Author Topic: Ortlieb or Arkel?  (Read 5100 times)

Cedric

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Ortlieb or Arkel?
« on: September 15, 2011, 03:08:30 PM »
Dear all,

Please, advise to what brand you have the most loyalty?

The more positive posts for any of them for that I would go.
What prevented me from Purchasing Arkel at once that I saw several posts that Ortlieb could be more waterproof then Arkel and may be cheaper (Arkel prices are shown directly on their website and for Ortlieb I have not found yet).

Thanks,

Cedric
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 03:18:45 PM by Cedric »

bobs

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Re: Ortlieb or Arkel?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 03:56:25 PM »
Ortlieb.


Bob

Lemming

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Re: Ortlieb or Arkel?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 06:21:08 PM »
Ortleib.

Not 100% waterproof - in torrential rain, water will find its way through the screwed rivets that hold the rack mounts, but this is very, very minor, and a lot more will get in when you open the pannier to get something out!

kwkirby01

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Re: Ortlieb or Arkel?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 10:41:55 PM »
Given the price of Arkel in the UK and its limited retail availability, I'd expect Ortlieb to get most votes.

I use Ortleib panniers and am  happy with them, but they don't have pockets - an Ortlieb pannier is essentially a large, sealed, single compartment bag.

I've looked at Arkel kit in one of the London bike shops and it is very well made with many pockets and places to put stuff. Of course, this means it isn't completely waterproof. However, the main compartment of their more expensive models has a waterproof main compartment, and with the waterproof cover fitted I doubt there is much difference between it and Ortlieb.

If money were no object, I'd very seriously consider a set of Arkel panniers.

Kevin
Kevin K. Glasgow

il padrone

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Re: Ortlieb or Arkel?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2011, 01:26:08 PM »
Ortlieb, for the complete wterproofing and their simplicity.

If you need pockets, the new ones include an inner slit-pocket and you can buy clip-on rear pockets, as I have, that are also completely waterproof. Wiggle and bike24 are good value suppliers to buy themfrom.

Danneaux

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Re: Ortlieb or Arkel?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 05:01:48 AM »
Ortlieb, now that I am figuring them out.

My new Packer-series (BikePacker rear, Sport Packer front, in cordura "Plus" fabric purchased 2011) have fabric caps over the double-drawstring closures at the tops of the bags.  If you fill the bags just to the top of the hooks, then use the drawstrings, the cap-tops serve as secondary pockets.

Bonus! 

I often shed and add clothing throughout the day (wind jacket, lightweight fleece or wool over-jersey, tights, arm/leg warmers, etc.) and these now tuck neatly under the top-caps.  They'll stay dry in most circumstances, but it is little extra effort to stuff them into small nylon drysacks before tucking them under the caps.  I store my off-bike shoes this way (a pair of nylon mesh Merrell "Breeze" clogs).  At last, I've got quick access to my rotating daily clothes selection and I can respond quickly if I get overheated on a hill or a cold front rolls in while I am riding.  For me, this makes the Packers more attractive than the Rollers, plus the rolled part seemed like a lot of extra weight/unused fabric when it was er, "rolled".  I can see the advantages of the roller design, however, and may well wish I had them come wet/winter touring, when I lay my bike on its side at rest stops (Click-Stand to the rescue, 'soon as my new Sherpa arrives and I can take accurate measurements).

Also, wrt the Ortlieb inner envelope pockets...if you put stuff in them and then fill the bags, it is devilishly hard to access those same slim pockets.  I've found a far better solution is to flip the inner pockets up, fill the main compartments, and then lay the pockets atop the load in the panniers.  That way, you can access the pocket contents without having to dig; just open the lid and there you are.  Great for first aid kits, etc.  The pockets can also be folded under/in half, essentially making two main pockets and one additional zippered mesh pocket right under the lid.  Pretty much solves all previous objections I had wrt to Ortliebs having "no" pockets -- they do, just well-disguised.  Add the Packers' cap-top "pocket" to the folded-over envelope pocket with the zippered mesh compartment, and each bag has essentially four pockets plus the main "bag". 

My current-model rear BikePackers each have an additional formal outside box pocket with roller-fold lid that is tensioned shut with the compression straps, adding two more pockets per pair.  For what its worth, I keep my toilet paper in one of these, and it stays both handy and dry.

I also have a second pair of mounting hooks on each rear bag as well as a second set of the stabilizer "fins".  They further stabilize the rear bags and keep them from rattling, and are a nice way to store spares that can be pressed into service on any of the four bags I carry; a great way to carry spare bag hardware without eating into storage space.  Makes theft a little less convenient as well, and if I should fall/slide enough to break even a pair of hooks on one entire side, I will still have a complete set of spares ready to go.

I always, always, always use external nylon webbing compression straps with all my panniers, putting one vertically and another horizontally around the bags.  Mine deploy and release easily thanks to Fastex buckles, and completely address the issue of second-order vibrations, making the load silent and life much easier for the racks, hooks, and fins on rocky tracks and extreme trails.  Handling is improved as well and yes...there is that added bit of trouble for someone wishing to open or remove a bag to steal the contents.  Go to:  http://giantloopmoto.blogspot.com/search?q=daniel+wood  and you can just make out the compression straps I used on my front bags (an old set of rear Kirtland TourPak panniers mounted on Thorn Low-Loader Mark V front racks on my Miyata 1000LT) on last year's ride.  The rear bags are ones I made, and I didn't use compression straps on them but wished I had.  You'll also see how I had to tuck my shed clothing under my rack-load straps so it would be handy when needed.  All this is much neater looking and secure against rain when tucked under the Ortlieb Packer top-caps (see photo).  The same panniers and racks shown on the Miyata in the photo will be transferred to my new Sherpa when it arrives and I expect the load to be arranged in a similar fashion.

Hope this helps,

Dan.
Eugene, OR -- USA

Danneaux

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Re: Ortlieb or Arkel?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 06:46:48 AM »
Cedric,

As a further data point, when I was looking to replace my 30+ year old panniers (the urethane coating had long since worn off and what remained had turned unbelievably smelly as it degraded),  I was in the same quandary as you...and looking to save money as well.  I was lucky to catch a sale at REI.com, and the front Ortlieb SportPackers ended up costing me only USD$74 with my applied REI co-op member dividend and a generous sale discount.  The rear bags were discounted 20% also, making the overall cost within reach at last.  Frankly, I had not thought Ortliebs to be within my price range until then, and had planned to remake my old bags on the sewing machine, using new fabric and transferring the hardware.  It is fair to say the cost savings due to a sale was the deciding factor in moving me toward Ortliebs, though I had long admired them.  Here, such things often go on sale at the end of a season and just before the touring season.  When new models or colors are introduced, old stock is discounted heavily.  Last spring, one local store offered 25% off a pair of new but very dusty Ortlieb BikePackers simply because the store decided to get away from the touring market and concentrate on road and mountain bikes.  If you don't need panniers immediately, you may well find them on sale come April or May.

As for the handlebar bag, I netted the large Ortlieb Ultimate 5 Plus (Cordura fabric) for USD$99 because it had sat unsold on the dealer shelf for awhile compared to the more popular and colorful medium size at USD$10 more.  The large is only available in black (matched the black panels on my Ortlieb Packer Plus panniers), but weighs only 20 grams more than the medium size and has far more room inside and larger mesh side pockets.  The large has the same dimensions as the medium but is about 5.8cm deeper front-to-back and 1.5 liters greater in capacity.  I am happy with the choice I made...and the welcome savings in price!  I think it would be easy to overload the larger size Ortlieb handlebar bag, but for my needs it was ideal, as I plan to use the extra room inside to carry bulky but light items like a wind jacket and a sun hat to wear under my helmet on really hot days. I can say the removable foam "X-divider" in the Ortlieb HB hag is one of the handiest innovations I've tried, and I love it.  I also found I really needed the large size to carry what I needed/wanted while on tour, and on day trips I will happily just fill it part way.  There is also an inside, zippered pocket and a little plastic clip to hold keys.  The mount is a clever thing using a piece of tensioned coated stainless steel cable to secure the main mount to the bike; the bag itself then releases and reattaches quickly to that mount.  There is a keyed lock on the mount that is of dubious value, since the lid of the bag can be unsnapped by any thief and the contents stolen with ease.  It makes little difference to me, as I always keep my papers, money, credit cards and ID in the HB bag and remove the bag and take it with me whenever I leave the bike.  I store it in the unzippered tail cone of my tent when I sleep.

Though you are outside the US, it might still be worth looking at US firms for the occasional sale price.  Even with postage and customs duties, it might represent a savings, especially when considering the US/Euro exchange rate.  A sale might tip the scales one way or the other for you.

There is another factor to consider with any brand...

At home, I can repack my food items so they take minimum space in the panniers.  On the road, this is not always possible.  Often, only canned goods are available at small stores where smaller and lighter vacuum-sealed foil pouches are not.  Packaging takes up a lot of room, and cannot always be discarded at the grocery store.   Fresh fruit and vegetables can be bulky, as can fresh-baked bread.  Sometimes I need to add a water bladder or bottles and extra fuel for dry, unsupported remote stretches.  Because of this, I have found it helpful to buy panniers with more room than I need/want for most purposes so I will have room to carry things I did not expect. Compression straps take up the extra room and prevent rattles.  I still take a pocket-sized, lightweight folding backpack for those items that simply will *not* fit until I eat them.  It adds only 70 grams and has proven its worth more than once when I wanted, say, a bunch of grapes for dessert or several ears of fresh corn that would not have fit in the panniers otherwise.  I once bought a small watermelon at a country store, and it tasted wonderful at camp a couple hours down the road.  Having that little bit of extra room made it possible.

As for waterproofness, I've had good luck using light-duty urethane-coated nylon roll-top dry sacks in my panniers, and before that, zip-lock bags and heavy duty bin liners of the sort used in kitchen trash compactors.  It rained when I toured Belgium and The Netherlands, and my things stayed remarkably dry, even in panniers that had lost their waterproof coating.  Even my sleeping bag remained completely dry in a stuff sack lined with a bin liner whose top was rolled shut Ortlieb-style.  They don't last forever, but the bin liners worked fine for my five weeks in Europe.

Best,

Dan.
Eugene, Oregon -- USA

JimK

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Re: Ortlieb or Arkel?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2011, 12:58:53 PM »
That watermelon sounds delicious!

Cedric

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Re: Ortlieb or Arkel?
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 03:27:39 PM »
Dear all,

Thanks for answering!

Dan,

It was a thorough study, :) it really took me several times to read it, as English is not my native.

So, most of you voted for Ortlieb. I tried to sear for a couple of stores in Germany (closer to me) and was quite surprised that Ortlieb comes not so far from Arkel in terms of cost?

Can you advice to me some stores in UK (I have possibilities to pick it up in UK).

Thanks,

Oleksandr

neil_p

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Re: Ortlieb or Arkel?
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2011, 03:54:28 PM »
Dear all,

Thanks for answering!

Dan,

It was a thorough study, :) it really took me several times to read it, as English is not my native.

So, most of you voted for Ortlieb. I tried to sear for a couple of stores in Germany (closer to me) and was quite surprised that Ortlieb comes not so far from Arkel in terms of cost?

Can you advice to me some stores in UK (I have possibilities to pick it up in UK).

Thanks,

Oleksandr

Try online store (wiggle.co.uk)... very good prices, deliver to europe. You can set their website to show Euros, german language and delivery prices to germany. Great!