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  1. #1
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    goal weight for bikepacking rig?

    a little about myself first
    at 245# and riding over 200 miles a month now, down from 300# and complete couch potato in addition to my office job

    I'm not new to backpacking, week long trips, boundary waters canoeing, tons of car camping, but the endurance aspect of bikepacking makes me question myself a little

    I finished my first century this weekend on a 40# drop bar 29er, the route was more than 1/2 gravel (I set this ride as a prerequisite of sorts for myself prior to doing any multi-day bikepacking adventure)

    So, being in okay physical condition (I was pretty tired for a few days after the century but not physically sore) and being a fairly tall guy (longer sleeping bag/pad/tent) and a not so sound sleeper I value comfort of my sleep setup pretty highly

    is 10# for 2 person tent, sleeping bag and pad excessive?

    I already have the tent and sleep pad, could use a new bag, I want to kind of test the waters here on a weekend trip pedaling 50-80 miles times 3 days, probably a mix of road and gravel trails (pedal out friday after work, camp, pedal to a new camp for sat night, pedal home sunday)

    What kind of goals do you have set for weight of items on the bike plus the bike itself?
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  2. #2
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    10 lbs is probably more than what most people carry. Less weight will make things easier on you but ultimately if you're able to carry it, you can take it. I also wouldn't worry much about fitness. Bikepacking doesn't have to be an endurance activity, it should be about getting out and having fun. I would suggest starting with an easier overnighter or less mileage first, so if the weight or your setup isn't working it doesn't turn into a huge ordeal. Then you can adjust your setup or gear as needed for next time. If the weather is good and bugs aren't an issue you could leave the tent at home.

  3. #3
    slow:biker
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    You can do better than 10 lbs, depending on how much you want to spend. My tent is a pig for bikepacking (Hilleberg Soulo) but it is paid for and weighs 2 kilos. I have a Western Mountaineering Summerlite bag (560 g) and a Thermorest Neoair pad (540 g) for a grand total of 3.1 kilos (6.8 lbs). I could easily chop my tent weight in half by buying a tarptent and that would put me easily under 5 lbs, with lots of comfort factored in.

  4. #4
    saddlemeat
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    My megamid, neoair, and 2.8 lb bag weigh 5.8 lbs. I can easily drop that to 4 with a sleeping quilt.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  5. #5
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    The importance of weight is dependent on a lot of things. Stuff like your style of bikepacking, the conditions where you are bike packing, personal comfort level requirements, and so on are very important. Someone who is ultra racing is probably going to prioritize weight more than someone who wants a comfortable camp setup. Winter bikepacking pack weights are much heavier than summer pack weights. If you are just starting out, I am a big believer in the "run what ya brung" approach. Use what you have and just get out there. If you get heavy into bikepacking, then worry about getting light. Most of getting light after getting appropriate bikepacking gear is an exercise in sacrifice. It's getting rid of the luxuries and sometimes gambling a little even on what sorts of spares and such you are bringing.
    "...when I stand to climb I'm like the Hulk rowing the USS Badass up the Kickass River."
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  6. #6
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    goal weight for bikepacking rig?

    What are the weights of your current tent/pad/bag? If you replace the heaviest, I'm guessing you could save 2lbs or so. For me, weight isn't so much of an issue as space is. Usually the lighter (and more expensive) it is, the smaller it packs.


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  7. #7
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    some good responses here so I've got some more info

    my current, run what you got camping stuff is 5# tent (15yr old kelty) 4# bag (massive in size needs to be replaced with something I can reasonably pack without taking up my whole BOB trailer) and just under 2# neo air camper pad

    I'm in Wisconsin so it's not like I'll be riding any real mountains, anything I do will require at least some amount of road travel, bikepacking here and road touring will be pretty much the same thing, sadly unless I'm really far north in the state it's hard to really get away from things, so the routes would not be overly difficult

    I'm not afraid to go with just a tarp, if my wife decides to come along that's a whole different story, I can probably drop a pound from my old 1 man tent and go to a 2 man tent that would work both solo and if she decides to tag along

    what I'm gathering from above posts is that 5-8# is a decent goal and sounds very possible by just replacing my old bag, I could simply go with a cheap thin blanket in summer, I'm always warm, 10 degrees this winter fatbiking thru the snow and I ride with just a bandanna under my helmet while everyone else has a balaclava and winter helmets
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  8. #8
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    goal weight for bikepacking rig?

    A few additional thoughts. If you have a ground cloth you can ditch that. Most wear on tent floors come from the grit inside the tent anyway.

    Also I have a SOL Escape Bivy which is super small and light and could be a standalone bag in warm weather. It's supposedly warm to 52f. It's about $45-$50. I'm happy with it. You could also just buy a bag liner to use alone or in injunction with the bivy. Many of those are also super light and small.

    I am a tarp camper but I also don't contend with bugs. When I started bikepacking I just used a utility tarp which if you are going to be 2 is plenty of space and not too heavy (and very affordable). With a tarp you will want a ground cloth or you can set up the tarp so that it is both the ground cloth and shelter. I now have a lighter tarp but it's still very basic and not anything expensive like cuben fiber. I think I paid $60.

    This link my very first bikepacking trip and how I set up the tarp to be both floor and roof: http://highaltitudehomestead.blogspo...zunis.html?m=1

  9. #9
    slow:biker
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    Or you could just ditch the BOB trailer and save yourself a ton of weight right there.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TitanofChaos View Post
    some good responses here so I've got some more info

    my current, run what you got camping stuff is 5# tent (15yr old kelty) 4# bag (massive in size needs to be replaced with something I can reasonably pack without taking up my whole BOB trailer) and just under 2# neo air camper pad

    I'm in Wisconsin so it's not like I'll be riding any real mountains, anything I do will require at least some amount of road travel, bikepacking here and road touring will be pretty much the same thing, sadly unless I'm really far north in the state it's hard to really get away from things, so the routes would not be overly difficult

    I'm not afraid to go with just a tarp, if my wife decides to come along that's a whole different story, I can probably drop a pound from my old 1 man tent and go to a 2 man tent that would work both solo and if she decides to tag along

    what I'm gathering from above posts is that 5-8# is a decent goal and sounds very possible by just replacing my old bag, I could simply go with a cheap thin blanket in summer, I'm always warm, 10 degrees this winter fatbiking thru the snow and I ride with just a bandanna under my helmet while everyone else has a balaclava and winter helmets
    I thought Rib Mountain was a real mountain.

  11. #11
    Big wheels keep on rollin
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    I find that weight is not the most important thing, compressed size is. If you focus on how small you can get everything the weight will be good too. I use a Bearpaw lair with netting/floor, summer Mammut bag and Neoair trekker and it's under 5 lbs but also packs down very small.
    Making the overall load smaller means smaller and lighter bags and the bike easier to ride in techy stuff.

  12. #12
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    From Gypsy by Trade:

    "...We discuss bikes and gear, and decide on an approximate bikepacking standard for loading one’s bike. Throw grams and kgs out the window– the bike must be light enough for the rider to lift it cleanly over the shoulders."

    Red trails in Poland (to Ukraine) | gypsy by trade

  13. #13
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastman115 View Post
    Or you could just ditch the BOB trailer and save yourself a ton of weight right there.
    the BOB only sees use if I have to haul oversize stuff or the wife tags along

    Quote Originally Posted by Garbletron View Post
    "the bike must be light enough for the rider to lift it cleanly over the shoulders."
    yeah, no issues there, good find, I've been surfing a lot of trip reports lately looking for tidbits like this
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  14. #14
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    Hammock? I like my eno double nest.

  15. #15
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    Tarp(warbonnet), screen bivy, groundmat, and bubble Mylar sleeppad(windshield sunscreen cut to fit) here...5ish pounds

    Steel hardtail, bike bags, all gear food and water total 64 lbs for 3 days and I was a little heavier than I needed to be. Still wasn't a problem riding all the rocky singletrack on Tahoe rim trail.

    I vote for go with what you got and get out there. You will tune your gear in to your needs over the first few trips.

    Have fun!

  16. #16
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    Summer riding - you only need a blanket. I use a small flannel blanket from Dick's Sporting Goods (~$10) and have one of the Sol Emergency bivvies with me. Uber light.

    For a sleep pad, I use the Therm-a-Rest Neoair Xlite. Again, uber light - but maybe a bit pricey at about $120.

    For a tent - even though I've bought expensive tents, I usually default to a modified Wenzel Hiker tent (a $30 tent) that's 1.6 lbs with modifications (I switched the poles to carbon arrows).

    So for summer bikepacking, sub 5 lbs is easily do-able with some creativity and ingenuity! Good luck!

  17. #17
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    I got down to 7lbs between bivy tent, tyvek footprint, 40 degree sleeping bag, and my cooking kit, stove, gas can, 2 pots and spork

    now to find some open time to test it all out
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  18. #18
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    TWO POTS?! Sounds like you could lose a few more ounces.

  19. #19
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    Quote Originally Posted by kai_ski View Post
    TWO POTS?! Sounds like you could lose a few more ounces.
    ahem, pot and cup, the larger of the 2 is only 24oz
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  20. #20
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    Packed weight is always a really tricky subject as it varies dramatically.

    Some folks list weight of basic kit, to me this is pointless.
    Others list total weight including food, water etc, i find this more useful as it's the real weight.

    Even if the real weight is listed though, the area, time of years, temps, weather etc all play a MASSIVE part in kit choices.

    Here in Greece i do not cook in the summer months, so it means i save the weight of my stove and fuel, great except that most the food i eat cold tends to be heavier.

    In winter for trips under 5 days i tend to take boil in a bag food, weighs more than dehydrated stuff, but taste a LOT better to me.
    On trips longer than 5 days weight starts to be more of a problem, so i'll start using dehydrated food.

    If your riding in some areas mosquitoes will be a problem, so it will be a lot more comfortable to have a net to sleep in.

    What about toiletries, baby wipes, tooth brush and paste, a spare set of clothes to sleep in (extends the life and rating of your sleeping bag), chargers, phone, GPS, water filtration, pots, pans, stoves, fuel etc etc etc.

    For me for a 3 to 5 day trip i am usually around 10kg for everything.
    In colder weather that'll stray towards 12kg, warmer weather without mossies it's more towards 5kg, but generally i find around 10kg acceptable, anything more and i really start to feel the weight.
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