Bikepacking-specific bags are one of the things that set it apart from bike touring. The minimalist bags allow you to carry essential gear for your trip while keeping your bike light and nimble so it handles well over rough terrain.
You can load your bikepacking gear into a backpack, and if you have a rack and panniers at home, you can use those, too. After a few trips, you might see the value of using lighter, more streamlined bikepacking bags, especially if you enjoy riding narrow singletrack trails, where a wide load can get caught on obstacles.
- Start with a seat pack, handlebar pack, and frame pack: These bags form the standard storage system for bikepackers. You can use any or all of these, depending on what you're carrying and where you're going.
- Other storage options: Stem bags, top tube bags, cargo cages, and backpacks expand your packing options (and bottle cages are a must-have for carrying water).