Looking for the perfect bikepacking gift for your two-wheel-loving friend? You’ve come to the right place! I’m still moderately new to bikepacking (although I have done some pretty amazing overnight and multi-day trips) and I’ve spent a lot of time researching and discovering great bikepacking gear that is durable, functional, and simple to use.
Like any sport or hobby, though, the ‘perfect set-up’ is always evolving, so if the bikepacker in your life is looking to upgrade their gear, replace old and worn-out items, or needs something specific for their next adventure, the following bikepacking gift guide might just help you out.
Find the perfect bikepacking gift for the adventurous bikepackers in your life
Small bikepacking gifts & stocking stuffers
Therm-a-rest Z-seat Pad
My friend Michelle brought a Therm-a-rest Z-seat Pad on our Cross-Washington Mountain Bike Trip and I have to say I was a bit jealous. While I spent meal times sitting on the hard, thorny ground, she had a cushy thorn-protecting pad to sit on.
It only weighs 2 ounces and it can easily be strapped onto the exterior of bags or stuffed inside a pack.
Check price: REI
Darn Tough Socks
Everyone needs new socks, right? Especially bikepackers. Good quality, merino wool socks are a great bikepacking gift and if you buy Darn Tough Socks, they are guaranteed for life. That’s right – if your socks get holes in them from trailside brush or pedal strikes, then Darn Tough will replace them for free. It’s the gift that just keeps on giving!
Not all bikepackers prefer to wear gloves when they ride, but I personally do. Maybe it’s because I’m a mountain biker first and always wear gloves when I ride singletrack. If you think your bikepacking friend would like some gloves for their next adventure, my go-to gloves are HandUp Gloves. They’re made in the US and they’re super durable. They also come in fun patterns and colors!
Check price: HandUp
Like backpackers, a lot of bikepackers choose to rely on dehydrated foods and meals for their adventures. Not only are they lighter in weight, but they also don’t require much cooking after a long day in the saddle. Just boil some water, pour it into the pouch, wait 15-20 minutes, and dinner is served!
There are lots of different dehydrated meals to choose from, but here are two of my go-to brands.
- Good To-Go (vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options)
- Backpackers Pantry (the Pad Thai and Chana Masala are my faves)
A good Multi-Tool
A good multi-tool is essential for any bikepacker. Whether it’s needed to tighten loose bolts, adjust seat height, fix a broken chain, remove a valve core, or perform any other hundred trailside fixes that may occur, a multi-tool is indispensable. My go-to multi-tool is the Crank Brothers M-19. It has 19 different tools including:
- A chain tool that is 8/9/10/11/12 speed compatible
- Hex wrenches sizes #2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
- 8 mm open wrench
- Valve core removal tool
- Rotor straightener
- Spoke wrenches sizes #0, 1, 2
Chamois cream is a lifesaver on those big days in the saddle. I’m prone to chafing, so I always bring a few packets (or more) of chamois cream on my bikepacking trips. The single packets are perfect and weigh almost nothing.
Bikepacking gear ideas
Bikepacking bag (or bags)
Finding the perfect combination of bikepacking bags is a neverending process and bikepacking bag set-up will probably change for each trip. What you bring on a quick overnight will be very different than what you bring on a multi-day remote adventure.
There are a lot of bikepacking bags and brands to choose from. Below is a list of the top brands and some favorite bags to get you started.
- Ortlieb bikepacking bags. Ortlieb is a long-standing brand that makes super high-quality gear. Their bikepacking bags are completely waterproof and they have a variety of different shapes and sizes.
- Revelate designs. An Alaska-based company, Revelate Designs were one of the first brands to make high-quality bikepacking bags and gear. They’re constantly innovating, which is cool, and their bags are some of the most popular among bikepackers for their durability. The new spinelock seat bag system looks dialed.
- Rogue Panda. These bags are really cool because they’re custom-made for your specific bike. No more guessing whether a frame bag will fit! Rogue Panda bags are handmade in the US and wait times can be 6-8 weeks, so get your orders in early.
- Oveja Negra. These guys have also been around for awhile. Made in Salida, Colorado, they have a wide-range of durable bikepacking bags. If you’re on a budget, their ‘stupendously sexy seconds’ bags are a great value.
- Moosetreks bags. These are the bags I have. They’re not the best quality, but they’re an afforadable option for those just getting started with bikepacking. I will be upgrading for more durable and high-quality bags in the near future.
I have the Garmin Edge 830 bike computer that I use on my bikepacking trips and I love it. It does take some time to figure out, but once you’ve spent an hour or two playing around with the settings, it’s very user-friendly.
You can upload routes, import maps directly from Ride With GPS, TrailForks, or Strava, track stats like mileage and elevation gain, get the weather forecast, and so much more. The battery also lasts way longer than a cell phone and it charges super quickly.
Do you need a bikepacking specific tent to go on a bikepacking adventure? No, you don’t. But if someone you know (and love very must because these aren’t cheap) needs a new tent and they plan on doing a lot of bikepacking trips, then a bikepacking-specific tent could be a great option to invest in.
What makes these tents bikepacking-specific? Most bikepacking tents have shorter poles, allowing them to be stored in the frame bag or handlebar roll (backpacking tent poles on the other hand tend to be too long to stash in the frame bag).
Some bikepacking tents like the NEMO Dragonfly are also designed with a stuff sack that can be mounted onto the handlebars via straps, which is convenient and it also has a gear tub to store wet, stinky bike gear. The Dragonfly comes in a 1-person and 2-person model. Be sure to grab the footprint as well.
Every bikepacker needs a good bike light (you know, just in case you run into some type 3 fun). The Light & Motion 1000 trail light puts out 1000 lumens of light and has several settings including a Trail-Mode that casts a far-reaching beam to light to illuminate trail obstacles. It can also be mounted on the handlebars, helmet, or GoPro mounts for versatility.
This light is expensive, but it’s also reliable and durable and even waterproof up to 1 meter. Light & Motion makes a variety of different bike lights to fit all bikepacking gift budgets and needs.
Having good grips on a multi-day bikepacking adventure is essential. I started bikepacking with just my regular mountain biking grips and quickly upgraded to the Ergon GP3 Grips, which provide more support for my wrists and a different hand position when I need to switch things up. (Note: These will only work for straight mountain bike handlebars, not road or gravel bike handlebars).
Solar Power Charger
One of the biggest questions bikepackers get is “how do you charge your phone?” Short bikepacking trips don’t usually require a charge-up, but if you’re doing a longer multi-day bikepacking trip, it’s a good idea to have a solar charger to charge phones, GPS computers, headlamps, GoPro batteries, etc…
The Anker PowerPort Solar is a great option – it charges super quickly (as long as there’s decent sunshine ?), it’s pretty lightweight at just under a pound, and it can charge a variety of devices via USB.
One thing to note, though, is that the Anker PowerPort Solar does not hold a charge (in other words, it’s not a power bank). You can opt to get a power bank as well if you think you’ll need more charging availability.
Check price: Amazon
I bring my cozy Patagonia Nano Puff jacket with me on almost every bikepacking trip. It’s lightweight, stuffable, and very warm which comes in handy on chilly nights. It comes in a hooded or non-hooded version (my preference is hooded) as well as a men’s model.
Bikepacking gifts for adventure inspiration
Subscription to Bikepacking.com
Bikepacking.com is pretty much the leading online resource for planning bikepacking trips and finding bikepacking adventure inspiration. All the information on their website is free including routes, maps, trip reports, forums, gear reviews, and more but they also offer a Bikepacking.com yearly subscription, which would make an excellent gift for any bikepacker.
The subscription includes 2 annual journals filled with adventure stories from bikepackers around the world. They’re beautifully printed and for the most part, the stories are well written and inspirational (I do find some of the stories a bit patronizing…).
A Bikepacking.com subscription also includes regular giveaways for members, industry discounts, exclusive gear, and more.
I’ve been a member for about two years, mostly for the journal, but the other perks are great, too!
Subscription to Ride With GPS
Ride With GPS is one of the best bikepacking route-making and navigating apps out there. There is a free version that allows users to create routes, record rides, and upload maps to sync with GPS. This is great for those just starting out with bikepacking who just need the basic features.
More avid or adventurous bikepackers, though, would benefit from the Basic or Premium plans that allow users to download maps offline, have turn-by-turn navigation prompts, do advanced route editing (like adding campsites and water sources), and more. The Basic membership costs $50/year while the Premium membership is $80/year.
Subscription to Gaia GPS
Gaia GPS is another great bikepacking planning and navigational tool. I don’t use this software as much as I do Ride With GPS, but it’s a great tool, especially for bikepackers who plan on creating their own routes or want to get off the beaten bikepacking path.
The free Gaia Maps membership allows users to use Gaia GPS online while the Premium membership has a whole host of added benefits including offline maps and access to a huge map catalog including National Geographic Maps and weather maps.
Bikepacking gifts for women
The Kula Cloth is a really handy bikepacking gift for women. It’s essentially a ‘pee rag’, so it allows us ladies to have a more pleasant (and dry) time peeing in the woods. One side of the Kula Cloth is made from a soft, absorbable material while the other side is waterproof.
When not using it, you can fold the cloth in half and snap it together and attach it to a bag or pack to air dry.
Check price: REI
When I biked across Washington, my seat bones got really sore so the moment I got back home I ordered a new long-distance friendly women’s bike saddle – the Terry Butterfly Century. This saddle was designed for long rides with a low profile and a wide cutaway to help protect soft tissue.
It also has a layer of Poron XRD shock absorbing material between the saddle’s base and foam layers. Say goodbye to sore tushes!
Check price: Terry
Which of these bikepacking gifts sound perfect to you? What other gift ideas do you have? Let us know in the comments!