Whether your motorcycle takes you through the Historic Route 66 or the breathtaking views of the Pacific Coast Highway, you need a good night’s sleep to keep you going.
There are plenty of great lightweight tents suitable for motorcycle camping, but of course a few of them stand out because of their features and overall build quality.
As you make your way towards your final destination, the last thing you want is to waste precious time trying to set up your tent for the night. You could’ve spent that time relaxing and unwinding, cooking your food, having a beer with friends or strangers, and even set up a camp fire.
For motorcycle camping the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx is a great choice because it’s lightweight, easy to set up, and extremely compact. For more options, see the list below.
Identifying the top lightweight tents for motorcycle camping
We researched and reviewed the best options on the market, as well as educated ourselves to get a better understanding of the requirements and expectations to a motorcycle-friendly tent.
Our findings taught us that these are the most important factors in general when shopping for a lightweight tent for motorcycle camping:
- Size and shape
- Build quality
- Ease of use
Every time we went on a camping trip, the above criteria have weighed the most when “in the field” and setting up the tent. Size and shape matter because you want your tent to take as little storage space as possible while still providing an ample sleeping space, build quality is important because we want our investments to last more than a few trips, and of course we don’t want to waste time fiddling with a manual just to figure out how to pitch the tent. Finally, we also want a tent that doesn’t limit our possibilities when traveling, so it has to offer great ventilation, adjustment options, and a flexible interior space.
Best 1-person tent: ALPS Mountaineering Lynx
ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 1-Person Tent
- Weighs only 4 pounds
- Compact design – easily fits most backpacks
- Easy assembly
What we like: The Lynx 1-Person Tent by Alps Mountaineering slots in at the top position on this list of best lightweight tents for motorcycling for several reasons, starting with its no-assembly, free-standing aluminum two-pole design. Tipping the scales at just 4 lbs, the Lynx 1-person tent measures 2’8 x 7’6 at the base, and stands 36 inches tall. It showcases an appealing clay/rust color, and is water and UV resistant, so you can rest assured it will last you for several years to come.
The Lynx 1-person tent is equipped with storage pockets, stakes, gear loft, guy ropes #8 zippers, and even a single doorway. Adding to this, it comes with a vestibule, which allows you to stash your gear out of the way or change out of wet muddy gear in a dry area. It features factory seals and fly to provide the bets weather protection, and comes with a poly taffeta floor that’s complete with a 2000mm coating. The Lynx tent is easy to assemble, where you simply use the pole clips to snap them over the poles.
For a 1-person motorcycle camping trip, the Lynx tent is a winner.
Trade-offs: Obviously, one of the biggest disadvantages is its size. You can’t fit more than a simple sleeping bag inside this tent along with your bare essentials such as your smartphone and other small gadgets.
Best 2-person tent: ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr
ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr
- Two vestibules for storage and entrance
- Great ventilation from all sides
- Spacious enough for two persons
What we like: The ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr is a spacious 2-person tent suitable for motorcycle camping. It offers plenty of space for two person’s gear and sleeping bags, and you’ll get a good night’s sleep thanks to the interior mesh walls. They’ll provide plenty of ventilation while the fly keeps you covered from rain and wind.
This tent has a practical interior layout with a vestibule on each side so both persons are able to enter and exit without causing inconvenience. Each vestibule can also be used to store essential equipment, and inside the tent you’ll find useful mesh storage pockets as well as a gear loft that will keep everything dry and organized.
For those in need of a minimalistic, lightweight tent for motorcycle camping, the ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr is definitely worth considering.
Trade-offs: While the mesh walls provide great ventilation and keeps the tent cool during the summer nights, it does the same thing during winter. It isn’t nearly as suitable for winter camping due to this design.
The center height is 38 inches, so a tall person might not be able to sit upright in this tent.
Best tarp tent: Free Soldier Waterproof Portable Tarp
Free Soldier Waterproof Portable Tarp
- Works perfectly well with a hammock
- Suitable for light travellers
- Multi-purpose tarp tent
What we like: If your main goal is to travel as lightweight as possible, a tarp tent is a great idea. When folded it doesn’t take up more space than a water bottle, and it weighs only 1 pound.
You can set it up exactly the way you want, and you’ll get guy lines, tensioners, and a stuff sack to keep it all organized. The rain fly has 19 guy points as well as 5 strengthen grommet points to give you a strong coverage in all types of weather, and you can even use trees and sticks to stabilize it even further.
Perfect for your upcoming motorcycle camping trip.
Trade-offs: One major disadvantage with tarp tent is that they don’t provide as much cover as a regular tent. You’re basically getting a rain fly and that’s it, but you need to buy something to go underneath. Most people opt for a hammock because you’ll stay dry in all weather, but otherwise you’ll have to get a sleeping bag along with an insulated sleeping pad.
Best tent with large vestibule: Harley-Davidson HDL-10010A
- Cool, bright design
- Large vestibule spacious enough for motorcycle
- Sleeps up to 4 people
What we like: The Harley-Davidson HDL-10010A tent weighs only 12 lbs and provides ample space for up to four people in the sleeping area, and a motorcycle in the large, detachable vestibule.
This lightweight tent is every motorcyclist’s dream, as it doesn’t just provide shade and cover for you and your gear, but also your motorcycle. Gone are the days where your motorcycle had to rest outside in all types of weather, including scorching heat and rain. Now you’ll be able to always get up and head out on a dry, cool motorcycle.
The Harley-Davidson tent includes 14 aluminum tent stakes as well as a practical carry back that’ll keep everything well organized.
Trade-offs: For some people, a tent of this size gets a bit too heavy. At 12 pounds you’ll have to properly distribute your gear and personal belongings, in order to keep the balance centered while riding your motorcycle across the country.
To us, the vestibule seems a bit fragile too, and we suspect that it will not hold up against strong wind gusts. Fortunately it’s detachable, so you can detach it from the main tent if it’s too windy outside.
Best pop-up tent: Moon Lence Instant Pop-Up Tent
Moon Lence Instant Pop-Up Tent
- Pop-up mechanism gets the tent set up and read in a few minutes
- Lightweight – only 10.25 lbs
- Capacity for 4-5 people
What we like: The Moon Lence Instant Pop-Up Tent is a great lightweight tent perfect for a motorcycle camping trip. Because of the design it sets up itself while unpacked — all you have to do is to simply unpack it, lift up the top and secure it, lock the bottom joints into place and you’re done. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
With this tent you’ll get plenty of space for up to 5 persons, and it’s even spacious enough to hold a good amount of personal belongings inside too.
It packs down just as easily, so after a good night’s sleep you’ll be able to move on in a matter of minutes.
Trade-offs: The construction doesn’t seem as robust as other lightweight tents, and for that reason we wouldn’t feel content about using it under windy conditions. Because of the design there’s no actual inner tent, because it’s all one piece. That means less ventilation unless you open the mesh screen windows, but that won’t work if you’re in an area with less privacy or there’s a chance of rain during the night.
How to find the perfect lightweight motorcycle tent
- Weight – the weight of a motorcycle tent is represented in lbs, where some that are larger in size weigh more than others.
- Capacity – even though some of best tents for motorcycling aren’t too big, some can be to accommodate more people and even provide dedicated space for your motorcycle. When thinking about space, you should think about the number of people you’re looking to accommodate as well as space to store your things such as riding gear perhaps in a vestibule.
- Water and wind resistance – since the weather on any given day is unpredictable, and considering that you’re going to be camping outdoors, it is important to buy the best lightweight tent for motorcycling that can withstand the elements.
- Ventilation – the interior of tents can get hot and humid, so it is a good idea to look for a motorcycling tent that provides great airflow especially if you’re going to be camping in extreme hot weather.
- Assembly – the last thing you want to do is struggle with the tent to set it up, so look for one that is easy to assemble and even put away when not in use.
- Secure – some of the best lightweight tents for motorcycling are appointed with mesh panels to prevent bugs from getting in and high quality zippers for added security when your camping with your motorbike in tow.