Bike Bag: Ortlieb Downtown QL2

Staff Writer
A smart commuter option with precise German engineering

While backpacks can be convenient and capable, there’s nothing cool about a backpack-sized sweat splotch. The best way to avoid this is to carry cargo on a rack, and let the breeze keep your torso cool and naturally ventilated. The German-engineered Downtown briefcase/pannier from Ortlieb combines the company’s 30 years of making bombproof bicycle touring equipment with the modern-day needs of today’s urban commuter. This bicycle-friendly briefcase sports a padded, removable shoulder strap for toting around off the bike, and an adjustable mounting system that affixes to either the left- or right-hand side of most any standard bike rack. The inside of the downtown has a four-pocket organizer (two zippered, two internal), a pen holder, a snap hook for keeping keys in place, and can accommodate a 15.4”-inch laptop and full-length legal documents. The flap-top closure system is waterproof, and reflective logos help commuters stay visible on the way home. $150;