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Bikepacking is an incredible way to explore the world on a micro level. Things move a little slower and you can spend as much or as little time in a place as you want before choosing to experience the next town, the next mountain pass, or the wide open roads. Before you plan your next bikepacking trip, make sure you stock up on the best bikepacking bags money can buy so you can ensure that all your belongings are safe and well-packed before you go!

Then there is the technical aspect of bikepacking and no doubt having the right equipment is going to make your experience even better. Bikepacking bags are one of the most important things to consider before a big cycling trip – after all, this is how you are going to carry everything from your toothbrush to your T-shirts!

There are so many different types and styles of bikepacking bags that it can be hard to choose the right bag for the job, especially if it’s your first time bikepacking or bike touring. An overnight trip might require just a frame bag if you’re a light traveller, a multiday trip might mean the addition of a handlebar pack, and those long epic adventures might call for large panniers too.

If your head is spinning wondering what all of these bags are for or which ones are the best on the market, then keep reading because we’ve compiled a list of our favorite bags for bikepacking to make sure you have the best bikepacking trip possible.

For more of our top bikepacking gear recommendations, check out the Best Bike Handlebar Bags.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Bikepacking Bags

  1. Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP
  2. Salsa Touring Pannier
  3. Axiom Monsoon Oceanweave P23+
  4. Ortlieb Seat-Pack Saddle Bag
  5. Blackburn Outpost Elite
  6. Serfas Ark Expandable Half-Frame
  7. Oveja Negra Royale
  8. Blackburn Outpost Top Tube
  9. Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbag
  10. Salsa EXP Series Anything Cradle
  11. Ortlieb Ultimate Six Free

 

Comparison Table - Best Bikepacking Bags

PictureNameWeightGear CapacityWaterproof?StylePriceRating
Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP2.10 oz16.6L (Medium)No, Weather ResistantTrunk Bag and Expandable Panniers$$4.8
Salsa Touring Pannier1.8 lbs27L (Extra Large)YesPannier$$4.1
Axiom Monsoon Oceanweave P23+2.11 lbs23L (Large)YesPannier$$$$4.6
Ortlieb Seat-Pack Saddle Bag0.7 lbs11L (Medium)YesSeat Pack$$$4.7
Blackburn Outpost Elite7.3oz - 10.8oz3.37 - 6.76L (Small)YesFull Frame Bag$$$4.3
Serfas Ark Expandable Half-Frame3.52oz3 - 5L (Small)No, Weather ResistantHalf Frame Bag$4.7
Oveja Negra Royale0.6 lbs4L (Small)NoHip Pack$$4.6
Blackburn Outpost Top Tube0.4 lbs0.5L (Extra Small)No, Water ResistantTop Tube Bag$4.8
Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbag0.2 lbs1L (Extra Small)NoHandlebar Feedbag$4.8
Salsa EXP Series Anything Cradle1.4 lbs15L (Medium)YesHandlebar Bag$$$5.0
Ortlieb Ultimate Six Free1.8L5L (Small)YesHandlebar Bag$$4.9
PictureNameWeightGear CapacityWaterproof?StylePriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Bags for Bikepacking

Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Dimensions: 14.2” x 9.8” x 8.5”
  • Weight: 2.10 oz
  • Material: 600 Denier Polyester
  • Style: Trunk Bag and Expandable Panniers
  • Waterproof?: No, Weather Resistant
  • Gear Capacity: 16.6L (Medium)
Features
  • Expandable Panniers Store Away When Not In Use
  • Rigid And Protective Main Compartment For Storing Fragile Valuables
  • Carry Handle And Shoulder Strap Included For Easy Carrying

BEST FOR: PREPARING FOR UNKNOWN ADVENTURES

This bag packs a punch. Not only is it a full sized trunk bag made from a stiff, durable, and weather resistant material, it also expands in multiple directions for maximizing load capacity. The trunk bag itself has an expandable top section for stuffing in more clothes, snacks, or even a camera. Then you can simply unzip each side of the bag to roll out a set of inbuilt panniers which are perfect for storing large and bulky items.

This trunk bag also comes with a drink bottle storage pocket, a clip to attach lights on the rear for extra safety, and a shoulder strap so you can carry the bag easily off the bike. With so many features this trunk bag has to be one of the best for bikepacking and bike touring.

Salsa Touring Pannier

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 7” x 9.5 - 12”
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Material: Nylon
  • Style: Pannier
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 27L (Extra Large)
Features
  • Inner Pouch To Store Expensive Valuables
  • Convenient Carry Handle
  • Brightly Colored Design For Added Visibility In Low Light

BEST FOR: EPIC LONG ADVENTURES

Long bikepacking adventures tend to mean carrying substantially more gear, especially if you are heading off the beaten track. So you’ll be on the lookout for a set of panniers to help you distribute weight evenly on your bike and something that can stand up to any weather conditions you might encounter.

The Salsa Touring Pannier is one of The Adventure Junkies’ top picks, with a whopping 27L capacity. This set of bags is completely waterproof and dustproof – so no matter if you’re headed for the tropics or the desert, they’re a great option. The single compartment design keeps things simple, with a small removable pouch to store your more precious valuables (think wallet, phone, keys, etc) and the bright red exterior will help you be seen by passing cars while riding on the road.

Axiom Monsoon Oceanweave P23+

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 18.5“ x 11.3” x 5.3”
  • Weight: 2.11 lbs
  • Material: 600 Denier Reclaimed Polyester
  • Style: Pannier
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 23L (Large)
Features
  • Separate Electronics Organizer Pouches
  • Constructed From Recycled Materials
  • External Zippered Pockets Keep Items Easily Accessible

BEST FOR: DIGITAL BIKEPACKERS

In the cycling world bikepacking is definitely the latest hot trend, and if you want to ensure you capture all your adventures and can edit them along the way, then you need to take a look at the Axiom Cycling Gear Monsoon Oceanweave P+23 Pannier. This bag is specifically designed for digital nomads with separate pockets and pouches to keep your expensive digital equipment dry, dust-free, and unscathed.

The 23L gear capacity features a multitude of pockets, hooks, and straps, alongside a roll down closure to keep all your gear organized and secure. This bag comes with a hefty price tag, but it has all the bells and whistles you could possibly need in a pannier bag for digital bikepacking.

Ortlieb Seat-Pack Saddle Bag

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 15.7” x 10.2” x 5.9"
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs
  • Material: Polyurethane-Coated Nylon
  • Style: Seat Pack
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 11L (Medium)
Features
  • Lightweight And Durable
  • Heavy Duty Yet Padded Seatpost Attachment
  • Sturdy Inner Liner For Structural Stability

BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT TRAVELERS

Bikepacking doesn’t necessarily mean you have to carry stacks of stuff with you. If you are a lightweight traveller who can live off minimal possessions, a seat-pack could be the ideal solution. The Ortlieb Seat-Pack doesn’t require any special racks or mounting points to attach it to you bike. It attaches with a simple yet effective velcro hook and loop strap around the seat post and a strap under your saddle.

Manufactured from high quality materials, this seatpack is waterproof and dustproof and extremely lightweight, weighing only 0.7 lbs. Although it’s small and light, it is also super durable and will withstand anything you encounter on the trail. 

To add to its durability, this bag is fitted with heavy duty material where it attaches to the bike to ensure the material doesn’t rip or wear. The inner part of the bag is also constructed with a stiff material that holds it shape, keeping the bag from drooping when packed full. This is a solid option for bikepackers looking to travel light and fast.

Blackburn Outpost Elite

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Dimensions: 10” x 14” - 13” - 19”
  • Weight: 7.3oz - 10.8oz
  • Material: Waterproof Material
  • Style: Full Frame Bag
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 3.37 - 6.76L (Small)
Features
  • Multi-Pocket Design To Separate Gear
  • Padded Mounting Straps To Protect Bike Frame
  • Available In Varying Sizes To Fit Different Bikes

BEST FOR: THE ORGANIZED BIKEPACKER

A frame bag is a great way to store heavier items while not compromising the stability of your bike. It keeps the weight central and low giving you plenty of confidence when riding.

One of our top choices for frame bags is the Outpost Elite Frame bag. Even at first glance you can tell this bag was designed by someone who knows a thing or two about bikepacking. From the waterproof and dustproof materials to the lightweight construction that includes a multitude of organizational pockets to the design of the mounting system with soft straps to protect your frame, this bag is near perfect for the serious bikepacker. 

This is a well thought out frame bag that is a great option for bikepacking. To top it off, it’s available in four sizes so no matter what you ride, it’s likely this line of bags will have a size option that suits you.

Serfas Ark Expandable Half-Frame

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Dimensions: 5.5” x 17” x 2” (9” x 17” x 2” Expanded Size)
  • Weight: 3.52oz
  • Material: Water Resistant Material
  • Style: Half Frame Bag
  • Waterproof?: No, Weather Resistant
  • Gear Capacity: 3 - 5L (Small)
Features
  • Expandable Storage Increasing From 3L To 5L
  • Adjustable Straps For Micro-Adjusting Fit
  • Additional Attachment Points On Exterior Of Bag

BEST FOR: SHORTER BIKEPACKING TRIPS

If you’ve decided a frame bag is the right type of bag for your adventures, but you’re tossing up between a full frame bag and a half frame bag…why not get both? Or better yet check out the Safras Ark Expandable Frame Bag which is a two-in-one style bag. Simply unzip the lower portion of the bag to transform it from half size to full size. 

This frame bag features adjustable mounting straps so you can ensure the perfect fit to your frame and additional outer straps for attaching extra gear. Made from a weather resistant material it can handle a light summer rain or a splash through puddles without getting your gear wet. This is an awesome versatile choice for the bikepacker who wants it all!

Oveja Negra Royale

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 6 - 12" x 10.5" x 3.5"
  • Weight: 0.6 lbs
  • Material: X-Pac VX21, Nexus Cyberian SR buckle
  • Style: Hip Pack
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Gear Capacity: 4L (Small)
Features
  • Padded And Breathable Mesh Backing For Comfort
  • Separate Interior Stow Pocket
  • Lightweight

BEST FOR: TREND-SETTER BIKEPACKING

Are you a trend-setter or do you like to think outside the box and do things a little differently? Then you have to take a look at the Oveja Negra Royale Hip Pack. This trendy little hip pack is designed to maximize comfort with padded wings, the part that wraps around your body, and a wide waist belt plus it also features a mesh backing for breathability. The simple roll top design means it’s easy to access your gear inside, and the interior compartment also features a separate zippered pocket to keep your important goods tucked away.

Oh yeah and before we forget to mention it, hip packs are not only trendy but also incredibly useful. Store your snacks, bike tools, maps, phone, cash or anything else you might need on the go. It also means you don’t have to rummage through a pannier, frame bag, or handlebar bag to grab your valuables when you arrive at your destination.

Blackburn Outpost Top Tube

Specs
  • Closure: Zipper
  • Dimensions: 9.2” x 3.1” x -4.7”
  • Weight: 0.4 lbs
  • Material: 70D Nylon And 4mm Ripstop
  • Style: Top Tube Bag
  • Waterproof?: No, Water Resistant
  • Gear Capacity: 0.5L (Extra Small)
Features
  • Bolt-On Option For Extra Stability
  • Adjustable Internal Storage Organizer
  • ID And Cash Stash Pocket

BEST FOR: GRAVEL ADVENTURES

Top tube bags are a great option for carrying small essential items like a phone, camera, cash, and on-bike nutrition. The Blackburn Outpost Top Tube Bag is a super lightweight and well designed bag. It has the option of mounting with either adjustable straps or bolting it to your bike. If your bike is compatible with bolted bags, this method of attachment keeps your belongings super secure which is especially important if you plan on riding on bumpy gravel or rough paved or dirt roads.

Accessed by a zipper, the internal compartment has a removable and movable organizer, plus the bag is padded to keep your valuables safe and secure. The bag also features a mesh pocket on top and a zippered pocket on the side, perfect for stashing a bit of cash. This top tube bag is a great option for bikepacking and one of the best on the market.

Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbag

Specs
  • Closure: Drawstring
  • Dimensions: Undisclosed
  • Weight: 0.2 lbs
  • Material: RevVX 21, 420 Denier Yellow Lining
  • Style: Handlebar Feedbag
  • Waterproof?: No
  • Gear Capacity: 1L (Extra Small)
Features
  • Easy One-Handed Access
  • Outer Mesh Pockets
  • Adjustable Mounting Straps

BEST FOR: BIG MILES – NO STOPS

If you’re the type of rider who likes to jump on the bike and smash out big miles without stopping, you might want to consider investing in a feedbag. This bag attaches to your handlebars and allows you to carry plenty of food to keep you fueled for your ride.

The Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbag features adjustable straps so you can get the perfect fit on your handlebars because there is nothing worse than a bag that is loose and swinging around as you ride. The bag is accessed by a simple drawstring making it easy to open with one hand, and three small mesh pockets on the outside are ideal for storing the trash from your food wrappers. No doubt this addition to your bikepacking kit will put a smile on your face when you’re 100kms into a ride and all you want is snacks at your fingertips!

Salsa EXP Series Anything Cradle

Specs
  • Closure: Roll Top And Buckle
  • Dimensions: 33.4” x 7.8” x 9”
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs
  • Material: 420-Denier Polyurethane-Coated Nylon
  • Style: Handlebar Bag
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 15L (Medium)
Features
  • Secure Mounting System
  • Completely Waterproof Design And Construction
  • Easy Installation

BEST FOR: WATERPROOF HANDLEBAR STORAGE

Handlebar bags are a must have piece of kit for bikepacking and bike touring. The Salsa EXP Series Anything Bag is the ultimate bike handlebar bag combo and unsurprisingly it comes with a price tag to match. However, you won’t be disappointed with the quality and performance of this combo.

First and foremost this combo features a cradle to hold the drybag. If you’ve ever used a handlebar bag before you will understand the benefits of using a cradle. For those of you who are new to this bikepacking gig, here is the low down: A cradle holds the bag in a high position which prevents it from dragging on your front wheel and keeps it firm and secure to stop it from wobbling around on your handlebars.

The bag itself is a 15L drybag that is waterproof and dustproof, with a simple roll top and buckle system accessible from both sides of the bag, which makes it easy to access the contents. Plus it features additional straps so you can attach extra gear to the outside of the bag. This really is the royalty of handlebar bags for bikepacking!

Ortlieb Ultimate Six Free

Specs
  • Closure: Magnetic Flap
  • Dimensions: 9.4” x 5.3” x 5.1”
  • Weight: 1.8L
  • Material: PVC-Free Polyurethane-Coated Polyester
  • Style: Handlebar Bag
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Gear Capacity: 5L (Small)
Features
  • Removable Shoulder Strap
  • Easy One-Handed Access With A Magnetic Flap
  • Lockable Storage To Keep Your Belongings Safe And Sound

BEST FOR: EASY ACCESS TO SNACKS AND VALUABLES

If all your gear is easily tucked away into your panniers and trunk bag, or you’re only headed out on a short trip, you may want to consider using a handlebar bag for your on-bike essentials.

The Ortlieb Ultimate Six Free Handlebar Bag is perfect for this. Made from a waterproof material with a rigid plastic interior, it sits upright and well away from your front wheel. This structure means it can easily handle slightly heavier objects and will have no problem holding your phone, wallet, snacks, and even a camera so you can capture your epic adventure. The bag is easily accessed with one hand due to the flap and magnetic closure system and the removable shoulder strap means it can go from handlebar bag to shoulder bag in under a minute. This multi-use bag is definitely worth checking out.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING BIKEPACKING BAGS

STYLE

There are seven main styles of bikepacking bags listed above:

Trunk Bag

These sit on top of a rear rack and are one of the larger bags used when bikepacking.

Pannier

These are used in a pair for even weight distribution and are typically attached to a rear or front rack. Panniers will often boast the largest carrying capacity of all the bags available for bikepacking.

Seat-Pack or Saddle-Bag

These attach to your seat and seat post and come in a variety of sizes. They are often used for lightweight touring and bikepacking.

Frame Bag

These sit in the middle triangle of your bike frame and will either take up the entire area (full frame bag) or part of the area (half frame bag). Frame bags are great for storing heavier items as they help keep the center of gravity low when riding.

Top Tube Bag

These are small bags that sit on the top tube of your bike. Top tube bags are commonly used for storing valuables and ride nutrition and they provide easy access while riding.

Feed Bag

These attach to your handlebars and are a small bag for storing food for riding. Easy to access while riding.

Handlebar Bag

These attach to the front of your handlebars and are commonly used to carry bulky but lightweight items. Smaller handlebar bags can be used to carry valuables and snacks for easy access.

 

YOUR BIKEPACKING TRIP

The length of your trip will determine how many bags you may need. A short weekend trip may only require a seat pack and handlebar bag, while a multi-week trip may require panniers and a trunk bag, handlebar bag, and toptube bag. Remember, the longer your trip, the more you will need to carry.

Your planned bikepacking route will also play an important role in choosing bags. If you plan on getting off the beaten track and sleeping out under the stars and you know there won’t be a Starbucks or Chipotle in sight for quick and easy food then you’ll need to carry more equipment than if you are riding from town to town, staying in accommodations, and buying supplies at restaurants or grocery stores daily.

 

CAPACITY

How much do you actually need to carry, what does will weigh, and what sort of space will it take up? Knowing the answers to these types of questions will help determine the type of bikepacking bag or bags you choose.

 

ACCESS

Think about what will go into each bag and how often you may need access to your gear or food. Easy access like a zipper or drawstring may be useful for grabbing valuables or snacks on-the-go, but a roll top with buckle may work better for storing things like your warm jacket and a spare pair of socks that you may only access once a day. It’s usually helpful to have a couple of different styles of bags for your bikepacking trip, some that provide easy access and others that are only used once a day or less.

 

SIZE MATTERS

Bikepacking bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Bigger is not always better as it can often encourage you to pack more than what you really need. Additionally, not having enough room can lead to frustration trying to repack bags after each stop. Watch this video about the effect weight has on your bike when riding it.

 

WEIGHT

There are two weight considerations:

The Weight You Can Carry: Just because you can buy a lot of bags and you’re able to carry bags with a huge carrying capacity doesn’t mean you should. Traveling light is going to make the journey much more enjoyable as you will be able to cycle with more ease and tackle more interesting and exciting routes. Not to mention that an overloaded bike is often quite unstable to ride and carrying too much for the size and strength of the rider is not safe. So select your gear list wisely – check out our suggested gear for bike touring list here.

The Weight Of The Bags should also play a role in selecting a bag – you want something lightweight as it is important to keep weight down when bikepacking. The more everything weighs, the more energy you will expend cycling and the harder it may be to ride up some of those big mountains.

 

WATERPROOF VS WATER RESISTANT VS WEATHER PROOF

If you are comfortable riding in any weather including rain, look for a bag that is rated waterproof to ensure your gear stays dry and safe.

If you are a fair weather rider and plan on staying inside warm and dry when it’s raining out then you could consider a water resistant option. Water resistant bags will likely keep splashes from creeks or rivers out and short periods of very light rain won’t do any damage to your gear, but they’re are not guaranteed to keep water out completely.

Choose wisely as you don’t want to be caught out in a summer rainstorm with your gear and gadgets in a bag that isn’t protected against the elements.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

CLOSURE SYSTEMS

Roll Top

These systems are commonly used on waterproof and dustproof bags. The top of the bag closes together and then folds over itself to roll down.

Buckle System

This is a male – female plastic closing device. It is made of two pieces that lock into one another forming a strong closure. To open you simply push two pieces of plastic together and it releases.

Flap Or Overflap

This is an additional piece of material that comes over the top of the pannier that helps with keeping the elements out. The flap is often magnetized to keep the bag closed while riding.

Zipper Closure

This is a simple but effective system – these can come in waterproof varieties as well.

CARRY HANDLE

Small handle on top of a pannier that makes it easy to carry off the bike and also helps to align the pannier when mounting it to the bikepacking rack.

DUSTPROOF

These bags have been designed to prevent dust from getting inside and coating your belongings. When traveling on dirt or gravel roads, it is worthwhile investing in a dust proof bag to ensure your clothing, gear, and digital equipment stays clean.

DAISY CHAIN

A wide strap that is attached at multiple points. It is used to attach clips or hooks for storing extra gear on the outside of a pannier.

DRYBAG

A waterproof and lightweight bag that will keep anything inside dry. These are sometimes also dust proof.

CRADLE

A separate piece of hardware that attaches to the handlebar. It is a rigid structure, commonly made from hard plastic.

REAR OR FRONT RACK

A metal rack that attaches to the rear or front of the bike. Racks are specifically designed to carry various bags from panniers to trunk bags.

EXTERNAL STRAP

A piece of thick strapping material that wraps around the bag. With an external strap, you can clip small attachments onto the outside of the bag or slide gear into the straps such as small tent poles.

WAIST STRAP

A strap that is attached to the bag to allow you to carry it around your waist.

MOUNTING STRAP OR MOUNTING ATTACHMENT

Simply the device that holds the bag to your frame, handlebars, or racks.

READ MORE

For more of our top bicycle touring gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

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