How airtight are your Ortliebs?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Tangled Metal
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How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby Tangled Metal » 8 Jul 2019, 11:24pm

I use the same ortlieb pannier for commuting. I roll it shut and clip it shut. Same way every time but over this year I found out I could force any trapped air out even if closed tight. That means air must be leaking out of the bolt holes, there's no fabric damage and I've been closing drybags for 30 + years. They often loosen I've found and I've had to replace a few lost ones. Must loctite them.

Do you have similar problems? I guess that makes them no longer watertight. What do you do about it?

Mike_Ayling
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Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby Mike_Ayling » 9 Jul 2019, 12:08am

If you are not planning to submerge the Ortliebs I would not worry!

Mike

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RickH
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Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby RickH » 9 Jul 2019, 12:51am

It comes out of the top. It's like breathing out through your mouth with your mouth closed but lips relaxed. Once the top is rolled over a couple of times any water that might get into the opening (still fairly unlikely unless the roll is really loose) is going to have to travel uphill at some point to get inside.

If you are going to fully immerse your panniers, or try to use them as flotation devices, then there is an outside chance of some water getting in! Especially if you've got any loose fixing bolts (I've personally not found they come undone spontaneously).

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Redvee
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Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby Redvee » 9 Jul 2019, 1:37am

My Ortlieb bikepacking bag is so airtight that it has a valve for the air to escape from when I roll it up.

pwa
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Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby pwa » 9 Jul 2019, 6:03am

The top is not air tight. That is where the air comes out. Perfectly normal and not a problem.

Tangled Metal
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Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby Tangled Metal » 9 Jul 2019, 8:30am

I've not found that to be true. All my other Ortliebs (we have 4 pairs between us) i manage to close and stop sure coming out. I rightly turn the closure 3 times minimum just like my first ortlieb drybag instructions as a kid. I'm a stickler for following instructions. Even with this one I used to have to force the air out first.

IMHO I reckon there's another leak. But I doubt it's a problem. If I ride my loaded bike into a canal in Belgium I'm not going to worry about wet gear only am I alright then if its possible to get my bike back. Then where is the nearest bike shop? New bike time! :wink:

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andrew_s
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Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby andrew_s » 9 Jul 2019, 12:47pm

Drybag top seals have never been airtight, and aren't really meant to be, and Ortlieb pannier seals are no different.
If there's a valve, it's so that you don't have to spend 10 minutes squeezing air out through the roll top.

If you try to use an empty drybag rolled down far enough to be reasonably firm as a pillow, you'll find that your head reaches the mat after 10 minutes or so.
If you ride a loaded bike into a canal, they will hold air long enough to float the bike to the side (provided they remain attached), but you shouldn't leave them or the bike in the water any longer than necessary.

durhambiker
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Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby durhambiker » 10 Jul 2019, 9:44am

Mike_Ayling wrote:If you are not planning to submerge the Ortliebs I would not worry!

Mike

Indeed..My ortliebs were bone dry inside after 1 hour on the back of aboat in Scotland with loads of water thrown over them..Other than total submersion they will never have a greater test.

pete75
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Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby pete75 » 10 Jul 2019, 9:52am

Tangled Metal wrote:I use the same ortlieb pannier for commuting. I roll it shut and clip it shut. Same way every time but over this year I found out I could force any trapped air out even if closed tight. That means air must be leaking out of the bolt holes, there's no fabric damage and I've been closing drybags for 30 + years. They often loosen I've found and I've had to replace a few lost ones. Must loctite them.

Do you have similar problems? I guess that makes them no longer watertight. What do you do about it?


Just because you can force air out of a pannier doesn't mean it isn't watertight. I use Carradice Super C and it's easy to force air out. They don't let any water in though.

Tangled Metal
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Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby Tangled Metal » 10 Jul 2019, 10:20am

I've no doubt this isn't an issue for it's use. I'm just obsessing about how it's performance has changed for me. It was as airtight as watersports drybags from Ortliebs which are meant to be submersible in past use.

Simply put with care I used to close it and not be able to force air out as long as the force applied didn't make the closure to unravel. Now I cannot get that. The air simply doesn't have any resistance to it. A change. Even though they change seems to be to what others experience of these panniers seems to be it's a change that annoys a little.

BTW it's reassuring to know it's not different to other people's panniers. It's really to make sure there's no experience of this that ended up with issues and failure.

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foxyrider
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Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby foxyrider » 10 Jul 2019, 3:47pm

Air tight and water tight are two different things. The bags can be watertight without being airtight - water molecules are bigger than air molecules so the fact you can squeeze air out doesn't mean they will let water in.
Convention? what's that then?
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Ivor Tingting
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Re: How airtight are your Ortliebs?

Postby Ivor Tingting » 12 Jul 2019, 11:47am

Tangled Metal wrote:I use the same ortlieb pannier for commuting. I roll it shut and clip it shut. Same way every time but over this year I found out I could force any trapped air out even if closed tight. That means air must be leaking out of the bolt holes, there's no fabric damage and I've been closing drybags for 30 + years. They often loosen I've found and I've had to replace a few lost ones. Must loctite them.

Do you have similar problems? I guess that makes them no longer watertight. What do you do about it?


Do you have enough going on in your life to be concerned with this? As long as they keep my stuff dry I don't care, which they do.
"Zat is ze reel prowoking qwestion Mr Paxman." - Peer Steinbruck, German Finance Minister 31/03/2009.