by Garneau

Sojourn is a boutique company that designs and conducts extraordinary bicycle tours and active vacations for travelers with discriminating tastes. Luxurious accommodations, gourmet regional cuisine, and a talented team of experienced guides complements the exceptional natural beauty of each destination. In this post, Sojourn shares thier years of experience on how best to pack for a bike tour.


Deciding what to pack for a bike tour can be a daunting task. Pack too little and you might find yourself without that one item you really wish you had brought. Pack too much and you and your tour leaders will spend time lugging bulky luggage around.


This travel list is intended to be used as a reference guide for your planning and packing. 

Over time, you’ll determine what works best for you. At the very least, it should help alleviate some pre-trip anxiety about what to pack for your next bike tour.

Once you have assembled all of your items to bring with you on your bike tour. I suggest laying them all out on a bed to prepare for packing into your suitcase. The big space saver? Tightly roll your clothing! Yes, even socks and underwear. Once you start packing this way you’ll be amazed at how much you can fit in a standard carry-on suitcase. It’s also easier to find what you’re looking for in your bag without unpacking stacks of folded clothing.


  • Suitcase and Packing Bags – A standard carry-on suitcase and a briefcase or shoulder bag are the two main items we suggest for packing. Small packing cubes of varying sizes and colors help keep items organized and tightly packed.
  • Standard Size Rolling Carry-On Suitcase – Any style will do but the old two-wheel variety generally works best in our trailer during a bike tour. Having a couple of outside pockets helps for toilet articles that you may need to pull for airport screening. This style of suitcase sometimes can be found with a zipper that unzips to increase the size – perfect for the extras you might accumulate during your tour.
  • Small Carry-on - Your second bag could be a briefcase or shoulder bag, even a small knapsack. In this we suggest you carry anything you might need during a flight or if the airline requires you to gate check your suitcase.
  • Personalized Pedal Bag –Insert your pedals with the threads going opposite directions or stacked to avoid any potential damage to them in a personalized zip-lock bag with your name on it. Stick the pedal bag inside one of your cycling shoes or split them into two bags and stick one pedal in each shoe.
  • Footwear–Stick your shoes in soft shoes bags or plastic bags inside your suitcase. Stuff things like socks or sunglasses inside to save room.  
    • Cycling shoes are a must. Whether you clip-in or use stiff soled shoes, don’t leave home without them. A stiff soled shoe is far more efficient and less tiring than sneakers.  
    • Walking or off-bike footwear should be comfortable and useful for slipping out of cleated shoes, walking, or dinner. If you can, combine all three uses into one pair of shoes.
  • Cycling Socks (3 to 6 pairs) – Bright colored socks are all the rage these days for both safety and style. Whether you prefer longer or shorter socks, choose colors like bright yellow, white, or something that has a visibly bright pattern from the rear to enhance your visibility on the road.
  • Cycling Shorts (2-3 pairs) – Cycling shorts are one of the most important articles of clothing for your bike tour. It’s tough to recommend a particular style because proper cut and fit are such a personal consideration. Shorts should be snug but not restrictive, and the padding should be articulated in the proper places for your anatomy. Prior to purchasing, take the time to try on shorts or bibs that you are considering.
  • Cycling Jerseys (2-3) – Typically two or three jerseys work fine for a week-long tour. Cycling jerseys dry quickly overnight and can easily be washed and hung to dry during a trip so you really shouldn’t need more than three unless you are feeling the need to show off a different kit each day.
  • Accessories– We suggest a few key accessories for all trips though seasonality will somewhat dictate what to pack. These don’t take up much room but are key to comfort on the bike.
    • Arm Warmers – Great for those cool mornings before the fog has burned off. Pair them with a vest or under a wind jacket.
    • Glasses – Eyewear is very important for both protection and vision. Optics with an interchangeable lens system are best.
    • Leg Warmers – We prefer leg warmers to full length tights because they are easy to take on and off during a ride provided they have a zipper.
    • Gloves – One or two pair should be fine for a bike tour. During the spring or fall you might want to pack a pair of full-fingered gloves for cooler mornings or days.
  • Cycling Jackets & Vest – Outer layers are important for dealing with various weather conditions such as cooler temperatures, wind, or rain. A trim fitting jacket, preferably with rear pockets, is essential for furthering you enjoyment of your bike tour.
  • Cycling Rain Jacket – If you pack a rain jacket it won’t rain, right? There’s no bad weather there is only improper clothing. A nylon shell won’t keep you dry in a steady rain but a good cycling jacket made for rain will. Choose one that has pit zips and a mesh lining for the best breathability.
  • Small Drawstring Backpack or Knapsack - It is also important to bring a small, lightweight bag that you can toss in the van during the day while you are on your bike. That’s what the van is for, to carry your gear (and you if you’re so inclined). Items inside this little bag could be rain gear, a pair of shoes to slip on after removing your bike shoes, hat for off the bike, etc. It’s also handy to have a bag like this for longer walks along the coastal trail overlooking the Pacific. On the way home you can stuff your dirty laundry in it!
  • Miscellaneous Items– I’ve listed a few things you should also remember to pack.
    • Toiletry Kit - That’s it. No hair dryer. Curls do their work on their own and every place you stay will have a hair dryer and shower amenities as well. Stick all your liquids, gels, and creams (max 3.4 oz per item) in a clear plastic bag inside an exterior pocket of your suitcase to keep the folks at TSA happy.
    •  Phone charger - We know you won’t be working while you’re on vacation, right?!?! You may want to stay in touch with family or friends so slip it in.
  • Luggage Tags - Please place these on both pieces of your luggage so it’s easy for staff to manage your luggage during the tour. You will also need luggage tags in case the airline requests that you gate check a bag.
  • Casual and Off-Bike Wear – Think, mix and match, when you assemble your casual wear. One pair of slacks or a skirt that can be worn with a couple of different tops take up much less space than three completely different outfits. No one takes note of your dinner dress and whether you might have worn something similar a couple of nights prior, even in the Wine Country of California. My suggestions are based accordingly!
    • One pair of slacks or a skirt appropriate for evening meals.
    • Two linen or cotton tops to pair with slacks or skirt.
    • Sweater or jacket for cool evenings.
    • Scarf or simple accessories for women that can be paired with the two tops (above).
    • Pair of shorts for walking or hiking.
    • One or two casual tops or t-shirts.
    • Bathing suit.
    • Underwear (one pair for each day), sleep wear, casual socks (one or two pair).

This may seem like a massive list but it's cut down to the essentials so that you have what you need, no more, no less. With this in hand, you are sure to have your full checklist for your next (or first) bike tour trip. If you are interested in booking with Sojourn, let them know Garneau sent you.