beardo help...rollers or packers?

following on from the swift vs ortleib thread, I want some panniers, ortleibs I reckon. I’m suffering a bit of analysis paralysis about which ones. Uses will be commuting in all Melbourne weathers (change of clothes, lunch, laptop sometimes) maybe some shop trips. Read a few other forums and opinions seem divided.

So packers or rollers…pros & cons…firm opinions welcome.


i’ve had rollers and about to get packers. time will tell. ask blakey.

ooooooh, I feel like I can almost comment on this with some kind of authority having used both recently AND having asked Blakey first!!

I used Katie lansells rollers for about 6 weeks when I was commuting from montmorency earlier this year, but ended up buying the packers when the time came to buy my own.

reasons for my decision were based on blakeys findings:

1- unless putting ice in them or crossing rivers, the packers are waterproof enough (I rode home last Monday in that downpour & my laptop & other contents were bone dry.)
2- the additional outer pocket makes finding essentials that little bit easier (trying to find things in the in the dark whilst camping with the rollers was a little frustrating.) that said, yet to camp with the packers.
3- they’re not very different in terms of volume (based on my use, haven’t actually checked their volume.)
4- Blakey chose packers for himself, so I followed suit (baaaaaaa).


1- not as tough as the rollers I don’t think (though only a little)
2- the studs that hold the framework to the bag have worn a hole through the inner pouch after being wedged against my diary each day. kind of annoying.
3- when really full, the outer pocket can become quite tricky to close/pack properly.

that’s all I got for ya.

I think my beard just grew a coupla cms…

Rollers. In case you have to cross a river.

Packers. I also added some of the small external outer pockets to mine. One for tools and the outher for toiletries. Ortlieb Accessories for Panniers, Packs and Handlebar Bags
They are detachable and makes life a bit easier. No digging for tools when you have a problem etc.

I’ve got rollers, but I’d buy packers now if I needed some

but you never know…

(never had water up to the roll though)

Anything hard against something else that’s subject to vibration will wear. Don’t wedge!

I prefer Packers over Rollers for the reasons mentioned above, and you can still ford a river with them, just not submerged. (either way, you’ve just ruined your hubs & BB). You can’t use them as flotation aids or chillybins though.

My packers are the old sport packer plus, with a zippered mesh pocket on the outside, it’s better than the new style.

Fabric wise, Plus (laminated cordura, lighter, QL2 mount) > Classic (PVC fabric, QL1 mount).

If you’re not carrying a ton, maybe go Sport Packer over Bike Packer (30L vs 40L). Less floppy empty pannier that way (Protip, stash one pannier in the other, if you need to carry more stuff than what you can fit in one, pull the second out.)

You’ll be using a Tubus rack yeah?

Finally, have you considered Ortlieb’s series of office bags/backpacks?

Thanks AB, Rolly, Mike, Asher, Lyndon.

I hadn’t considered the smaller sport ones but…currently I get everything I regularly need in a 20 litre Deuter backpack (just). When I’m carrying more stuff (like at exam/assignment marking time) I use the train but would rather bike it all the time. This is mostly about just carrying the day’s stuff to/from the bike storage & showers the office. I took a quick look at the office bag/briefcase ones but I don’t really live the briefcase life or go to off-site meetings much (if I do I usually go to my office first anyway).

Haven’t made the rack decision yet. I have a Lezyne one coming for my son’s bike, will use that as a guide to figuring out mounting with my crazy dropouts.

In the world of non custom (and many custom) racks, Tubus > everything. Lighter, stronger, often cheaper.

The ortlieb briefcase is a bit naff, and if you don’t have to carry the bag far, maybe the backpack/citybiker style isn’t required.

If you want to do a test run for a week or so with my bike / sport packer plus’, holla, I can drop them off in the city for you.

If you want to do a test run for a week or so with my bike / sport packer plus’, holla, I can drop them off in the city for you.

Cool, ta. Shall PM.

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^cheap for ortlieb beeteedubs.