MOTORCYCLE CAMPING: WHAT TENT?
As more and more of us are taking to two wheels to explore Australia, you can see a multitude of different approaches to tent accommodation. Many opt for the lightest option. Space is limited on the back of a motorbike, and thin, lightweight tents leave you with extra space to take other essentials. However, the modern motorbike campers swear by the new larger expedition models. They allow you to park your motorbike in the tent to protect it from prying eyes and the elements.
The dome-shaped tents which can accommodate 4-6 adults is a great option for motorcycle camping, although not the most popular one. They are fairly large and offer a decent amount of space. These tents tend to be quite bulky and heavy. They will fit larger motorcycles, but if you are taking your 250cc bike on a serious journey, you will probably need something smaller and lighter to make room for your other supplies. For this reason, family tents are not usually adopted by motorcycle campers.
It is possible to find really lightweight family tents which sleep more than two people, but these come at a cost. You will be looking at a price tag of around 250 bucks or more to really find a family tent lightweight enough and small enough to fit on a smaller bike.
Backpacker tents are some of the most popular tents used by motorcyclists. It’s easy to see why, the lightweight, bare essentials tents fit easily in a saddlebag and sleep one person comfortably. Two adults are a bit of a squeeze but they are small enough and light enough for each rider to carry their own. My motorcycle trips have all been undertaken with small backpacker tents, getting dressed on my back and sleeping in cramped quarters with my possessions piled high around me.
Nowadays you can pick these up cheaply. But if you want something really light, for well under $80 you can pick up small, 2 person tents which can be rolled into 4in X 17in, 2.5lb bundles. These are perfect for slotting into your saddlebags and hitting the road.
EXPEDITION TENTS (MOTOTENTS)
These tents are relatively new to the market but have really taken off. Specifically designed for the motorcycle camper, expedition tents or mototents consist of a sleeping section, and a section to park your bike and kit in. They feature larger tent flaps to allow you to ride your bike into the tent. Because it has been specifically designed for motorcycles, they tend to roll into a smaller bundle to fit easily you motorcycle luggage.
There are some really great mototents on the market from Redverz and Lone Rider. For a decent lightweight expedition tent to park your motorcycle in, you should expect to pay more than a couple hundred dollars. These don’t come cheap but they are incredibly spacious. With a height of around 6 foot, there is no more changing on your back and shuffling over your travelling companion in the middle of the night to relieve yourself outside. They really are the pinnacle of motorcycle camping.
Swags are the perfect option for when wanting a single person or 2 person sleeping option because they contain everything you need to sleep in a single roll-up-ready swag. You can even put you sleeping clothes in them before rolling up. They can be stored easily on the back of your bike or you could carry yours as if it was a backpack. They are perfect for a genuine Aussie adventure.
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