“Bikepacking” is a trend – and a nice one: It is sports and adventure at the same time. You cycle through and respect nature. I recently started looking for bikepacking clothing and bags, and I found it difficult to find and digest information about the sustainability of the products. I would like to share my recent and coming experience in selecting bikepacking clothes and bags to help you find your sustainable bikepacking stuff.
By Mark Starmanns
Basically, bikepacking is doing a bike tour – but you cycle more on trails than on roads and therefore you use very light and slender packaging. And you enjoy nature.
Picture: Biketour Global
What to wear and which bags to use?
When selecting clothes for the next bikepacking tour, I had some questions because cycling clothes do not belong to my favourite style. You could bikepack with a cotton T-shirt and cotton pants (which I usually prefer). But going up hills, the cotton soaks quickly and gets heavy. On a 5-days trip you will not want to carry five T-shirts with you. Plus, a long tour will most likely be more fun with trousers that have some padding and T-shirts that dry quickly (of course they look like hell). However, you will look for light, quickly drying clothes that can be worn the next day. Not much fun with cotton. But do I really have to wear Lycra?!
I also had many questions regarding the bags. It depends on the tour and your bike whether you can use panniers. But usually bikepacking is done with bags on the frame, the saddle, the handlebar – basically any metal that you might find to wrap a bag – look for yourself:
Pictures: Orlieb, Vaude
You can spend around 200 and 500 Euro for a set of 3-5 bags. Is it worthwhile to save a few Euros on a cheaper bag? Or is it cheaper (in the long term) to buy a more expensive one? When you start researching you will read tests that prefer one bag over another and others will prefer the other over the first one. Most reviews understandably talk about functionality, but what about the sustainability of the bags?
And finally, you will need (light) gear – i.e. tends, sleeping bags, mats etc.
GET CHANGED! to discuss bike clothing & accessories
In this blog series, I plan to analyse the market for bikepacking a bit closer and share my experience regarding the selection of bikepacking clothing and bags on GET CHANGED. I will also test products and report about them. My focus is functionality, price, style – and certainly sustainability.
Are you interested in bike-packing?
Please tell me in what you are interested so I can try to build your questions into my research.