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Load your bike up, take to the trail and sleep under the stars with the best bikepacking kit for 2019.

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Bikepacking has had a real surge in popularity over the last few years and, as is the way with these things, the big manufacturers have now woken up to the potential of adventure biking. 

Of course this is to everyone’s benefit, as the choice and quality of bikepacking gear has shot up to match the interest, with kit getting steadily better in performance, yet lighter and easier to pack. 

Whether it is minimalist yet comfortable sleeping mats, multi-function lights or super-simple cooking hardware, it is all out there to make your trip both easier and more manageable. 

We've gathered together a selection of the best gear to strap, hang and bolt to your bike before heading out on an adventure, whether up your local hill or into the wild and beyond.


Light and Motion Solex250EX.jpgLight & Motion Solite 250EX | £130

BEST FOR Those needing a versatile, bright and compact light.

The best bikepacking kit fulfils more than one function, thereby getting more value for its pack weight and bulk. The Solite does just that, being a superb headtorch, bar and helmet light, all in one small, USB rechargeable package. At 250 lumens it is perfectly bright for all those purposes while the burn time of 4 hours on max and 150 hours on minimum should see through most weekend jaunts without a charge. 

VERDICT Bright, long lasting and useful throughout any bike trip, the Solite 250EX is a cracking and versatile addition to anyones bikepacking outfit.


alpkit-bruler.jpgAlpkit Bruler/Concertina/MytiPot 900 | From £11

BEST FOR Getting a quiet brew on the go while listening to the sound of nature.

We have always loved the simple, quiet and maintenance free properties of a good meths stove. The Bruler stove takes all those properties and bumps them up a notch with a great pot stand and simmer control, while the addition of a Concertina wind shield helps make it a bit more useable in windy conditions. 

Add to that the excellent and similarly simple titanium MyTiPot and you have the backbone of a bombproof cook kit - the Bruler stores inside the MyTiPot (don’t forget a bag unless you want your food smelling of meths!) and it neatly slides into a dry bag, ready to be pulled out in one easy to access kit. The 900ml pot is all we need for drinking, cooking and eating from too.

The power output isn’t as good as a quality gas stove, but it does add an element of peace to the campsite rather than that distracting gas-hiss, and meths is usually available wherever you go.

VERDICT A super-simple cook kit with quality parts that will never let you down.


rab-ridge-raider.jpgRab Ridge Raider Bivi | £300

BEST FOR Bivvy bag versatility without the claustrophobic feel.

Some people just don’t like bivvy bags. It could be the cocooned feeling when zipped up in bad weather, the bag lying directly on your face, or it could be the lack of midge protection on Scottish summer trips. 

Both of these reservations are dealt with by the Rab Ridge Raider, a single hooped eVent bivvy bag that not only gives you a chunk of head space to relax in camp but also sports an excellent midge net so you can leave the door open when the weather breaks without inviting in the critters.

VERDICT All the convenience of a bivvy bag, with added head space.


Ortlieb Safe-it M.jpgOrtlieb Safe-It waterproof case | £26

BEST FOR Keeping phones protected but still accessible.

We normally drop electronic devices into dry bags when out on the hill, but this can get tedious when you need to access maps on the screen, or answer an urgent call. Unwrapping the bag never quite gets you there in time. 

The Ortlieb Safe-It is an excellent alternative with a roll top closure for effective weatherproofing, but a clear window to not only see the phone through but to easily work touch screens or take calls. It even has a clear window on the back for taking photos, although this does create a little ‘shooting through polythene’ distortion. 

VERDICT Ditch the drybags, there is a new kid in town for transporting your phone.


Helinox Chair Zero.jpgHelinox Chair-Zero | £110

BEST FOR Adding a bit of luxury to camp, without breaking the scales.

You might be thinking that a chair is a luxury item too far for a lightweight bikepacking trip, we thought so too until we strapped one to our pack and experienced the smug satisfaction of reclining with a mug of tea while watching the sun set. 

Packing up to little more than a 1 litre Nalgene bottle and weighing a measly 520g in it’s stuff sack, it can’t really be compared to a cumbersome supermarket camp chair. Lightweight DAC poles shock cord together in seconds and the nylon cover fits in a similar time, making it easy to ‘pitch’ and pack away so we have to say we’re hooked.

VERDICT A luxury item that is fast making it’s way onto the essentials list.


Exped Synmat UL 7M.jpgExped Synmat UL S | £145

BEST FOR Convenient, light and compact comfort.

It’s amazing what a rethink of the inflation and deflation valves can make to the useability of a sleeping mat, but it really does. Compared to the single-valve competition, inflating the Exped Synmat UL is a - forgive us - breeze. 

The included pumpsack allows you to inflate through the one-way valve in half a dozen pushes or less, once you’ve got the hang of it. Flip the second, deflate valve open and the air inside rushes out in seconds - easy. 

Great insulation from cold ground and inches of air filled comfort complete a mat that should be on every lightweight gear list, and it all packs down to the size of a beer can. Beat that.

VERDICT Easy to inflate and deflate and superbly comfortable and warm – what more can you ask from a sleeping mat?


Ramche Micro - black.jpgBerghaus Ramche Reflect Micro Down Jacket | £300

BEST FOR Compact and light insulation around camp.

At the end of a sweaty day on the bike you will always need a warm jacket to pull on around camp. As you have to carry it everywhere it should be light and compact, and preferably resistant to a bit of dampness.

The Berghaus Ramche Reflect fulfills all of those criteria with bells on, puffing up from a stuff sack to provide an amazing amount of warmth for the bulk. It is helped by a cracking high collar, effective and cosy hood and luxuriously long dropped tail – great for warming tired buttocks.

VERDICT Warm and compact, the Ramche is an excellent addition to any bikepacking kit list.                                                                                                                                    


Katadyn BeFree Filter 600ml.jpgKatadyn BeFree water bottle | £43

BEST FOR Convenient and compact filtering on the move.

We have tried many filtration systems in our time, from straws to hard bottles, and the Katadyn BeFree has proven to be by far the most practical. It’s really nothing more than a lid and filter with flexible bottle, ours came with a 0.6 litre version but other sizes are available. The flexible bottle is easily squeezed to push water through the filter directly into the mouth through the sportscap or into any other container you choose. 

This opens the door to filling other bottles, pans for cooking or anything else that needs fresh water delivered by a method other than sucking (the downside of the straws and hard bottles). The flow is excellent, it is easily cleaned in the field and good for 1000 litres, which should see out many a bikepacking weekend away. As a bonus it rolls up smaller than a fist.

VERDICT A very effective and compact filter with excellent flow rate. 


camelbak kudu.jpgCamelbak K.U.D.U. Protector Hydration Pack | £75

BEST FOR Bikepackers that like to push their limits away from civilisation.

If your bikepacking adventure takes you into the far corners of the wilderness, you will want to know someone has got your back. In this case the Camelbak KUDU does, literally. 

With a level 2 back protector built into the hydration pack, you are hopefully just a little less likely to suffer a show stopping injury, which can only be a good thing. 20 litres of well proportioned and compartmentalised storage space allows for generous amounts of kit, although with the pack and water already adding up to a good chunk of weight you will want to keep this to lighter kit. 

VERDICT A heavy but ultimately worthwhile backpack if you ride more spicy trail on your travels.


41117-5102_BAG_BURRA-BURRA-DRYPACK-13_BLK.jpgSpecialized Burra Burra luggage | From £27

BEST FOR Regular bikepackers who would quickly wear through lesser luggage.

With a tough and waterproof fabric as the basis for their luggage range, the Specialized Burra Burra bar, frame and seatpacks are a bombproof additions to anyone’s kit list. We got our hands on the Stabilizer Seatpack 10, Handlebar Harness, Drypack 13 and Framepack 5 and between them we could carry pretty much everything, with just a few extras going on our back for longer trips.

Specialized don’t specifically pitch these bags as waterproof but we can confidently say that over the test period they’ve kept all the weather that we have thrown their way out.

VERDICT Tough as old boots bikepacking kit that should last and last.


vaude-santis.jpgVaude Säntis 800 SYN sleeping bag | £250

BEST FOR Bikepackers taking off to damp climates.

Bikepacking, with the best will in the world, can be a damp business and for that reason we have always preferred synthetic sleeping bags. The Santis 800 is just that, and has a few added features up its sleeve that make it ideal for bivvying. 

Zip open sleeves allow arms to work in camp while you are cosily cocooned in the warm bag, while a stretch panel at the knee means you can sit up or bend your knees without compromising the insulation there. Our only criticism was of the disappointing stuff sack, but that’s easily - and cheaply - remedied.

VERDICT A cracking synthetic sleeping bag most at home in the bivvy environment.

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