Personal setups » 29erTurtle’s Set Up


Campsite in Cuyamaca State Park, San Diego, Ca

Campsite in Cuyamaca State Park, San Diego, Ca

The picture above is from a recent bikepacking trip to the local mountains. Overnight lows were in the high 20’s and daytime highs were in the mid 60’s. There were Santa Ana winds which were predicted to die down during day 1, but ended up blowing for the entire trip at a constant 20 mph and getting gustier throughout the day. Most of the items used were things I already owned (I have done alot of lightweight backpacking, climbing and mountaineering) but the bike bags and Osprey Pack were new for the purpose of bikepacking. Basically this seems like a set up that would take me through most 3 season conditions.

I learned a lot about what works by reading about other peoples set ups and through my experiences on this first trip. I hope this list will help others, but my true motivation for posting is to get feedback from others on how to further lighten my set up and streamline my packing. My goal is to tour the complete Colorado trail this summer with a light set up that is fun to ride with, but still provides adequate comfort and safety in camp. (i.e. I’m not looking to strip it down to a race kit) Since the time of this first trip I have changed a few things in pursuit of lightening up and welcome your thoughts, ideas, and feedback. I have posted my list following the conventions commonly used over on to see where all the weight comes from and to make it easy to suggest lighter individual items and where to get rid of things all together.

Riding Clothes: Typically a pair of bike shorts and a short sleeved synthetic t-shirt. I currently own a pair of SIDI’s but am looking for something more comfortable to walk in.

Bike: Ellsworth Evolve, full suspension 29er, size large.

Bikepacking Gear List

Sleeping and Shelter

Mtn Hardware Phantom 32*

26.7 oz

6’6″ Length


Adventure Medical kits Emergency Bivy

6.8 oz

Adds an estimated 10* to sleeping bag, provides extra waterproofness under tarp and serves as groundsheet


Thermarest “Ultralight” 1″ thick x 3/4 torso length

16.2 oz

Older pad, not so ultralight, but more compact than the foam pad I use for backpacking.


Sil Nylon Tarp 8.5′ x 5′

7 oz

Includes guylines



2.3 oz

6 ti stakes, 2 Easton Nano stakes



59 oz

3 lbs 11oz


Cooking and Hydration

1 Liter Bottle

1.5 oz

Recycled widemouth Aquafina Bottle


2 Liter Platypus water bag with hose

4 oz



Lexan Spoon

.4 oz



Snowpeak 900 Ti Pot with lid

5 oz



Whitebox alcohol Stove

2 oz

Includes windscreen. Switched from canister due to lighter weight, wider availability of fuel, and no more partial canisters to keep track of at home.


5 fl oz of denatured alcohol

5 oz

Includes recycled 8 oz water bottle with squirt top for storage


Small lighter

.4 oz




18.3 oz

1 lb 2.3 oz


Clothing Carried

Patagonia Puff Vest

11.7 oz



Montbell Wind Shirt

6.4 oz



Montbell Wind Pants

6 oz



Marmot Precip rain jacket

12.8 oz



Pearl Izumi Leg Warmers

4.8 oz



Pearl Izumi Arm Warmers

2.5 oz



Smartwool adrenaline socks

1.7 oz



Mtn Hardware Fleece Hat

1 oz



Sil Nylon Dry sack

1.2 oz




48.1 oz

3 lbs 1 oz



Sea To Summit 8 L Dry Sack

2 oz

Strapped to seat with sleeping bag and tarp


Sea To Summit 4 L Dry Sack

1.5 oz

Strapped to bars with Thermarest and bivy


Jandd Frame Bag

6.1 oz

Flipped end to end, fits large frame after moving two sewn on straps. Carries small heavy items and bike tools.


Osprey Talon 22

27 oz

Carries food,cookpot, and clothing


Lash straps (4)





38.6 oz

2 lbs 6.6 oz

Since the time of the picture I have removed the handle bar bag and am debating the need for the tank bag.


Water treatment

3 oz

Aqua Mira


Toothbrush and paste

2 oz



Black Diamond Spot headlamp

3 oz

Includes lithium batteries and small homemade Velcro strap for attaching to helmet. Good for dirt roads, marginal on rocky singletrack


Sun Block

2.5 oz



Glasses, contacts, solution in crush proof case

5 oz



Chamois Creme

2 oz



1st aid / Emergency Kit

4 oz

Cuts, scrapes, wound cleaning, Ibuprofen, fire starter, whistle, waterproof matches


Lip Balm

.5 oz



Mosquito Headnet with metal loop

1.5 oz




1.6 oz




2 oz

Weight varies by trip


Cannon Powershot Camera

11.6 oz

Heavy but nice features



38.7 oz

2 lbs 6.7 oz


Bike Tools and Parts

Crank Brothers Mini Pump

3.4 oz



29″ x 2″ Tubes (2)

15.1 oz

Shockingly heavy!


Park CT-5 Chain Tool

2.6 oz

Perhaps combine with a small multi tool


Park Mini Multi tool

3.9 oz

Perhaps replace with one that has a small but functional chain tool


Tire lever with 1 yd of duct tape wrapped around it

1 oz



Rock Shox Shock Pump

7 oz



2 fl oz Stans Sealent

2 oz



Parts Kit

1.3 oz

Spare bolts, tire boot, tire patches, derailleur hanger, quick link



.5 oz



Small Bottle of Chain Lube

2 oz




38.8 oz

2 lbs 6.8 oz




241.5 oz

15 lbs 1.5 oz



Comments (10)

ShaunFebruary 2nd, 2009 at 11:58 am

First, that sounds like a nice kit already. Unless you have money to blow, I’d be happy with it and ride. Though, as a gear head myself sometimes, I can understand the quest for better gear.

So with the later in mind, if you want to drop some weight you can do one of the standard weight saving things and drop some dough on a new sleeping bag. I’m really happy with my 18oz Western Mountainering SummerLite. It looks like that will save you about a 1/2 pound.

Another thing, that costs under $2, is to leave the CO2 at home and get a little adapter to thread onto your valve so you can use an air compresser so seat you tubeless. I’ve found that if my sealant isn’t going to seal a hole on it’s own then CO2 doesn’t help anyways. I think the CO2 actually kind of drys up the sealant I use. If I have to reset my bead I just put in a tube then when I get to a gas station with a compressor I thread on the little adapter and pull the tube and reset my bead with the compressor. That should save about 3.5oz.

And how about doubling your rain jacket as a wind shirt saving 6.4oz. I may not do it if I’m worried about being speady but when the air is just a little too cold (long, cool desents especially) I often put on my rain jacket to cut the wind. Slide up the sleaves, open pit vents, unzip as much as needed, hood or not, as temperature demands.

Have fun out there!

29erTurtleFebruary 4th, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Thanks for the thoughts. Definitely not looking to spend a lot to lose only a few ounces. I know the sleeping bag could be lighter, but I cant see spending the money even for the half pound savings knowing that the current bag is still very functional. But you have me pretty well pegged as a gear head and I can be a bit obsessive on the quest for better/lighter gear. The sleeping pad for instance is “extremely” heavy given the current offerings available but it is the first Thermarest I have had last this long without developing numerous pinhole leaks.

The rest of your suggestions are exactly what I am looking for; ways to drop items that could easily be done without, because they are simply unneeded or whose purpose could be accomplished using other more versatile items I am already carrying. In rereading this list I agree the CO2 is not really needed. I am already carrying a lot of other items to handle flats. (2 spare tubes, patches and a pump) The CO2 is gone.

The wind shirt falls into the same category and could be comfortably eliminated using the rain jacket for windy conditions but I am having a harder time convincing myself to leave it at home. It is much more comfortable than the rain jacket and can be worn on breezy rides, long descents, light drizzle, buggy camps or as an extra insulation layer without getting as clammy as the rain jacket. I started carrying it as a light extra layer but I have found I wear it a lot in many conditions. I overheat easily while riding and the windshirt is so much more breathable than my rain jacket. I’m considering leaving it, but its not gone yet.

Thanks for the feedback and keep the ideas coming.

slimFebruary 4th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I would agree that for most of the time I would rather have the extra weight (100g or so)of the windshirt because you can not replace it with a rain jacket, unless you have a very breathable jacket, perhaps like an Event jacket with pit-zips and pocket vents. Otherwise there are times when I need more wind protection and a rain jacket is almost always to clammy. The other exception would maybe be in very cold weather using one of the Nikwax Pump lined jackets as a combination wind, water, and insulation layer(see C. Townsends article on BPL) If I don’t expect much rain and cold I will take the O2 jacket, it is even lighter and very breathable(and cheap enough to by as a second jacket)

03April 4th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

It looks like your set-up is pretty bombproof.

Shaun mentioned Western Mountaineering, they are a stand up company that builds solid gear. If you purchase from them it will be lightweight and you’ll own it forever.

I would also recommend keeping the wind shirt, hang on to the flexibility/protection it offers without the moisture build up of the rain jacket.

TonyJune 10th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Cheers, looking at this as a holiday option, so nice tips well written

bradoNovember 29th, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Great format for you gear list turtle, I wish everyone here would be so organized 🙂 Trip report?? How did it work?

Turtle29December 6th, 2009 at 10:54 am

Thanks for the comments on the formating. As far as a trip report there is one in the trips reports section of this site about a shake down trip in the local mountains around here in preparation for a CT trip. I did a couple other local trips in preparation this past summer, but then I tore up my knee playing soccer in June about 2 weeks prior to departing for the trail, had surgery in august and just got back on the bike this past September.

MBH29erDecember 19th, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Looking to start a bike packing kit.

I have a Seedhouse SL 1 that I can light pack w/ just the fly and poles.
REi 3/4 length lite core 1.5″ pad
use either a 30 d. Sierra Deisgns 600 fill down bag or 2 silk travel sheets in the summer.

I need some suggestions for frame bags.

Also I am a big guy around 6’4″ and over 250. I can’t use any Osprey packs. I have a Gregory z55 that I love. However it is way to big to ride with. I have thought about trying a z35 , but it is still over 2,100 cu. in. So I fear it may feel big on the bike. Any big guys out there have suggestions? Or ideas? I am thinking for now of using my bigger Camelbak Alpine Explorer bag, strap under the seat w/ dry bag and a frame bag.

Great idea from your list Turtle 29. Thanks-

Turtle29December 24th, 2009 at 8:33 am

The sea to summit brand dry bags in smaller sizes seem to work especially well for strapping under the seat because they have an oval shaped profile which allows them to strap under the seat without rubbing my legs when pedaling. I think a larger or round bag would rub and get irritating quickly.

I too am a larger rider (6’3″, 220 lbs.) but have found that the size large osprey works fine for me.

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