Recommended Gear

bike leaning on a wood bridge with bikepack

In addition to strong legs, riding long distances over mountainous terrain requires the right gear. However, your loaded bike must also be light enough to lift over obstacles if necessary.

(Reproduced from the Tour Aotearoa website, with thanks to The Kennett brothers.)

Bike and bags

  • 29er – the big wheels roll a little easier over rocky roads
  • Front suspension for comfort, or rigid forks for speed and simplicity
  • Bar ends – the more hand positions the better
  • Aero bars – hang a bag, rest a guidebook and give your hands a chance to recover
  • 2–3 litre water containers (e.g., 2–3 drink bottles and/or a bladder)
  • Seat bag (5–15 litre volume)
  • Frame bag – a full frame bag or a half frame bag (which allows you to still carry a
    water bottle or two)
  • Handlebar bag – either a roll bag or dry bag strapped to aero bars
  • Feedbag – one or two on the handlebars
  • Dry bags and/or plastic bags
  • Front and rear lights.


  • Pump
  • Tyre levers
  • 2 spare tubes
  • Multi-tool (with chain breaker and spoke tool)
  • Small fold-up knife (e.g., Leatherman or Juice)
  • Small bottle of chain lube
  • Duct tape (1 metre)
  • Tyre boot
  • Spare chain link
  • Spare derailleur hanger.


  • Thin riding top
  • Thin thermal tops (2)
  • Merino riding top (e.g., Ground Effect “Baked Alaska”)
  • Thin thermal long johns
  • Thin balaclava
  • Rain jacket (e.g., Ground Effect “Storm Trooper”)
  • Three-quarter overtrousers (e.g., Ground Effect Helter Skelters”)
  • Socks – 2 or 3 pairs
  • Lycra shorts (2 pairs)
  • Nylon shorts/togs
  • Cycle gloves
  • Cycle shoes
  • Merino or cotton buff

Other Gear

  • Cash and cards
  • ID (driver’s licence or passport)
  • Spot tracker and spare batteries
  • Waterproof notebook and pen
  • Guidebook/cue sheets
  • Cellphone and charger
  • GPS and batteries
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock
  • Toothbrush, paste and floss
  • Toilet paper (in waterproof bag)
  • Chamois cream (e.g., Sweet Cheeks)
  • Spoon and tiny can opener
  • First aid kit (antihistamines pain killers, sterile pads, steri-strips, personal meds, tape)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Lightweight sleeping mat (e.g., Exped threequarter length)
  • Bivvy bag or lightweight tent – opens up an array of sleeping options
  • Emergency blanket (if you don’t have a bivvy bag or tent)
  • Plastic bags/dry bags (because bikepacking bags are not waterproof!).
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