If you can only get one bag, get a seat pack. In bikepacking, it is a key piece of equipment for storing bulky, lightweight items, such as a sleeping bag and puffy coat. A seat pack is much more streamlined than a rack and panniers, making it easier to ride narrow, technical trails.
Consider these factors when picking a seat pack:
- Volume: Seat packs are available in a variety of sizes, usually from about 5 liters to 15 liters.
- Water resistance: To keep your gear and clothing dry, you’ll want your seat pack to have a level of water resistance. Some packs are fully waterproof, while others have waterproof fabric but not seams.
- Sway: If not secured and packed properly, seat bags can sway a bit from side to side, which may be felt while riding. Examine how secure the attachment is to your bike and make sure that the heaviest items are closest to the seat post to minimize this problem.