compression straps and a valve to release the air, ORTLIEB promise a compact and stable bag, which can carry a load of up to 5 kg, regardless of how much you put inside. Does this new concept work?
The ORTLIEB Seat-Pack QR bag in the test
In terms of build quality, reliability and durability, ORTLIEB have been a standard against which many other bag manufacturers have measured themselves for years. And also the new Seat-Pack QR bag convinces already when you have it in yourhand with a perfect manufacturing and a great feel. The reflective elements on the bottom and the reflective logo are useful safety features that do not interfere in any way with the design and appearance of the bag, which is kept in black. On the scale, the needle stops at a proud 628 g, making the saddlebag one of the heaviest models on the market.
When packing, care should be taken to stow the heavy items as close to the inside as possible and on the side facing the seatpost, leaving enough space to roll up the roll closure 3-4 times. This is the only way to ensure that dust and moisture cannot get inside the bag. Due to the internal stiffening, the bag retains its shape even with many smaller items inside and does not sag. When trying to attach the bag to the bike, we encounter resistance and do not manage to mate the Seat-Pack QR and Fizik saddle. What are we doing wrong? After checking with the manufacturer, it turns out that the bag is unfortunately not compatible with all saddle rails and should best be tested directly on the bike at the local dealer before making a purchase, because there may be problems, especially with models from the house Fizik and Brooks. Too bad, especially for the die-hard Brooks fans, who have adapted their saddles over thousands of kilometers to the anatomy of their bottoms, and are highly unlikely to switch to another saddle. The manufacturer also advises against attaching the saddle bag to seatposts or saddles manufactured in carbon.
Depending on the load and the resulting lever, the position of the mounting hooks can be moved a scale of from 3 to 5 kg to provide the most rigid connection with the bike. Without going into too much detail in terms of physics here and completely confusing you with the little knowledge we have, we can tell you that the system is absolutely ingenious, and in combination with the mounting hooks and the compression straps we can without a shadow of a doubt say that we’ve never had a saddlebag on our bikes that would come close to the tight fit this one offers and we had quite a number of bags on our bikes for the bikepacking bags encyclopedia! Nothing wobbles, shakes or swings here, no matter the load, no matter the surface. Even if the trail gets so steep and rough that you have to walk the bike down, the bag still won’t budge.Really impressive!
Our conclusion on the ORTLIEB Seat-Pack QR
There’s stable, more stable, a whole lot of nothing, and finally you reach the ORTLIEB Seat-Pack QR stable. If you’re looking for a really tight-fitting saddlebag that doesn’t move a millimeter on the trail, you’ll find the perfect partner in the new ORTLIEB bag. When you get into routine, you can mount it and dismount it within seconds thanks to the Quick Release system. The saddlebag convinces with a great finish and remains unimpressed even by the pouring rain. Only the lack of compatibility with certain saddle models and the relatively high weight cloud the otherwise flawless test impression.
- bombproof saddlebag, even on the roughest trails
- great processing quality
- absolutely waterproof
- fast mounting and dismounting
- dropper post compatible
- good compression possibilities and stable form
- lack of compatibility with certain saddle models
- relatively high weight
More information on the ORTLIEB Seat-Pack QR at ortlieb.com
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of GRAN FONDO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality cycling journalism. Click here to learn more.
Words & Photos: