Best motorcycle camping tents

The key element of any motorcycling camping trip, choosing the right tent is crucial

Camping in tents with motorcycles

by Jim Blackstock |

We said it recently when we looked at the basics of motorcycle camping but it really does bear saying again; your tent is perhaps the most important element of any off grid trip. It is your only shelter from the elements and if it lets you down, you have nowhere to hide. Our guide to the best motorcycle camping tents should help

Of course, tent technology is much better today than it was even a few years ago. Material and design advances have meant that tents can be larger when in use yet fold up smaller and are lighter than ever.

The first thing to decide when looking at motorcycle camping tents is how much space you want when it is up. Many mountaineers and hardcore campers go for the smallest tent possible, working on the basis that the less space it takes up on the bike, the better – this can be particularly true if they are on a huge overland trip where they will be carrying everything to be self-sufficient for weeks at a time.

Related: Best universal motorcycle panniers

However, for a weekend or a week away around the North Coast 500, for example, you can probably afford to carry a bit more luggage and not have to worry about carrying 1000 miles' worth of petrol with you.

So while a tent barely larger than a sleeping bag will keep the rain off you while you sleep, it doesn’t offer much protection for your kit or space to try to dry it after a long, wet ride, for example. Of course, you could get one with all the space you need but the pay-off is weight and space on the bike when packed.

Here is a selection of motorcycle camping tents that could work, depending on your requirements.

If minimal packing space and weight are what you're after, then this solo 'one person' tent could

Jack Wolfskin Solo

It pitches inner first, so be quick if it’s raining but if not, then you can leave the flysheet off and sleep in the mesh inner, gazing at the stars.

Sleeping area: 225cm (l) x 80cm (w) x 75cm (h, tallest point)

Packed size: 44cm x 14cm x 14cm

Weight: 1.53kg

Finding a sturdy, lightweight tent that’s small enough to stash on a bike without compromising

Vango Mirage Pro 200 stock image

Pitching is an absolute doddle and can be done comfortably in under 15 minutes. Even the persistent heavy rain and 60 mph winds I encountered on the Dragon Rally in Snowdonia back in February failed to slow the process, even though I was hampered by waterproofs over winter kit and a full-face lid.

The Mirage Pro 200 pitches with the both the flysheet and inner together (provided it’s been packed that way), so all you need do is unroll the tent, insert the three alloy poles through the colour coded sleeves to form a free-standing structure, then peg it down. Final tensioning of guy lines is a straightforward affair with the simple, yet effective, ‘Line-Lok’ runners.

Measuring 130cm internally at its widest, the Mirage Pro 200 is designed as a two-person tent, but once you take bike kit into account it’s far more suited to one. Lengthwise it’s a generous 225 cm, which is more than enough for my 180 cm (5’ 11”) frame. I tend to leave my boots in the porch area, with everything else fitting neatly inside.

There’s no groundsheet for the porch, which is my only gripe, but the twin zip design on the flysheet allows for a choice of three entry points, left, right or through the middle – very handy for when the wind changes. The flysheet itself is constructed of ProTex® RS, a tough, lightweight 70D fabric with the highest waterproof rating (6000mm HH) in the Vango range – perfect for the typical British summer.

Packed down into the cylindrical wide-mouthed storage bag it measures a smidge under 50 x 20 cm, small enough to fit inside my Givi V46 topcase with room to spare for other outdoor overnight essentials. Vango’s quoted dry weight of 3.02kg is pretty much spot on, however I also slip in a mallet to aid with pegging, taking the total to exactly 3.5kg.

In winter the Vango 200 kept me warm and dry, whilst the mesh panels and vents allowed plenty of airflow in summer. It’s light, yet as tough as old boots – the perfect companion for off-grid two wheeled adventures.

Sleeping area: 225cm (l) x 130cm (w) x 95cm (h)

Packed size: 48 (l) x 16 (ø) cm

Weight: 3.02kg

Moving away from tunnel tents and into dome tents, this one from Slumit is described as an

Slumit Cub Dome

The quick-erect framework provides a taller sleeping area with a useful porch area too, for storing gear or simply a bit more room. It packs up relatively large – a function of the ease of putting it up – and it isn’t light but it is waterproof and quick.

Sleeping area: 200cm (l) x 135cm (w) x 110cm (h)

Packed size: 70cm x 17cm x 17cm

Weight: 3.6kg

Vango is one of the most well-respected names in tents and outdoor equipment and this Duke of

Vango Banshee 200

Sleeping area: 225cm (l) x 120cm (w) x 90cm (h)

Packed size: 47cm x 18cm x 18cm

Weight: 2.6kg

Not particularly designed for motorcycle touring but this three-person example from Coleman (there

Coleman Darwin 2

It pitches inner first and gets good reviews online, saying it is waterproof in heavy rain yet allows good ventilation when warm.

Sleeping area: 210cm (l) x 180cm (w) x 120cm (h)

Packed size: 50cm x 19cm x 19cm

Weight: 4.9kg

Tents that house both you and the motorcycle are not new but this particular design, that sites

DL Adventure Dromedary

Sleeping area: Unknown

Packed size: 36cm (l) x 30cm (w) x 18cm (h)

Weight: 3.1kg

The tent is described as sleeping three or four people though this and the large garage do make the pack size quite large and the weight fairly high – the trade-off for that much shelter space.

Sleeping area: 230cm (l) x 140cm (w) x 170cm (h)

Packed size: 60cmx22cmx29cm

Weight: 6kg

Be the first to know what's coming in the latest issue of MCN, plus the latest road tests, recommendations, and competitions. Sign up to the MCN newsletter.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us