Manija Noori

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Ortlieb has recently announced the launch of a new saddle bag model that features a 13-litre capacity within the bag and includes additional exterior storage, precisely imagined for bikepacking. The updated bag has been designed for riders who need to carry some extra necessities without having to carry or put all the weight in a backpack.

Whether a rider is commuting in the city, on a bike tour in rural areas or even around the world, Ortlieb bike bags and backpacks may be suitable for any individual that wants to make the most of their biking adventure, regardless of the weather conditions. Ortlieb presents its product as reliable, durable, waterproof, sustainable and a simple concept that makes them easy to use. Overall, a bold claim from Ortlieb on its saddle bag, though its long-term durability and easy-to-use vision remain unknown and not factual.

It started with one man and his mother's sewing machine

In 1982, Hartmut Ortlieb founded Ortlieb in Nuremberg, Germany. The first products to be marketed were hand-made on Hartmut mother's sewing machine. Products include dry bags, and bicycle panniers made from truck tarps due to their waterproof material. These prototypes were then tested by Hartmut himself and his friends on bicycle tours that they organised themselves. Hartmut was the first to introduce the concept of waterproof equipment as it was unavailable at the time. Hartmut's simple concept demonstrates how a small business can deliver innovation which leads to a product used worldwide.

A tightly sealed closure system currently characterises the design concept of Ortlieb products to prevent any item from falling out or getting damaged. The type of closure systems include roll closures, waterproof zippers, Velcro closures and sliding seal closures. All these design features are protected by patents making Ortlieb's products unique to its brand.

These identical products are designed by a quality team towards the requirement of the market and the demands of the users. Sustainability is perhaps the biggest role in Ortlieb's work life and production. The German company is an active member of various interest organisations and working groups, one of them being an active member of the EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association) since 2008. The initiative allows them to invest in projects preserving the environment and nature reserves worldwide.

The new design concept

Ortlieb's saddle bag model focused its design on those who want to do bikepacking. Bikepacking planning is not straightforward and requires the rider to be as minimalistic as possible whilst also carrying what is needed to get them through the days/weeks/months on the road. The rider would ultimately like to travel small and light yet still be equipped with all the essentials to keep a successful itinerary.

Ortlieb has paid close attention to the detailing and features of the new saddle bag 'zero-sway' design. Weighing at just 625g, a key component of this lightweight bag is that it is constructed to be fully waterproof. To optimise space for riders, the saddle bag incorporates a valve used to deflate the excess air from the bag and compression straps to roll everything up tightly. Looking at the bag's exterior, it has an additional component of an elastic cord fastener to be able to store extra necessities such as a cycling gilet.

The quick-release saddle bag retails for £155 and is now available for order.

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Manija Noori 04/07/22