Some activities and experiences are virtually synonymous with adventure. While Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper may have put the motorcycle road trip on the map with Easy Rider, the popularity of these open-air adventures has done anything but run out of gas.
Motorcycles are a phenomenal way to experience the country intimately, and the freedom that accompanies these road trips is unmatched. Like any outdoor pastime, motorcycle camping requires a certain level of gear investment, knowledge, and preparation. Developing systems is critical, and choosing the right gear for your specific needs and itinerary can go a long way.
Once the details of planning and gear purchasing are complete, such as finding the best tent for motorcycle camping, all that lies in front of you is the open road and unbridled adventure.
A Quick Word on Tents
Arguably the most essential piece of gear when it comes to motorcycle camping is your tent. Comfort is essential when you plan on spending days, weeks, or even months on the road, and finding the right tent for your needs is the best way to ensure this.
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all approach to buying a tent. Every tent is different, and every biker will have their own needs. As you start exploring your options, there are a lot of factors to consider:
- Where will you be camping?
- What will the weather and conditions be like?
- How many people will be sleeping in your tent?
- How much other gear will you be carrying?
What we have compiled here is a sampling of the best tents for motorcycle camping. Each serves its purpose and comes with an accompanying set of pros and cons, but ultimately it is up to you to decide what features are most important to you.
We’ve also got a list of the best sleeping bags for motorcycle camping, should you be on the hunt for one of those as well.
Best Tents for Motorcycle Camping
Big Agnes Copper Hotel
- Capacity: 2 people plus large vestibule
- Weight: 3 lbs 13 oz
- Pack Size: 5 in x 19.5 in
In the past couple of decades, Big Agnes has emerged as a leader in the outdoor gear industry, and their Copper Hotel tent is an excellent example as to why.
This ultralight tent is a great option for motorcycle campers concerned about space when packing their bikes or are looking for a dual-use tent that can be used backpacking as well. Like the Vuz Moto above, the Copper Hotel has a large vestibule that adds a considerable amount of protected living space when in camp.
While this vestibule may not be big enough to completely protect all motorcycles, it has plenty of space to unpack, sprawl out, or store other gear out of the elements.
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 3
- Capacity: 3 people
- Weight: 6 lbs 2 oz
- Pack Size: 6.5 in x 19 in
The Zephyr 3 from ALPS Mountaineering is a good no-frills option for folks testing the waters of motorcycle camping.
While it is not the fanciest tent on our list, it gets the job done. This tent will last you long after you decide it’s time to invest in a more robust option. The easy assembly and intuitive design of the Zephyr 3 are especially appealing. When you’re living on the road, having a tent that has efficient transitioning to get you in and out of camp quickly is a necessity.
For the price point, you’re getting an efficient and effective tent that is perfect for entry level
The North Face Wawona 6
- Capacity: 6 people plus large vestibule
- Weight: 20 lbs 15 oz
- Pack Size: 10 in x 27 in
If packed size isn’t much of a concern and instead, your goal is to maximize comfort, look no further than The North Face Wawona 6. This nearly 21 lb behemoth of a tent is the most spacious on our list.
Built with full stand-up height and able to sleep 6, the Wawona has a large enough vestibule to park a motorcycle and get comfortable spreading out the rest of your gear if you need. TheWawona 6 is designed with big mesh windows that open up the interior space, and well-designed pockets to help you comfortably organize gear.
If your motorcycle can handle the larger pack size and weight, the comfort afforded by The North Face Wawona 6 is well worth it.
Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent
- Capacity: 2 people (1 and 4 person options also available)
- Weight: 5 lbs 9 oz
- Pack Size: 13 in x 15 in
The Kelty Salida Camping and Backpacking Tent is a simple tent for those looking to start gathering all necessary camping gear without breaking the bank. When it comes to motorcycle camping tents, this option is a bit minimalistic.
However, because it is so small and lightweight, it is easy to justify using this as both a front country and backcountry tent option. Additionally, the price is very attractive, and those that are not concerned about the simple design or minimal tent space will enjoy the unique features this Kelty tent offers.
The North Face Stormbreak 2
- Capacity: 2 people
- Weight: 5 lbs 14 oz
- Pack Size: 7 in x 22 in
The North Face Stormbreak 2 is a rare affordable option from such a high profile brand name. The stand out feature here is that the Stormbreak holds up very well in inclement weather – both rain and snow.
While it doesn’t have the biggest vestibule on our list (you will not be able to park a motorcycle under it), campers can configure it in multiple ways allowing for increased flexibility in design. Overall, the Stormbreak packs down small and is light enough to serve as a backcountry tent as well as a motorcycle camping option.
Users are especially drawn to its simple and efficient design, along with the extra headroom.
GEERTOP Portable 4 Season Backpacking Tent
- Capacity: 2 people + medium vestibule
- Weight: 6 lbs 3 oz
- Pack Size: 6.3 in x 6.3 in x 18 in
If you are looking for the best 2 person tent for motorcycle camping in all four seasons, consider the GEERTOP Portable 4 Season Backpacking Tent.
You will be hard-pressed to find a more affordable tent that is suitable for year-round camping. The interior is spacious enough for two, and the extended vestibule expands the usable protected space. Being a four-season tent, however, it comes with the standard challenges of similar products.
When used in the summer months or warmer climates, condensation can easily build up on the inside, creating a damper environment than desired. However, if you plan on motorcycle camping in the winter you should at least consider the GEERTOP Portable 4 Season Tent.
REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent
- Capacity: 2 person
- Weight: 5 lbs 5 oz
- Pack Size: 7 in x 20.5 in
As a company, REI has built its reputation in the outdoor industry on excellent customer service and solid products. They have been creating solid and affordable tents for awhile, and the Half Dome 2 Plus is no exception.
Many campers love this tent as a motorcycle camping option given its lightweight, reasonable packability, and ease of set up. Each side of the tent has a vestibule and, while neither is large enough to protect your bike, both are more than adequate for storing gear.
This helps maximize the usable space inside, which is already plenty for two people. If you are looking for a middle of the line motorcycle tent that can comfortably be used in the backcountry as well, check out the Half Dome 2 Plus from REI.
REI Co-op Passage 2
- Capacity: 2 people
- Weight: 5 lbs 10 oz
- Pack Size: 18 in x 8 in
REI is a leader in the world of budget backpacking tents, and the Passage 2 Tent is a great example as to why. This is a great option for those just starting their motorcycle camping journey.
When paired with the generous REI return policy, the Passage 2 can be a great option for the unsure and undecided Outdoorsr reader. The basic design makes it easy to set up with the attached footprint serving as a bonus.
Similar to the step-up Half Dome 2, the Passage 2 has two doors and two vestibules, allowing for ample protected gear storage. While not particularly fancy or elaborate, this tent’s construction is elegant in its simplicity and is comfortable for days or weeks on the road.
Bessport 3 Season Backpacking Tent
- Capacity: 2 people (1 person option also available)
- Weight: 5 lbs 3 oz
- Pack Size: N/A
At under $100, the Bessport 3 Season Backpacking Tent is the most affordable option on our list. Despite its low price point, this tent holds up fairly well. It boasts a very easy, two-step set up and has a similar design to the two REI tents listed above.
With two doors and two accompanying vestibules, the Bessport is comfortable and convenient for two people to use – though its length is maybe a bit tight for taller campers. Beyond that, it breaks down into an easily manageable size to pack onto a bike or into a backpack.
For those uncertain about motorcycle camping and a bit nervous about making a significant investment, the Bessport may be a good option. Just bear in mind that it likely will not hold up as well in challenging weather conditions.
Vuz Moto Waterproof Motorcycle Tent
- Capacity: 3 people and 1 motorcycle
- Weight: 13.7 lbs
- Pack Size: N/A
While many of our reviews cover gear that you will need to carry yourself, the motorcycle tent review allows for a bit more flexibility. As such, the big and burly Vuz Moto Waterproof Motorcycle Tent is easily one of the best 3 person tents for motorcycle camping that you’ll find.
Since your bike will be doing all of the heavy lifting, the 13.7 pounds packed weight isn’t too big. The 18 ft. x 8 ft. footprint, when set up, allows for maximum comfort and usability, and the garage vestibule offers more than enough space to park your bike and spread out your gear.
If storage on your motorcycle isn’t too much of a concern, you’ll be more than pleased with the space that the Vuz Moto Motorcycle Tent provides in camp.
How to Choose the Right Tent
When looking for the best tent for motorcycle camping, there are many things to take into consideration. Every camper will have different wants and desires in their home on the road, and as you explore your options, it can be helpful to make a list of your priorities.
If you are a budget shopper, perhaps price is the most important deciding factor for you.
If you plan on camping in dynamic environments or inclement weather, you may want to look at weather resistance reviews and durability.
If you have limited storage space on your motorcycle, consider a less bulky package.
The decision is yours, and the right tent for you may be the wrong tent for someone else. As you do shop around, below are some specific things to consider.
Generally, tents are divided between three season and four season options. Unless you truly plan on doing the majority of your camping in winter or inclement weather, a four-season tent will be overkill. While these tents are very durable, they tend to gather interior condensation in warmer environments. They are also larger and heavier to pack and can be more challenging to set up alone.
If you expect to encounter rainy weather, definitely look for a tent that is water-resistant or, better yet, waterproof. At the end of a long day on the road, you want to make sure you are comfortable, and tent durability and dryness are the keys to that equation.
Pack Size & Weight
While you won’t be carrying your motorcycle tent on your back, you should pay special attention to the pack size and weight. Every motorcycle has a different carrying capacity when it comes to bringing gear. So, it is essential to take that into consideration when buying a tent and other gear for your planned trip.
Panniers can be an excellent investment to distribute the weight you are carrying more evenly on the bike, but may also limit the size of your tent.
The weight listed on each tent above is the packaged weight, meaning there are ways to bring each of those weights down. By eliminating unnecessary items and parts of the tent, you can achieve a tent’s “trail weight,” which could be ounces to a few pounds lighter.
Bigger tents with larger vestibules or more weather resistance will almost always be heavier. In the end, it comes down to personal preference and individual motorcycle carrying capability to find the right tent for you.
Tent capacity, on the surface, is a no brainer to pay attention to. If two of you are going on a motorcycle camping trip, you will want at least a two-person tent. However, not all two-person tents are created equal.
Lighter tents will often weigh less because they’ve skimped on a bit of interior space, making a two-person tent could feel more like it was meant for one and a half. Consider your body size, the size of your traveling companion, and how much gear you will need to store in your tent while sleeping.
Considering capacity is virtually all based on comfort. When exploring tent options, you can read reviews about size or crawl into some at your local sporting goods store to get a feel for how much space you will need.
Similar to weatherproofing, ventilation is equally important to ensure comfort in your tent. Most motorcycle campers are taking their bikes into hot climates to enjoy a comfortable cruise, but that generally equates to warm nights sleeping in a tent.
You may end up getting way too hot if you purchase a tent that is not adequately ventilated. Most of the tents on the list above are designed with ventilation in mind and have mesh walls to allow for maximum airflow.
Four season tents are the biggest exception to this. They are built less for ventilation and more for dryness and warmth – meaning they are not a great choice for road trips through arid climates.
Storage space in your tent is very important to keep in mind. The amount of storage space will largely depend on how much other gear you are bringing, your motorcycle’s storage capacity, and your specific trip itinerary.
True motorcycle camping tents will have a massive vestibule on the outside that enables riders to park and store their bike in a covered atrium. These tents, of course, are bulkier and do not pack down as well, but they do offer unrivaled comfort when setting up. As such, these tents are almost exclusively reserved for front country camping.
Tents one step down from dedicated motorcycle camping tents will have large enough vestibules to store all of your gear, sans motorcycle. Still, the most minimalist will have vestibules large enough for shoes and backpacks and not much else.
Consider how much you typically carry, and decide if you are looking to do more than just motorcycle camp when examining differences in tent storage space.
As with all outdoor gear, the price can be a major deciding factor when purchasing a motorcycle camping tent.
If you are new to camping, it makes more sense to get an entry-level option that is a bit more affordable. That way, if you don’t fall in love with motorcycle adventure travel, you aren’t out hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, if you have been motorcycle camping before and are all in, consider some of the higher-end options.
Regardless, it is good to keep in mind that generally, you get what you pay for, and the product’s quality is often reflected in the price. Additionally (and especially if you plan on really putting your tent to heavy use), buying one from a company with excellent customer service, warranty, or return options can provide some extra peace of mind.
There is arguably no more adventurous way to see the country than on a motorcycle camping trip. While motorcycle camping can have a costly gear investment upfront, this gear will ensure you have the most enjoyable and comfortable experience on the road.
Perhaps the most essential piece of gear that can make or break your motorcycle camping trip is a quality tent. While there is no best tent for motorcycle camping, there are a ton of really excellent options. Like bikes themselves, each tent is different as every rider, or camper, and we all will have our own set of requirements and preferences.
Use this guide to help find your perfect home on the road, and soon you will have nothing to worry about beyond enjoying ultimate freedom of a motorcycle adventure.