I need to take a backpack with me that's literally wider than my body and about as tall as my torso and neck, it weighs around 15-20kg.

What I'm concerned about is roads that aren't so good or places where I might even need to go offroad (I don't know) as well as be essentially having less mobility and being wider.

I'm going to travel (mostly on my bicycle) through various countries, which includes central European countries as well as northern countries, including their northern parts (so northern Sweden for example).

I'm low on budget though, keep in mind, so it isn't going to be something super fancy. Do you think a trailer will be my best option, and if not, what kind of attachment is?

  • Are you trying to carry everything that you need for your trip in one backpack? Or does it contain some specialist equipemnt that can't be broken down into panniers. Could you ship stuff ahead and pick it up en route as required? – ilikeprogramming Sep 7 '16 at 8:39
  • I'm on very low budget and I'm not going someplace specific, just traveling through countries,so shipping isn't an option .add for panniers, I'm going to do some hiking add well and I don't want to detach front and back panniers every time I walk into a store to buy water or food... Other than that, yes, a tent and sleeping bag are unlikely to for into panniers. Also I'm not sure if they would be big enough in the first place - I use a 55l backpack + sleeping bag, pad and tent attached to it. – Tom Sep 7 '16 at 10:26
  • Decent backpacking/biking versions of tent and sleeping bag can easily fit into a pannier or be strapped on top. I've done several 500-mile trips with such an arrangement. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 7 '16 at 11:28
  • Well, I'm buying a sleeping bag rated for very low temperatures so I cannot change that, it's the only I found. As for tent - yes, I'm still looking for a smaller one. But basically, trailer would make it difficult and less enjoyable to ride, attaching backpack would make me unstable and using fanniers would only make it as if I was 20kg heavier, correct? – Tom Sep 7 '16 at 17:04
  • Consider cutting down your kit. Could you replace any of it with lighter equipment? – Mark W Nov 14 '16 at 14:37

From your other question - your budget for the bike was 300 euros. You'd spend that much on a trailer alone.

Trailers more than double your rolling resistance, and increase your windage area a lot. Riding long distance with a 2 wheel trailer is unpleasant.

You might build your own trailer, there are many plans around the web for this, using a square of metal or timber, two wheels and either a seatpost or a rear-axle hitch.

Another possibility is a single wheel trailer, which carry a bit less but are more useable on singletracks and narrower roads.

Making a trailer with a locking bin could solve your security problem, but it still needs locking closed and locking up to something when unattended.

In order of preference, top of the list would be front and rear panniers, then a frame bag, then a trailer, then a rear rack with your pack on it, and lowest on the list is a backpack on your back.

  • 2
    Unless you already have a well equipped workshop you'd probably be able to find a 2nd hand trailer for less than the cost of the materials to DIY one, even assuming the need to replace some parts. In fact many DIY cargo trailers start from a child trailer chassis. – Chris H Sep 7 '16 at 15:45
  • Please read my comment above to my original post. – Tom Sep 7 '16 at 17:05

You might be able to get a rear rack to take the pack on one side, with the tent and everything else on the other. I've seen a Czech guy touring with that setup and he seemed to have been doing it for a while (you don't get to the middle of the South Island without riding for a while). He was in Aotearoa and did not seem to speak any English at all, but I have this photo:

cheap touring bike with DIY backpack carrier (via mozbike)

Note that his bike also seems to be a cheap one, but he's had access to a welder to make up the pack mount/stand.


I've ridden with a pack that big weighing much more in my younger days (it was full of beer bottles and a struggle just to lift) It's no fun to ride and you have to be very careful because it changes your balance a lot. I actually fell down sideways getting off the bike.

Your cheapest option is a back rack, sit it securely on that directly behind the seat and it won't be as high, plus you can use it as a backrest. Everything else I see suggested here is doable, but costs much more money.

You'll soon get used to the balance issues and 20 kg + isn't that much.

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