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Price: $169.99 $119.99

Ortlieb Downtown Commuter Pannier QL3

Stock status: 5+ in stock

Please read about the mounting systems below, you will need to pick from 1 of the three when choosing this product.

Ride in style, and with maximum commuting convenience with the Downtown Commuter bag. The Downtown is the ultimate bag for cruising around town and for biking to work or school. It features a large pouch with Velcro closure that is sized to accommodate a laptop up to a 15.4" width. The Downtown also has other pockets and pouches which helps to organize your pens, notepads, and other necessary small items. A snap hook for your keys is even included so locking up your bike is quick and easy.

Sold as a single pannier, the mounting system has an innovative, rotating fixed rail so that you can easily set your bag to fit snugly on either side of your rack. This bag is also equipped with base feet and edge protectors to keep your bag looking new. Pack as much as you need, as the Downtown has three variable lid closures for overloading with an extra pair of clothes, or large books.

The Downtown Commuter is designed to look sleek on the bike, and to seamlessly transition into a professional looking briefcase style bag when off the bike. A padded, adjustable shoulder strap is also included to quickly transform the Commuter into a messenger bag. Maintain your professional look while still getting in your daily ride with the Downtown Commuter Pannier.

QL2 System: This system is made up of 4 main components, an upper mounting rail which the top hooks attach to and a lower elliptical mounting rail where the lower anchor attaches. The upper and lower mounting locations can be adjusted horizontally without tools for easy bike or location switches. Top hook reduction inserts come with this system, they are 8mm and 11mm, the base hooks are 16mm. The upper mounting rail is equipped with a channel in the back which is intended to be used in conjunction with the security cables. For added stability an additional lower anchor can be added to the elliptical rail, this is especially effective in off road situations.

QL2.1 System: This system is similar to the QL2 in many ways but differs slightly in a few areas. The upper rail has been slightly changed, rather than having 3 independent parts the rail is 1 piece for additional strength. The reduction inserts no longer attach from the mouth of the top hook but rather from the side, and they are available in 8mm, 10mm 12mm and 16mm. The lower anchor doesn't have the elliptical rail but rather a slightly padded horizontal rail which does a nice job of protecting the finish on the vertical stays on the rack.

QL3 System: This system features a new style of mounting component that removes the mounting hardware from the bag and attaches it to the rack. This component is fully adjustable both for heal clearance and angle of your bag. The bag with the QL3 system now has a more flush back so it's more comfortable to carry off the bike. The upper mounting clips have an auto lock so the bag stays securely mounted to the rack, simply pull the handle up to unlock the clips.

  • Available colors: black, white, applegreen or aubergine
  • Comes with either the QL2 (2014), QL2.1 or QL3 mounting components
  • Made of completely waterproof PVC fabric
  • Large inner pouch with Velcro closure, suitable for a 15.4" laptop
  • Large dual zipper inside pocket
  • 3 open organization pouches with pen slots
  • Inner liner with full zipper for easy cleaning
  • 3 variable flap closure loops to accommodate overstuffing
  • Designer metal closure hooks
  • Carrying handle
  • Side stiffener loops on bag with removable padded shoulder strap
  • Hard backing plate for rigidity
  • Includes 8 mm and 10 mm pannier hook inserts
  • Base feet for protection and stability
  • Inner snap hook for keys
  • Dimensions: 14.2" x 14.2" x 5.5" (H x W x D)
  • Volume: 18L / 1098
  • Weight: 1550g / 54 oz

All ORTLIEB products are backed by a 5 year warranty against defects in material and manufacturing.

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Ortlieb Downtown Commuter Pannier QL3click image to enlarge
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Price: $169.99 $119.99

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Product Reviews

05 Sep 2015
Curtis C says...
I have the white version of this bag and the QL3 system. It looks sharp, not like a bike bag. I carry my MacBook inside a Thule case and it fits fine. Because the case is fat, there isn't a ton of room left over, but it's enough for pens and a few papers, wallet and a frozen lunch. The bag, even though white,cleans easily and still looks good after two year of daily use.Some have comments they don't like the closure system. I do. I find it easy to use. PRO TIP: Take the strap off when you ride. It doesn't tuck in anywhere if you leave it on, even if you try. If you leave it on the bag it could get wrapped around your hub, causing you to stop suddenly. In the dark. When it's raining. Don't ask me how I know this, just don't do it.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
11 Dec 2014
Peter T says...
Correction: I have the Ortlieb Downtown mounted on the Thule TOUR rack, not the Sports, rack.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
11 Dec 2014
Peter T says...
I selected this pannier for it's briefcase-style features. Interior pockets are sensibly organised and genuinely useful. It could benefit from an external pocket for phone or keys, but at that point you're really designing a different bag. I like the buckle system; easy to manipulate, looks smart. I was in two minds about the Teutonic vinyl look initially, but am very happy with that now (I chose the gorgeous aubergine colour). Loving the interior volume, which is sufficient to carry everything for an overnight business trip. It has a scrape mark on the vinyl, from the bag falling off at high speed after I had failed to secure it properly. I always give it a pull now to make sure it has snapped firmly into the carrier system. But the bag did not spill open when it fell, there was no damage to the contents and the structure of the bag is a very robust design that will take a lot more beating than I intend to give it. I love that this is a fully waterproof design. The QL3 system is very nice for a couple of reasons. It is a dream to remove, by simply lifting the bag by its handle. I was also very impressed with the range of adjustment in attaching the QL3 system to the existing bike rack. I played around with height and angle to get it how I wanted, with the bag out of the way of my heels. I have it mounted on a Thule Sports Rack with side rack accessory. The Thule side rack design has a lot of flexibility with rail location and height, but limits the placement flexibility of the QL3 system a little by having wide plastic side-frame components that restrict locations for the mounting connectors. Overall, the QL3 system is nice, but I wish Thule made a bag as good as Ortlieb. That way I could do away with the side rack accessory and QL3 attachment, and just have a lovely sleek and simple Thule solution. I have a Thule Urban Tote on the other side of my carrier. It flexes and shakes a lot less than the complex side rack-QL3-Ortlieb pannier combination does.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
17 Sep 2014
Brian K says...
This is an outstanding pannier. I wanted to not have a bag on my back during hot Atlanta commutes to and from work. I also wanted a quick mount and release system and a professional looking bag that could be taken anywhere. Fits the bill. Great bag.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
21 Mar 2014
JE W says...
Great bag. Holds a lot of stuff. TIP for what to do with the shoulder strap when the bag is on the bike: Thread the strap through the top handle. Works like a charm!
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
08 Feb 2014
Curtis C says...
I love this bag. The nice folks at BikeBagShop were very helpful in helping me select this model. I really like the QL3 mounting system. It's easy on and off, and makes carrying the bag very comfortable. I got a white one, and it looks sharp and is easy to wipe clean. Two potential warnings: I have a fat computer protective case. It fits well in the bag, but then there isn't a ton of room left. Enough for a stack of papers, but not papers, lunch and a change of clothes. The computer sure feels safe though. The other issue is that the strap, as nice as it is, doesn't tuck inside easily when riding. I guess I should really take it off instead of just push it in the bag. Idid a bad job with that last night and managed to get the strap tangled in my wheel, resulting in a sudden surprise stop. Totally my fault, but still, a word to the wise: be careful. Time for me to place an order for a new strap.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
26 Oct 2013
Garth S says...
This is a great commuting bag. The ql3 system is fantastic, and a great upgrade from the ql2. My commute often includes time on a bus, and sometimes driving, so it's great to have a bag that works equally well off the bike as it does on. I can carry the bag to meetings and it doesn't look at all awkward like a typical pannier. The ql3 system easily let me mount the bag without any heal strikes on my Axiom streamliner rack.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
05 Sep 2013
Sonia M says...
Awesome bag. It's a little bulkier than I had expected before receiving it but it is working out great. Very easy to install the mounting rack on my electric bike -- traditional panniers don't work with my rack because I've got the battery back there -- and getting the bag on and off is simple. The clasps to close the bag can adjust depending on how much stuff you pack in there. No interference with my feet at all while I am pedaling.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
22 Apr 2013
Julia T says...
Forgot to give examples of what I put in it. Example: Laptop, 6 paperback books, raincoat, bike lock. I think I've also been able to fit a 6-pack in this mofo. The buckle system has 3 levels of anchor straps, so you can expand/compress the bag as needed.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
22 Apr 2013
Julia T says...
I LOVE this bag! With all caps! Reasons: 1. Perfect size, fits a shit ton without having unwieldy dimensions 2. Very light 3. Has just enough organization (2 zippered pockets, 2 velcroed pockets, pen organizer, laptop compartment) 4. Looks like a normal messenger bag when I need to carry it around, is relatively comfortable to carry with the strap pad 5. Very easy to mount and dismount 6. Rigid, raised bottom means I can plop it down on wet ground without worrying Quibbles: 1. Would prefer the velcro pockets not to have velcro. Velcro sucks and catches on things. 2. The bottom piece of the rack mount was a pain to install. 3. Buckles take some getting used to, but are very secure. I usually just use one buckle. 4. Wish there was a way to secure the shoulder strap to the outside without having to put it inside the bag. If I forget to put it inside, I spend a few more seconds having to unbuckle and buckle the bag.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
07 Feb 2013
Jim G says...
This bag is a bit wider than I expected - it's roughly 6," which is nice. I store a large chain lock, book, lunch bag, maps, spare keys, quarters, umbrella, multitool, patch kit, keys, chap stick and some light rain/cold gear inside on a daily basis without issue! It's very sturdy, roomy and easy to attach/detach. The fact that the QL3 system attaches to your rack at an angle eliminates any potential for kicking the bag while riding - a very thoughtful feature. The only downside I see with this bag is that the QL3 mounting hardware on the rack makes it difficult to attach anything above it. If you want to use a bag other than this over the QL3 hardware, you either need to remove the mount or have a QL3-compatible bag. You can use this bag conveniently for the office on weekdays, but if you think you can conveniently use a grocery pannier on each side for weekend shopping, think again.
Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
28 Dec 2012
Ashley M says...
I bought this bag on a friends recommendation and have found it to be a nice change from my backpack. The cover locking system does take some getting used to and I really don't like wearing the bag since the back is solid. However, it has a solid base that keeps it upright, quality construction and good volume.
Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
04 Dec 2012
Colin M says...
great bag but I think maybe what I wanted/needed was Ortlieb's "office bag" main issue: the buckles are too fiddly if you want to quickly open the bag, get something out, and close it again. for instance, if it is raining *really* hard and you take the subway and want to get out some reading once you're on. it would be great to find one well-constructed sentence explaining the differences between these two products. at time of writing, there are no pictures on this site or Ortliebs making it clear how the office bag fastens - if you are looking, you might want to ascertain what the deal is there
Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
19 Sep 2012
Vincent I says...
Purchased with the QL3 system and have been using it for about a month now. Overall, it's a great bag and would recommend it!! The QL3 system works very well and is very easy on/off. I have only had one instance where it came loose (very heavy load +several large bumps) at all. The bag came unhooked on the bottom mount, but the top remained secure. I can wear the bag around without anything pinching or cutting into my back which is GREAT!! Although I have not fully immersed it, I have been through a downpour, sprinklers and over very wet roads (~5 mi to work) and have not seen/felt a drop of moisture inside the bag. The base is solid and it easily stands on it's own. My only real complaint is it is smaller than it looks. I fit a ~1" thick 3-ring folder, 15" Macbook, a book, incidentals (keys, wallet, etc.) and lunch fairly easily, but much past that is pretty snug!! If I wear a pullover fleece or light jacket in the morning, it rolled up and stuffed in the afternoon is awfully full and a little difficult to close. I will likely purchase a small trunk to fit on top of my rack for clothes and/or shoes when the weather turns ill. It would be better if the mounting hardware was aluminum instead of plastic in my opinion. Time will tell how long the mounting system holds up. So far, it's been worth every penny!!
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
03 Sep 2012
Sue S says...
This pannier is the perfect size and configuration for my commute. Got to test out the waterproofing in a downpour on the way home from work. I was soaking wet but my laptop and clothes were high and dry. The mounting bracket is easy on/off. Ortlieb needs to include longer mounting screws! The bracket was a major hassle to attach.
Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
10 Jul 2012
Dustin S says...
Excellent bag, completely water proof, I commute in Houston, we often have monsoon like conditions, no problems at all with leaks. Excellent craftsmanship, has held up great with over 1.5 years of constant use. Fits a laptop easily and has a number of pockets and dividers on the inside. The QL3 system is leaps beyond the QL2 in the fact that the bag doesn't haven't anything protruding from it to stab you in the back. Besides the excellent water proof construction, the best surprise was the stainless steel clips to secure the flap, which offers multiple positions to make way for taller items, they are a flawless part of the design and ten times better than plastic push-clips that will inevitably bust on you. --- Finally, and most importantly, the bag fits six 12oz bottles of beer and one 750ml bottle of wine at one time, I wouldn't put more weight than that in it, but I was pleased.... 'nuff said.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
19 Mar 2012
Jacob M says...
I love this bag. Solid on the bike, and I use it as my everyday around town bag. Since the bottom is more like a box than a bag it's easy to carry things like a big camera in it and you don't fish around as much. Also has many useful pockets. Even when I don't take my bike I carry a big camera and my work laptop in it daily, plus a book, notebook, power adaptor, a bike pump, other odds and ends, and it has plenty of space left. Goes on the bike easily, comes off easily (when you pull up on the handle), and there's virtually no hardware on it when off the bike.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
05 Mar 2012
Tim M says...
Great pannier! Very good construction, and seems solid and will last forever. Had a tough time mounting to my 10mm Streamliner DLX rack, but it works if you squeeze the mounting brackets. I wish the included mounting bolts had been just a few mm longer. I had no prior pannier experience. I bought this to replace commuting with a messenger bag. I didn't like the weight of a laptop over 8 miles one-way, and I didn't want a backpack because of getting a sweaty back. However, there is a tradeoff with a pannier, especially when loaded with a 5lb laptop, U lock and clean clothes. My bike doesn't feel as nimble as I roam in & out of traffic. I know that with the messenger bag I still had the same weight (well, slightly less), but it felt more like it was part of my body. Now it feels like an off-center weight on the rear of my bike. I ride a single speed freewheel with 700x32 tires. That being said, I'm sticking with the convenience of the pannier. The QL3 mounting is simple to get on & off the bike. Not having anything on my back is nice. And now I have an excuse to use the bike for weekend short hops to the store & back. It's quite large and can hold a lot of stuff, but not too large.
Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
01 Nov 2011
Sheila M says...
This bag is seriously awesome. It's also a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. I bought it in black with the QL3 attachment system. I highly recommend the QL3 over the QL2. I wish all panniers came with the new QL3. Also, now this bag is at a discounted rate?! Wha??? No fair! I paid more for it, but I'm still very pleased with the purchase.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
07 Sep 2011
Frank F says...
As others have said, great bag and totally waterproof (tested again today :). Like the interior setup - enough pockets for wallet/keys/glasses/computer items/whatelseyouhave. I wish it would be a tad deeper as I have trouble fitting a lunch bag together with my thin wind jacket into the bag. I have the QL3 system which is really nice. In order to achieve the needed heel clearance I had to mount the OL3 rack attachment slanted with the bottom of the triangle on the outside of the rear rack bar. This works fine though and the stability of the bag is fine.
Rated 4 out of 5 Stars
01 Jun 2011
Christian H says...
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
01 Jun 2011
David W says...
This is a very well made bag. I had a very difficult fit with a Dahon folder. The folks at BikeBagShop were very helpful and finally got s mount that works. I would recommend this site for your all your bike needs.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
17 May 2011
Andrea Z says...
I love this bag. I have it with the Q3 mounting system. It's really easy to secure, and you just grab the handle to take it off. It's so easy I keep looking over my shoulder to see if it has fallen off, but it's very secure until you pull the handle. It looks gerat, has been through a bit of rain with no problem, and is comfortable to carry. My only minor minus is that the inside pockets could go down deeper. I don't see much reason why they wouldn't. I love this bag.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
02 May 2011
Andrea K says...
Superb bag! Great update with the clips on the back for when you carry it after getting it off the bike; no scratching! Easy and smart design for clipping on to the bike and easy removal only when you want it to move! Easy set up. The great design and construction doesn't stop for the inside, too.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
16 Mar 2011
David H says...
I have two of the Ortlieb larger size panniers. I love them, but some times I don't want such a large bag to haul around, so I purchased one of these Downtown Commuter Panniers, in the green color. It works great. The color is highly visible to drivers. The bag has a compartment for a notebook, but I use it for newspapers and things like that. The smaller size works great. Easy on and off, of course. Two complaints. First, I wanted this pannier on the right side of my bike rack. It came fitted for the left side. In order to change it, the instructions showed simply unscrewing two screws and moving the pivot and re-screwing. However, it failed to show that first you need to completely unzip the inside of the bag and grasp the nut on the interior. I had to contact bikehbagshop to get the information. Fortunately they were very helpful and gave me the correct instructions. Second, I do not like the way the bag cover fastens. There are hooks that slide into one of three separate loops. It is a pain to use. One only has the 3 options. Some sort of velcro would have been nicer IMO. However this is a minor issue. Over all it is a GREAT BAG and typical German quality.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
18 Feb 2011
Kyle D says...
I am a graduate student who bike commutes daily. Previously, I had been using a simple backpack to transport my things to and from campus, but I had wanted something that had these characteristics: 1. waterproof (since I carry a laptop) 2. taken on and off a rack easily 3. stylish to carry (preferably messenger bag style) So, with those constraints, I found this bag, and I love it. It carries everything I need for class and study, securely on my rack, and I can park, grab the bag, and go. The only drawback is that it is a tad small inside, and lacks outside pockets. I would love mesh pockets on the sides, since my water bottle and rain jacket don't need to be inside the waterproof bag. With my rain jacket in the bag, there's not as much room left over for other items. (I used to strap the jacket to the bottom of my backpack...wish there was an elegant way to do that with this bag!)
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
09 Dec 2010
Indra K says...
Great bag. I love the easy on/off system that Ortlieb has for putting it on the tubus luna rack I bought for the commute and taking it off to bring in to the office, shop, etc.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
02 Oct 2010
Arne F says...
Purchased this bag three months into a drought and one week from a 12" deluge on the east coast. This bag kept everything bone dry even through the heavy downpour. The key to this bags success is the design. Instead of zippers and seams that eventually leak, this bag is simply a bag where the top rolls over to create the seal. I commute with laptop, wallet, cellphone, clothes and breakfast in the bag. More than enough room. Attachment and removal from the bike is a breeze. As with almost everything you end up spending more by going cheap. I've burnt through much more money on cheap bags that eventually leaked or feel apart than the cost of this bag.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
02 Sep 2010
Ruth S says...
I just got this bag - it is awesome! Sturdy, not overly huge, easy to attach. It hasn't left the house yet, but if I were to anticipate any issue at all it might be that, when carrying as a shoulder bag, the rack mounting hardware might poke into the hip a bit. That is just the compromise you make for a bag that mounts so easily and holds its shape well. I give it two thumbs up.
Rated 5 out of 5 Stars
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