Bikepacking is a new and rapidly growing phenomena combining mountain biking with minimalist camping. A bikepacking trip can be overnight, or many days or weeks. The type of equipment used makes the bike more versatile than traditional cycle touring. A bike set up with bikepacking gear is ready for anything from tarmac, gravel roads and mountain bike tracks.
Bikepacking vs Cycle Touring
A traditional cycle touring bike will have pannier bags fitted to carriers on the bike. Having bags on the left and right side of the bike and maybe carriers on both the front and rear of the bike allows for a significant load carrying capacity. However, pannier bags sit low and out to the side of the bike and are prone to rattle and shake on rough terrain. This is not practical for mountain biking on narrow bumpy trails where the rider may be passing by tree branches, bushes, rocks and tree-roots. In these conditions a bikepacking setup will be lighter, quieter, and the bike will ride smoother.