The 10 Best Rear Racks for Bicycle Touring and Bikepacking

The Short Version

The Long Version

Racks are one of the most likely components to fail on a bicycle trip. The good news is that when you pick the right rack, you almost certainly won’t get stranded in the middle of nowhere. The best rear racks will last a lifetime, so invest once and get it right – and you’ll never have to do it again.

To start, it’s crucial to consider which models will fit on your bike. Some racks attach only via dedicated rack eyelets on the rear triangle of your frame. Other racks have ‘fit kits’, making them almost universal.

Some racks have very high weight capacities, so if you are planning on an around-the-world trip, a rack with a high capacity and stiffness will be the go (you never know when you need to strap a couple of gallons of water to your bike).

We will also be showcasing lots of lightweight racks, heavy-duty racks, and racks that fit wide tires.

Need To Know What To Look Out For?

A selection of the best rear racks to choose between.

To learn about the key features of racks along with specific details to look for, check out the Buying Advice section at the bottom. This includes lots of handy information to assist you in making the right purchase choice.

Jump to Buying Advice

The Best Rear Racks

Tubus Logo Classic

Best Rear Rack Overall

Price: $185 ($$$)

Weight Capacity: 57.3lbs / 26kg

Rack Weight: 1.38lbs / 630g

Tire Clearance: 29 x 2.35″


1. Panniers hang lower for extra stability
2. Tubus 3-year mobile warranty
3. Great heel clearance


1. It won’t fit ultra-wide tires

The Tubus Logo Classic is perhaps the most well-regarded rack in the world, in fact, the author of this website has used Tubus Logo racks for over 100,000mi (160,000km) of touring around the world!

The steel Logo is built narrower than most racks and hangs your panniers one level lower; lowering the center of gravity and improving your bike’s stability. These dedicated pannier rails additionally provide clearance above the panniers for a dry bag, or “rack pack” on the top platform.

If your bike frame has short chain stays, or you have big feet, the Logo puts your panniers extra far back to gain heel clearance. This makes the Logo great for gravel bikes that tend to have shorter chain stays than usual.

The rack comes in two different sizes: one for 26″/700C wheels and one for 27.5/29″ wheels. If in doubt, simply go for the Logo 29 model (it’s an inch taller). We have fitted 27.5 x 2.6″ tires into the Logo 29 rack with enough clearance on either side.

Here’s the cool thing about Tubus – they make racks, and that’s it! They have been rack specialists for over 30 years, and are so confident in their product that they back all their racks with a 3-year mobile warranty. This means that if you experience a failure within the first three years of use, Tubus will ship you replacement parts anywhere in the world. That’s unbeatable peace of mind for a bike traveler, and it’s followed up with a 10-year regular warranty.

You can fit the Tubus Logo to some bikes without rack mounts. If your rear wheel axle is quick-release, you can use the Tubus Adapter Set for the lower mounts, and a Salsa Rack Lock seatpost clamp for the upper struts.

Tubus Logo Classic BlackTubus Logo Classic SilverTubus Logo 29 Black
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Old Man Mountain Divide

Best For Full Suspension Bikes

Price: $168 ($$$)

Weight Capacity: 70lbs / 31.8kg when axle-mounted

Rack Weight: 2.1lbs / 960g

Tire Clearance: 29 x 3.0″


1. Works on virtually any bike
2. Tire clearance for fat tire bikes (3.0 to 4.6”)
3. Height adjustable


1. Hard to work out which fit kit is correct
2. It’s on the heavy side

What sets the Old Man Mountain rack apart is its adaptability. Unlike traditional racks, its compatible with a wide range of bikes including full-suspension bikes. The innovative attachment system means you don’t need rack mounts, making it incredibly versatile and easy to install.

This rack’s solid construction guarantees stability under heavy loads, and the low pannier rails and height adjustability keep your bike feeling nimble over rough terrain thanks to a reduced center of gravity.

The Old Man Mountain Divide has a notably spacious platform on top to cinch down an extra large dry bag. It’s one versatile rack that provides ample flexibility for your next off-road adventure.

There are two models to choose from. The Regular will suit tires up to 3.0″ wide, while the Fat is designed around tires between 3.0″ to 5.0″!

The only notable downside is that with so many fit kit options, it can be a bit complicated to figure out which one to order. Make sure to check out the Old Man Mountain website, which will help guide you through the steps.

Old Man Mountain Divide (3.0″)Old Man Mountain Divide Fat (5.0″)
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Tailfin Carbon Rack

Best Carbon Fiber

Price: $465 ($$$$$)

Weight Capacity: 59.5lbs / 27kg

Rack Weight: 11.8oz / 335g (with pannier mounts fitted)

Tire Clearance: 29 x 2.9″


1. Very lightweight and durable
2. Great for small bike frames
3. Very cool design and bag ecosystem


1. The price is very high

Tailfin’s unique ultralight racks have brought a new perspective to bike travel.

Their modular packing system is based on a lightweight rack that is compatible with 99% of bikes on the market. The mounting design lets you attach a rack to your seat post and thru-axle (or via traditional threaded rack mounts if you have them). Once you initially install the hardware, you can then take the rack on and off in seconds.

A Tailfin rack can be used to mount any of Tailfin’s extensive line of specially designed panniers and bags – we especially like the Tailfin AP20 Trunk Bag and various panniers. Alternatively, if you already have a favorite pannier set, you can fit them too with the right adapters.

There is great heel clearance on this model, and it’s full-suspension compatible thanks to its special pivot design. In addition, it can clear wide off-road tires to the tune of 26×4.0, 27.5×3.5, and 29×2.9.

If you like this rack concept but the carbon model is too expensive, a heavier alloy version drops the price by a third, and offers cargo cage mounts for additional bag options. A cool thing is that Tailfin products are designed to be modular, so if you initially purchased the alloy rack you can later buy carbon arch and top stay, and switch over to a lighter rack.

Tailfin Carbon RackTailfin Alloy Rack
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Ortlieb Quick Rack

Best For Easy Take Off

Price: $100 ($$)

Weight Capacity: 44.1lbs / 20kg

Rack Weight: 1.2lbs / 580g

Tire Clearance: 2.35″


1. Seconds to take on or off
2. Fits 99% of bikes
3. Ortlieb quality and compatibility


1. Limited weight capacity
2. Might not be a long-term rack solution

Ortlieb is synonymous with rugged bike travel thanks to their durable panniers that have been a bike travel staple for over 40 years. Recently they have brought their German engineering and durability to the lightweight bike rack market.

The Ortlieb Quick Rack quickly transforms whatever bike you have into a bike for short tours or around-town errands. Similar to the Tailfin, it fits 99% of bikes on the market, and once you do the initial hardware attachment, it takes just seconds to fit or remove the rack.

There are two versions of the Quick Rack. The regular model has a platform on top if you want to cinch down a dry bag or fit a “rack pack”. If you are only using panniers, the Quick Rack Light will be the go. It eliminates the upper platform, which reduces the weight by 5.3 oz (150 g).

The Quick Racks are also compatible with Ortlieb’s vast line of panniers. It’s important to remember that this rack isn’t a replacement for a permanent rack, and it’s vital to stick to the weight capacity, or you can risk damage or breakage.

Ortlieb Quick Rack (Platform)Ortlieb Quick Rack Light (No Platform)
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Tubus Vega Classic

Best Minimalist Rack

Price: $150 ($$$)

Weight Capacity: 55lbs / 25kg

Rack Weight: 1.2lbs / 540g

Tire Clearance: 2.35″


1. Excellent strength-to-weight
2. Extra ground clearance for panniers
3. Tubus 3-year mobile warranty


1. No lower pannier rails

The Tubus Vega is the sleeker and lighter alternative to the Logo (featured above). By omitting the lower pannier rails of the Logo, the Vega can be built lighter while maintaining a very respectable load capacity.

Built on Tubus’ legacy of engineering, the Vega exemplifies reliability, making it an ideal choice for moderate loads. Whether you opt for a dry bag on top of the rack, panniers, or both – the Vega accommodates the usual gear configurations with ease.

As it uses the upper platform of the rack for mounting panniers, you get some extra ground clearance compared to other racks for navigating challenging terrain.

The rack comes in two different sizes: one for 26″/700C wheels and one for 27.5/29″ wheels. If in doubt, simply go for the Vega 29 model (it’s an inch taller). We have fitted 27.5 x 2.8″ tires into the Vega 29 rack with enough clearance on either side.

Like all Tubus racks, if you experience a failure within the first three years of use, Tubus will ship you replacement parts anywhere in the world. This is unbeatable peace of mind for a bike traveler!

You can fit the Tubus Vega to some bikes without rack mounts. If your rear wheel axle is quick-release, you can use the Tubus Adapter Set for the lower mounts, and a Salsa Rack Lock seatpost clamp for the upper struts.

Tubus Vega Classic 26″ or 700C BlackTubus Vega Classic 29″ Black
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Tubus Airy

Best Titanium Rack

Price: $399 ($$$$$)

Weight Capacity: 57.3lbs / 26kg

Rack Weight: 12.7oz / 360g

Tire Clearance: 700 x 47mm


1. Extremely lightweight and strong
2. Scuff-free and sleek design
2. Tubus 3-year mobile warranty


1. Very expensive
2. Only comes in one size
3. Narrow tire clearance

The Tubus Airy boasts an irresistible coolness factor, proudly holding the title as the pioneering titanium rack in the market. Its titanium build strikes an impeccable balance between featherlight design and unwavering durability.

Despite its remarkable lightweight nature, the Airy stands strong and is capable of handling impressive loads. It’s rated to carry 57.3 lbs (26 kg) while tipping the scales at a mere 12.7 oz (360 grams). Yep, it can carry 72 times its weight!

For those meticulously counting every gram yet wanting the flexibility to use any type of pannier (or secure a dry bag on top), this rack fits the bill perfectly.

Moreover, any travel-induced scratches or blemishes on your Airy can be easily buffed out. This makes the Airy not just strong but forever new-looking.

You can fit the Tubus Airy to some bikes without rack mounts. If your rear wheel axle is quick-release, you can use the Tubus Adapter Set for the lower mounts, and a Salsa Rack Lock seatpost clamp for the upper struts.

Tubus Airy Titanium
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Tumbleweed Mini Pannier Rack

Best Rack For Cargo Cages

Price: $139 ($$$)

Weight Capacity: 66lbs / 30kg

Rack Weight: 12.7oz / 660g

Tire Clearance: 29 x 3.5″


1. Wide tyre clearance
2. Cargo cage mounts
2. Large upper platform


1. The pannier support area is small
2. Only comes in one height
3. No universal fit kit

As the 2020 Bikepacking.com Gear of the Year Award recipient, this rack stands out as an excellent choice for adventure cyclists – this steel rack can withstand proper off-road terrain.

The steel Mini Pannier Rack has triple boss mounts on the legs so you can mount cargo cages, or water bottle cages with expandable capacity for trips like the Baja Divide. The platform on the top is generously large (12″ x 5″), which will be perfect for cinching down an extra-large dry bag.

Despite its versatility, the Mini Pannier Rack isn’t for everyone – it’s best paired with mini bikepacking panniers that match the small surface area of the rack. You will also have to have threaded bosses on your frame to mount this rack (it’s not thru-axle compatible).

It’s worth noting there is another Tumbleweed rack model called the T Rack, which is an extra-minimalist version that’s not intended to fit panniers. Instead, you will be using cargo cages for your luggage on the sides, and the top platform will be a great substitute for a bikepacking seat pack.

Both racks have notably large tire clearance for up to 26 x 4.75” or 29 x 3.5″.

Tumbleweed Mini Pannier RackTumbleweed T Rack
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Surly Rear Rack

Best Bombproof Rack For Very Wide Tyres

Price: $155 ($$$)

Weight Capacity: 80lbs / 36kg

Rack Weight: 2.78lbs / 1.26kg

Tire Clearance: 29 x 3.0″


1. Over-the-top bombproof construction
2. High maximum weight capacity
3. Height adjustable design


1. Heavier than most racks

On the hunt for an ultra-durable rack with wide tire clearance? Look no further. The Surly rear rack is the epitome of robustness, boasting an impressive maximum weight limit that embodies Surly’s reputation for durability.

What distinguishes the Surly Rear rack from Tubus options is its height adjustability. This feature ensures compatibility with various tire sizes and also helps keep your weight and center of gravity as low as possible for improved stability.

This steel rack comes in black or silver and tips the scales at almost three pounds making it the heaviest contender on our list. However, keep in mind its 80-pound (36kg) weight capacity surpasses most bike racks – your legs will probably give out before this rack does.

Surly Rear Rack BlackSurly Rear Rack Silver
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Tubus Grand Tour

Best Bombproof Rack For Wide Tyres

Price: $255 ($$$$)

Weight Capacity: 88lbs / 40kg

Rack Weight: 1.68lbs / 760g

Tire Clearance: 29 x 2.35″


1. Highest maximum weight capacity
2. Panniers hang lower for extra stability
3. Tubus 3-year mobile warranty


1. Quite expensive
1. You need rack mounts on your frame

The ultimate round-the-world touring rack is the Tubus Grand Tour. This steel rack has the highest weight capacity of any rack here, and all in a package that’s 40% lighter than the Surly Rear Rack!

There are finer details on the Grand Tour that make it a bit more expensive too, such as the lower mounting points (3D printed) that do not require any additional spacers, even with disc brakes.

Your panniers will sit nice and low on the Grand Tour as it uses dedicated rails, keeping your center of gravity in check.

Like all Tubus racks, if you experience a failure within the first three years of use, Tubus will ship you replacement parts anywhere in the world. This is unbeatable peace of mind for a bike traveler!

We would award this rack the best overall, but the Logo Classic simply offers better value for money.

Tubus Grand Tour Black
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Ibera RA5 Rack

Best Budget Rack

Price: $50 ($)

Weight Capacity: 55lbs / 25kg

Rack Weight: 1.68lbs / 760g

Tire Clearance: 29 x 2.6″


1. Wallet-friendly price
2. Height adjustable
3. Has pins to stop the panniers from sliding


1. Best for around-town and light touring

The Ibera might be a budget-friendly pick, but it doesn’t miss out on any features.

It’s height adjustable and has lower pannier rails to can keep the center of gravity of your panniers nice and low. The pannier rails are also set further back, which means it will offer excellent heel clearance.

In addition, this rack has clearance for seat stay disc brake calipers and has pins on the rack so that your panniers won’t slide on the rails.

The Ibera RA5 is not a rack for long-term heavy-duty use though – it’s built to a price. If you are planning a long trip, the extra money spent on a more durable rack will be well worth it.

It’s important to keep in mind that there’s a plethora of budget bike racks out there for even cheaper, but inexpensive racks very rarely last the distance. The Ibera is the cheapest model we are comfortable recommending.

Ibera RA5
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Rear Bike Rack Buying Advice

Rack Material

Eurobike 2017
This Hilite touring bike uses a titanium Tubus Airy rack, keeping the bike weight down to 20 lbs (9.2 kg)!

Steel – Most of the racks on this list are made of steel. Steel provides a great nexus between durability, load capacity, and weight – all at a reasonable price point.

Aluminum – This material is a hit-and-miss for racks. The best aluminum racks are very stiff, very durable, and will last a lifetime. However, far too many rack brands use aluminum that is too soft (or they forgo durable surface treatments), resulting in failures and giving the material a bad name. Needless to say, we have picked out durable aluminum models only.

Carbon Fiber or Titanium – If you want a particularly lightweight setup or have an eye on aesthetics, titanium or carbon fiber racks could fit the bill. Even though they are made from lightweight materials, the racks on this list won’t sacrifice durability one bit. That said, you will be paying for this pleasure.

Attachment Style

Threaded frame mounts – Ideal for most touring and bikepacking bikes.
Axle-mounted rack – Nearly universal but you will also have to fit a special new axle.
Seat post – Easy removal and nearly universal.

Threaded Frame Mounts – Threaded frame eyelets are the most common way to fit a rear rack. In the past, these mounts were the only way to attach a rear rack – now, there are many other solutions.

Axle Mounts – Not all bikes have lower frame mounts. Mounting a rack directly to the axle is a great way to maximize the weight capacity of a rear rack as it allows for a very stiff structure. The Tailfin and Old Man Mountain racks are great examples of axle mounts done right, and Tubus racks can be attached via the axle using a special mounting kit.

Seat Post Mounts – Some racks employ special quick-release clamps that will lock on the seat post. This allows for the easy attachment and removal of a rack – the Ortlieb and Tailfin racks are prime examples. It’s worth noting you can also mount most racks to your seat collar – Salsa makes some nice collars with built-in eyelets.

Seat Stay Mounts – These upper mounts connect directly to the seat stays of the frame, and will work on full-suspension bikes.

Weight Capacity

The Tubus Grand Tour has the highest weight capacity of any rack here – 88lb/40kg. Image: Velotraum Bikes

Sticking to the weight limit set by the manufacturer will ensure your rack lasts a lifetime. If you do exceed this limit, it’s much more likely your rack will bend and break, especially on rough roads.

Even if you don’t plan to exceed the manufacturer’s limits, higher-weight capacity racks are significantly stiffer (with less side-to-side sway) and will be more reliable in the long term.

Tire Clearance

The Old Man Mountain Divide is designed specifically to clear very fat tires. Image: Old Man Mountain

You will need to make sure your rack can comfortably fit your tire width. This is especially important if you’re riding off-road, as mud, grit, and rocks can jam in between the rack and tire.

We have listed the maximum tire widths for all racks here to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Rack Height

A shorter rack height helps keep your pannier’s center of gravity low, so your bike is easier to handle over rough and varying surfaces. Some racks like the Tubus Logo feature extra low rails for your panniers, which helps reduce the bag’s center of gravity even further.

Rack Pannier Support Area

bikepacking panniers
The Tumbleweed racks use a small pannier support area, so they best suit mini bikepacking panniers. Image: Tumbleweed Bikes

The ‘pannier support area’ is the surface that the pannier sits on. With a larger rack surface area for your panniers to rest on, they will be extra supported, twisting less and putting less stress on your pannier hooks.

Please note that the pannier support area can be quite small on some of the more minimal racks (eg. Tumbleweed). It’s best to use smaller panniers on racks with this characteristic.

Upper Rack Mounting Struts

If you use a smaller bike frame, you may need to find longer upper struts for your rack. We have made sure to select racks with extra long struts available.

They’re available in 240mm, and 350mm lengths from Tubus. Surly has aftermarket upper struts that are 300mm in length. Ibera sells 280mm struts, and Tumbleweed includes 300mm upper mounting struts with their racks.

Rack Heel Clearance

KOGA WorldTraveller Touring Bike
The Tubus Logo allows you to fit your panniers further back than usual, offering additional heel clearance.

If the chain stays on your bike are on the shorter side (440 mm or shorter), or you have particularly large feet, you may need a rack designed for extra heel clearance.

We have many racks listed here that shift your panniers further rearward (eg. Tubus Logo or Tailfin), and we also have a separate article on ten racks that provide additional heel clearance HERE.

Disc Brakes

If your bike uses a rear disc brake on the top of the seat stay, you will need to determine if a rack is capable of clearing the caliper. We’ve tried to pick only disc brake-suitable racks, but sometimes you’ll need to use a foot extension set like this one from Tubus.

It’s worth noting that any of the axle-mounted racks will clear brake calipers just fine.

Full Suspension Bikes

A Tailfin rack on a full suspension mountain bike. As the rack attaches via the seat post and axle, it doesn’t interfere with the suspension. Image: Tailfin

Fitting a rack to a full-suspension bike is tricky because the rack needs to move up and down with the rear wheel.

Tailfin racks have a unique pivot design that allows the rack to move with the suspension but still connect to the main frame via the seat post.

A rack on a full suspension bike can alternatively attach to the seat stays and rear axle. The Old Man Mountain rack is designed to be mounted in this manner, so it won’t interfere with your rear wheel’s movement.

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