Good beginner bag setup?
I'm looking to do some bikepacking this summer, nothing too serious initially. there's a couple 2, maybe 3 day rides i want to do. but definitely want to get a little more serious about it and do some pretty big trips in the future, so looking for a good starting point, but somewhat futureproof, if that makes sense.
If you're gonna start with any one bag, anywhere on the bike, what would be ideal in terms of the best place to put that extra weight? I would think a frame bag?
I was looking at frame bags by fairweather and revelate. I feel like with that and maybe a medium sized seat bag, i could fit what i need for a 2-3 day trip.
is there a "agreed order" of bags to use? from most ideal location to least?
any other companies to check out?
and the bike ill be using is a fat tire road bike, more stable geo, but not a touring bike.
You will do pretty well with something like this:
Ultralight Compression Sacks? - Compression Sacks - Storage Systems - Gear | Outdoor Research | Designed By Adventure | Outdoor Clothing & Gear
I put sleeping bag, liner, and sleeping pad in it, and strap it to my handlebars with a couple webbing straps. The compression straps help keep it in place, and I tuck my ground sheet around it against the head tube to prevent cable rub. Everything else can fit in your pack until you start doing longer trips or decide to get weight off your back. No need to spend a lot of money.
You don't have to buy bags to get out there. Strap a dry bag to your bars, wear a backpack, use a rack if you have one. The frame bag tends to be starting purchase because it is such a good use of space, and something you can't really improvise. That being said a seatbag and bar harness tend to carry more volume, and thus may be better value.
I agree that if you were to start with any one bag, a frame bag would be it. A good deal of space lives in that triangle (depending on the type of bike you are riding) and it is low and centered on the bike. That is where I carry my water in a bladder. I can get 4+ liters worth in there. Itís a 6l bag, but any more and I canít zip the bag shut.
As has been noted, its easy to strap a bag to the bars and if itís a short warm weather trip, you can likely get the rest in a backpack. I donít think a handlebar sling is all that necessary for shorter trips. The convenience pays off on longer adventures. But I also donít have many issues with my cables so thatís all I do.
If you have a rack, just strap a stuff sack/dry bag to the top deck and call it a day. Unless it is an extended excursion, you likely will not need panniers. If you had the cash, a seatbag is very useful. I also commute and canít afford both a rack (because carrying papers in the seatbag doesnít really work) and a seatbag, so I just use a rack. Though if it is warm and the trip short, I can forgo that as well. I sometimes strap a small stuff sack under my seat which has worked fine.
If I was only doing one bag, I think that I'd go for a large seatbag like a Viscacha. I'm amazed at how much can be stuffed into it. On the other side, I was surprised at how little went into the frame bag, especially after adding a 100oz bladder.
For cheap, one bag option, I'd strap a bag onto the front (cheap drybag if needed); go with bottles and camelback for water and then use the seatbag for all the remaining misc stuff.
Resale on that seatbag would likely be better than a frame bag (IMHO).
ALPKIT Xtra Dry Bags: 20l double ended strapped on the front and their 13l strapped under the seat on the back. Plus a small light back pack. Cheap, good starter kit. Have a look at Jandd as well. They do a cheap Frame Bag and HAndle Bar bag that sits on the stem. These with the ALPKIT bags front and back are a pretty good option and relatively cheap.
It also depends on the kit you have to carry and just how basic you are willing to go. For 3nights I can get away with a frame bag a small 12L rucksack and a less than half full 14L seat bag. But I do most of my trips in South East Asia so a lightweight hammock and silk liner is all that's needed. no sleeping bags, no warm clothing - just a light weight waterproof jacket.
When I have been down to NZ for a three night trip I've had to take a bar roll as well. If you have the cash I would get a decent seat bag and frame bag, coupled with a small rucksack that should be good enough for a few overnighters or weekend trips. Frame bags are very useful for small heavy stuff-
roadies also tend to have a much bigger front triangle than MTB's so you will have more space to use.
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