What's the best bike packing bags to buy??
Have a look at the reviews on Bikepacking.com for ideas, then do a search for all the threads on here as there are plenty for some of the downsides. How much height is there between your front wheel and handlebars? Enough space to get a bag there or too little? How much space between saddle rails and rear tyre? Check the manufacturers sites to find out the clearances they recommend. How bulky is your gear and how much space will it need?Posted 2 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
I went with an alpkit kanga and koala.
The koala possibly isn’t the most stable, but equally that could just be my setup. Euther way it isn’t noticeable whilst riding so I’ve not worried about it.
For a frame bag i went cheap and got a Ibera bag. Ok its not made by a bearded man in a shed in Montana, but it does the job well enough.
Next additions will be alpkit stem cells, top tube bag and maybe an under the down tube bag. That would allow me to ditch the frame bag and still carry a tent.
My #1 tip though would be to not overthink it. The essentialls are a sleeping mat of some description, sleeping bag appropriate to the conditions and a bivi bag or 1 man tent. Mine are a vango mat, 3 season down bag and gellert tent, cheaper and chearfull. Cooking, bike luggage, etc are all nice, but for your first trip a 25l backpack will be fine and the basic kit i just listed weighs barely more than a camelback with 3l of water and winter kit (put water, tools, etc on your frame). Eat in a pub then ride for an hour before camping. That way you can see how your kit works, what you really want and whats just nice to have. Otherwise (and i fell into this trap) there is a danger of never going because there’s always a titanium spork or waterproof toe nail clipper you’ll see and HAVE TO BUY before you go out.Posted 2 years agoscotroutesSubscriber
Porcelain Rocket always do very nice stuff but Scott seems to have a constant backlog (sometimes measured in months).
Revelate are one of the originals, are being constantly developed through feedback from the likes of the TDR and are much easier to get now that there’s a UK importer at Backcountry Biking
Wildcat are developed and made here in the UK and have a great reputation.
Alpkit stuff is popping up everywhere and their doing their normal thing of providing decent gear at budget prices.Posted 2 years agojamesoSubscriber
what’s the best
IMO Wildcat are excellent quality and use good designs unique to them, Revelate kit is good also but of the 2 I’d rather buy from Wildcat for the UK made+support aspect.
It took a fair bit of of experimenting before I knew what set up was right for my bike and what I carry though. Webbing straps and some canvas can bodge a good bar-roll for a dry bag (got me across Spain and many UK/local trips), seatpacks can be adapted from various drybags and more webbing straps and a partial frame bag of sorts can be had for £20 on ebay. The Alpkit Possum is a very adaptable and useful frame bag.Posted 2 years ago
Good advice I’ve read and I’d repeat here is get out and try it before thinking about the bags and kit too much. Experience is worth more than product.whitestoneMember
We’ve a mixture of Wildcat and Alpkit. The Wildcat stuff “feels” heavier duty whereas the Alpkit stuff feels closer to something you might knock up yourself. Not a criticism, it’s more down to the materials used really and I continue to buy their stuff. Sizing wise there’s 18cm between seat and rear wheel on my wife’s bike and a Wildcat Tiger harness with Alpkit 13L tapered Airlok dry bag fits with about 2cm to spare. The standard setup of handlebar, frame and seat bags gives between 25 & 25 litres of space, last weekend my setup from front to back was 13L, 4L, 13L (not full) plus a 1 litre fuel pod so about the same as a medium sized rucksack.
Note that the Alpkit tapered Airlok bag comes with straps and has attachment points so could be used as a seat bag without any harness. https://www.alpkit.com/products/airlok-xtra-tapered and only £15!
+1 to what @thisisnotaspoon says: think of somewhere close to home, ideally less than an hour’s ride, where you can pitch up for the night then if it goes pear shaped you can head back. Starting at this time of year is likely to be harder as winter kit is by its very nature heavier and bulkier than the equivalent summer kit: my summer sleeping bag weighs 375g, my winter/5 season bag weighs 1850g (both down BTW). Our first ever overnighter was a bothy trip in Scotland and we used 25 litre fell running sacks and managed to get everything in.
You can definitely get in to the “I need this bit of kit” mentality but many people will have most of the kit already even if it isn’t the lightest/latest/greatest. Afterwards, if you think you like it, then you can look at what worked, what didn’t and adjust/buy/make kit accordingly. There’s no one “right” way to do it, in the same way that there’s no one bike that does everything well, use what works for you but equally don’t be afraid to learn from others.
Worth checking out http://bearbonesbikepacking.co.uk/ as there’s quite a few threads on there,.Stu, the guy who runs it, occasionally posts on here and there’s at least one of the above replies is from someone who also posts on there.Posted 2 years agostevemorg2Subscriber
I’ve used Revelate, Alpkit and Bikepack kit – all good but I’ve settled on a full Wildcat set up now and it really is good excellent. If you are on tight budget then these are supposed to be good http://www.ktmbikes.eu/ktm-bikes/eshop/ our-XL-18L – have a look on the Bearbones bikepacking site as s/h does appear on there – I had my Wildcat Ocelot off therePosted 2 years agoBasilMember
Had a Wildcat seatpost style bag and Alpkit frame bags and top tube bags.Posted 2 years ago
Used a Aplkit frame bag for three years. Faultless. Just a got a 2nd due to bike change. Recommend the horzontal divider with document pocket. I have the 6cm widest and I don’t catch pedals. A++++
I use mine on the bike all the time, not just when bike packing. I have not cycled with a rucksack on my back in years.dovebikerMember
I’ve got various bags from Apidura, Alpkit and Revelate – the custom framebag from Alpkit is excellent as are the Fuel Cell pouches – less convinced by their bar bags. Apidura seatpack is OK but I have to use a secondary strap to hold it in place – lightweight but probably the least durable. Revelate Tangle half-frame bag is very good too – great for carrying a 2.5litre bladder for all-day rides. Would never consider riding with a backpack except for commuting.Posted 2 years ago
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