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  1. #1
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    Technique for Packing Top of Rear Rack

    I have a ground cloth, Thermarest (does not fold in half, just rolled up), tent, and down sleeping bag in a small stuff stack.

    Should any other things be put on the top of the rear rack?

    How do you arrange your gear on your rear rack? Any particular order? Do you use bungee cords or straps?

    Do you cover any of this stuff if it rains while riding?

    I will be using front and rear paniers.

  2. #2
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    I am able to fit my thermarest, tent and down sleeping bag (along with cooker, tools and spares, water, and clothes) inside my rear panniers. Keeps them out of the way, protected from the weather/trees. Plus you then have the option of then strapping something to the rear should the need arise.

    Then i use the front panniers for food and anything else i want quick access too

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately, my paniers are relatively small (older Tailwinds) and cannot fit these things in it.

  4. #4
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    I would put the tent and mat sidways, tent frontmost.
    Put the sleeping bag inside a drybag.
    Lash down with some strong elastic chord or some medium width road inner tube lengths.

    Tents are often packed wet so you dont want another bag.

    Grounsheet can be rolled around tent or mat or just put ontop.
    You have to experiment to se what works.
    I use the handle of a drybag to thread lashing through so my bag wont slip sideways

  5. #5
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    Someone said in another thread and I'm starting to agree with them, that straps are better. If you can get a bungee net or chord tight enough it will hold it fine, but with a decent amount of weight on there you don't want those things moving at all, which they will do a little bit no matter how tight you get a bungee. I'd get some tie downs, and pack the long cylindrical things horizontally. Even a small ratcheted tie would be nice.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    This is a method I've used for a long time and many miles without failure. The 2 small bungies are adequate for all conditions. They even hold well during a crash. Carry a couple of plastic grocery bags to store the wet tent or ground cloth in until you can dry it out.






    Tent, Therma-Rest, sleeping bag, ground cloth, and stuffable pillow go in rack pack.


    Different bike, different bag, different helmet, same old guy, same load, and same 2 bungie cords. Those 2 bungies have over 8,000 miles of loaded touring on them without any problems.



    This is the system my wife has successfully used for several years.
    Last edited by Doug64; 05-18-12 at 11:18 PM.

  7. #7
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    On long tours I carry a larger tent and strap it to the rack, everything else fits into my front & rear panniers. I break the tent into two small stuff sacks, fly in one, tent body in the other. Because tents can be wet and dirty, all my panniers stay cleaner and dryer. Waterproof Ortlieb's keep my down bag and thermarest nice and dry.

    Last edited by BigAura; 05-19-12 at 07:53 AM.

  8. #8
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    I have been really pleased with velcro for tie down straps. You can find it in .5" X 10' strips. Much more user friendly than bungees, imo.

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    Anyone using whoopie slings for tie downs?

    I just tie it all down lengthwise, doesn't look as nice as those rigs, but it does make for a compact package. I think racks should be longer to carry the top rack stuff. Like Arvon does.

  10. #10
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    Whoopi slings?
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenSproket View Post
    I have a ground cloth, Thermarest (does not fold in half, just rolled up), tent, and down sleeping bag in a small stuff stack.
    First, I think all thermarests can be folded in half before rolling up, even the very early ones. There may or may not be any advantage to it in your case, but you can fold them.

    When using panniers the only thing that I pack on top of the rear rack by choice is the tent. Other stuff goes there only if it doesn't fit in the panniers. I don't use a ground sheet these days but when I did I rolled it up with the tent. I roll the tent with the waterproof bottom on the outside so no need to try to make it more waterproof. It is fine even in a hard all day rain.

    I have always packed my sleeping bag inside.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I use straps and keep some adjustable bunjy cords for add on stuff. I have a small 3# tent that goes on top of the front rack, sleeping bag goes in the rear pannier, I have an older thermarest that goes in it's own bag on top of the rear rack.

    Aaron
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Waterproof your rack pack(s)with a garbage sack when the need arises. Not often. Tent should be seperated from other soft stuff in its own bag. Or in a pannier. I'm a fan of the cargo net, but bungies or straps are good too. Better I guess if a lot of gear is on the rack top.

    Yes, a Thermarest can be folded in half and then rolled. My full sized one is 8"x10" when packed.

    As your pannier space is limited, might be time to do some downsizing. From a weight/bulk standpoint, it's always time to downsize.

    Tour Easy.jpg
    Last edited by Cyclebum; 05-21-12 at 04:38 PM.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the suggestions and the pics.

    I was able to roll the thermarest in half and get it into a 6.5 liter (6.5X13 inch) stuff sack. Sleeping bag is in same size stuff sack. Will try to fit them into rear paniers.

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Beckman 'Needle works' bags, strap/buckle lock on mount,
    I have 3 straps running lengthways 2 thru outer edge loops sewn into the bags
    and 2 running a-thwart.. Bob sewed a couple buckles on as he sewed up the bags.

    I had an all enclosing raincover made up.. so the parked bike
    was not welcoming anyone else looking thru my stuff..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-23-12 at 08:52 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    First, I think all thermarests can be folded in half before rolling up, even the very early ones. There may or may not be any advantage to it in your case, but you can fold them.
    Heh. I swear I saw a user review of a Therma Rest Pro Lite 3 wherein the user complained that you had to have super-human strength to fold it in half and get it in the stuff sack after you had roll it up. Hello!

  17. #17
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    My general rule of thumb is that nothing wet or smelly goes into my waterproof bags. These items go in a mesh bag that rides on top. If I'm tight on waterproof bag space, then other items join those, like spare tire tubes, shower shoes, cook pot, anything that is water proof by itself. If it starts to rain, that mesh bag goes into a heavy duty garbage bag until the rain stops. All the rest of the time those items will dry out a bit, and certainly not mildew. Simple really.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    +1 on the folding Themarests I have one it's a pain in the butt to roll up and stuff sack it but it does save space. Anyway. Solo tent and 40 degree bag on top of the rack. Rack is a wide one Old-Man Mountain Red-Rock. I also have dry-bags for both the tent and sleeping bag so I don't care about rain. I strap the Themarest on the front Salsa rack with the tent poles. I use a strap for each dry bag pulled thru the rack and a bungee cord across the rack.I havn't lost anything as yet. The front panniers get the kitchen stuff plus whatever else. Rears are for clothes as they have built in dry bags inside each and the handlebar bag is for the other stuff I need to get to quickly. Keep the top load as low as possible and make sure it can't move around in case you have to do any out of the saddle time. I actualy saw a guy last year with a Thermarest strapped to the fork!!!

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