Top on the top tube: test ride with the Ortlieb Fuel Pack

Top auf dem Oberrohr: Testfahrt mit der Ortlieb Fuel-Pack


I already have a longer cooperation with ORTLIEB and so I always get the opportunity to test new products. Like the new ORTLIEB Fuel-Pack. So that' s advertising.

More than a year ago ORTLIEB sent me the prototype of a new top tube bag. And I was very happy about it, because the previous top tube bag of the Heilbronner was not really successful from my point of view. So now a new approach and that has me immediately excited: Magnetic closure, 1L volume and the possibility to attach the bag either by means of straps or directly with screws.

The new Fuel Pack // Image:

Accordingly, my feedback was enthusiastic. A few weeks ago, ORTLIEB then presented the new Fuel-Pack at the Eurobike and I got the final version sent. Meanwhile, it rides for over 1,000km with me on the top tube, so time for a first verdict.

Prototype Fuel Pack

In contrast to the Salsa EXP top tube bags, ORTLIEB builds up higher at first glance. But that’s because it does not drop towards the saddle, like the Salsa bag or an Apidura, but maintains the height relatively. This can be seen not only in the pictures, but also in the dimensions of the Fuel-Pack: H/W(L)/D = 12cm/21cm/8.5 cm. The bag weighs 160g, which makes it a bit heavier. Without the perforated straps, the weight is slightly less (-30g).

For comparison:

  • the Apidura Racing Bolt-On Top Tube measures H/W(L)/D = 10cm/23.5cm/4.5cm. 1L volume. Weight 100g.
  • the Salsa EXP Bolt-On measures H/W(L)/D = 8cm by 5cm/19cm/5cm by 3cm. 1.1L volume. Weight 110g.
  • the Decathlon Bikepacking Toptube measures H/W(L)/D = 11cm/25cm/7cm. 1L volume. Weight 200g.
  • the Revelate Designs Mag-Tank measures H/W(L)/D = 12,7cm/21,5cm/6,4cm. 0,9L volume. Weight 128g.
Rectangular shape instead of sloping

The ORTLIEB Fuel-Pack is waterproof (except for the lid itself, of course), is made of ORTLIEB’s typical Bikepacking nylon fabric and is divided into two compartments inside: a main compartment and a narrow compartment on the left side, separated from the main compartment with lightweight fabric.

According to ORTLIEB up to 1kg can be carried here. Well, so much it is rather not, at least for me. But in my Fuel-Pack are my Klite USB charger, spare tube, tissues and now and then still a bar or gel.

Fuel-Pack filled

Space is really enough there, also by the shape of the bag, which just does not slope, but remains rectangular. However, it must be noted that it does not interfere when standing in the bike or get on / off.

The particularly good thing is the magnetic closure, which closes really intuitively and very tightly, allowing one-handed operation. And it ensures that rain and dust stay outside.

Closes really very well: the magnetic closure

The lid of the fuel pack, which weighs only 160 grams, closes again on its own via the two magnets.

Regarding the USB charger, which rides in the top of the bag: ORTLIEB has also thought of a reasonable cable routing and the cables run normally from the front into the main compartment. But the lid closes so that the cables are thought along and have a good guide.

Cable routing on the Fuel Pack

Other bags solve this by an extra opening at the front, through which the cables are then guided and so are not in the way when opening or closing the bag. In the ORTLIEB but that was solved quite well, without extra openings. If cable guides are important to you, for example, to powerbanks, then look at that and decide which solution suits you better.

Cable routing with open lid

At the bottom of the Fuel Pack is a thin fabric, which is fixed by Velcro on one side.

The fastening eyelets from the inside

Underneath it hide the holes for mounting on top tube eyelets or mounting on the included perforated straps. For the stability of the bag plastic plates are then clicked in at the bottom with the screw and fixed.

Mounting with perforated straps

I rode the Fuel Pack very much with the perforated straps. These are made of firm rubber and can be adjusted and fixed really well. And most importantly, they fix the top tube bag really well and tightly, so that it does not wobble or shift / move much even while riding (and loaded).

The perforated straps on the underside

And this, although ORTLIEB does without an additional fixation of the bag to the head tube. In addition, the Fuel Pack with the perforated straps is also officially approved for carbon frames.

Also available separately: the perforated straps

Even better: according to ORTLIEB, the perforated straps will also be available separately, because they can also be mounted individually and can thus be used for bottle cages, for example, if there are no eyelets.


Fuel-Pack on the Fargo

The ORTLIEB Fuel-Pack looks quite tidy on the bike and is an interesting offer to all who are looking for a top tube bag with volume, practical and secure closure, attachment via straps or bolt-on and practical cable routing. The price is 60 euros, which is completely ok.

And also good:

The Fuel Pack is PVC-free and is sustainably manufactured in Germany.

Anyway, it is now with me firmly on the top tube and will soon safely accommodate my camera while it goes rougher through the terrain and the gravel.

The ORTLIEB Fuel-Pack will be available from spring 2023.

Made in Germany and PVC-free


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