Bikepacking Gear That Lasts: A Gift Guide

For our 2017 Gift Guide, we’ve racked our collective brains and drawn up a list of more than 50 of our most prized pieces of bikepacking gear. Think of this as a roster of goods that have already proven their worth… gifts that promise to keep on giving, over thousands of miles, all around the world.

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Last year’s theme for our holiday gift list was ‘Shiny and New’, highlighting our very favorite products of 2016 (all of which, incidentally, are just as good this year as they were last).

For 2017, we’ve decided to take a step back, combing through our assorted belongings and separating the gear we’ve really put through the grinder — and now never leave home without. So, as this year draws to a close, allow us to offer a gift guide in the form of a curated collection of some of our most cherished bikepacking gear, much of which has already given us several years of service.

Indeed, everything featured in this Gift Guide has already stood the test of father time. It’s all survived the wrath of the elements. And it’s all gear that’s so well designed, it still gives us a small amount of joy each and every time we use it… just as we hope it will to your lucky someone.

The list has been compiled by editors Logan Watts and Cass Gilbert. It’s organized by price, from least expensive to most costly. Each piece of gear includes a link to a review if applicable, along with the initials of who it’s been recommended by, and links to where it can be purchased.

Please consider buying from your local bike shop or outdoor store to help support them, or clicking one of our affiliate links to help support this site…

GSI Compact Scraper

GSI Compact Scraper, $5

The GSI Outdoors Compact Scraper is one of those little items I never leave at home when heading out on a big trip. You can essentially ‘wash’ your camp pot with nothing but, licking it clean after every scrape. Sounds kind of gross, but it works like a charm. LW

Buy at Amazon JensonUSA REI

nalgene 16oz container

Nalgene 16oz jar, $5

This water tight, soup-proof container is ideal for stowing leftovers (Mexican dinners double up perfectly as next day lunches), or even pre-soaking oats/quinoa/buckwheat for a quick and wholesome morning breakfast. Plus, the lid makes a great chopping board! CG

Buy at Amazon REI

Orange Seal Endurance

Orange Seal Endurance Tubeless Sealant, $8

I’ve been using Orange seal Endurance almost exclusively for the last few years. IMO, it’s the best option on the market for long trips. It seems to never dry out, even in desert climates. LW

Buy at Amazon JensonUSA

Voile Straps Bikepacking

Voile Straps, $8-10

Perhaps the must useful and durable accessory that every bikepacker should own, Voile straps come in several sizes and can be used to hold bags in place, or strap stuff (sandals, poles, food, or whatever) to bags. A bikepacking necessity that we’ve used on almost every trip. LW

Buy at Amazon

Bicycle Touring Gear - Nite ize

Nite Ize Figure 9, $9

Another item that always makes it into the frame bag. The Nite Ize Figure 9 kit comes with the small carabiner and 16 feet of rip cord, perfect for drying out gear or clothing. LW

Buy at Amazon

Lezyne Power Cage

Lezyne Power Cage, $10

I have said it before and I’ll say it again… it’s absolutely amazing how durable these cages are. I have a couple that probably have over 10,000 miles on them. LW

Buy at Amazon JensonUSA REI

smartphone iphone navigation app

Subscription to Gaia, $10 per year

Sure, there are many free navigation apps on the market. But I consider Gaia GPS a bargain at $10 a year, given the range of maps that come included – including excellent topo maps for the US – the frequent updates, and the reliable platform. It’s especially well tailored to iPhones. CG

Buy at Gaia

Surly Wool Socks

Surly Block 5” Wool Socks, $15

I usually wear out socks pretty quickly; holes tend to find their way into the heels and toes after just a few months. Surly’s wool socks seem to have remedied this issue. I wore this pair almost daily through Africa and Spain, then several other trips. They are still kicking, no holes to speak of. LW

Buy at JensonUSA

opinel no 8 penknife

Opinel knife NO 8, $15

These French-made knives are design classics: they’re well made, surprisingly affordable, and look better and better over time. Mine goes everywhere with me; perfect for slicing open an avocado or chopping up an apple and serving with peanut butter. CG

Buy at Amazon REI

Trangia Stove

Trangia Alcohol Stove, $15

Despite the speed and convenience of pressurised cannister stoves, I’m a diehard Trangia fan. The alcohol burner pictured has been all around South America with nary a complaint. Made from brass, it’s significantly tougher than a homemade Hop Can Cooker and features a handy simmer control for semi-gourmet cooking. Combined with the US-made Clickstand (see review), it makes a fantastic, lightweight, low maintenance cooking system, using a clean fuel that can be sourced almost everytwhere in the world. CG

Buy at Amazon

Klean Kanteen 27oz

Klean Kanteen Classic (27oz), $16

This particular bottle has been on almost every trip I’ve taken and has become something of a keepsake. It works perfectly for carrying water under the downtube, keeping out residue from livestock and other unwanted mud. LW

Buy at Amazon

Deuce Spades Trowel Bikepacking

Deuce of Spades Trowel, $17.50

Be a good bikepacker in 2018 and follow the Leave No Trace principles. This aluminium trowel is super light and tough enough to dig catholes in rocky terrain, ideal for those morning ablutions. CG

Buy at Amazon Gossamer Gear

Sawyer Mini Water Filter

Sawyer Mini Water Filter, $20.00

This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. LW

Buy at Amazon REI

Salsa Nickless Cage

Salsa Nickless Cage, $20

Another fantastic bottle cage that’s withstood thousands of miles of abuse. Gin’s been running stainless steel Nickless cages on her bikes since 2012, without any issues. This one’s taken beatings and bent back to shape on multiple occasions… still as good as new. LW

Buy at JensonUSA REI

Giro DND Gloves

Giro DND Gloves, $25

I’ve never had gloves last longer than a season. Giro’s DND gloves have changed that statistic with a durable leather palm, no weird padding stitched in, and a simple design. And I just got a pair of the D’Wool version which I like even more. LW

Buy at Amazon JensonUSA

Wald 137 basket

Wald Basket, $25

The venerable Wald 137 is the basketpacker’s basket of choice. Zip tied to a front platform rack, it’s a cheap and easy way to get you touring, one that’s so practical it might just end up staying on your rig full time, both for weekend adventures and grocery runs at home. The 137 is my recommended size, or try the enormous 139 if you need more room. Invented by Grandpa Wald and made in the US since 1905! CG

Buy at Amazon

Ergon GS1, Bikepacking grips

Ergon Grips, $25-35

Ergon’s shapely grips stand up to a lot of use. And, they are an absolute necessity for long-distance bikepacking rides. Cass prefers the GP1 while Logan likes the slightly less ‘winged’ GS1 for touring, and the new GA3 for singletrack exploits.

Buy at Amazon GP1 GS1

Leatherman Juice CS1

Leatherman Squirt PS4, $33

The Leatherman Squirt PS4 hasn’t been around for as long as the Juice shown here — which I’ve had since 2002 — but I can tell it’s going to be a solid replacement that’s substantially lighter and smaller than its predecessor. A bikepacking toolkit must. LW

Buy at Amazon

Blackburn Wayside Multi-Tool Review, Bikepacking Tools

Blackburn Wayside Multi-tool, $35

Over the years, my preferred multi-tools have included Topeak’s Alien and Crank Brothers’ M19. As good as these are, I’ve happily carried Blackburn’s Wayside Multi-tool for the past year and a half. Its standout feature is its snap-on collection of individual, ball-ended Allen keys, which makes reaching awkward bolts so much easier, especially when fitting and removing cargo cages and racks. Read the review. CG

Buy at Amazon or JensonUSA

Randi Jo Flip Up Hat

Randi Jo Wool Flip Up Hat, $39

Come winter, I always dig out my woolen Flip Up Hat. It’s stylish, beautifully made, and extremely well priced, especially given its Oregonian origins. (Modelled here by Jay Richey, on location in Peru) CG

Buy at RandiJoFab

Lezyne Micro Drive HV

Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HV, $45

The Micro Floor Drive HV continues to make our list based on its efficiency — to match the need of voluminous plus tires — in a compact, bikepacking size. This is one durable piece of equipment. It even works to pump a suspension fork. It’s also the only pump we’ve found that can reseat a tubeless seal on the trail. LW

Buy at Amazon

Oveja Negra Chuckbucket Review

Oveja Negra Chuckbucket, $50

The Chuckbucket is one of my favourite handlebar snack bags. Mine hauls a 1L water bottle, or various camera lenses, or sometimes I just cram it with Lara bars, a phone, and a pair of sunglasses. I love the Wack Pack color combo, constructed from fabric offcuts, and perfect for adding a splash of technicolor to your ride. It’s available direct from their website, along with other options. CG

Buy at JensonUSA

King Cage Manything Cage bikepacking

King Cage Many Thing Cage, $55

Despite its helium-like weight and a deceptively simple design, the titanium Many Things Cage is more than capable of carrying a 64oz Klean Kanteen without so much as a murmur. Made in the US, it includes two ultra grippy voile straps, whose virtues we extol above. I often team mine with ATM’s Many Things Sack. CG

Buy at King Cage

Anker PowerPort Solar Review

Anker Powerport Solar, $60

Looking for a more economical alternative to a dynamo hub? The Anker Powerport Solar is powerful enough to charge two devices at once, whether on a bluebird day or under cloudy conditions. It’s also plenty tough for the longest of bike expeditions. Read the Review. CG

Buy at Amazon

otto lock bikepacking lock

Ottolock, $65-75

Although I’d never recommend relying on a lightweight lock for bike security in a major city – even for the shortest of time – the 120g Otto Lock is perfect for quick resupplies in provincial towns, cafe stops, or securing bikes together at a campsite. Despite its compact pack size (46-152cm), it cinches tightly around awkward street furniture. CG

Buy at Amazon

Salsa Anything Cage

Salsa Anything Cage HD and Bag, $67

After failing welds plagued the original Anything Cage, Salsa completely redeemed themselves with the Anything Cage HD, a much more ‘Heavy Duty’ design made from injection molded ‘impact resistant nylon’. We’ve since tested the HD in Africa and beyond, carrying everything from fruit to whiskey. And I can assure you that they are indeed bombproof. The bags are solid as well, and waterproof to boot. LW

Buy at JensonUSA: Cage Bag

Revelate Designs Egress Pocket Review, waterproof pouch

Revelate Egress Pocket, $69

This is, hands down, my favorite accessory pocket. It’s waterproof and the padded insert provides just the right amount support. Perfect for a camera carrying duties. I now have quite a few miles on this one and I’m sure it will last plenty more. Read the review. LW

Buy at REI

Five Ten Guide Tennies

Five Ten Guide Tennies, $70

The best bike travel shoes available? Maybe, stay tuned for the review. But I will say that this pair has over 3,000 miles of use (Cuba, Uganda, Rwanda, and many other ‘local’ trips). And they’re still going. LW

Buy at Amazon

Bedrock Dakota bikepacking

Bedrock Dakota Tank Bag, $70

I’ve lost count of how many times the Dakota Tank Bag has joined me on my trips. It’s a great size and shape. It fits securely to the top tube without waggling around. Like all Bedrock gear, build quality is superb. And despite a smargasboard of testing conditions and regular overpacking, its zip is still going strong. CG

Buy at Bedrock Bags

Peak Design Capture Pro

Peak Design Capture Pro, $80

Peak Design’s Capture Pro was a game changer for me a few years ago. I’ve used it across Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, a little bit of Georgia, and several domestic trips. It’s surprisingly secure way to carry a camera at your chest for easy access. More on this soon, but I highly recommend it. LW

Buy at Amazon REI

Jones Bars bikepacking

Jones Loop H-bar, $80-$120

I’m all about comfort on my bike. I’ve run Jones’ iconic H-bars – the aluminum Bend and Loop varieties – for several years, on all manner of bikes. Their unusually generous, 45 degree sweep works wonders for taking all the strain from your wrists, while the Loop version doubles as a handy console for attaching all kinds of electronic gadgetry, with nifty pockets now available to fill the ‘hole’. CG

Buy at Jones

Salsa Warbird Review, 2017

Revelate Designs Tangle Frame Bag, $90

If there is one frame bag you should buy, it’s the Revelate Tangle. I actually have a pair, a medium and a large. Between the two, they can fit any hardtail or gravel bike I’ll ever ride. And with an organizer pocket, a big burly zip, and stretch fabric around the sipper, they are bombproof and a pleasure to use. LW

Buy at JensonUSA

Crankbrothers Stamp Pedals Review

Crank Brothers Stamp Pedals, $94-135

Reports of long-term durability encouraged us to try the new Stamp pedals on our ~900 mile Cuba adventure (full review). Since then I’ve taken them on many more trips and trail rides, and they are still going strong. And, you can still find the originals for a discount (at the Amazon link below) for $94… or the new Stamp 7 is the same product. LW

Buy at Amazon JensonUSA

Vargo BOT 700

Vargo BOT 700, $100

The original Vargo BOT (on the left) is a primo piece of equipment. This one’s been to hell and back, almost literally as its been in fires, on all types of stoves, and bounced around a frame bag to no end. Now I am using the Vargo BOT 700 on solo outings. With handles it doubles as a mug! LW

Buy at Amazon

Surly long Sleeve Wool Jersey

Surly Long-sleeve Wool Jersey, $130

My pet names for Gin usually include terms such as ‘breaker’ or ‘destroyer’. So when a piece of clothing withstands her (and many miles of use), it’s quite impressive. Surly’s Long Sleeve Wool Jersey is such a piece. LW

Buy at Amazon JensonUSA REI

Hope F20 pedals

Hope F20 pedals, $130

These Hope F20 pedals have helped propel me on almost every bikepacking trip since I first reviewed them. Despite many challenging miles (and no shortage of ungaily bashes against rocks), the bearings are running as buttery smooth as ever and the pins have barely dulled (beware your shins!). I find their cupped shape ideal for a wide variety of footwear. Well worth the investment. CG

Buy at JensonUSA

sea to summit ember ultralight mat

Sea to Summit UL Sleeping Mat, $130-150

I absolutely love these Sea to Summit pads, both the insulated and non-insulated variety. They’re tough (for an air mattress) and super comfortable (given their diminutive pack size). Best of all, they inflate quicker than anything else I’ve tried, a perk that I’m especially appreciative of by the end of a long day’s ride. Read the review. CG

Buy at REI

NZO Scuffers Review - Shorts

NZO Sifter/Scuffer Shorts, $130-150

The best shorts I’ve ever owned, period. The Sifters are the men’s and Scuffers are women’s. Chances are, the the Sifters are sold out. So harass NZO, because they are worth the wait. LW

Buy at NZO

Salsa Cutthroat Review, Bikepacking

Revelate Terrapin Seat Bag, $145

This Terrapin has traveled across the Altravesur, through Cuba, and on tons of other trips. It is still in perfect condition and waterproof. One of my favorite bags, without a doubt. LW

Buy at REI

Oddity Razor handlebars bikepacking

Oddity Razorbars, $140

Oddity’s Razorbars are vy with Jones’ H-bars as my handlebar of choice. They’re a generous 800m wide, with a sweep of 15 degrees, a posture-friendly rise of 45mm, and a range of finishes. And here’s the best news: custom mods don’t incur any upcharge! I requested a 30 degree backsweep, which proved perfect for both techy trails and dirt road touring. They’re made in the Colorado, they’re as tough as a crowbar, and being fabricated from steel, I don’t doubt they’ll last forever! CG

Buy at Oddity

Rivendell Nitto Mark's Rack

Rivendell Mark’s Rack, $140

Although I’ve largely abandoned bike racks, given their unnecessary weight and bulk for bikepacking, lightweight and minimal supports continue to have a place in my setup. My favourite is Rivendell’s Mark’s Rack. Based on a Nitto classic, it’s beautifully made, built to last, with a stoutness that belies its delicate profile. CG

Buy at RivbBike

Ortlieb Handlebar Pack

Ortlieb Handlebar-pack + Accessory, $157

After putting more time and miles in with this handlebar roll, it continues to impress. I’ve taken this setup on tons of small trips as well as bigger trips such as our jaunt across Cuba, the Trans-WNC, and others. Read the review. LW

Buy at REI

Paul Klamper Brakes

PAUL Klamper, $180

BB7s aren’t the only reliable mechanical disc brake on the market. After using the Paul Klamper on trips through Uganda, Rwanda, back in the states, and recently, the Republic of Georgia, we are pretty confident in their longevity. Adjustments on the Klamper are super simple too. Plus, they’re made in the USA. LW

Buy at JensonUSA

Samsung T3 harddrive

Samsung T5 500GB, $180

Given the rattly nature of bikepacking – and how hard it is on gear – backing up valuable photos and data securely on tour is incredibly important. Samsung’s range of solid state drives are the size of a small cookie (pictured to the right is the older T3 model). Although they’re considerably more expensive than their optical brothers, they’re smaller, lighter and far, far more reliable. Mine has been all around South America with me. CG

Buy at Amazon

Roadrunner Jumbo Jammer

Roadrunner Jumbo Jammer, $195

I’m all for ultralight rollbags. But when it comes to extended adventures – especially those of a dirt road variety – I generally prefer bags that are more practical. The Jumbo Jammer is admitedly on the heavier side compared to some. But the counterpoint to this is its incredible durability, its super easy access (from the top), 100% waterproofing, a generous capacity, and a novel strapping/lashing system that ensures ensure it won’t budge an inch on your handlebars. LA made with lots of fun colour options too! CG

Buy at Roadrunner Bags

Kitsbow Icon Shirt

Kitsbow Icon, $195

Trust me, I’m not one to recommend a riding shirt that costs $195 unless it’s good. Really good. Hand on heart, I wore the Pendleton wool Icon every day for 9 weeks solid – often at high altitude – in Ecuador and Peru. I washed in once… and it still looks absolutely brand new. I’m a creature of habit; the Icon has become my go to shirt, whether on tour, riding trails, or in a coffee shop. I love the bike-friendly vents and the snap buttons. Note that fit is on the slim side. The latest Icon (V2) is $220 and has number of new updates including increased opening of cuffs, improved coverage of patches, better articulation of shoulder vents, added reflectivity, and new colors. CG

Buy at Kitsbow Icon V2

Porcelain Rocket Mr Fusion XL

Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion, $210

My green Mr. Fusion seat pack has seen a lot. With well over 5,000 miles, it still works perfectly. Its stable design and removable waterproof bag make the Mr. Fusion a top notch seat pack. Unfortunately it’s not available for purchase right now, but stay tuned; it’s worth the wait. The one to the right is the newer XL version. LW

Buy at Porcelain Rocket

ACRE Hauser 14L Backpack

Acre Hauser 14, $215

If you are going to carry a backpack, make it a comfortable one. Since day one with this pack I thought it was the most comfortable I’ve tried. Being waterproof, it also makes a good camera gear case. This one’s been to Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, the GMGG, Trans-WNC, tons of other trips, and it’s still going strong. LW

Buy at Mission Workshop

Porcelain Rocket 52hz waterproof frame pack

Porcelain Rocket 52Hz Frame Pack, $250

While Cass’ has a few hundred more miles on his than mine does, I’ve been using the 52hz on both my Krampus and Timberjack Ti. The roll-top bag is waterproof and extremely well made. I expect it to last a long while. Read the review. LW

Buy at Porcelain Rocket

Shimano XM9 bikepacking shoe

Shimano XM9 Boots, $250

For the most part, I ride flat pedals when bikepacking. But if I’m clipping in, these are my boots of choice, as were the generation that preceded them. Aside from local autumnal and winter rides, mine have seen action on the Colorado Trail, where I really appreciated their extra ankle support and grippy soles during extended hike a bikes. Durability has been really good too. Read the review. CG

Buy at Amazon

Fabio Chest Swift Industries

Ultra-Swift Fabio’s Chest (large), $265

I’ve long been a fanboy of the venerable Carradice Camper Longflap; I love both its look and the inherent practicality of a traditional saddlebag. The Fabio Chest respectfully inherets the Carradice mantle, carrying it up the evolutionary ladder by blending in an ultra-capacious roll, an expandable lid, and an extremely versatile attachement system that works on both the front and rear of your bike, even without a support. The result is one uber package that will meet all your bike wandering needs, no matter how many leagues you travel. If the school of CycloTouring aesthetics appeals… start saving for the Fabio’s Chest now! (a new batch of Chests will be available this Friday at the link below)

Buy at Ultraromance

Bikepacking Tusheti National Park

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL3, $300-350

We’ve found the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 3 to have the perfect blend of space and weight. At 3lb 5oz (1.50kg), it’s easy on the legs. And at $300 it’s not too harsh on the wallet. Ours has held up through both of our big trips in Africa, through Spain and Morocco, and many others. -LW

Buy at Amazon REI

Sinewave Beacon dynamo light

Sinewave Beacon, $350

Until I tried the Beacon, I didn’t quite see the need for a dynano light when bike touring. After all, I aim not to ride at after dusk and always carry a headtorch. After 9 weeks in Peru and Ecuador – as well as commuting duties since I’ve been home – I’m now a certified dynamo light convert. Aside from illuminating my way when expected camp spots prove elusive, the Beacon serves as an extremely efficient USB charger. The 750 lumen light even runs off a USB cache battery (charged during the day) for slow and techy nightime singletrack, or slow and protracted ascents. It’s made in the USA and the build quality is impressive; it’s survived mud, muck, grime, snow, rain, and more. CG

Buy at SinewaveCycles

Industry Nine Torch Hub

Industry Nine Torch Rear Hub, $385

After putting my I9 wheels through their paces for about a year — a lot of trail riding and loaded bikepacking — I am completely sold on the Torch rear hub for both its quick engagement (key when churning through the technical bits) and that addictive buzz. I’ve since upgraded our two rigid ‘dirt-touring’ rigs with them too. Learn more about I9 / Read the review. LW

Buy at JensonUSA

Hyperlite UltaMid 2 Review, ultralight Pyramid tent

Hyperlite Ultamid Tent, $715

I know, I know. It’s hard to justify the price of this single skin tarp (which doesn’t even include a pole or tent stakes!). And I thought long and hard but including it in this list. But the truth is, while I have other good tents in my gear collection, this is the one I always reach for… no matter what kind of trip I have planned, the season I’m riding, whether it’s a solo ride or with a friend. The Ultamid 2 has now joined me on extended trips around Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and the Republic of Georgia. It’s made in the US and Hyperlite insist their employees are well paid. Read the review. CG

Buy at Hyperlite Mountain Gear

Have a great ride this winter!

  • RogSim

    Fantastic list. Thanks!

  • Steve the Canuck

    I grabbed the REVELATE EGRESS POCKET after reading the review from Logan on here, I was not disappointed. It’s a great bag/pocket and carries my Canon Rebel with a standard lens and also has room for my wallet, keys and cell phone.

  • Nice! Yeah, it’s a good one. I’ve recently been carrying it by itself quite a bit on day rides (with a camera).

  • Cass Gilbert

    Mine fits a Fuji XT-2 and a spare lens perfectly. It kept everything dry and intact during the Colorado Trail.

  • Alex Larsen

    After reading a lot of reviews on the UltaMid2 and saw your review I decide to make some savings and bought the tent. And im extremely satisfied with it. If you lay with the head in the entrance, and have the tent aside – only cover with bugnet, laying on the bag you see straight up to the stars.

    One thing that is important to mention, is that its extremely fragile when it comes to hot items.
    I had a hot pot, empty, under the opening and during the night it created some steam which has created some cosmetic signs where it was placed. Do I need to mention it happen on the first night using the tent`?? After this im placing hot pots and stuff far far away from the tent.

    The tent adds even more value after they upgraded the bugnet to be a single person, but be aware if any cooking is inside… Its fragile with hotness

  • David Negreiro

    After reading reviews on here I’ve used voile straps, Vargo pot, orange seal, anker solar, sawyer purifier, and the manything cage. All have been amazing and I still use them today. cheers to! great advice!

  • The Opinel is a great pocket knife. And thankfully it’s affordable, because I have a habit of losing them. SAD.

    I also love the Sawyer filter, although I recommend the Squeeze over the Mini. It’s only 1 oz heavier and the flow rate is at least 3-4 times faster. It also doesn’t need to be backflushed as frequently, so it’s easier to skip the backflushing syringe on shorter trips.

    Also, I’m a big fan of alcohol stoves. But I don’t recommend the Trangia despite it’s durability – in the fire-prone western US, I encourage everyone to bring an alcohol stove with a wicking material inside! Minibulldesign makes some with carbon felt, and I have personally tested them by knocking them over and kicking them around (while they were lit, but in a safe location of course). The alcohol simply will not spill out.

    The Starlyte is supposed to have the same feature with a different material. Either way, if everyone used a spillproof alcohol stove, we might have fewer forest fires (and fewer places where their use is banned).

  • Trey Schiefelbein

    Has anyone else had a bad experience with a Trangia stove? I used to have one, but every now and then the flame would give off a sudden burst (I’m not really sure how to describe it) for just a second. I used it several times, and the last time I singed an eyebrow and burned a hole in my t-shirt. I stopped using it then for my own safety, but also because I was afraid of starting a forest fire. Am I the only one?

  • Cass Gilbert

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the UltaMid and fee it was a worthwhile investment!

    Cuben Fiber definitely has a lower melting point that silnylon – a point I mentioned in my review. Still, I’m surprised it was damaged by steam from an empty pot… I’ve cooked in my tent several times (always with lots of ventilation), using my denatured alcohol stove (which has a more gentle eat output than a multi-fuel system) and not had any issues. Maybe worth dropping Hyperlite a line?

    The new solo bugnet option looks great. I use one I already had from a smaller 6 Moon Designs tarp – the Serenity Net. It works ok but this one certainly looks better.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • Cass Gilbert

    Good to hear! Thanks for letting us know.

  • Mikey B

    Did a couple trips (3-4 days) and we stayed at campgrounds with picnic tables. For $9.99 I got a Klymit V seat pad and it was amazing after a long day of riding. Only 2.6oz and super small, you’ll never notice you packed it.

  • Jeffrey Dietlin

    I always take my Leatherman Squirt PS4…great for pulling porcupine quills out of my dog’s mouth.

  • Intertesting point about a wicking material. I honestly didn’t know alcohol stoves were a threat!!

  • I don’t think they’re a huge threat – but if you were to knock one over, it could easily start a blaze outside your ability to control. Especially since pouring water on it just spreads out the alcohol without putting out the blaze. They are routinely banned during the summer from parts of the Sierra and Colorado for this reason. The usual language is something like “all stoves must have an off switch”.

    That said, I think I’ve only heard of one forest fire actually caused by an alcohol stove, so it’s probably more just paranoia from land managers than a real danger. But I haven’t noticed any downsides to using the carbon felt stove, so I’ll err on the safe side and keep using it.

  • Ian Burke

    Shame! Ya can’t win because instead thousands of hikers and campers have gas canisters which can’t really be recycled end up in land fills and so the environment suffers! What to do?

  • Babou Fett

    Thank you for this article! I finally disover which brand (Peak Design) does the clip system for my camera! And by the way I do love your site very much!

  • Oh great, thought I had everything I need until I saw this list!

  • mebaru

    Solid holiday gift guide, have added some to my shopping list! Thanks!
    Hope F20 are great pedals, especially if you tend to pedal duck footed. Pedaled over 2000 miles on them and they still running smooth, I even don’t have to service them. On one day I bashed my left F20 hard, bended crank arm and ruined its pedal thread. I was surprised to discover the pedal surivied without issues.
    I switch to Pedaling Innovations Catalyst pedals recently, which I find superior in terms of pedaling performance but I still miss my good ol’ F20.

  • Alex Larsen

    Im not 100% sure if it was caused by the hot steam, but its the only explanation I could come up with after I got out of the tent in the morning and saw this cosmetic changes on the tent. Ill try to take an image and forward it to Hyperlite for further investigation.

  • Great list. Strongly recommend avoiding the Carbon version of the Opinel knife (which you link to) though – they rust really easily. The standard stainless steel one is the one to go for…

  • Cass Gilbert

    The REI link is to the Stainless Steel one (-;

    I actually have and like both, I just oil the carbon one a bit more. But thanks – because we’d meant to link both to the standard stainless version, as it tends to be a little cheaper and more easily available. As you say, it’s a good option to go for.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Have you tried the Clickstand I reviewed with the Trangia? It’s super stable – granted, not as much as original Trangia bases, but so much lighter. I consider it much more stable than many gas canister stoves.

    I’ve never seen that sign before in my own travel but thanks for the heads up, very good know. I’ll check out the Minibull and Starlight.

  • Haha, blade forum?! I’ve definitely sliced open a can of worms… ;-)

  • You probably do have everything you need :)

  • Thanks! the Capture Pro is a nice little accessory. Make sure you have a proper backpack strap for it though…

  • Olin Hannum

    Heads up, I had a Lezyne Power Cage break on me two days into a route over the summer:

  • Rob Grey

    high carbon steels are preferable because they are tough and easy to sharpen while maintaining a cutting edge longer. they just take a little more maintenance to keep from rusting. you should note that there’s a difference between patina and rust, though are both formed through the oxidation of the steel. the archetypical red flaky rust is the stuff you want to avoid, it will cause pitting on the blade and ruin your edge quickly. just keep the blade dry, maybe oil it when not in use, and it’ll be just fine. other oxides that show on the blade that aren’t the red flaky stuff is generally called patina and is actually rumored to help prevent the more aggressive red flaky oxidation that causes more damage.

    personally i find a deep dark patina on a high carbon blade to be satisfying aesthetically. and it’s the natural aging process of the material, so a darkened blade means it’s a well used, well taken care of tool.

    also, i find if you let the opinels get wet too often, which is easy to do in my part of the world, the wood handles will swell and lock the blade in place if you’re not careful.

  • Smithhammer

    Yup – carbon steel all the way, unless you’re tripping in an extremely wet place. As Rob says, well cared for Opinel (or any high carbon blade) will develop a protective patina over time. I own many carbon blades and I just wipe them down occasionally after use with a rag soaked in food-safe mineral oil. None of my blades rust.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Thanks for that insight!

  • My guess is you got unlucky. I have been using a few of them all over the world since 2012, no issues to speak of. They’ve even been bent and then bent back into shape…

  • Theadore Leanord

    Actually, the gas canisters CAN be recycled. Do your research.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Although they can be recycled in some parts of the world, it’s a relatively complicated process, as places that accept gas canisters aren’t always easy to come by.

    “This last step is the tricky part. Very few curbside recycling programs handle mixed metals, and even fewer recognize and recycle fuel canisters. Check your local recycling program before you put them in the bin. You can always drop them off at a metal recycling center if there’s one in your area, these places almost always handle mixed metals. If you’re not sure what to do, contact your local recycling authority for advice.”

  • Curious – what would you do on a longer tour to ‘treat’ them? Assuming that you’re not carrying mineral oil and are using the knife for preparing food and are therefore washing it a lot too? Or, do your general food oils/greases generally serve the same purpose?

  • Smithhammer

    I would just wipe it clean regularly and keep it as dry as possible. Using it daily (as most of us would when on a trip) helps too. It’s when it’s sitting packed away in a damp environment that it is most susceptible to rust.

  • Marc

    The 16 oz. Nalgene jar with lid was an interesting addition. I have one and it weighs 4.8 oz. A great alternative is a Talenti Gelato 16 oz. jar with lid (I particularly like the the Fudge Brownie) coming in at 1.9 oz. It is easier to pack and pretty much unbreakable. Some are forgoing cooking for cold meals that hydrate in the jar. It is also a much easier size to use as a cup. Unfortunately, it comes with 16 oz. of gelato which must be consumed prior to using it for bikepacking purposes.

  • Jered Bogli

    On our last bikepacking trip a couple folks were running Sawyer Mini filters and one was running the Sawyer Squeeze. I love the Mini, but after using the Squeeze and the improved flow rate of that filter I’m thinking about the Switching. The weight/bulk penalty is minimal at best, the cost is pretty darn close, and low rate was much better.

  • Federico Giulio D’Ostuni

    So, according to this article, if someone wants to start doing bike trips, should start with buying $6135.50 of recommended accessories, then of course, buy the bike and lots of other useful stuff.
    This is really daunting.

  • Cass Gilbert

    The intention of this gift guide isn’t to be complete shopping list of everything you need to start bikepacking! It’s just gear we’ve used (between us) and from hard experience, can highly recommend – as you when you’re ready or want to make such investments.

    If you’re on a budget, there’s plenty of stepping stones to bikepacking and lots of ‘hacks’ too. Check these out for starters:

    And lot’s of budget-friendly ideas in our 101:


  • Nickolai Serzhanin

    Leatherman – Juice on the photo, not LEATHERMAN SQUIRT PS4e.

  • Yes, it says so in the copy, “The Leatherman Squirt PS4 hasn’t been around for as long as the one shown here — which I’ve had since 2002 ……”

  • Ross

    Things I’ve learned about gear:

    1. Buy a high pressure pump because big tires require frequent pressure changes to get the most from them.

    2. Holster style baggage is better than ‘fixed’ bags as they are more flexible and easier to live with in the long-term.

    3. Tents die. Seriously, no matter how careful you are tents get ruined and are in effect disposable. Whether its thorns or the neighbors cat, ‘sharpening’ her claws on your rainfly, tents have a short life when used on long trips.

  • Brandon

    Interesting list and descriptions. I’m disappointed though, to see so many Amazon and REI links. We should all be working hard to support our local bike shops as much as possible, lest we soon find ourselves with no one to service our hydraulic brakes and suspension.

  • Cass Gilbert

    Hi Brandon,

    There’s a paragraph highlighted in the intro:

    “Please consider buying from your local bike shop or outdoor store to help support them, or clicking one of our affiliate links to help support this site…”

    The fact is, this site operates on a tight budget, and affiliate links can help run it. But we also always endorse shopping locally – and include a reminder to patronise your local bike shop for the reasons you mention. We feel that’s a good balance to strike. So it boils down to: If you have somewhere to shop at, great! If not, consider helping this site!

  • Ski5

    Regarding the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HV pump ability to pump up a suspension fork, have you used it in this capacity? I’m going to have a suspension fork on my next trip and am wondering about the best way to deal with fork pressure. It would be great to just have one pump, and I don’t envision having to modify fork pressure often.
    Otherwise I am looking at getting another small suspension pump, the Birzman Macht looks pretty nice at ~85g. Any recommendations?

  • Krzysztof Socha

    Hi, what rear rack would you recommend for my Surly 1×1?
    I use a backpack mostly but need a rack to carry 2 paniers and prevent my son’s Hamax from bouncing off the tyre. The bike has disc brakes.

  • Rebelsatellite

    What’s the average life for a pair of pedals? I bought a brand name pair for around 80 USD and after the GDMBR plus Baja Divide they have some free play and make some nasty noises / clicks. Is this what you’d consider normal? (thankfully the bearings etc are user replacable). Cheers!

  • This is a good list and I appreciate starting with the less expensive stuff (I added a few things to my REI and/or Amazon cart).

    The solar thing reminded me of one of my favorite things: a Waka-Waka solar battery and light. THey have a few versions, but i have the model with an internal battery — good for charging an iDevice — and solar panel. It had a multi-step light that is wonderful around camp or in a gear net attached to a tent ceiling. It’s one of the things that I bring on bike adventures, Burning Man (it’s been a few times, a forntight at a time) and general travel.

    The best part is for every unit Waka-Waka sells, they donate one to a worthy recipient of one’s choice in a developing part of the world.

    Speaking of Burning Man, I have many Figure Nine tying things to keep my tent and shade from budging in what may be the worst place on earth. (Destructive haboobs and hurricane gusts aren’t uncommon).

    About the gloves: I just ordered a pair of the wool Giro DND gloves; but I can add to the list: Local Portland company Showers Pass has waterproof knit gloves that aren’t too expensive and are as waterproof and breathable as their oddly good waterproof socks.

    In my bike messenger days (my bike adventure world overlaps with Burning Man, and “urban” carrying shit) I discovered Fox Incline gloves. They’re very similar to the Giro in that they’re inexpensive, durable and are comfortable to around 40F/10C — something like that.

  • Oh, and I can suggest two more things: 1. John’s Irish Straps! Always buy two.

    I keep a pair woven into a Wald basket, or in a frame bag (or both). They’re immensely useful away from the bike also.

    And, 2. … well, it’s another strap, sort of like a Surly junk strap — it probably was the same thing just without the branding. I bought a pair in a hardware store in probably Eureka, MT, on the Great Divide route.

  • yeah, that’s a lot of mileage. I’d say 2000-4000 miles is an average lifespan before a bearing change is required. However, there are a few that can go longer.

  • chrismoustache

    I have, and really appreciate, the Voile straps. Kind of an odd question for the group, but does anyone know what their temperature rating is? If it were to fall into a pan while camp cooking, would it fry like bacon?

  • That is a first! I think the melting point for nylon like these is somewhere over 400F … that being said. You would definitely want to be quick to get that out of there before it became some sort of fried cheese type entrée.

  • Michael McDonald

    That’s not at all what this article is saying and I’m sure you know that. They made the theme quite clear: “Gear that lasts” So this list is good for anyone, new or veterans to bikepacking. No gift guide is ever written with the intention to say BUY ALL THESE THINGS.

  • Nick T. Mere

    Reliable handle/stem/seat?

  • i think it’s an a la carte ‘menu’.

  • Hmm, sorry for the delay… just saw this. My favorite minimal rear rack is the Tubus Vega. But, I don’t think the 1×1 has stay mounts, so you’d have to rig it with pipe-clamp style band clamp mounts, or the Salsa seatpost collar rack mount.

  • REI actually is a member-owned co-op that does a lot of environmental stewardship and other good things. So, they’re actually a good source if buying from a local shop isn’t possible.
    Plus, they’re a QBP customer so they can order all sorts of weird shit.

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