Bike Camping/Touring Set-ups

Tsugaru American

Jul 22, 2016
Hey all, so this year I was gifted a rather nice gravel bike. I've always done road rides out of my house and looped home, or MTB rides where I drove to and from the ride. But this bike has me wondering about doing some overnight rides. Just curious what those of you who do it use for your set-ups. Do you go full bike-packer with the frame bags/saddle bag/handlebar bag, or do you run panniers? Which would you recommend? And why?

p.s. I have attached a rear rack and am using some cheap pannier bags for commuting right now, but I'm not so attached to them (no pun intended) that I won't toss them aside. And here's a pic of the bike. (A 2019 Pure Cycles Adventure, base model, all steel so a little on the heavy side, but by far the most comfortable bike I think I've ever ridden.



Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
Miura, Japan
Don't spend a ton until you know it is what you really want to do!
I have several setups.
One is for light weight/overnight camping off road.
One is for the apocalypse.

A rear rack/panniers and a handlebar roll will accomplish most everything you want for overnight stays.
Once you have done that and know what you like about it... you can build on to low rider racks, more panniers, more expensive panniers, etc...

My issue now is just having the time to use what i have.


Maximum Pace
Jul 6, 2019
I've used both, but I prefer panniers. I really like how the bike rides with the weight down low - but 'bikepacking' stuff is better on narrow tracks / offroad because the weight is all in the middle. Panniers make it very easy to carry too much stuff, which is a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it.


Spent 4 months on this in the states a couple of years ago - although most of that was without the firewood.

My number 1 kit recommendation for bike touring is these:

1 shoe for everything - and you get a funny sun tan :)


Maximum Pace
Jan 24, 2018
My number 1 kit recommendation for bike touring is these:

1 shoe for everything - and you get a funny sun tan :)
I really love my SPD sandals.
But they get really stinky, too, so the girls in the office make me hang them up outside.
Work wonders on days like today, too.
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Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
Framebag>Barbag>Saddle big> Panier
For the sake of center of gravity and ride feel.

In summer with my setup I can go hammock touring just with a large frame bag.

I want to sell my old hammock touring setup (WBBB hammock and rainfly) soon. If there is interest, I can put it up in the classifieds. Or just PM me directly.
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Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
Nice vid from the Saibot. Those bags are available direct from China on AliExpress. Among AliExpress cycling stuff, Rockbros is "high end", so it should last longer than the cheaper no-name stuff on there. If you bikepack a lot, by all means buy something good, but if it's once in a blue moon, I'd happily use those bags. Rockbros do all kinds of panniers too, btw.

One advantage of being in Japan I suppose is that even if you had a problem with bags, you shouldn't be that far from a convenience store, where you could just takkyubin the gear you can no longer carry home. Use cheap accom if you want to keep riding.
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