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Published Aug. 4, 2021

If you plan on taking your motorcycle on a camping trip, it’s a good idea to be prepared so you’re as comfortable as possible while you’re traveling and when you reach your destination. Camping on a bike is a little different than camping in an RV or even in a car because you have limited space and less room to carry some essential items.

Motorcycle camping gear should be lightweight, easy to pack, and not take up a lot of precious space. It’s a good idea to look for equipment that is easy to pack into small saddle bags, trunk bags, and other parts of your bike. However, you also need to make sure that you have the right gear for the trip. Check out some motorcycle camping essentials in the buying guide below.

The Best Motorcycle Camping Gear

We like the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent because it’s small, lightweight, and packs down to just 8 inches wide by 21 inches long. The tent is great for ADV moto-camping and is designed for three-season use. It comes with pole clips that are easy to use with the aluminum poles, and the polyester construction includes a special coating that provides UV resistance for greater longevity.

The fly and floor seams are sealed to protect against the elements, and the mesh walls provide good air flow. Other features include a poly taffeta floor, two doors, a vestibule to store your equipment, a gear loft, mesh storage pockets, and weatherproof fly buckles. The tent is 40 square feet and measures 7.5 feet long by 6.2 feet wide by 3.5 feet high when open. It also comes with aluminum stakes and guy ropes, so you don’t have to purchase them separately.

Key Features
  • Space for up to three people
  • Aluminum tent stakes
  • Open dimensions: 7 feet 5 inches long x 6' 2" wide x 3' 5" high
  • Packed dimensions: 21 inches long and 8 inches wide
Specification
  • Brand Alps Mountaineering
  • Model 5322650
  • Weight 6 pounds 2 ounces
PROS

Lightweight

Easy to store on a motorcycle

UV resistance

CONS

A little large for solo trips

Hard to pack into the storage bag

May leak in torrential rain

One of the best things about the Peregrine Contour 30 Sleeping Bag is its affordable price. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good-quality sleeping bag. In addition, it’s approximately 10 percent wider than comparable products, and the added room makes it more comfortable if you tend to move around a bit when you sleep.

The Peregrine Contour also has a YKK zipper, which is designed not to snag. It includes warm perefill hollow insulation, a ripstop polyester shell, and a polyester pongee liner. The sleeping bag has an articulated foot box, a pocket for storage, and an elastic drawcord hood that you can adjust for comfort and to keep cold air from penetrating. It’s designed to accommodate users up to 6 feet 5 inches tall and can be used in temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Key Features
  • Open dimensions: 88 x 33 x 22 inches
  • Packed dimensions: 17 x 9 inches
  • Polyester construction
  • 30-degree Fahrenheit comfort ratin
Specification
  • Brand Peregrine Equipment
  • Model 580612
  • Weight 3 pounds 5 ounces
PROS

Low price

Accommodates taller people

Plenty of features

CONS

Won’t keep you warm in colder temps

This touring trunk will securely strap onto the back of your bike and hold your belongings. This secure bag features high-quality construction and is made of UltraMax fabric. It has a rigid design to the construction. The material is waterproof and comes with a rain cover. 

This bag is quite large and can fit two full-face helmets in it before you expand it. Once you pack your bag, you can lock the main compartment to secure your belongings.

Key Features
  • UltraMax fabric
  • Reflective piping
  • Rigid construction
  • Three carry handles
  • Includes waterproof rain cover
Specification
  • Brand Nelson Rigg
  • Model NR-300
  • Weight 6 pounds
PROS

Large enough to hold two full-face helmets

Can lock the main compartment zipper

High-quality construction

CONS

Waterproof cover tends to fail and need replacing

May not be compatible with your bike

Somes bikes cause the bottom of the bag to get soaked

Depending on where you decide to camp when you’re on your motorcycle, you may not have access to a power source. As a result, your smartphone and other electronic devices may lose their charge before you reach your destination. To combat this problem, consider purchasing the BikeMaster Dual USB Charger with Handlebar Mount. It’s great for juicing up your phone, GPS, and MP3 player while you’re riding.

This USB charger is water- and weather-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain while you’re using it. It includes dual 5V/2A USB ports and features a 38-inch SAE main wire harness and 12-inch SAE battery quick disconnect that features an in-line fuse. The device’s mounting bracket can fit on handlebars that are ⅞ to 1 inch wide. Users report that it easily locks on to the handlebar.

Key Features
  • 5V/2A USB ports
  • Charge two devices simultaneously
  • Water- and weather-resistant
  • Fits ⅞- and 1-inch bars
Specification
  • Brand BikeMaster
  • Model TC-6613WU-SAE
  • Weight 1.6 ounces
PROS

Easy to install

Charge multiple devices at once

Rubber cover keeps water out

CONS

No on/off switch

Can potentially drain your battery

A little bulky

An unexpected roadside emergency can quickly derail your road trip. It’s not uncommon to experience a mechanical issue, so you need a motorcycle tool kit like the Windzone Great Escape Tool Kit to help you get back on your bike as quickly as possible. This lightweight and compact kit is so small that you can wear it on your belt using the included case with a belt loop. The manufacturer claims it can be used to repair 95 percent of emergency roadside problems. Plus, you can use this kit for other tasks you may encounter during your camping trip.

The kit comes with a variety of tools, including metric and SAE hex bits, an adjustable wrench, needle nose pliers, Philips screw bits, a wire cutter/stripper, a wood saw, and a large knife blade. It also features a file, hole punch, flat screwdriver, scissors, cable ties, and mechanic’s wire.

Unfortunately, it won’t solve every issue you may encounter, such as a flat tire. If your bike has a major breakdown, you will need either a bigger, more robust tool kit or the assistance of a professional.

Key Features
  • Two multi-tools included
  • Includes a variety of stainless steel bits
  • Metric- and SAE-compatible
Specification
  • Brand Windzone
  • Model Great Escape
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Lightweight and compact

Fits on your belt

Tools can be used for other tasks as well

CONS

A little pricey

Is useless in a major breakdown

If you plan on cooking meals while you’re camping, consider the Primus Omni-Fuel Stove. The best thing about this product is that it runs on several types of fuel, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene, propane, and aviation fuel. It outputs high heat and provides good flame control. The 10,500 BTU stove boils a liter of water in minutes and can be used to provide sustenance for one to four people.

This Swedish-designed stove features stainless steel pot supports, three jet nipples, a fuel pump, a multitool, and a stuff sack. It weighs just 12 ounces and when packed takes up just one liter of space. Users report that the three legs are stable, it’s well built, and it’s versatile due to its ability to accommodate a variety of fuel options. Plus, it’s lightweight and portable, which is helpful when you’re on a motorcycle.

Key Features
  • Swedish design
  • 10,500 BTUs
  • High heat output
  • Feeds one to four people
Specifications
  • Brand: Primus
  • Model: P-328990
  • Weight: 7.5 ounces
PROS

Works on various types of fuel

Stable and well built

Lightweight and portable

Quickly boils water

CONS

Pricey

Fuel bottle must be purchased separately

A little louder than rival options

The AMK Ultralight And Watertight .5 Emergency Medical Kit is good to have on hand in case you need first-aid supplies. This kit doesn’t take up much space on your bike and won’t weigh you down. It includes items that will treat common issues and has a watertight DryFLex liner so it will stay dry in inclement weather. It also has room so you can put supplemental supplies inside of it.

Contents include antiseptic wipes, butterfly bandages, and medication for pain, inflammation, and allergies. There are wraps, bandages, moleskin, gauze dressing, safety pins, and tweezers, as well as antihistamine, aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, tape, and antibiotic ointment. The kit is 11 inches long by 5.5 inches wide. It weighs just 3.7 ounces and takes up just 1 liter of space.

Key Features
  • Treats common injuries
  • DryFlex waterproof liner
  • Rugged storage bag
Specifications
  • Brand AMK
  • Model 0125-0292
  • Weight 3.7 ounces
PROS

Lightweight

Takes up very little space

Room for supplemental supplies

Easy to carry

CONS

Basic supplies

Won’t help much in a serious medical emergency

Best Motorcycle Camping Gear Buying Guide & FAQ

If you plan to ride your bike in the city where there are hotel options, then you don’t need camping gear. If you plan to ride in more rural areas or off-road, then you need camping gear. Sleeping out in the elements is uncomfortable and can be unsafe. Camping gear protects you from the elements, animals, and other people. 

You can use the minimal equipment of a tent and sleeping bag, or you could bring small creature comforts with you. A sleeping pad will cushion you from the hard ground. A cooking kit will let you make fresh, hot meals right at your campsite.

The Advantages of Owning Motorcycle Camping Gear

With camping gear packed on your bike, you are no longer limited on where you can travel or how long you can ride. Feel free to ride for hours out into the most rural parts of the world. When you get tired, you simply pull over and set up camp. 

Camping is a more affordable way to travel even when you want to stay more local. You can find cheap camping spots at all of the biggest motorcycle rally destinations. This will let you save your budget for other things. 

  • Protection from the weather 
  • A good night’s sleep 
  • Travel further and more remote
campfire and tent

Popular Types of Motorcycle Camping Gear

The different types of camping gear that you can buy center around the equipment that is available. This includes a sleeping bag, tents, sleeping pads, cooking utensils, portable lights, and much more. What they all have in common is that they are lightweight and can be packed away for compact storage on your bike. 

Tent

You can purchase a backpacking tent that is large enough to accommodate between one and five people. Think about how much space you want inside of your tent. A single-person tent will be just big enough for you to lay down and sleep in. A two-person tent is big enough for you and all of your gear or another person to fit inside.

Some tents have special features that make them better for use in wind and rain. Consider the climate where you plan to use your tent. Look for other features like window guards or interior pockets to hold your smaller items. 

Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags are rated by their ability to keep you warm in different climates. You need to look for one that’s rated for the temperatures that you expect to experience while camping. For the best colder weather sleeping bags, look for ones that are body-shaped and have a hood. 

Pay attention to the filler used to insulate the sleeping bag. Down is the lightest and the most effective at keeping you warm. Synthetic fillers are quick-drying. Look at how small the sleeping bag will compress down to. You want to make sure it’s compact enough to fit comfortably on your bike. 

Solar Charger

When you’re out on the open road, there aren’t a lot of electrical outlets available for charging your devices. A solar charger is a perfect solution. This lets you keep your phone, GPS, and camera running. You should also look at the durability of the charger. The solar screen can be delicate, but life on the road on your motorcycle is rough and tumble. 

You want to make sure that the charger you choose has the right power output for your devices. You can risk damaging them if it isn’t compatible. Higher-quality chargers will have multiple outputs so that they’re compatible with several different types of devices. 

The Most Important Features of Motorcycle Camping Gear

Choosing your camping gear to bring with you on the motorcycle is different than choosing the gear you’ll bring on a family weekend camping trip. You need to choose gear that is durable, effective, lightweight, and compact. This will enable you to load everything on your bike while still being able to safely ride it. 

Lightweight

Look for gear that’s lightweight. You want to add as little excess weight as possible to your bike. The more weight you have on your bike, the harder the motor works to move it all, and the worse your fuel efficiency gets. That extra weight will also change the weight distribution of your bike and make it harder to maneuver. 

Materials like metal and canvas weigh more than materials like nylon, polyester, polymers, and plastics. Try to avoid buying unnecessary gear that while you’d like to have it, you don’t necessarily need it. Stick to the essentials to keep you warm, dry, and out of the elements. 

Compact Storage

You need to choose gear that will pack down into a compact space. That way, it takes up as little room as possible on your bike. You should be able to fit all of your gear inside panniers and a top luggage bag. Any more than this, and you’ll struggle to keep your bike balanced. 

Your sleeping bag should compress down and roll up. Your tent should also break down and fold up into a small bag. A sleeping pad should flatten and roll up. 

Small items should fit into your bags. This includes your cooking kit, solar kit, personal hygiene products, and clothes. 

Durable

You ride a motorcycle, so you’re already familiar with the harsh conditions that you experience while riding. Your camping gear needs to be durable enough to withstand sun, wind, rain, and road grit. Durable stitching and fabrics mean you can rinse your gear off, let it dry, pack it up, and be off and rolling again. 

Look for things like ripstop or ballistic nylon. This fabric is used in the military and is highly durable. Double-row stitching provides strength to the seams. UV coatings protect from the sun’s damaging rays. Waterproof coatings can prevent your gear from becoming soaked through, which can encourage rotting.

Motorcycle with sidecar parked on green grass

Tips for Buying and Using Motorcycle Camping Gear

When buying motorcycle camping gear, it’s best to start by talking to those who’ve gone camping on a bike. They can help you decide what’s necessary and what’s frivolous. They can also give you input on their experiences with particular brands and equipment. 

It’s smart to give your gear a test run before you commit to going on a trip with it. This will help you find any defects before you’re out on the road. This will make any necessary replacement much easier. 

Inspect the connections and seams of your equipment. This is where equipment is most likely to fail. Anything that looks loose or weak is a sign that you shouldn’t buy or use that gear. 

  • Buy gear for the climate you’ll be camping in.
  • Look for versatile equipment that can serve multiple purposes. 
  • Buy well-made, high-quality gear that will last through multiple trips. 

Best Motorcycle Camping Gear FAQ:

While it’s important to buy the right gear, you need to take this one step further. Asking a few more questions will ensure that you pack your gear in a safe manner. Knowing how to pack your gear can mean the difference between being able to bring it all and it not fitting. It can also make your ride a comfortable one. 

Q: How do I pack my camping gear on my motorcycle?

You want everything to be balanced left to right and front to back so that the weight doesn’t throw you off balance in the turns. 

Q: Why does the weight of my gear matter?

Heavy gear will add to the overall weight of your motorcycle. It can make it hard to handle and reduce your fuel efficiency. 

Q: Can I buy camping gear not specifically meant for motorcycles?

Yes, you can. Backpacking camping gear will work great. This gear is designed to be carried, so it’s lightweight, durable, and perfect for this purpose. 

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for motorcycle camping gear is the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 3-Person Tent. It’s lightweight and packable, so it’s a good option for a motorcycle, which doesn’t have a lot of storage space. The tent is easy to set up and features a two-sided entry, which makes it convenient to use overall.

Sources:

  1. Motorcycle Touring – Wikipedia

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