I interviewed 9 bike tourers and asked "What’s Your Luxury Item On Tour?"

Luxury Tax: pay $75.
Then add your luxury item to your bike touring gear and carry it thousands of km’s. Just like Monopoly, luxury really does cost on a bike tour. 
A loaded bike is harder to push up hill, so each of our belongings takes extra consideration. Experienced bike tourers put thought into our non-essential items, and maybe shell out a little extra to buy them. So what are experienced riders letting weigh them down while on tour?

What is Your Luxury Item

I asked 9 experienced bike tourers “What’s your luxury item?”. You can fill out the survey here.

What are we allowing to weigh us down, yet helps us get to the next campsite? Here are the answers.

1. Double Kickstand

Dropping any bike, let alone a fully loaded touring bike, is tragic. Paint gets scuffed, vegetables get smushed and shifters get dinged. The solution? An extra kickstand to keep the bike level when parked.

2. A warm cup of coffee

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, but that doesn’t make it easy to enjoy one camping or on a trail. Packing the right equipment to warm yourself up a cup-a-joe is critical, especially on a cold or early day.

3. Thermarest/chair

chair picture
Camp chairs on bike tour is a popular guilty pleasures. There’s no doubt comfort is king after (and during) a long days ride. And when wild camping, at a camp site without a table or sitting fire-side, these are always handy.

Get list of the top 3 lightweight chairs for bike touring, Click Here for a FREE guide

4. Solar Panel

The first person I met bike touring with a solar panel was Bill. Unmistakable, the dark grid was dutifully  strapped over his panniers on the back. He seemed to like it, and his phone was always charged.

5. Perishables

Perishable food
Get your veggies! Memorable camp meals are made fresh, so stop frequently at the local market!

6. Bluetooth Speakers

Bike tourers love their jams, and bluetooth speakers are essential items on the trail and at camp. Charge them while riding in your handlebar bag, then let ‘er rip!

7. iPod

iPod and headphones
Is it safe to ride with headphones in? One way or the other, we see riders doing it all the time. What better time to get a few episodes of Pedalshift or spanish lessons in?

8. Film Camera

Relics of a bygone era made the cut. It might be beacuse their digital relative DSLRs are see as essential.

9. Espresso maker

Espresso maker
Back to coffee. So important.
In most cases, luxury is a line to be drawn by us, and one bike tourers luxury might be another’s necessity. That fine line between luxury and essential is further explored online.


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What are bike tourers saying on Facebook and Reddit?

The conversation continued on Facebook and Reddit about luxury items for bike touring. From the comments, tourers mostly agreed with my 9 riders above, and there’s also a discussion about what is essential and what is luxury.
Here are some items that ride that edge between necessary and luxury. That means some bike tourers don’t ride without some of the following:
Surly dynamo

  • Dynamo hub
  • Physical books
  • Sketch book
  • ebook
  • Tablet/Phablet/iPad/iPhone
  • Chocolate
  • Beer/wine
  • Fresh eggs
  • Pillow

And, depending on the conditions of your trip, you’ll want to seriously consider:
Extra thermarest
Extra jacket
Hot booties
Mosquito net/spray
Electric fan
Hiking boots
Many thanks to the participants of the Tasis Bikes tester survey Jack, Tim, James, Zsolt, Tyler, Dan, Jack, Katherine and Paul! And shout out to Facebook and Reddit bike tourers, all legends.
Many riders I've spoken with want more information on the best brands of camping chair for bike touring, so I created this list to answer the question. Feel free to follow the link below and enter your email address to see the list.

Click Here for a list of the top 3 lightweight chairs for bike touring

What's your luxury item? Leave a comment below if there's anything I've missed on the list. For more from Tasis Bikes, please join the Tasis Bikes Insider Update mailing list.

Watch Sea To Sky, A Short Bike Tour Film

Get instant access to watch Sea To Sky by entering your email address. The movie is a bike touring short film, taking you from Vancouver up the Sea To Sky in the Squamish valley. The film feature FAT WRAP, and independent bike touring product.

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1 comment

  • Has to be a short wave radio so I can get the BBC World Service wherever I am and thus am able to get the football results

    • TOm