At A Glance
Ortlieb is known as a manufacturer of the highest quality waterproof bags and kit for outdoor enthusiasts. They've been producing bags for bikes for as long as I can remember, usually in the pannier style or bar bag type. As bikepacking has become a thing, their bags have evolved to fit in more and more places on modern mountain bikes, but this is their first specific backpack for such endeavours.Buy Hydration Packs/Bags on
Simply put, the Atrack BP is a 25 litre fully waterproof pack, which is accessed by a full-length zip between the shoulder straps. There are numerous external straps to keep the contents tight against your back and attach any other kit to the outside. Two side pockets give quick access and inside the main compartment are two fold-out fabric organisers which take small kit and ease organisation. In addition to this inside, there is a key clip, compression strap and a bung which can be removed to allow a hydration hose out through the top whilst maintaining a watertight seal.
Externally the bag has a slim metal frame on which the shoulder straps can be slid up and down to fit various back sizes from small to extra large. There are two padded areas for the lower back, a chest strap and a rather minimal waist belt.
Weighing in at 1300g it's heavier than its minimal appearance would suggest but still a good weight for a fully waterproof pack. Retail price is £175.00 or €179.99.
On The Trail
The Atrack was used on my first bike-camping expedition and was certainly a welcome addition to the kit list. Firstly due to its cavernous size which seems to be far beyond its 25-litre capacity. Secondly, I was hugely thankful for its waterproofing as it kept everything dry throughout the trip. These are essentially the two major features, which make this a great pack.
Filling the Atrack with kit is a pleasure as there is no hidden space as often found in rucksacks where half the volume is hidden in some narrow space or optimistic pockets on the outside of the pack. In this case, you can access the whole space with a simple zip, which allows for easy storage and even easier organisation. Use of small dry bags can help to keep it tidy, but you needn't worry about things getting wet, this thing is fully watertight.
The four organiser pockets help with the small things that could get lost in the large interior and are easy to access even when the pack is full. If things do get full, then the two external stretch pockets do a fine job of stashing snacks.
I managed to travel with everything for a mini-expedition except for my rather large winter-weight sleeping bag, which went on the bars. With a more summer-weight setup, you could easily get it all in the pack.
Waterproofing is something Ortlieb do seriously well, and this is no exception. Do the zip nearly to the top, inflate like a balloon and close it up and there is no way you can squeeze any air out of this thing. It's airtight, and therefore watertight. Overnight on a bivi, I happily left my kit in the bag knowing in the morning I would have dry kit, something not to be underestimated on an expedition.
With variable back sizing it's pretty easy to get a good fit although when fully loaded I needed to be careful get the bag low on my hips so the top of the pack didn't interfere with my helmet. It's comfortable on the back and the shoulder straps are plenty padded enough for long days in the saddle. The only issue is with stability which could be improved further with a wider and better waistband.
For some reason, the 'standard' Atrack pack gets a full waist belt with pockets whereas the BP model only gets a thin webbing strap. I have a suspicion that the standard version would give even better stability on the bike and have the advantage of easy access pockets on the hips.
Despite the minimalistic waistband, the fit is good and stable enough to ride hard. Even with a big load, it feels good, and if the pack is less full, then the straps can cinch it down to keep everything from rattling around.
An elegantly simple yet hi-tech backpack for adventures into the wilderness or just out on the trails. A brilliant waterproof design with plenty of capacity only let down by the minimal waist strap.
This review was in Issue 60 of IMB.For more information visit Ortlieb
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.