If you own a bike, sooner or later you’ll get the call of the wild. When this happens you’ll either click on booking.com, or go all cowboy and throw your bedroll over your iron horse and head for the horizon. Sounds great doesn’t it, but if you’ve chosen nights out under the stars, you’re going to need a good motorcycle tent.
When hauling luggage around on your bike however, there are always things to consider, so first off, look at your potential load area. There’s no point in buying some 4-bedroom canvas villa if you’ve got insufficient space or load bearing capacity on your bike. So, when you start looking for a tent don’t forget to check out its overall weight.
You will also have to get your tech head on when choosing, because believe me, there’s nothing more miserable than a leaking tent after a long day’s ride. Look for flysheets that are both wind and waterproof, have taped seams and if possible, can go up first so the inner tent can be erected inside if it’s raining.
Next check out the groundsheet, this is equally important as it’s all that’s protecting you from whatever is below. Here, you need to look at the Hydrostatic Head rating. As a rule, the higher the rating the better the water proofing. Last but not least, make sure it has a zipped-up porch, essential for leaving wet boots and gear outside of your sleeping area.
With that out of the way, I’m going to look at three examples for you to consider covering low end, high end and somewhere in between.
First up is the Ionosphere by Snugpack, this is a mega compact one- man tent weighing in at a paltry 1.52kgs. The fly and groundsheets are rated at 5000 so will stand up to anything short of a hurricane. It comes in at just under $100 and if a you’re short on space and travelling alone, this could be a serious option.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the three-season MotoTent from Lone Rider. It’s big enough for two people, comes with a patio area and plenty of room for all your gear. At around 14lbs it’s no lightweight but for $499 you even get to park your bike inside it too.
Finally, the Vango Omega 350 is a three-man tunnel style tent, particularly good if living accommodation is a high priority or you’re camping in the one place for a few days. It’s got stacks of sleeping space and being a tunnel design means you’ve got the same space again to store gear. The Vango comes in at around $200.