Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

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oreocereus
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Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by oreocereus » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:24 pm

Hiya, most of my overnight riding is probably closer to "touring" - the closest I get to singletrack is when looking for a quiet place to camp.

But I pack light and don't like my panniers (they feel unstable on low quality 4x4 roads I often end up on, the wider profile is a pain in more dense urban areas and if I need to take public transport).

I am also reasonably lazy, and don't like my packing to take long. I already supplement my small panniers (about 13L each) with half frame bag and a couple of small stuff sacks on the forks in bottle mounts with hose clamps and voile straps - but I find the latter particularly annoying to pack on. And I'd like to have a quick release "grab bag" to hand when I stop in more structural sleeping spots, like a YHA, with all my important bits.

So, I guess I'm looking for something lighter, compact, and more stable and less clunky than panniers, but easier to pack than a lot of the tightly rolled bikepacking style bags.

Carradices stuff looks decent, but seems a little more commuter-y in it's aims, and I don't need all those extra zippers and pockets.

I need between 30 and 50L depending on season (sleep cold!).

I'll stick with my half frame bag and top tube bag for snacks, but any suggestions on places to look or styles of luggage for the rest of it?

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whitestone
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by whitestone » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:32 pm

30-50L is HUGE! (sorry couldn't find any more ways of emphasising that point) and doesn't exactly square with "I pack light".

Dry bag and harness systems let you pack up off the bike and then quickly mount the bag into the harness. Similarly for "grab and go" it's just a case of unclipping a buckle or two and pulling the bag out, probably about the same length of time to do that as unfasten a pannier. Having the two parts of the system separate means that you can select a suitably sized dry bag for the ride - smaller in summer, larger in winter for example.

I've the Wildcat versions (Lion handlebar harness and Tiger seat harness), getting a bag off the handlebars is probably ten seconds and maybe fifteen seconds for the seat harness. Fitting back on the bike maybe a minute tops for both.

Edit: for road based riding then the Carradice SQR bags are worth a look. I used one along with an Ortlieb 5L handlebar bag (also quick release) for a week's tour of the Western Isles. We were stopping in B&Bs and hostels so not camping.
Last edited by whitestone on Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lazarus
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by Lazarus » Wed Mar 11, 2020 12:39 pm

he is right mate its huge

As notes some harness sytems basiclaly allow you to insert a dry bag into them so it pretty easy to unclip the bag and remove it - Blackburn seat pack for example Alpkit Koola for the front- i am sure there are others but they are the ones i own

my storage is about 16 litres in summer and 30 ish [ for i use my frame bag and a bigger front dry bag] in winter
Other than panniers [ or a large rucksac on your back]nothing will give you the litres of storage you currently use

oreocereus
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by oreocereus » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:08 pm

I have 4.5kg + consumables :)

The volume comes from having a 233 apex quilt for this time of year. It can compress smaller, but that damages the insulation quicker. It's about 750g, but packs to 10-15L (obviously down is half or even a third, due to compressing better). I swap to a 167 apex quilt for summer, which almost halves the volume. But I use a cut down 1/4" CCF pad in summer, which while much lighter than my neoair, is much bulkier. I also use fleece and apex insulation on my torso. So not heavy weight, but higher volume. My panniers and rack weighed nearly as much as the belongings themselves on my recent long trip, which felt silly.

I might've overstated my volume. I cycled for 5 months over autumn/winter this year with 22-26L in panniers (manufacturer estimates), 3-5L in the frame bag, 3L on the handlebars and tent on the forks. I usually use a 20d tarp, but this was a much longer trip where the extra real estate was appreciated. I also had my hiking pack, as I scheduled in a crossing of the gr20 and some hikes in the Atlas mountains. So about 30-35L for 5 months from Ireland to Morocco via Corscia.

So probably still more than many here

---------

Anyway, harness systems sound good - they weren't very quick release when I investigated bikepacking luggage years ago, but sounds like the tech has become quicker. Drybag stuff sacks sound handy (and I already used one as my grab and go bag inside a pannier - just a drybag with a strap for a shoulder bag), I find the rigid shapes of heavier duty panniers a pain to pack.

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whitestone
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by whitestone » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:35 pm

Ah. That's the problem with synthetic insulation - you've to choose between bulk and longevity. Not such a problem if you were backpacking but space on a bike is at a premium.

Here's a couple of shots of my setup. The first is my Solaris and I've a five litre dry bag in the Lion harness, there's also my share of the tent just in behind it - just a very light grey-green. This setup was for a three day trip in the Yorkshire Dales. I was using a Cumulus 150 quilt.

Image

Here's my wife with the same harness and size of dry bag on her Stooge. She's also got a half-frame bag. We were just out for an overnighter in this case.

Image

Same harness but this time on my fat bike with a 20 litre dry bag containing a down sleeping bag rated to -30C. This was taken on last year's Rovaniemi 150 race.

Image

One point regarding sleeping mats - there's no upper comfort limit in the same way as for sleeping bags so you might as well use the NeoAir all year round.
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restlessshawn
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by restlessshawn » Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:01 pm

I'm not a fan of the saddle pack really, always find it a faff to pack or get one thing out of without emptying the contents over the floor.

Would like to try one of these but rather spendy...especially since I've not been out camping on the bike since moving house in May :oops:

https://builtbyswift.com/shop/zeitgeist-bag/

Lazarus
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by Lazarus » Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:14 pm

So about 30-35L for 5 months from Ireland to Morocco via Corscia.
The longer i go for the more i take as speed is much less of an issue and it also requires you to be prepared for and comfortable in a variety of scenarios- and frankly to camp in a little mor eluxury given the number of days you are doing it
Pretty sure i would take panniers in that scenario or more volume than stated above

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AlexGold
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by AlexGold » Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:48 pm

I'm mostly road, but still less worried about weight than ease of access and not having to cram everything in in a perfect order (and never being able to get at, say the puncture repair kit as it'll be the law of the sod be at the bottom). With this mindset I mostly use Carradice's - Barley for longer days and Super C when I need full bivi kit. It's similar to the previously linked bag, but cheaper. Side pockets for stuff I'm really likely to need, adjustable straps to close and you can pretty much see everything once it's open. Loops for strapping stuff to the top too.

Probably not the most ideal according to the bikepacking aerodynamics guys, but at least it's mostly behind me :wink:
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:10 pm

and never being able to get at, say the puncture repair kit as it'll be the law of the sod be at the bottom
Isn't that more to do with you rather than any specific law? :wink:
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AlexGold
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by AlexGold » Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:34 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:10 pm
and never being able to get at, say the puncture repair kit as it'll be the law of the sod be at the bottom
Isn't that more to do with you rather than any specific law? :wink:
Hard to say, it's either in the side pocket of the carradice or the internal pocket of the frame bag now so problem solved!

Not sure I'd want heavy allen keys and tubeless pointy things on top of my sleeping bag and air matress though if I were trying to fit everything in a bikepacking seat pack...

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:28 pm

Hard to say, it's either in the side pocket of the carradice or the internal pocket of the frame bag now so problem solved!
Sorry, I was meanng that if your puncture repair kit is at the bottom and thus difficult to access ... it's because you put it there. Apologies if that's not the case and you have servents to pack for you* :wink:



*True story - I was leading a DoE cycling trip of pupils from Harrow and one lad had no idea what he was carrying because the maid had packed his kit.
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AlexGold
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by AlexGold » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:19 pm

:grin: I'll pass that on to the maid!

I'm actually always carrying a ready padded worm in case it's needed to plug a tyre, the that's always very close to hand, either in back pocket or top tube bag. If I rode a mtb I'd probably try sahmurai bar end plugs, as they're the last thing you want buried when you need them :ugeek:

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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by The Cumbrian » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:28 pm

I use one of these for similar reasons, and I'm not organised enough to pack in exactly the same order every time:

https://dragonfly-gear.com/product/large-saddlebag/

It's basically a lighter, synthetic version of a Carradice saddle bag. One thing I especially like is that I can fit my cook kit in a side pocket (a 650ml Myti mug with meths stove etc inside).

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by ScotRoutes » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:33 am

Most of my bikes have a small bag of some sort permanently attached with multi-tool, tyre levers, tube etc. With a range of wheel sizes and what-not it's simper than remembering to unpack/pack the right stuff into a backpack or other luggage.

Lazarus
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by Lazarus » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:36 am

aye saddle back on the road bikes and cross bike for this reason. MTB I just remember to change the tubes as everyone is , somewhat annoyingly , a different size,

yourguitarhero
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by yourguitarhero » Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:15 pm

The Blackburn saddle bag/harness is pretty easy to pull the drybag out of - much more so than an Alpkit one I have. Watched my friend with envy as he pulled his out - oo-er!

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/blackburn-outpost-seat-pack-1/

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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by faustus » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:04 pm

Like scotroutes, always try and keep tools, pump and tube somewhere convenient on the bike at all times. I'm happy carrying a bottle boss mounted pump all the time, and I have a topeak ninja with multitool on the mtb, it's good to know it's there and i won't forget it. Also have a tubeless worm and tool stashed in the BB axle. Just means most of what I need is always there, and mostly not affected by fitting bags etc. and having to find stuff. I know stashed tool stuff on mtbs is a bit of a fetish at the moment, but it can be useful...

oreocereus
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by oreocereus » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:49 pm

whitestone wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:35 pm
Ah. That's the problem with synthetic insulation - you've to choose between bulk and longevity. Not such a problem if you were backpacking but space on a bike is at a premium.

---

One point regarding sleeping mats - there's no upper comfort limit in the same way as for sleeping bags so you might as well use the NeoAir all year round.
Aye, down allergy is a pain eh.. But at least Apex is cheap for MYOG quilts.

I also got into cycle touring/bikepacking-ish adventures through hiking. I used to hitchhike to and from my hikes, but wanted a less fossil fuel (and repetitive small talk) reliant way to get there. Turns out cycling is fun too - but requires more generous holiday leave policies.

Thanks for your pics. Do you find the 20L bag a bit unwieldy for handling on the front?
I'm glad more quick release options exist for seatpacks and handbar rolls now.. So I think I'll do some kind of hybrid of handlebar bag + seat pack or handlebar roll + saddlebag/panniers.. need to figure out what makes more sense.

Good point re: mat. In summer conditions, I do love the simplicity of a foam mat I can just throw down (and find the width and closeness to the ground more comfortable than the neoair, but when space is a premium (notably way more space on a bike with a more classical bike touring set up, than hiking though).


restlessshawn wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:01 pm
Would like to try one of these but rather spendy...especially since I've not been out camping on the bike since moving house in May :oops:

https://builtbyswift.com/shop/zeitgeist-bag/
Those are lovely looking, but silly expensive..!
AlexGold wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:48 pm
I'm mostly road, but still less worried about weight than ease of access and not having to cram everything in in a perfect order (and never being able to get at, say the puncture repair kit as it'll be the law of the sod be at the bottom). With this mindset I mostly use Carradice's - Barley for longer days and Super C when I need full bivi kit. It's similar to the previously linked bag, but cheaper. Side pockets for stuff I'm really likely to need, adjustable straps to close and you can pretty much see everything once it's open. Loops for strapping stuff to the top too.

Probably not the most ideal according to the bikepacking aerodynamics guys, but at least it's mostly behind me :wink:
At this kind of volume and shape, what are the advantages over panniers (aside from not needing a full rack) if you have a reasonably wide load anyway + the weight is higher up?

How easy are the super c and barley to remove and return? I know they have some quick release models..
Last edited by oreocereus on Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

oreocereus
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by oreocereus » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:52 pm

The Cumbrian wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:28 pm
I use one of these for similar reasons, and I'm not organised enough to pack in exactly the same order every time:

https://dragonfly-gear.com/product/large-saddlebag/

It's basically a lighter, synthetic version of a Carradice saddle bag. One thing I especially like is that I can fit my cook kit in a side pocket (a 650ml Myti mug with meths stove etc inside).
As asked above, what advantages do you see to this bag over panniers? Obviously there are some weight savings (lighter materials, no full rack needed) but you still are reasonably wide (so not as aero as a bikepacking seatpack) and the weight is moved much higher up.
Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:28 pm
*True story - I was leading a DoE cycling trip of pupils from Harrow and one lad had no idea what he was carrying because the maid had packed his kit.
I don't have anything to add to this, but I love/absolutely hate this little anecdote.

oreocereus
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by oreocereus » Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:55 pm

yourguitarhero wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:15 pm
The Blackburn saddle bag/harness is pretty easy to pull the drybag out of - much more so than an Alpkit one I have. Watched my friend with envy as he pulled his out - oo-er!

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/blackburn-outpost-seat-pack-1/
Thanks, I didn't realise the harness systems had gotten a lot easier to use.. They actually appeal a lot more to me. I still want a stash and fluff around with while on bike type bag, ideally something that is easy to take and walk around with, so need to decide if I go with a seat pack and handlebar bag or a handlebar roll and saddlebag/panniers.

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whitestone
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by whitestone » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:09 pm

If you are allergic to down then synthetic makes sense, not having allergies it tends to be something I overlook.

The 20L bag on the front wasn't that bad - there was only the sleeping bag @ 1.8kg and a Thermarest ridgerest CCF mat, 400g?, in it - of course it hid the front wheel a bit. It would be better out back but it was all I'd got.

Somewhat oddly in Arctic conditions on snow a CCF mat is more use than an inflatable mat pretty much for the reasons you state. Snow is a pretty good, actually really good, insulator so there's not the conduction of heat that you'd get sleeping on frozen ground or ice. The CCF mat can be thrown out quickly and can't puncture on hidden broken bush or twigs.

Re Carradice - have a look at their SQR models, a mount on the seatpost then you just clip the bag on and off.
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AlexGold
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by AlexGold » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:47 pm


At this kind of volume and shape, what are the advantages over panniers (aside from not needing a full rack) if you have a reasonably wide load anyway + the weight is higher up?

How easy are the super c and barley to remove and return? I know they have some quick release models..
Well it's 23L in theory, but I'm usually carrying much less. My pannier options would be 50 or 60L depending on which ones I use, so more than double. The setup would also be heavier, and further back which would effect the handling more. With panniers I'd need to worry more about balancing the weight side to side. It's also more aero, maybe not as good as the traffic cone style but substantially better.
https://www.cyclingabout.com/speed-diff ... g-results/

Re removal, it takes 2 seconds, putting it back maybe 10 as its a touch fiddly. I use the bagman qr and take the bag off at every stop.

HTH!

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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by The Cumbrian » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:50 pm

oreocereus wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:52 pm
The Cumbrian wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:28 pm
I use one of these for similar reasons, and I'm not organised enough to pack in exactly the same order every time:

https://dragonfly-gear.com/product/large-saddlebag/

It's basically a lighter, synthetic version of a Carradice saddle bag. One thing I especially like is that I can fit my cook kit in a side pocket (a 650ml Myti mug with meths stove etc inside).
As asked above, what advantages do you see to this bag over panniers? Obviously there are some weight savings (lighter materials, no full rack needed) but you still are reasonably wide (so not as aero as a bikepacking seatpack) and the weight is moved much higher up.

I find that the weight is quite a bit lower than a bikepacking seatpack. I strap it to my seat and the base sits on the rear rack.

oreocereus
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by oreocereus » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:00 am

AlexGold wrote:
Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:47 pm

Re removal, it takes 2 seconds, putting it back maybe 10 as its a touch fiddly. I use the bagman qr and take the bag off at every stop.
So I went the Carradice route, after seeing an as new Super C Audax + bagman sport QR for the price of the Bagman Sport alone. Good deal. The bag is nice, though way too many extra pockets :roll:

Anyway, the thing I'm struggling with the "quick release" part - it comes off easy, but it's really fiddly to actually get in place to lock it in, especially when the bag is full... am i doing something very obviously wrong?

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AlexGold
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Re: Quick/easy access bikepacking style luggage

Post by AlexGold » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:01 am

You're probably not, it's tougher when the bag is very full. I generally attach it open, holding the dowel. Make sure you fully pull the springs back, grab the dowel and shove it in, then let go of the springs and listen for it to click both sides.....then make sure it's actually in both sides rather than finding out down the road like I've done a few times! Lastly, click the lid closed and you're away. HTH!

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