Ortlieb Vario Commuter Backpack Pannier (discontinued)

Waterproof backpack and pannier in one. Quickly transition between a pannier and a backpack with the Ortlieb Vario Bag. The Vario comes equipped with a removable backpack carry system.

This product has been discontinued.


Waterproof Backpack and Pannier in One

Quickly transition between a pannier and a backpack with the Ortlieb Vario Bag. The Vario comes equipped with a removable backpack carry system, as well as the patented, adjustable Ortlieb QL3 pannier top mounting system for ultimate versatility. The roll top closure, waterproof fabric, and organization pockets make this bag great for turning day rides into day hikes, or for just commuting to the office.

Ride with the Vario as a waterproof pannier by folding up the carry system and rolling it into the front, vertical neoprene pocket for storage. The bottom of the bag is reinforced with a tough plate to protect the bag while riding, and to prevent scuffs on your rack. For added pannier stability, the Vario’s fastening strap secures the bottom of the pannier.

When you hop off the bike, use the heavy-duty backpack version of the Vario. The QL3 system on the Vario has added buckles which the top of the shoulder straps buckle into. The back portion of the system is secured to the bag with U-clips which snap to the bag, while the bottom portion is secured with Velcro straps. This system is specific to the Vario, and is intended to fit snug on the bag so you don’t have added movement when using the Vario in backpack form. The carry system has padding for your back, and is adjustable by your shoulders and at your hips. A chest strap is also included to offer better posture and support for hiking, or just walking downtown.

QL2.1 System: This system is similar to the QL2 in many ways but differs slightly in a few areas. The upper rail has been slightly changed, rather than having 3 independent parts the rail is 1 piece for additional strength. The reduction inserts no longer attach from the mouth of the top hook but rather from the side, and they are available in 8mm, 10mm 12mm and 16mm. The lower anchor doesn’t have the elliptical rail but rather a slightly padded horizontal rail which does a nice job of protecting the finish on the vertical stays on the rack.

View the Ortlieb QL2.1 Back Roller Classic’s Instruction Manual (requires Adobe Acrobat).

QL3 System: This system features a new style of mounting component that removes the mounting hardware from the bag and attaches it to the rack. This component is fully adjustable both for heal clearance and angle of your bag. The bag with the QL3 system now has a more flush back so it’s more comfortable to carry off the bike. The upper mounting clips have an auto lock so the bag stays securely mounted to the rack, simply pull the handle up to unlock the clips.

View the Ortlieb QL3 Back Roller Classic’s Instruction Manual (requires Adobe Acrobat).

Waterproof, weatherproof, and great for your daily commute, reach for the Vario Backpack Pannier!

Sold as a single pannier

  • Made of waterproof, PS33 Polyurethane coated nylon fabric
  • Includes removable, adjustable carrying system for converting between a pannier and a backpack
  • Roll top, velcro closure
  • Outer neoprene zipper pocket to hold carry system when not in use
  • Two outer neoprene pockets
  • Inner mesh zipper pocket
  • Includes helmet holder and fastening loops
  • Reflective elements on sides of bag
  • Utilizes QL2.1 or QL3 mounting system
  • Fits on racks 8mm-16mm in diameter; 8mm and 11mm inserts included for a more snug fit
  • Dimensions: 19.7″ x 11″ x 7.9″ (H x W x D)
  • Volume: 20L / 1220 cu.in.
  • Weight: 1200g / 42.3 oz

All ORTLIEB products are backed by a 5 year warranty against defects in material and manufacturing.

Customer Reviews
4.5 Based on 2 Reviews
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Filter Reviews:
Carsten W.

Good quality and service

The bag works great and was easy to mount/use. It was.missing the mounting brackets for the rail when it first arrived, but Bike Shop Hub sent a new hardware pack. I wish the bag were a little bigger for my laptop, but I manage.

CampfireCycling.com Ortlieb Vario Commuter Backpack Pannier (discontinued) Review
Alex S.

Money well spent

I use the backpack/pannier to commute to school and work with my Fuji absolute 2.3. It's really convenient for me since I sweat a lot when I used a regular backpack and my job doesnt have a shower. Setting up the bar to my Transit rear rack was simple but I might buy the ortliebs rack to keep my bike looking clean. The side pockets are okay. They're a little too tight for my coffee mug and water bottle and I often have to shove them in. I use the center pocket that's designed to store the shoulder straps as a regular pocket for my pens, calculator, glasses, etc. and I just tightly roll the straps into the main compartment. I don't like chest straps and they came pre-sewed to the shoulder strap so I just cut them off for a cleaner look. I put a lot of stuff in my backpack (books, laptop, folders, lunch bag) and I don't really feel the weight when I'm riding. I do feel it though when I'm waiting for the green light or am hauling the bike up the stairs to my apt. Over all, this is a great product.