Best Bikepacking Bikes: Tackle Rugged Terrain and Steep Climbs

Top picks for the best off-road and long-distance bikepacking adventures

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Bikepacking combines the thrill of camping or hiking with the rush of riding a mountain bike. You get to explore more places than you would when you are hiking on foot, while also keeping you fit. If you are looking for a great bike to explore the backcountry or a mountain range, consider any of the bikepacking bikes in our buying guide. 

  • Best Overall
    Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike
    Summary
    Summary

    An offroad mountain bike with a seven-speed index, a steel frame, and wide 26-inch wheels.

    Pros
    Pros
    The knobby tires maintain traction on both smooth and rugged terrain. Seat provides a comfortable, cushiony ride. Smooth mountain climbing. Easy to change gears. The disc brakes offer maximum safety.
    Cons
    Cons
    It comes with poor-quality bearings that may rust or break easily. The disk brakes may break under pressure.
  • Best Value
    Dynacraft Women’s Mountain Bike
    Summary
    Summary

    An affordable full-suspension mountain bike with a 21-speed index and 24-inch wheels.

    Pros
    Pros
    Features a quick-release seat post and has a comfortable padded saddle. It offers maximum control while riding. Smooth and comfortable handlebar grips. Durable alloy construction.
    Cons
    Cons
    Gears may rattle. Only available in one size. The bike may be a bit challenging to assemble.
  • Honorable Mention
    Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive
    Summary
    Summary
    A classic mountain bike with a hardtail frame and 27.5-inch wheels that can roll over rugged terrain.
    Pros
    Pros
    It offers maximum control and quick handling. Great traction on rocky terrain. Lightweight enough for trail explorations. It offers a wide gear range to move through hills. Incredible stopping power.
    Cons
    Cons
    Has poor-quality pedals. The chain may slip when changing gears on an incline. Can’t fit a larger tire size.

 Tips

  • It’s possible to change the saddle on your bike to one that can accommodate your luggage. You can also include aftermarket back and front luggage racks for your backpacking gear. 
  • You should always carry lubricating oil for your gears and chain system. If the chain is not well-lubricated, it’s more likely to slip off when going uphill or riding on wet surfaces. 
  • Confirm that your gear is strapped securely to the bike before you ride off. You don’t want to stop to pick up your items up off the road or, even worse, discover that you lost them somewhere along the ride.
  • For your off-road rides, get a high-quality backpacking bag that can hold most of your gear and last for long periods without tearing.
  • Do not leave home without basic first aid supplies. You are bound to get cuts, scratches, and other injuries on your trip.

FAQs

Q: Can I carry a tent on a bike?

A: You certainly can if you have a small tent that can fold into a small profile in its carry bag. However, carrying a tent may mean that you have to sacrifice carrying other gear like survival tools, clothes, drinks, or food items.

Q: Can I store some luggage on the frames?

A: It’s quite common to hook a water bottle on each side of the frame. You can also strap a compact cylindrical bag on a triangular frame. Just make sure not to attach so much luggage that you can’t pedal or maintain stability.

Q: Can a sleeping bag fit on a bikepacking bike?

A: You should skip out on foam sleeping bags and switch to an inflatable air mattress if you will be sleeping outdoors. Fold it into a small profile, and throw it in the luggage rack. Also, carry a hand pump to service both the mattress and your bike tires.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike. The bike has a set of comfortable tires that cushion you from a bumpy ride, and it’s suitable for all terrains. 

Consider the Dynacraft Women’s Mountain Bike for a more budget-friendly option.