These saddle bags deliver 52-liters of waterproof storage, and install or detach from the bike in under a minute with three simple integrated straps—one to go around the tail light or license plate bracket; and two others to lasso around passenger pegs.
And all that functionality comes at a great price, with the quality one should expect from product made in Germany.
The easy-to-load bags feature a waterproof roll-top closure that keeps your gear dry and clean no matter what's happening outside. They feature a rigid back and a molded plastic plate that runs from the front, along the bottom and up the back of the bags, giving them shape and structure even when empty. Inside you'll find a zippered organizer for holding documents or small parts, but other than that the bulk of the substantial bag interior is completely open and ready for all your overnight touring needs. Each bag is fastened by a simple roll-top that's fastened by two clips—simply get a roll or two to help keep water out, clip the ends down, and go. There's a centrally positioned strap on each bag with a clip to help keep everything locked down tight.
And in a pinch the bags can be left open, and each one will comfortably accommodate a full brown paper grocery bag—providing car-less city dwellers with a means to get to the supermarket and back without the humiliation of taking a bus.
The design works with most bike designs, although those with higher pipes might want to check out the Ortlieb Speedbags, which offer slightly less volume (46 liters) but loads of extra clearance. Both options feature large 3M reflective panels for added nighttime visibility.
The main thick Velcro positioning straps are designed for a passenger to be able to sit on top of comfortably, without the need for a rack or stays—although a rack certainly helps keep the bags out of the wheels. And speaking of safety, one of our only qualms with these bags is that the excess strap retention could be a bit better thought-out. Take care that the excess strap is tethered properly and away from moving parts.
Otherwise we've got very little to complain about with these bags, except they've been hard to keep in stock.
*Note: Since we started carrying these bags in 2015 Touratech has since taken over the license to produce Ortlieb Moto Bags. All bags now come with the double-triangle Touratech logo, as show in the first photo, and the last few photos. Otherwise the bags' construction and details remain 100% the same as ever, built in the same German factory as the original bags.