Bikepacking vs Touring Bikes

In the last few years the term Bikepacking has risen in popularity as bike manufacturers have focused on a subset of Bike Touring. Bike Touring is the practice of riding for the joy of riding as opposed to sport, commuting, or exercise. At least that is the Wikipedia definition. For most people who do Bike Touring it means bicycling for multiple days in a self sustained manner.

Bikepacking takes that concept and applies it to more rough terrain. This video covers the differences between what are sold as Bikepacking bikes vs Touring bikes:

One aspect of Bikepacking that is bleeding into Bike Touring is the use of on frame bags rather than traditional panniers. On frame bags are more aerodynamic and have a better center of gravity. While they cannot hold as much gear that means they are lighter too.

Kate and I will be doing a multiday bikepack trip for our 10th wedding anniversary in March. Since my bike does not have mounts for racks I am investigating bikepacking frame bags to carry our tent and sleeping gear. We haven’t done a multiday trip since 2017 when we did the San Juan Skyway and are excited to hit to road again.


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