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Ortlieb Velocity Backpack: Long Term Review

April 25, 2019

Ortlieb Velocity Backpack: Long Term Review

A backpack that can carry 45 pounds without killing my back, withstand rainstorms, and last for 5+ years at $110? Hells, yes I’d re-buy the Ortlieb Velocity Backpack.

A few months ago, I realized that I have staples that I rely on over and over again: my favorite pair of lululemon running shorts and tights, a pair of sneakers from VivoBarefoot, my Oakley Frogskin sunglasses… and the less sexy staples: My Outdoor Research jacket and snowpants that have survived 4 Canadian winters of constant wear. And now, as I trudged through another rainstorm with our groceries on my back, my Ortlieb Velocity Backpack.

I got the Ortlieb Velocity Backpack five years ago and didn’t think much of it at the time. Mine is bright blue, and the lack of a zipper and a velcro snap instead of something that could definitely stay shut made it harder to travel with. Plus, it wasn’t all-black, so I was pretty mehh on usage when I first got it. But I needed a good cycling backpack, because messenger bags, while cool, were f-ing my shoulders. Backpacks weren’t really big in cycling yet though (since then, plenty have been made, of course).

But slowly, over the years, the bag went from scarce usage to daily staple. We walk the 2 kilometers to the grocery store and don’t skimp on heavy produce—we eat A LOT of potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples and cantaloupes at our house. On an average shopping day, I’d guess the backpack weighs in around 35 pounds. But the padded back with a stiff plastic insert, heavily padded straps and waist-belt on the Ortlieb Velocity Backpack mean that I’ve never ended up with a backache, even when sweet potatoes are on sale for .75 per pound and we LOAD UP.

So, this is just my ode to this backpack: it’s not fancy, it doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it works like a freaking dream for carting around a lot of $hit while keeping your back and shoulders happy. And in the rain, even your laptop is safe. At this point, I use it probably 5 days each week.

After five years, it honestly shows almost no signs of wear and tear, and the only reason I would get a new one (which I very well might) is because there are black and black and white options now available, and you guys know I love my neutrals.

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