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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Satisfied! So far so good. The thing is light and durable. Outside pockets are dank, but barely hold anything. The inside is like a normal Ortlieb. I like it. The thing is, you have to take off the "backpack" part of the pannier before putting it on your bike. You can put it on without taking the straps off, but you risk having a stray strap strut its stuff southward, striking spokes. Something cyclists say sends shins asunder. So, stay safe.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good option for commuting I've had nothing but good experiences with this bag. I looked at several options and decided to go for this bag because I wanted something that i could load up for work / activities and be able to use as a standalone backup or on my bike rack. I also bike a fair amount with it on my back. The bag itself is basically a large waterproof bucket with an internal mesh pocket to hold small things. The outside zipper pocket isn't waterproof, but i've found it really useful to stow my lock, easy grab items, or even my dirty cleats.
Date published: 2017-05-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Lower Rack Connection Problems I just received my Vario today after doing a lot of research. The pack is good but for the lower hook. The problem is that the lower QL2.1 connection is not the same as the lower QL2.1 connection on their other panniers. If you watch the video on the QL2.1 rack connection you'll see an adjustable twist-lock for the lower rack mount. This is what I expected and wanted. However, the lower mount for the Vario is a rubber strap with a 7mm hook opening that is far too small to actually hook onto my 10mm rack frame. The upper attachment is indeed the QL2.1 and connects as promised, but this lower business is useless as delivered. It's a hardened steel hook so I'm not sure if I can spread it open far enough to catch my 10mm rack. I'm tempted to try because there are no better options available. So make sure you check you lower rack tube diameter, because even though it says it fits 10mm+ racks, the lower connection is far smaller.
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome bag, perfect for commuting. I’ve had this bag for almost a year now. Use it for commuting and running around. Not the biggest bag. In this bag I’ll leave my chrome cobra jacket, multi tool, small first aid kit, spare tire and tube, and a mini pump. That way I’m always prepared. That takes up the lower third of the bag. So there is still room for extras. The inside pocket holds my iPad and Bluetooth keyboard perfectly. I haven’t tried a laptop, i think it could accommodate a 13inch but I’d put it in a sleeve just to be safe. I love the shoulder harness that turns it into a backpack! Great bag, I’ve used messenger bags mostly and finding a pannier bag that works well on and off the bike has been tricky. But this has been the best solution I’ve seen yet.
Date published: 2017-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent bag This bag has been great. Fits everything I need to ride into work. Nicely attaches to my bike rack and had attachments to fit onto many different racks. The pack pack is also great so I can take it off the bike and carry it around easily or not attach it to the rack at all and just ride with it on my back.
Date published: 2017-05-15
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Questions & Answers

Do you need to remove the back pack shoulder straps to attach it to the bike?

Asked by: jb500
To attach the Ortlieb Vario QL2.1 Pannier to the bike, you will need to remove the shoulder straps by releasing the four snap buckles at the corners.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-10-26

Are you able to leave the backpack straps on the bag while attached to the bike?

Asked by: baggersara
To attach the Ortlieb Vario QL2.1 Pannier to the bike, you will need to remove the shoulder straps by releasing the four snap buckles at the corners.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-04-24

Is the inside of the bag waterproof? I'm looking for something I can dumb ice and beer into without it leaking. 

Asked by: Panasonicyouth04
Ortlieb panniers are basically dry bags with mounting points. The main compartment of this bag could be filled with ice without leaking although there is a laptop sleeve inside that would get wet, you'd just have to let it dry before sealing the bag for storing it. Seems like a pricey beer cooler though.
Answered by: Doug484
Date published: 2017-05-23

I am worried about the review that said the lower attachment was too small for an average sized rack. I see the hooks at the top that go over the side rails. Can you help me understand how the lower attachment mechanism works and if it is too small?

Asked by: Moongirl
The lower attachment hook adjusts in length with an upper ladder lock buckle and should attach securely to most racks.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-12-07

Is this pannier compatible with most cargo racks or do you need a special system to attach it to an average cargo rack with side rails?

Asked by: PGH89
​This pannier will fit 8, 10 and 12mm tube diameters.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-07-11

This panier seems to have a complex backpack system: so as others have asked: one removes the just the shoulder and waist straps and place the straps in a provided pocket or would the complete padding assembly snaps off?

Asked by: BicycleB4Auto
​The complete padding assembly snaps off from the back panel for it to be converted from a backpack to a pannier.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-07-23
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