After 11 years of researching, refining and road-testing, this page represents a detailed listing of the cycle touring equipment I currently use, together with manufacturer and retailer links.

Please know that the list reflects my personal preferences, rather than what I’d necessarily recommend to you. I can’t do that unless I know about your plans, your preferences, your budget, and many other factors that influence gear choice (although I’ve thrown in a couple of general recommendations to help out).

For many years I deliberately refused to publish my kit list on this blog, but you lovely people continue to email me to ask what I use, so I grudgingly concede. Here goes…

Bike & Luggage

Touring Bike
Generally I ride an Oxford Bike Works Expedition, custom built to my own specification (exhaustive details here). Sometimes I go fast and light if the roads are good, in which case I prefer my 2012 Kona Sutra with tweaked gear ratios.
Rear Panniers
Crosso (my review / Cyclesense* / eBay UK*) or Carradice Super C (my review / direct / Evans* / eBay UK*), depending on whether or not I need full (roll-top) waterproofing. I don’t use front panniers.
Handlebar Bag
Ortlieb Ultimate 5 (now 6) (Cyclestore*) with padded insert. I also like Klickfix baskets (Amazon* / eBay UK*.
Drybags
An assortment of Exped and Seal Line roll-top drybags between 5l and 20l capacity. Plastic carrier bags work too.
Trailer
Extrawheel Voyager (review). I use this only when I need to carry tons of extra stuff (e.g. Arctic in winter, Mongolia off-road).

Camping

Tent
MSR Hubba Hubba NX (GoOutdoors* / UltralightOutdoorGear.co.uk) if I’m on my own; MSR Mutha Hubba HP (*) if my better half is along for the ride.
Tent Alternative
I don’t really like tents. So if it’s practical I’ll sleep in a Alpkit Hunka bivvy bag or Hennessy Deep Jungle Hammock, depending on mood and likelihood of trees.
Sleeping Bag
Alpkit Pipedream 250 (direct) plus a Scottish Silkworm sleeping bag liner (Amazon* / eBay UK*).
Camping Mattress
Exped SIM Lite UL 2.5 M (now discontinued) for fair weather, Exped DownMat 7 (my review / AlpineTrek.co.uk* / Amazon* / eBay UK*) if it’s going to be really cold. If I was going round the world again I’d take an Exped SIM Lite 3.8 M (AlpineTrek.co.uk* / eBay UK*).
Extras
Exped AirPillow (eBay UK*) for my poor old neck (I have also used Mammut* pillows and bundles of rolled-up clothing); McNett Tenacious Tape (Amazon* / GoOutdoors.co.uk*) for gear repairs; toothbrush.

Cooking

Cooking isn’t always essential, but if I’m away for long enough to want to cook my own food or make a brew, here’s what I use:

Stove
If on my own: Vango Compact gas stove if UTC canisters available (direct / Amazon*) or DIY beer can stove if not (viral how-to video with 3 million views). In pairs/groups or on long trips: Alpkit Koro if UTC canisters available (direct), MSR Whisperlite Universal if using liquid fuel (my review / Amazon* / eBay UK*).
Cookware
If on my own: either a MSR Quick Solo system (Amazon* / OutdoorGear.co.uk*) or just an Alpkit MyTiMug. In pairs/groups: an Alpkit AliPots cookset (direct).
Water Purification
Rarely necessary (if in doubt, boil or add iodine), but my filter of choice is the Sawyer Squeeze (Amazon*).
Utensils & Accessories
Spoon, traditional Opinel No8 folding pocket knife (Amazon*), airtight tupperware container, film canister of sea salt, English teabags, scouring pad, small bag of laundry powder.

Clothing

On long trips I usually wear whatever I’d leave the house in given the climate. This usually seems to consist of BAM T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts and shorts from charity shops, and zip-off trousers from TK Maxx or Decathlon.

On shorter trips I’ve been getting on very well with Polaris’ new touring-specific Challenge collection.

I then throw in whichever of the following items are relevant:

Waterproofs
dhb EQ2.5 cycling jacket (discontinued). I sometimes supplement this with a bin bag. I don’t bother with overtrousers. My legs just get wet. (Then they get dry again because I’m riding a bike.)
Sunglasses
Very basic £3.99 cycling sunglasses from Decathlon.
Down jacket
Big Agnes Shovelhead, which I was given in 2014 and could never otherwise afford.
Shoes
Generally light, non-waterproof hiking shoes, recently Salomon Goretex or cheap Decathlon. I always pack flip-flops.
Headwear
Various Buffs, depending on circumstances – UV protective, high-vis, visor, fleece, Union Jack. They’re stupidly useful. Helmet – sometimes, generic.

Tools, Spares & Accessories

Basic toolkit
Topeak Alien II multitool (Amazon* / Wiggle* / CRC*), Topeak Road Morph G hand pump with gauge (Amazon* / Wiggle* / CRC*), Park Tool GP-2 self-adhesive patches (Amazon* / Wiggle* / CRC*), Park Tool TL-1C tyre levers (Amazon* / Wiggle*), bog-standard puncture repair kit, small bottle of chain lube, strip of Gaffa Tape wrapped round seatpost, handful of assorted cable ties/zip ties attached to LHS seatstay.
Extended toolkit
Cassette tool (or NBT2), crank extractor, bottom bracket tool, adjustable spanner, 10/12mm hex key for Shimano freehub removal, strips of inner tube rubber, hose clamp, electrical terminal block. Read this article.
Basic spares
Innertube, chain links, brake shoes/pads, 3x spokes (rear driveside, rear non-driveside, front).
Extended spares
Another innertube, spare chain, gear cable set (inner/outer/ferrules), brake cable set, hub/headset/bottom bracket bearings, film canister of grease.
Other extended trip gear
MSR stove service kit if applicable.

Gadgets and electronics are a topic for elsewhere, as they’re even more dependent on personal preferences and aims for your tour.

Now go and read about why you don’t need any of this stuff.


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