I’m relatively new to the specific sport of bikepacking, but I’ve got over 20 years of general backcountry experience, which colors my opinions here.

Ethics statement

There are no affiliate links on this page (or any of my pages). I’m just a nobody on the internet who buys stuff with his own money and then writes about it.

A quick note on weight

I have mixed feelings on this topic. On the one hand, weight weenies are annoying. On the other hand, they’re not wrong.

My take is - if you have the budget, upgrade to the lightest, smallest things you can afford. You will never regret lighter (and smaller-volume) stuff. It also tends to be higher quality, so if you take care of it, it’ll last longer too. Otherwise, just go with whatever you have (obviously) and decide for yourself on the trip whether you need to upgrade it later (or not).

Also - you should stop eating french fries and double cheeseburgers and lose a few pounds, which will have far greater impact than cutting your toothbrush in half.


One of the perks of living in the Bay Area is basically perfect weather almost the entire year. Inclement weather is predictable, unlike life in a mountainous locale such as Colorado.

Building a sleeping system around this climate is pretty easy.

Emphasis here is placed on system. There’s a more to staying warm than a sleeping bag alone.

My base system consists of:

No matter the temperature, I’ll have those three elements. The bag liner is less for warmth and more to keep the sleeping bag itself cleaner.


Carrying stuff

drj0n bagworks Strapdeck - handlebar system

There’s a great review where I first read about this, and I thought I’d try it out.

Summary: it worked well for me. I’ve only ever tried it with a fairly light load (1274g), so I didn’t have the problem of bouncy loads. I can recommend it for a lightweight setup.

All the parts seem to be fabricated in the UK.

I bought the following:

In retrospect, I wish I had also purchased the 35mm clamps too, for my MTB, but oh well.

Wayward Riders Louise dropper post harness - seat bag

Another purchase inspired by a review.

Summary: I can recommend it.

I used an 8L drybag, with 1936g of stuff, and it was super stable. If you don’t pack the drybag well, it can rub your hamstrings. The solution is to pack your drybag better.

Buy it from: