To be safe and comfortable when riding over multiple days you will need gear with you.  There are a lot of options that include attaching bags to your frame, towing gear trailers and wearing backpacks…

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

How much gear should I carry?

When you choose to ride away from support services you need to be self reliant and independent when managing yourself and your bike. All the gear you take should have been tested out on practice rides before you go.  Don’t take anything you don’t know how to use or won’t need, space and weight is really critical for you to enjoy your adventure.  All potential weather conditions need to be covered.  You need to know you can stay well hydrated and carry enough food to keep you well fuelled for the complete length of the ride.

What to carry?

Total Amount of Gear Depends On:

  • season/weather
  • number of days to complete your ride
  • how isolated it is
  • accomodation options/facilities along the way
  • number of people in your group

How to carry?

You will need quick and easy access to some things like water, a jacket, your tools and first aid, food for that section of the ride.  Coordinate with the group so you don’t double up on things –  for example will one pump, one first aid kit be enough for the whole group?  You will also need the ability to keep all your gear dry.   So where you can choose waterproof bags or put the gear that needs to remain dry inside waterproof dry bags then into your bag. We have written Gear Lists for specific types of riding to help with what and how much you should take.

Gear List for Unsupported Multi Day Ride

Carrying Gear on Your Bike

What you can choose in this section may be limited by the type of mountain bike you are riding and the size or shape of the frame. 
Frame Bags:

There are different sizes to match to your frame shape so you can get one that fills all the space.  You should also choose waterproof if you can, the closer to ground position tends to get a bit dirty in anything but perfect dry weather.  They are a good option for quick access to the stuff on the top so think about this when packing.

Why we like Frame Bags… the position is great for loading gear, it is low and will keep you balanced.

 

Handlebar Dry Bags:

Some larger dry bag options can be more difficult to access once done up and strapped into place.  So we recommend using one that has a side opening.  Good for clothing and great sleeping bag option – things that you want to keep dry but are lightweight, you don’t want weight here as it will effect your ability to steer.

Why we like Handlebar Dry Bags… they keep your stuff dry!  Perfect size for a sleeping bag or any other lightweight gear. Good place for your lunch or snacks as the side opening makes access easy.

 

 

 

 

endurance padded pant & chamois cream
endurance padded pant & chamois cream
Seat Bags:

Great waterproof option to have completely dry gear when you get to your destination.  Placed behind you, under your seat so keep the weight placed in it light so that your balance is good on the bike and your load remains stable.  These are a mid size bag option (10L or 15L) so unless your trip is just for one night you will need other gear carrying options.

Why we like Seat Bags… being fairly small they force good gear choices and will keep your gear to a minimum.  Great for teenagers learning to carry their own loads.  We like all bags that are waterproof and well designed and these bags tick both these boxes.

 

Lightweight Carriers & Dry Bags:

These carriers are designed for use with suspension so are perfect for mountain bikes.  They give you options as they can be attached to the front or rear of your bike.  Carriers are a good place to put any heavier gear you have to take – cooking gear, tools, evening food.  Best to use a carrier with a dry bag to protect your gear from weather as well as any spray coming off your wheels.  Dry bags come in a range of sizes so you can choose what best suits you for the trip you are planning.  Be aware as you are packing that your dry bag needs to be secured so will have a bungy or strap applying pressure to it – don’t pack your bananas in it or anything else that won’t cope with being a bit squashed.

Why we like Carriers & Dry Bags… they keep your stuff dry!  They get weight off your body and onto the bike which is great for any big distance riding.  Depending on the size of your dry bag (5L to 30L) the bulk of your gear can be carried here.

 

 

 

 

endurance padded pant & chamois cream
endurance padded pant & chamois cream

Carrying Gear on Your Body

Hydration Packs:

For multi day riding, each day can bring different distances or time on the bike.  We recommend keeping your bag option to the medium size, somewhere from 10 to 20L.  You will be able to carry water – a large 3L bladder – along with important extra items that you want quick access to.  This could include a waterproof jacket, your snacks and lunch, extra clothing for warmth, a first aid kit.  Anything you want to keep in an easy to access place.  Great if this is food as the weight of the pack will decrease as the day goes by.

Why we like Hydration Packs… they give you options and, the bigger the bag, the more flexibility you will have to take more gear as the need arises.  You can easily add a tool roll, first aid, extra clothing/jackets.  Carrying enough water can be an issue when riding in isolated areas so a large bladder will keep you hydrated.  We like that the hydration bag we have chosen has a low sitting wide bladder which keeps this weight across your low back and hips.  For women this is a much better place to carry weight.

Hip Packs:

A popular option for those not wanting anything up their back and great for warm weather riding as a back pack will make you sweat.  Hip packs can hold a water bottle, sometimes 2 or a small hydration bladder, 1.5L.  Choosing a large size hip bag will increase your gear carrying potential.  You can decide whether the focus is water or gear and get a hip bag that matches.  If you need to, how will you keep the gear in your bag dry?

Why we like Hip Packs… it’s all there in a small, easily accessed, well designed bag. The position this bag sits in is great for distance and time on a bike.  Carrying weight across the top of your hips is comfortable and will keep you very balanced on the bike.

Back Packs:

For multi day riding often the key to enjoyment is dry gear so it is great to have this option in a fully waterproof back pack.  We have chosen a 13L bag which will give you space for a variety of lightweight things.  We recommend that anything you chose to carry on your back is light for your ability to comfortably ride over distance and on multiple days.  So this means extra clothing, food, a first aid kit… If you choose this option please think through how you will be carrying water.

Why we like Back Packs… they give you options and, the bigger the bag, the more flexibility you will have to take more gear as the need arises.  You can easily add a tool roll, first aid, extra clothing/jackets and know that everything will be dry when you need it.  Great if the weather is unpredictable or you know you will be getting rain.

 

Towing Gear Behind Your Bike

Gear Trailer

A trailer specifically for gear is great if the track is relatively smooth and easy going, as it can take a lot of gear.  Not compatible with rear suspension mountain bikes.  Adds a lot of weight to your riding so you need to be fit and strong, great if you have an E-Bike.

Why we like Gear Trailers… perfect option for families or if you have slower riders in your group.  Taking some of their load, or all of it, helps them to keep up with the pace.  Trailers are awesome for long term tour riding that doesn’t involve rugged off road single tracks.

endurance padded pant & chamois cream

Small Bag Options

Water bottle cages will carry a drink bottle or a tool bottle.   Some frames have multiple places to mount a cage meaning you can have two with two water bottles. You need to understand what size drink bottle will fit within your frame shape to determine if you will have enough water before you get to your next water supply.  For more on Hydration see Hydration Buying Guide

Larger flat cages take small dry bags and can be attached to different parts of your frame or front forks.  The are often called Cargo Cages.  Access to the dry bags is not quick but as the name suggests it will keep whatever is in it dry!  The size of these bags will comfortably hold some of your extra gear for use when you get to your destination.

Tour Size Tool Bag will have the space needed to take a larger tool kit.  This is something you will need for isolated riding.  Attaching under the seat means your tools will be in a convenient easy to access place which is ideal.  This can also be a great spot for some snack food, if there is room.

Bungies & Straps are always a good idea to have for securing dry bags to cages or carriers.  Having a spare one is always handy if anything breaks or to secure something to the outside of a bag.

 

endurance padded pant & chamois cream
endurance padded pant & chamois cream
endurance padded pant & chamois cream
endurance padded pant & chamois cream

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