Motorcycles are the key — the two-wheeled enigma that draws riders to open highways for extensive road trips, scenic getaways, and freedom-filled excursions. While hopping onto your trusted steed for a weekend getaway might sound like the perfect chance to escape the worries and stresses of the world, the days leading up the trip are often filled with planning, packing, and preparation. All of these things add up, and on top of it all, you’ll have to figure out a way pack that troublesome two-person tent that undoubtedly weighs a ton, throws your weight-ratio into disarray, and adds a pretty hefty drag coefficient to your gas-mileage calculations.
It’s not the end of the world, though. Motorcyclists are a creative bunch and there are a number of motorcycle gear brands out there that understand the stresses of finding the perfect enclosure for you and your bike, should you decide to take a break from the winding roadway for the night. Below, we’ll give you a quick rundown of the best expeditionary tent systems to take with you on your next big adventure — and since we’re looking for lightweight variants that can also house your bike, the majority of our picks will feature an expansive vestibule area (or two) for you and your trusted two-wheeled companion. Whether you’re looking for a large, free-flowing casita or a small, lightweight fly system that can protect your gear and cycle from the elements, we’ve got you covered. Familiarize yourself with these sturdy, trusted, and all-around awesome choices before you plan your next weekend getaway — chances are, they’ll make your adventurous life that much easier.
Alps Mountaineering Zephyr
Alps created their Zephyr tent to embody the best technical aspects for mountaineering, and in the process, they materialized one of the best offerings in the industry for motorcycle riders. A simplistic two-pole design takes all of the frustration (and extra components) out of the setup process, leaving you with more time to get other things done around the campsite and less to pack once everything is said and done. To resist water and UV damage, the Zephyr’s polyester tent fly and additional vestibules offer a sealed living and entry area, as well as adequate ventilation thanks to numerous mesh walls and doors. On the interior, mesh storage pockets, a gear loft (for additional items), and guy ropes ensure that this fully equipped enclosure is ready for anything the open road has to offer.
Big Agnes Big House 4
Big Agnes is an industry leader when it comes to journey-prone enclosures, and their Big House 4 is among the top performing (and most affordable) offerings to ever hit the outdoor space. Utilizing a spacious, high-volume design that doesn’t feel confined due to its steep walls and living area, the Big House 4 prioritizes comfort and function above all else. Large doors and windows give way to multiple closure options, including mesh (for enhanced ventilation) and polyester for protection from the elements. Storm flaps, sidewall pockets, bin pockets that act as bedside tables, and a waterproof/taped fly and door round out the spacious enclosure, providing a perfect dwelling for you and your bike to bed down for the night.
CATOMA 64598F Lightweight Switchback
CATOMA’s 64598F Lightweight Switchback tent is the perfect solution for riders who are looking for a minimal, weight-conscious enclosure for their weekend getaway. A dual-door, dual-vestibule architecture ensures adequate entry and exit, while additional storage spaces throughout the tent safely stow any extra gear. An interesting two-wall design protects you and your merchandise from the weather, simplifies the setup process, and packs away with ease at the end of your trip. A 2,000mm polyurethane construction ensures that you stay dry during those ultra-rainy excursions, while a bathtub floor and taped seams reinforce the Switchback’s waterproofing capabilities even further. As an added bonus, the 64598F even comes with a specialized motorcycle carry bag, complete with a roll-down closer that makes stowing the tent an even simpler process.
The North Face Wawona 6
If The North Face didn’t already cover all the bases with their extensive outdoor tent lineup, they’ve surely set the bar with their Wawona 6 — a voluminous enclosure that fits up to 6 people (and maybe even a motorcycle or two). A large front vestibule with two-door access gives way to the tent’s simplistic single-wall design, which is fully waterproof and simplifies the setup and teardown process. If you want additional ventilation and serene views of your surroundings, the Wawona’s dual-window setup definitely doesn’t disappoint. Internal drylines, hang loops, and Velcro lantern loops ensure that your outdoor dwelling will always be available for multipurpose use, while a condensation-deterring top vent and mesh siding give you all the airflow you’ll ever need. While the tent’s heavy-duty 14mm poles might not be as light as some of the other offerings on this list, there’s certainly no question about their durability — and better yet, they’re pre-bent to provide a larger living space inside the tent.
NEMO Dagger 2
NEMO’s Dagger 2 tent is the perfect motorcyclist’s variant, and truth be told, it’s possibly one of the coolest tents on the market today. It elaborates on the brand’s popular flagship with the introduction of DAC Featherlite poles, allowing for a more voluminous space within the dwelling, as well as light storage capabilities that won’t weigh you down while you’re on the road. Color-coded panels remove a large portion of the guesswork during setup and teardown, alongside newly integrated webbing, ventilation, and trapezoidal vestibules that bring riders the ultimate in airflow capabilities. A 15-denier nylon and mesh sidewall regulates temperature and airflow for less forgiving climates, while gear pockets and an interesting light pocket system that evenly disperses luminance throughout the tent give the Dagger 2 a leg up on its less-capable competitors.
Marmot Orbit 4P
Marmot has a long-running relationship with the great outdoors, and their Orbit 4P tent plays on the company’s extensive expeditionary knowledge to send their moto-camping capabilities to new heights. An integrated canopy front porch and removable vestibule ensure that you’ll have all the coverage you’ll ever need for stow-able gear, while an expansive shelter space provides the perfect, relaxing sleeping area after a long day of riding. Weatherproof seams and a taped Catenary cut floor give you utmost protection against the elements, should things get a little wet, alongside nylon zipper pulls, a 40d 100% Polyester No-See-Um Mesh, and durable interior pocket solutions that can take a beating and keep on ticking.
Lone Rider Mototent V2
Lone Rider’s Mototent V2 was designed by motorcyclists, for motorcyclists — providing a perfect outdoor camping solution that’s been tailored for two-wheeled expeditions. A strong and durable wind-tunnel design prioritizes full-fledged protection while keeping lightweight carry at the forefront. Touted as the lightest tent with an adjoined motorcycle canopy on the market today, the Mototent V2 weighs in at just under 12 pounds and features a high-end waterproof design comprised of resistant zippers, hydrostatic ratings for all of its construction fabrics, and an extra-large vestibule/sleeping area that’s preferable for storage. Better yet, a detachable inner tent allows riders to perform mechanical fixes on their cycles while being shielded from the elements — a welcome change from the wet and windy days of old.
Redverz’s Atacama enclosure was built to withstand anything the open road could possibly throw at it, including high winds, torrential downpours, or chilly afternoons. A flexible hoop layout, 4,000mm hydrostatic head waterproof design, and large living area can comfortably house up to three people, while the towering roof of the tent even allows riders to stand up if they so desire. Vertical tent walls create the perfect sleeping area, which can also be transitioned into a garage or storage area for your expeditionary gear. A full-size motorcycle bay designed to house larger bikes gives you all the protection you’d want for your two-wheeled machine — and thanks to a large flow-through venting system, your enclosure will never be filled with stagnant air or fumes, should you pull your bike in right after a ride.
Crua Core Dome Tent
The Crua Core Dome Tent is the perfect middle ground between a large living space and an outdoor camping enclosure, sporting an expansive Airframe structure that’s constructed with top-of-the-line breathable polyester material for the ultimate in continuous airflow. A B3 bug mesh on the interior of the tent keeps the pests away, while a UV-protected, HH5000mm water-resistant outer layer and aerodynamic design cover all your bases for daily use. Durable jumbo zipper enclosures and a large front vestibule area provide the perfect storage location for your gear or motorcycle. The Dome’s generous 16 x 12-foot design is certainly one of the largest we’ve seen, bringing the Core into our lineup as one of the most elaborate offerings on the market.
Exped Polaris Tent
Exped’s Polaris tent rounds out our list as one of the coolest-looking, lightweight expeditionary tents to ever make its way onto the scene. A proprietary “ridge tunnel” design utilizes three sectional poles and a single, full ridge pole, giving it an interesting exoskeleton design that’s defined by its aerodynamic flat pole sleeves. It comes with two integrated vestibules to protect your gear from the elements and features a single wall, waterproof VentAir ripstop nylon composition that prioritizes resistances to wind, snow, and rain. A single anchor point and triangular guy-out optimize the tent’s storm capabilities, while smart cord tensioners and adjustable pole tension pockets allow for an adaptable, intuitive setup and teardown without the need for confusing knots — helping you to spend more time relaxing, socializing, and planning the next leg of your wild excursion.
15 Best Motorcycle Roads In America
Now that you’re ready to brave the open road, plan your next trip on one of the best motorcycle roads in America to see what our great country has to offer.
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