Cycloscope: Bicycle Touring Planet Earth https://cycloscope.net a life on the road, cycling the world to learn and share Sun, 10 Jan 2021 09:02:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://cycloscope.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cropped-cycloscope-logo-elena-face-32x32.png Cycloscope: Bicycle Touring Planet Earth https://cycloscope.net 32 32 The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 https://cycloscope.net/the-very-best-chamois-cream-for-cycling-in-2021 https://cycloscope.net/the-very-best-chamois-cream-for-cycling-in-2021#respond Sun, 10 Jan 2021 08:55:41 +0000 https://cycloscope.net/?p=20515 Here the Best Chamois Cream for a long day in the saddle. A good cycle chamois cream eliminates excessive friction between your skin and clothes while riding. Cycling tours are always awesome, isn’t it! They are filled with thrill and excitement all the way long. However, along with bringing fun into your life, these tours also attract some minor issues for you. One of the things that you must have witnessed during your cycling tour is chafing.  Whether you are […]

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Best Chamois Cream for Cycling

Here the Best Chamois Cream for a long day in the saddle. A good cycle chamois cream eliminates excessive friction between your skin and clothes while riding.

Cycling tours are always awesome, isn’t it! They are filled with thrill and excitement all the way long. However, along with bringing fun into your life, these tours also attract some minor issues for you. One of the things that you must have witnessed during your cycling tour is chafing. 

Whether you are a newbie or a professional, you must have experienced that irritating rubbing of your skin against your clothes. This is what chafing is and commonly happens in inner thigh areas and glutes.

It not only causes itching and irritation but can also lead to swelling and bleeding if not taken care of. And to make it less bad every time you plan a tour, remember to apply and pack a cycle chamois cream.

What is Chamois Cream?

best chamois cream for cycling

A cycle chamois cream is an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and viscous substance that eliminates excessive friction between your skin and clothes while riding.

If you are looking to buy one, then you are in luck! Here are some of the best chafing cream for cycling. Check them out!!

9 Best Best Chamois Cream for Cycling

Behold, here we present you the best chamois creams:

UNDRBUDR Anti-Chafe Chamois Cream

The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 19The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 20

The first in the list of best Chamois Cream comes from UNDRBUDR. And you will not ask for anything else when you will get hands-on with this cream. The factor that makes it one of the best is its capacity to handle 50% more moisture as compared to other creams. This makes it best for use in any season, especially in summers.

Moreover, when on your body, it will not cause much friction and will nurture your body with seven botanicals. It is non-greasy, weightless, and ideal to be used by both men and women.

Specifications

Volume: 4 oz.
Botanicals: Aloe, Jojoba Seed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Beeswax, Safflower Seed Oil, Coconut Oil

ProsCons
30% less frictionIt is a bit thick.
Seven natural kinds of butter and oils
Glide easily with moisture


Chamois Butt’r Her’ Anti-Chafe Cream

The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 21The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 22

The distinguishable factor of this ladies chamois cream is that it can be used by both cyclists and athletes. Other than that, it includes some of the best essential ingredients that provide your body with excellent benefits apart from just reducing chafing.

You don’t have to worry about your skin or clothes as the cream can be easily washed off with soap and water. The brand ensures that the cream is absolutely paraben-free and gluten-free that also makes it free from artificial colors and fragrances.

So, no more worrying about chafing; just apply this cream, and you are good to go for a ride!

Specifications

Volume: 8 oz.
Fit for: Women
Ingredients: Tea-tree, Green tea, Aloe vera, Shea butter

ProsCons
No artificial color or fragranceIt may cause a minor burning sensation.
Easy to wash off from clothes
It leaves no greasy residue.


Enzo’s ButtonHole Chamois Cream

The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 21The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 22

This awesome butter chamois cream has a super soothing effect on your skin. And that soothing effect comes from the perfect blend of some natural ingredients like tea tree oil, cocoa seed butter, sunflower seed oil, and more.

If we talk about comfort, the non-greasy nature of the cream makes it super smooth on the body while riding or running. Other than that, it is entirely vegan, free from gluten and paraben, thus making it an ideal product for your next cycling voyage.

Specifications

Volume: 8 oz.
Ingredients: peppermint oil, sunflower seed oil, cocoa seed butter, and tea tree oil

ProsCons
Smooth on your skinThe soothing action may not last for long.
Fit for both professional as well as recreational cyclists.
Easy to wash off


Muc Off Chamois Cream for Female Cyclists

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If you are a female cyclist who loves to explore the rough terrains of the mountains on your bike, it is time to make your riding experience much smoother. The Muc Off Chamois cream is all you need to have an irritation free riding for a longer duration.

The natural ingredients of the cream like aloe vera, shea butter, and sunflower oils offer effective moisturization for a longer time. Moreover, the antibacterial properties of the cream make it absolutely safe for your skin. The squeeze type cream is easy to apply and delivers excellent protection against chafing.

Specifications

Volume: 3.38 oz.
Ingredients: aloe vera, shea butter, and sunflower oils

ProsCons
Easy to use squeeze designFit for using only before riding
Best for female cyclists
Maximum comfort


Assos Chamois Cream

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Never leave this product home! Never! Why?

Because the Assos Chamois cream is a perfect guard against chafing while riding. The cream has all the essential components that can prevent severe inflammation and friction with the saddle while cycling for long.

Apart from this, it also helps in maintaining hygiene with its antibacterial properties. But, make sure that you avoid applying it to intimate areas. So, in short, the preride cream is a perfect package for cycling enthusiasts.

Specifications

Volume: 4.73 oz.
Gender: Unisex

ProsCons
It keeps your skin cooler.It may cause allergies.
Has antibacterial properties


dznuts Pro Chamois Cream

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The dznuts cream is a bit unique from the others on the list. How?

Unlike all other creams, the dznuts pro chamois cream helps in wound healing. It enhances the biological defense system of the skin and promotes the healing of damaged skin. Other than that, it has both antifungal and antibacterial properties that decrease the chances of infection to zero.

Lastly, the anti-inflammatory properties of the cream perfectly shield your skin from itching and discomfort. Thus, making it the ideal bike shorts chamois cream.

Specifications

Volume: 4 oz.
Ingredients: Evodia, Masterwort, Tea Tree Oil

ProsCons
Budget-FriendlyIt may cause rashes.
It has wound healing properties.


Gooch Guard Chamois Cream

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Only a champion understands what it takes to be one. And comfort while riding is the pillar factor for him or her. If you are more of a perfectionist, then the Gooch Guard Chamois Cream is for you. It comes in a stylish black color packing that maintains smooth contact between your skin and shorts while riding.

The cream also takes care of skin damage as it is free from paraben, petroleum, allergens, and silicons. Moreover, it is fit for both men and women, hence making it a versatile product.

Specifications

Volume: 4.26 oz.
Ingredients: Echinacea, Sunflower Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Aloe Vera

ProsCons
Fit for both men and womenIt may not be fit for long term cycling.
It is free from parabens and allergens.


Zealios Betwixt Anti-Chafe Cream

The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 33The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 34

The distinguishable factor of this Chamois cream is its natural and organic ingredients. This is the reason that it can easily repair your cracked feet and hands. The repairing effect of the cream is also supported by its paraben-free nature.

And of course, the antibacterial properties of the cream makes it safe for use while riding. It not only eliminates traction between your clothes and skin but also promotes comfort in rough and jerky terrains.

It also does not affect your clothes in any way. You can easily wash it without a stain on your clothes.

Specifications

Volume: 8 oz.
Nature: Organic and Antibacterial

ProsCons
Non-greasyThe viscosity is less and may be tough to apply.
Organic conditioning using Aloe Vera
It is free from parabens.


Body Glide Body Chafe Balm

The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 35The Very Best Chamois Cream for Cycling in 2021 36

The final one is a comprehensive product. This product from Body Glide is more of a balm than a messy wet cream or a gel. This is what makes it easy to apply and best for humid conditions. The ingredients of the balm are derived from plants, which makes them absolutely natural and allergen-free.

On the other hand, the balm is ideal to be used in both clothes and footwear. So, next time you head out on a cycle ride, do apply it on your thighs, feet, neck, underarms, and anywhere you experience rubbing.

Volume: 2.5 oz.

Ingredients: Ozokerite, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Behenate, Stearyl Alcohol, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride

ProsCons
Fit for both men and womenLess volume.
It is free from allergens. Vegan approved.


How to apply Chamois Cream?

The process to apply chamois cream is simple; you just need to make sure that you apply it in the required volume. Overuse or over applying the cream can lead to irritation. Moreover, it is also necessary to make sure that you avoid intimate areas.

The chamois cream should be applied on the inner thighs, crotch area, underarms, butt cheeks, and anywhere else you feel your skin rubbed against your clothes. You can also apply the skin to the inner side of your clothes, like your shirt and riding shorts.

Here is how you can apply chamois cream:

  1. Take about a quarter size lump of cream and rub it gently and loosely on the skin.
  2. You can apply it on your skin or on the fabrics based on your preference (it is preferred to apply on the skin).
  3. Reapply after hours if necessary or if it starts to feel itchy.
  4. Apply it before cycling and wash it at the end of each day.

Note: Be careful while buying the chamois cream. The creams for women lack menthol and mint oils as they are not good for sensitive female organs. Buying a unisex cream is the safest bet!

The Wrap-Up!

As you have a clear chamois cream review, choosing the best chamois cream will be a cakewalk for you. The highlighted products are some of the best ones online, and you can opt for any one of them based on your preference. Lastly, using chamois cream will also be extremely easy for you.

Have a smooth and comfortable riding experience!

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10 Must-Have MTB Shoes for 2021 https://cycloscope.net/10-must-have-mtb-shoes https://cycloscope.net/10-must-have-mtb-shoes#respond Tue, 05 Jan 2021 09:53:20 +0000 https://cycloscope.net/?p=20486 Mountain biking is a tough sport, and combining it with the right MTB shoes can make riding fun. If you want to know the Must-have MTB shoes, please read on. As a cyclist, you have three main contact points on a bike; your feet, buttocks, and hands. These contact points have a crucial effect on your experience in terms of control and comfort. Your feet are the most important contact point on your mountain bike. After all, keeping them protected […]

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mtb shoes
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Mountain biking is a tough sport, and combining it with the right MTB shoes can make riding fun. If you want to know the Must-have MTB shoes, please read on.

As a cyclist, you have three main contact points on a bike; your feet, buttocks, and hands. These contact points have a crucial effect on your experience in terms of control and comfort.

Your feet are the most important contact point on your mountain bike. After all, keeping them protected and comfortable will improve your riding experience. And one of the best ways to keep your feet comfortable is getting the right MTB shoes.

Mountain biking is a tough sport, and combining it with the right MTB shoes can make riding fun; that’s why getting the right shoes is important.

According to the best walking feet, the right shoes can prevent fatigue, blisters, and make your cross-country riding trips comfortable and fun. So, if you want to know the Must-have MTB shoes, please read on.

The Must-Have MTB Shoes for 2021

mtb shoes

Fizik Overcurve R5, Cycling Shoes

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If you’re looking for an exceptional cycling shoe that will guarantee you great performance and style, then you should purchase the Fizik Tempo R5.

Fizik Tempo R5 features an asymmetrical construction that conforms perfectly to your foot’s anatomy.

And the good thing about this pair is that it is available in a wide range of colors, so you can get a pair to match your style. This pair is ideal for all cyclists and can help you tackle a wide range of terrains.

This pair doesn’t disappoint when it comes to providing a stiff pedaling platform and efficient power transfer.

Besides being tuned for comfort, its nylon composite outsole delivers reliable power transfers; therefore, it guarantees you a perfect balance during your rides.



Fizik R1 UOMO BOA Cycling Shoes

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Fizik R1 Uomo is a great pair that is designed to give you maximum comfort and top performance. This shoe is crafted from 100% Kangaroo leather, known for its lightweight, soft and durable properties.

This pair’s amazing aesthetics, quality materials, and quality craftsmanship set it aside from other MTB shoes in the market.

Its amazing outsole was made from 100% woven fiber that provides a sturdy platform. And the fact that they are stiff means that they transfer power easily, making it possible for you to attain and maintain top speeds.

However, many cyclists have complained about its price. But if you are looking for a high-quality pair that is worth every penny, you should go for Fizik R1 Uomo.



Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100 3 Cycling Shoes

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10 Must-Have MTB Shoes for 2021 60

Whether you are an experienced or a beginner cyclist, this pair has everything you would ever expect from a pair of high-quality MTB shoes. The Carbon LS-100 comes with a carbon composite HM-air outsole that is rigid and ultra-lightweight.

Its unique sole provides through-and-through ventilation and ideal power transfer. This pair features a 4.3 mm platform that brings you even closer to your bike’s pedals for more power.

Unlike most cycling shoes, this pair allows your feet to swell, which is perfect, especially when cycling in hot seasons.



Five Ten Freerider Pro

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It is quite hard to beat this pair when it comes to performance and comfort. The Freerider Pro is a great and stylish mountain biking shoe with a reliable grip.

While its rubber sole doesn’t have the thickness found in some pair, it does deliver an impressive pedal grip and feel, thanks to the dotted Stealth S1 rubber compound.

For extra comfort, this pair features a removable Ortholite sock liner and compression-molded EVA midsole.

And to keep your toes safe while cycling, these cycling shoes feature an impact-resistant toe box. This pair has a breathable upper that helps keep your feet dry while cycling.



Giro Riddance Cycling Shoes

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Giro Riddance is a great flat pedal MTB shoe for powerful peddling and descending on your favorite trail.

This pair comes with a breathable and water-resistant microfiber upper with some rock prints that provide abrasion resistance. For excellent durability, this pair has a rubber-reinforced heel and toe cap.

Its unique laces are the lightest closure system available that hold a knot perfectly and offers unrivaled fit adjustment.

Other than providing the needed grip, the Giro Riddance has a stiff sole that transfers all the power back to the bike’s pedals, making it possible for you to tackle tough and long terrains.



Tiebao Road Lock Pedal Cycling Shoes

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If you’re searching for stylish MTB shoes that can reward you with both comfort and performance, then the Tiebao road lock shoes are the best option for you.

Tiebao cycling shoes are one of the most stylish MTB shoes available in the market. Other than its stylish looks, this pair features an anti-slip lining that prevents your feet from lifting when pedaling.

This pair also comes with a durable toe box for enhanced protection. The toe box is made using a firm sandwich structure that helps with impact resistance. The integrated bumpers extend to the outsoles and protect you against rock strikes.

For extra comfort when cycling, this pair of MTB shoes feature fiberglass-injection nylon insoles. These perforated insoles help drain water and sweat when cycling.



Giro Savix Cycling Shoes

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If you’re searching for extreme comfort, then Giro Savix is the shoe for you. This pair is perfect for tackling long cycling trails and also for both beginners and experienced cyclists. Giro Savix has a breathable mesh upper that provides ample support.

Thanks to their unique setting and unique straps make them easy to wear and take off. The fact that they are comfortable and lightweight makes them ideal for beginners. Instead of having flat soles like some pairs, these cycling shoes’ soles have reinforced regions that add a bit of stiffness and strength.



Mavic Cosmic Elite SL Cycling Shoes

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The Mavic cosmic elite shoe is an outstanding pair that hugs your feet in certain places for maximum comfort. This stylish pair is perfect for comfort and speed, thanks to its unique construction.

This pair is designed to maximize each ounce of effort you put on the pedals when riding, thus helping you climb hills faster. This pair features a breathable upper that will help you stay dry when cycling.

This shoe is perfect for tackling challenging hills and road cycling. Plus, they are very comfortable, so you can wear them for several hours without getting tired.



Triseven Premium Triathlon MTB Shoes

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Triseven Premium Triathlon cycling shoes is one of the most reliable pairs in the market. These lightweight shoes are designed to provide maximum comfort and enhance performance.

The Triseven premium Triathlon shoes have a unique breathable upper made using microfiber and synthetic nylon material. Its sole is made using carbon to boost stability. This pair has a tall heel loop that allows for a quick transition.

Not only are they easy to wear, but the nylon outsole provides the needed stability, while its well-ventilated insole will help keep your feet dry for an extended period.



Venzo Bike Cycling Shoes

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Are you tired of coming home and taking off your cycling shoes to a strong stench that is bad enough to knock out an entire room? If that is the case, then you need to purchase Venzo MTB Shoes.

This pair is ideal for preventing these cheesy smells after a long and exciting journey. Other than preventing foul smells, this pair can help you tackle a wide range of terrains. This pair has a stiff sole that helps prevent energy loss when cycling.



What to Look Out for When Buying the Best Mtb Shoes for 2021

Weight

Lightweight shoes require less energy to rotate them around when pedaling. However, lightweight shoes are not always the best.

And that is because lightweight shoes compromise on support, stiffness, and protection. The importance of this factor varies with style. People tackling climbing lanes value lighter shoes more than the gravity-focused options.

Retention

mtb shoes
Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

There are numerous retention systems that can provide a comfortable and secure fit. Some of these systems include Boa dials and ratchet; Velcro and lace mix; Velcro; and laces. Some shoes have combined two of the above systems for a more personalized and tailored fit.

Durability and Sole Stiffness

The outsole of most shoes is made from rubber, nylon, or carbon fiber. These materials differ in terms of applications and performance.

Carbon fiber is stiff; therefore, ideal for cross-country-style MTB shoes. Rubber provides better grip. Nylon is not stiff, but it’s more durable and offers reliable comfort.

Conclusion

Cycling is more than a sport; it is a workout routine that is loved by many people. And your feet are the most crucial contact points when cycling.

However, many riders tend to overlook the importance of the right MTB shoes over upgrades. So make sure you purchase the best MTB shoes in the market for your long trips.


More about MTB

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8 Best Hammock Sleeping Pad and Underquilts https://cycloscope.net/best-hammock-sleeping-pad-underquilts https://cycloscope.net/best-hammock-sleeping-pad-underquilts#respond Wed, 30 Dec 2020 08:57:54 +0000 https://cycloscope.net/?p=20409 Whatever purpose you’re mounting a hammock for, you can do with more cushion through a sleeping pad or underquilts. Here the 8 best hammock pad and underquilts. Whatever purpose you’re mounting a hammock for, you certainly can do with more cushion – usually obtained through a sleeping pad or underquilts. When you need to set up a place to sleep as a biker on the road or a camper, however, you need much more than a cushion: you also need […]

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Hammock Sleeping Pad and Underquilts

Whatever purpose you’re mounting a hammock for, you can do with more cushion through a sleeping pad or underquilts. Here the 8 best hammock pad and underquilts.

Whatever purpose you’re mounting a hammock for, you certainly can do with more cushion – usually obtained through a sleeping pad or underquilts.

When you need to set up a place to sleep as a biker on the road or a camper, however, you need much more than a cushion: you also need heat insulation and, on rarer occasions, water resistance. This is why you need a hammock mattress pad or an underquilt to support your hammock.

To purchase the best hammock pad and underquilts, read our passionately curated guide.

1 Best Hammock Sleeping Pad and Underquilts: Top Three Sleeping Pads 

Here are the best sleeping pads that you can use on a hammock:

1. Outdoorsman Lab Ultralight Sleeping Pad 

best Hammock Sleeping Pad and Underquilts

Recently, I was looking for an ultralight replacement and gave my Thermarest to my girlfriend. At first, I was a little skeptical about this sleeping pad because of the cell design, but I was very mistaken. This pad is incredible! I’m 5’5 and 150 and had, on an ultralight pad, one of the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had.

The valve design is excellent. It has a one-way large mouth valve that doesn’t leak in between breaths and fills up quickly. Deflating it is as easy as popping your finger in there and squeezing out the air. I managed to pack it right back down to the same size it came in.



2. Klymit Insulated Static V Sleeping Pad 

Best Hammock Sleeping Pad and Underquilts

For 7 months of living on the Appalachian trail, this pad was serviceable for me. It did well on a hammock or in shelters for 2200 miles of various conditions. I slept from 90+ to below freezing temps. It did the job of cushioning my nighty nights and keeping, in the woods, cold at bay. It is the best sleeping pad for hammock camping I’ve owned.

Over 7months, I have inflated, deflated, unpacked, and packed this pad hundreds of times; no leaks. I did wear out the carry bag, however. But I emailed Klymit, and they sent a new one within a week, free.



3. Klymit Hammock V Sleeping Pad 

Best Hammock Sleeping Pad and Underquilts

Even the strongest hammock setup is a disaster if you can’t stay warm while on a trail. With Klymalite lofted synthetic insulation and non-slip zones, Insulated Hammock V boast 180 degrees of protection from drafts and cold air. And, for just two pounds of weight, you can get all the warmth you need because the pad features incredibly light, soft-touch fabric.

It fits all standard hammocks, double wide or single. Furthermore, the pad, with its intelligent ergonomics, wraps around the body and creates a barrier that prevents cold from creeping in from the bottom and sides.

The V-chamber design limits air movement, keeping you comfy. The manufacturers included a patch for emergency repairs.



Best Hammock Sleeping Pad and Underquilts: Top five Underquilts

The following are the best hammock underquilts available on the online sphere:

1. ENO Vulcan

Hammock Sleeping Pad vs Underquilts

The Vulcan UnderQuilt, while keeping you warm and snug in your hammock, protects you from inclement weather.

To protect you from the elements, it features a ripstop nylon shell with a water-repellent finish. Two layers Primaloft insulation, with an offset quilted construction, provides the best hammock insulation.

The manufacturers updated ENO Vulcan with a fully adjustable shock cord suspension system that’s easy to set up, works with any standard hammock, and adapts to any sleeping position. The Vulcan UnderQuilt fits users up to 6’2” and includes a large mesh storage bag. 



2. OneTigris Hammock Underquilt

Hammock Sleeping Pad and Underquilts

OneTigiris Hammock Underquilt offers a unique experience and you won’t get enough of it.

The winter underquilt is ideal for 23°F to 41°F and the 3 seasons underquilt is ideal for temperatures from 40°F to 68°F. It is shaped to fit a hanging hammock made of materials that keeps you warmly cocooned and shields you from the wind.

It also shrinks to a small size to fit in any rucksack and weighs very little. 

Keep the cold off your back with this highly serviceable piece of gear.



3. Outdoor Vitals Aerie

Hammock Sleeping Pad and Underquilts

How do you sleep comfy without packing a car full of gear? The answer is simple: Outdoor Vitals Aerie 5-in-1! 

The manufacturers designed the Aerie 5-in-1 Down Sleeping Bag in the rugged backcountry of Southern Utah. They field-tested it at 12,000+ foot peaks, all the way to desert floors and slot canyons. From there, they sourced IDFL certified and RDS sourced down, YKK zippers, and quality milled ripstop fabrics, to put together components for premium performance. Last, they flew around the world and met with manufacturers to ensure their gear was made in ethical and quality manufacturing facilities! The result is an ultralight down sleeping bag that will cut weight out of your pack, costs only a few bucks, and keep you warm!



4. Snugpak Hammock Cocoon

Best Hammock Sleeping Pad

The Snugpak Hammock Cocoon does its job of being a heat repellant underquilt. Although it restricts diagonal lay slightly, it offers no disappointment because that’s expected.

The bag will be better with a suspension point attached to a ridgeline to hold the head-end off the face, and I have emailed Snugpak to inform them about this.

It works fine at 14 0C with light wear and socks and no inner bag or pad. I am yet to test it in colder conditions but, you can easily supplement it with extra clothes, inner sleeping bag, etc. 



5. ENO Blaze

camping hammock

There’s an updated version of Blaze Underquilt right now by the manufacturers (ENO). They enhanced the old one with DownTek water repellent down. With the shock cord suspension rails, you will easily set it up, and so you stay warm all night, the differentially cut design will match your every contour. When unfolded, it spreads out in a dimension of (L x W) 6′ 6″x 4′. It weighs 24 ounces.

You can pack it up into a stuff sack that measures 14’’ by 7’’ when you’re done using this underquilt. 

Besides the regular stuff sack, ENO included a larger storage sack to store your ENO Blaze when you’re doing without it for extended periods. ENO recommends that you use the storage sack rather than the stuff sack, because the storage sack will extend the life of your underquilt.



Hammock sleeping pad vs. underquilt, which one should I go for?

By creating an insulated air space underneath you, a sleeping pad solves the heat-loss problem, on the ground. Underquilts, on the other hand, are specifically designed to fit certain hammock models, even though a pad can perform the same function in a hammock. You will also discover adjustable underquilts that can fit a wide range of hammocks.

Consider the following points to choose between the two:

Underquilt prosSleeping pad pros
Won’t interfere with your natural hammock sleeping positionThough the hammock fit can be less than ideal, you can use it in both a tent and a hammock.
Models with high-loft fills provide superior warmthFor a better fit, get models  designed for use in hammocks
You can deflate air pads, slightly, in a hammock for a better fit (deflate too low, and you’ll have cold spots; deflate too high, and your setup can get a little tippy)

How to set up an underquilt?

Each underquilt comes with instructions, so that’s your first source for a fit recommendation. The following universal tips, however, will help you create the warmest possible setup for your underquilt:
1. Lay the quilt inside the hammock to start to prevent it from getting wet or dirty on the ground, then attach the ends and remove enough slack so that it suspends at the desired height when you slide it out of and under the hammock.
2. With you in the hammock, minimize the air space between the hammock and the top of the quilt. Snug up the adjustments to ensure the quilt is close, but not too close so that your body won’t compress it.
3. To prevent air from flowing through, snug each end tightly.
4. To prevent airflow gaps from forming there, secure any attachments along the sides.

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13 Best MTB hydration packs based on size, affordability, and unique design https://cycloscope.net/best-mtb-hydration-packs https://cycloscope.net/best-mtb-hydration-packs#respond Sat, 19 Dec 2020 14:28:05 +0000 https://cycloscope.net/?p=20152 The best MTB hydration packs for 2021 Camelbak, Osprey, Evoc and cheaper alternatives for bikepacking, enduro, and mountain biking – Reviewed and compared In the world of mountain biking, carrying water bottles has become increasingly difficult due to the small size of the frame diamond both in full suspension MTB and hard-tail.Getting the best MTB hydration pack for your needs can be a real necessity if you plan on spending more hours on the trail. Mountain biking can be a […]

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top mountain bike hydration pack

The best MTB hydration packs for 2021

Camelbak, Osprey, Evoc and cheaper alternatives for bikepacking, enduro, and mountain biking – Reviewed and compared

In the world of mountain biking, carrying water bottles has become increasingly difficult due to the small size of the frame diamond both in full suspension MTB and hard-tail.
Getting the best MTB hydration pack for your needs can be a real necessity if you plan on spending more hours on the trail.

Mountain biking can be a tough sport, and if you combine it with bikepacking you might see yourself lost in the wild for days and days, that’s why a cycling-specific hydration pack is an important add-on to your biking gear.


Hydration packs are basically backpacks with a water bladder and a hose for you to drink without stopping. Larger ones can be also used to store some gear but be careful not to make them too heavy or your back will complain.

There are hundreds of models on the market, so to help you choose the best hydration pack for your mountain biking adventures, here are our picks

MTB hydration pack

The best MTB Hydration Packs in a nutshell

  • the bigger sizes
    • 1. CamelBak M.U.L.E. 100oz [3l]
    • 2. Camelbak M.U.L.E. LR 15 3L Hydration System
  • smaller packs
    • 3. Evoc CC 3L Backpack + 2L Bladder
    • 4. Camelbak Octane Dart
  • More affordable hydration packs
    • 5. Arvano Hydration Pack Bike with 2l Water Bladder
    • 6. MARCHWAY Tactical Molle Hydration Pack
    • 7. Camelbak Classic 2.5 Litre Hydration System
  • High-end hydration pack
    • 8. Osprey Raptor 10 Hydration Pack – 2.5 Liters
  • Special mentions
    • 9. CamelBak Lobo 100oz Hydration Pack
    • 10. Osprey Katari 7 Hydration Pack
    • 11. Camelbak Octane XCT
    • 12. Osprey Syncro 5
    • 13. Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack

Our recommended MTB hydration packs – the bigger sizes

If you need to carry plenty of water, and like to use a backpack to store also some essential gears, youll need a bigger hydration backpack – here are our picks


1. CamelBak M.U.L.E. 100oz [3l]

camelbak mule 100
  • Price: +/- $97


A nice hydration pack that hits the sweet spot of size vs. storage. It is lightweight but big enough to carry a day’s worth of snacks and gear and three liters of water. The 3-liter bladder and drinking tube are quality, easy to clean, and easy to drink from.

The bag has pockets for tools and things. It’s great for a day on the trails with room for sandwiches and a waterproof coat. The pack is 12 liter, so the 3-liter bladder means 9 liters of storage space is used to store clothing and gears. The efficient bladder is the top feature of this pack.

The M.U.L.E has a streamlined design that keeps it maneuverable and light. So it won’t get in your way even when it’s fully loaded for a day of mountain biking.

Lastly, the feel and fit of it on your back is nice: airflow is great and it sits well. 


2. Camelbak M.U.L.E. LR 15 3L Hydration System

Camelbak M.U.L.E. LR 15 3L
  • Price: +/- 140$


The M.U.L.E. LR offers a perfect blend of sturdy cargo and hydration. The narrow profile and low center of gravity keep it light and comfortable even when stuffed to the rim.

By keeping the weight positioned low on your back it gives better stability out on the trails on the saddle.

The Camelbak M.U.L.E. Low Rider 15 (3L) delivers 20% more water per sip through the brand new Crux Low Rider reservoir.

The separate zippered compartment with tool roll and gear organizer, an additional top zippered pocket, external helmet hooks, and hip-belt pockets also mean you keep all your essentials close at hand.

With newly designed paneling, when the lumbar is low, the band sitting horizontally across the M.U.L.E. pulls the pack tighter, stopping the water from decreasing stability and sloshing around. This panel can be unclipped for easy access to the tool and rain cover. Allowing you to simply carry a helmet or jacket on the outside of your pack, a separate expansion system can be purchased for full trail capability. 


Looking for more storage? The best backpacks for cycling compared!


Best hydration backpack – smaller packs

The following hydration packs of the smaller size are the ones we’ve found to be the best of the lot.

3. Evoc CC 3L Backpack + 2L Bladder

Evoc CC 3L Backpack
  • Price: +/- $41


I have a Camelbak Mule 100oz (reviewed earlier on) that is a fantastic all-day use, but I found that I can do with something smaller for short trail rides.

The Evoc CC has just one front zip pocket, but it is enough to fit my phone, car key, compressor, and bike tool at one go. In addition, the main pocket around the water bladder accommodates a spare inner tube and some energy bars. It is very light and I hardly notice I am wearing it. What’s more, I specifically wanted the waist strap feature that the Camelbak alternative of the same size lacks.

There is, however, not a vent system against your back like the Mule 100oz, and at first, I thought this might give me a sweaty back. But ventilation has not been an issue at all because it is a lot smaller. 


4. Camelbak Octane Dart

Camelbak Octane Dart
  • Price: +/- $63


The many pros of this pack include adjustable straps, comfort, light weight, portability, and quality materials.

The 1.5L bladder provides enough hydration to last three hours on the trail and helps keep the pack to a decent size. It has a couple of pockets to carry keys, phone, energy bar, etc. It has a small pouch, big enough for a grab gel or similar, on the left shoulder, too. The chest strap is adjustable to get it snug, and it sits comfortably on the back. 

The pack fits well and stays put. you will quickly forget it’s there. Without breaking stride, the nozzle is simple to sip from. 

The brand new Crux design delivers 20% more water per sip, an ergonomic handle ensures easier refilling, and an on/off lever makes preventing leaks easy. It also has reflectivity for early morning or evening runs.


More affordable hydration packs

The following are the more affordable hydration packs in the market.

5. Arvano Hydration Pack Bike with 2l Water Bladder

arvano hydration pack
  • Price: $36


Secure backpack with a feature-rich hydration bladder, this bag at $36 is a great value for money. This backpack is constructed of good materials and the yellow color highlights the cyclist like a reflection vest. It has a small strap to clip your tail-light.

You can adjust the waist, chest, and back straps so they fit snugly. You can carry a good amount of items with you, and I can’t rave nearly enough about the 2 Liter hydration bladder. The taste-free water bladder made from medical grade materials is BPA free. It possesses an ergonomic handle for easier refilling and an on/off valve that effectively prevents leaks.

The large 4-inch opening supports easy cleaning, and you can add ice cubes for an even cooler drink.


6. MARCHWAY Tactical Molle Hydration Pack

MARCHWAY Tactical Molle
  • $38.99


Marchway Tactical hydration pack is furnished with streamlined and compact design: only 19.7”x8.7”x2.6” in size. Ergonomic design helps fit pack on your shoulders, chest, and waist. It possesses 3 adjustable straps for accomplishing this purpose and reducing bounce. 

The molle straps are heavy duty and durable and can accommodate additional weighted bags. The insulated tubing with the stop-flow valve, when you have to morph your body in weird angles during hikes, helps prevent getting soaked from a leaking mouthpiece. The separate compartments are handy.

Although thin, memory foam in the shoulder pads is breathable. The pack is made of reliable materials: water repellent and wear-resistant nylon, durable and impact-resistant buckle, military-grade webbing, anti-fading cloth, and long-lasting SBS brand zipper.


7. Camelbak Classic 2.5 Litre Hydration System

Camelbak Classic Hydration System
  • Price +/- $45


I would recommend Camelbak Classic for any runners or riders who want to carry a lot of water with them along with some gels or energy bars while having it right up close on their backs, with it not moving around. 

Also, if you’re fed up wearing a heavy hydration pack that always moves about whilst riding, then you should buy this classic mountain bike Camelbak. This bag will allow you to carry 2.5L of water, some snacks, a multitool, tire levers, and a pump with ease.

The best thing part is, it sits right up close on your back and doesn’t knock you off balance. Its small size and tight fit will ensure you quickly forget about it and focus on the ride.



High-end hydration pack

High-end hydration packs are costly for a reason: they offer feature-rich designs. 


8. Osprey Raptor 10 Hydration Pack – 2.5 Liters

Osprey Raptor 10 Hydration Pack
  • Price: +/- $140


Osprey Raptor 10 hydration pack has a dedicated reservoir compartment with Hydraulics LT 2.5-liter reservoir included, which helps you stay effectively hydrated on the trail. Allowing for easy water access on the move, a lightweight sternum strap magnet holds the bite valve.

It has a LidLock helmet attachment that stashes your helmet for easier transport between rides. The side compression straps secure and balance your load. Osprey Raptor 10 will also carry a full-face helmet.

Hipbelt pockets provide on-trail access to small items, while a scratch-free slash pocket holds your sunglasses or electronics. The front pocket quickly stashes extra gear or a rain shell, while the front panel stash pocket offers easy access to necessities.

The redesigned Airscape back panel provides an improved fit and ventilation while a removable roll-up tool pouch keeps tools organized and handy.

The reflective patch and blinker light attachment (light not included) aid visibility in evening and early morning rides. 


Special mentions

9. CamelBak Lobo 100oz Hydration Pack

CamelBak Lobo 100oz
  • Price: $89.99 


The Lobo helps you travel fast and light on days when the weather is clear and the trail is calling, or days when you want to ditch most of your gear and ride. It carries enough water for a substantial 3+ hour ride with the 3 liters of hydration capacity, and the external fill means you can top off the hydration pack without unpacking anything.

The brand new Crux design delivers 20% more water per sip, while the on/off lever makes it easy to prevent leaks. Magnetic Tube Trap keeps your tube accessible and secure when you need it.

The air director back panel offers air channels to keep your back cool; external hooks let you carry your helmet without denying you access to your pack. The stretch overflow storage lets you stash a rain shell or extra layer. Reflective accents, on the other hand, enhances your visibility in low-light environments. 

Lastly, a removable stability belt helps keep the pack secure over technical terrain.


10. Osprey Katari 7 Hydration Pack

Osprey Katari 7 MTB Hydration Pack
  • $45 – 74


Katari 7 Hydration Pack, housing a 2.5L reservoir, allows you to push your limits during long summer days. It keeps your water in place as you fly down forest trails with its small, streamlined, and stable design.

It has an innovative and ventilated mesh harness that secures the load to your back and allows air to ventilate it. 

Easy access to the 2.5L Hydraulics reservoir allows you to keep your focus firmly on the trail – this is thanks to a bite valve that is attached to a magnetic sternum strap, which keeps your water flow in reach and able to open and close with one simple hand movement.

Additional features include a light attachment point with reflective detailing that allows for riding after the setting of the sun. Also, a zippered, scratch-free pocket keeps your delicate sunglass and electronics unscratched. 7 liters volume exists to store riding essentials.


11. Camelbak Octane XCT

Camelbak Octane XCT
  • $76.5


Great comfort is the strong point of this water pack. One trick is to turn the reservoir upside down after filling to suck out air so sloshing while riding never happens.

The shoulder straps are vented and wide for comfort. The 2 liters size is enough water for a 3 hours ride on hot summer days and you can fill it with less to carry less weight for a shorter run or cooler place. The Crux design delivers 20% more water per sip, an ergonomic handle supports easy refilling, and an on/off lever prevents leaks. 

It has cargo pockets for easy access to essentials. The reflective element supports early morning or evening rides, and the bag is made with ultra-light materials. It has front-facing pockets on the harness for easy fuel and gear storage.


12. Osprey Syncro 5

Osprey Syncro 5
  • $120


Syncro 5 is the answer when you want to carry hydration on your back and not much else. It is a lightweight and highly ventilated pack with minimal gear carry.

I can fit one sweatshirt or two shirts, car keys, iPhone 7, Topeak mini 9 multitool, Lezyne mini bike pump, snacks, money, 2.5 liters of water in the high-quality reservoir, and sunglasses in the scratch-proof pouch. It doesn’t bounce while doing extreme MTB. My back stays cool with that space in between the pack and my body, which keeps the water cool for longer too. 

It has a LidLock to carry a helmet. It also has a removable high-visibility raincover and magnetic sternum strap for quick access to the reservoir bite valve.


13. Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack

Best cheap MTB hydration pack

Mubasel Gear Insulated Hydration Backpack
  • Price: $30


One of my riding partners owned Mubasel for almost a year now and have experienced no issues. It is lightweight yet generous with the amount of storage for such a cheap hydration pack!

You can stick multiple snacks and other things inside, including phone and point and shoot camera.

Mubasel comes with a 70-Ounce (or 2 Liter) BPA-free hydration bladder and sends the test report to your e-mail upon purchase. With the insulated bladder compartment, your drink can keep cool for up to 4 hours. No issues with leakage or condensation.

The opening is a large design that allows you to dry the bladder easier than the screw one. Just bottom up, it will dry itself. With a click in connection instead of a traditional screw, it will never get loose and cause leakage.

It has padded shoulder straps that incorporates a breathable system, and it’s lightweight enough not to be an annoyance.

Our group owns multiple hydration packs and have experienced issues such as leakage, the tube flopping all over the place, or defective mouth pieces, but this hydration pack has it all and costs only a 30 bucks.

Best MTB hydration backpack

What to look for in a mountain bike hydration pack

There are a wide array of excellent hydration packs to choose from. So, mostly, your decided choice is based on your priorities. Consider some of the things you can prioritize while deciding to purchase a hydration pack.

1. Fluid Capacity

If you are riding somewhere remote where it won’t be easy to find water, the further you go, the more fluid you need to carry. Expect hydration bladders to range in capacity from around 1.5 liters to 3.0 liters.

If you never head out for more than three hours, the smaller size will be fine. But if you are planning longer rides, especially in hot weather, go for a 3.0-liter pack.

2. Space for Clothes and Tools 

Next, consider the cargo capacity. You’ll only want space for a few basic spares for short rides. But the more room you have, the longer you can stay out on the trail. Big packs will have room for some food, a waterproof top, and more. 

Also can impact on the capacity you need is your style of riding. Body armor and a full-face helmet are sensible protection for serious downhill riding, but you may not want to wear them on the ride back up the hill. Thus, go for a pack that has enough capacity to store these, too. There’s no point, however, in having a bulky pack if you’re never going to fill it. 

A smaller pack will be cheaper, lighter, and more comfortable. It helps to have a pack, whichever size is right for you, that will let you organize what you carry rather than leave everything to rattle around in one big space. Look for a pack with a variety of compartments and pockets. 

It makes it much easier to find what you need while out on the trail if there’s a specific place for everything.

3. Fit and Ventilation

Hot and sweaty back is one of the drawbacks of a hydration pack. Look for a pack with channels in the padded back to help air circulate. 

Also crucial is a good fit. A pack that suits a rider with a long torso will likely be uncomfortable for someone with a short torso. 

The width of the chest strap, width of the waist strap, and level of padding also varies from one pack to another. 

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11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking https://cycloscope.net/best-bike-saddle-bags https://cycloscope.net/best-bike-saddle-bags#respond Thu, 03 Dec 2020 13:50:00 +0000 https://cycloscope.net/?p=17376 11 best bicycle saddlebags for all budgets compared
Waterproof bikepacking & commuting seat packs, road bike & dropper seatpost MTB tool-bags from cheap to top

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best bikepacking seat pack

11 best bicycle saddlebags for all budgets compared
Waterproof bikepacking & commuting seat packs, road bike & dropper seatpost MTB tool-bags from cheap to top

The best saddle bags for all budgets compared. Bikepacking and commuting seat packs, road bike and MTB seat bags from cheap to top

If you landed here you’re probably looking for the best bike saddle bag out there, but is there a single cycling seat bag that can claim to be the best for everyone?

Of course not, one size can’t certainly fit all. From huge bikepacking seat packs designed for touring expeditions, to tiny aerodynamic saddle bags for road bikes, from dropper post compatible for MTB users, to stylish and roomy seat bags for commuters… every type of cyclist has his/her needs, and manufacturers know that.

In this article, we’ll try to help you figure out what kind of bicycle saddle bag is the best for you, by featuring a comprehensive list of products for different uses. You’ll realize many of these bags are actually very versatile and could fulfill various tasks.

We’ll start by comparing the best bike saddle bags for each cycling style, in each category’s introduction you’ll find a buying guide to give you a basic understanding of the various features you should consider before buying a saddle bag or seat pack.


best MTB saddlebag
©2015 Stefan Haehnel

11 Best Saddle Bags in a nutshell

4 best small seat bags for road bikes

  • Ortlieb Micro Two Saddle Bag [0.5L] – Best waterproof road bike saddlebag
  • Topeak Wedge Drybag [0.6 – 1.5L] – Best large saddle bag for road bike
  • ROCKBROS 3D Shell [1.5L] – Best budget road bike saddle bag
  • Lezyne Pod Caddy Quick Release [0.3 – 0.5L] – Best ultra-compact saddle bag for road bike

2 Best mountain bike saddle bag

  • Evoc Boa MTB Seat Pack [1 – 2 – 3 L] – Best MTB seat pack for overnight MTB rides
  • Revelate Designs Shrew Seat Bag [3L] – Best dropper post seat bag

3 Best bikepacking seat packs

  • Ortlieb Bikepacking Seat-Pack [16.5 L] – Best bikepacking saddle bag overall
  • ROCKBROS Waterproof Bikepacking [14 L] – Best budget bikepacking seat pack
  • Blackburn Outpost Elite Universal – Best harness+bag system for bikepacking

2 Top bike commuting saddlebags

  • Topeak BackLoader [6 – 10 – 15 L] – Best bike saddlebag for commuting
  • Lixada Bicycle Saddle Bag [3 to 10L] – Best cheap bikepacking saddle bag

best saddle bag road bike

4 best small seat bags for road bikes

If a small and unnoticeable saddle bag for your fast road rides is what you’re looking for, this is the right section for you.

When training on a road bike you don’t want any unnecessary bulk to slow you down, but you still need to carry some essentials with you – a flat repair-kit and pump at least, maybe even a packable jacket for those fast downhills.

This four bags are our picks when it comes to the best saddle bags for road bikes.


Ortlieb Micro Two Saddle Bag [0.5L]

Best waterproof road bike saddlebag 

11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking 75Best waterproof road bike saddlebag


  • 120 g | 4.2 oz

Ortlieb aimed for the most essential minimalism for this ultra-lightweight seat pack for road bikes and mountain bikes.

The Ortlieb Micro 2 is the smallest of Ortlieb saddle bags, designed for those rides where every gram count and only the essentials will be carried. There is enough space for a few critical items such a replacement tube, a multitool, or first aid materials.

Like all Ortlieb bags, the Micro 2 is 100% waterproof, and made with heavy-duty PVC-free, PU coated nylon fabric, extremely resistant and long-lasting.

The roll closure, together with the elastic drawstrings, allow you to collapse this saddlebag down to the most compact size possible. You won’t notice its presence even on your higher-end race bike.

The clicking systems allows for one-handed attach and detach, making this seat bag a masterpiece in usability and performance.


Topeak Wedge Drybag [0.6 – 1.5L]

Best large saddle bag for road bike

11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking 76Best large saddle bag for road bike


  • Wt. 140 g / 4.93 oz
  • Capacity 0.6 L / 36 ci
  • Material 210 Denier and 420 Denier Nylon Waterproof Fabric, Sonically Welded Seams
  • Insulation Rigid EVA Foam

Topeak’s constant innovation effort cannot be ignored, they really make some of the best bike gear out there, indeed they are featured twice in this list.

The Wedge Saddlebag by Topeak comes in three different sizes (0.6L, 1L, and 1.6L) and two different mounting options, straps and QuickClick. While the smallest is probably what you’ll want for your road bike, the larger versions are versatile enough to be used for commuting and credit-card overnights.

The Topeak Wedge is totally waterproof, thanks to the sonically-welded and seam-sealed construction, and the roll closure. Buckles and fabrics are durable and high-quality. The QuickClick version costs a few dimes more and adds a unnotieceable weight, but it sure is nice to attach and remove your saddlebag so easily.


ROCKBROS 3D Shell Waterproof Seat Bag [1.5L]

Best budget road bike saddle bag

11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking 77Best budget road bike saddle bag


  • weight 120g
  • load 4kg

RockBros is a brand that is constantly climbing up the market of bike accessories with a line of cheap and constantly refreshed products proven to be efficient by thousands of heavy users.

This compact road bike saddle bag is actually pretty sophisticated for its price tag. It features three internal mesh compartments to keep your essentials tidy and nicely separated, with enough space to hold your mini pump, CO2 cartridges, tools, and keys.

The Rock Bros 3D shell is constructed with a waterproof fabric and taped zipper, the stitches though are not waterproof and things can still get a bit wet under a long downpour. The inner side is padded to provide shock absorption.


Lezyne Pod Caddy Quick Release Saddle Bag [0.3 – 0.5L]

Best ultra-compact saddle bag for road bike

11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking 78Best ultra-compact saddle bag for road bike


  • 0.48L capacity
  • Semi-rigid EVA foam
  • Water-resistant
  • Quick-release mount

If you are looking for something even more compact than the Ortlieb Micro 2, the Lezyne Pod Caddy is as small as it can get.

This seat bag by Lezyne comes into two different sizes, 0.3L and 0.5L. Although you can still fit your flat kit, tools, and wallet in the 0.3L version, this is really ultra small and will not be enough to keep a tube larger than a road bike one.

The Pod Caddy is made from a water-resistant semi-rigid EVA foam and features a weatherproof zipper to protect your gear from rain and splashes.

The compartment of the Lezyne Pod Caddy is equipped with a mesh divider for tidier organizing and works well also with a dropper seat, for those minimalist mountain bikers.


2 Best Mountain Bike Saddle Bag

What differs a MTB saddle bag from a road bike one? Well, for starters, mountain bike tires are much bulkier than road ones, meaning that they might not fit inside a small bag meant for race bikes.

Secondly, when you’re mountain biking you’re likely to find yourself in the middle of nowhere and far from civilization. You might need to carry a few more essentials with you, for example a first-aid kit and more snacks, that’s another reason for you to buy a larger bag.

The third reason has nothing to do with size, but with the mounting style. Many mountain bikers use dropper post or suspension posts, if you’re one of them you should be sure the bag of your choice can be mounted on those sorts of posts. You’ll find several in this article, even outside this category.


Evoc Boa MTB Seat Pack [1 – 2 – 3 L]

Best MTB seat pack for overnight MTB rides

11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking 79Best MTB seat pack for overnight MTB rides


  • Material: waterproof ripstop
  • Volume: [small] 1L, [medium] 2L, [large] 3L
  • Closure: roll-top

This very interesting seat pack from Evo is not only good-looking, but also 100% waterproof, incredibly sturdy, and stable.

The mounting system is very easy to use and fits any seat post length while also working perfectly with dropper posts.

The Evoc Boa’s capacity can be adjusted via the roll-top closure, allowing you more space if required. It comes in three different sizes: small (1L), medium (2L), and large (3L). The medium version has already enough volume to allow adding a change of clothes to the basic essentials for your MTB ride.


Revelate Designs Shrew Seat Bag [3L]

Best dropper post seat bag

revelate MTB seat bag
Best dropper post



  • Weight:  4.5 oz; 128 g
  • Volume:  3 L;
  • Materials: Waterproof RevX-Pac Fabric

Revelate is one of the pioneers in bikepacking bags, their products set-up the industry standard and are still greatly valued by bikepacking lovers.

The Revelate Shrew is their smallest seat bag yet and works with just two straps, on any bike and any seatpost (including of course dropper and suspension posts).

The stays are reinforced with fiberglass to add stability and compression, while the RevX-PAC panels are twice as abrasion-resistant compared to standard VX material, increasing the bag’s durability.

This compact saddlebag is especially designed for day rides on full-suspension rigs with dropper posts (and not much room), but it also works great with any kind of bike.


3 Best Bikepacking Seat Packs

In the world of bikepacking, saddle bags are often referred as seat packs, and they are an essential part of a bikepacking set-up.

Bikepacking seat packs are large enough to store essential camping gear for a solo trip.

They must be totally waterproof, and solidly anchored to their mounting points, to prevent them from swaying from side to side.

You need to be extra-careful when packing a large bikepacking seat pack. Make sure it is packed tightly, or otherwise you’ll risk it sagging down and wearing on the rear tyre.

We’ll talk more about bikepacking saddle bags in our buying guide at the bottom of this article, for now, let’s dive into the products.


Ortlieb Seat-Pack Saddle Bag [16.5 L]

Best bikepacking saddle bag overall

11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking 80Best bikepacking saddle bag


  • Ideal for bikepacking, and bicycle touring
  • Maximum capacity: 11 lbs/5kg
  • Note: In order to meet IP64 waterproofness standards the closure must be rolled 3 – 4 times

After a few years ignoring the bikepacking market, Ortlieb dove straight into it with a line of products whose quality stands firmly in the top category. Nothing less to expect from what has been the best bike bags brand in the world.

The Ortlieb bikepacking seat-pack has a variable volume that can be adjusted from 8 to 16.5L thanks to the roll-top closure, an air-release valve easily purges the bag of trapped air, allowing for tighter compression.

The materials are a lightweight yet abrasion-resistant polyurethane-laminated ripstop nylon, reinforced with extra heavy-duty fabric near the mounting points. The rigid polyethylene inner stiffener keeps the bag’s shape properly.

The hooks and straps have a tough grip on the seatpost surface, they are stable and do not let the bag sway if properly packed. They are compativle with any kind of seat-post, including dropper

The Ortlieb bikepacking saddle bag includes 3M Scotchlite reflectors for improved visibility in low light, elastic cord on the outside to quickly stash light gear, and a daisy chain with 7 loops running along the underside of the bag, allowing a rear light to be fixed.

A great bikepacking bag that stays in place on rough trails, is pretty easy to pack, and features an impressive volume.


ROCKBROS Waterproof Bikepacking Seat Pack [14 L]

Best budget bikepacking seat pack

11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking 81Best budget bikepacking seat pack


The budget-friendly ROCK BROS bike saddle bag is another product that caught our attention. Made of 600D nylon and TPU waterproof film covering, this bag is sturdy and completely waterproof.

The whole tail-bag capacity is about 14L, which allows you to put in a light jacket, pants, even your small sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. It meets the needs of heavy commuters, bikepackers, and long-distance cyclists.

The saddle post adapters offer great versatility, allowing the bag to be mounted on almost any seat post. The only issue is that the clips that hook below the saddle might loosen over time and so you’ll need to tighten them in order to keep the bag from swaying from side to side.

The usual elastic cord is provided helping you attaching extra gear on the top of the bag.


Blackburn Outpost Elite Universal Seat Pack and Dry Bike Bag

Best harness+bag system for bikepacking

11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking 82Best harness+bag system for bikepacking


Among the best bikepacking saddle bags available nowadays is certainly the Blackburn Outpost Elite, a rock-solid mount and general construction for a seat pack that stands up amidst the crowd of bikepacking gear manufacturers.

The t6061 aluminum wing bolts steadily clamp to the seat rails ensuring your cargo won’t move around even on the roughest trails. The mount is also dropper-compatible.

The most interesting feature is its harness system: basically, the bag is separated from the harness system, allowing the user to remove the bag from the bike in a totally hassle-free manner.

The Blackburn Outpost Elite waterproof dry bag features a scuba style air bleed valve so to pack your bag as tight as you need, without worrying about leaks.

The seams are welded both in the interior and exterior of the bag, so as to ensure total waterproofness.


Top 2 bike commuting saddlebags

Are you still bike commuting with a backpack on your shoulders? Have you ever considered the advantages of a seat bag?

Cycling with a backpack is no great fun, your posture will be affected and your back will sweat, carrying a heavy backpack on a bike can even cause physical problems.

A saddle bag is a great solution for bike commuting, you can store all your essentials tightly and secure them from rain and splashes without even feeling they are there.


Topeak BackLoader Seat Bag [6 – 10 – 15 L]

Best bike saddlebag for commuting

11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking 83Best bike saddlebag for commuting


  • Waterproof inner bag rating of 10,000mm
  • Max load: 5 kg / 11 lb.

And here we go with the second Topeak saddle-bag of our buying guide. The BackLoader is a large capacity seat bag specially designed for everyday commuters and occasional bikepackers.

It comes in three different sizes: the smallest is a 6 liters that would be enough for commuters needing to carry maybe a change of clothes and some more essentials. The 10 and 15 liters are great for bikepacking, with sufficient capacity to hold a whole sleeping-set.

The construction is lightweight, durable, and highly water-resistant but this is not a totally waterproof bag, it won’t withstand a long thunderstorm, keep in mind that. It features though an inner waterproof dry bag that can be easily inserted and removed.

The saddle mount system, in conjunction with compression straps, reduces the swaying effect associated with heavy loads.

Available for the UK on Tredz.co.uk


Lixada Bicycle Saddle Bag [3 to 10L]

Best cheap bikepacking saddle bag

11 Best Saddle Bags in 2020. Road, MTB, Gravel, Bikepacking 84Best cheap bikepacking saddle bag


This amazingly cheap and versatile bike seat bag is a real bang for the buck. The Lixada saddle bag features a roll down-closure system can shrink the bag down to 3L for daily use, or expands to 10L for multi-day trips.

The ripstop nylon fabric with TPU lining ensures reliable waterproofness to protect your items from water and mud on rainy days.

An interior board gives the bag a strong enough support to avoid it rubbing with your back tyre, while the external elastic cord are useful to secure extra items on the fly.


best bike saddlebag


Bike Saddle Bags – Frequently Asked Questions

What should go in a bike saddle bag?

It depends! On a small roadbike saddlebag you can fit a spare tube, multitool, pump, and patch-kit. A larger saddle bag for commuting can carry your change of clothes for when you arrive at your workplace. Big bikepacking seat packs can carry clothes or camping gear.

How do you attach saddle bags?

Depends on the model. Smaller saddlebag attach at the railing of your saddle via straps or plastic quick-release mounts. Larger saddle bag clamp to your seatpost tube.

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Best Bikepacking Cargo Cages & Fork Dry Bags – “Anything” Fork Mounts https://cycloscope.net/cargo-cages-fork-mounts-bikepacking https://cycloscope.net/cargo-cages-fork-mounts-bikepacking#respond Thu, 03 Dec 2020 12:42:22 +0000 https://cycloscope.net/?p=19097 The 6 bike best cargo cages & 5 best bikepacking fork dry bags Salsa Anything, Gorilla Cage, Topeak VersaCage, Blackburn Outpost, & more… In the world of bikepacking, cargo cages have become the staple of fork-mounted luggage. A concept invented by Salsa in 2010 with the anything cage, a bike cargo cage is a utilitarian attachment that can be fixed on the frame or fork of your bike. It might be used to carry additional water, or storing gear (usually […]

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best cargo cages

The 6 bike best cargo cages &
5 best bikepacking fork dry bags

Salsa Anything, Gorilla Cage, Topeak VersaCage, Blackburn Outpost, & more…

In the world of bikepacking, cargo cages have become the staple of fork-mounted luggage.

A concept invented by Salsa in 2010 with the anything cage, a bike cargo cage is a utilitarian attachment that can be fixed on the frame or fork of your bike. It might be used to carry additional water, or storing gear (usually in dry bags).

Called also bikepacking front fork mounts, gorilla cages, or fork cages – they are similar to oversized bottle cages, but also able to hold a 6+ liter dry bag or other gear in a secure fashion by attaching it to the cargo cage via straps.

This way the front fork has a decent cargo capacity without the need of a rack.

Some of the best bikepacking cages come with their own fork dry bags, like Gorilla Cage, Specialized Burra Burra, Salsa Anything – but many kinds of bags could be attached to fork mounts.

Here is this guide; we will take a look at some of the best cargo cages as well as dry bags available online. So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump in!


New to this? Have a look at our Bikepacking 101 and learn everything


bikepacking fork cage mounts
pic @evanoui.cc – CC 2.0

6 Best Cargo Cages for your Bikepacking

There aren’t yet many cargo cage mounts manufacturers around. Here are our 6 favorite options:

1. Blackburn Outpost Cargo Cage

Blackburn Outpost Cargo Cage

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • High weight capacity
  • Simple attaching mechanism

Cons

  • A bit heavy


Here comes the master of cargo cages. This brilliantly designed Blackburn bottle cage has a sturdy and durable construction that will secure all your necessary gears with ease.

Other than being exceptionally strong, the Blackburn outpost cargo cage comes with straps included. These are long enough to hold oversized dry bags up to 7l.

When it comes to attachment, the outpost cargo cage can be easily attached to the frame or fork of the bike with its three-set mounting holes.

  • Tube diameter: 6 mm
  • Straps included: Yes
  • Weight Capacity: 8.8 lbs

2. Salsa Exp Series Anything Cage

Salsa Exp Series Anything Cage

Pros

  • straps come included
  • bag bundle
  • easy to mount
  • awesome durability
  • lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive
  • low weight-bearing capacity


The inventors of the thing. In 2010 Salsa came up with this awesome, anything cage for bike packing. Now this cage has probably been the most tested by bikepackers around the world, and it rarely failed even the most extreme missions.

The glass-filled nylon construction is lightweight and provides immense durability and can handle up to 3 kilograms of weight.

Moreover, this new Anything Cage comes with two EXP rubber straps that you can use to secure lightweight gears to your bike’s frame or fork.

  • Material: Glass-filled Nylon, Rubber
  • Weight capacity: 6.6 lbs
  • Three holes mounts
  • Straps included: Yes
  • Weight: 149 grams

3. DOM Gorilla Cage II

DOM Gorilla Cage II

Pros

  • Stays sturdy in cold weather
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Fit for sleeping pads, bottles, and dry bags

Cons

  • Low weight capacity


The aspect that distinguishes this cargo cage from the others is its three wings wrap system. These wraps perfectly secure your gear bags, dry bags, or water bottles with zero chance of dropping or moving.

Other than this, you can easily mount it to the frame of the fork of your bike with the simple slide down movement (you have to screw the base of the cage to the frame first).

The cage is made from engineering grade polymer that makes the cage fit for even freezing cold weather. Thus, making it extremely sturdy.

  • Material: Engineering grade polymer
  • Weight: 0.28 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 5.5 lbs
  • Wing Wraps: 3

4. Topeak VersaCage

Topeak Versacage

Pros

  • Available in one size
  • Durable construction
  • Great for road cycling and commuting

Cons

  • Lightweight design prone to damage.


The Topeak bike cargo cage stands out from others because of its four-hole mount design that encourages height adjustment. Besides, it comes with two buckle straps that make sure that your attached gears never move, no matter the surface you’re riding.

Its engineering grade nylon material makes it absolutely remarkable and fit for long term usage. The Topeak VersaCage can effortlessly handle weight up to 6.5 pounds.

  • Material: Engineering grade polymer
  • Weight capacity: 6.5 lbs
  • Number of straps: 2 buckle straps
  • Weight: 4.51 oz.
  • Four hole mount design

5. Problem Solvers Bow Tie Strap Anchor Kit

Problem Solvers Bow Tie Strap Anchor Kit

Pros

  • Sleek yet strong design
  • Fit for carrying items like sleeping pads and bottles

Cons

  • Does not include straps


These lightweight brackets may look smaller but have the utmost strength to hold your essential gear for a bike trip. You can easily screw these brackets to the frame or fork of the bicycle and use straps to hold things like water bottles, dry bags, etc.

The sleek design of the brackets makes them almost invisible when something is attached to them. Besides, the high weight-bearing capability of the anchors makes them ideal for carrying heavy items.

  • Material: Aluminum 6061
  • Weight capacity: 3 lbs
  • Color: Black
  • Pieces: 2

6. Specialized Burra Burra Stuffcage

Specialized Burra Burra Stuffcage

Pros

  • Powerful design with a high weight-bearing capacity
  • Fit for carrying items like fuel canisters and bottles
  • It can easily adjust a 1-liter stuff pack

Cons

  • A bit expensive.


If you are looking for bikepacking fork cages with more carrying capacity, go for this ingenious product. This fork cage by Specialized has an oversized tubular aluminum construction that makes it ideal for carrying water bottles and even a fuel canister of decent size. The oversized design of the bag cage offers its massive durability.

Apart from this, this is one of those bikepacking fork mounts that is equipped with coated webbing straps and camlocks. Thus, making it one of the best among the choices.

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 5.3 oz.
  • Color: Black
  • Attachments: 3 bolts

5 Best Fork Dry Bags for Bikepacking

The proper drybag, maybe one designed specifically for bikepacking, is needed if you don’t want to leave your cargo cages for the sole purpose of water-carrying.

If you want to carry gear, and want it to stay dry, here are some of the best cargo bags for your cargo cages.

1. Salsa Exp Series Anything Cage Bag

SALSA EXP SERIES ANYTHING CAGE BAG

Pros

  • Waterproof design
  • Awesome fitting
  • Multiple attachment points

Cons

  • Less storage volume


Attaching a bikepacking fork mount is of no use if you don’t have the equipment to store anything. This is the reason Salsa came up with this cool anything bag for its cargo cage. The innovatively designed bag can be used to store lightweight essential gears and water bottles.

This allows you to be free from any backpack, makes it easy to access the gears. Besides, it also makes the handling easy by lowering the center of gravity.

The mount is perfectly secure thanks to the multiple loops solidly sewn on the bag. Ideal for carrying a lightweight sleeping bag or sleeping pad.

  • Capacity: 3.35 liters
  • Hypalon daisy chains: 2
  • Compatible with Salsa anything cage
  • Material: 500 Denier Tarpaulin
  • Weight: 5.2 oz

2. DOM Gorilla Bag

DOM Gorilla Bag

Pros

  • Waterproof design
  • High storage volume

Cons

  • The plastic connector may wear with time.


If you are buying the DOM Gorilla Cage 2, then you must also buy this DOM Gorilla bag. This will be a remarkable and compatible addition to the cage. Equip your rig with this combo and relieve your mind from the fear of your gears getting lost, damaged, or caught in bad weather.

The 500D tarpaulin dry bag is entirely abrasion resistant and waterproof. Moreover, its 5.5-liter capacity makes it ideal for holding multiple items at one time. One of the top bicycle fork bags for carrying a whole sleeping system. A 1 man shelter on one side and a quilt and pad on the other.

  • Material: 500D Tarpaulin
  • Volume: 5.5 liters
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Compatible with Gorilla Cargo Cage
  • Weight: 6.2 oz.

3. Revelate Designs Polecat Fork-Mounted Bag

Revelate Designs Polecat Fork-Mounted Bag

Pros

  • Contoured low profile base
  • Highly durable
  • Super secured top closure.

Cons

  • It does not include attachment straps.


If you are looking for the best of the best class bikepacking fork bag, then this one is for you. The bag manufactured by Revelate Designs is easy to attach to the fork of your bike and compatible with any bikepacking cage.

It has a super lightweight design made from radio frequency welding, which makes it highly durable.

To provide you absolute relaxation of mind, the bag can be closed by rollover top closure, thus securing the items in it. Moreover, the back of the dry bag is made from Hypalon Urethane that shields it from every sort of abrasion or damage from the bolts or cage.

  • Material: 210-denier ripstop nylon/Hypalon reinforcements
  • Volume: 3.5 liters
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Ideal for Bikepacking
  • Weight: 3.7 oz.

4. Sea to Summit eVAC Dry Sack

best bikepacking fork bag

Pros

  • An extra layer of high-performance sleeping bag
  • Highly durable
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons

  • May experience abrasions after some time.


Not a bikepacking fork bag per se, this high quality dry bag from Sea to Summit could work well with a cage like the Blackburn Outpost.

The differentiating feature in this product from the others is its watertight design. The double-stitched and tape sealed construction of the dry bag make it absolutely waterproof.

Other than this, the durable Nylon body of the dry sack makes it ideal for long term use. The oval-shaped base cover takes less space and is also lightweight. Lastly, the waterproof bag is an ideal option for backpacking as well as travel.

  • Material: Nylon body and eVent fabric
  • Volume: 5 liters
  • Waterproof: Yes, with air expelling design
  • Fit for Bikepacking and travel
  • Size: 7 x 4 x 15 inches

5. ALPS Mountaineering Dry Sack

best bike dry bag

Pros

  • High volume
  • Compressible and easy to store design
  • Waterproof design available in multiple sizes

Cons

  • The air purging feature of the bag may not function properly.


The last pick on the list is this beautiful looking Alps mountaineering backpacking dry bags fit for who want to carry larger gear on their front forks.

Now, the cool thing about this bag is compression stuff, use every cubic mm of space while keeping all your gear solidly and airtight.

The Nylon material of the compression band provides the bag excellent strength, while the external material of the gear storage bag is waterproof, so no fear of getting your stuff wet in bad weather.

Although not a bikepacking specific bag, the 10l version can be comfortably carried on your fork if using long straps.

Just remember to not overload over your cargo cage weight capacity.

  • Material: 70D Nylon Ripstop Fabric
  • Volume: 10 liters
  • Waterproof: Yes, with air control bottom and taped seams
  • Weight: 7 oz.

bikepacking anything cages
pic @ F. Graglia


Choosing the best Cargo Cage: Buying Guide

Till now, you might have shortlisted the cargo cage you might want to buy, but wait! It is not that simple; there are various factors that you need to consider while buying one. Some of those crucial factors are:

First of all, it is extremely necessary for you to check if your bike is ready for this cage upgrade. This means if your bike has braze ons (threaded holes) like water bottle bosses in the front fork or wherever else you’re thinking on mounting the cage.

Braze-ons are necessary as they will help you fasten or attach the cargo cage to your bike’s fork or frame. (Fork cages can be somehow used also without braze-ons, check the FAQ section at the bottom).

The basic installation procedure of the cargo cage is pretty simple. Here are the steps:

  1. Check for braze-ons on your fork and measure the distance between them. Almost every bike has them; if not, you get braze ons made but only on steel frames.
  2. Take the cargo cage or bottle cage and fit it on the braze ons by using the provided screws (most of the bottle cages or cargo cages come with included bosses and washers).
  3. Tighten up the cargo cage to the bike’s frame or fork.
  4. Now, you are all set to take on the road will all the necessary gear that you need.

Note: Brazing is just another name for welding. It is the process of fitting small fittings like cable stops, cable guides, brake mounts, seat binders, water bottle bosses to your bike.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bikepacking cages

Can I use cargo cages if my bike has no bosses?

Yes, there are several adapters on the market to mount bikepacking cages on forks without braze ons. Normal bottle-cage adapters can work, but also hardware-store clamps and a bit of creativity (remember to protect your frame from scratches, you can use a piece of tube for that).

Final Words

Bikepacking is a great activity. It not only keeps your body active and fit but also lets you explore places. Other than a durable wheelset, comfortable handlebar, smooth moving tires, and the right bike helmet – you’ll need the proper luggage options for your multi-day trips, and cargo cages do the job very well, getting rid of a front rack and storing firmly luggage and extra water.

We hope you got all the required information in this guide and choose the best product for yourself. Happy biking!

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Bikepacking Guinea Conakry and Guinea Bissau – The 2 Guineas cycling route https://cycloscope.net/bikepacking-guinea https://cycloscope.net/bikepacking-guinea#respond Thu, 19 Nov 2020 16:43:24 +0000 https://cycloscope.net/?p=19733 Cycling Guinea Bissau and Guinea Bicycle touring West Africa with Filippo Graglia The Two Guineas route is a huge jump in another world. An ancient world, of endangered traditions and cultures. The route will take you on a true exploration of this rarely cycled West African corner, between Guinea Bissau and Guinea. Ancient rural settlements, unchanged for centuries and far from any kind of comfort, host a terribly hospitable population, and a meeting with them could alone be worth the […]

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Cycling Guinea Bissau and Guinea

Bicycle touring West Africa with Filippo Graglia

The Two Guineas route is a huge jump in another world. An ancient world, of endangered traditions and cultures.

The route will take you on a true exploration of this rarely cycled West African corner, between Guinea Bissau and Guinea. Ancient rural settlements, unchanged for centuries and far from any kind of comfort, host a terribly hospitable population, and a meeting with them could alone be worth the price of the ticket!

The Dulombi-Boe National Park it’s a leap in time. For most of the way you will have the impression of having been catapulted into a prehistoric world, expect a dinosaur to jump out at any moment. Nonetheless, the crossing of the Fouta Djallon massif will reward lovers of breathtaking views.

Difficulty Score
Climb
60
Surface
70
Weather
70
Essentials
water treatment system
spare parts & tools for mechanical self-sufficiency
challenges
bad roads (rainy season)
difficult food supplies
67
bikepacking setup

In the capital Bissau, you can try some local delicacies. The tradition here mixes with Portuguese culinary culture, with excellent results.

Seafood is almost always excellent (I recommend trying the Siga). In rural areas, the cuisine is much more basic. In the roadside restaurants, you can still find fried fish, chicken, but the dishes are usually based on rice or polenta.

If you come across a market, take advantage of it, because the local shops sell a few useful products (spaghetti, tomato paste, canned sardines …).

Guinea Conakry cuisine is generally more monotonous. Rice with beans has been the main dish for several days. Water is available in every village. Ask to point you to the well. For an unaccustomed organism, I recommend treating the water before drinking it, although it is generally of a decent quality. Oh, don’t forget to taste the palm wine, produced in many of the rural areas you’ll pass through.

food and water guinea
guinea camping west africa

Accommodation is possible in larger villages and towns (Bissau, Gabù, Labè, Pita, Conakry… Basic prices start from 5-10 €.

There are no campsites. Free camping is tolerated (remember #leavenotrace), even if the most intense experience will be lived by staying with the locals for the evening.

Approach them always with the utmost respect and ask to speak with the Chief of the village. He will often be happy to accommodate you. You could offer him a small tip in exchange for his kindness.

backpacking guinea

1. Getting to the route start:

there are daily flights from Lisbon to Bissau; a two hours ferry from the Bissau port will bring you to the cycling official start in Enxude. Schedule subjected to tides, ask to ferry office in Avenida 3 de Agosto. Usually, one ferry per day, in the morning, leaves from the port;

2. Visas:

both Guinea and Guinea Bissau require Tourist Visa for almost all non-ECOWAS countries. The exit bureaucracy from Guinea Bissau can be handled at the police station a few kilometres east of Gabu, where the asphalt is abandoned.

3. When to ride:

The hottest period runs from February to May. Rainy Season occurs from June to mid-October, in particular, the rains are torrential in July and August when it rains almost every day. The rains are usually violent thunderstorms of short duration, interspersed with the sun. It’s a cooler period but rains can ruin the roads;

4. Direction to ride:

Itinerary has been travelled west/ east. No particular constraint if you want to reverse the direction;

5. Mechanicals:

There aren’t bike shops along the route, except for some sideoftheroad small repairing shops. Unluckily they don’t generally have experience or tools necessary (someone said hammer?!). So come prepared. Going tubeless is a good option but bring some spare tubes and patches.

6. Health:

mainly in the wet season (June-October) the risk of contracting malaria is high. Evaluate with the doctor the possibility of prophylaxis. Careful prevention against bites is the most effective defence weapon. Some health centres may be found along the route with basic needs and malaria tests. Water purification systems are highly recommended;

7. Safety:

at the time of my passage (July ’18), the political situation was stable. Inform appropriately about any political/ social developments that could undermine safety: the English government website and the French one are two reliable sources. Only dangerous section for the traffic may be in the last 40 km and the city of Conakry. Almost 40km long, the inhabitants of the city drive rather aggressively and apparently without following the rules of the road. I suggest entering the city early in the morning, to avoid the bulk of traffic and have time to reach your destination, Conakry is huge!

THINGS TO SEE ALONG THE ROUTE

  • – Diving in the Fula, Mandinka and Soussou ethnic groups. Their traditions and their human warmth;
  • – The Dulombi-Boe National Park;
  • – crossing the river frontier onboard a wooden canoe will make you feel in an ancient time;
  • – the incredible Fouta Djallon in Guinea, with its waterfalls and the many trekking possibilities, for an off-the-bike day;
  • – overnight stay in rural villages, with curiosity and smiles of the locals; – the colonial buildings of Bissau and their “ancient” charm.
Bicycle touring guinea

Cycling Guinea Cornaky and Guinea Bissau – Filippo’s Blog

The itinerary was covered for the first time as part of a journey through Africa. It hasn’t been studied previously, but it has developed in the mind and on paper over the days.

It was also travelled in the middle of the rainy season so some tracks were not passable and I, therefore, had to follow some asphalted roads. However, the possibilities of keeping the wheels on clay are many, since the asphalted roads can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

For those who have more time, I suggest a detour to the east of Guinea Conakry, in the direction of the Upper Niger National Park and beyond, to Nzérékoré and the Mount Nimba nature reserve.

I’d like to conclude with an extract from my book: “All’orizzonte un toubabou”, Guinee Bissau chapter:

“None of them speaks Portuguese or French. In this corner forgotten by God, however, I found a family who welcomed me as if I were their son, intrigued, they helped me set up the tent, they taught me to grind millet in the mortar in the most efficient way. Three of us around the mortar, with a large pestle we beat the cereal, one stroke each, chopping it up. A boy starts music from his mobile phone, and the act of preparation turns into the funny mortar dance. Younger children will laugh at the white man who goes absolutely out of time, slowing down the preparation of dinner.”

Filippo Graglia – “All’orizzonte un toubabou”

FILIPPO GRAGLIA

Filippo was born in Torino in 1987. Here he studied and worked for twelve years. He discovered a great passion for cycling and the mountains, until a road accident, which arrived at the right time, directed his life in the saddle for the next two years. Between 2018 and 2019 he completed the crossing of Africa along the west coast.

FACEBOOK: AroundAbout
INSTAGRAM: Filippo Graglia
Cycling Through Africa in a Book: All’orizzonte un Toubabou

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Your Guide to Using Next Vacay for Your Travel Plans https://cycloscope.net/your-guide-to-using-next-vacay-for-your-travel-plans https://cycloscope.net/your-guide-to-using-next-vacay-for-your-travel-plans#respond Tue, 10 Nov 2020 10:11:49 +0000 https://cycloscope.net/?p=19115 Savvy travelers know that deals on airline tickets are all over the internet, but it can be hard to know where to begin. Hundreds of sites promise the best deals to travel the world. But they may require lots of searching to bring your travel destination and schedule together. That’s where Next Vacay comes in. If a trip to beautiful and historic Belarus is in your future, read on to learn how Next Vacay can help you find the best […]

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Savvy travelers know that deals on airline tickets are all over the internet, but it can be hard to know where to begin.

Hundreds of sites promise the best deals to travel the world. But they may require lots of searching to bring your travel destination and schedule together.

That’s where Next Vacay comes in. If a trip to beautiful and historic Belarus is in your future, read on to learn how Next Vacay can help you find the best deal on a flight.

Next Vacay Service

next vacay
mage via Flickr by josephdepalma

Next Vacay was founded by husband and wife Naveen and Shaylee Dittakavi to solve a common problem in the age of the internet: too much information to sift through. Airlines and other travel sites may offer cheap flights, but they don’t always make it easy to find them. You may have the creeping sense of panic that you’re missing out on the deals because you don’t quite know where to look — or don’t have time to search hundreds of sites to find the best ones.

Enter the solution: Naveen and Shaylee combined their love of travel and software expertise to create a tool that searches through travel sites and customizes airline flight results just for you. They started out creating the software tool to find cheap flights for themselves and their families. Then they shared it with their friends. They all saved hundreds of dollars, so the couple decided to make it available to everyone.

Nobody should be excluded from experiencing trips to other cities, countries, and cultures because airline tickets are too expensive or hard to find. Next Vacay puts the options right in your inbox. You receive email alerts and book your ticket. There are no middlemen or agencies with hidden fees or limitations.

Flight Subscription Service

Lots of travel sites offer deals on all forms of travel, like hotels, car rentals, cruises, travel packages, and flights. Sometimes, search results prioritize package deals first or bundle travel options together. This can be frustrating if all you want is access to cheap flights. Next Vacay is a travel service for flights only. For an annual subscription fee of just $25, you open your access to the best flight deals. You can easily cover the cost of the fee in the savings on your first flight purchase.

Here’s how it works: You sign up for the service by setting up a free 30-day trial Next Vacay membership. You choose your home airport and Next Vacay will search for departing flights from it and surrounding airports within a four-hour drive. (You have the option of selecting other airports outside that range, too.) Approximately two or three times a week, you’ll receive an email from Next Vacay with flight deals to a variety of destinations.

Unlike a last-minute travel site, Next Vacay deals are for trips from one to ten months out, so you have some time to plan for your travel, arrange for time off from work, and look into hotels, car rentals, or excursions without feeling panicked.

When a flight looks like the right fit, you book it yourself with the airline. Next Vacay doesn’t take a commission from the airlines, so you can be assured the deals are unbiased.

If you’re not sure it’s for you, try it out — the first month is free. And if you’re not satisfied with the service in the first six months, you can cancel for a full refund, no questions asked.

Next Vacay Ideal Customers

Travel takes all kinds of forms: Long-planned visits to family members, bucket list destination trips, or getaways that open your eyes to new places. Next Vacay is a great service for:

  • Travelers who want to find a great deal on a flight but don’t have time or energy to do constant searching on multiple sites.
  • People who know they want to take a trip to somewhere interesting and have some flexibility with dates and even destinations.
  • Those who enjoy dreaming about travel and considering places offered in the email subscription service.
  • People who like to travel over holidays and want the best price on a flight.
  • Travelers who feel confident in booking the other details of a trip once the flight is secured.

The Best Deals on Airline Tickets

Because Next Vacay searches many databases for airfare deals, the destination possibilities that may appear in your inbox are only limited by your imagination. When Naveen and Shaylee were testing the first version of the software, they found round-trip tickets from Atlanta, Georgia, to India for $300 each and to Barcelona for $600 each.

Unlike a common newsletter that tells you about sales that might not even apply to you or are long gone by the time you search, Next Vacay is tailored to travel that makes sense for you. The emails give you information about the departure airport(s) you’ve selected, the destination, and the dates where prices are likely to be lower.

Direct Booking

The concept of “travel hacking” may lead you to believe that one service has a corner on the cheap flights market. But when you book with a middleman travel service, you run the risk of overlooking any hidden fees or restrictions. Next Vacay gives you a link so you can book directly with the airline offering the deal. This gives you access to any frequent flyer mile programs or the account you’ve set up with an airline.

Booking directly with the airline also helps you stay immediately connected with any flight changes, travel interruptions, or unforeseen circumstances. You can contact airline customer service directly rather than relying on a third party to get the details right. Eliminating that extra interaction can save you time and stress when you need help the most.

If your bucket list includes more travel to new and exciting places, Next Vacay is a perfect subscription service for you. For a small fee, you eliminate the guesswork of so-called “travel hacking” and let expert software do it for you. Imagine yourself in far-off lands with the deep satisfaction that you got the best deal out there on your plane ticket.

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Bikepacking vs Touring with Panniers – All Pros & Cons https://cycloscope.net/bikepacking-vs-touring https://cycloscope.net/bikepacking-vs-touring#respond Sat, 07 Nov 2020 10:10:01 +0000 https://cycloscope.net/?p=19049 Bikepacking vs Cycle Touring? Which style is better? The pros and cons of a Pannier Setup against Bikepacking Bags+ some hybrid setup ideas Bikepacking vs touring has been one of the hottest topics on cycle touring forums for quite a while. Everyone is ready to defend their setups, some even with a hint of silly fundamentalism, but as often is the case, there’s no absolute winner in the struggle between bikepacking bags and touring panniers setups. The scope of the […]

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bikepacking vs touring

Bikepacking vs Cycle Touring? Which style is better?

The pros and cons of a Pannier Setup against Bikepacking Bags
+ some hybrid setup ideas

Bikepacking vs touring has been one of the hottest topics on cycle touring forums for quite a while. Everyone is ready to defend their setups, some even with a hint of silly fundamentalism, but as often is the case, there’s no absolute winner in the struggle between bikepacking bags and touring panniers setups.

The scope of the trip, the personal taste of the rider, the purpose of the setup, the type of roads to be tackled, the length of the journey, the amount of gear needed… these are just a few of the factors that you should consider when choosing between classic touring panniers and a slick and trendy bikepacking setup.

Of course it hasn’t have to be black or white, hybrid setups are also an option. You’ll find our thoughts at the end of this blog post.


Bikepacking vs Pannier Touring in a Nutshell

Bikepacking
Better for:
Endurance races | short bike trips | multi-day trail-riding | fast-paced credit-card touring
Steering Control
90
Obstacle Avoidance
95
Wind Handling without Framebag
92
Wind Handling with Framebag
75
Storage Capacity
60
Cost of Setup
45
Pro
more agility
lighter
ride almost any trail
Cons
lower storage capacity
more expensive
hard to pack
76

Cycle Touring
Better For:
Long-distance expeditions | cross-continent self-supported touring | Nomadic Life
Steering Control
75
Obstacle Avoidance
55
Wind Handling
75
Storage Capacity
100
Cost of Setup
75
Pro
almost limitless storage capacity
cheaper
lower center of gravity
ease of gear access
Cons
bulkier and heavier
harder to control on rough terrain
less aerodynamic
76

What are the differences between cycle touring and bikepacking?

In traditional style bicycle touring, the luggage is stored mostly in lateral bags called bike panniers. Those need a rack to be hanged on to (a rear rack, a front one, or both), so they inevitably make the bike-rider system much wider.

A wider rig means less agility, making the bike more difficult to control, especially on rough terrain. Panniers also hang pretty low, so they are prone to be caught by obstacles, which may result in damage to our panniers or even in risky fallings.

Bikepacking style is instead modular, it uses a combination of specific types of bags especially designed not to widen the rig’s profile.

By using any possible space within the bike frame, bikepacking bags make the rider able to tackle the narrowest single-tracks without the need to worry about balance and obstacles.

While loaded touring requires a more specific touring bike, many bicycles can perform well as bikepacking bikes, just be sure they have adequate wheels for your load, or update your wheelset.

Advantages and disadvantages of bikepacking

bikepacking vs panniers
image@evanoui.cc

A bikepacking setup is lighter and slicker than a cycle touring one, it is ideal for off-road use, even the most extreme trail can be tackled with the right gear setup.

Bikepacking bags also do not need racks, which saves considerable weight (up to 1.5kg for both a front and rear rack). Bikepacking “packs” are directly attached to the frame or other essential components of the bike (such as seatpost or handlebars).

This means that a bicycle doesn’t need to be rack-ready to be a travel bike! This is pretty revolutionary if you think about it, you can now take your full-suspension MTB or even your road bike on a multi-day self-supported cycling adventure, this is bikepacking!

The advantages of weight saving, improved maneuverability, and better aerodynamics are evident, but there are also some drawbacks in bikepacking, first will be your storage capacity and ease of access.


Check the best gravel bikes for bikepacking


Storage Capacity: Bikepacking Bags vs Touring Panniers

bike touring storage vs bikepacking

Storage capacity is probably the first factor to consider when choosing between a bikepacking vs a touring setup.

The storage capacity of a complete set of bikepacking bags will never match the 110 liters of 4 MSX panniers. This is certainly is an incentive to go minimal, which is cool… but some years-long cycling trips definitely require more storage.

Long-distance bike travel usually means going through all sorts of weather conditions, from hot tropical climates to freezing desert winters. If that’s your case, you probably need more gear (unless you properly organize to ship your gear ahead.

When we plan a year-long (or even longer) bike journey, we are basically living on the road – that means sometimes the essentials won’t be enough to live an enjoyable life, unless you’re a hardcore minimalist. You might want a bigger tent, a warmer sleeping bag, cooking gear, a laptop, and whatnot.

Shorter but more extreme routes are often better-tackled with a bikepacking setup, if your journey is just a couple of weeks to one-month-long, giving up on luxury is easier for a short timespan. Essential camping gear can still be stored bikepacking bags if you pack them right.

Also, if you don’t plan on camping and have a decent-enough budget to afford credit-card touring, a bikepacking setup is probably the right choice for you.


How much gear can you store in bikepacking bags?

Total: up to 70 litres (with the biggest bags)

Although I’m not a fan, many bikepackers increase their storage capacity by using cycling backpacks – I feel like recommending the use of rucksacks not bigger than 20l, and not heavier than 5kg.

Final Total: up to 90l


How much gear can you store with a cycle touring pannier setup?

Total: 158l

Of course you can still expand a pannier-setup with top tube bags, frame bags and such, or even a trailer… if you really need to carry an entire house with you. A classic touring setup has basically no storage limits – only your legs will decide that.

How to pack your gear in bikepacking setups vs panniers

how to pack for bikepacking

Bikepacking bags are narrow and streamlined in order to minimize their impact on aerodynamics. The problem is that some pieces of gear ar not streamlined at all!

Think about cooking gear and especially your food stock! Fitting canned chickpeas, packs of pasta, cooking oil, and oranges in a bikepacking setup can be a brain-burning puzzle.

At the same time, all the rest of your gear has to be packed as tight as possible and have its own fixed place for you not to go nuts when re-packing every morning.

Panniers are more like dumpsters, the exact opposites – you can throw in your gear without having to think too much about the bulk. Here though, is the weight balance that is fundamental (refer to our beginner’s guide for cycle touring for more about this).


Water storage

With a frame bag taking all the space inside the diamond of your frame, water storage has to go creative in bikepacking. Bottle-bags are often attached to the handlebars, or cargo-cages are used as bottle-cages in the front or rear fork.

Water storage is clearly more straight-forward in a touring style, a big frame can easily carry 3.5 liters inside.

Both setups allow for an additional bottle cage on the lower side of the downtube (the only place no-one tried to put a bag… yet).


Bicycle Touring vs Bikepacking: Riding Feelings

bikepacking vs touring setup

Aerodynamics and Wind Handling

Wind is an essential component in cycle travel, head and side wind conditions are often harsh and frustrating obstacles to overcome.

A classic touring setup with panniers definitely has a larger overall rig surface, is less aerodynamic and offers more resistance to the wind. A strong headwind might be a nightmare when touring with large panniers, and side winds can destabilise the rider and result in dangerous accidents.

A minimalistic bikepacking setup offers much less surface to the wind and normally handles better both side and headwinds. If you’re carrying lots of stuff though, your rig might not be so streamlined after all.

Frame bags in particular, can be a nightmare in side-winds, creating a “sail effect” that can wipe you out of the road if a strong gust gets you.


Center of gravity

Pannier bags are positioned much lower on the frame compared to bikepacking bags, this lowers the overall center of gravity of your rider-rig system.

A lower center of gravity means more stability, you will notice how a properly loaded touring bike would feel extremely stable even on high-speed descents.

With a bikepacking setup, the center of gravity is much higher, basically at waist-height. A gravel bike loaded with bikepacking bags will never feel as glued to the road as a pannier-loaded tourer.

Obstacle avoidance

bike touring vs bikepacking

A lower center of gravity though, means that your bags are nearer to the road surface. Panniers can easily get caught in bushes, thorns, big rocks, and other obstacles. Whatever the skills of the rider, some single tracks are just not rideable with side panniers.

A slick bikepacking rig, with is slim profile and high-up bags, doesn’t have this problem. If you go minimal and use the proper gear, bikepacking bags will never get in the way of your off-road riding.


Costs of setups

Although more and more budget brands are coming into the bikepacking world (Rosewheel and Rockbros are two good examples), the overall cost of a full bikepacking setup is still higher than what you will spend by buying panniers and racks of samilar quality.

Steering and off-road capabilities

Sani Pass Lesotho

According to a popular legend, a bikepacking setup is much better than a pannier one when riding off the pavement. Let me get one thing straight, a properly loaded touring bike can handle rocky and bumpy roads even better than a bikepacking rig.

Of course, the quality of the pannier bags, especially of the attachment systems, is diriment when it comes to rough roads – weak mounting point can break or just detach from the rack, letting you panniers fly away and potentially resulting in a nasty crasher (Elena had a similar experience with Crosso panniers in South Africa).

Attachment systems are also important for bikepacking bags, especially saddle-bags. Some seat packs are prone to swinging from side to side or drop low towards the back wheel. This might be due to the poor quality of the bag but also to a wrong installation or unfortunate packing.

The steering on a bikepacking rig is faster, while usually touring bikes have lazy forks, which are less reactive – together with the front panniers weighing on the fork, a touring setup makes the steering definitely slower.

The difference is that a proper touring tank can often just smash through rocks without the need of zig-zag-ing through them, thanks to the lower center of gravity and greater overall stability.

Hybrid Setups

bikepacking hybrid setup

Mixing panniers and bikepacking bags is not blasphemy, it can absolutely be done with quite succesful results – the secret is trial and experimentation.

A trend in long-distance touring has been emerging, to move most of the weight on the front wheel by using front panniers and large handlebar packs while leaving only a seat-pack (although usually a large one) on the back.

Using small panniers on a rear rack, a frame bag, a large handlebar pack and front cargo cages is also becoming pretty common.

Discussing the advantages of this kind of setups is beyond the scope of this article, we’ll dedicate a special post to setups soon.

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12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking https://cycloscope.net/best-cycling-backpack-commuter-waterproof https://cycloscope.net/best-cycling-backpack-commuter-waterproof#respond Wed, 04 Nov 2020 11:42:26 +0000 https://cycloscope.net/?p=18617 12 of the best cycling backpacks. Waterproof, lightweight, roll-top cycling rucksacks from cheap to top. The best backpacks for bike commuting, MTB, bikepacking As cyclists, one of the hurdles to using a bike to get around is transporting your belongings. But with our guide to the best cycling backpack, you can securely transport yourself and your lunch to shop, work, or anywhere else you need to go. Although many bike commuters are moving towards bike bags, a cycling backpack still […]

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best cycling backpack

12 of the best cycling backpacks. Waterproof, lightweight, roll-top cycling rucksacks from cheap to top. The best backpacks for bike commuting, MTB, bikepacking

As cyclists, one of the hurdles to using a bike to get around is transporting your belongings. But with our guide to the best cycling backpack, you can securely transport yourself and your lunch to shop, work, or anywhere else you need to go.

Although many bike commuters are moving towards bike bags, a cycling backpack still offers a great solution to a cargo-carrying conundrum if you need to carry a lot of stuff.

On the other hand, serious bikepacking has spread all-over with the advent of Enduro racing and some genuinely clever ways to carry spares and tools. Sometimes, however, no amount of tools stashed inside steerer tubes or Velcro straps can tote what you need on a ride, and sometimes you need to carry a lot of stuff. 

Commuter bikes often feature racks for pannier bags, but if you detest pannier racks, the best cycling commuter backpacks allow you to carry no end of stuff too. A pannier is not very comfortable to carry around off the bike, while the right cycling commuter bag can also be stylish and comfortable when the ride is over.

As for mountain bikers, for several reasons, they should have MTB backpacks during mountain trails riding. These backpacks provide storage for a large volume of water. Riding with hydration packs offer better hydration compared to the use of water bottles because it is easier to reach a hose.

best bike commuter backpack

4 Best Bike Commuter Backpacks

As a daily bike commuter, you might need to haul quite some stuff back and forth from your house to your workplace, gym, night-out, or whatsoever. You might need a proper waterproof and lightweight backpack for your commute, have a look at these.


1. Ortlieb Commuter Daypack City Backpack [21L]

12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 96best bike commuter backpack


Price: around $235.00 

The ortlieb commuter daypack allows you to put everything that you need for a day’s work. This lightweight cycling backpack is made of durable nylon fabric and resists water well. 

Ortlieb Commuter is a comfortable pack that I take out once per week on a 40 mile RT commute that includes some big hills. Thanks to the thick foam standoffs, I get great ventilation of my back.

The pack’s capacity is fine for carrying work clothes plus a laptop. Its level of waterproofness is thorough, and it has a smart design throughout its makeup. At $235.10, it’s pretty steep, but I’ve used the high price to guilt myself into the bike commute once per week, so maybe that downside is a plus too! Haha.


2. Patagonia Nine Trails 26L Pack [26L]

Price: about $129.00

patagonia nine trail cycling backpack


The 26-liter Patagonia 9 Trail travel pack protects your gear from scuffs, rough handling, and scrapes being a weather-resistant daypack with the right amount of space to haul your daily essentials.

I feel confident recommending this to anyone looking for something to protect their valuables from nature’s elements, having used it in severe rain and snowstorms. Durability is also outstanding. While snowboarding, I have fallen on this bag and scraped it on very sharp lava flow tunnels, with little to no damage to the Cordura ripstop nylon/polyester fabric. 

It comfortably holds my laptop, change of clothes, and everything else I need for the day. It sits comfortably on my back whether it’s mostly empty or loaded with heavy groceries. The back panel is well ventilated too. 


3. Timbuk2 Tuck Pack [20L]

  Price: about $68.00

12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 97best cycling roll top commuter backpack


Near or far, Timbuk2 is a streamlined, straightforward roll top cycling backpack for any adventure.

Including a hidden pocket at the back that I find handy for carrying my phone and wallet, the bag has numerous pockets. The bag feels hardwearing and sturdy. It’s large enough to accommodate a lot of kits and comfortable to wear. It also resists water superbly, so it’s perfect for winter commutes! 

I will say I hate the blind spot the roll top creates over my shoulder, although it allows for a lot of extra room. The top of the roll top juts out into my field of vision because the material is rather sturdy. 


4. Rapha Reflective Travel Backpack [25L]

Price: about $205.00

Rapha Cycling Backpack


This pack is a compact and refined backpack big enough for overnight commuting.

The pack unzips in a clamshell style to lie flat, allowing you to access and pack its contents like a suitcase, maximizing the bag’s 25-liter capacity. A magnetic sternum strap stabilizes the bag on your back when fully loaded, and a separate padded laptop pocket keeps a 13” laptop safe.

A quick access front pocket incorporates an internal slip pocket and zipped pocket to hold travel documents wherever your trip takes you and gives you access to smaller items on the go. When not in use, the pack’s hi-vis pink rain cover slides inside the mesh pocket present in the main compartment.


4 Best Mountain Bike Backpacks

Although we’ll dedicate an entire article to the world of MTB hydration packs, we decided to feature some of the best MTB backpacks here. Those are selected not just with water capacity in mind, but for their overall quality and convenience.


1. LOCALLION Cycling Backpack [6L]

  Price: about $28.99

12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 98cheap MTB backpack


So that you have a relaxed outdoor experience, this bike bag is not only practical, but also slim line, and most importantly, lightweight, which adds no extra burden to your journey.

This small 6L backpack has an array of compartments and zip pockets, plus a special hole desogned for hydration bladders (not included, will fit 2L).

Regularly, I carry a spare tube and some tools, and everything else is stuff that I’m switching in and out on the bike trail for my urban leisure rides around the city. It distributes the weight comfortably and is a light backpack for day trips. 

It has a solid structure and the mesh on the back allows some airflow across your back. One of the cheapest MTB backpacks you can find. For under 30 bucks, it’s a bargain!


2. Deuter Compact EXP 12 Biking Backpack w. Hydration System [12L]

  Price: about $120.00

12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 99best mountain bike backpack


While keeping you comfortable and organized along the trail, the Deuter Compact EXP 12 bike pack expands to fit in more gear. Knowing you can go farther in comfort, you’ll hit the trails lighter and faster with a super-tight fit and new hip wing construction.

Don’t let its small size fool you: it’s elastic and accommodates extra gear. The best feature is the hydration system: it’s sturdy, simple, and possess intelligently designed valve connections. Plus no chemical smell. Even better, you will barely feel the weight of 3.0 L of water!

Ideal for trips on an MTB, it’s an outstanding rucksack. It fits snugly. It has loads of pockets and well thought-out design.


3. Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack [14L]

Price: around $150.00

12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 100best cycling rucksack


The men’s Osprey Raptor 14 hydration pack helps you stay fueled up and organized on the trail with a 2.5-liter reservoir and enough storage to haul your gear.

Even on hot days and over all kinds of terrain, it’s super comfortable. It has plenty of storage; pockets galore in all the right places.

It’s on the pricier tier of hydration packs, but the $150 cost is so worth it! More than enough for a whole day’s ride, the 2.5L featured on the bag serves the cyclist well. It also comes with a little tool bag, which is mainly for mountain biking for any accessories. To end it off, this bag comes with a lifetime warranty!


4. CamelBak Octane 10 Hydration Pack [10L]

  Price: about $100.00

12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 101lightweight cycling backpack


CamelBak ranks as one of the best MTB backpacks manufacturers because it offers no real shortcoming. It’s a little intimidating to adjust, but it feels like another part of your body once done. It doesn’t bounce or move around.

It’s light despite the 2L bladder. You will love the 2-liter water reserve as it will keep you from exhausting it in trail runs and longer Spartan races.

It has a huge amount of storage between the handy “snack pouches” on each shoulder strap and the backpack compartment itself. This means you can store things like energy gels and protein bars in the shoulder straps and a headlamp and your phone or keys in the back, and you rarely need to remove the pack even when you need to refuel during a run.


4 Best Bikepacking Rucksacks

Bikepacking bags can have quite some capacity, but their odd shape makes them awful to carry certain kinds of items. Fitting food in a saddle-bag is not always easy, while it’s really hard to fathom where should you store your laptop in a bikepacking setup. That’s why many bikepackers still love to use backpacks. Here are a few great ones.


1. Evoc Trail Builder Performance Backpack [30L]

Price: about £215.00

12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 102best bikepacking backpack


You can carry your trail building workshop on your back with Evoc Trail Builder. The backpack, designed with trail builders in mind, offers a carrying system that provides balanced load distribution, making it ideal for comfortable transporting of heavy loads. Evoc Trail Builder is one of the best mountain bike backpacks for carrying your tools next to and on trails with your mountain bike or gravel rig.

This large Evoc backpack sits securely on your back while you ride, differently from non-cycling backpacks that tend to wobble around as you cycle. In addition to this, cycling backpacks often have a rear light tab and reflective strips to improve night-time visibility.

While these cycling backpacks come without hydration bladders, many of them have a bladder pocket ready to take one.


2. CamelBak K.U.D.U. Protector 20 Hydration Pack [20L]

  Price: about $224.22

12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 103best waterproof cycling backpack


Awesome and spacious, CamelBak has many straps to secure it to your body and it possesses a built-in back protector. The full-back Level II protector shields you against minor injuries and absorbs impact in a crash. The pack has lots of pockets too. It includes a 3-liter hydration pack as well.

You can find a pack that ventilates better or weighs lighter than CamelBak, but you will hardly encounter a backpack that fits as securely as it does. You can put snacks, spare tubes, multi tool, hand pump, first aid kit, and a light jacket with ample room to spare.

It fits great and looks even better.


3. LOCALLION 5.5L Cycling Backpack [5.5L]

  Price: about $34.00

12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 104best budget cycling backpack


This other Locallion product is a very satisfying backpack for bikepacking. From the seat to the shoulder straps, the back of the backpack is made of breathable mesh material that aids sweating and breathing during riding. With a belt, it doesn’t matter if you do strenuous exercise, it relieves a lot of burden and stress. Strong straps secure the big bottle. 

It has a zipper pocket for many carry-on items. On top of that, it’s safe to exercise at night because of its reflective strips.

This small 5.5-liter rucksack holds all you need to ride, including wallets, water bladder, towels, umbrella, and other items. 


4. Evoc FR Enduro Blackline Rucksack [16L]

  Price: $160 – $285

12 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 10512 Best Cycling Backpack: Mountain Bike, Commuting, Bikepacking 106


This larger Evoc pack rocks, from the material of the bag to the compartments.

The Evoc Blackline protector is a bit long, thin, and has good pocket placement. The result is a rucksack that fits better, enhances motion, moves around less when riding, and keeps tools organized. All your spares and tools will fit with ease in the tool area. There are several pockets for other items as well.

It has a pocket for a bladder, although it does not come with one – no surprises there because it is not a specialist mountain bike backpack. The pack sits where it needs to; it secures in place on even big jumps or drops and ventilates better than most other packs. Plus the back protector is top-notch and removable.


best mtb backpack

Things to consider when making a choice of the best cycling backpacks

To choose the best cycling backpack for your needs, you should consider the following factors:

Cycling specific

The way your body positions on a bicycle differs greatly from when walking.

Mounted on a road bike, your back will be at an angle, meaning the weight of the backpack will fall into you rather than your shoulders carrying the weight. This will not only increase the heat buildup on your back, but also cause the rucksack to flop to one side whilst riding, putting twisting pressure on your back. To prevent twisting and overheating, many cycling backpacks feature a hip belt and breathable padding where it interfaces your back.  

Additional features include things like improved waterproofing, places to clip a rear light, and strapping to carry your helmet when you arrive at your destination. 


How big?

Backpacks come in all sizes and shapes, and how big you need depends on where you’re headed. A lighter, smaller bag will suffice if you just need somewhere to put your change of clothes, while a bigger bag with a hip belt will be better if you’re carrying a laptop, spare clothes, lunch, shoes, and equipment you’ll use throughout your day.


What are you carrying?

A lot of bike commuters nowadays carry a laptop with them; if this is you, look for the best bike commuter backpack with a padded inner sleeve that will keep your laptop safe. Is your work attire a t-shirt and jeans, or do you need to change into a pressed, wrinkle-free shirt when you arrive at your destination? To leave your clothes less crushed when you arrive at your destination, bags with a larger main compartment is more ideal.

best bike backpack

A high chance of rain? Go waterproof!

Do you live in Brisbane or Bristol? For the latter, buying the best waterproof cycling backpack is a no brainer, while for the former, a removable rain cover will suffice. 


Harness and protection

If you’re looking at larger packs, you are planning to ride with a bit of weight, so a bag’s fit is crucial. A backpack should have a sternum strap and a hip belt, at the bare minimum. Extra points if there is a spine protector or internal frame built in. 


Ventilation 

As you ride, wearing a pack will prevent you from radiating as much heat away from your body. Find the best cycling rucksack with a suspended mesh back panel or that has an air-permeable material and channels for airflow. 


Organization

There is nothing worse than having to dump the contents of your bag out on the trailside because you’re looking for your CO2 inflator head or Dynaplug. Many mountain bike backpacks will have dedicated sleeves or zippered organizational pockets for specific tools, while others will even have removable tool rolls. At the end of the day, dividers come with a small cost on capacity.


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