Bikepacking Gift Ideas for All Budgets: 44 Useful Things We Actually Want
By Alissa Bell: pedal-powered freedom seeker, 20k+ miles of bikepacking and touring on 6 continents
Looking for gift ideas for that special bikepacker in your life? Lucky you! Bikepacking is a gear-intensive hobby and there are tons of practical and interesting items bikepackers would love to receive as gifts.
Here’s the thing though: we bikepackers are usually trying to carry less stuff, not more. Stuff is heavy! And the stuff we do carry is often specific to our particular bike, style of riding, and personal preferences.
My goal with this gift list is to offer ideas that a majority of bikepackers will actually use and love. We’re a diverse bunch, but I’ve spent enough time around other bikepackers to know what’s popular. I’ve also bikepacked many thousands of miles and received many bikepacking-related gifts from my family (these days I give them a wishlist full of specifics, which makes us all happy). Most of the bikepacking gifts on this list are items I personally use and love.
Before we jump in, a couple general tips for choosing gifts for bikepackers:
If you feel comfortable, ask them what they need! They probably have a wishlist of coveted gear in their heads or even written down.
When buying a specific piece of gear, camping equipment, or clothing without knowing if it’s needed, make sure it’s returnable. Include a gift receipt so they can exchange it themselves, or make it very clear that you’ll help them return it and they can use the money to buy something else.
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Affordable Gift Ideas (Under $30)
These affordable bikepacking gift ideas are exactly the type of small but valuable items we bikepackers love most. Give one, stuff a stocking with several, or combine with a more expensive idea below for a bikepacking-themed gift basket.
Bikepackers can never have enough of these handy tubular accessories. They’re headbands, sweat bands, dust masks, pillow cases, ear warmers, and so much more. Choose a fun pattern that suits your favorite bikepacker’s vibe.
Most bikepackers already have a favorite water filter, but chlorine dioxide tablets make a great emergency backup or ultralight standalone. Nothing shows you care like a gift that says “I don’t want you to get explosive diarrhea.”
Every bikepacker should have a few inches of this gear repair tape in their kit. I’ve used it on more items than I care to think of – rain clothing, bikepacking bags, inflatable sleeping pad, down sleeping bag – and it’s never failed me. The clear color is most versatile.
Shameless plug, but perhaps your bikepacking friend or loved one would enjoy my bikepacking eBook. It’s a mobile-friendly PDF download packed with tips and troubleshooting tricks for all the wacky situations that tend to come up while bikepacking.
Show you care by helping your friend or loved one stay safe while bikepacking. This lightweight mirror will help them see what’s coming up behind when riding a busy road. It clips to a helmet or sunglasses so you don’t have to wonder whether it’s compatible with their handlebars. I never hit the road without it!
Sooner or later, every bikepacker will need to refresh the waterproofing on their rain gear. This combo pack of detergent and waterproofing treatment is perfect to use at the end of each riding season to keep waterproof clothing and dry bags in top condition.
Bikepackers can never have enough of these handy rubber straps for attaching gear to our bikes. We often use them in pairs, and 25″ or 32″ are versatile lengths – we can always make them shorter if needed.
It might look like a torture device, but this little tool can offer sweet relief to sore muscles after too much time in the saddle. Bikepackers can use it at home after a ride or even take it along on their next big trip.
This popular endurance drink mix is packed full of electrolytes and calories and known for being easy on the stomach. It’s especially popular with folks who do bikepacking races or ride in hot weather, but anyone will appreciate having a packet or two in their bike bags for caloric emergencies.
Show you care with a gift that says “I want you to stay alive!” Every bikepacker should add a bit of this tape to their setup — bags, clothes, wheel spokes and rims, pedal cranks — for those times when they’re stuck riding after dark on a busy road (it happens). Bonus: it’s easy to cut into fun shapes.
When we can’t be out bikepacking, reading about other people’s bike adventures is the next best thing. Many are available on Kindle and some even have Audible versions, if that’s how your bikepacker likes to roll. A few of my personal favorites:
Every bikepacker should be carrying one of these deep in their bag for emergency carrying capacity, or just conveniently carrying their grocery store haul to the motel room. They might already have one, but they do wear out over time since they’re so lightweight.
They probably already have hex wrenches, but this is exactly the type of luxury upgrade they would never buy for themselves. Save them time and frustration with these quality color-coded hex wrenches in common bike sizes.
An ultralight and ultra-durable camp mug perfect for coffee, hot chocolate, or even cooking a simple solo meal directly on an ultralight stove. My husband and I received these as wedding presents ten years ago and still use them regularly!
This incredibly handy little tool has all the gadgets your bikepacker’s cycling multitool is probably missing: pliers, mini scissors, bottle opener, and more. Bonus: it’s TSA-compliant since it doesn’t have a knife, so it’s perfect for bikepackers who love to travel.
Most bikepackers already have a water filter, but this one is the lightest and most popular. If your bikepacker hasn’t tried it, they should. And if they already have one, they can tuck a new one away for when it’s time to replace the filter.
If your favorite bikepacker runs tubeless tires (and they probably should), this tool will help them with one of the most frustrating parts of the installation. They’ll need a floor pump too; I recommend the Topeak Joe Blow Sport if they don’t already have one.
The perfect bikepacking gift for folks who keep riding no matter the weather, these specialized gloves allow pairs of fingers to keep each other warm while still operating bike controls with ease. For me these are the only bike gloves that work when temps drop into the 40’s F or below.
These lightweight sandals make excellent camp and town shoes for weight-conscious bikepackers. They’re a bit of a splurge, which is exactly why your bikepacker will appreciate receiving them as a gift.
I hesitate to include any bikepacking bags since most bikepackers have very specific wants (be prepared to return or exchange), but this is one of the most popular and versatile handlebar carrying systems. If your bikepacker is just starting out and doesn’t have their own system already, they’ll surely appreciate it.
These bikepacking gifts will make a big impression and bring your bikepacking friend or loved one many years of value. Just make sure they’re returnable; some folks might already have them or need something different.
This section would be the obvious place to include bigger ticket items like bikepacking bags, technical clothing, and camping gear. I’ve included a few popular examples to give you ideas, but I recommend asking your favorite bikepacker what they actually need. They’ll be stoked to receive exactly the thing they’ve been dreaming about.
This extensive tool kit is a dream come true for bikepackers who work on their own bikes. If they’ve shown interest in getting their hands dirty but don’t yet have all the tools, this set will awaken their inner mechanic.
Not everyone likes to listen to audio while bikepacking, but for those who do this is the ultimate luxury upgrade to whatever earbuds they currently use. Bikepacking-friendly features include adjustable HearThrough mode, support for using just one earbud, and long battery life with convenient USB-rechargeable case.
The gold standard of lightweight sleeping pads, the NeoAir XLite packs down impressively small for its comfort and warmth. If your bikepacker doesn’t already have a sleeping pad they love, there’s a good chance they’ll be stoked about this one.
Clothes can be tricky (be prepared to return or exchange if it’s not the right fit), but many bikepackers love merino wool for its stink-resistance and thermoregulation properties. Smartwool is a quality brand, and their lighter weight t-shirts (for folks who don’t ride in a jersey) and half-zip long sleeve shirts (which fit over helmets) are most versatile.
Seat bags are hard to buy as gifts if you don’t know the details of someone’s setup, but this is a popular and high-quality option perfect for a bikepacker still building their gear library. I wouldn’t recommend it for petite riders on small bikes, since it may not fit above their rear tire.
This popular ultralight down jacket is a high-end gift for someone who loves to ride fast and light in mostly moderate weather. It’s not the warmest down jacket out there, but it’s impressively warm for its weight and packs down tiny — perfect for a space-constrained bikepacking setup.
Not every gift needs to be a physical object. Here are some creative ideas for bikepackers who already have everything or prefer to choose their own gear.
Gift Certificate to Their Local Bike Shop
If you know their favorite local shop or mechanic, a gift certificate for repairs or bike parts will certainly be appreciated. If you can’t figure out their go-to shop, try choosing a reputable one in their town – they’ll still appreciate having somewhere local to buy parts or accessories.
Let them choose the gear they need most with a gift card to REI Co-op. REI carries a good variety of bikepacking-specific gear as well as general outdoor gear and clothing. They’re also known for their excellent return policy, inclusive culture, and commitment to protecting the environment.
If they’re not already a member of bikepacking.com’s Bikepacking Collective, you can gift them an annual membership that includes the printed Bikepacking Journal, access to prizes and exclusive gear, and the satisfaction of supporting a beloved resource of the bikepacking community.
For a bikepacker who already has everything and wants to support the community, consider making a donation on their behalf to the bikepacking advocacy group Bikepacking Roots. It even comes with a thank you gift you can pass along.
If your bikepacker likes road touring and/or has ever talked about “The Great Divide,” there’s a good chance they know and love Adventure Cycling. Membership comes with a subscription to their print magazine, discounts on gear and maps, and the satisfaction of supporting America’s premier bike travel nonprofit.
Gear is great, but what most of us really want is the experience of taking that gear out on the road or trail for an epic trip. Travel logistics can be expensive and any bikepacker will appreciate a contribution. Tell them it’s for a comfy hotel room, decadent meal, plane ticket to somewhere awesome, or whatever else you’d like to support.
Surely by now you’ve found the perfect bikepacking gift idea for your friend or loved one. If you’re still unsure, just ask them! They probably have their own wishlist of dream gear they’d be happy to tell you about.
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Hi there, I’m Alissa, founder of Exploring Wild. I’ve traveled over 19,000 miles by bike and still can’t stop planning my next ride (and helping you plan yours). Pavement and panniers or singletrack and seat bag, I love it all. On my bike I feel free. Learn more about me here.
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