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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 18 Dec 2011
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Ortlieb Drybags

Hi All.
I want to buy a large Ortlieb drybag. The choice seems to be between the 89ltr rack pack, which opens right along the length of the bag and has decent handles; the 49ltr rack pack, same features as above; the 59ltr motorcycle dry bag, which seems to only open at one end. I'd prefer a rack pack but the 49ltr I believe will be too small and the 89ltr too big. I intend to keep my tent, sleeping gear (bag and thermarest), cooking gear and any other camping gear in there.
So, I'd appreciate comments and advice from anyone who's used any of these bags to try and determine whether the smaller sizes are likely to have enough room and whether the motorcycle drybag is easy enough to use compared to the rack pack. To put things in perspective I will also have the Ortlieb 47ltr throw over panniers and will be trying to travel light.
Thanks in advance,

Geoff
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  #2  
Old 18 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentbiker View Post
Hi All.
I want to buy a large Ortlieb drybag. The choice seems to be between the 89ltr rack pack, which opens right along the length of the bag and has decent handles; the 49ltr rack pack, same features as above; the 59ltr motorcycle dry bag, which seems to only open at one end. I'd prefer a rack pack but the 49ltr I believe will be too small and the 89ltr too big. I intend to keep my tent, sleeping gear (bag and thermarest), cooking gear and any other camping gear in there.
So, I'd appreciate comments and advice from anyone who's used any of these bags to try and determine whether the smaller sizes are likely to have enough room and whether the motorcycle drybag is easy enough to use compared to the rack pack. To put things in perspective I will also have the Ortlieb 47ltr throw over panniers and will be trying to travel light.
Thanks in advance,

Geoff
Geoff,
I have the dry bag but have never used the rack pack. I bought the dry bag because "the smaller the opening the less chance of leaking" was one consideration. I have no idea what capacity my bag is (I have had it for a few years) but it gives great service and it really does keep the water out.
I compartmentalize bags in any case so I don't rely on a single one to remain dry always; hence I prefer to have a few smaller bags rather than one large one.
As a point, I don't mix a tent in there with anything else on the basis that the tent gets wet and is wet while travelling. I usually carry the tent in a tank bag (which it fits so long as the poles are separate). This works for me because the tent is the first thing up and the last thing to come down, with all packing and un-packing done inside the tent whenever it is hissing down.
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  #3  
Old 18 Dec 2011
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I used the 89l bag last Summer, and it was an excellent bag - 100% waterproof, fantastic construction, very useful. Having full access to the bag was VERY useful. I kept my cooking gear in a Pannier; that way, I wouldn't have to unhook and open the bag every time I wanted a little food . . . . .

However, I sold it with a view to buying the 49l bag for future use. I have a small-ish tent, a large mat (I like to be comfy!), a medium camping chair and a medium sleeping bag. There was room for all this and more. And there's the rub - I kept finding things to put in it! With a little re-think, the 49l would be large enough AND I wouldn't keep overloading the back of the bike! Getting access tp the bag is much easier with the full top opening as opposed to a small top opening.
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Old 19 Dec 2011
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Hi there - I have both... I started with the 89lt bag (second hand from some people here) and took it to Russia and back. It rained most of the trip and stayed totally waterproof - I loved how big the access was as it made it so easy to get my tent, sleeping bag, mat etc in there.

After the Russia trip I made a concerted effort to reduce my gear and the size of my gear - to the point where the 89lt bag (by this time I'd replaced it with a brand new one from Les at Traveldri Plus) was just too big.

I got the 49lt job (red this time - again from Les) and it's just right for me now - it does stop me over-loading the bike (ish).

The 89lt bag is great if I don't want to pop the panniers on if I'm just going away for the week down to the Pyranees, and the 49lt is perfect if I'm heading further afield and just want something big enough for the camping gear.

I hope that helps. Actually whilst I'm on 'reducing your pack size' - can I hearty recommend that you replace your thermarest (I don't want to start a holy war here people!) with an exped down mat (Traveldri Plus) which packs up a great deal smaller than the thermorest and many of us (but not all) find it more comfortable as well.

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  #5  
Old 19 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentbiker View Post
I intend to keep my tent, sleeping gear (bag and thermarest), cooking gear and any other camping gear in there.

Geoff
Don't place anything in a dry bag that's wet, unless you want everything packed with it wet as well. Tents can become wet from a heavy dew, pack the tent separate from everything else.

A 'Sham Wow' does a purdy good job of wiping down a wet tent and soaking up rain water.

ShamWow (Full Length) - YouTube

daryl
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  #6  
Old 19 Dec 2011
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Ortlieb drybags

Thanks for all the comments.
As I said, It's a shame they don't do the rolltop bag in 59ltrs but it looks like the 49ltr will be the best option. Given that I'll have the 47ltr panniers and a small topbox, I think it ought to be big enough. Comments about a wet tent in with other gear are noted. I have thought about getting a small drybag just for the tent so as to avoid contaminating other gear.
I'm not too sure about replacing the thermarest as it's brand new (gulp) but as I'll be doing plenty of test runs before the biggie, I'll have plenty of time to evaluate it.
dlh62c, I just loved the ShamWow video! They're available in the UK via Amazon and I think I might just get one.
Thanks to all for the helpful comments, any others are welcome. I'm about to post on the camping section to ask about tents. Any of your opinions on that will be most welcome too.

Geoff
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Old 19 Dec 2011
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I love my 89 ltr bag, it is huge, I can bung all my bike gear in it when I get to a location, and wack a padlock over it, and I never run out of space, however temptation to take to much, so I'll be getting the 49 ltr for next trip. The 89ltr means I have to take it off to get into my panniers (also ortleib). I put wet tent in a thin drysack within the ortleib to stop other kit getting wet.


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Old 19 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern View Post
I love my 89 ltr bag, it is huge, I can bung all my bike gear in it when I get to a location, and wack a padlock over it, and I never run out of space, however temptation to take to much, so I'll be getting the 49 ltr for next trip. The 89ltr means I have to take it off to get into my panniers (also ortleib). I put wet tent in a thin drysack within the ortleib to stop other kit getting wet.


Love black as it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, however, it can get really really hot in the summer sun. :-0
Hi Fern.
Your comments and experience seem to mirror other peoples'. It looking more and more like the 49ltr rackpack.

Geoff
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Old 20 Dec 2011
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Aside from wanting everything to match why not try another make? I got this 60l bag



from Overboard which would seem to be exactly what you are looking for, and which doesn't clash with your Ortleibs too badly. The quality is excellent, delivery is amazingly quick, 2 days from ordering to arrival and the makers very friendly if you ever need to ring them. And I think it's cheaper too.
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Old 20 Dec 2011
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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
Aside from wanting everything to match why not try another make? I got this 60l bag



from Overboard which would seem to be exactly what you are looking for, and which doesn't clash with your Ortleibs too badly. The quality is excellent, delivery is amazingly quick, 2 days from ordering to arrival and the makers very friendly if you ever need to ring them. And I think it's cheaper too.
Hi Alex.
That's a great suggestion and matches what I want perfectly. I don't care about it matching the panniers, I don't ride a Harley. Saving a bit of money is always good too. Thanks.
Geoff
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Old 20 Dec 2011
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Mind you, if you had these from Ortlieb they would match.

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Old 21 Dec 2011
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Mind you, if you had these from Ortlieb they would match.
Blimey Alex, what capacity are those panniers? They look huge! Or is it just the camera angle?
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  #13  
Old 21 Dec 2011
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+1 for the 49 litre rack pack. An excellent piece of kit.

I have used the X-plorer as well previously however the thinner roll-top opening is a pain when you need to get to the bottom of your kit. Therefore I would go for the rack pack as first preference.
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  #14  
Old 21 Dec 2011
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Decision made

Thanks for all your help on this guys. I've now bought the bag recommended by Alex, a few pennies change from £50, so cheaper than the others.
I also lucked onto a set of the 47ltr Ortlieb panniers on Ebay at £116 inc. postage so I got those too.
All I want to sort out now is a top box but I'm in no rush for that just yet.
Thanks once again,

Geoff
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