Culture, Motorbikes

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Camping is generally considered a cheap option when it comes to planning a holiday but tents range in price considerably. The old adage of you get what you pay for tends to hold true, but there are good cheap tents on offer that are quite serviceable if you’re not planning an excursion to extreme climates.

For motorcyclists a two-person tent is the most common choice. The main consideration is packed size and weight. Will it fit on your back or in your panniers or top box and will it throw your bike off balance? The guys at Bikesure, the freethinking motorcycle insurance broker, have had plenty of camping experience over the years – and made their fair share of bloomers when it comes to buying a tent – so they’ve picked out their six top choices.

  • At the budget end of the market Tesco does a range of tents with a compact two-man tent for under £10. It’s pretty basic and only suitable for the summer. Some say it should only be used as a playhouse but if money’s tight, then this is for you.
  • The tent recommended in most forums is the Coleman Phact x 2. It can be picked up for about £120 at camping outlets such as OutDoor GB. It clocks in with a pack size of 53cm x 19cm, weighs 4.10kg and has a useful porch area for storage. If you’re wondering what it’s like take look at Simply Hike’s video.
  • The Vango Zeal is another good tent. It’s a cheaper option at around £80 but still has a porch and built-in ground sheet. But it’s slightly heavier at 4.40kg and has a longer pack size of 58 cm x 18cm.
  • Gelert is a well-made brand and the Mongoose 2 does have the advantage of a door at each side, so you can just roll out of the tent. It’s light, with a weight of 2.9kg, and the pack size is smaller than some (50cm x 17cm) but the tent itself is pretty tiny, with no storage space. Surplus and Outdoors carries this tent for only £45.
  • If you want something a bit more substantial then go for the Vaude Taurus 1, coming in at about £145 at Life for the Outdoors. This is a neat, compact tent, easy to pitch, with a porch and you can just about sit up at the front of it. Pack size is pretty standard at 53cm x 19cm and weighing in a 2.5kg it is a good lightweightoption.
  • Money to spend? Then check out the Laser Space 2 from Terra Nova. At £590 this really is the Rolls Royce of two-person tents. It’s got 1.76m of headroom, two doors and a generous porch. With a pack size comparable to the others at 55cm x 20cm and a weight of just over 3kg it is a prime example of just what you get when you pay more.
  • Whatever you decide on don’t forget to pitch it at home before you set off and always take some spare, good quality tent pegs with you – they have a habit of bending when the ground is hard.