Having the “right” equipment on the road will save you time, money, and bring you more smiles. We spent hundreds of hours researching the absolute ideal devices/items for our tour. After one year we are still using these daily. Trust us, these devices/items simply work!
Below is our list of our most important devices/items on the road.
1. Satellite Messenger and Locator Beacon: Garmin inReach Explorer+
As you pedal out into a dessert, with your water for the next 5 days strapped onto your panniers, it’s comforting to know that you have an SOS button in your pocket.
The Garmin inReach Explorer+ is primarily used as an emergency device and to track and share our location with family friends back home. With unmatched satellite coverage, the Garmin gave us peace of mind.
We do not use the Garmin GPS to plan our route. There is the possibility for this however we prefer to use iPhone Apps.
- SOS response with 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center
- Able to send messages to loved ones via handheld device or through the official app.
- Track and share location with ease
- Includes compass
- Incredible battery life
- This would be the all-in-one device if we could incorporate turn by turn directions when route planning. But an iPhone app is 10 times better for planning those routes
- Does require the purchase of a monthly plan for all features to be activated
- SPOT Gen3 Satellite Messenger (lightweight version, limited functions. also requires monthly plan)
2. Camp cooking stove: MSR whisperlite universal stove
There is a plethora of options regarding stove, but when balancing cost, functionality, and fuel accessibility on international trips, then the MSR universal whisperlite is the perfect option.
As the name says, whisperlite, is incredibly quiet. If you have not owned a camping fuel stove before, you will be unaware of the ridiculous noise competitor stoves can make. Not want you want after you find that peaceful camp, tired from a long day of riding with heavy traffic.
- 3 Fuel capability canister fuel (white gas, kerosene, and unleaded gasoline)
- Self-cleaning Shaker Jet technology
- lightweight (0.32kg)
- heat varying control knob
- After a year, the draw-string-stuff-sack-bag it was sold in has torn through. minor issue
- Optimus Nova – Premium brand. You get what you pay for here.
- Jet Boil or MSR Pocket Rocket2 (gas cannister fuel only), ONLY if you’re planning a tour where finding gas canister fuel will not be a problem.
3. Powerbank/Portable Chargers: Zendure A5 Powerbank
A powerbank will be your best friend on the road. I initially trialed with a solar power panel, but due to the incredible charge to weight ratio that the Zendure powerbank offers, there is no need for solar charging. The Zendures greatest feature is its charge through capability, meaning you can charge your phone from the powerbank whilst the powerbank is charging itself. Perfect for when you arrive late, stop for a coffee or there are not enough charging ports for your phone, tablet and powerbank in the hostel. Simply hook it up and sleep easy.
The Zendure A5 Powerbank with 16,750 mAh of charge, (that’s roughly 5-7 iPhone charges depending on the model), means you won’t be getting stuck in the middle of nowhere without charge. With a weight of 320 grams you will notice this in your handlebar bag, but a MUST for us.
- Rugged design with a rubber shock absorbing belt
- Charge through capability. No need for more adapters.
- Dual USB ports for charging multiple devices.
- Yet to find a negative with this device. Performs every time
Anker PowerCore Portable Charger 15600mAh, (No charge through capacity)
4. Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot
Everything you need in a headlamp without ridiculous gimmicks. The Black Diamond Spot keeps things simple and practical. Most competitors headlamps require a training course to understand how to work them. The Black Diamond Spot headlamp is all you will ever need.
- Powerful and light enough to double up as cycling headlamp
- Easy to use
- Great low price for burn time and brightness
- Perhaps a rechargeable battery would be more eco-friendly
- Petzl Actik Core (rechargeable)
5. Camping Pillow: Exped air pillow UL
During your tour, you will spend 30-35% of that time on a pillow! Invest in a quality product. Sleep is your number one ingredient for a happy tour.
The Exped air pillow UL was the perfect solution. Lightweight, fast to inflate and simply comfortable. We recommend getting the Exped air pillowcase to remove the crinkling of the nylon against your face
- Adjust the air pressure to your liking
- Without the pillowcase the noise of the nylon in your ear will be disturbing. The separate pillowcase makes washing so much easier than other company pillowcases that have a sewed in felt surface.
6. Sleeping liner: Cocoon Silk MummyLiner
We sleep every night in our sleeping liners. Why?
Sleeping in your sleep liner will
- Keep your sleeping bag clean
- Be a great alternative in those warmer nights
- Bed bugs are a thing. Be careful when you decide to treat yourself to a hostel.
We recommend the Cocoon Silk MummyLiner as it is an absolute all-rounder in performance.
- dries quickly
- adds a large amount of warmth in winter
- breathes in summer to keep you cool
- most lightweight of materials in this range
- soft and beautiful against the skin.
- Extra care needed when washing silk. Gentlemen, that means no hot water when washing!
- The Friendly Swede Travel and Camping Sheet (cheaper alternative, synthetic fiber isn’t as comfortable as silk)
7. Cycle computer: Cateye CC-MC100W Micro Wireless
A cycle computer is not necessary but we all like to keep score! Counting your km’s and checking your speed on a roaring downhill is all part of the fun. But don’t get carried away with detail. On a long tour you will never use all the functions that these high-tech computers offer
Therefore, the Cateye CC-MC100W Micro Wireless is our pick. Trust us, after 1 year on the road, you will not want to be hooking up heart rate monitors or reading faulty altitude readings. Keep it simple and keep your eyes on the road and views, not your cycle computer!
- Easy to install
- Simple to use
- Extended battery life
- None, achieves all it set out to do perfectly
- RISEPRO Bike Computer, Wireless (cheaper option, waterproof, and cool design)
8. Phone holder/mount: Roam Universal Premium Bike Phone Mount
There are a million fake Chinese rip offs made from cheap plastic on offer. Spend just a few dollars more for a quality product.
Roam Universal Premium Bike Phone Mount is still going as strong as the day I bought it over 1 year ago. The custom rubber band is still in perfect condition and all springs and plastic mounting strong and solid.
- Will fit any phone up to 9cm wide. That includes all iPhone models!
- Mounted at any angle, horizontal or vertical
- Quick dismount and attachment
- No cons for this device. Have heard of many cyclists with sad stories from buying ridiculously cheap phone holders. Spend the extra two dollars!
- GUB Bike Phone Mount, if you don’t trust plastic, then this aluminum frame is a winner
9. XL Bicycle drink bottle cage: Ventura Alloy TALL Water Bottle Cage
Carrying water will be your number one concern when you reach mountain passes and are sweating through heat waves. Having large water carrying strong holders at quick access is a must.
After purchasing the strong Ventura Alloy TALL Water Bottle Cage, you will soon forget how amazing this cage is until you meet other cyclists with water bottles strapped to back panniers or held to the frame with hair ties.
- Solid design
- rubber clip to keep all bottles secure
- Adjustable clip for varying bottle dimensions
- Going strong and showing no signs of failing
- Topeak Modula Cage XL Water bottle Cage (less rugged and durable than our pick)
10. Specialised clothing: Icebreaker Merino wear
You will smell and sweat a lot on your tour. Icebreaker Merino clothing is an absolute must for any tour
- high breathability
- fast drying
- odor reducing
- Warm insulating underlayer
- moisture wicking (means that sweat is drawn away from the surface of your body, so you stay comfortable in all conditions)
- Its expensive, but we wouldn’t be on the road without it. Especially the socks!
- Woolly Clothing, another great merino wool company
11. Headscarf: The Buff
The most versatile piece of equipment/clothing we have. We use our buffs everyday for some of the craziest things. We love them, and they look rad.
- Use in both hot and cold environments.
- Provides extra comfort under the helmet.
- Used as a sleep mask in busy hostels.
- Doubles as a strong bandage in a time of need.
- Used to hold bicycles in place during long transports on a bus.
- We have even filtered sand out of water with it!
- Dusk mask in those polluted cities
- No negatives, there is a reason every bicycle tourer owns one!
12. Sunglasses: Alpina Pro Line S Way Vlm +
Your eyes are our most precious sense. Protect them from the elements with absolute quality. Your eyes will be subject to the intense sun, strong sand storms and those small rocks that speeding by trucks throw at you. This is the most important product of any bicycle tour, full stop! Buy quality!
The Alpina range has been our best decision. I selected the Alpina Pro Line S Way Vlm+ as the premium all-rounder sunglasses suitable for all conditions
- Great in both poor light and intense sunlight glare
- Durable, flexible frame
- Anti-fog technology (no clouding on those sweaty uphill climbs)
- Comfort, multiple adjustment angles, will fit any face
- Wrap around design to prevent stones, dust and sand intruding
- No negatives for these sunglasses. A MUST for your tour!
We hope you enjoyed our list, please feel free to comment or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for any further product information, happy to help!