Ortlieb make some of the best bike packing bags available including the ultra tough, totally weatherproof Seat-Pack we’ve also tested. The Seat-Pack QR takes that base design and adds a fast attachment removal system that’s also dropper post compatible and tire rub proofed. The extra convenience adds significant weight and cost over conventional competitors though.
The basic design is the same chopped off cone as the majority of saddle packs, but Ortlieb’s heavyweight PS21R and PS33 fabrics make it tougher than most. Full seam sealing and the roll-the-top-over-and-clip-it-shut design that Ortlieb pioneered on bike bags make it totally waterproof too. In fact, it’s so airtight that Ortlieb fit a pressure release button so you can vent trapped air and squish it smaller. Twin compression straps both sides and an extra strap that wraps up and over the rear of the bag roll make it easier to squish too. The rear of the bag also gets a ‘daisy chain’ loop strip for attaching belt clipped rear lights and it’s got reflective patches on as well. The two compression straps also hold a plastic mud flap/tire rub protector that stretches along the underside of the bag. There’s an internal stiffener on the top side and bolted to that externally is the clever ‘Seat Lock’ quick-release stuff.
This is a large hard plastic plate with a center cut out and two side tracks which the seat clamp mechanism can slide along. Once positioned, you flip open the hooks using the side levers, sit any metal saddle rail (it’s not cleared for use with carbon rails) into the cradle and then pull the hooks back across with the side levers and tighten them with the two front compression straps.
You then wrap the thick hook and loop strap at the front around the seatpost and pull it tight so it sits against the molded dent on the front of the mounting plate.
To be honest I’m not sure why I've written all that because I’ve made things sound really complicated when actually the ‘Seat Lock’ is very simple to use – as long as your saddle rails are within the following Ortlieb constraints:
“1. The saddle rails must have a bend of at least 34 degrees. 2. The seat post clamp must be at least 13mm from the middle of the bend in the saddle rail. There must also be at least 13mm from the middle of the bend to where the rail connects to the back of the saddle. 3. The bottom edge of the saddle (at the side) must be at least 14mm higher than the bottom edge of the saddle rail.”
It won’t work with odd rail shapes, old school coil-sprung saddles or electronic seat posts (where the battery will get in the way) either.
Otherwise, once you’ve adjusted the rail clamps to get the bag as close as possible to the seatpost and bolted the sliders in position, it only takes a few seconds to clip the bag or unclip it. That’s really useful if you tend to remove your bag a lot when bike packing or commuting. The 13L capacity sits between the two conventional Ortlieb Seat Pack options at 11L and 16.5L. The two compression straps mean you can run it with much less in and it still won’t wobble about. The upper and lower stiffening plates help stability too and as the mount is bolted on it can be replaced if its gets damaged.
Having the replaceable tire protector strip can save the bag from getting chewed up if you occasionally get contact when using with a dropped dropper. The bag does hang lower than a normal strap on pack though, so it won’t fit safely on some small frames/low saddle/big wheel/rear suspension set-ups. On the subject of safety, the rear wrap strap runs directly up and over the reflective patches and light mounts which is a weird oversight from the normally super thorough Germans.
Rear strap glitch aside, the Seat-Pack QR is a really well designed, if typically overbuilt clip on/off convenience alternative to Ortlieb’s conventional packs. It’s got the same Teutonic toughness, bombproof waterproofing and excellent back up as those bags too. It’s actually 50g lighter than Ortlieb claim, but that’s still 100g heavier than their conventional 16.5L bag and 220g heavier than the 11L. Apidura and Alpkit’s seat packs are even lighter and cheaper too, so the QR convenience comes at a serious weight and cost penalty if you don’t need it.
Tech specs: Ortlieb Seat-Pack QR
- Price: £160.00 / €165.00
- Sizes: 11L only
- Options: Black only
- Weight: 570g