Packing rules for bikepacking.

Backpackers know that their rucksack needs to be packed with care so that the most important items can be found quickly, no space goes to waste and the rucksack is comfortable to carry. This shouldn’t be any different for a bikepacker, which is why we’re showing you a few tips to keep in mind when packing your things.


Panniers or a rucksack?

If you’re going on longer tours, you should test out wearing a rucksack on lengthier routes in advance. Even a good, high-quality rucksack can lead to pain, pressure sores and tension over time. This is why we recommend travelling with panniers – although they’re often not very cheap to get hold of, they hold out for every adventure.


However, not all panniers are the same. There are so-called frame bags which can be attached directly to the frame. The classic panniers, however, are fixed to the luggage rack at the back and often offer the most storage space. For larger trips, we recommend using a combination of frame bags and panniers.


Panniers are normally attached to the luggage rack at the back but, depending on the situation, this can make handling a bit sluggish. You can avoid this by using a front carrier. You would probably need to get used to the steering a little at first, but the bike will be a bit more agile. It is of course also possible to fit luggage racks both at the front and back, which allows you to take more with you. However, you will be able to feel every extra gram of weight, particularly on longer trips.


Get the packing right.

Once you’ve decided on the right bags, the next question is where and how do I stow what? Just like when you pack a rucksack, you should put all your heavy things at the bottom of the bags. You should also try to distribute your luggage equally between the bags so that your balance isn’t too impaired when cycling. If you use a handlebar basket, don’t put too much in it if you want to cycle safely.


You should also bear the maximum possible load in mind and not exceed the permitted total weight. Reduce your luggage if necessary – you often don’t need as much as you think.

Pack valuables such as smartphones or laptops in waterproof covers. Special smartphone or laptop cases or waterproof swimming bags are suitable for this purpose. Take one or two plastic bags with you, too, to store wet rain or swimming gear.

Want to get your hands on panniers or a cycling rucksack? Simply get in touch with your local FLYER dealer.


by Yvonne Wyss
22 October 2019