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Vario QL3

Backpack with roll closure and QL3 system.
Suitable as bike pannier and rucsack

Availability: In stock

Product Name Price Qty
Signal Red / Black Vario QL3

Quick delivery with Royal Mail or Interlink Express.

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Product Description


As its name suggests, the Vario is a highly versatile and flexible pack offering lots of storage capacity. It quickly converts from a bike pannier to a comfortable backpack. The waterproof Vario made of tough and long lasting nylon fabric features a roll closure and offers space for A4 files and a 15.4“ laptop. The innovative QL3 system allows quick and single-handed fixing to and removal off the rack. The mounting components remain on the rack, and the bag’s back stays clear of protruding hooks. For biking, the padded back carrying system complete with shoulder straps and chest strap is packed away into a concealed zippered front pocket, then for use it can be easily fixed to the back of the Vario. An external fixing safely stows away your bike helmet when it is not used.

Further features: 

  • 2 outer neoprene pockets (not waterproof!)
  • Waist strap 
  • Inner pocket
  • 2 reflectors

Additional Information

Additional Information

Height (cm) 50
Depth (cm) 20
Width (cm) 28
Upper Width (cm) No
Lower Width (cm) No
Circumference (cm) No
Diameter (cm) No
Volume (Ltr.) 20
Weight (grams) 1400
Material PS 33
IP Standard Dust Rating 6
IP Standard Waterproof Rating 4


bypassing the systemReview by a
Ok, so you are not supposed to do this, but I find it works - I leave the backpack system on and just clip the waist belt around the front of the pack when it is on the bike, tucking in any stray belts/cords.
It seems to work well - just unclip as you remove the bag from the bike and you are good to go.
Guess it wouldn't work as well if you've just trekked it through the mud, but for my purposes it works well. (Posted on 11/07/2014)
Inconvenient, but I still prefer it to other optionsReview by Andrew
The QL3 system is great, but that's not specific to this bag.. But that plus the slim profile of this bag (I get heel strike on my bike wit ha lot of other bags) are why I'm keeping it.

I personally find wearing the Vario as a backpack to be really uncomfortable no matter how I adjust the straps, but YMMV. I think the conversion mechanism is an unnecessary hassle; it doesn't provide the convenience of quick conversion for short carries, nor the comfort for long carries. I found myself just carrying it by the handle instead of bothering with conversion if I'm not walking too far. Which makes me wonder why there isn't a fixed handles, like on all their other bags, rather than just the one attached to the moving parts of the QL3 system.

Also, stuffing the backpack system into the back pocket as intended really eats into the space offered by the bag. When so, the water bottle I have in the side pocket gets pulled in such that my laptop no longer fits well. So for my daily commute I've just removed the backpack system altogether (which is easy and non-destructive, thankfully) and attached a shoulder strap to the plastic loops near the top. So far, that solution is working out great, although I wish they had dedicated shoulder-strap hooks since I'm not sure how well these will hold up. The added shoulder strap is easy to stuff into one of the side pockets or brought over the top of the bag and clipped into a carabiner attached to the bottom helmet loop. Honestly, I wish Ortileb had thought of a solution like this.

Given that solution, I also wish that the stuff pocket were actually useful for anything else. As it is, it has no bottom so is not useful to hold anything that could fall out. I basically just wish it had more pockets for better organization.

For slightly less comfort and a lot more day-to-day usefulness, you could make two straps that attach permanently to the top, snap into the bottom two backpack-attachment hooks, and fold over the top or side of the pack for easy conversion.

In summary, a decent bag with a brilliant attachment system, and several odd, unfortunately inconvenient other design choices. (Posted on 06/06/2013)

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