Alpkit have long been involved with providing reasonably priced lightweight camping gear, so it was only natural they have got involved with bikepacking, supplying both luggage and the superlight kit necessary for a two-wheeled trip under the stars. This has naturally progressed to the production of their own bike brand, and bikes that handle some serious adventure. Floating somewhere in limbo between the worlds of mountain and road biking, the Sonder is pitched squarely at the road-trip adventurer in all of us. Compatible with both 700c and 650c wheel sizes it can handle a huge variety of tyre and wheel combinations and little touches like mechanical disc brakes and multiple rack mounts all add to its touring credentials.
Our SRAM Apex 1 model comes with 40mm WTB Nano tyres, more than capable when the going gets rough or soft, and it is a pleasure to see simple zip-tie routing along the outside of the frame for full outer cable routing - always best when there is a bit of mud and water around. The speccing of mechanical disc brakes not only boosts braking performance over the more usual cantilever brakes, but should be far more roadside-repairable than their hydraulic cousins if you are far from home or specialist bike shop. They show some good knowledge of adventure bike needs.
The ride is relaxed, with a long wheelbase good for stability and long days in the saddle, and while the flared bars take a bit of getting used to they do make sense when you take the Camino offroad as they add to the confident nature of the bike.
An excellent option for all round adventuring then, probably with a slight preference to offroad rather than a tarmac mile muncher. That isn't to say it isn't at home on the road, it is just such a capable offroad machine it would be a shame to deny it the pleasure of gravel and trail. A genuine off the shelf option for adventure tourists and day trippers alike.