6 Essential Bike Bags and What to Pack for Winter Fat Biking

by | Dec 16, 2020 | Gear | 3 comments

I don’t think about what to wear for a winter ride.  I wear the same kit for every ride and keep it handy in a laundry basket dedicated to my cycling clothes. 

I also carry the same items for every ride and keep them in the exact same place on my bike.  This is important for 3 reasons:

  1. It takes the guesswork out of what to bring.
  2. It saves me from fumbling for gear with cold fingers.
  3. I’m confident that I have everything I need. 

Why bags instead of a backpack/hydration pack?  Sweat is the enemy and backpacks make you sweaty. In addition, it’s hard to add and subtract layers if you need to remove your backpack each time.

It may be overkill on short rides but a side benefit of rolling loaded is that I am building stamina and strength!

Below is a list of my bags and the items I carry in each. I’m not sponsored or receive a commission, these are simply the bags that work best for me.

Frame bags for bike packing

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Arkel seat bag: The lighter items go in your seat bag.  I carry my 800g-fill down parka (Patagonia Fitz Roy), extra merino wool base layer (so that I have a dry layer if the other gets sweaty), and a merino wool balaclava.  Two sets of chemical hand warmers fit perfectly in the top zippered pocket.

If wet weather is rolling in I’ll carry outerwear as well but in Wyoming we are mostly blessed with blue skies!

A sleeve on the bag slides onto an aluminum hanger and the hanger attaches to the seat post. This means that the seat bag doesn’t sag and you can easily take it off your bike to take in your tent or house, for example. It also works with a dropper post.

 

Arkel seat bag

Arkel seat bag

Arkel seat bag

Arkel seat bag

Revelate Designs Jerrycan:  Bike multitool, valve stem remover, tire irons, twisty tie to unclog valves, and bacon strips (puncture fixers thingies).  Trash/wrappers from my bars get stashed here.

Revelate Designs frame bag: Heavier items go in your frame bag, with the heaviest items at the bottom. Here I carry my battery heated gloves, extra tube, a spare wool hat and a lightweight windbreaker.  My bike pump goes in the small compartment on the non-drive side.

Since my bike is a size small, my frame bag is also a small.  It’s jam-packed with the aforementioned items.  This is why the seat bag is an essential addition to my bag collection.

Cockpit bags

Nothing is more important than a well-functioning piece of equipment.  Which becomes exponentially more important with every degree in temperature drop.

Bike bags for winter fat biking

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Revelate Mag-Tank 2000 Bolt On bag:  Whisky flask and phone.  It bolts onto my Salsa Mukluk frame, which is a nice feature.  I didn’t realize how many times during a ride I was readjusting the tank bag until I got the bolt on bag.

The best part is that you don’t have to remove your gloves to get into the bag.  The magnetic closure also clips over a do-dad, keeping the contents secure, even when you skitter sideways on the ice or fall over in a snowdrift.

Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbag: This is a gateway bag.  It’s amazing how much it holds. I always have two on my bike and carry hot tea with honey.  The outside pockets carry my roll-on sunscreen, chapstick, handkerchief, and any number of bars (snickers!)  The outside pockets are also big enough for your phone.

Surly Moloko Handlebar bag: This turns my Jones bars into a roaming coffee table for candy bars, gloves, PBJ, etc. when I’m messing with other things.  In addition, the bungee nicely holds my compact binoculars. My only complaint is that the zipper gets wedged against the bar making it hard to unzip and access.

On the upside, the bag is roomy and holds extra buffs, a lighter and dryer lint for starting fires, my small “that’s Wyoming” flag, and extra snacks.

Subscribe to FATBIKEGIRL for exclusive features and be sure to see my Gear page for more:

How to Dress for Winter Cycling

12 Things to Consider When Buying a Fat Bike

Winter Cycling Boots for Fat Biking

7 Women’s Pants for Fat Biking Bliss

5 Perfect Presents for Your Favorite Fat Biker

10 Must-Haves for Winter Fat Biking

 

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