How to Choose a Tent for Bike Packing and Cycle Touring

When you are planning a touring trip, you must carry the right equipment. A lot of development has been made in the sector, and we now have products designed for such purposes. The products provide the desired functionality while also being extremely convenient and easy to store. 

How to Choose a Tent for Bike Packing and Cycle Touring

The tent is one of the essential pieces of equipment that you are going to carry. Therefore, there are numerous things that you need to consider before selecting one to take with you on tour. It would be best if you remembered that you are going on outdoor activity and would like to make the most out of it. 

If you don’t choose the right tent for the journey, chances are you are going to end up with a product that fails to deliver the expected performance. Furthermore, it is not only going to be inconvenient but also impacts your mood and overall approach towards the tour.

Important Factors to Consider

It would be best if you considered the following aspects before perusing a bike packing or cycling tour. 

Weather Considerations

The first things that you need to consider are the weather conditions. Tents are carried for trips that may include staying or camping at a particular spot; thus, you need to consider the weather conditions. 

Some of the things you need to think about are whether its summer or winter, calm or windy, dry or wet weather, considering these aspects would allow you to determine your tent’s durability. It’s crucial because weather-resistant and resilient tents tend to be heavier. 

Thus, if you are travelling through cold conditions, you would need a warm and cosy tent. Therefore, this should be the starting point when you are looking for a tent.

What is the Right Size?

It is a question that you need to ask yourself. There is no fixed size, and it’s something that depends on the buyer’s preferences according to its priorities. You need to be aware of the right dimensions that would suit you. 

One important thing that you might need to consider is capacity. The term “Capacity” means that you know how much space is available inside the tent. If you want to carry a tent for yourself and a partner, then it should be big enough to encompass both of you, along with the gear.

Size and Weight of the Tent

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Dimensions are essential, and you must have the right gear and tent size that you carry along the trip. If you carry additional weight, it could impact your energy levels and feel drained out a lot earlier. 

Furthermore, the tent’s dimensions are more significant than regular or don’t match with your gear, and it would not be easy to carry it. Since a tent can be attached to the bike, having a bigger one could affect your bike’s stability and reduce the space available for carrying essentials.

The tent’s weight is based on its size, and thus you have to select one that you can easily carry. Although specific tents vary in weight based on the material used in creating them, you need to know how much it weighs. It’s also important to know this information because you would make a better and reasonable decision to carry it and later erect it. Often, a tent used for this purpose would weigh among 1-2 kgs, and however, if you are travelling with your partner, it could be split between you taking the poles and pegs and your partner taking the inner and flysheet. Since it will be the heaviest item on your bike, you need to maximize the available space. 

Here are some of the tips that you can use for saving weight while being on a bike packing tips

  • Choosing a lightweight bike frame
  • Using bike luggage with lighter weight
  • Vac-packed or pre-cooked food
  • Packing an ultra-light sleeping system

The tent’s size and weight need to be reasonable, ideally not too big, particularly if you plan a short trip with a partner or if you would be alone in the tent. You also need to consider its size when it’s packed to confirm that it would easily fit on your bike.

Construction Method 

When you are in the market for a tent, you will find all types of them. The construction method of the product is a valuable trait that needs to be noticed before buying it. Some products have a complex assembly, and while they are designed for other purposes, such a tent might not be an ideal choice for backpacking or cycle touring.

When you are considering a tent for such a trip, you need something that comes with more straightforward assembly and adequate space. Although they are a lot easier to erect, some tents might not offer a lot of space, but when you are on a bike packing trip, it’s recommended that you choose a product that would easily fit in all your essentials and yourself or even your bike if required.

The Resilience of the Tent Fabrics  

One of the most significant factors that can have a massive impact on your trip is the tent fabric’s quality. When choosing a tent, you might find expensive individual options simply because they are better in quality. Many buyers often let the price deceive them as they choose a cheaper one; however, that is one mistake that you need to reconsider. 

When you are out on a trip, there is no certainty. You are likely to come across various terrains and different weather conditions. Furthermore, the ground that you use for setting up a tent might not be the smoothest. So in such conditions, if you choose a tent that isn’t made with high-quality and durable material, you might get caught up in an undesired situation where your tent has an irreparable hole.

Thus when choosing a tent for an outdoor journey, you need to ensure its quality. Furthermore, it’s better to select a water-proof one even if there is no rain expectancy because nature tends to be unpredictable. Therefore, it’s better to be prepared for any situation. 

Inner or Outer Pitch first?

Whether choosing a tent with the outer pitch or selecting a product with an outer pitch depends on the user and its local temperature and weather conditions. Usually, the tents that pitch outward first tend to be more expensive and have more space available. At the same time, tents with an inner first pitch are recommended for areas with no rain and added stability. So it is a choice of the buyer to select one according to its likings.

How do you carry a tent on a bike?

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There are several ways that a biker can use to carry a tent on a bike. Some of it they are;

Using Two Straps

It is one of the simplest and affordable ways that works excellent for everyone. All you need for this method are two straps that would need to be wrapped against each side of the handlebars. The tent would be secured to the bars, and you would get an affordable bike packing setup. 

The method would work wonderfully in particular conditions, which include:

  • Suppose your bike has MTB-Style handlebars. The majority of the tent poles would fit with the sides of drop handlebars available on bicycles.
  • You have other space for packing your sleeping bag.
  • If your tent is too big or bulky, then this is not the best choice. It is suited for small-sized tents, but you might have to consider something else if you have a bigger one.

Handlebar Harness

A handlebar harness is an apparatus that installs on the front side of the handlebars. It uses multiple straps to protect something – ordinarily a cylindrical object which could be a tent or a sack alongside the harness.

A harness is better than straps because it offers additional stability, durability, and ease of packing and unpacking something. However, although the method is an excellent way of carrying a tent for backpacking, it is still exposed to similar limitations as mentioned above. 

For instance, it goes with your handlebar design, you have somewhere to carry the sleeping bag, and your tent is not too big. 

Handlebar Bag

Handlebar bags incorporate the material pack and handlebar stand together. The handlebar bag method typically works a lot better for softer objects like a sleeping bag; however, if you have a tent with the ideal size for your bag, this is a great choice. 

However, you would need a matching bag and tent for this method to work flawlessly. 

Separating the tent 

One of the most effective ways of carrying a tent is to separate its part and then to fit them up at different places to ensure that they don’t disturb the stability and can be carried easily. It is one of the best ways to bring a tent while being on a trip. 


Some of the factors that you need to consider while choosing a tent have been mentioned. WE have listed the specific methods of carrying it with the bike. It now falls on the user’s preferences to choose the methods that they seem best. It’s best to make a list of all the requirements and start creating an outline. You can also try various ways to ensure that you have the right one under your grasp.

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