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Verdict: 
Very well made saddle bag with bonus night visibility; not cheap but a good investment
Weight: 
330g
Contact: 
www.lyon.co.uk

If you like a big saddlebag for your long rides then Ortlieb's 2.7l roll-top Saddle-bag High Visibility is definitely worth considering, especially if you'll be riding at night.

Made from waterproof polyurethane-coated Cordura fabric, the whole surface of the bag is interwoven with a reflective yarn. That gives it a spotty appearance in daylight, but after dark it really shines in car headlights and you can see it from the sides as well as the rear.

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There's no organisation inside, it's just a big space: big enough for a couple of spare tubes, some tools, a rain jacket and some snacks. If you're not filling it as full as that then the roll-top closure lets you pack it down a bit smaller. That closure also keeps everything dry; Ortlieb rate it as IP64 (dustproof and splashproof), but in use I've never found any water inside.

The saddlebag uses a quick-release plate to attach to your saddle, and a Velcro strap goes around the seatpost to keep it steady. If you run your saddle a long way forward on the seatpost you might struggle to get the mount on the rails, so bear that in mind if that's your setup. Once the mount is in place it's a five-second job to remove or replace the bag, and it stays put, with very little moving about even on rough roads. If the mount won't work for you there's also a set of straps, available separately, so you can fix the bag in place in the more traditional style.

In use, I didn't have any problems with the bag – no hitting my legs on it, which is always a worry with larger packs. It's easy to fit and remove, and capable of swallowing enough stuff for an all-day epic. It would be a pretty good option for your mountain bike too; there's lots of space for a big tube and it also acts as a rudimentary ass-saver, keeping the worst of the rear tyre spray off your shorts and jersey.

There are two solid loops on the exterior of the Ortlieb, one on the top and one on the bottom. I didn't find either particularly useful for fitting a light, as they ended up pointing directly up or down, but you could fashion a right-angled bracket, or use them to lash a bit of extra stuff to the bag if the 2.7l capacity isn't quite enough.

The bag certainly isn't cheap at £62, especially when you consider that you can have a 20l Back Roller City pannier from Ortlieb for about £13 more. But it is good at its job, built to last and a useful bit of extra night visibility.

Verdict

Very well made saddle bag with bonus night visibility; not cheap but a good investment

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Ortlieb Saddle-Bag High Visibility

Size tested: Black - 2.7L

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Ortlieb say: "High visibility is so important to us at ORTLIEB because it is a matter of safety. The black waterproof, polyurethane-coated Cordura fabric of this bag are densely interwoven with high-luminosity reflective yarn. This composition turns the entire bag into an eminently visible reflector when it is picked up in the headlights of passing cars.

The popular Saddle-Bag L shines like a star under your saddle. The bag's entire surface is reflective, giving you a crucial degree of added safety by increasing your detectability in the headlights of passing cars. With its 2.7 liter payload, the largest of the ORTLIEB Saddle-Bags offers you plenty of space for a spare tube, a tool kit, a rain jacket and light refreshments."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

* Saddle-Bag with roll closure made of reflective fabric

* Waterproof Saddle-Bag for mountain, road or touring bikes

* PVC-free reflective fabric

* Increased visibility when hit by headlights due to highly visible reflective fabric in black

* Size L provides enough space for a jacket and the necessary small items (alternative to the backpack)

* Snap lock for quick fitting and removal

* Reliable waterproof roll closure with D-rings for additional bracing and locking

* Highly effective Scotchlite reflector ensures safety in the dark

* On bikes without mudguards the bag shields the rider from splash - to a certain extent

* Snap lock is adjustable and can easily get attached to different saddles

* Saddle Bag meets all requirements of the VELOTECH test, review board for bicycle technic

* Fixing system is also available as an accessory (e.g. for a second bike)

* Velcro tape suitable for seat posts up to 34,9 mm (e.g. foldable bike Birdy)

* Fastening straps for spring-mounted saddles, where the snap lock cannot be used (optional accessory)

Contents: Saddlebag with mounting set

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

A very good option for a day ride.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Well made, waterproof, reflectives work well.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Pricey, mount doesn't fit all saddle positions.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 189cm  Weight: 91kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

12 comments

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morseykayak [67 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Pricing seems off. £40 tops.

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GREGJONES [299 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

That's a bit dear, you can get a Carradice of similar quality for less.

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bobinski [305 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

This is similar to the Rapha backpack I think where the reflective material or beading really stands out in car lights. I agree about pricing. Almost makes the Rapha seem reasonably priced for what is a much more complex piece of kit. And one that often drops to about £100 in the sales which is how I got mine  4

Avatar
bobinski [305 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

This is similar to the Rapha backpack I think where the reflective material or beading really stands out in car lights. I agree about pricing. Almost makes the Rapha seem reasonably priced for what is a much more complex piece of kit. And one that often drops to about £100 in the sales which is how I got mine  4

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G-bitch [330 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Be interesting to see if 'street' price comes in lower - great bags for long rides and the reflective element a bonus for audax type purposes.

*Edit - just google'd... sod that, it's double the price!

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Andrewwd [40 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
GREGJONES wrote:

That's a bit dear, you can get a Carradice of similar quality for less.

Carradice used to make a very similar bag with a roll top called the Glentress...but they no longer do. I have one and it's great, 100% waterproof. Uses the SQR system. Pity it was discontinued because I would recommend it.

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mduncombe [16 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Me and the wife have the non high vis versions of these and they are good bags for long rides, work really well and are good sized for long days. I only use mine occasionally but its great being able to use the same mount as the microbag from ortlieb and just stick which ever bag on suits the days riding.

My wife uses hers all the time on her road bike and has been for the last 4 years. Quality bag, will last ages.

the non his vis version I think is sub £35 for the same size.

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Nick0 [189 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Sod this. Buy British; Carradice, made oop north by some lads and lasses and the envy of the world.

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alsothings [35 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

I've got the non-high viz version (it was about half the price of this one a couple years ago) and I have to say it's a great saddle bag. I also use the micro size (I think it's a 0.5L capacity) as my minimal roadie bag. Handy as they both use the same QR fitting.

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Spiny [63 posts] 4 years ago
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The high viz beads are a great idea, but the problem I have with seat packs in general is that they leave less room on the seat post. I like to run a couple of lights plus a reflector on the post & worry about these being obscured.

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alotronic [633 posts] 4 years ago
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Ahhhh, seat post bags and saddle bags.... I have the non-reflective version of this and it is excellent. You can strap all sorts of thinks on top of the little rear shelf (like a jacket). Found it big enough for up to about 12 hours. No way to get a light on it so I bodged a mount for my exposure flash to get it under the seat and also run a cateye on a chainstay mount.

I also have a 2l carradice which I just bung on the brooks for shorter rides and a Nelson long-flap for 300km+ where I want to not be bothered repacking into small spaces - it just swallows everything.

So while I like my carradices I think these will appeal to people with a less traditional aesthetic. You see A LOT of these (non reflective versions) on Audax rides on the more modern bicycles.

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bdsl [201 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
Nick0 wrote:

Sod this. Buy British; Carradice, made oop north by some lads and lasses and the envy of the world.

Why buy British? You know the more we buy from Germany the more pounds they will have available to buy British things in return. Although unfortunately a substantial part of our exports are financial services and military equipment, neither of which I particularly want to support.