Ortlieb Duffle RC Backpack Rolls Closed For Easy Waterproof Protection - First Look - Bikerumor

Ortlieb has a new Duffle RC combination waterproof duffle bag and backpack. It’s not only cheaper than their standard duffle, but simpler and much easier to use in practice. Inspired by the design of the roll closure Rack-Pack, the new Ortlieb Duffle RC comes in two sizes – big or huge. And we’ve started stuffing our gear inside the smaller 49L one to keep everything protected from the nasty wet winter weather outside…

The new Duffle RC is kinda the combination of some of best features of several popular made-in-Germany Ortlieb bags. Or course it starts with their signature heavy-duty waterproof coated polyester fabric and high-frequency welded seams. Cool Wipes

Ortlieb Duffle RC Backpack Rolls Closed For Easy Waterproof Protection - First Look - Bikerumor

It adapts the split clamshell design from their Atrack & Duffle backpacks that keeps your back clean & dry. It directly uses the same adjustable & removable shoulder straps and extra lashing points from the Duffle. And then, it inherits the easy-access wide mouth roll top closure of the Rack Packs.

No zippers, no extra pockets, no unnecessary features. Just a cavernous opening to stuff full of gear you want to keep clean and dry.

The defining feature of the Duffle RC is the long 60cm Roll Closure that opens wide to let you stuff your gear in. The standard Ortlieb Duffle uses a long TiZip zipper, which to be waterproof uses giant stiff teeth that aren’t super easy to use. In fact, I’ve gotten my skin caught when yanking one closed, and I no longer have any desire to get another bag with a zip like that. That does mean the Duffle RC is only IP64 waterproof – meaning dustproof & protected against splashing water from all directions. Not quite the IP67 rating that lets you dunk the original Duffle underwater for a half hour.

I’ll happily take that compromise. And try not to end up underwater with an Ortlieb Duffle RC on my back.

The Duffle RC 49L (2990in3) measures 61cm long x 34cm in diameter when stuffed full.

And my 49L bag weighs 967g, a bit less than the 1kg Ortlieb claims.

Its 2 lightly padded & ergo-shaped shoulder strap are adjustable or removable. They include a neat velcro strap offset near the middle that joins them together for an easy-carry handle. Or, run one strap diagonally as an over-the-shoulder sling strap. There are also 4 daisy chain loops on each side of the roll-top to attach extra cargo straps or to strap the duffel down to a bike rack.

It is made of a PVC-coated fabric, which is durable and waterproof, but not really nice for the environment when disposed of improperly. Ortlieb are ongoing with sustainability evolutions to transition more products to be PVC-free. But they live by the idea their long product life & repairability are the first step anyway. Including in-house consumer repairs.

And Ortlieb knows they have “a long way to go” for improvement. So, they will always take back gear with PVC at the end-of-life for the product, so it gets handled correctly.

As I alluded to in the details above, the Ortlieb Duffle RC 49L bag is still new to me, but I’m already quite pleased with it. It’s really a no-nonsense way to keep gear protected. I love the simple roll closure for getting inside. That big opening is so much easier than anything else to dig deep in a bag. My only thought is that I probably should have gotten the light colored orange bag to make it easier to see deep into the dark crevices inside.

It’s also great that the opening is on the same side as the shoulder straps. So I can drop it onto the muddy ground, open it up to get my stuff, roll it back closed, then put the clean side back onto my back. I have another duffel that has shoulder straps and a padded back on the opposite side of the opening, and opening it on wet/snowy/muddy ground is a mess.

And, I’m already a fan of using small & light musettes to organize my gear inside. Ortlieb also has new Packing Cube bags for organization, that I’m going to try out as well.

So far, I’ve only used it in backpack mode, and tossed it into the box of my cargo bike. Those simple shoulder straps are surprisingly comfortable and stable.

But I can also imagine strapping it down onto a big rear bike rack – there’s plenty of space on the back of this silly thing to lash down a 60cm long stuffed Duffle RC. It is too big for a regular rear rack, but strapping it to any cargo bike would be a solid way to keep your stuff dry, and transition easily off the bike.

The benefit to the simplified Ortlieb Duffle RC design is that it’s more than a third cheaper than the standard Duffle, even though it’s still 100% made-in-Germany. My smaller but still big Duffle RC 49L sells for $130 / 120€. And the huge 89L one is just a bit more at $150 / 140€. (Compare that to $230/185€ & $250/195€ for the closest size Duffle 60L & 85L, respectively.)

The versatile Duffle RC comes in black, olive green & coral orange. And is available now from Ortlieb direct in the USA or EU. Or through regular Ortlieb retailers.

Cory Benson is the EU Tech Editor of

Cory has been writing about mountain bikes, enduro, cyclocross, all-road, gravel bikes & bikepacking for over 25 years, even before the industry gave some these names. Prior to Bikerumor, Cory was a practicing Architect specializing in environmental sustainability, has designed bike shops & bike components and worked as a bike shop mechanic.

Based in the Czech Republic for 15+ years, he is a technical mountain biker, adventurous gravel rider, short & medium-haul bikepacker. Cory travels extensively across Europe riding bikes, meeting with key European product developers, industry experts & tastemakers for an in-depth review of what’s new, and what’s coming next.

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