A Guide to Bikepacking Bags

By Alex Guerrero

You’re planning your next bikepacking trip. You’ve got the bike, the bivvy and the post-ride beers at the ready. But where do you put them? Sussing out storage solutions can be…lengthy. We’ve been proudly making bikepacking bags since 2008, so we know what we like. Most of our bags are handmade in our UK factory. And all our bags are the lightweight, weather resistant companions you need for your next adventure. Here’s our guide to bikepacking bags - and what to put in them!

A Brief Overview

  1. Saddle Bags
  2. Handlebar Bags
  3. Frame Bags
  4. Cockpit Bags
  5. Pannier Bags

Saddle Bags

What are saddle bags?

For a standard Sunday café ride, small saddle bags are handy for your puncture repair kit and your multi tool. But bikepacking saddle bags are the big brothers of the small Sunday saddle bags. They’re the modern alternative to panniers, with a roll-top closure and attach to your bike with Velcro straps. They’re conical, aerodynamic and ward off the dreaded leg-bashing of hike-a-bike with panniers.

What can I put in my saddle bag?

Saddle bags are lightweight but can still be stuffed to the brim with up to 17L of kit in bags like our Big Papa. They’re great for carrying big, bulky items that you don’t need until you’re setting up your carefully chosen camp spot. Like your bivvy bag, sleeping bag or down jacket.

 

Koala

Fiana

Airlok

Big Papa

Capacity

7L/13L

12L

13L

17L

Special feature

Rackless

Waterproof

Drybag liner

Works with harness

Where is it made?

UK

China

China

UK

Colours

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

Black

Black, Chilli

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

 

Handlebar Bags

What are handlebar bags?

A sausage-y storage system for bulky items, handlebar bags are the natural progression from just strapping stuff to your handlebars. They make nifty use of the dead space between your drop handlebars.

Or they can work as a harness and dry bag combo. The harness stays attached to your handlebars. And the dry bag simply slots in and out. But make sure to avoid overfilling your handlebar bag to prevent any steering issues!

What can I put in my handlebar bag?

Large handlebar bags with roll ends like the Gnaro and the Kuoka are ideal for storing large, light, bulky items. On longer adventures, they’re the perfect spot for spare clothing or camping kit that you don’t need during the day. Top loading handlebar bags, like the Gravel bag, Drop Bear and Toploader are super handy for stashing snacks or a spare layer when out for a day-raid.

 

Gnaro

Toploader

Drop Bear

Gravel Bag

Kuoka

Tivaro

Airlok

Capacity

3L

4L

4L

5L

13L

13L

13L/20L

Special feature

Waterproof

Stretchy mesh side pockets

Compatible with hoop bars

Side pockets and bungee

Compatible with harnesses

Waterproof, integrated harness

Can be used with or without harness

Where is it made?

China

UK

UK

UK

UK

China

China

Colours

Black

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

Black, Chilli, Lego

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

Black

Black, Chilli

Frame Bags

What are frame bags?

They are space-efficient little devils. Frame bags use the gap in the triangle of your bike frame to carry small, heavy pieces of kit. They are attached with Velcro and can be positioned at the front or bag of the frame. The bigger the bike, the bigger the frame bag potential!

What can I put in my frame bag?

The benefit of frame bags is that they are positioned in the centre of your bike, keeping a lower centre of gravity. This means you can fill them with heavier kit without having any issues with steering or handling. Chuck in your tools, spare parts and your all-important bike lock. Custom frame bags like our Stingray are made to measure to your frame. And they’re big enough to hold a water bladder.

 

Wombat

Bilbie

Glider

Analoko

Possum

Stingray

Capacity

1.25L

1.5L

1.7/2.1/2.6L

2.5/4/6L

2.6/3.5/4.4L

Custom

What is it

Rear triangle frame bag

Front triangle frame bag

Half frame bag

Half frame bag for road/gravel bikes

Half frame bag for MTB

Custom frame bag

Waterproof?

Highly water-resistant

Highly water-resistant

Highly water-resistant

Yes

Highly water-resistant

?

Where is it made?

UK

UK

UK

China

UK

UK

Colours

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

Black

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

28 colour choices!

Cockpit Bags

cockpit bag
cockpit bag

What are cockpit bags?

Cockpit bags come in all shapes and sizes and fit on your top tube or stem for easy access to small accessory items while on the move.

What can I put in my cockpit bag?

Cockpit bags are small, easy-access stashes for your phone, snacks, sunglasses, lightweight layers, and wires. Or if you’re in racing mode, you can cycle through a drive through and leave your half-eaten chips in an unzipped top tube bag for one-handed eating on the move.

 

Tuoko

Enduro pod

Fuel pod

Lodo

Stem cell

Capacity

0.65L

0.75L

1/1.5L

1.4L

1.8L/3L

What is it?

Top tube bag

Top tube bag

Top tube bag

Stem bag

Stem-mounted bag

Waterproof?

Yes

Highly water resistant

Highly water resistant

Waterproof

Highly water resistant

Where is it made?

China

UK

UK

China

UK

Colours

Black

Black, Teal Peel

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

Black

Black, Chilli, Lego, Teal Peel

Panniers

What are panniers?

Panniers are the retro set up for old-school road touring. They’re spacious top loading bags which can work with or without clips. They sit either over your back or front wheels. And if you’re fully committed to the pannier aesthetic, you can also buy our Goucho mini top tube panniers for your accessory items.

What can I put in my panniers?

Anything! Well, not quite. But the advantage of panniers bags is how roomy they are. They’re great for longer, heavily laden touring adventures and carry all your important kit: camping essentials, spare clothes and off-bike shoes. They mean you don’t have to invest in expensive, lightweight camping gear just to fit in your bikepacking bags.

 

Goucho

Caledonian

Toliari

Capacity

4L

10L, 25L

12L/20L/30L

What is it?

Waxed cotton tube panniers

Waxed cotton panniers

Waterproof panniers

Waterproof?

Highly water-resistant

Highly water-resistant

Yes

Colours

Denim, Mustard, Rust

Denim, Mustard, Rust

Grey

Where is it made?

UK

UK

China

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