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Old 11-18-06, 02:18 AM   #1
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Bike tent (with vestibule for bike)

I'm wondering if such an animal exists -- a lightweight tent made for touring with a special, dedicated "room" to put the bike out of the elements as well as a room for oneself. I've heard of it, but not sure if it was a custom thing, or if its commercially available.
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Old 11-18-06, 02:36 AM   #2
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Don't know about lightweight, but there are lots of tents that have a vestibule big enough to get a bike in. MSR Velo for example.
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Old 11-18-06, 02:50 AM   #3
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Your probably thinking about the Topeak tent. Search this forum and their site.
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Old 11-18-06, 03:03 AM   #4
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Yes, there are tents like that available, but I don't think they are lightweight, and I can't direct you to any right now.

I do often wonder what would attract someone to invest in a more expensive tent that weights more and is more complicated to erect, just so their bicycle is out of the elements at night. You also have to maneouvre around the stored bike if you want to get into and out of a tent at night, and in the dark, that can be interesting. For me, a tent is for human occupation. The bike is quite capable of looking after itself, and it doesn't mind riding through rainstorms during the day... so at night why should it be too concerned?

If it remains an issue, take along a light plastic or silnylon sheet big enough to drape over the important bits and tie off (sewing tie-tapes on to the sheet help). Usually, all I do if rain is threatening is pop a shower cap on the Brooks saddle, which is the most vulnerable part. I might consider something over the stem (quill) and computer (or remove that anyway). If it's security that's of concern, then you should have at least a lightweight cable lock, or if worse comes to worst, use a short length of cord to tie the rear wheel of the bike to a corner of the tent. Laying the bike down behind the tent is another base-level security measure.

The only real attraction for a "velo tent" for me would be the added storage room and fiddle-space that the annex would provide directly outside the tent opening... and it might be useful for stretching out in bad weather. I'm not so sure, however, the added weight and erection complications would be worth it.
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Old 11-18-06, 05:43 AM   #5
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We loved our MSR Velo on our tour down the west coast this past summer. You can see more phots and learn more here.

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Old 11-18-06, 10:17 AM   #6
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floorless silnylon pyramid tents. Lightweight, yes. what you are thinking of, probably not.

This Golite tent canopy weighs 1 pound, 12 ounces. The pole is another 3/4 of a pound, which you can leave it behind if you use a stick, a short adaptor off the bike, or hang it. It fits a bike, a person and gear. Black Diamond makes their venerated Megamid out of silnylon now as well- the Black Diamond Megalite.

there are also some large canoe tripper tents made out of silnylon that would foot the bill....I've seen them in other bikeforum threads about tents. If you want the lightest weight traditional tent with a large vestibule, look at some of the HILLEBERG tents with the extra hooped vestibule....very lightweight and top of the price scale for compact tents.
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Last edited by Bekologist; 11-27-06 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 11-18-06, 12:53 PM   #7
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What worked for me was to just take black trash bags with me and cover the bikes "vitals" at night... this is also great camo for stealth camping...and need i mention cheap.
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Old 11-18-06, 05:36 PM   #8
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I will have to look for the book, but you don't need a "tent" per say if you have a bike and a big sheet of plastic or water proof nylon.

You use the standing bike as the frame for "tent". You have to anchor the bike down solid first, though.

There are at least two ways I have seen for rigging a bicycle tent. One is to have an open side on the opposite (non-tent) side. The other is to have the bike in the middle of the tent where the bike acts as the main pole for the tent. This seemed to make the most sense to me for protecting you from the elements.

I would experiment by getting some visqueen at the garden center (you know - those big sheets of plastic that you put over the garden). You can experiment with sizing and layout with the visqueen. Then, you can either use the visqueen tent, or use it as a patter to buy nylon.

I suppose another material might be those big nylon tarps that are so easily available in so many different colors at hardware stores. In my opinion, though, this material is heavier and bulkier than you really need for most weather protection. When you bike tour, weight and size is critical. I could see the bike tent advantages because you can eliminate carrying tent poles. However, if you aren't careful with the material and the pattern, you could end up carrying more weight and bulk than just using a small pup tent.

I bought an old fashioned two pole nylon pup tent. These maximize useable space and minimize weight and bulk. Free standing tents are nice, but they use a lot of poles and add a lot of weight and bulk that is really not needed for minimalistic bicycle touring.
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Old 11-18-06, 10:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
If you want the lightest weight traditional tent with a large vestibule, look at some of the HILLEBERG tents with the extra hooped vestibule....very lightweight and top of the price scale for compact tents.
http://www.hilleberg.com/Home.htm
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Old 11-19-06, 12:09 AM   #10
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A chunk of Tyvek. If you cozy up to some house framers, they might just give you some. It's light-weight, waterproof, and cheap (or free). Put in a couple snap on eyelets, and away you go... I also like to use it as a mat in my vestibule to keep junk out of the tent and a place to park my shoes.
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Old 11-19-06, 03:05 PM   #11
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I'm with that one guy - my bike is fine riding in the rain so I don't mind leaving it outside at night. I lock it up and put a plastic bag over the seat so I don't have to get a wet bottom in the morning.
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Old 11-19-06, 03:13 PM   #12
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If you wanted to avoid the garbage bag-esque route, you might be able to use a groundsheet or something from a "ka-put" ultralight tent also. I leave my bike out in the rain and use my helmet rain cover on my Brooks.
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Old 11-20-06, 02:05 AM   #13
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Yes, but the OP is not asking about leaving the bike outside at night. He/she is asking about tents with bike garages.
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Old 11-20-06, 02:43 PM   #14
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You use a simple 8x8 tarp to keep your bike out of the elements when you camp using 4 tent stakes. Cost about 5 bucks. Weighs close to nothing.

The 9x9 Walmart tent will easily hold you and your bike inside. 29 bucks. Just make sure you seam seal it.... like you should any other tent.
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Old 11-26-06, 03:57 PM   #15
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Think I'd rather just get a large plastic bag to put over my bike instead of making a tent fit a bike.
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Old 11-26-06, 11:38 PM   #16
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If you must have it, get the lightweight motorcycle cover, waterproof it with one of the spray-on fluids. Some have elastic/strap things to help hold it in place.
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Old 11-28-06, 12:28 PM   #17
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If you do decide to cover your bike separately from your tent, Arkel and Performance both sell bike covers and a Google search for bike covers might yield more. I use a separate cover made of a Tyvek-like material made in Holland that I bought at Performance some time ago.
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Old 12-14-06, 04:41 AM   #18
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I don't know where you're from but if you're from Australia, Ray's Outdoors have this specially made bike touring tent which you and your bike are meant to be able to fit into. Only thing is, I reckon its heavier than it needs to be, about 2.5kgs from memory, so you're probs better off just going for a tent with a bigger vetabule (spelling?!)... Also it has a picture of a bike on the outside.
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Old 12-14-06, 12:55 PM   #19
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Or you can get a folding touring bike and just fold it and stash in the vestibule space of any tent.
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Old 12-14-06, 01:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Flic
I don't know where you're from but if you're from Australia, Ray's Outdoors have this specially made bike touring tent which you and your bike are meant to be able to fit into. Only thing is, I reckon its heavier than it needs to be, about 2.5kgs from memory, so you're probs better off just going for a tent with a bigger vetabule (spelling?!)... Also it has a picture of a bike on the outside.
Any chance you could find a link of this?
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Old 12-14-06, 04:26 PM   #21
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Any chance you could find a link of this?
mmm its not on their website www.raysoutdoors.com.au so it might not be online anywhere... I will keep having a look though. Honestly I couldn't see the difference between it and a small tent with a large vestibule (appart from the picture of the bike)... just mentioned it since the OP was asking... :-)
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Old 12-14-06, 04:32 PM   #22
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I found it on this page of their catelogue... http://www.raysoutdoors.com.au/sales/12_xmas.html ... it is on the lefthand side of the page in the green section, its called "Bike and Hike" but unfortunately none of its specs are there. Sorry.
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Old 12-14-06, 09:30 PM   #23
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It may not be what the OP is looking for but one could use this as both a tent and a bike garage.


Mountain Hardwear Kiva...
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Old 12-14-06, 11:29 PM   #24
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Kiva, a floorless pyramid tent like the Golite i posted. very nice, but its not silicone nylon, so relatively heavy and bulky. the silpyramids by Black Diamond or Golite (and others) pack up about the size of a grapefruit when stuffed in a compression sack.
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Old 12-15-06, 06:17 PM   #25
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I agree with Bekologist that the Kiva is not nearly as light as the GoLite and BD silnylon tents but I like the extra weather proofness (if that's a word) of the Kiva. I have been using the Kiva for all kinds of things: out house, cook tent, and shelter for hiking the CA 14ers.

I recently looked at the GoLite tent to replace my Kiva and save a few pounds. I was not imporessed with the ground/tent interface of the GoLite. The Kiva has flaps that can be burried under dirt, rocks, or snow to keep in the heat and keep out the wind and water. The GoLite allows in wind according to reviews I've read on Backpack Gear Review and a few people I've spoken with.

On a recent trip to Mt. Langley we slept four adults in the Kiva and stayed nice and warm. By spreading the weight across four people the Kiva is not that heavy. Now putting it on a bike is another story. My $0.2 on the Kiva versus GoLite Hex.
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