Choosing your Ortlieb Handlebar Bag
Ortlieb handlebar bags are renowned for their high quality, durability and waterproofness. The convenient access of a handlebar bag, combined with the comfort of knowing your valuables are safe from water, makes it hard to go past an Ortlieb handlebar bag for your next cycle tour. But which one to choose? I’ll go through a couple of the options, explaining the features, so that you can choose the best Ortlieb handlebar bag for you.
Ortlieb Ultimate6 Handlebar Bag Features
There are a bunch of features that are common across all Ortlieb handlebar bags.
First up: waterproofing. Although there are a couple of different ratings, all Ultimate6 bar bags are waterproof, so you can keep riding when the rain starts to pour.
Mounting: NOTE THAT ORTLIEB IS NOW SUPPLYING HANDLEBAR BAGS WITHOUT A MOUNTING SET. PLEASE REMEMBER TO PURCHASE ONE TO MOUNT YOUR NEW HANDLEBAR BAG. The click-on system is strong and easy to use. The bag just clicks on and off, and a simple turn of the key locks your bar bag to the bike and lid closed.
Map case compatible: All except the Compact will fit a map case on the lid, so you can see where you’re going.
Shoulder strap: All Ultimate6 bags come with a detachable shoulder strap so you can take your valuables with you to the pub, café, or on a walk.
Magnetic lid closure: All except the Compact have a magnetic closure which is easy to open and snaps shut automatically.
New from Ortlieb, a more compact handlebar bag with touch-friendly smartphone pocket on the top. The Ultimate6 S Plus is small, without being tiny. Five litres is plenty of room for most things you'll need. The clear lid pocket is ideal for a smartphone or a map - and it is touchscreen-friendly.
Also check out Ortlieb Ultimate 6 S Classic Handlebar Bag.
The classic. The Ultimate6 is an iteration of Ortlieb’s Classic handlebar bag. With a magnetic closure rather than the press studs on the Ultimate5, it is much easier to open and close. The tough PD620/PS490 fabric will keep your gear dry for many years to come, and as with all Ortlieb handlebar bags, the Ultimate6 Classic is made in Germany.
If you're looking for a step up, the Ultimate6 Plus offers all the benefits of the Classic, plus a few extra worthwhile features. The Plus PS36C fabric is lighter weight than the classic, while still very durable. It’s also PVC-free. But it’s not all about the fabric – the Ultimate6 Plus has a few other bonuses. As well as the internal zip pocket and key clip, you get an internal 4-way divider to organise your bits and pieces. There are also 2 external mesh pockets for essentials such as muesli bars, and your camera when it’s not raining!
Recognising the role that electronic devices play in our lives these days, Ortlieb has come up with the Ultimate6 Pro. The key feature of this model is the touchscreen-friendly TPU lid. The clear pocket in the lid of the bag holds a smartphone or GPS, allowing you to use it for navigation or communication as you are riding along. You could even pop your e-reader in there for a quick read on the road (not recommended).
Other than that you get all the features of the Ultimate6 Classic, as well as Velcro padded dividers, bottom lash points, large front mesh pocket and PVC-free PS36C fabric.
Ideal if you just want to carry your valuables, the Ultimate6 Compact is just as its name suggests: compact. Still featuring Ortlieb quality waterproofing and the click-on attachment system, the Ultimate6 Compact will protect your valuables on and off the bike, converting into a small shoulder bag.
Handlebar bags are a life saver on most cycle tours. I like to keep my wallet, phone, sunglasses, muesli bars, camera in my handlebar bag. It means that it's easy to take all my valuables with me when I duck into the bakery (or the pub). It's also easy to have a snack while riding or have the camera out in a jiffy for a quick snapshot.
Ortlieb bags all feature reliable waterproofing and German design and manufacturing. You can be confident in the quality and design, so it's just a matter of choosing the features that suit your needs when selecting your Ortlieb handlebar bag.