Beginner's Guide to

Bikepacking bags are minimalist cargo carriers that attach directly to your bike, without a rack. They're perfect for rugged multi-day bike adventures because they are: 

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Streamlined, for easier maneuverability on rough trail

Smaller, encouraging you to pack light

Resilient, due to fewer rigid breakable structures

You don't need all the bags to go bikepacking, and you can make do with some clever hacks (dry bags and straps, backpack, etc). You also don't need to buy the most expensive bags out there. But if you get into bikepacking, a reliable set of bikepacking bags can definitely make life easier. Read on to learn about the most important types of bikepacking bags.

Frame Bag

Great for: heavy items like a water bladder, food, tools Styles: full, wedge, top Limitations: small bikes and full suspension bikes have limited space

Handlebar Bag

Great for: light bulky items like sleeping bag, tent Styles: all-in-one, harness plus dry bag, add-on pouch Limitations: drop bars limit capacity, too much weight makes technical riding hard

Seat Bag

Great for: soft stuffable things (clothes), small items (first aid kit, food, etc) Styles: all-in-one, harness plus dry bag, stabilized, dropper optimized Limitations: small bikes and dropper seat posts limit capacity

Stem Bag / Feed Bag

Great for: snacks, water bottle, small essentials like sunscreen, chapstick Styles: similar but some have lots of pockets, one-handed open close, other features Limitations: cluttered cockpit, can potentially graze knees if too big

Top Tube Bag

Great for: snacks, small electronics, basic tools, sunscreen and small essentials Styles: small, larger, front, rear Limitations: standover clearance for shorter riders

Gear Cages + Dry Bags

Great for: heavy items like water, stove and fuel, food; cylindrical items like sleeping pad Styles: simple dry bag, bags with webbing loops, direct-mount bags  Limitations: harder to mount on forks without eyelets, too heavy is bad for handling

Find more bags, examples, and pictures in the full post at Exploring Wild: 

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