Bicycle Touring Japan Gear List

Here is a list of the gear I used during my tour across Japan! I am not sponsored by any of these companies and I will give my honest opinion on them all. However, please note that there are affiliate links. Purchasing from an affiliate link does not cost you anything but I receive a small percentage of the sale. Using these links will help support my ability to maintain this blog.

I try to keep my set up relatively light, but I don’t worry about it too much. Before leaving I estimated my total weight (including the bike) at 34 kg / 75 lbs. After adding a bit over time, I’m guessing it’s around 36 kg / 79 lbs now.


Bike: Louis Garneau Beacon 9.0

This is a steel 26″ wheel touring bike that is only produced in Japan. It comes stock with fenders, a rear rack, and butterfly handlebars! I’ve used it as a daily commuter for a year and taken it on 2-3 week tours in Hokkaido and Taiwan in the past, and now 3 months across Japan. The only complaint I have is that the kick stand isn’t great when the bike is heavily loaded.

Wheels: Schwalbe Marathons (26″ x 1.75″)

So far I’ve had no problems with these tires. They are very comfortable and I’ve had no punctures yet, fingers crossed! Note that I probably would’ve gone with the Marathon Pluses, but I found these at a good price at a brick and mortar shop in Osaka so I purchased them there.

Pedals: CXWXC Road/MTB Pedals

I’m not going to lie to you, I didn’t do research when buying these, I just bought them because they matched the colors of my bike. That being said, I don’t have any complaints with them. They are on the heavier side for sure but they have worked out well enough for me through my tours so far!

Front Rack: Minoura FRP-3000

My bike didn’t have many options for front rack mounting points; I only have V-brake mounts. The Minoura FRP-3000 fits to the V-brake mounts and the thru axel and is very easy to install so it was the perfect choice for me. It is definitely heavy for what it is, but it is incredibly sturdy and has no problems carrying my gear.


Rear Panniers: Ortlieb Back Roller City

Front Panniers: Ortlieb Sport Roller City

Good waterproofing, durable, and large enough to carry all my gear. They aren’t as aerodynamic as a bikepacking set up, but they work well for me!

Handlebar Bag: Montbell Front Bag

A few days into my trip, I realized I needed a handlebar bag that would be easy to access for items I use frequently. When I saw this Montbell Front Bag used at a thrift store I thought it would be perfect. It’s water resistant but not waterproof, but it’s sturdy and much easier to get into than getting off my bike to open the panniers.

Frame Bag: Montbell Frame Pouch S

This is another bag I picked up at a thrift store for cheap during the trip. If I was buying something new I would probably go for the bigger size, but I couldn’t beat the price at the thrift store so I had to buy it. Currently I use it to store snacks for easy access.

Dry Bag: Montbell Light Dry Bag 10L

I put my tent in here and have it bungeed to the rear rack. It’s another product that’s probably only worth picking up if you are already in Japan. Its a dry bag and it keeps my tent dry!

Saddle Bag: Topeak Aero Wedge Pack Small

I use this to store all of my bicycle tools. It’s a very, very tight squeeze, but it just about gets the job done. Even when I’m not touring I won’t cycle anywhere without it just in case anything breaks I can do repairs in the field.


Tent: Naturehike Bikepacking 1 Person Tent

I bought this as a first tent because of how cheap it was and also because it isn’t super heavy. It’s worked so well for me that I’ve never felt the need to upgrade it. There are certainly bigger and lighter tents out there, but this fits me and my things and is light enough to not worry about. I think it would be difficult to beat the cost performance of this tent.

Sleeping Pad: Therm-a-Rest Trail Scout

This is another one that I originally bought because of how cheap it was and never upgraded. I found a good deal on it when I first bought it so it was a no brainer. It’s comfortable enough for me and keeps me warm enough at night. I’ve only used it in summer so far so I can’t say for sure how it will hold up if temperatures go down in fall.

Sleeping Bag: ECOOPRO Warm Weather Sleeping Bag

When they say warm weather they aren’t lying. I only take this bag when I know the nighttime lows will be above 50°F/10°C. It packs up small and doesn’t break the bank, so I do recommend it for a starting out bag if you are exclusively touring during summer.


Camera: Sony ZV-1

I chose this camera because of the size. It takes decent pictures and good videos and easily fits in my bags. Of course you will get better quality from something with interchangeable lenses, but for a tour I wanted something simple and easy. Many pictures I post on the blogs are from my phone, a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. Sometimes it’s just more convenient to whip out the phone for a quick shot!

Laptop: Razer Blade Stealth (2017)

I think that the Razer Blade laptops are all pretty good, but relatively expensive for what you get. I’m still using a 2017 model which works great for most things but it does has trouble with video editing. It’s light and easily portable which makes it great for bicycle touring. I think a newer model would be much better though.

Main Battery Pack: Silicon Power C20QC

It’s relatively lightweight and lasts long enough to charge my phone and watch a couple times. The best feature is that it can charge up to three devices at a time. Perfect for keeping my phone, watch, and bike lights charged at all times. I usually plug this in when I stop at convenience stores or whenever I can find an outlet, and it’s enough to always have a charge when I need it.

Backup Battery Pack: Anker PowerCore 5000

This is my backup battery for emergency use if I run out of power everywhere else. Ideally I won’t ever have to use it, but it’s there just in case. It’s very small and lightweight, and it’s Anker so I know I can trust it to work when I need it.

GPS Watch: Garmin Forerunner 35

I can’t actually recommend this product because the strap broke on me (albeit after years of use). Now instead of using it as a watch I attach it to my bike light to use as a pseudo bicycle computer. It lasts all day and records my progress which is really all I need. I just miss out on my heart rate now that it’s not on my wrist, but I doubt that it was very accurate anyways.

Repair Kit

Pump: Topeak Pocket Rocket Mini Pump

I love this pump. It’s very lightweight, it attaches to the water bottle cage so it takes up no space in any bags, and it works on all different kinds of valves. In Japan many tubes use “Woods” valves, and this pump works on those as well. It has worked for keeping the air in my tires topped up and repairing in the field on occasion and it feels like it would be bomb-proof. I definitely recommend this pump.


Pants: PrAna Brion Pants (x2)

These are my favorite pants I’ve ever owned. I wore these to work, I wore them hiking, and now I wear them cycling. They are very lightweight and comfortable, and they dry very fast. I own many pairs and wear them almost every day regardless of the situation!

Shorts: Montbell O.D. Shorts

To be honest, I don’t typically wear shorts, but I grabbed these before starting this tour because Japan can be extremely hot in the summer. They are nice, lightweight, and dry very quickly. They check all the boxes for touring clothes for me.

Jacket: Pearl Izumi Quest Barrier Convertible Jacket

I use this jacket in the bright yellow color. It’s good for visibility and wind, and okay for light rain. It’s not water proof and will get wet in a downpour, but it dries very quickly and will keep light rain away for the most part. If it’s hot you can turn it into a sleeveless jacket and stay visible.

Gloves: Pearl Izumi Elite Gel Gloves

If I don’t ride with padded gloves, my hands get a bit numb after long rides. While wearing these I’ve never had any issues. They are very comfortable and they aren’t hot at all. The only negative I have for them is that the color has faded a ton over time.

Helmet: Giro Register

I haven’t put this to the test yet and I hope to never have to!

Shoes: Brooks Ghost 14

I don’t use clipped pedals so I just wear regular running shoes because they are comfortable to me!

Other Clothes

Shirts: Moisture wicking T-shirts (x3)

Warm layer: Heat Tech Base Layer (x1)

Underwear (x4)

Pairs of socks (x4)

I don’t have exact links to all of these because there’s nothing special about any of them. It’s just what I found in my closet already.


Towel: REI Co-op Multi Towel Lite

It’s very lightweight and dries relatively quickly which is all I need. It has a neat little clip that makes it easy to hang up anywhere to dry. It’s no home bath towel, but it gets the job done!