There’s a good chance that affiliate links are scattered throughout this post. If you click on one I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you and I’ll definitely be using it to buy bike gear.
Not sure what to pack for your multi-day bikepacking adventure? You’ve come to the right place! Whether it’s your first time bikepacking or you’re looking to spruce up your gear closet, this bikepacking gear list covers all the basic essentials – plus a few comforts – you need to stay dry, comfortable, and safe while on your adventure.
My bikepacking gear preferences are always changing, but I’ve included everything I typically take with me on a multi-day bikepacking trip. I hope this gear list helps you simplify your planning and if you’re new to bikepacking, give you some ideas on what gear to invest in that will last for many years.
I’ve also included a printable checklist so you can be sure to not miss a single item!
Bikepacking camping gear
Having the right camping gear can make or break a bikepacking trip. You want gear that is lightweight, yet durable and won’t fail you mid-way through a trip. Here are my favorite bikepacking camping gear essentials.
Many companies now have bikepacking-specific tents with cool features designed with the bikepacker in mind. Some of these features include:
- Shorter poles that are made to fit in frame bags or handlebar rolls
- A harness so you can attach your tent to your handlebars
- Helmet storage and gear lofts
While these bikepacking-specific tents are unique, they definitely aren’t a requirement. I personally prefer to have a tent that doesn’t come in a handlebar harness. The Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 2 is a great option for bikepacking because it’s super lightweight at only 2lb 5oz and it packs down small.
Another cool feature is that if you purchase the footprint (highly recommended), you can set it up as a simple shelter using the rainfly if you want to cut even more weight (and good weather is on the horizon).
I also love that Big Agnes is moving toward sustainable materials and dyes.
If you are interested in a bikepacking-specific tent, the Big Anges Fly Creek will be available in a bikepacking model in 2022.
When it comes to choosing a sleeping bag to add to your bikepacking gear list, you’ll want to opt for one that is lightweight and packs down small so that you can maximize space. Typically down sleeping bags are lighter and more packable than synthetic.
I’m a side-sleeper, so the NEMO Disco 30 Sleeping Bag is perfect thanks to its spoon shape that allows for more movement of the arms and legs. It also has a ton of other cool features like vents (or gills) to moderate temperature, an integrated pillow pocket, a full-length zipper, and a draft collar around the neck. NEMO thought of everything! Coming in at 2lbs 5oz, it’s not the lightest sleeping bag out there, but if you’re also concerned about comfort, it’s worth the few extra ounces.
I also really appreciate that NEMO uses PFC-free, RDS Certified down that is traceable to help ensure humane treatment.
The NEMO Disco comes in two lengths (long and regular), two temperature ratings (15° and 30°) as well as a men’s version.
I typically don’t sleep very well when camping, so I make sure to give myself the best chance at getting a good night’s sleep. That includes a cushy sleeping pad. I have the Sea To Summit Ether Light XT Sleeping Pad which is 4.5 inches thick and super comfortable, especially if you’re a side-sleeper.
It also has a nifty PillowLock (made with magnets, I think?) so you don’t have to constantly keep your Aeros Pillow from sliding off.
The only drawback to this sleeping pad is that it doesn’t pack down super small, but it’s easy to attach to the exterior of a bikepacking bag. This one is a women’s, but it also comes in a men’s version as well.
A headlamp is a necessity for every overnight trip. There are a lot of great headlamps out there, but I like the Petzl Actic Core Headlamp because it’s lightweight and rechargeable. It’s also compatible with 3 AAA batteries if you’re in a pinch and you don’t even need an adapter to use them.
Giving off 450 lumens, this headlamp is bright enough to light up camp or, if you’re unlucky, fix a flat right as dusk is falling.
My friend brought her Therm-a-Rest Z Seat with her on our Cross Washington bikepacking trip and I was super jealous (she let me use it a few times). Weighing only 2 oz, it’s worth the extra space so that you don’t always have to sit on the ground, which can get old real quick especially if it’s damp or thorny!
Bikepacking cooking gear
I typically rely on dehydrated meals and easy-to-eat snacks when I’m bikepacking. Therefore, my bikepacking cooking gear pretty much includes a stove, utensil, coffee cup, and knife. If you plan on cooking more elaborate meals, you might want to check out a more complete cookset (which will be heavier!).
Camp stove & fuel
After using the MSR PocketRocket Stove for a few bikepacking trips, I decided to go with the JetBoil Stash Cooking System because it’s much lighter weight and boils water a lot faster. It’s great if you just need to boil water for dehydrated meals and coffee (which is typically what I eat on my bikepacking trips).
Fuel is not included, but you can buy it separately.
Pro tip: I recommend bringing a small cloth to wrap the stove in so it doesn’t get wet if you need to pack up camp before everything is completely dry. The stove also doesn’t have a self-starter, so be sure to bring a lighter and some waterproof matches.
Check price: REI
The Sea To Summit Long Spork is perfect for scraping the bottom of your dehydrated meal pouch. Most forks or spoons are too short, but this one keeps your fingers from getting bits of food on them!
Check price: REI
Coffee is a non-negotiable for me, so it always makes it onto my bikepacking gear list. The Snow Peak Titanium mug is ultra-lightweight at only 2.4 oz and it comes in a beautiful anodized green and blue.
Check price: REI
A knife is a necessity for any bikepacking gear list. Use it to prepare food or meals, cut kindling, makeshift gear, or any other number of uses. The Gerber Mini Paraframe Serrated Knife is small, lightweight, and reliable.
Check price: REI
Make sure you always have access to clean water with an effective and efficient water filter. I use the Platypus GravityWorks 2 Liter water filter. It filters 1.5 liters of water per minute and it’s super easy to use. It’s not the smallest or most compact filter out there, but it’s lightweight at only 10.9 oz and fits nicely in the included mesh bag. The complete kit, shown below, includes two adapter tops: one for wide-mouth water bottles and one for the included clean reservoir.
The only drawback to the Platypus GravityWorks filter is that it doesn’t work well with murky water, so bring a bandana along to use as a pre-filter if you know you’ll be sourcing water from silty water.
Check price: REI
Bear Canister or Bear Bag
Depending on where you’ll be bikepacking, you may or may not need to be concerned about bears. If you are biking through bear country like Montana or Alaska, it’s a really good idea to pack all of your food in a bear-proof container. It’s better to be safe than sorry! In some places, bear bags are required.
For bikepacking, a bear bag that you hang in a tree is a bit easier to carry on a bike than a bulky plastic bear canister. However, keep in mind that a bear bag is not as bear-proof as a canister.
The 10L Ursack AllMitey Bear and Critter Sack is a great option that deters both bears and smaller critters like rodents, which can honestly be just as destructive as bears. To be extra safe, pack all your food in odor-proof bags before it goes into the sack.
Bikepacking bags & racks
Finding the best bikepacking bags is a combination of personal preference and what will fit on your bike. There are a lot of different options (and opinions!) out there and truthfully, I’m still trying to figure out the winning combination for my bikepacking gear.
I initially bought a set of Moosetreks bikepacking bags from Amazon when I first started out because I wasn’t sure I would like it. They work well but aren’t the best quality and after just a few trips, they’re definitely showing some wear and tear.
Below, I share a brief overview of the different bikepacking bag options as well as some high-quality brands.
Types of bikepacking bags
Handlebar rolls attach to the front of your bike and are great for stuffing lightweight gear into like a sleeping bag, puffy jacket, clothes, or tent. You can either opt for a handlebar roll that fully attaches to your handlebars or a handlebar harness that can be paired with a removable dry bag.
I currently have the Moosetreks handlebar roll, which is budget-friendly but it’s a pain to put on and take off. In the near future, I’ll be upgrading to something a bit more durable and easy to pack like the Revelate Designs Harness paired with the Saltyroll.
Frame bags are great for storing heavier stuff like food, tent poles, and tools. I have the Moosetreks frame bag and I’m already noticing that the zipper is going after only a handful of bikepacking trips. I’m looking at Rogue Panda for my next frame bag. They make custom frame bags based on the size and shape of your bike frame.
You can also choose from fun patterns and prints including your own designs! These bags are pricey and the lead time can be several weeks (or months) but my friend has one and I can vouch for their quality and durability.
Seat bags attach to your seat post and they typically fit the most stuff out of any bikepacking bag. I have the Moosetreks seat post bag and I’m not in love with it because it’s a pain to pack and unpack. Instead, I’m looking at Revelate Designs Spinelock 16L Seat Bag.
Designed to eliminate side-to-side sway (which the Moosetreks bag has a lot of), this seat bag is completely waterproof, features a one-way air purge valve, and has a quick release for easy on and off. It also comes in a smaller 10L version.
Check price: REI
Top tube bag
A top tube bag is a great place to store snacks and other things you want to quickly access while you’re on the bike like a phone or multi-tool. I had the Moosetreks top tube bag and one of the straps broke when I was on my Cross-Washington trip, so I don’t really recommend it.
Instead, Rogue Panda makes several different size options for top tube bags. You can also choose from velcro straps or if your bike has attachment points, you can get a bolt-on version.
Another cockpit bag worth looking into is the Mountain Feedbag which attaches to your handlebars and can be filled with all sorts of delicious snacks.
Rear racks & panniers
Adding a rear rack and panniers to your bikepacking bike can allow you to carry a lot more gear, but they also add weight and can make your bike harder to maneuver. If you’re doing mostly singletrack riding, I recommend trying to avoid using a rear rack.
If you’ll be on mostly dirt roads and the riding will be pretty straightforward, a rear rack with panniers should be fine.
I used the Thule Pack n’ Pedal Rack on my Santa Cruz Chameleon since it didn’t have any braze-ons for attachments. It’s pretty heavy and doesn’t really work well with my Ortlieb Gravel Panniers, so I would recommend looking at the Old Man Mountain racks instead. You can choose bike-specific fit kits for their racks, allowing them to be used on most bikes and models.
Water bottle cages
Depending on where you’re going and how far you’re riding, you’ll need to figure out the best way to carry water. Most bikes come with water bottle braze-ons on the down tube, but if you want to carry more water bottles, you might want to consider cages that can be mounted to your fork legs.
I have two of these SKS Anywhere Mounts that use velcro straps and they work great on front forks. Just add a bit of electrical or duct tape underneath the two points of contact to minimize wear.
If you have braze-on bolts on your front fork, the Widefoot Cargo Mounts are a popular option.
Bikepacking Tools & Repair Kit
Don’t skimp on your bike repair and tool kit! The last thing you want is to get a flat or break a chain in a remote area and have to walk who-knows-how-many miles to help. Here’s what I recommend packing in your bike repair and tool kit:
- Chain lube. Always pack a small bottle of chain lube in a plastic bag (in case it leaks). My go-to chain lube is the Rock N Roll brand. A 4oz bottle of the Rock N Roll Gold should work great for any bikepacking adventure. Don’t forget to pack a rag so you can wipe off any excess.
- Hand pump. You’ll need a hand pump to pump up your tires every few days on your trip or fix a flat. I prefer a CO2-compatible hand pump like the Lezyne Pressure Drive CFH as part of my bikepacking gear kit because it can be used as both a manual pump or with CO2 cartridges (not included). CO2 is much appreciated when it’s cold, rainy, or dark out!
- Tire plugs. If you’re running tubeless tires (which I highly recommend for bikepacking) then you’ll want to bring some tire plugs with you. Tire plugs can be stuffed into holes or even small slashes in the tire, avoiding the need to put a tube in. The sealant then seals up the rest of the puncture and you’re good to go! You can ride hundreds of miles with a tire patched up with tire plugs. This Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tackle Kit includes 5 tire plugs and an insertion tool as well as spare valve cores and a valve stem tightener on the bottom.
- Tire sealant. If you’re heading out on an extended trip (more than 3-4 days) it’s a good idea to bring a small bottle of tubeless tire sealant in case you get a puncture and lose sealant. This 4oz bottle of Orange Seal comes with an injector for easy use.
- Spare tube. Flats happen and even though you have tire plugs and extra sealant, the puncture may be big enough that you need to put a tube in. So pack one just in case. If you don’t bring one, you’ll need it, right. A 27.5” tube will fit pretty much any tire. Shop bike tubes here.
- Spare tire &/or tire boot. If your bikepacking route involves lots of rocky terrain or rugged landscapes or you will be traveling many miles without access to a bike shop you may want to consider packing an extra tire. At the very least, carry a tire boot in case you get a substantial slash that tire plugs or sealant won’t heal. You might also want to bring a thick needle and durable thread so that you can sew up a slashed tire.
- A multi-tool. Do not leave home without a multi-tool! Multi-tools are needed for almost any bike fix or adjustment from lowering or raising seat height to aligning brake calipers and everything in between. My go-to multi-tool is the Crank Brothers Multi-19 which has all the hex wrenches you’ll need, a chain breaker, screwdrivers, and a T25 Torx wrench.
- Spare master links. Always carry a spare master link or two with you. They don’t take up any space at all and they’re essential if you break a chain. Be sure to buy the right master link for your chain whether it’s a 12-speed, 11-speed, 10-speed, or other.
- Spare valve cores. Also, pack a few spare valve cores in case the ones on your bike get all gunked up with sealant or they get damaged. The Tubeless Tackle Kit comes with two extra valve cores. I also keep my spare master link in the container as well.
- Spare derailleur hanger. Derailleurs are fixed to your bike frame via a derailleur hanger. These are designed to break or bend on impact, preserving your actual derailleur, which is a lot more expensive to replace. Derailleur hangers are bike-specific, so be sure to get one that is compatible for your bike or the Universal Derailleur Hanger (which isn’t a long-term fix, but will get you out of a pinch).
- Zip ties and duct tape. Useful for an infinite number of things.
Bikepacking Clothes & Riding Gear
How much clothing and the type of clothing you bring with you are going to vary depending on the length of your trip and the climate/terrain you will be bikepacking in. Below is a general list of clothing to add to your bikepacking gear list:
An insulated jacket – or puffy – is a bikepacking gear essential. Even if you’re pedaling through the desert, nights can get cold or you might need an extra layer post-rainstorm as you cozy up in your tent. My favorite insulated jacket is the Patagonia Nano Puff (men’s version). It’s super lightweight, packs down small, and is surprisingly warm for its weight.
Rain & Wind Jackets
A lightweight rain/wind jacket is a good item to pack on any bikepacking trip, especially if you’re planning on heading to a rain-prone destination. I have the Patagonia Houdini Jacket (men’s version), which is weather-resistant to block light rain and wind. It’s featherlight and packs down into its own small pouch.
If you need an even stouter rain jacket, check out the Shower’s Pass Elements Jacket (men’s version). It’s fully seam-taped and provides excellent protection against the rain. The core vents and removable hood allow you to customize it to your needs. At 9.8 oz it’s also super lightweight and packable.
Lightweight and packable rain or wind pants can keep you dry and warm in wet (or even cold) conditions. They’re not a bikepacking essential, but if you think you’ll run into adverse weather along your trip, they could be a good item to stash at the bottom of your bags.
The Showers Pass Storm Pant is lightweight (7.5 oz for mediums), fully waterproof, breathable, and pack down into their own pouch. They’re only available in ‘mens’ but they’re available in size XS-XXL. I recommend sizing up so you have plenty of room as you pedal.
Check price: Showers Pass
Whether you ride in baggie bike shorts or just a chamois is personal preference, but pack at least two chamois so you can rinse/wash the dirty pair (this will help prevent chafing). I haven’t found a bikepacking chamois that I’m in love with, but you can read more about women’s liners here.
Any quick-dry shirt will work great for bikepacking. Choose synthetic materials or merino wool and stay away from cotton, which doesn’t dry quickly and can leave you feeling chilled.
I really love the lightweight and moisture-wicking Title Nine Henerala Tee. It was a little itchy for me out of the bag, but after a few uses and washes, it got a lot softer and makes for a great bikepacking tee. It’s well-made, durable, and flattering.
I also love that the Henerala tee is cute and can be worn around town or even out to a nice dinner!
I do wish the sleeves were a bit longer to provide more protection from the sun, but it does come in a long-sleeve option.
Check price: Title Nine
For cooler days, the Patagonia Capilene Mid-Weight Long-Sleeve (men’s version) is a great option. It’s made from lightweight, moisture-wicking recycled polyester, and the stretchy fabric allows for movement when you’re pedaling up hills or bombing down them.
If you need something warmer, it also comes in a thermal-weight option.
Patagonia’s Wild Trails Sports Bra is not only supportive, but it’s also comfortable – a combo that’s hard to find when it comes to bras! I also LOVE that it doesn’t have removable cups.
Made with moisture-wicking fabric and a soft mesh lining, it will keep you cool and bounce-free wherever you’re pedaling.
I will say that if you have a larger chest, this sports bra may not be the best for you.
Darn Tough’s are my go-to socks not only because they’re made in Vermont (my home state!) but they’re also super well made, durable, and Darn Tough has a lifetime warranty. That’s right, when your socks get worn out simply send them in (clean) and get a new pair for no cost!
For bikepacking, the lightweight and mid-weight crew socks are great. They’re made from moisture-wicking merino wool that dries fast and resists odor.
A CoolNet UV+ Buff is a great versatile piece of bikepacking gear. It can be used for a number of different purposes from sun protection, keeping your head or neck cool (saturate it with water for extra cooling power), to ward off bugs and insects (spritz it with bug spray), keep your face warm on chilly mornings, or protect your lungs from city air pollution.
I prefer to wear gloves whenever I’m biking because I sweat a lot and they help keep my hands from slipping on the handlebars. They’re not a bikepacking essential, but I would recommend packing a pair just in case you need them on hot, sweaty days (or cold days!).
My go-to gloves are always HandUp because they last longer than any other bike glove I’ve tried and they have fun patterns. The Most Day Gloves are great for every day pedaling or the Cold Weather Gloves are good for chillier conditions.
Check price: HandUp
While you’ll probably be spending most of your time in the saddle, it’s wise to pack some comfortable camp clothes so you can get cozy after a long day of pedaling. I typically pack:
- A pair of leggings
- Shirt to sleep in
- A of quick-dry shorts
- An extra pair of socks just for camp
- Camp slippers to give my feet a break from my bike shoes
- A hat. Nights – or even days – can get chilly, so pack a lightweight hat to help keep your body temps up. The Smartwool Lid Beanie is made from lightweight and moisture-wicking merino wool and it’s slim enough to fit under a bike helmet.
The best helmets for bikepacking have great ventilation, are lightweight, and have a visor to help protect your face from the sun. The Smith Convoy helmet weighs only 11oz and has a whopping 20 vents for optimal airflow. It’s also MIPS certified, meaning your head is well protected should you find yourself facedown in the dirt. And it’s affordable!
Any pair of sunglasses will do as long as they fit comfortably under your helmet and have UV protection. Polarized glasses are also helpful so you can see well in varied light settings.
I do recommend doing at least one ride with your sunglasses/helmet combo because sometimes helmets can cause the arms of your sunglasses to dig into the side of your head, which is really uncomfortable.
There are a lot of opinions when it comes to the best shoes for bikepacking. Some riders prefer flats while others opt for clipless. There’s no best answer, it really comes down to the type of terrain you’ll be riding in and personal preference.
I rode across Washington with my Five Ten Contact flats and while they worked fine, I know I want to switch to clips.
I’m still researching bikepacking shoes, so I’ll update this section when I find a pair I love!
Miscellaneus bikepacking gear
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is something you won’t need until you do, so it’s a good idea to pack one just in case. I love the pre-made kits from My Medic because they have pretty much everything you could need including antiseptic wipes, assorted bandages, a whistle, and much more.
The Cycle Medic is clever in that you can attach the bag right to your frame and it’s designed with the biker in mind. Choose from the Standard Kit which includes basic first aid supplies or the Pro Kit which has more life-saving items like a tourniquet and chest seal.
Quick Dry Towel
A quick-dry towel is nice to have on any bikepacking trip. Aside from actually be used as a towel to dry off, it can be used as a shade tarp, a pillow, a sarong, or even to clean a chain if you’re in a pinch. The PackTowl Ultralight Body Towel is 3.4 oz, ultrafast drying, and packs down super small.
Trust me, you’ll want lip balm. Constant exposure to the sun, wind, cold, or dry air will make your lips chapped and there’s nothing that will soothe them except a good lip balm. I like the Burts Bees Lip Balm because it works well and comes in a metal (non-plastic!) tin.
Skin first! Don’t forget your sunscreen. Not all sunscreens are created equal, though. That’s why I love Sun Bum sunscreens. They’re mineral-based and free of harmful chemicals.
I’m a bit of a princess when it comes to feeling clean and fresh (or at least as clean and fresh as possible) at the end of a long day on the bike. When I can’t rinse off in a lake or river, I treat myself with a wet wipe bath. Even if you’re not as OCD as me about staying sticky-free, I still recommend packing a small packet of wet wipes.
The Surviveware Wet Wipes are biodegradable, durable, and large in size so you only need one to clean your whole body (or two if you’re me). Please remember to pack wet wipes out with you. Yes, they are biodegradable but they’re not meant to be left trailside or roadside.
Check price: Amazon
My friend Kristen from Bearfoot Theory turned me onto the Kula Cloth Pee Rag and I’m a believer! Most of us ladies are used to just drip-drying when we pee outdoors, but after a few days or weeks of that, it gets a little… old. Enter the Kula Cloth.
This simple invention is basically a washcloth that you use to wipe on one side and then fold up neatly with a snap so that the ‘clean’ side is facing outwards. Let it dry, wash it in the next creek, and keep on trucking!
Check price: REI
When you need to go #2 in the woods, it’s handy to have a poop trowel to help you dig a hole. The Deuce #3 Heavy Duty Backcountry Trowel is super lightweight and thin, so it’ll easily slip into your bikepacking gear.
Please, please, please pack out ALL of your toilet paper. Do not bury it. I bring sealable plastic bags with me to pack out dirty TP.
Check price: REI
Take a proactive stance against chafing by using Chamois Butt’r Cream! It makes a huge difference and your private parts will thank you at the end of the day. I like to buy the individual packets for bikepacking, but you can also pack along a full tube.
The guys can skip right along to the next section, but if you’re a lady who gets her period, a menstrual cup is a game-changer when bikepacking. I started using one a few years ago and I will never go back to tampons or pads.
There’s a bit of a learning curve to get started, but once you’re comfortable with them, you can go a full day without emptying it depending on how heavy your period is. I have the Lena cup in both sizes and love them.
Check price: Amazon
Electronics for bikepacking
I have the Garmin 830 Bike Computer which has helped me navigate a handful of bikepacking routes. It’s pretty easy to use, although I recommend taking it on some shorter, easier rides so you can get a hang of how it operates.
The only thing I don’t love about this GPS computer is that uploading routes manually is kind of a pain. It does connect wirelessly to TrailForks and Ride With GPS, though, which is super convenient.
I’d love to recommend a solar charger power bank, but honestly, I haven’t found one that works really well. Small solar chargers take eons to charge, so you’re better off packing a portable power bank and plugging it in whenever you get a chance.
The BioLite Charge 80 PD weighs only 1lb 6oz and can charge a smartphone up to 5 times. If that’s a little excessive, BioLite also has a 40 PD and a 20PD
Check price: BioLite
GPS Communication Device
Accidents and scary things can happen, so it’s a good idea to include a communication device on your bikepacking gear list. You won’t need it unless you do, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. One of the best communication devices out there is the Garmin inReach Mini. It allows for two-way message communication, tracking, and SOS capabilities, and weighing in at only 3.5 oz you’ll hardly notice the weight.
You do need to sign up for a Garmin subscription in order to use the device, which is kind of lame. Learn more about subscription options here.
I’m still playing around with my GoPro HERO and trying to figure out how to make good videos. It’s hard. And honestly a little uncomfortable for me who does not like being in front of a camera. But I’m working on it!
The GoPro does shoot amazing footage, though, and once I figured out that I need to install it upside-down on my chesty mount for the best angle while riding a bike, I’m getting better footage.
What am I missing on this bikepacking gear least? Do you have any bikepacking camping gear that you love? What gear do you still need? Leave a comment below!