Handlebands, Hydration Packs and 12 Other Essentials for Your Next 'Bikepacking' Trip

Don't pack from scratch; here's what you'll need for the perfect 'bikepacking' trip

Old Man Mountain

Backpacking can still be considered somewhat sexy, but it’s certainly not as novel as it once was.

Everyone from baby boomers to Gen Y’s gap-year crowd and even Hollywood (hello, Wild?) knows someone who has done it.

On the contrary, drop the word “bikepacking” into a conversation with your coworkers and unless you work in a bike shop, you’ll probably see at least one deer in the headlights.

It’s okay. This hybrid of biking and camping hasn’t gone mainstream yet—especially since a lot of bikepacking takes place on backcountry trails and rural roads. But since May is National Bike Month, there’s no time like the present to take your bike out for a spin and a sleepover.

Skip the packing-from-scratch headache and see here for some gear that you’ll want to take along for the ride. 


Unless your bikepacking trip is designed to be a digital detox, you’ll have your phone. This mount is made of expandable silicone and can securely cradle any smartphone (including the iPhone 6+) with or without a case. Unlike mounts with straps that limit phone functionality, Handleband is designed so you have access to your entire screen while you’re riding. It’s incredibly easy to reposition and remove, and as a bonus feature, its aluminum base can be used as a bottle opener.
niteize.com; $19.99 

Dakine Nomad Hydration Pack

While you never want to pack a bunch of weight around on your back, Darren Alff, the Bicycle Touring Pro, notes that it’s no fun to rely on panniers or handlebar bags for on-foot excursions. So go with a smaller backpack like the Nomad which is designed for wearing both on and off the bike. Its molded back panel with air channel ventilation, breathable shoulder straps and a removable hip belt ensure enhanced ergonomics. Functional features include a hydration reservoir, helmet carrier and fleece-lined sunglasses and phone pockets.
dakine.com; $135.00

Click here to see more bikepacking essentials.

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