Top Tent for Motorcycles and Motorbikers – Our Analysis & Guide
In the broader category of motorcycle tents covered by this piece, we’ve included both motorcycle shelters that can be used to house your bike and motorcycle tents, which are basically shelters for the rider that are small enough to be carried on a motorbike. If you’re looking for the best motorcycle shelter to keep your vehicle out of harm’s way, then our recommendation goes to The Byke Shield TBS001. This got excellent feedback from motorcycle tent reviews for its ease of use and the great weather protection it offers. It’s a 2-layer construction, with the outside being covered with a UV resistant material and the inside made of thick polyurethane for near-perfect waterproofing. Its skeleton consists of 16 interlocking galvanized steel bars and allows for it to be put up in a matter of minutes, no tools required. If a tent for motorcycle touring is what you’re after, then the Kamp-Rite Oversize might give you the portability and comfort you’re after.
Our Team Recommends
Choosing good motorbike tents might not be the easiest thing in the world since most riders take the safety of their precious vehicles very seriously. Couple this with a huge offer of these sorts of items and you might end up spending hours on end churning through motorcycle tent reviews. Our team already did this for you, and we’ve listed the products that received the best responses below.
The Bike Shield Medium Size (B00RN90EIE)
The appropriately named Bike Shield will offer a remarkable level of water and UV protection, thanks to its double layer construction that incorporates a very heavy polyurethane sheet under an UV-resistant outer shell.
The inside layer has been tested to hold to 2000mm H2O/m, which should give you enough waterproofing for a hurricane. This is also an indication of the general quality of the material, which should hold well to tears, as well as prevent any dust from setting on your motorcycle.
Its cage-like structure makes it relatively easy to set up, and galvanized metal had been used for the frame to prevent it from rusting. The bike’s wheels will be resting on two metal beams across its base, which should help keep the whole structure in place in a windy environment.
Due to its elongated shape, the tent should easily fit the bike’s tailpipe without touching, so there’s no need to wait for it to cool before applying the cover.
Quictent Heavy Duty Shelter (B01IP64DBC)
At 135.8 inches in length, 53.9 inches in width and 74.8 inches of headroom, this Quictent model is intended to be used with large-sized motorcycles. It uses a heavy-duty steel frame which might add significantly to its weight but assures that the whole thing stays rigid and in place.
The metal bits have been powdered for superior water protection, not that the 1200 mm H2O tested Oxford fabric will let much through. This also protects against UV light and any other environmental hazard you can think of, snow, dust, dirt, etc. Proper ventilation is assured via two mesh windows, which are covered in rollable flaps.
This is a relatively affordable unit, so you might expect a few things about it to be less than top notch. First, customers reported signs of discoloration of the material, but this shouldn’t really affect how well it protects the bike against the sun. Second, some people find the beams to show superficial rust in places, but this is only a rare complaint.
Popsport Motorcycle Shelter (B072SB8TNW)
A budget solution, this Popsport shelter will offer adequate protection for your bike while living you with enough money to buy a tent for yourself. The tarp itself is made out of Oxford canvas with a waterproofing factor of 600D.
While it might not seem that much, this should hold up well to any amount of rain you’ll be expecting to encounter in the US — just consider that most umbrellas don’t exceed values of 450 for the water protection factor.
To keep the beams for rusting, the steel they’re made off has been galvanized, and the frame itself is reported to be easy to assemble and folds to facilitate access. While it does fit most bikes, this shelter isn’t exactly sizeable, with 106 inches in length and a width of 41 inches. Furthermore, it isn’t tall enough to accommodate the windshield on most cruisers.
It is also somewhat lighter than the competition, so you might be required to support it with some weight around its sides in windy weather.
Peaktop Heavy Duty Shelter (B01J3OAA3A)
This is another small unit that shouldn’t put you back that much. At 106 inches in length and a width of 41, it can accommodate most sports and dirt bikes but don’t expect to be fitting a cruiser inside it.
The water protection it offers is adequate, at 1200 mm H2O test and this also means that the Oxford canvas it’s made of is relatively thick. This should give it good tear resistance, ensuring many years of service under thick snow, strong winds, and scorching sun.
The framing is coated in black powder to protect against rust and is made out of steel varying beams, varying in thickness from 4 to 22 mm. As it was to be expected considering its small size, the whole structure is relatively light, and at just 39.7 lbs you might want to fix it in place during windy weather.
Like most other bike sheds, it comes with a TSA CODE lock, a carry bag, and assembly instructions.
CarCapsule BB8 (B004646F5U)
This inflatable shelter is intended to keep a bike in pristine condition, whether it is in a display showcase or in a garage. You can imagine car and bike collectors using it but its price is not outside of the range of your regular Joe, and with 8 ft of length, it can house quite a number of vehicles, keeping them safe from scratching, dust, moisture and any of the number of things that might affect them in an enclosed environment.
Its walls are made out of 10 mm thick transparent PVC, while the floor is 18 mm of the same material. Acces is made through a heavy-duty nylon zipper that’s specifically designed to prevent scratching, and there is also the possibility of running a trickle charger while inflated.
A high-pressure fan is used to change the air inside the bubble from 3 to 6 times every hour as to prevent moisture build-up and condensation.
Speed-Way MTS-GRY (B0098ISYGC)
The MTS-GRY differs from its competition by being grey, but this is far from being the only remarkable thing about it. At 55 pounds for 108 x 43 x 64 inches, it is relatively heavy, which is just as well, since weight generally translates into a thicker material, better durability and overall quality, as well as less susceptibility to being toppled over by the wind.
A layer of polyester fabric and a 700 mm H2O proof polyurethane coating had been used for the tarp to offer it a good level of weather protection. The top is retractable over the cage to facilitate access, and the frame itself is reported to be relatively easy to build.
While not a cheap product, this shelter had received a series of recurrent complaints regarding its less-than-ideal waterproofing. While the test value of the polyurethane is high enough to handle any rain, water has a tendency to form pools on the roof, which might sip in and drop on to the motorcycle with time.
Best camping tents for motorbike riders
If you’re looking for a good tent for motorcycle touring, then the following section is for you. We’ve taken multiple setups into account, so besides small units that can only accommodate yourself or another person, we’ve also looked at dome-style and cabin tents that are big enough for a whole group, assuming that one member is tasked with transporting the tent and not much else.
Kamp Rite DTC443 (B000I641UQ)
This Kamp Rite product is a somewhat novel combination of a tent and a cot that can comfortably house one person some inches above the ground. It has its own feet to give you a platform, away from any moisture that might seep in from puddles, various snakes, insects, and rodents.
Its versatile design allows it to work both as a fully enclosed tent, together with zippable rain flies, and as a lounge chair, in which case the part supporting your torso is set at an angle. This added complexity doesn’t make it hard to set-up, however, as customers report to be able to install it in under 5 minutes without the need for instructions.
It has a water resistance factor that should hold up to all but the most torrential rains, and at only 25 pounds it should be a light load for a motorcycle, despite the extra aluminum framing used for the legs.
CORE 40008 (B00VFH1RQS)
This is advertised as a 9-person tent and has a 14’ x 9’ floor when set up, so it provides room enough for a larger group together with their gear. Additional pockets can be used to keep your stuff nice and orderly, and a separation wall is there to offer some measure of privacy.
A thing that’s been positively commented upon is the very good ventilation it allows for, with an adjustable ground vent, a mesh roof, large windows and a water repellant rain fly covering most of it.
As with most newer models which employ synthetic material, it can handle most rains fairly well, leaving its interior dry with the exception of negligible leakage through the small space allowed by the zipper.
You would expect that its large size would make it harder to set up, but this is a pop-up tent and most of the people who’ve bought it found that the 60 seconds specified by this manufacturer is enough for completing this task.
Sundome 4 Person Tent (B077ZL5G43)
This dome 4-person tent is one of the best-selling units of its type on retail sites, and considering the many features it offers for a surprisingly low price, it’s easy to see why.
Waterproofing received special attention from the manufacturer, with the plastic floor being chemically welded to the skin and the seams inverted to provide a better seal.
An additional bottle of Coleman seam sealer foam is thrown in, just in case you need to patch up some sensitive surfaces or provide an extra measure of waterproofing for the rest of your gear.
So that condensation won’t provide a damp environment during cool mornings, ventilation is provided by an adjustable ground slit and a couple of large windows that fit tightly underneath the rain fly when needed.
This tent is relatively light for its size (9 x 7 feet base and 4-foot 11 center height) and can be packed into separate bags, so it’s easy enough to carry in a cruiser’s side bag.
Coleman Tenaya (B00TFY8Z54)
Not so well appreciated as their 4-person model, the Coleman Tenaya cabin tent does come with some features to recommend it for those that prefer to have the greatest degree of comfort while out camping.
Thirst thing, there’s the size, at 13 x 9 feet base and nearly 6 foot 8 center height, which should provide plenty of sleeping space for eight people in sleeping bags, or for a queen-size cot together with two smaller ones.
An interesting addition is the 2 x 2 feet closet, which is more than just a nook to throw a couple of packs in to have them out of the way, although it can be very well used as such. A clothesline can be used for hangers, and a number of nylon shelves can be employed to store light items.
Ventilation is reported to be good, and this tent can handle the heat of summer days, but the rain fly doesn’t do a perfect job at covering the large windows and the base of the walls.
NTK Indy GT XL (B0106BFJ08)
This dome tent can easily double as an expedition since it has an ample vestibule coupled with a rainfly that can be used as a cover for one or two bikes. The 190T polyester laminated rain covering offers a remarkably high degree of protection for items in its category, with 2500 mm H2O test proofing. This can go all the way to the bottom of the tent, and it’s also treated to be UV resistant.
The 8 x 8 feet sleeping area is roomy enough to accommodate up to 6 adults in sleeping bags or one queen-size mattress with two smaller cots thrown in, while the 6.2 feet of maximum head room should prove enough for most people.
The fiberglass frame keeps it relatively light, while still sturdy enough to behave well under windy conditions, as multiple customer reviewers remarked. The beams and poles are fairly easy to set up in around 10 minutes, and the whole structure comes together with little difficulty.
AmazonBasics AMZ-1509 (B01881TL3Y)
This product from Amazon’s own manufacturing division offers everything you would want from an 8-person family size tent and does so at a fraction of the cost of competing models.
You’ll get 15 x 9 feet of surface area and up to 6 feet in height, which gives enough breathing space for a small group, together with their equipment. It does have a polyester rainfly that can be easily removed to leave the fine-mesh covered inner tent free during summer, but this doesn’t go all the way to the floor.
Additionally, some customers report that the seams will have to be covered with a sealant to ensure that no water seeps through during heavy rains. People also noted that this basic tent is remarkably easy to set up, with an intuitive design and easy to follow instructions.
In regards to ventilation, this shouldn’t pose a problem during hot summers, as the meshing of the inner layer should let a lot of air through while keeping sand and insects out.
This Year’s Buying Guide
With so many options to choose from, we can easily get lost browsing through motorcycle tents for sale. There’s the GPS to take us to our destination when on the road and buying guides to help us make the right choices when purchasing. Of course, what you will eventually decide upon will have more to do with your own preferences rather than anything else, but with so many things to plan on a bike trip, there’s always the possibility to simply forget about some of the features to pay attention to when buying your tent. To ensure this doesn’t happen, we’ll address some of the more important things to be mindful off below.
Size probably matters most
The best motorcycle adventure tent must be small enough to fit inside the luggage compartment of your bike, which imposes some serious size restrictions. Of course, you could go for a regular family sized tent and share the cargo between companions, but besides imposing all sorts of organizational problems, this will mean that the tent itself will take a while to set up because any sort of pop-up variety will be excluded.
You’re looking at backpacking tents, bivy bags or any sort of other specialized product, which will be easy to fit in the luggage compartment of a bike. Backpacking tents are technically the most compact option that can still be called a proper tent. They are also lightweight and easy to set up by a single person and might prove ideal for those that aren’t planning to spend more than a day in one place.
A motorcycle expedition tent is the “specialized” option, and it contains spaces both for yourself and your motorcycle, as it consists of a sleeping area and a vestibule. These are usually larger than a backpacking tent but should be considered, especially if you don’t want to carry around an additional shelter for the bike. The vestibule can naturally be used as a cooking and utility area, but it won’t provide more than shade and some rain protection, as the vast majority of models you’ll find are left open from two sides.
Bivvies are basically enlarged sleeping bags, and due to the thinner material used, they tend to weigh and pack just about the same. These won’t really allow any space for more than 1 or 2 people (if they happen to be close friends or couples, that is) and might be worth considering if you are thinking of also carrying a tarp for your motorcycle around.
The bike tents are just what they sound like, canvas shelters that are only big enough to cover a motorcycle, keeping it safe from the elements. Since these are used on a regular basis — not just when out camping — they tend to be tougher than regular tents, offering a good amount of water and UV protection.
Durability and protection from the elements
Naturally, the requirement for a small packed size will impose certain restrictions here as well, but the best motorcycle tents can still be pretty tough. These will have to provide the occupants with protection against rain, dust, sun, mud, wind and, whenever possible the cold.
The waterproofing factor of any fabric is measured by the pressure at which three droplets of water are able to sip through. This isn’t expressed in psi, however, but in millimeters, which refers to the level of the water used in a specialized vase during testing.
More than 500 mm H2O test is not usually required for adequate rain protection, but the reviews of motorbike tents we’ve looked at emphasize that the waterproofing figure can be used as a general measure of quality, and can go as far as 10.000 mm H2O for the models made of the most durable material.
Water resistance will also serve as an indication of the tents sealing, giving you an idea of how well it will handle things like dust or sand. So if you’re trekking through the desert, a good water protection factor is a thing to have.
Another thing to look for in a good motorbike tent is that it features a double construction. What this means that it will have two layers of material, a thinner one on the inside and a thick covering that goes over the frame. This will give it good year-round performance, as the top layer can be removed during summer for better ventilation.
The best tent for motorcycle camping will ideally be easy to set up, even more so than models intended to be used with cars. Consider that riding a bike is more draining than driving, and setting up a tent can be an annoying chore at the best of times, let alone when all we want to do is lay back and relax.
Another reason is that you won’t really be expecting to stay on a site for long, so the motorbike tourer is going to do a lot more tent setting than his or her car driving equivalent. Pop-up tents can be ready for use in mere minutes — or even less than a minute if you decide to be competitive about it — and don’t generally require any actual handiwork, since the frame is already set in place and only needs to be “popped” into position.
Not really an issue of convenience, but good ventilation in a tent can spare you a lot of discomforts, especially in rainy and dusty days when keeping the door open for fresh air isn’t an option. Most models come with side vents, generally covered under a piece of canvas to give it some measure of insulation, but some of the best ones can have roof and floor vents to assure a constant flow of air throughout the interior.
Tips for your motorcycle camping adventure
Packing is always tedious, and the excitement generated by our upcoming road adventure can make us forget to stock up on a couple of things or choose the improper equipment for the context. You might find yourself visiting more stores than landmarks and going shopping while on a touring trip can do a lot to break the experience of the great outdoors and open road. A list of items will, of course, be mandatory but minding some general directions before setting up can never hurt either.
Thirst thing, always take the changing weather into account. You’ll be a lot more vulnerable to the elements while riding a bike than in a car, so make sure to get the weather forecast for the days you’ll be on the road in advance. A portable radio will also help you stay up to date with the latest weather information for the area you’ll be passing through. Storm and tornado warnings are basically the raison d’etre of many small stations, and there’s little reason not to take full advantage of the updates that some stations broadcast on an almost hourly basis.
Naturally, your choice of clothes should fit the season, but you should also take note that at times you might not be able to find a roof over your head. The motorcycle jacket and pants will generally prove good enough to keep you warm during colder summer days, but you should consider that they can’t be used in any situation (for starters, leather isn’t all that comfortable for backpacking).
An extra jacket will almost always prove useful, and you’ll be thankful for packing the extra 1 or 2 pounds in a chilly alpine morning. Also, you won’t be expecting to spend all your time wearing boots so pack a pair of camp footwear, like flip-flops or light sneakers.
Being on the road is not an excuse for not maintaining proper hygiene. You might not always have access to a bathroom, but a bar of soap can work just as well with water from a hose or a lake. A toothbrush and a small pack of toothpaste shouldn’t be absent either.
If you go camping often, a solar charger might be a better alternative to batteries for your electricity needs. There is also the possibility of attaching a charger to the bike which will power up while moving.
Always be prepared for medical emergencies, and it goes without saying that a roadworthy first aid kit should be part of your inventory. Some states force all motorists to carry one, but lack of relevant legislation shouldn’t be an excuse to neglect this basic safety requirement.
It’s fairly easy to get a cold with the wind constantly blowing in your face, and no one likes to ride with a headache. Pack a couple of anti-inflammatory pills like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen that are safe to use while operating vehicles. Some OTC pain relief preparations contain codeine, which is best avoided. General antibiotics might come in handy to stave off pneumonia, and an antibiotic cream for open lesions should be already part of the first-aid kit.
Some other essentials that really shouldn’t need mentioning include a flashlight with a pack of extra batteries (go for compact, you won’t be hunting for bombers over London) a water canister and insect repellant. When choosing the last one it’s important that you go for an item that’s been approved for use on yourself as most household varieties contain dangerous chemicals and potential allergens which makes them unsafe to be used inside a tent.
What other camping gear essentials could you need?
Having the best tent for motorcycle camping won’t get you very far if you aren’t willing to put some thought into choosing the rest of your equipment. Items like a sleeping bag and a burner are of course invaluable if you’re planning on spending a night out in nature, and there are some important demands that each of these items must meet.
A regular sized sleeping bag will generally prove too bulky for motorcycle touring, so a compact mummy model, which follows the contours of your body might serve best in this instance. Assuming you aren’t trekking through the Arctic, a model rated for 20 degrees F will probably keep you warm on most nights. The presence of a foot box is also something to look for, as tightness around that area can prove particularly uncomfortable.
A headlamp will prove useful when going about the camp at night. Some tasks will require the use of both your hands and a sizeable lantern will take too much space in your bike’s storage compartment. Most newer headlamp models use LED lights, which makes them significantly brighter than you would expect from their small sizes.
Building a fire while outdoors isn’t always recommended, or even legal. A portable stove can be used in any situation, as long as a supply of gas is available. Needless to say, you’ll be looking at a lighter model, one that can ideally be made even more compact to facilitate transport.
It is important to have plenty of water for drinking, cooking and washing up, and many remote campsites might not have a consistent supply. While a canteen might provide you with enough for drinking during a trip, you will need a larger container to cover your needs around the camp. Something soft might work better than a jerry can since you can neatly fold it once it’s empty.
If you’re experiencing back problems, or desire a little bit of extra comfort from your sleeping surface, then a sleeping pad would make a good investment. This also provides you with insulation, which can prove especially welcome if the floor of your tent isn’t up to par. An inflatable unit is recommendable because they tend to have a very small pack size.
While the bean pot might seem romantic, reminiscent of the cowboy era, there’s really no reason not to take advantage of the latest technology when it comes to cooking utensils. Modern pots have foldable handles and can take up very little space, stored one inside of another like Russian nesting dolls. There are options out there that allow you to carry a whole cooking set in the space taken by a large pot.
Last but not least, a pocket knife will always come in handy around a campsite. The more extra features this has, the better. A friction igniter surface can act as your backup for starting a fire when the matches get wet or run out, while an attached can opener will make it unnecessary to carry an extra tool around.