The impulse for developing the first waterproof bicycle panniers worldwide was set when a student, named Hartmut Ortlieb, and his gear, got soacking wet on a holiday in the British constant downpour. ORTLIEB’s first waterproof dry bags and bicycle bags were handsewn out of truck tarp by the company’s founder himself on his mother’s sewing machine. He tested the gear himself together with his friends on bicycle and climbing trips. Hartmut even developed and constructed the machines by himself adapted to our specific manufacuring processes.
Hartmut’s inventive spirit influences our company until today. We are still developing and designing our tools and partly also our machines in our in-house machine workshop. ORTLIEB holds numerous patents and protective rights and keeps on setting new standards in the bicycle industry. Hartmut Ortlieb was the first who welded bicycle panniers, he was the first who developed a bike pannier with a roll closure, he invented the Quick-Lock mounting system and many more features. Today our high quality products with inventive details are created by realizing ideas from our multi-disciplinary team which is constantly watching the market and the consumers’ needs. So our innovations keep on going and are constantly awarded with top ratings by independent testing agencies, specialized press and design agencies.
With innovations alone we will manage to succceed the challenges of sustainability. ORTLIEB will contribute its share to that issue, and, in the future, sustainabilty issues will influence our innovations even stronger than before. That could be new products or even new application models and cooperations. Back in 2003 ORTLIEB designed for example in cooperation with GREENPEACE a new GREENPEACE bicycle pannier line.