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Ortlieb Back Roller Reviews Summary and Buyer's Guide

Last updated July 3, 2019

based on 107 reviews

We have checked tens of reviews and found 9 reasons to buy the Back Roller - and 2 reasons NOT to buy it.

Check all the pros and cons here.

89% of the reviewers give the Ortlieb Back Roller a good or excellent rating!

Excellent (75%)
Good (14%)
Average (3%)
Poor (4%)
Bad (1%)


Reviews Summary

Here's what the reviewers think about the Ortlieb Back Roller:

Reviewers like these things about the Ortlieb Back Roller

  • According to users, the Ortlieb Back Roller is very clearly designed for repeated use on long, demanding rides.
  • Other users pointed out that it has set a precedent for waterproofing, capacity, and bombproof construction.
  • Testers noted that the bag has all the features that we would look for in a well-thought-out pannier design.
  • Reviewers mentioned that the bag is a true cyclist's pannier.
  • They noticed that it utilized a very secure hook-and-latch style mounting hardware that is expected to see on user-friendly touring models.
  • Users said that the attaching of things on this pack is easy.
  • Other reviewers also found that the hook located at the bottom is straightforward to adjust on the fly and didn't require any tools to tighten completely.
  • According to some reviewers, its roll-top design provides a degree of over-packing to place more gear for emergencies.
  • Testers noted that the bag holds gear exceptionally well.

Reviewers don't like these things

  • A tester had an issue with the mounting hardware of the bag.
  • A reviewer thought that it should have some thicker webbing on the handle and closure and more robust mounting hardware.


Crowdsourced specs across all Ortlieb Back Roller models and sizes:

Weight iconWeight1.7-4.85 oz (0.8-2.2 kg)
Length iconLength9-18 in (23-46 cm)
Width7-14 in (18-36 cm)
Height5-17 in (13-43 cm)

The bag is recommended for these activities:


Popular Models

Ortlieb Back Roller Classic

70% choose the Ortlieb Back Roller Classic

70 %
Colors and combinations:


Weight iconWeight4.2 oz (1.9 kg)
Length iconLength13.5 in (34 cm)
Width7 in (18 cm)
Height17 in (43 cm)

Ortlieb Back Roller Plus

20% choose the Ortlieb Back Roller Plus

20 %
Colors and combinations:


Weight iconWeight3.7 oz (1.7 kg)
Length iconLength9 in (23 cm)
Width7 in (18 cm)
Height17 in (43 cm)

Ortlieb Back Roller City

10% choose the Ortlieb Back Roller City

10 %
Colors and combinations:


Ortlieb Back Roller classic vs Back Roller plus

The two most popular Ortlieb Back Roller models are the Back Roller classic and the Back Roller plus, so let's compare them:

The Back Roller classic
Ortlieb Back Roller Classic

The Back Roller plus
Ortlieb Back Roller Plus

Popularity and Prices

In total, 90% of the people interested in the Ortlieb Back Roller bags choose one of these two models. The most popular choice is the Back Roller classic which is choosen by 70% (3.5 times as many as the 20% that choose the Back Roller plus).

Back Roller classicBack Roller plus
Most popular

Looking at the prices, the Back Roller classic is typically around $30 cheaper than the Back Roller plus, but check the deals before you buy.

Back Roller classicBack Roller plus

Weight and dimensions

The weight of the Back Roller classic is 0.5 kg (17.6 oz) higher than the weight of the Back Roller plus.

Back Roller classicBack Roller plus

If we look at dimensions, both the Back Roller classic and the Back Roller plus has the same length (13.5 in). Both bags are the same width (7 in), while the height is the same (both 17 in).

Features and Colors

Both models are available in black, blue and red. Only the Back Roller classic is available in orange and yellow. Only the Back Roller plus is available in green.

Feature Summary

Many sources mention these Ortlieb Back Roller features:
  • Reflective
  • Waterproof

Some sources also mention these features:
  • Water resistant

Actual features depends on the model, so check the features before you buy.


vs Ortlieb Bags

The Ortlieb Back Roller ranks #1 compared with the other Ortlieb bags.

1Ortlieb Back Roller
Ortlieb Back Roller
2Ortlieb Dry Bag
Ortlieb Dry Bag
3Ortlieb Velocity
Ortlieb Velocity

vs All Bags

The Ortlieb Back Roller ranks #132 compared with all the bags we have checked.

Top 5% bag

130Osprey Skarab
Osprey Skarab
131Ortlieb Back Roller
Ortlieb Back Roller
132Vaude Asymmetric
Vaude Asymmetric
133Sherpani Tempest
Sherpani Tempest
134Floto Monteverde
Floto Monteverde

Selected Reviews

Tools & Toys

By using panniers like the Back Roller City and letting the bicycle carry your stuff for you, you can rediscover the simple joy of riding a bike simply to move from point A to point B. No adrenaline, no rush, and no sweat. It is a fantastic way to experience your city in a whole new way, and all it takes is a little push.

Posted 2 June 2015 by Alvaro Serrano - Read full review

Road CC

A good set of panniers can be an investment that sets you up for many years of happy load hauling. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll see plenty of Ortlieb's Back Rollers on both commuters and grizzled tourists. There's a reason for their ubiquity - they're bloody good.

Posted 15 May 2011 by rob_simmonds - Read full review

Bike Radar

Both a commuting and touring favourite, Ortlieb pioneered the fully watertight, seam-sealing process. Lightweight, high quality, fully waterproof panniers - expensive.

Posted 3 July 2007 by BikeRadar - Read full review

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Bag ID 33720. Images from Amazon Product Advertising API and shop datafeeds.

Last updated on July 03, 2019