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Old 03-17-2013, 11:59 AM   #1
alaskan dude OP
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Ortlieb Panniers vs. Great Basin bag

Ok guys, this is my last question regarding this topic, honest.

A buddy and I will be doing a trip from Anchorage to Great Slave Lake and back this summer and need to decide what soft luggage to use.

It will either be Ortlieb panniers or Great Basin bag, so here are my questions:

1. Ortlieb states 52 liters capacity and great Basin 50 liters, so pretty even. So question is this. Ortlieb packing space is basically a box and Great Basin a long tapered tube. To me, I would think Ortlieb would be easier to pack and actually carry more? Your thoughts?

2. The 2013 version of Great Basin does not have the built in 2 fuel bottle pouches or the so called built in sleeping bag pouch. Which of the two designs do you like best?

I am leaning towards Great Basin.

Thanks, again.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:11 PM   #2
byways
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I've no experience with the GB, but I have been impressed with the simplicity, ease of use and capacity of my roll-top Ortlieb dry bag saddlebags (yellow). Not to mention the toughness and cushion they provide whenever my KLR suddenly decides it's, um, 'nap time' ...

Here's my Ortlieb- (and Kriega- and SealLine-) equipped KLR with Mobius in Montana ...


byways screwed with this post 03-17-2013 at 12:16 PM
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:58 PM   #3
mookybird
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As mentioned above I think for light weight performance based offroad touring that the GL products are the ticket.

For ease of loading I would choose the top loading separate compartments of the Ortlieb or something similar, doesn't mean the GL is hard to load just that top loaders would be easier.

I can easily do multi state/week rides with the combination of an ogio vest and the GL coyote which the specs say carry 30 liters and even with a stool and a comfortable two man tent, a shower and spare shoes there is always a fair amount of room left over in the coyote. Unless you need to carry a lot of food or are riding two up 52 liters seems like a lot of capacity.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:12 PM   #4
John_L
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I've had both now.

Started with the Ortliebs. Waterproof was great but they way they mounted to my the DRZ left them a bit floppy which I didn't care for. Top loading I really liked.

Got a GL and put it on my TE610 for a year. Mount was completely solid. Not waterproof but did a good job of holding in water in the bottoms that found it's way in resulting in some rusted tools and soggy oatmeal packets. Opening and closing the bag is not fun when you need something quick and I found that it was hard to get it full due to the odd shape.

Put Ortliebs back on the TE for the next trip. Mounted them with a bolt through only the back plate of the bags to the loop on the Dirtbagz rack so as not to affect waterproofing. Mounting now rock solid like the GL's and it allows much easier access and the ability to pack items based on use rather than where things fit. I can get almost the same amount of stuff in my Ortliebs that I got in my Great Basin bag. The whole setup is only about one inch wider on the bike than the GL bag and the weight is lower.

GL bag has since been sold. Ortliebs are staying now that the mounting is figured out.

I think they are more like 40+ liters though not 50.

cheers
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:39 PM   #5
alaskan dude OP
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Thanks guys, good info
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:23 PM   #6
toowheels
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Hey alaskan dude,

I've run the Ortliebs in the past and I now run Giant Loop stuff (Disclaimer: I sell GL in Canada).

Ortliebs are good but as was mentioned floppy off-road and also may need some sort of support too. They are also not that durable in the event of a crash, or in my case a branch ripping one of them.

No side racks needed for the Great Basin saves you at least 10lbs and nothing to bend/crack.

The Great Basin is crash worthy, high speed on gravel no less. There have been posts on here of incidents with no damage other than scratch marks to the sides. The Cordura overlay works! Nothing on the lower side either to rip off. I haven't seen anything as tough.

Capacity is slightly conservative at 50L for the 2012 and older and bumped up to 60L for the new 2013 versions.

The 2013s also have new quick access buckles up top and a separate retention system to attach it to the bike. Much faster to get in and out without disturbing the set up.

The "open space" inside the 2013 version will make it more versatile in how you can pack it. Remember though light stuff up top!

I'm a huge fan of how well the Great Basin works!

Any more q's ask away!

Dave
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:45 AM   #7
John_L
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Dave,

Good to know that the GL product has been redesigned a bit. Are they now waterproof?

I purchased my Ortliebs in 2006 I believe it was. They have tons of miles and many crashes on them and are still in good shape, just dusty.

My GL held up well too to many crashes.

I've seen Ortliebs fail, aluminum fail and a GL Great Basin fail. They all fail at one point or another, it is really crash dependent.

For me once the mounting of the Ortliebs was fixed, it hands-down beat the packing and the waterproof aspect of the GL.

Both are great products though.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:12 AM   #8
toowheels
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Hi John,

No, not waterproof but the changes are going to go a long way in it's resistance. Here's the deal; the Bombshell fabric is waterproof but everywhere it is stitched, it's not. The new version has drastically reduced outside stitching i.e. no more daisy chains up top, so the areas for water to creep in are minimized. You could still seam seal it too. Btw the Cordura on the bottom sections is over top of the Bombshell main fabric.


Quick release buckles up top and the front "beaver tail' compression flap is only sewn on at the bottom. Great place to stash some rain pants or the like too.


Here you can see the new separate retention straps. You only have to use one of the three but you have placement options. An extremely stable system. You can also see the new cable pass through locking option here.

Quick on/off, quick in/out with the changes.

Of course there are waterproof inner bags available as well.

Interesting you've seen a Great Basin crash damaged. What happened to the bag?

Dave
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #9
John_L
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Looks good on the improvements.

Damage to bag was a silver dollar sized hole on the bottom of the bag close to where the corder is stitched on the outside edge. Nothing major but point is nothing is bombproof if you hit the right conditions. Back was patch by a shoe shop and still in service. Not mine but a riding buddy from a trip a couple years back.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:40 AM   #10
MrPulldown
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You can still have a top box or strap things on top with the standard two pannier system.

Sure you can lash things to the giant loops but it is not the same.

I don't have either, but am researching same as the OP and this is on of my considerations. I have run a top box before and like the ease of getting things in and out, as well a water proofness.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:02 PM   #11
Double H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toowheels View Post
Hi John,


Interesting you've seen a Great Basin crash damaged. What happened to the bag?

Dave
Hi dave

we met at the orca run and last years loose screw, hows that leg doing?

you can tear a GL bag, and you can expect great customer service from GL if it does
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:19 PM   #12
toowheels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_L View Post
Looks good on the improvements.

Damage to bag was a silver dollar sized hole on the bottom of the bag close to where the corder is stitched on the outside edge. Nothing major but point is nothing is bombproof if you hit the right conditions. Back was patch by a shoe shop and still in service. Not mine but a riding buddy from a trip a couple years back.
Yes that is very true...anything can be wrecked in the right (wrong) conditions!

Example Hurrican Harry above!

Hey HH!

Ankle's doing great thanks! Got the DSBC Noob ride this w/e too!

...and you're the exception to any rule

I was really surprised to hear what you did to that bag when you told me

Got any mega adventures planned?

Mr. Pulldown I have actually seen riders team up a GB with a (smaller) Pelican type top box too. Depends what you want of course. The new Siskiyou panniers have that option covered to an extent as well and are a little bigger again.

I don't want this whole thing to come off as too pimpy (too late I'm sure! ) rather explaining the differences and my experiences.

Dave
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:35 PM   #13
Double H
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I'm still on the fence for the newbie ride, but if i go i will look you up

a group of us are off to moab in april, stay tuned for a ride report
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:44 PM   #14
Edwards
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I am in the same situation as the OP and need soft luggage. The GL looks like a great product. However ... One of my peeves is stuff not being waterproof that is made for motorcycling. A motorcycle is outside. Umm it rains outside. Would it be acceptable if the trunk of your car was just kind of waterproof, like it leaked at the seams?
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:03 PM   #15
John_L
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Best part about either setup is that you can buy it, try it out and if you don't like it put it in the flea market and get most if not all of your money back out of it.

cheers and best of luck.
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