Packing Guide – Our Gear Laid Out For You

In 2019 we redesigned the Tailfin range to accommodate more riders, more styles and more bike adventures, but with all the choice now available it does pose the question – “which bikepacking setup is right for me?”

Here we show how our products work can with your weekend jaunt, round-the-world adventure, and your daily commute. Kit lists are given at the bottom of the page.

Which Rack?

Our racks are split very simply between those with side pannier mounts (X), and those without (S). The type of pannier rack that is made for you depends almost solely on its intended use, whether you’re riding for the weekend, or off for months completely self-supported. This blog gives some examples of the ways our racks can be used in different bikepacking scenarios.

Weekend Trip

1-3 days with hotel accommodation

Our S Series Racks and AeroPacks are not only designed for multiday, self-supported race events like the TCR. They’re also here for the club rider wanting to carry a few extra things extra on a Sunday ride, or the weekend warrior aiming to get from A to B with a little extra comfort and ease.

The AeroPack S is the lightest and most robust of our options due to the design of its integrated rack and top bag. The S Series Trunk Rack allows you to remove the Top Bag from the rack, trading a slight weight and price increase for added versatility. 

Below we see the AeroPack Carbon S filled with typical weekend essentials, for trips when the accommodation is waiting for your arrival at each stop, and camping is not on the agenda.

The added versatility of having a top opening bag also gives you the opportunity to pack down further when you’re only taking a few items for a day out, like a rain jacket or bike lock for example.

Lightweight Bikepacking

1-3 days completely self-supported

When you’re heading out with plans to sleep under the stars, the gear that you need to take can really mount up. Being able to carry it all behind you will increase your comfort levels on the ride, and the streamlined nature of the pack will even save you watts of power – really, it makes a sizeable difference (see our article ‘Do aerodynamics matter in bikepacking’ for more on that).

Racks that don’t have side pannier mounts can limit your carriage abilities, but with 20 litres of capacity in the Trunk Top Bag, you may find that this is plenty enough to suit your needs. Below the AeroPack Alloy S shows how it can easily pack away a change of clothes, a bivvy bag, and few extra essentials, without bulking out your riding position.

Longer Bikepacking/Touring Trip

More than 3 days, completely self-supported

Bikepacking/touring can mean different things to different people, from around-the-world tours, to long weekends in the countryside. Put simply, it’s when you need to carry more things than your normal topbag/frame bag will allow. Whether that’s because you’re heading out for a long trip and are aiming to be completely self-sufficient on your bike, or are simply looking to travel with a bit more luxury.

The X Series Pannier Racks have side pannier mounts and a removable top bag giving you ultimate space and versatility. The AeroPack X Rigid Seat Packs have the same side mounts but includes an integrated Top Bag, reducing weight and cost. 

The Trunk Top Bag has a 20 litres capacity, and each side pannier has 22 litres each side, giving you a massive 66 litres of available space in total, and 27kg of weight capacity to play with. Below, the X ONE Pannier Rack with SL22 Side Panniers, and the Trunk Top Bag. Enough gear to keep you going long-distance, without adding crazy-amounts of weight and bulk to your ride.

The Daily Commute

For those lucky enough to travel to work by bicycle, a decent pannier rack can make the journey a lot more fun. I should only need to mention the decreased weight burden on your spine and back muscles, and alleviation of ‘sweaty-back’ caused by rucksacks. Plus, our pannier racks fit all bikes, so you can travel to work on the bike you love.

The X Series Pannier Rack has the capability to carry one or two side panniers, with or without the Trunk Top Bag, giving you ultimate versatility for whether you carry a little or a lot when traveling between home and work. Below is the X THREE Pannier Rack with UD22 Ultra Durable Side Pannier.

Which side bags are best?

Our racks are compatible with pannier bags you may already own, you’ll need to add the third-party pannier adaptors to your order. Our bags though, as designed to work in harmony with the Tailfin racks, the stop-action cam lock system on the spine of the bags is the reason we guarantee a rattle-free ride when you use our kit.

SL22 Super Light or UD22 Ultra Durable?

The difference between the two bags is subtle, to begin with; both have been ultrasonically welded and so are 100% waterproof, and the capacity of the two is the same at 22-litres.

The distinction we make really is that the SL22 Super Light pannier bag is one of the lightest panniers on the market weighing in at 650 grams, and is designed for those who travel fast. The UD22 Ultra Durable pannier bag is the more robust of the two. Constructed with thicker, tougher walls, its Hypalon construction means it will stand up to more of a rough ride. It’s suited to those who want to take their ride off-road, it also features a waterproof external pocket, and weighs in at 800g. 

A Rack For Every Adventure…

There is a reason the X Series Pannier Racks are our best sellers. Versatile enough to be used in all situations, they allow you to do almost everything you want on the bike you love the most.

Up to 66 litres of bag space ensure you have all the capacity when you need it, removable side panniers and top bags allow you to travel light when you don’t.


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Riding Style

For more on the different products we’re producing, check these articles out:

Tailfin Product Guide

Tailfin in 2019 – Designing the New Range