In Early February, I was fortunate enough to be sent an Ortlieb Messenger Bag Pro which I’ve been wearing for most of the past month or so. The bag is manufactured by Ortlieb USA, a USA subsidiary of the German company of the same name with over 25 years of experience in making outdoor camping bags and hiking packs. Like most of the bags coming from Ortlieb, this Messenger Bag Pro is waterproof and dust-proof which is a big reason why so many messengers here in NYC trust Ortlieb packs for delivering their goods in the same condition that they were received/picked up.
Although Ortlieb makes several different versions of roll-top backpacks, I was only able to review the Messenger Bag Pro which is the largest bag from their catalog that serves as a messenger bag. Let me just first say, the bag is huge. It’s basically got one large main compartment that can hold an astonishing 1830.7 cubic inches of stuff. Inside this large compartment is access to the external clear advertising space which can hold an A3 poster for your business. Don’t have a business to advertise? No problem. Just use it as document storage (just keep in mind that people will be able to read it if it’s not in a folder).
On each side of the Messenger Bag Pro are 3M Scotchlite reflectors with an additional one on the bottom side of the bag as well for added safety when you’re biking around at night.
Perhaps the most wonderful part of the Ortlieb Messenger Bag Pro is the back where you’ll find plenty of padding to keep your commute comfortable. The padded contoured straps are outfitted with reflective stripes and fit around my shoulders very well and the actual back of the pack has even more padding that’s laid out in such a way where airflow isn’t restricted (which means a less sweaty back).
If you’re carrying a heavy load, you’ll be happy to know that there is both a waist and sternum stability strap to keep the bag on your back while riding. And don’t worry about the bag losing it’s shape either because the inside of the bag features a rigid panel that keeps the bag straight and prevents sharp objects from jabbing into you.
Finally, the bag comes with internal snap-off/on pocket organizers for your little accessories like pens, notebooks, etc.
On heavy-rain days, this is the bag I’m going to trust with my stuff. It’s purely functional and I couldn’t ask for a more comfortable backpack while running errands on my bike. If you want to check out the spec sheet, click here. But if you’re already convinced that this is the bag for you, then head on over to the Ortlieb USA website and pick it up for just $187.
NOTE: The spots on the outside of the bag is dirt. I rode with this on some wet and nasty NYC streets and I haven’t bothered to clean it.