How to carry stuff on the trails


Well-Known Member
Hi guys was wondering what kind of bag people use to carry stuff on the trails cross country ,like binoculars,camera,jacket,flask and other bits and pieces.

rear pannier
handlebar bag
ruck sack

was just wondering, had a rucksack today carry the wife's stuff and my own and it was a pain,was wondering what other guys use to carry there stuff.

any replies appreciated


Rucksacks could be dangerous. If you have large, solid or heavy objects in there and you come off, your landing elegance might be compromised. ;) That said, I was out today wearing one but there was nothing heavy in it (mostly spare clothes) and it's designed for cycling (so is held a few inches off the back to allow air flow).

When funds allow, I'll be getting a beam rack, like the first dozen or so on this page. They attach to the seat post, give a good secure mount for the dedicated panniers and, whilst they (such as this one) will only hold up to about 9kg, the bags themselves can be quite large. Because they attach to the seat post, they are pretty quick and easy to attach and remove, depending on your cycling needs of the day.

Handlebar bags are generally smaller but very convenient. If you can get the stuff you need immediately (camera and phone?) into one, then they are very readily to hand.


New Member
Beside the road
A lot depends on exactly what type of terrain your riding / how heavy the stuff is. Loading up either the front or rear WILL effect how the bike handles.

The question is just how uncomfortable is that rucksack and is a poorer handling bike worth having a lighter back for?

I used to carry my camera in a large saddle bag and sometimes have a flask in a bottle cage (strapped in). The other bits and pieces would go in a camelbak rucksack (or one of the many clones) which are quite comfortable even when loaded with tools + jackets.


Well-Known Member
thanks for the replys guys,I carry binoculars,camera,jetboil,jacket etc.I have a topeak saddle bag for tools, so the seatpost is taken up.Like the idea of the handle bar bag,but not too sure about the weight for control up front.Its mostly for forest tracks sightseeing with the wife,so not pushing it too hard.I have vaude panniers for my commuting bike,and thought about putting a rear rack on the mountain bike,was not too sure if the rack would cope with rough terrain.The brother inlaw bust the welds on his rack on rough terrain,so was basically looking at what options are out there,dont want to spend the wrong direction to only spend twice.


Steve Austin

The Marmalade Kid
I use a camelbak Mule, as do many of the MTBers i know. You might want a bit more space and the Blowfish might be enough.

weight on the body is easier to manage than weight on the bike ime.


East Lothian
I use a Camlebak HAWG, which is a bit bigger than the Mule, and is great for most things, most of the time I ride it's half empty, any bag on your back is a pain on a rod bike as you sit so much more stretched out, but in the more upright mtb position it's quite comfortable.


Über Member
a variety of different sized bum bags, obvioulsy one at a time depending on how much stuff I take (mini pump, toolkit, spare inner and small water bottle) or small to medium sized rucksck, with water bladder for longer outings to include waterpoofs, foods, flask, etc.

good point about falling off and hard items - didn't tink of that.


New Member
West Midlands
For me, anything bike mounted a) spoils the handling of the bike and :biggrin: is a complete pain if I have to carry the bike or lift it over a fence.

I use a smallish rucksack, bigger than a daypack, that has plenty of seperate external compartments so that I can put tools, camera (although this usually goes in a pocket for convenience), food, drinks, etc, etc into seperate dedicated areas - it's a PITA having to root through one big compartment to find the sarnies that have now been squashed at the bottom of the rucksack ;).
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