The travel kit list: bikepacking essentials for 2022

A cross between multi-day cycling and backpacking, bikepacking requires some quality kit. Here’s what to pack for a two-wheel trip.

By Amy Sedghi
Published 3 Jan 2022, 06:11 GMT, Updated 10 Jan 2022, 14:20 GMT
Smartwool Merino 150 Baselayer Long Sleeve; Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Bikepacking Tent; Restrap Saddle Bag; Rapha + ...

Smartwool Merino 150 Baselayer Long Sleeve; Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Bikepacking Tent; Restrap Saddle Bag; Rapha + POC Omne Air Helmet.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

The importance of a good base layer when you’re spending time outdoors in winter shouldn’t be underestimated. Get it right and you’re golden. Cue Smartwool’s trusty long-sleeve merino base layer, made from ethically sourced, mulesing-free merino. Garments are coloured using natural plant dyes and designed with smooth flatlock seams to reduce chafing. £79.99.

2. Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2 Bikepacking Tent

While bikepacking purists will happily pitch up with a bivvy bag and tarp, when it comes to winter conditions, a tent promises some much needed respite at the end of a long day in the saddle. US brand Big Agnes has gone the extra mile by creating bikepacking-specific tents, with shorter pole sections and a custom storage bag that means the tent can be stuffed into a pannier or strapped onto handlebars. At just over 1kg, it’s lighter than your average tent, too. £354.99.

3. Restrap Saddle Bag

Lovingly handmade in its Yorkshire workshop, Restrap’s bags are a top choice among bikepackers for their reliability, long-lasting quality and ease of use. With no racks, mounts or screws needed, it only takes moments to attach the holster to the bike. Then you can pop in the accompanying 14-litre dry bag and secure it with a magnetic buckle to keep all your kit safe. £109.99. 

4. Rapha + POC Omne Air Helmet

Ultra-stylish Swedish brand POC has partnered up with Rapha to produce a limited-edition helmet that’s sure to thrill fans. Featuring POC’s signature styling, the helmet is optimised for road and gravel riding, with comfort, ventilation and weight being key factors in its design. Available in three simple colourways, it’s a minimalist's dream. £140.

Rapha Classic Winter Gore-Tex Jacket; Something Good dehydrated meal.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

This winter, Rapha unveiled a new update to its popular, durable outer layer: a striking orange colourway, perfect for anyone looking to stand out while staying warm on wheels. Nifty design features include high-stretch storm cuffs, an adjustable hem and a raised collar — all helping to keep bitter wind, rain and road-spray at bay. Should you pick up the pace, chest pockets unzip to offer ventilation — plus, reflective strips offer additional visibility for riding on into the dark. £270.

6. Something Good dehydrated meal

While there’s a time and a place for cakes, sweets and instant noodles, it’s nice to dine on something a little more sophisticated when you’re on the move. That’s the thinking behind Something Good, which produces plant-based dehydrated meal packs with names you’d most associate with the menu at a hip restaurant: miso beetroot quinoa, ginger butternut risotto and chipotle cauliflower lentils. Simply add hot water, stir and tuck in. £23.85 for three. 

Alpkit Kraku Ultra-compact Titanium Micro Camping Stove; Albion Zoa Insulated Jacket; Vango Cobra 200 Sleeping Bag; Lezyne Zecto Drive 250/80 Bike Light Set.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Weighing in at just 45g, this ultra-compact camping stove is small but mighty — it can deliver the power output of a gas stove twice its size and its compact design is perfect for when space and weight are at a premium. Also, 1% of all sales go to the Certified B Corp brand’s independent charity, the Alpkit Foundation, which was set up to improve diversity and inclusion in  the great outdoors. £28.49.

8. Albion Zoa Insulated Jacket

No winter adventure is complete without a warm jacket and Albion has got warmth, visibility and wind resistance covered with this ultra-lightweight insulated jacket. Crafted from a 100% recycled Pertex Quantum outer fabric, the jacket is designed for use on and off the bike. There’s even a clever, zippable concealed rear pocket that doubles as a travel pillow when the jacket is stuffed into it. £185.   

9. Vango Cobra 200 Sleeping Bag

Sleep is essential for good recovery, so it makes sense to pack a great sleeping bag? Vango’s Cobra 200 is super comfy, ridiculously light (it weighs a mere 700g) and packs down into a tiny four-strap compression stuffsack. It’s filled with ethically sourced goose down and has an aluminised layer to reflect heat, making it suitable for use in temperatures as low as -4C. £134.99.

10. Lezyne Zecto Drive 250/80 Bike Light Set

During winter, the shorter days mean more time spent cycling in the dark, so a set of good bike lights is essential, especially if you’re out in the wilderness. This set from go-to brand Lezyne offers high visibility thanks to a front light that boasts up to 250 lumens and a rear light that provides up to 80 lumens. Fully waterproof and easy to attach to the bike, they’re also lightweight and rechargeable via USB. £58.99. 

Published in the Jan/Feb 2022 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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