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Product Review: Ortlieb Velocity Messenger Pack

Updated on September 29, 2009
Image from REI:  http://www.rei.com
Image from REI: http://www.rei.com
View from the strap side.
View from the strap side.

Summary:

The Ortlieb Velocity Messenger Pack is a good quality waterproof backpack. I have had mine for a year. During the winter, some of the plastic hardware seemed to get brittle in temperatures under 25 degrees, and broke. It has a fairly large capacity, stays put while biking and is comfortable to wear while biking. Although handy in the rain as a regular backpack, it is not particularly comfortable to carry while walking or hiking.

Plusses:

  • This backpack is really, really waterproof. Patterned after dry bags designed for canoeing, the roll top and Velcro closure ensure that, ya, your stuff is gonna stay dry.
  • The straps cinch the bag up snug against your body so that when you're riding, the back does not flop back and forth.
  • Foam pads keep the pack off your back, so you get pretty good ventilation.
  • I found the size adequate to carry my lunch, a change of clothes, and whatever papers I wanted to briing.

Minuses:

  • As a short guy, I found that even cinched down as low as it could go, the roll top was still sticking up over my shoulders and catching air.
  • The sternum strap was not comfortable and restricted breathing.
  • The plastic hardware partially broke under extreme conditions. 
  • The weight and design make this a comfortable cycling backpack, but not so comfortable as a regular backpack.

Verdict:

  • If you want a backpack that is really waterproof and stays put on your back when you ride, and your load doesn't vary all that much, this is the bag for you, especially if you're over 5' 10" tall.
  • If you want a backpack that will expand to fit anything you stuff in it and you want to use it as a regular backpack as well as a cycling backpack, this is probably not your bag.

All in all, it was a worthwhile investment for me. I would buy another one when this wears out.

Comments

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    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Will do, Candie!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Nice hub on a great bag Tom! I, too, hate it when bags bounce all over when I'm riding. Looks like this one is designed well! I love REI! Keep 'em coming!

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