Bottle Cages for Touring: Every and Anything Cages

Bottle cages take a beating when touring or bikepacking. We’ve broken a few and some have stood up to a lot of miles with a fair share of abuse. Here are several cages that have impressed, and one new replacement…

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It may seem a bit overkill to put thought and writing into a piece of gear as mundane as the bottle cage. But bottle cages used for touring and bikepacking take a lot of abuse, and they break quite often. This post has been a long time coming. When we got home from our last tour I unbolted all of our cages and noticed a couple that have been around for a while, and thought about several that didn’t make it back. We’ve used many brands, and broken quite a few of them. You can typically find replacements in practically every country, but most cheap wire cages wear out and become flimsy. Typically we carry two cages that fit standard water bottles and one or two oversized cages. Here are the ones worth writing about:

The Lezyne Power Bottle Cage

The Lezyne Power Bottle cage is by far the best and most burly cage I’ve used. At 66 grams, that’s impressive. A lot of folks say the King Cage is tops, but I would argue. I have three of them and they have withstood the rigors of two tours, carried water for over 15,000 kilometers, sometimes on incredibly rough tracks, survived being banged around in and on top of busses and trains, and I’ll still be confident to bolt them on for the next tour. The best thing about these cages is the fact that they maintain their snug grip; they made of oversized hollow aluminum tubing for strength. The wrap-around design securely holds bottles over rough terrain. I have found stainless cages prone to bending and becoming loose which can produce rattling when used with metal bottles.

Lezyne Cage for Bike Touring

  • Lezyne Cage for Bike Touring
  • Lezyne Cage for Bike Touring
  • Lezyne Cage for Bike Touring

Alloy Oversized Bottle Cage

Yep, no brand name. This was a random cage I bought on SJS Cycles along with another order… kind of a last minute item I tossed into the shopping cart. But it’s proven to be one of the best cages I’ve ever owned. It is slightly oversized, so it fits larger 1.5L plastic bottles. It weighs about 118 grams. Gin used it for a while under her down tube and I had it mounted to my fork. I was surprised to find it still on the SJS site… I’ll be ordering another.

Oversized bottle cage for bike touring

Topeak Modula XL Cage

Some folks might argue that this cage shouldn’t have made the list, but it has been good to me; it’s also kind of a touring standard. I have met a couple people who have broken them, and seen one that had been welded. Somehow mine held up, but most of the time the rubber piece breaks and a cord or multiple rubber bands are used to hold the spout of the bottle in place. Ultimately I would probably pick the aforementioned ‘no-name’ cage in a shootout, but the Modula has a couple of perks. It’s rigid, holds an oversized plastic bottle, it’s fairly lightweight at 125 grams, and it’s adjustable… for any bottle you want to carry along.

Oversized Topeak Modula Bottle Cage Bike Touring

  • Descalzos Viejos
  • Oversized Topeak Modula Bottle Cage Bike Touring
  • Damp Cloth COoler, Bike TOuring

Salsa Anything Cage – V2

Let me preface this by saying that we haven’t yet tested the second version of the Anything Cage. But based on first inspection, I have faith in the new and improved version. As you’ll see in the photos below, we broke two of the V1s in Africa. One I had welded in Lesotho and it broke again. However, the V2 version seems pretty tough; and it’s no slouch at 143 grams. Although it has a nearly identical rail design, the tubing is coupled with a solid plate via full length weld beads. It’s actually constructed similar to the Lezyne that I touted earlier in this post. The Anything cage boasts a 6.6 pound limit, which is more than adequate for carrying a sleeping pad, rain gear, Vargo BOT cook kit, or whatever other cylindrical object you decide to lash onto it. I was very happy to see Salsa rework the Anything; it was a genius rack for minimalist touring and bikepacking. Once I put it through the wringer, I’ll update this posting.

Salsa Anything Cage - v2

  • Salsa Anything Cage Breaking
  • Salsa Anything Cage - v2
  • 2014-01-ECR-09
  • Salsa Anything Cage Cracked
  • Salsa Anything Cage - v2 - with titanium pot
  • Salsa Anything Cage - v2 - Sea to Summit Bag

Salsa Nickless Cage

The Nickless from Salsa is a well-designed and aesthetically pleasing stainless cage. It made this list because it didn’t break. I would point out that this cage is probably better for road and gravel riding than rough dirt track touring. I does bend a little and with a metal bottle this can get pretty annoying. However, it does bend back and seems very sturdy.

Salsa Nickless Cage

  • Michael Viglianco

    I will always go with the King Cage Iris. Like you said. If something works flawlessly for you its hard to feel the need to sway.

    The rubber band on my Modula disnt last two months. I hated that thing.

  • I have the Iris on my road bike… I do like them; I’d be curious to see how they hold up on the rough stuff.

  • Andrew Wade

    Did you have to stretch the Lezyne Power Cage in order for it to fit the stainless canteen? I picked one up recently and found the fit too tight for my stainless bottle. Even with a standard plastic bottle the fit is snug enough to slightly bend the bottle.

  • It seems to fit the Kleen Canteen… I don’t recall having to stretch it. It is definitely tight though, and initially took some force to get it in and out. I’ve also used plastic bottles which are a little easier to remove. These are broken in and the bottles come out pretty easily…

  • Got another OS cage option for your readers: BBB. We’ve been using BBB Fuel Tank XLs for the last three years, and they just won’t break. In comparison, the Topeak and Minoura options lasted a fraction of the time.

  • Cool, haven’t heard of them… thanks for the heads up!

  • Nice review ! Looks like the no-name/SJS one has the same 3-bolts pattern as the Salsa Anything cage, right ?

  • Thanks Francois. I actually drilled the top one just to add support…

  • dan

    I have an iris cage on my Krampus, 1.5 years of use many very long rides in rough terrain but no bike packing. It is still like new. I plan to put them on my bikepacking bike.

  • Doug Goodenough

    Loving all your product reviews. Have you ever tried they cateye cages? I have been running them from years. They are light and tough and have some flex to them which seems to cut down on bottle ejections on rough terrain. They last forever and don’t get bent out of shape.

  • Thanks Doug! I’ll give them a look.

  • Clay

    Can the Salsa cages be run on bikes with standard two bolt cage mounts? Or are they proprietary to Salsa products?

  • The spacing is standard, but it’s a three bolt mount on the cage. You could attach them to any standard 2-bolt mount leaving out the third, but I can’t vouch for how secure they would be…

  • Another vote for the BBB Fuel Tank XL. I have found it has handled all my dirt road riding (read corrugations) well. I broke a Topeak Modula XL cage in no time but the BBB Fuel Tank XL keeps on working well.

  • I love your awesome blog! There are so many route suggestions on here I want to try out after my CycleforWater trip from France to New Zealand. I’m currently putting a bike together for that trip (we’re building a bamboo frame) and I’ve checked out your blog for bottle cage recommendations and the Lezyne Power ones appeal to me. What bottles do you use with them? I’d love to be able to use steel bottles like Klean Kanteen with those, do you know if they’d fit (27oz or 40oz)?

  • Oh I’ve just seen the other comment about Klean Kanteens…so I guess only the 27oz fit? Are there any other steel bottles that would fit better?

  • Sean Lowe

    Hey so how do you mount the cages to a suspension fork with I think no mounts?

  • Either electrical tape: .. or pipe-clamps.

  • Julius Janšauskas


    What max diameter of bottle can fit in Lezyne Power Cage? I have Camelbak Chute 0.75 bottles and looking for some cages to fit it :)

  • The Chute is a standard 3″ bottle, so it should be fine…

  • adbirds

    I was torn whether to buy the Dragonslayer or Marin Pine Mtn 2. I bought the latter. You can’t go wrong either way. I would offer that the PM2 with 1×11 would benefit from a second ring up front for road rides.

  • They have these now on Amazon. M-Wave bottle cages.

  • Sam

    Glogg steel bottles fit blackburn bottle cages perfectly. They are ever so slightly wider than Klean Kanteen bottles. To boot, they function very well too. Toured across Europe, India and SE Asia with two of them

  • Andrew Rounseville

    I’ve been using a down tube bag made by Dirtbags, that I’m able to get 2.5 L in using newer, flexible/foldable water bottles, a 1 L Osprey and a 1.5 L Vapur. I then had Dirtbags make me a slightly longer down tube bag (24 inches) and I can now get 3 L, using 2X1.5 L Vapur “bottles”.
    That’s greater that 4 large size camelbak bottles. Also, this puts the heavy water low, and doesn’t need a cage or mount.

  • hmagoo

    Interesting. Did you have them make any other changes to the size of the bag in order to fit two 1.5L Vapur bottles?

  • Max

    Anyone got any thoughts on using sks anywhere straps or mount a salsa anything cage to forks?
    Kinda stuck between buying the sks, cos they’re dirt cheap, and the gorilla clip/cage.

  • Paulo Marques

    Try these I’ve used them on my last trip in Andalusia Seirra Nevada and they worked fine.

  • Paul

    I am wondering what rear rack you have in these pics? It looks like a Tubus Fly, but how in the world did you get that to fit on plus size tires? It looks amazing. And the front rack for that matter.

  • Paul

    I can’t believe that fit. Do you know of other lightweight racks that can do this?

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