Best bikepacking bags 2024: A buyer's guide for multi-day adventures

We share the best bikepacking bags for multi-day adventures and how to choose the best for you

Female cyclist riding a bike that's equipped with some of the best bikepacking bags
(Image credit: Future)

The best bikepacking bags will let you travel light on your bike while still carrying all the luggage you need for a multi-day trip. While bicycle touring is a long-established pursuit, bikepacking is far newer. 

Certainly, its roots are to be found in traditional touring and Audaxing, but whereas touring usually means a specialist touring bike designed for stability and mounting points for a rack and panniers, most of the best bikepacking bags can be attached directly to the bike's frame, giving you much more flexibility in what you ride and where you can go.

The resurgence in self-supported bike racing on both road and mountain bikes coupled with the interest in all things gravel has led to greater exploration of multi-day rides that piece together both on and off-road sections, all in the pursuit of fun and adventure. 

Today it appears that bikepacking could well be on its way to becoming as firmly rooted in cycling culture as traditional touring - and the development of specific bikepacking bags that don’t require pannier racks has certainly aided its growth.

Coupled with the best bikes for bikepacking, these lightweight bikepacking bags, mounted to the frame, handlebars and seatpost, allow you to carry varying loads on both roads and trails. This makes them adaptable for a range of self-supported trips, from mini-adventures to ultra-endurance events and more. 

We've got loads of bikepacking advice on the website - check out our bikepacking guide that contains everything you need to know to get started and our bikepacking kit list with absolutely everything you need to go bikepacking

There's a whole array of clothing designed to help you squeeze in that bit more, like the best cargo bib shorts, with pockets for an extra energy gel or bar. And our guides to the best gravel and adventure bikes and the best touring bikes will help you select the perfect steed for your next bikepacking adventure.

Whether you're planning on a quick over-nighter equipped with little more than a camping stove and a bivvy bag or a trip of a longer duration, we've found the best bikepacking bags and multi-day bike bags on the market. And If you’re new to bikepacking, at the bottom of the page our buyer's guide gives you more detail on all of the things to consider when buying bike luggage.

The quick list

Best bikepacking bags

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Saddle packs

Best bikepacking seat pack for carrying large loads

Blackburn Outpost Seat Pack with Dry Bag which is one of the best bikepacking bags

Best bikepacking seat pack for carrying large loads

Specifications

Dimensions: 42/ 56 x 15.2 x 20.3 cm
Capacity: 11L
Weight: 475g (claimed)
Colors: Grey

Reasons to buy

+
Large volume
+
Waterproof
+
Simple to fix and fill
+
Keeps muck and spray off your back

Reasons to avoid

-
Fiddly to access contents when in transit
-
Not recommended for carbon seatposts
-
Noticeably increases your centre of gravity

The Blackburn Outpost seat pack is a clever solution to add a lot of capacity and flexibility without bolting anything onto your bike. The bag itself is a roll-top dry sack and sits in a separate carrier that attaches to your bike, so it's easy to remove the bag for access in camp. 

However, it does recommend not attaching to a carbon seat post (but we have in the past). It provides a great level of waterproofing, and its position does act as a bit of an ass-saver, but the extra weight up high does take a bit of getting used to.

The Velcro attachment straps were unfortunately noticeable on the back of the legs when pedalling, something worth considering if you're planning on being in the saddle for multiple days.

Read more: Blackburn Outpost seat pack full review

Best bikepacking seat pack for smaller loads

Miss Grape Cluster 7 Waterproof Seatpost Bag which is one of the best bikepacking bags

(Image credit: Katherine Moore)
Best bikepacking seat pack for smaller loads

Specifications

Dimensions: 44 x 16 x 14cm
Capacity: 7L
Weight: 256g (claimed)
Colors: Black

Reasons to buy

+
Doesn't rub against legs
+
Doesn't sway
+
Very waterproof

Reasons to avoid

-
May not be large enough for longer trips

The Cluster bag is the smallest of Italian brand Miss Grape's seat post bags at 7 liters, which means that it works well for shorter seatpost lengths and shorter trips, although webbing loops on top allow stowage of extra items outside the main compartment. The rubber straps help to prevent damage to the bike and ensure a stable fit. 

The roll-down top ensures water resistance, which we tested in a storm. Loaded up, the bag can sag a little, although it avoids sway and doesn't rub against the thighs as you pedal.

Read more: Miss Grape Cluster 7 seat pack full review

Best bikepacking seat pack for heavy loads

Tailfin AeroPack S which is one of the best bikepacking bags

Best bikepacking seat pack for carrying heavy loads

Specifications

Dimensions: 43 x 16 x 42cm
Capacity: 20L
Weight: From 724g (claimed, incl rack)
Colors: Black

Reasons to buy

+
Rock solid with no impact on riding
+
Great capacity 
+
Ease of use

Reasons to avoid

-
Compression straps can slip when wet
-
Expensive

There are several rear bikepacking Tailfin setups, all of which will require the Tailfin rack system. The whole setup with carbon option will set you back over £300 / $400, although there is an alloy rack version that is £70 / $90 cheaper, but a couple of hundred grams more in weight (but you do gain three extra mounts for the ability to add other bottle cages or luggage).

The frame-mounted system boasts to be quick release unlike traditional racks, coming free in a claimed 30 seconds, with either QR or thru-axle compatibility. The seatpost connection is secure and kind to carbon frames and is designed to wrap around any size or shape of seatpost, including deep aero.

The total maximum load for the racking system is a substantial 9kg. With two Transcontinental Races under its belt, the fully waterproof system has won plenty of fans. On test, we found the system to be ace, with the design simplicity and ease of use making you forget the price on the first ride.

Read more: Tailfin Aeropack S Rigid Seat Pack full review

Best bikepacking seat pack for ease of use

Topeak Backloader Bag which is one of the best bikepacking bags

4. Topeak Backloader Bag

Best bikepacking seat pack for ease of use

Specifications

Dimensions 6 liter: 50 x 16 x 15cm
Dimensions 10 liter: 60 x 20 x 18cm
Dimensions 15 liter: 67 x 28 x 18cm
Capacity: 6/10/15L
Weight: 445g/480g/565g
Colors: Black

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use 'in the field'
+
Three size options
+
Competitively priced
+
Waterproof

Reasons to avoid

-
A tad heavy

The Backloader from Topeak has been specifically designed for bikepacking as a streamlined way of carrying gear. It is constructed using what Topeak says is a lightweight, highly water-resistant and durable fabric.

The pack has compression straps to help condense its waistline, which should reduce the pendulum effect, and a built-in air release button helps reduce the inner bag further. Available in 6, 10 or 15-liter options, it uses both clips and a Velcro mounting system attached to the saddle rails and seat post.

Handlebar bags

Best bikepacking handlebar bag on test

Restrap Bar Pack which is one of the best bikepacking bags

(Image credit: Future)
Best bikepacking handlebar bag on test

Specifications

Dimensions: 25 x 24 x variable cm
Capacity: 10L
Weight: 585g
Colors: Black, orange

Reasons to buy

+
Roll-top entry
+
Large capacity
+
Bungee cord webbing
+
Easily accessible front pocket
+
Built-in compression straps

Reasons to avoid

-
Bar straps only have one position on the bag

Restrap's 10-liter Bar Pack is made from durable, waterproof nylon. It has an easy-to-use roll-top that's closed using two buckles, with this main compartment complemented by a smaller secondary compartment that uses a Velcro closure. Essentially this means that you can still access items while on the go. On test we loved this combination, with the roll-top being a real winner.

The bag's generous 10L capacity allowed us to carry all we'd want to in a bar bag, with the compression straps doing a neat job of keeping everything in place. The additional details of both a D-lock holder and bungee webbing only added to the Bar Pack's functionality and appeal.

Read more: Restrap Bar Pack full review

Best bikepacking handlebar bag for versatility

Chrome Urban Ex Bar Bag which is one of the best bikepacking bags

(Image credit: Future)
Best bikepacking handlebar bag for versatility

Specifications

Dimensions: 24.3 x 21.2 x 11.2cm
Capacity: 3-5L
Weight: 240 grams
Colors: Black

Reasons to buy

+
Great roll-top design
+
Useful size
+
Includes shoulder strap
+
Easy to mount

Reasons to avoid

-
Bar straps are fixed in one location

The Chrome Urban Ex is both well-designed and well-made. The roll-top closure makes it easy to access your gear and is suitably robust. Likewise, the rest of the bag feels equally durable, with a tough waterproof fabric on the bag's exterior and a decent level of padding on the inside of the bag. Its smaller size means that it's great for everyday use while still being practical for longer trips. The inclusion of a shoulder strap only helps to increase the bag's versatility. 

Read more: Chrome Urban Ex Handlebar Bag 2.0 full review

Best bikepacking handlebar bag for easy carrying of bulky kit

Topeak Frontloader Bar Bag which is one of the best bikepacking bags

(Image credit: Paul Grele)
Best bikepacking handlebar bag for easy carrying of bulky kit

Specifications

Dimensions: 50 x 15 x 15 cm
Capacity: 8L
Weight: 500 grams
Colors: Black, olive green

Reasons to buy

+
Harness can be left in place when removing bag
+
Air valve to help compress bulky items
+
Easy to fit to most bikes

Reasons to avoid

-
Can interfere with cables
-
No additional pockets for on the go access

With an 8-liter capacity, the Topeak Frontloader bag is a good option for light but bulky items like a sleeping bag. There's a harness which can remain attached to the bars and a separate, removable dry bag that opens at each end. An air valve lets you compress the contents down more. The bag and harness combined weigh 500g and will take a maximum 5kg load.

With one sealed pocket, the Frontloader isn't the best bag for access while on the go, but it works well to add plenty of extra carrying capacity. It's stable and doesn't affect the bike's handling, although it can interfere with control cables on some bikes.

Read more: Topeak Frontloader bar bag full review

Best bikepacking handlebar bag for large volume

Ortlieb Handlebar Pack QR which is one of the best bikepacking bags

(Image credit: Stefan Abram)
Best bikepacking handlebar bag for large volume

Specifications

Dimensions: 32 x 22 x 18 cm
Capacity: 11L
Weight: 551 grams
Colors: Black

Reasons to buy

+
Capacious
+
Doesn't rub on the frame

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes time to learn how to fit to the bike
-
A little wide for many drop bars

Rather than the more usual straps or permanent bolt-on support, the Ortlieb bag has a plastic bracket on which the bag hangs. This attaches without tools to the bars, making it easy to remove when not required and preventing the bag from rubbing on the frame.

The 11-liter capacity means that you can pack a lot into the bag, although it's a little wide for drop bar bikes, when the side mesh pockets are really only suitable for gel wrappers.  Ideally, you need at least 44cm bar width to take full advantage of the bag's capacity. 

Read more: Ortlieb Handlebar Pack QR full review

Top tube bags

Best top tube bag for streamlined space

Restrap Race Top Tube Bag which is one of the best bikepacking bags

(Image credit: Future)
Best top tube bag for streamlined space

Specifications

Dimensions: 37 x 11 x 4.5 cm
Capacity: 1.5L
Weight: 187 grams (claimed)
Colors: Black

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonable capacity
+
Reinforced sides
+
Doesn't tend to rub on knees

Reasons to avoid

-
Internal sleeves interfere with stowage
-
No cable port

The 1.5-liter capacity and narrow design of the Restrap Race bag means that it's less likely to interfere with your pedalling, while mesh side pockets let you add extra stowage for items like gels. It is attached to the bike with Velcro straps and a bungee cord.

Waterproofing proved fine for moderate rainfall and the bag feels durable. There's plenty of room for a phone, arm warmers and snacks, although we'd have liked better internal compartmentation. 

Read more: Restrap Race Top Tube Bag full review

Best top tube bag for smaller capacity

Evoc Top Tube Pack which is one of the best bikepacking bags

(Image credit: Luke Friend)
Best top tube bag for smaller capacity

Specifications

Dimensions: 15.5 x 8 x 5.5 cm
Capacity: 0.5L
Weight: 75 grams
Colors: Grey, loam