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Vario PS Pannier

5 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
$210.00 - $240.00

Style & Size:


Why We Like The Ortlieb Vario PS Pannier

After we dismount our commuter bike, the Vario PS Pannier makes it easy to keep our belongings close. Ortlieb's innovative design features backpack straps that pack away while we ride and offer easy, comfortable carry while we walk. External pockets let us reach smaller essentials when we're on the move. And reflective details keep us visible to drivers if our commute takes place after dark.


  • Two-in-one backpack-style pannier for commutes by bike and foot
  • Water-resistant fabric keeps essentials protected from rough weather
  • Quick-Lock connectors for easy attachment to your bike cargo rack
  • Available with either the QL2.1 or QL3.1 system
  • Stowable backpack straps deploy for comfortable carry
  • External pockets for added organization and quick access to essentials
  • Reflective side and strap details boost visibility and safety
  • 20-pound weight limit great for daily outings
  • Item #OLBA03Z
PS33 (nylon, PU coating)
26L (1587cu in), 20L (1220cu in)
[external] 1 zippered front, 1 stretch mesh side, [internal] 1 drop-in
Number Included
[Q2.1] 8-16mm racks (optional hooks for 20mm racks), [Q3.1] up to 10mm racks (optional hooks for up to 14mm racks)
stowable backpack straps
[Q2.1 20L] 17.7 x 12.2 x 7.1in, [Q2.1 26L] 18.5 x 12.2 x 8.3in, [Q3.1 26L] 18.5 x 12.2 x 8.7in
Claimed Weight
[Q2.1 20L] 3lb, [Q2.1 26L] 3lb 6.7oz, [Q3.1 26L] 3lb 9oz
Manufacturer Warranty
5 years

Overall Rating

5 based on 2 ratings

Review Summary

1 Stars - 0 reviews
2 Stars - 0 reviews
3 Stars - 0 reviews
4 Stars - 0 reviews
5 Stars - 2 reviews

Fits Slightly Large

Screen reader users: the following list provides a visual scale to illustrate the product fit. Please refer to the heading above for the fit type in text.
Runs smallTrue to sizeRuns large

What do you think about this product?


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5 out of 5 stars

May 3, 2024

Perfect for Commuting!

I've used it several times
Size Bought:
26 Liter, QL2.1 fastening system

I just got back into bike commuting for the first time in many years and was looking for a LARGE single pannier that could be converted into a backpack for ease of carrying in and out of work, waterproof, yet still be able to carry a few toiletries, a full change of clothes with shoes, and my lunch. I found exactly what I hoped for in the Ortlieb Vario PS with 26 Liter capacity. Backcountry not only offered the best price, but also had all of the colors the Vario PS comes in, in stock (except maybe yellow?)! I chose the “Dark Sand” color which is very accurate in the pictures shown on The Vario PS has plenty of room for everything I need to be ready for work and has room for my laptop and a towel, as well. The quality is excellent and it looks great.The outer fabric is “water resistant” but the inside of the bag is water proof (if closed properly by rolling it down and buckling it). Ortlieb includes 3 sets of “hook” adapters to accommodate the smaller circumference / rail thickness of whichever type of rear rack you’ve got. The hooks on the Vario PS are quite large (16 mm?) and the 3 sets of hook adapters are 8, 10, and 12 mm. 14 mm(?) adapters are also available but are a separate charge, IIRC. These are so your Vario doesn’t rattle around on your rack (the adapters allow for a more snug fit on your rack rails which also helps prevent it from sliding out of place). The Vario PS drops onto your rack very easily by just holding it / lifting / pulling up the carrying strap handle, which opens up the hooks and all you need to do is place it on your rack in the position you want (so your heel doesn’t hit it while you’re pedaling). In order to remove it from the rack, just pull up on the carrying strap handle which opens up the hooks and lift it off of your rack. I purchased the one with the QL2.1 fastening system as it’s tried and true, rather than the new(er) QL3.1 system (although, judging from YT videos, the QL3.1 seems as though it might pretty darned good, as well). Watch some YT videos for a demonstration of these systems. There is a hard plastic “clamp” on a guide rail located on the exterior lower end of the bag which faces your wheel. You’ll need to adjust its position by loosening a thumb wheel screw and place it so that it goes around the inside of your rack’s vertical support, which is intended to prevent the (lower end of the) bag from flopping around thereby keeping the bag securely affixed and aligned on your rear rack. There is a reversible “flap” / cover on the bag which conceals the backpack shoulder straps so they’re not flapping around in the wind while you’re riding. Simply unlatch the cover hook from a fastening loop on the side of the bag and pull the cover downward diagonally around to the other side of the bag and fasten the hook to a loop which will then conceal the part of the back that faces your wheel while riding. Just a really thoughtful piece of engineering! The only potential (small) “flaw” I have identified with the Vario PS is that it doesn’t come with a rain cover. And why should it, you may ask? The exterior fabric is water resistant and the interior is water proof. The shoulder straps, while “covered” by the flap when you’re riding, will get wet if you get caught in the rain or riding on a wet trail and water or dirt gets kicked up because the flap does not fit OVER the top part of the bag. This means that you potentially cannot wear the backpack without either getting your clothes wet / dirty or drying / cleaning the straps and back side first before strapping it to your back (if you’re wearing the Vario PS in backpack mode and you’re caught in the rain there isn’t much you can do to prevent the shoulder straps and side that’s against your back from getting wet). I solved this problem by getting a waterproof backpack cover (Amazon) to put over the top and outer side of the Vario PS which covers the top and the outside part of the bag (not the wheel side) that’s covered by the flap where the concealed backpack shoulder straps are located. Overall, great bag, though quite pricey, but would buy again, if I ever needed to. Kudos also to Backcountry for having a broad number of sizes and colors in stock to choose from, easy ordering process and FAST shipping!

5 out of 5 stars

March 22, 2024

just what I was looking for, pretty big

I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
5' 1"

If you're on the fence about what size to get, they seem large relative to the claimed capacity. The 20L is a pretty big backpack on me. I can comfortably fit my laptop and accessories, lunch, a change of clothes, and an extra jacket in it. The 26L is really huge (I saw it in-person at REI) which would be nice if you're going to use it for your grocery shopping or if you take a ton of stuff commuting, but for my purposes it would generally be too much (keeping in mind I'm not a large person)

Saphia B