If you're new to bikepacking, deciding on a set of bags - or even a single bag - can be a little daunting. With that in mind, we've put together a little cheat sheet of sorts. Here's a simple diagram showing what each type of bag is called, and what our model name for each bag is:
That diagram may seem a little obvious, even to the newcomers out there. So here's the same photo, but with more info to help you choose. What do you want to carry? There are many different ways you can pack your bikepacking bags, but this setup is somewhat typical. Keep the following in mind when choosing and packing bikepacking gear:
-If you want to go out overnight, you'll probably need a complete set of gear... at least a frame bag, seat bag, and handlebar bag. Racer-types and extremely experienced bikepackers can get smaller and lighter, but there are definitely sacrifices in doing so.
-A frame bag is the most useful bag, and works for any day ride as well as being the foundation of your multi-day kit. You can pack almost anything into a frame bag with few issues. It is a good idea, however, to keep delicate contents from rattling around too much - a full bag rides with less jostling than an almost empty one.
-Handlebar and seat bags rely somewhat on the structure their contents provide, and work best when packed with stuffable items like tents/bivys, clothing, sleeping bags, or sleeping pads. You can pack other items in them too, but make sure they aren't easily crushed or oddly shaped. You can wrap odd items in stuffable items to better pack them.
-Tank bags and small handlebar accessory bags are great locations for quick-access items such as snacks, cameras, phones, GPS units, water filters, etc.
-Many riders wear a small hydration pack in addition to the bags shown on the bike. Most riders will try to minimize weight on their backs, although some prefer balancing the weight between bike and rider. Here at Bedrock, we enjoy riding backpack-less, and fit all our gear on the bike.