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GB Divide Bikepacking Kit

05 September 2022

Review: Pete Meffan

Pete Meffan bikepacked the length of the UK on the GB Divide route. With space and weight at a premium, a few carefully chosen clothing items had to cover the wide range of weather and conditions he encountered. He shares his thoughts about what he took and how it worked.

I chose my clothing for this trip very carefully from Ground Effect's range. On any long bikepacking trip you are likely to encounter a wide range of weather conditions and as the saying goes 'pack for the worst and hope for the best'. To that end, high quality rainwear is always a non-negotiable part of my kit. I need my rain gear to do one thing and one thing only, keep me bone dry.

The Helter Skelters rain shorts have long been an essential for me and they do their job incredibly well. Being able to quickly whip them on over your shoes (without removing them) is an absolute game changer for me, as it saves you those crucial 5 minutes in a downpour to quickly get your kit on and keep dry.

The Storm Trooper was a new addition for me on this trip. I love the simplicity of this rain jacket. It's not out to give you hundreds of storage options and features. It’s there to keep you dry, and do that it does. In saying this, there are some very well thought out features that I grew to love over my trip.

  1. The single rear pocket functions as its own storage pouch with a clip. When not using the jacket I clipped the Storm Trooper around my aero bars for quick access. I stored my Helter Skelters inside this as well. A full rain 'grab bag', immediately accessible without rummaging around in your tightly packed bike bags (you can see it clipped under by bars in the picture below).
  2. The high collar stops water dripping down your neck and the hood fits perfectly under your helmet on the wettest of days, nice.

With weight and space a premium, items that carry out more than one function get a tick from me. The Storm Trooper worked perfectly as an extra layer when things got chilly whilst riding (I started every morning with this on for the first hour or so). I would sometimes take the Storm Trooper on and off multiple times per day. I got very good at quickly stashing it. These two pieces of kit negated the need for any arm warmers, leg warmers, a gillet or extra riding layers. To me this makes these two items bikepacking must-haves.

Bib shorts with pockets (so called cargo bibs), have become an absolute essential for my bikepacking. The Tournadoes are as comfortable as they come. They have slightly shallower pockets than I am used to, but after thousands of rough kilometres I can confidently say your iPhone isn't going ANYWHERE. As someone who films and photographs their trip constantly, I like to have my phone and cameras accessible at all times. My phone stayed rock solid on my right leg without exception. I can also report no saddle sores, no rubbing points and remarkably little odour over my trip. I washed these 2-3 times in a handbasin over 12 days. The merino's odour resistant properties proved invaluable.


For my tops I had a Rock Lobster and an Earl Grey Merino long sleeve tee. For the warmer weather down south the Rock Lobster was my choice. As I got into Scotland the Earl Grey became my daily top. The fit of both is true to my typical size and I was comfortable throughout. I did not use the Rock Lobster's rear pockets so much as I was wearing a backpack for the whole trip, but it’s always nice to have extra storage space. The Earl Grey was fantastic as a do-it-all riding top that also was great when dressing up for evening meals.