Pictures of gravel paths winding through thick woods and off into the wilderness immediately get the bikepacker’s pulse pumping. (Adventurous bicycle touring on an off-road bike, with everything you need strapped to it, is dubbed ‘bikepacking’ these days.) To go bikepacking though you will need a specialised bag for your luggage: enter the The Rockgeist Wedge by US bikepacking bag-maker Rockgeist. It fits into your frame triangle without getting into the way of your drink bottle or legs. It will also, however, make a decent hole in your wallet.
An unwritten rule of bikepacking luggage set-ups appears to be something like “whatever happens, we will not mount a baggage rack because they don’t look cool”. This means that bikepacking bags have to be very well designed to fit somewhere else on your machine. Frame bags are a good example of this: they fit into the main triangle of the frame. A downside though is that you’ll have to be minimalistic with your stuffing, otherwise you will end up cycling bow-legged. Not cool.
You can customise the features while ordering The Rockgeist Wedge. The basic model costs $160, and if you add all the cool extra options — such as the zip divider, map pocket, flared front nose and top tube lace-up — they will raise the price to a not insubstantial $230.
Most of the Rockgeist framebags can carry a water bladder (a plastic sack with a tube that acts as a flexible drinking straw). The framebags include a hydration port, which is an opening for the drinking tube. The various options for additional dividers are also worth considering, as one of the keys to an enjoyable bikepacking experience is to have all your gear stashed in an orderly fashion.
Chaotic people will find themselves in trouble on the road if it’s raining heavily and they have to set up camp. If you already know where each piece of gear is, then you can get your tent up, a pot of coffee on the boil, and bed down in relative comfort. With bikepacking, especially if off the beaten track, the motto “failing to plan, is planning to fail” rings very true. And The Rockgeist Wedge could well help you to keep your gear dry and orderly — if you can afford it, that is.