Bikepacking has become more and more popular in Germany for several years now. Myself, I’ve had a taste for it for a long time and since the beginning of 2016 I’ve been almost exclusively using bikepacking bags.
The well-known bag manufacturer, Ortlieb from Heilsbronn, also has bikepacking bags on offer. From my experience Ortlieb bags are very reliable and therefore my expectations for Ortlieb bikepacking gear were also very high.
The complete Ortlieb Bikepacking bags set I have already put through its paces. In this post we go into detail again and you will learn everything worth knowing in the Ortlieb Seat Pack Test.
Quick overview: Ortlieb Seat Pack
What are the great features of the Ortlieb Seat Pack Bikepacking saddle bag?
✅ Saddlebag holds steady and barely swings
✅ large space offer
✅ practical valve
❌ A future harness solution would be ideal
Weight (according to manufacturer): 456 grams in size L and 325 grams in size
Volume: 16.5L in size L and 11L in size M
A complete Ortlieb Bikepacking set consists of the following bags:
- Seat-Pack for the seat post (size L or M) – Read on for the review of the Ortlieb Seat-Pack.
- Frame Pack Frame Bag or Frame Pack Top Tube.
- Handlebar pack for the handlebar (size M and S)
- Cockpit Pack
- Accessories bag
- Gravel Pack
In an existing article I have already tested the complete bag set from Ortlieb in detail. If you are specifically interested in the bikepacking saddlebag, then best read on here.
In the test: Ortlieb Seat-Pack L Bikepacking saddle bag
The Ortlieb logo is proudly emblazoned with “ORTLIEB WATERPROOF”.
As with the classic bike panniers from the German manufacturer, the bikepacking bags are also waterproof.
The material used for this is waterproof nylon fabric. All zippers of the Ortlieb Bikepacking bags are waterproof.
The Ortlieb Seat-Pack bag has a large roll closure over which the saddle bag is filled. You should then roll it over at least three times. Then also the Seat Pack is waterproof.
Volume – Ortlieb Bikepacking Saddle Bag
The Ortlieb Saddle Bag is available in two different sizes:
- Ortlieb Seat Pack L: This size is ideal for most bike riders and bikepackers. It has a volume of 8 to 16.5 liters. This makes it suitable for weekend trips as well as tours lasting several weeks.
- Ortlieb Seat Pack M: The bag is slightly smaller and has a volume of 11 liters. Therefore the bag is suitable for day trips.
- Note: There are “only” these two sizes. A size S is not available.
Especially the large Seat Pack L with its volume of up to 16.5 liters seems enormous at first glance!
For most bikepacking adventures you will be happy about the big volume – believe me 😉
I pack in the bag most of the time:
- Small multitool, washing kit, first aid kit, underwear and socks
- Clothes for sleeping: underwear, T-shirts, trekking pants, down jacket, down sleeping bag
- Cycling gear: Windbreaker
I also show my complete bikepacking packing list in another post.
It stays tight to hold: With the clever roll closure you can determine the volume of the bag. If you roll the bag further then you make it smaller.
If you fully pack the bag with your 16.5 liters then it points steeply upwards: Like a rocket attached to the back of your saddle.
The ride feel is still very good even with the bag fully loaded: Ortlieb has reinforced the bag in key places so that swinging of the bag is minimized. So that the bag sticks nicely behind your saddle, you should pack somewhat heavier objects best at the very bottom of the bag.
You want to take less with you on your Gravel tour: The bag rolls up further, making it smaller. Just make sure you don’t make it too small or it won’t keep its shape.
Mounting & Loading – Ortlieb Bikepacking Saddle Bag Review
At first glance, attaching the bag seems complicated. After practicing a few times, the assembly is then done within a few seconds:
The bag is fixed to the seat post with velcro and to the saddle with clips. Like The Material, the fixing elements appear very high quality and robust.
Properly loaded, the bag holds firmly behind the saddle and doesn’t sway or bob.
Even after quite a few tours in now 2 years, there are only a few signs of wear on the bags besides dirt.
When packing the Seat Pack then reveals its true size! In the narrow area directly on the saddle I pack first socks and underwear, followed by small and heavy items such as the multitool.
Then the creation of the Seatpost Bag is filled and it follows clothes, odds and ends, washing stuff and my sleeping bag. Usually there is still room for a little extra luggage or some snacks.
Once the bag is packed, it can be rolled up to close it and fixed with the clips on the right and left.
- Special feature 1 – valve: I particularly like the side-mounted valve. If the bag is closed, then through the valve the remaining air can be pressed out of the bag. When all the air has escaped, the valve is closed again. Thus, the bag can be packed very compactly.
- Special feature 2 – Elastic band: The elastic band is attached to the top of the bag. It’s really handy for carrying light stuff while driving. It is suitable for transporting a dirty jacket, for example.
- Special feature 3 – accessory slots: Practical slots are attached to the seatpack at the rear. Accessories such as a light can be attached here. This is especially handy because we as bikepackers use as known every millimeter on the wheel from 🙂
If the Seatpack is particularly heavily loaded, then a support belt can also be attached here. From my practical experience, I think this belt is rather unnecessary. A properly packed seatpack tends to stick up even when fully loaded.
Experience and summary
Ortlieb Bikepacking saddle bag buy – yes or no?
Even after 2 years of intensive use the Seat Pack continues to inspire me. You notice the experience of the manufacturer: Ortlieb bags are well thought out and shine through the waterproof and robust design..
This also applies to the Seatpack. As special extra is the vent valve to highlight: This allows the bag to be packed more compactly than comparable bags.
I am also looking forward to the next years with the bag and can’t wait to ride the next trail with her on the bike!
✅ One of the largest bikepacking saddlebags on the market: The 16.5 liters I find ideal and often use them fully. If you are more minimalistic, Ortlieb offers the smaller version (Seat Pack M with 11 liters).
✅ Simple and thoughtful assembly: After a short familiarization, the bag is quickly attached. I use it for touring and also almost daily for commuting.
✅ The valve, for easy venting of the bag: So compact you hardly get another saddlebag
❌ The Seatpack is very close to the perfect solution. For the future a harness solution like from Revelate-Design or Topeak would be a possible improvement
The Ortlieb Seat Pack is part of the Ortlieb Bikepacking bag set. All Ortlieb Bikepacking bags with their advantages and disadvantages are presented in detail in the test.