Finding the right type of bags for your style of riding is very important as they offer great space to carry your essential gear on your adventure.
Since Bikepacking is a slightly different activity than bicycle touring it involves riding through singletracks and technical terrains which becomes very difficult with Panniers and racks as in Bikepacking "freedom and minimalism" is the key to the right setup! Bikepacking bags are designed to keep the bike/luggage narrow as close to the bike so that it's easier to ride through narrow trails and only keep things which are necessary. If you are just starting out and previously own a bike touring setup then also you can do short bikepacking trips but for longer trips its better to opt for bikepacking bags!
What kind of bags are available for Bikepacking in India ?
Mainly Bikepacking bags are divided into 3 types : Seatpacks, Frame bags and Handlebar bags.I would suggest you to start with getting a Seat Pack which is ideal for storing things behind saddle.
Seat Pack or Seatpost bag is mounted under the saddle rails and it often comes in different sizes ( 5L to 16L). Seatpost bag replaces panniers and racks hence they keep the bike narrow. Its best to store bulky and lightweight stuff inside these bags like Sleeping bag, Puff Jacket, tent etc. Things which can be stuffed inside. There are a few downsides of a seat post bag which makes them difficult to carry : - Sometimes the bag will sway if not packed properly or straps are not tightened right.
- Bigger bags might touch thighs while riding.
These are just few things which can be fixed easily.
Honestly among all kinds traditional carradice style Handle bar bag is my favourite. Such bags are mounted on your Handlebar using two straps or on a rack. There are many types of Handlebar bags - Cylinderical shape, Caradice style, Basket bag. I tend to like the simple carradice more because it offers more space than any other option with benefit of organising things inside. In Handlebar bag its advisable to store lightweight things like Clothes, down jacket or small camera gear. I personally carry my Clothes and Drone in this bag.
There are a few downside of Handlebar bag, mainly its the affect on steering. However it only remains for few KM as more you ride more you adapt to it.
Frame bags are very popular among bikepackers as they offer great space inside the bike triangle. Frame bags can be custom made to fit everyone's bike size and design which is a great way to carry heavy items without disrupting the centre of gravity. I love having a full frame bag to store things like food, electronics, and tool. You can order a custom Frame Bag here.
Top Tube Bag
You might have already seen such small bags mounted on Top tube of a bicycle where riders store quick access things like phone, energy bars etc. Such bags are easy to mount and access while riding. I never step out for the ride without having this bag mounted on my bike.
Stem Bags/Feed bags
Stem bags offer great space for carrying camera, bottles and other quick access items.
Such bags are very easy to mount at the stem and can be made into a holster or cylindrical shape bags. I would recommend you to get one for adding extra space to carry bottle.
This is how I carry my belongings.
I've been on many trips and learnt it the hard way that having proper gear setup is very important to ride without worrying. Having the right kind of Bags not only saves times and energy in packing things but it keep things organised on the road so take your time to build a setup which will give you comfort just like your home.
Just before I end this blog I would like to share that for the first time in India we are offering to make custom bikepacking gear. Head to our shop section to find out the types of bags available for your adventure. Click here!