Tour Aotearoa Gear List (New Zealand)

Here is a list of the gear I’m currently using for the Tour Aotearoa route across New Zealand! None of these products are sponsored and I paid for all of them myself. All opinions are my own! 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 during future travels!

While I have tested all of this gear on local day rides, this is my first real “bikepacking” trip. Some of the equipment I’m using is the same as when I rode my bicycle across Japan, but some is new. For the new stuff I will add my opinions on each piece of gear as I ride! Before leaving I weighed my set up to be about 26 kg / 58 lbs (including the bike). Over time I expect to adjust everything when I see what works and what doesn’t.


Bike: 2020 Surly Troll

The Surly Troll is an off road touring bike. I purchased this secondhand in 2021, but didn’t get a chance to take it on a long trip before I moved to Japan in early 2022. It sat in my parent’s garage until I returned to the states. Now it’s time for the maiden voyage! Everything on the bike is the stock build.

Tires: Surly Extrateresstrial (26″ x 2.5″)

These roll pretty well on pavement and will hopefully be thick enough to handle the more rugged sections of the Tour Aotearoa.

Handlebars: Surly Moloko

To be honest I don’t initially love the Moloko bars, but it is really easy to strap stuff to. I might change these out on my next trip.

Pedals: ???

As I bought this bike secondhand, it already had pedals on it. They are some combination pedals with flats on one side and SPD on the other. They work well enough for me so I never bothered to replace them despite just using the flat side.


Handlebar Roll: Revelate Designs Salty Roll

Revelate Designs makes a harness that mounts to the handlebars that makes attaching and dethatching the Salty Roll a cinch. However, I just use some Voile Straps to hold it in place. This sacrifices some inside hand positions, but I tend to just use the outside grips anyways. I will keep my sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and stove in here.

Stem Bags: Moosetreks Stem Bags

These are basically knock-offs of Revelate Designs’ Mountain Feed Bags at less than half the price. I’m sure they won’t be quite as durable, but for the price they feel quite good! From my test rides I’m pretty happy with these. I will keep water in one and fill the other with snacks.

Fork: Tent strapped to a Salsa Anything Cage HD

My first impression on the Anything Cage is that it’s very solid. It easily holds my tent which gives me room to carry the rest of my stuff in my bikepacking bags while leaving space for food.

Top Tube Bag: REI Co-op Link Top Tube Bag

It’s not 100% waterproof, but weather resistant enough to keep out the rain. There are bigger top-tube bags on the market but I like having the combination of magnetic closure and zipper. I will put small items I want easy access to in here such as sunscreen and my camera.

Frame Bag: REI Co-op Link Frame Bag

Frame bags are very expensive, but I got this one heavily discounted. Many people complain that the zipper is hard to open and close, but I don’t mind it too much. I keep the things I need quick access to in my stem bags and top tube bag anyways. All of my miscellaneous things that don’t fit elsewhere will go in here.

Seat Pack: REI Co-op Link Seat Pack

This is another more budget friendly option for a seat pack. I love that it can store the tent poles in a pouch on the bottom and has . It isn’t 100% waterproof, but it comes with 2 water resistant stuff sacks which proved to be enough to keep your gear dry from rain. On top of the pack there is some shock cord that can be used to hold extra things or dry some clothes while riding. I will put all of my clothes in the seat pack.

Bottom Tube: Lunch Storage Tower from Dollar Tree

I had the idea of using a bottle cage to hold my tool kit, and when I saw this at the dollar store I had to pick it up. In the bottom section I have all of my tools and patch kit, while the top section perfectly fits a spare tube! I have serious doubts about the durability of this, so I’m ready to swap it to something more rugged on the fly.


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. There are more spacious and lighter tents out there, but this one is certainly sufficient. This tent has such a good cost performance that I don’t feel a need to spend an arm and a leg to upgrade.

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 isn’t the most comfortable pad out there, and it definitely isn’t the smallest packing. It’s next in line for an upgrade.

Sleeping Bag: ECOOPRO Warm Weather Sleeping Bag

This bag packs down very small, which is what I want with my bikepacking set up. However, it isn’t very warm. While cycling across Japan I used it in temperatures down to about 48°F / 9°C comfortably by sleeping in a few extra layers. This time I’m brining a down jacket so I expect to be okay down to about freezing temperatures if I layer up all the way.


Cooking Kit: Soto Amicus Stove Cookset Combo

While bicycle touring in Asia I never bothered with a stove because convenience stores were everywhere. On the Tour Aotearoa there are many remote sections, so I picked this up as a starter cook kit. The pots are a bit big but the price was right. I can always pick up a smaller pot down the road if needed.

Water Filter: Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System

Again this is something I never used in Asia but will need in New Zealand because many campsites don’t have drinking water.


Camera: Sony ZV-1

I chose this camera because of the size. It takes decent pictures and good videos and easily fits in my top tube bag. Of course you could get higher quality images from something with interchangeable lenses, but I’m trying to pack something light and easy.

Main Battery Pack: Silicon Power C20QC

It’s relatively lightweight and lasts long enough to charge my phone and watch a couple times over. 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.

Backup Battery Pack: Anker PowerCore 5000 / Generic 10,000 MaH Amazon Power Bank

These smaller batteries are backups for emergency use if I run out of power everywhere else. Ideally I won’t ever have to use them, but I have them just in case.

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 clip it to the straps on my handlebar bag 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.

Satellite Messenger: Spot Gen 4

Much of the Tour Aotearoa is in remote parts of New Zealand that don’t have cell service, so it is important to have a satellite communicator in case something goes wrong. This will track my progress live at the official Tour Aotearoa MapProgress page (look for Benjamin!) and gives me an SOS button in case of an emergency outside of cell service.

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.


Pants: PrAna Brion Pants

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 in daily life, even in summer. However, for cycling I want to stay as cool as possible. These are nice, lightweight, and dry very quickly. Note that I do not use chamois and just cycle in hiking shorts and pants.

Rain Jacket: REI Co-op Rhyolite

This worked for staying dry in some light rain I experienced on a test ride in Chicago leading up to this trip. Will it keep my dry in a pouring rain storm? Will it be too hot for the New Zealand summer? There’s only one way to find out.

Down Jacket: Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Jacket

I bought this in Japan and have used it as my main winter coat. This winter it kept me warm on walks in temperatures down to -5°F / -20°C (in combination with other layers), so I expect it to do just fine in New Zealand. It packs down pretty small.

Shirts: 2 Merino wool T shirts

Warm layer: Merino wool long-sleeve

Socks: 3 Pairs of merino wool socks

Merino wool is great for being antibacterial and odor resistant. This is just what I look for in bicycle touring and bikepacking clothes!

Underwear (x3)

Nothing special here, just basic underwear that dries quick and doesn’t have any seams that might cause extra chaffing.

Gloves: Pearl Izumi Elite Gel Gloves

I used these for a long time, but I lost them somewhere on my bicycle tour across Japan. They did me well enough that I bought another pair for this trip!

Helmet: Giro Register

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

Shoes: Brooks Ghost 15 GTX

I don’t use clipped pedals so I just wear regular running shoes because they are comfortable to me! These are also waterproof which I expect will come in handy.


Towel: REI Co-op Multi Towel Lite

It’s very lightweight and small, but it dries my body off just enough. 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!