Best bikes for bikepacking: A buyer's guide

Looking for a bike that’s lightweight, fits wide tyres and has more mounting points than you currently have bags? Here are the best bikes for bikepacking.

best bikepacking bikes
(Image credit: Getty Images/Katja Kircher)

With the stratospheric rise in the popularity of bikepacking, there is an increasing number of bikes that are designed specifically to best meet the demands of this style of riding.

Although you could put a frame, handlebar and giant saddle bag on any kind of bike and head out on a multi-day adventure, the best bikes for bikepacking are purpose built and incorporate design elements that make the whole experience that much better.

Paul Norman bio pic
Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015 and since then he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment. He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.

Stefan Abram riding the Ribble Gravel SL Pro on a bikepacking loop in Morocco
Stefan Abram

After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships, Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back. Since then, he’s earnt his 2nd cat racing licence and Everested in under 12 hours. But Stefan's favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. 

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.

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