BikePacking has always had such a great personal allure, with elements of cycling, camping, and self sufficiency I was extremely excited to get started. As usual I decided to dive in head-first by making a set of custom bikepacking bags for my Kona Red Zone which is a road/gravel bike that can fit 35mm gravelkings. However, as with all good adventure planning, about two weeks before my scheduled departure, and after more in depth research on the trail conditions and the consensus of the groups abilities for this upcoming trip, my Specialized Epic Carbon Comp FSR XC MTB seemed like the best option. Although it meant starting over with the design process, I was not disappointed with the choice as the primitive roads and single track trails would not have been fun or safe on a loaded carbon road/gravel bike with rim brakes and 35mm tires.
With a prototype made for the saddle bag I confirmed it would fit on my full suspension Specialized Epic mountain bike. Next I needed to create new designs and patterns for the frame bag, top tube bag, and handle bar bag. Aside from bike bags, I did not want to bring extra space-eating sleep gear like a tent or sleeping bag, so I also needed to design and make a hammock with a bug net and under quilt plus a hammock tarp for the trip. Below are some work in progress shots, with the finished items that successfully made it through 248 muddy miles, 21,216′ over 5 days which 4 were raining. More posts to come about my design choices and what I have learned and plan to improve on the bags for the next trip.