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Your Ultimate Guide to Bike-Packing and Cycle Touring

Posted on March 15th, 2019
starlite 1 tent bikepacking

 See our recommended route, gear and tips guide for your bikepacking and cycle touring adventures.


Extended cycling activities such as bikepacking and cycle touring really take your cycling experience to the next level, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the outdoors. However, this is no easy task! Cycle touring journeys can range from a simple weekend trip to months of covering vast landscapes and terrains. This means that preparation is key. From routes to gear, every aspect of your trip should be planned accordingly to ensure your safety is at the heart of your journey, with no unexpected horrors you can be assured that your journey will make memories you can cherish forever. Read on to see our recommended gear, routes and tips along with a summary of what you can expect from bike-packing and cycle touring trips.

bikepacking with packs

Laser Velo Bike Packs for frame and handle bars


What is the difference between Cycle Touring and Bikepacking? – Both of these activities are based on venturing on extended cycling trips from weekend trips to week-long tours. However, the difference mainly lies within the routes that you plan. Cycle Touring is heavily based upon following routes on roads that are designated. Whereas, bikepacking is more tailored towards the mountain bikers, where routes can vary to going off-road and to much more unsteady terrains. However, for both of these activities it is essential to have the correct gear optimal for safety and low weight.



Our top tips:


Here are our top tips and tricks to ensure that your trip goes as smoothly and safely as possible.


Starlite tent pitched in field

Credit – Ben Read Photography (Starlite Tent)


  • Invest in a lightweight tent – Saving on weight is key to sustaining your stamina during long journeys, investing in a very lightweight tent will be more than worth the expense in relieving the strain of extra weight – The Laser Compact 1 and Zephyros Compact 1 are fantastic choices for this.


  • Let your bike take the weight, not you – Use additional attachment like bike bags to place on the handle bars and frame of your bike in order to take the strain off of your body. The long cycling journeys will be enough without a bulging backpack.


  • Only pack the necessities – As previously said, low weight is key, you MUST pack essentials such as food, water, shelter and protection but try to avoid too much luxury on the journey, no need to carry your electronic devices along with you when you have a whole world to experience.


  • Stick to trail etiquette – Everyone enjoys a lovely, friendly bikepacking journey, you included. So to keep it fun for everyone try to always stick to routes and be wary of other riders, maybe even give a passing smile to brighten someone’s day.


Cyclist with Laser 10 backpack

Cyclist with Laser 10 Backpack

  • Wear Insulated clothing – It’s Britain! It’s fair to say weather can be somewhat unpredictable so make sure that you wear insulated and possibly waterproof clothing in order to combat the conditions and make the trip more enjoyable. Our range of specialist gloves and hats offer fantastic options to cater for this.


  • Take essential repair kits – Don’t leave anything to chance. You never know if small slip ups will occur, so make sure you’re always prepared with the required repair kits for your equipment.


  • Just enjoy it! – The most important tip is to make sure that you make lasting memories on your journey and enjoy every moment. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the real world and enjoy what life has to offer.



What gear will you need?


Here is a list of the gear that is needed along with our recommended products that are optimal for performance.


Lightweight TentsLaser Competition 1, Starlite 1 Tent, Zephyros Compact 1 Tent

Backpack & Bike BagsLaser Velo 30, Laser Velo Handlebar, Laser Velo Frame

HeadwearGuide Balaclava, POWER STRETCH© Banded Beanie, Guide Face Mask

GlovesSticky POWER STRETCH© Glove, Velo Glove, Tor Glove

Sleeping Bags/MatsElite 350 Sleeping Bag, Matterhorn Standard Sleeping Mat, Mistral 450 Sleeping Bag

TarpsAdventure Tarp 1, Competition Tarp 2



Our Terra Nova Challenges (Recommended Routes)



cyclist in the countryside

Try some of our recommended routes for your bikepacking and cycle touring trips. Ensure that you have prepared with research and

trained before embarking on any of these tours.

West Country Way – Minehead > Plymouth via Exmoor and Dartmoor – 240 miles

The Pennine Way – Peak District/Yorkshire Dales – 176 miles

The South Downs Way – Winchester > Eastbourne – 100 miles




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