Whether you’re new to bike touring or just realized your gear isn’t in the best shape, investing in a brand new tent will get you even more motivated to hit the road.
Knowing your tent can withstand whatever the touring gods throw at it will give you the peace of mind you need to focus on how much fun you’re having, rather than dreading any weather changes.
How to choose the right tent for a bike trip
When choosing a tent for a bike trip, it’s important to keep your setup in mind; if you are already packed to the brim, a lightweight tent is a must. If you’re planning on doing shorter treks that require less supplies, you might be able to have the luxury of a slightly heavier and roomier tent.
When shopping for your home away from home, think about comfort, weather protection, and size. The following options fall on different ends of the spectrum in terms of best value, special features, and versatility; they are all great choices for any cyclist looking to live on their bike for a few months or only a few nights.
Carrying your tent: Setting up your bike storage
While setting up your bike for a long distance trip, make sure you set aside space for your tent, even if you haven’t gotten your hands on one yet. If you’re going the classic route; four panniers and front and rear racks, try to fit your tent in one of your panniers. It may take up the entire bag (or most of it), but it’ll be less exposed to the elements as your ride, and will free up rack space.
If your panniers are full, bungee cords are your friend; strap your tent tight to the front or rear rack for easy access. If keeping it on a rack, make sure your tent is sealed in its bag at all times; you don’t want stray raindrops seeping in as you ride. The bag will also protect the fabric of the tent from UV rays, which can break it down over time.
Type of tent – the seasons
While three season tents are your best bet for long trips with unpredictable weather, if you’ll only be touring in summer months, strong waterproofing is what you’ll want to look for. Scroll down to the “Specs” section of any online product for useful information.
Pay attention to each tent’s rain fly set up and read what experienced hikers and cyclists have to say about using the tent in wet weather. A tent footprint is also a necessity; some tents come with their own footprints, but many are sold separately. The footprint will act as a dry barrier between the ground and the bottom of your tent. An ideal weight is generally The best bike touring tents are usually backpacking- specific; whether you’re on foot or on two wheels, how much you carry affects your speed, comfort and spirits.
Our view of the best tents for bicycle tours
Slingfin’s Portal freestanding tent has been racking up awards over the past two years, and its undoubtedly one of the best products on the market. Coming in at three pounds and five ounces packed (1.5 kg), this two person tent’s design is concise, despite its packable size, the tent has features like seven interior mesh pockets and opposite vents to maximize fresh airflow, giving you the best of both worlds.
Setup is quick and easy once you get the hang of it, and the Portal can withstand three, if not four-season weather. The rain fly is another special addition that sets this option apart; the design allows you to set the fly up first, then get the rest of the tent up from inside.
If you have to set up camp in a torrent of pouring rain, this perk allows you to open and put your tent up in a dry space, saving you an uncomfortable and likely chilly night. Long lasting and lauded for its craftsmanship, the Portal is worth the price tag, especially if you expect to continue touring. If you get tired of the saddle, this tent is also great for long hiking trips. The Portal’s matching footprint is sold separately.
By Sea to Summit
Considered ultralight, the Alto TR1 three season tent weighs in at a little over two pounds (0.907 kg). Notable features include sizable vents, a rainfly and apex vent that you can open or close from within the tent, an aluminum Quick Connect Foot pole attachment, and an upward tension pole design that raises the tent ceiling. The aluminum hardware is a nice touch, especially in terms of wear and tear and exposure to the elements.
The Alto is a one person tent for the solo cyclist, fitting nicely into a series of stuff sacks and making for a packable load. The Alto TR1 Plus is another option for those traveling in colder seasons; only slightly more expensive, the Plus has a 3+ Season rating, as opposed to the conventional 3. Both tents come in a two person option if you’re traveling with a partner.
Fly Creek HV UL1 Bikepack
Well known in the long distance cycling community, Big Agnes tents are preferred by a good number of riders for their lightweight and bike packing- specific collections.
The Fly Creek HV UL1’s packed weight is a little over two pounds (1.08. kg). This tent’s subtle but highly useful features cater to the weary cyclists; loops on the tent fly are ideal for drying clothes, while the aluminum Shortstik Poleset is made to fit just about anywhere on the bike, including on your handlebars. This small detail reduces the daily routine of stuffing your tent parts into a compression sack and hoping they all fit. Coined as high volume architecture, the Fly Creek’s pole angling allows you more space to sit up and move around in. With a durable carry sack made with months on the road in mind, this three season option seems like a keeper. Big Agnes footprints are sold separately.
Outpost 2 Tent
By Mountain Hardwear
Mountain Hardwear’sOutpost 2 is another multi-season option for those looking to travel in unpredictable conditions, including cold weather; it’s an alpine specific tent made for mountaineering. It’s a great option for people who are also avid climbers, backpackers, and explorers.
With a packed weight of 5 pounds and 15 ounces, this red and frosty blue two person tent has two entrances and packs easily. An elongated dome shape gives you some room to breathe and there are plenty of pockets for accessories and electronics. A mesh canopy keeps the tent from feeling stuffy, while a sturdy rain fly keeps out the wind and showers. The roomy interior is great for taking a rest day during a long distance tour; at $450 to $600, it also comes in on the higher end of the price scale for a quality tent but will improve countless alpine, backcountry, or off road trips.
Best Value Bicycle Tent:
Elixir 2 Backpacking Tent
Built for backpackers, the Elixir 2 from MSR is a two person tent that weighs a little more, costs a little less and provides more than enough space for you and a touring friend. Ready to conquer three seasons, the Elixir is a great first time purchase thanks to its simple, color coded pole set up and break down.
Extra headroom is an emphasis, setting this tent apart from many others that are described as two person, but barely offer enough space to fit comfortably without being right up against the other person. An added gear loft allows you to store your valuables, and complete polyurethane coating guarantees protection from wet weather. Though this tent comes in at a packed weight of six pounds, almost double than many lightweight options, it’s worth considering if comfort matters to you.
If you are setting out on your first long distance tour and aren’t sure just how challenging it’ll be on your body and mind, having a tent like this will give you something to look forward to at the end of a long, difficult day. Packing your bike up before you leave and including this tent,whether in a pannier or on a rack, can give you an estimate of how its weight will affect your ride. The Elixir does come with an included footprint, bringing your entire purchase to about $250.
When traveling with another person, a heavier tent can often be split into two loads; the poles and fly can be carried separately from the tent body, for example. If you don’t want to store these parts loosely in your panniers, you can purchase stuff sacks separately from any outdoors store.
If you slept through an overnight rainstorm or your tent is soaked with morning dew (which happens more often than you’d expect), make sure to dry it if you have the chance. Set it up empty, and allow it to air out before putting anything else in it.
If your tent doesn’t come with them, having extra stakes, seam glue, and a tent patch kit is a good idea before embarking on tour.
While some of the most popular tents on the market may be sold out, don’t hesitate to pre-order them or get an estimate on when they’ll be back in stock.
Pay attention to your tent’s warranty policy! More often than not, the company you’re purchasing from will have a warranty that allows you to bring or send your tent in for repairs free of charge.
Off the ground: No longer sleep on sleep on the ground, no more cold floor, hard rock or wet ground. This bike camper will provide your with superior sleeping experience.
Can be towed with Bike or Ebike : The bike camper can be towed with bike or ebike, and go anywhere your bike can take you.
Fast folding: The bike camper be be set up in 2 mins, no more time comsuming set up as the conventional tent.
Loads: The bike camper can also carry up to 50 lbs of gears. Carry gears on the camper can let you have better bike maneuverbility, compare to carry gears on the bike frame. It's recommeded to use rachet straps to secure all of your gears on the camper.
size: Tent Open size:78"Lx32"Wx35"H (included 12" off ground space) folding size: 33"Lx32"Wx15"H (include 12" off ground space) wheel size: dia 16" Tent inside space: 78"Lx32"Wx23"H
3 SEASON TENT - The Winterial Single Person Tent is the perfect tent for Spring, Fall and Summer. The included rainfly provides full coverage, ventilation and insulation in rainy/colder weather. Simply remove the rainfly for excellent cross-breeze ventilation for warmer weather.
FAST & EASY SETUP - Simply install the two aluminum poles and stake down the corners of the tent and your Winterial Single Person Bivy Tent is ready for the night. Have your tent set up within 5 minutes! Store everything in the included travel bag once you are ready to pack out.
FEATURES - The Winterial One Person Tent features a convenient internal pocket, waterproof rainfly and stitching, a durable waterproof floor, and all-metal poles and stakes. Not only is this tent lightweight and packs small, it is build to last and withstand the elements.
TENT DETAILS - 2lbs 9oz, 18" x 4.5" x 4" when packed for transport, 38" x 28" x 90" when set up, made with 190T Polyester, large double-layered door for easy access, includes tent, rainfly, 2 x aluminum poles, 14 ground stakes and 3 guylines.
SINGLE PERSON TENT - The Winterial 1 Person Tent is the perfect personal tent for anyone backpacking, hiking, camping, fishing or looking for an outdoor play tent for the kids.
3 in 1 multifunctional bike rear pannier bag.（2 one side shoulder bags and 1 backpack）can be used independently,convenient for versatility!
Material:Made of 1000D polyester material with waterproof PVC layer on both sides, this bike pannier is super durable,as well as anti-tear, wear resistant and heat resisting, protecting your items perfectly
Bike Pannier Bag Easy installation:Quick release system, easy to be fixed on rear seat trunk rack
High capacity: 1 backpack:19.2"in L*12"in W*5.8"in H.1 side shoulder bag:11.6"in L*5.9"in W*13.5"in H. Fully expanded to hold more
Removable Shoulder Strap for one side shoulder bag: There is an adjustable nylon shoulder strap in the package, with easy locks on both sides, the strap can be installed and removed effortless, and you can carry the bike pannier on the shoulder while not cycling
【Anodized Aluminum Frame】The bike cargo rack is made of high strength anodized aluminum alloy,joined with stainless steel screws and anti-loosening nuts ensure the bike rack will not go loose on rough road or get rusty after light rains!Smooth rust-proof coating not only ensures beautiful appearance,but also makes you ride freely in rainy humid conditions!The whole frame is welded by TIG method which is usually used for many aircraft and airspace parts,designed for the hardest long-distance ride
【Adjustable Structure】The bottom rods and shelf's arms are both adjustable to fit most 26" to 29" bike!The adjustable structure allows you adjust the length and height of the bicycle luggage rack as you need to fit most of bicycles with non-disc brake(tires width under 4.5"),like mountain bike,road bike!As long as your bike is equipped with mounting holes to bolt the rack in,our bicycle carrier rack will fit your bike without worrying about the width of tires or the height of the bike!
【Large Load-Bearing】Our touring carrier racks is lightweight but strong and sturdy enough for bearing up to 55 lbs,provide you with extra security and strength for long-distance ride,great for cycling enthusiasts!The bike rear rack and the bicycle form a firm and stable triangular shape,which effectively enhances the stability and makes it carry more weight than most bicycle carrier on the market!5-point support structure is more stable and pressure-resistant which not easy to deform and swing
【Bonus Gift】Our bicycle luggage carrier rack comes with a 15.7"x15.7" bungee cargo net which can stretches to 30"x30" to cover around your baggage,parcels and luggage for extra security while riding on rougher road!Equipped with red rear reflector to increase visibility on the night cycling to ensure your safety while riding at night or on a rainy day!Whether you are on a long-distance tour or running small errands around the neighborhood,this quick release bicycle rear rack is your best choice
【Professional Bicycle Cargo Rack】The rear bike rack is also equipped with enlarged and upgraded side wings on both sides to efficiently prevent the panniers or bags from getting into the bike spokes or scratching by the wheels,and prevent the parcels from hitting the tires to improve the safety of riding!This is a durable, solid aluminum alloy bike carrier rack for long distance touring,perfect for use with panniers,backpacks,baskets,luggages,briefcase,trunk bags and more!
EXTREMELY STURDY 5 FIXED POINTS: Large magic straps and eight spacers, 2 nylon straps with side release buckles to secure bag to the handle bars. A short strap is attached bag to the head tube to avoid shaking back and forth. What's more, four alloy hooks for adjusting the compression straps to protect your bike frame and brake shift cables
ADUSTABLE LENGTH WITH TWO OPENINGS: 7-14L adjustable capacity bike handlebar roll perfectly satisfy your bikepacking adventures or long travels need. Good size to fit 3person tent, sleeping bag and clothing which need keep dry. Convenient Feature: roll down closure design at each end makes easier to find what you need. Also, You can attach more gear or even a tent using the two exterior straps
100% WATERPROOF: High strength tear resistant 600D nylon + waterproof TPU film with ROCKBROS Innovative seamless workmanship makes this bicycle front bag 100% waterproof and easy to clean with a wet terry
DETAIL DESIGNS: Three Reflective Logos to increase your riding safety at night; Strap storage loop is good to avoid straps being caught in bicycle tires.External Elastics cords for attaching some wet raincoats or coat, also fit photography tripod
MULTI-APPLICATIONS: Durable bike handlebar bag protects your things from harsh weather conditions or crashes.Suitable for variety Outdoors Activities like cycling, traveling, camping , mountaineering and more.PRODUCT WARRANTY: Any questions please feel free to contact us
ADJUSTABLE CAPACITY: From 3L to 7L capacity for holding cycling essentials and accessories, such as sleeping bag, outfits, phone, wallet, gloves, glasses, mini pump, tire repair kit, spare tubes, etc
EASY & FIRM INSTALLATION: Easy mount and release shell to handlebar with 3 Velcro straps. Simply attach inner tank wit 2 durable flat side release buckles. Balanced weight distribution on bike. No tool needed
BETTER SAFETY: front reflective logo and safety lights hanger for better visibility in dark
WELL-STRUCTRED DESIGN: Round-bottom design for easy packing. Detachable design for multipurpose usage—can be used as a bike handlebar bag, or only take the main compartment as a dry sack
[2 Room Design] - The two-room tent consists of a detachable bedroom and a vestibule. You can sleep in the bedroom and then store your bicycle, motorcycle, or other camping gear in the vestibule. When the bedroom is removed, it will become a long tunnel sun shelter.
[Size] - The size of the entire camping tent is 14ft x 6.6ft x 4.3ft,the sleeping area is 7.4ft x 6.6ft x 4.3ft,it can accommodate up to 4 people,the vestibule is 6.6ft x 6.6ft x 4.3ft,the spacious space enlarges your activity area and storage area.
[2 Doors Vestibule] - The bike tent offers 2 doors in the vestibule to provide excellent ventilation, there are two vents in the front door corner, so you won't feel stuffy even without the door open. The footprint is included in the porch area, you can also spend your leisure time in the vestibule.
[Waterproof] - The waterproof tent consists of 2 functional layers, the liner is made of B3 mesh and 190T breathable Polyester, the outer tent is made of 210T Rip-stop Polyester, it has passed the waterproof test with a rating above 3000mm, offers high performance in extreme weather conditions.
[Easy Setup] - The setup of this tunnel tent is easy and fast, insert the 3 shock-absorbing poles into each sleeve, then fix them with tent stakes, the outer tent is set up, then hang on the inner tent, the setup is finished, it could be done within 5minutes by just one person.