The Extra-Useful Bikepacking Gift Guide
For better or for worse, the holiday festivities are almost upon us. As bikepacking obsessives, there’s probably a ton of gear we’d all love to receive… so we’ve compiled a list to be surreptitiously slipped in the direction of your partner, family or friends…
But we also know how easy it is to get caught up in the modern, commercial frenzy of this family festival. So everything we’ve picked is gear that we’re confident will stand the test of time. That will add real value to your journeys. And, given that winter festivities have long been rooted in helping survive the harsh months… gear that will tide you through the frosty times ahead.
We’ve also laid out our list to meets all kinds of price points – from stocking fillers to larger gifts, plus a few more luxurious treats (edible or otherwise) – that we know you’ll be happy to receive.
As a sidenote, we’ll be following up our Extra-Useful Bikepacking Gift Guide with advice on how best to repair and maintain the gear you already own. Because bikepacking isn’t just about shiny new gear. It’s about getting out there, come rain or shine. Even in the winter months…
Need a few small gifts to spread some cheer? Here’s some stocking fillers that won’t break the bank:
Orange Seal Endurance Sealant (4oz Bottle)
$10.99 / orangesealed.com
Who wants punctures! We’ve found Orange Seal’s tubeless sealant to be a reliable way to keep you rolling, wherever you’re riding. The new Endurance formula is designed to last longer, making it ideal for longer bikepacking trips.
Revelate Washboard Straps
$9.00 / revelatedesigns.com
You can never have too many straps, right? Stash a set of Revelate’s Washboards in your framebag – we know you’ll need them at some point. Use them in all kinds of ways; with an Anything Cage, or by joining two to lash a pair of Crocs to your seat bag.
Montbell Handy Scoop and O.D. Roll
$13.95 / montbell.com
New year’s resolution: be a responsible bikepacker. There’s never any excuse not to carry this trowel, as it weighs a mere 1.4oz (40g). And be sure to follow LNT Principle #3.
Surly merino wool socks
$15.00 / surlybikes.com
If someone insists on giving you socks… just make sure it’s some of these. Not only will they last the test of time, but these socks have a real sense of humor – not something we ever thought we’d ever say… Plus, whoever’s in your tent will thank us later.
$4.95 / mcnett.com
We love this stuff for repairing gear – where it be tents, tarps, shells or pretty much any kind of fabric. Wrap a length of tenacious tape round your bicycle bump – it will always get you out of trouble in the backcountry.
Vargo Ti Spork
$11.95 / vargooutdoors.com
If you loose cutlery like we do, a spare ti spork never goes amiss. We can’t claim you’ll notice the different in your pack weight, but if you have to indulge a ti fetish, a spork is a great way of doing so.
Good-to-Go Thai Curry (double serving)
$11.50 / goodto-go.com
Can’t make it to Thailand this holiday?! Treat yourself to delicious Thai curry for your christmas bikepack. It will be an exotic treat wherever you ride.
$8.99 / pickybars.com
And while we’re on the subject of food… Not sure what the fuss is about with fancy bars? Taste these! The holiday festivities are about enjoying fine cuisine, right?
Dr Bronner Soap
$3.20 / Dr Bronner
We’d never begrudge an extra bottle of Dr Bronner’s magic soap. Do the dishes, wash your face or brush your teeth with it – and it’s bio-degradable too.
Gaia Topo Maps download
$20.00 / gaiagps.com
Need a GPS on a budget? Turn your smartphone into a navigational wizard. We can’t live without this Gaia, which allows us to download maps and navigate offline. Start planning next year’s adventures now.
Zefal Magnum Bottle
$8.65 / zefal.com
Perfect for thirsty rides. Looks like a normal waterbottle and fits in a standard cage, but Zefal’s Magnum holds a full liter (33oz).
Hinterland Camp Mug
$20 / Swift Industries
As Swift proclaims: Not as light as titanium and colder than steel. Gram counting aside, we love the graphics of the new, limited edition, enamel-coated Hinterland Camp Mug.
Have a little more cash to spend? Here’s 10 great gifts for under fifty bucks:
Ergon GS1 Grips
$35.95 / ergon-bike.com
The GS1 may have been developed for marathon racing, but that doesn’t stop these grips from being super comfortable for long distance bikepacking. In fact, Logan and Gin are using them in Spain right now, and loving them.
Bedrock Tapeats stem bag
$49.00 / bedrockbags.com
The Tapeats is one of our favourite stem bags. Perfect for packing a camera to record those xmas memories, it’s neat design makes it almost fully waterproof – ideal for the winter months.
Outdoor Tech Buckshot Handlebar Speaker
$39.95 / outdoortechnology.com
The buckshot is a lightweight, rugged, and water-resistant wireless speaker that straps to your handlebars. Perfect for a podcast on a long climb, or favourite tunes round a campfire.
Rogue Panda Oracle Downtube Bag
$40.00 / roguepanda.com
Squeezed for space? We love this nifty little down tube (or suspension fork) bag; it’s ideal for tools or a spare tube.
Oveja Negra Snack Pack (LG)
$50.00 / ovejanegrathreadworks.com
Neat, clean, affordable and – perhaps most importantly – in stock for that last minute shop! Oveja Negra’s Snack Pack will add style to your ride, and provide the perfect spot to stash your holiday snacks.
Lezyne Zecto Drive Rechargeable USB light
$50.00 / lezyne.com
Be safe at night. A great little light perfect for emergency situations – that includes front and rear LEDs. Read our review here.
Randi Jo winter cap
$32.00 / randijofab.com
Not only is Randi Jo’s winter cap lovingly made from wool, but it comes complete with ear flaps for when life gets chilly. We wear ours all the time.
Lezyne Micro Floor Drive
$45.00 / lezyne.com
Floor pump efficiency in a super compact, bikepacking size. This is one durable pump, and it even works to pump a suspension fork.
Lightweight hip flask
$25.00 / stanley-pmi.com
Warm yourself up with a dram of whisky on your next winter bikepack.
$28.00 / kleankanteen.com-pmi.com
Or, enjoy a piping hot brew mid ride! This 16oz insulated thermos is perfect for keeping spirits high; best served with a local pastry…
$100 dollars gets you some seriously nice gear. Here’s what we’d do with it…
OR Versaliner gloves
$52.00 / outdoorresearch.com
Keep those digits toasty. These little fellas pack so small you’ll hardly know you’re carrying them – until you need them. One layer of warmth, and a second for inclement weather.
Snow Peak Litemax Ti Stove
$60.00 / snowpeak.com
At less than 2 ounces (54 grams) and 3 inches long when folded (7.6 cm), the LiteMax stove is about the size of a small candy cane.
Sea To Summit UL Mat
$99.95 / seatosummit.com
Time to move on from that old school foam mattress? The UL mat was one of our favourites in our recent mattress shootout… After all, everyone loves a good night’s sleep!
Revelate Terrapin V2
$90.00 / revelatedesigns.com
Winter brings snow and rain… the Terrapin is capacious and importantly, completely waterproof. Revelate’s seat packs go from strength to strength. We know you won’t be disappointed with the V2.
ZPacks Cuben Dry Bags
$17-49 (buy several) / zpacks.com
You can’t have too many dry bags. And you might as well have the lightest and the best. We love these cuben dry bags and stuff sacks from minimal specialists ZPacks.
Stepping it up a notch, here’s what we’re recommending if you have a couple of Benjamins to spend…
Surly Long Sleeve Wool Jersey
$140.00 / surlybikes.com
At bikepacking.com, we’re big fans of wool. Surly’s Long Sleeve Jersey may not be the lightest layer in your arsenal of apparel… but it may well end up being the one you end up wearing most.
$119.00 / nzoactive.com
Buying shorts in the winter? Why not, they’ll last forever! Sifters may be designed for slaying single track, but they’re equally at home in the local taproom, or on a dirt odyssey in tropical climes.
Deity Bladerunner Pedals
$143.99 / deitycomponentsstore.com
With sealed micro bearings and a large 103mm x 100mm footprint, at only 11mm thick, Deity’s Bladerunner pedal is the one to beat.
Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion V2
$185.00 / porcelainrocket.com
We’ve long been fans of Porcelain Rocket’s Mr. Fusion seatpack, and its anti-sway design. The latest incarnation of this seat system is built around the same support rack, with an all new, removable and waterproof bag.
Therm-a-rest NeoAir Xtherm
$199.95 / cascadedesigns.com
Braving the elements this winter? With an R-value of 5.7, this is the Therm-a-rest to keep you toasty warm through all 4 seasons.
Patagonia Merino Air Bottoms
$129.00 / patagonia.com
Ultralight and cozy, these Merino wool blend bottoms are sure to keep coldness at bay.
Porcelain Rocket Mini-Slinger
$140.00 / porcelainrocket.com
For the photography buff: A convenient, at-hand storage for a mirrorless (or micro 4/3) camera, mounted behind the handlebars.
Okay, we’re talking serious moola here, so spend it wisely…
Montbell Ex Light Anorak
$219.00 / montbell.com
The Montbell Anorak is a choice ultralight down jacket for a minimalist backcountry bikepacker.
Specialized Recon Mixed Shoes
$225.00 / specializedd.com
‘Where the pavement ends, adventure begins.’ A lightweight and stiff shoe with classic stylings, built for road and gravel exploration.
Shimano XM9 Shoes
$250.00 / shimano-lifestylegear.com
Planning a serious bikepacking expedition? Look no further than Shimano’s XM9s, built with the adventurous bikepacker in mind…
Katabatic Alsek 22°F Quilt
From $485.00 / katabaticgear.com
At under 650 grams, the Alsec 22 is lightweight, warm, and compact. This versatile quilt ensures a good night’s sleep well into the shoulder seasons. Combine it with layers, and you have a good winter quilt.
Big Agnes Slater UL2+
From $389.95 / bigagnes.com
The Slater UL 2+ tent offers a spacious interior in a minimal package with one hidden perk, a bit of insulation for the cold nights of winter and early spring.
500+ (money is no object)
Looking for the ultimate gift for the bikepacker in your life?! Or you are just looking to treat yo’self… Here are a few bikes that have really impressed us this past year:
$1,500.00 / surlybikes.com
Christmas falls on a Friday, but a Wednesday will make any winter bikepacker happy. $1,500 buys you an incredibly capable rig, be it for trail, sand, snow, or expedition riding…
$2,599.00 / salsacycles.com
With its flared drop bars, shapely carbon fork, and 29+ wheel package, the Deadwood is decidedly unique… and it delivers.
$2,699.00 / jamisbikes.com
The Dragonslayer Combines big wheel roll-over-everything capability with the traction of 3” tires… all in a spritely, steel package. Gin’s testing one out now on the GR7 in Spain; she loves it, so stay tuned.
The Marin Pine Mountain 2
$2,749.00 / marinbikes.com
Marin’s take on an adventure specific 27.5+ bike. After a week on the trail in Spain, Logan is already saying good things…
The Jones Plus
$3,785.00, depending on build / jonesbikes.com
The Plus is one of the most comfortable, capable and versatile bikes we’ve had the pleasure of riding. “Bike For Life” is a phrase that’s often bandied around. In this case it’s really true.
New in plan
- Dec 14, 2016Video Guide to Preparing for the Baja Divide
- Nov 15, 2016The Complete Guide to Bikepacking Bags
- Oct 20, 2016A Year (of gear) in Review: My First Year Bikepacking
- Oct 17, 2016A Bikepacker’s Guide to Mountain Weather Preparation
- Aug 15, 2016A Guide to Bikefishing, by Hansi Johnson