Ultralight Cycle Touring

Short sharp weekend adventures – Pack Light – Travel far – #createadventure

Front pack

Vessel: Altura touring front pack (Not Waterproof)

The front bag is good. I have the Rapha CC edition which has pretty colours and saimple roll ends like a dry bag would. Except its not a dry bag. In any way. Be very mindful of this and consider something like this if you want to hold valuables in the front keeping them accessible and dry.

A great alternative if the Ortlieb version that is have seen in action and will keep gear dry. Moreover if have considerably more straps and adjustment that enables a variety of comfortable handle bar grips which is pretty important for consecutive long days in the saddle….


  • Thermarest Neorair sleeping mat
    • A light, comfortable and compact companion at 5cm thick when inflated. I use the longer variant which is really overkill (even when i’m tall). Keep in mind the length and shape if you want to ever put the mat inside your bivi bag.
    • It must be said that inflating a mat at the end of a day is always a task butthe incredible insulation that this mat offers when inflated is remarkable considering it is ultra thin when deflated.
  • Rab Alpine Bivi bag
    • An ultralight Bivi bag rolling up neatly in the frontpack with the thermarest. It is something i am yet to test in anger with only a couple of light outings. The bag breathes pretty well but, like a tent, condensation will be there to greet you in the mornings which means your sleeping nag is directly (if only slightly) damp. Very keen to give this a try in a more adventurous trip.
  • 2 x Spare tubes, tool and 2 tyre levers (for when i’m tired…).


Saddle bag

Vessel: Ortlieb Bike packing Saddle bag – There are so many options that all offer subtle differences in their features. Having used Ortlieb before and trusting them heavily i was already pretty sold. I particularly like the roll dry bag style function and the integrated valve to let excess air out. This has been tested in decent rain and does work a treat! Other options to consider are:

  • Altura – staring with this and getting bigger and better their top of the line is known for being a premium product. Some of their line is not waterproof so just watch out what yo get.
  • Blackburn – the personal favourite of a friend of mine. The frame stays on the bike and the dry bag removes making the setup very secure for the occasion that you need to lock up and duck into the shops.


  • Sea to summit 7°c ultralight sleeping bag
    • This is a great allround summer sleeping bag that has served me throughout Central America, Australia and the UK/Europe. Its ultra light design take up very little space naturally coming at a cost.
    • The bag only has a short length zipper to enable getting in and out and the mummy style can be slightly restrictive if you aren’t used to it but all in all i think the trade offs are well worth it!
  • Sea to summit silk sleeping bag liner
    • An absolute must if you want to avoid / minimse the need to clean your sleeping Bag (which is a nightmare of a task). I find them comfortable and well worth the extra space and weight they take up.
    • There is a shorter version available (here) but the extra length is really nice to curly up in and pull in around your neck – especially if you are tall (like me).
  • 14000 mAh power bank – for charging Lights, Phones, GPS etc. Heavy but a nice addition to make the experience more enjoyable.
  • Toms light shoes, a shirt and shorts to get out of the riding kit as soon as possible.
  • Uniqlo light down vest
  • Toothbrush and deodorant
  • Pyjamas
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