I‘ve been exploring with my packing system for touring. Previously I posted my touring bike with the BOB Yak trailer with a rack on the back of the Yak. My thoughts are that if I want to ditch the trailer at some point I should not exceed the amount of gear if it will not fit on my bike without the trailer.
This packing system I have all my clothes including warm weather clothes in one back pannier. The other back pannier I packed cooking gear and other related gear. In one of the front panniers I have all my electronics, however I do have everything in a day-pack in the pannier, I would have more space if I did not use the day-pack. In the other front pannier I have my locks and some tools, there is more room, but I would like to have one panniers just for food storage.
On the back rack I have my sleeping bag and pad. I do have a bivy sack in the back pannier. I think it would be convenient to have a bivy sack for stealth camping. On the front rack I have a yoga mat and the tent.
I am not too sure how some people bring so much gear and stuff on their touring bikes. For more room I could buy the largest rear panniers and use the back panniers up front and sell the medium front panniers.
Of course this system does not allow the Topeak trunk bag.
Using the BOB Yak allows plenty of room and allows the placement of the trunk bag on the bike. For touring in the United States the BOB Yak is ideal. Yet, once out of the county in the South, a trailer could be difficult to deal with when entering towns and crowded cities, and hotel rooms can be several flights of stairs. Some roads might be dirt or even muddy, it is a hugh toss up.
When I do start I will bring the BOB Yak, yet I should only bring the amount of gear that will load into the bike without the BOB Yak.
I will be exploring these options this summer.