Table of contents
- Equipment for motorcycle camping Big camping extra
- Interim balance
- First choice
- What do suppliers offer?
- Field kitchen
- Sleep outside
- Tents in the test
Equipment for motorcycle camping
Equipment for motorcycle camping
Big camping extra
Storm and rain ?? natural enemies of motorcyclists and campers alike. MOTORRAD wanted to know which outdoor equipment would best withstand the rigors of nature and went out into the wild. An experience report.
France, outside. A secluded meadow, a babbling brook somewhere in the wild and romantic Vosges. It pours like from watering cans, oh what, like from bathtubs, it’s cool. A rooster crows, and Markus scolds like a pipe sparrow: “Worse than back then on a spoiled tour of Italy, when I only noticed in the morning that my wild camping site, randomly selected in total darkness, was firstly near Seveso and secondly right next to the poison dump!” Markus is freezing, he never slept until dawn, his back hurts. The nerves are on edge.
Camping test by MOTORRAD, day two – the task is to test suitable equipment for lonely riders, couple cruisers and groups with their own support vehicle, from cheap to expensive.
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Night one turned into a fiasco for travel editor Markus. Because of two things: The summer sleeping bag, which at first glance seems extremely attractive, rolled up as small as a beer can, fell flat above the specified temperature comfort range of a minimum of 13 degrees. Just like the air mattress, which suffered from consumption during the night. Even potato peels scattered on the floor are probably better insulation, because I feel guilty about it. Finally, I persuaded Markus to go camping and then forced the windy sleeping clothes on him. Both parts cost only around 50 euros together, great, right? Markus now prefers for “no matter what that costs!!!” move to an inn than to go through another night of horror. I myself also stayed in the cloth hut with a touch of a blanket and on a minimalist sleeping mat. However, with the (ahem, secretly secret) difference that my small, fine equipment costs as much as a first-class wellness weekend. I feel refreshed accordingly. Just like Kati and Sebastian, who sleep well crawled outside and have nothing to complain about with their sleeping equipment.
After the acidic rainy night, the sun now shines on three relaxed faces and one that looks like a cleaning rag that was used to wipe the ballroom in the morning (Excuse me, Markus, after the Seveso story that was circulated a long time ago, I thought you were mine Man for the something “more difficult” Test candidates!).
Bedouin life de luxe: you can have a grand breakfast in the spacious interior of the Badawi Long by Vaude.
Unfortunately, what makes the piggy bank happy rarely makes clever camping enthusiasts happy. This is especially true when it comes to sleep. Because you have to rely on a tent, sleeping bag and mat, otherwise longer camping activities in weather-changing areas are strongly discouraged. Simple formula: if a functional part doesn’t work in the wild, every penny is wasted. Conversely, if wafer-thin fabrics made of polyester and nylon, just a few hundred grams of down or micro-hollow synthetic fibers as well as tear- and abrasion-resistant materials enable gentle dreams like in the four walls at home, then they are worth gold. Material and workmanship should therefore be flawless. Expensive tents, for example, are sewn more slowly to protect the synthetic fabric. In the case of down sleeping bags, the quality of the down decides whether it is great or not. Duck or goose? Age, food and climate in which the animal lived? Details that a layman can hardly judge on their own, but which make up a price difference of several hundred euros for articles that look the same at first sight. The buyer must therefore be able to fully trust the (specialist) seller or the manufacturer and his information.
Total comfort: folding table with bottle holder from Polo.
A good sign is when an item has been offered almost unchanged for years, because that means that it has proven itself. So much for the theory for a good night’s sleep outside. Another problem is practically pressing at the moment: hunger! I get fresh baguettes and chocolate croissants from the nearest boulangerie, ruefully put water on the gas stove with a look at Markus and brew a coffee in a matter of minutes in order to morally rebuild my crumpled colleague over breakfast in the open air. One thing is certain: For the next night, Markus will receive a firm booking for his own sleeping cabin in the luxury group tent, a top comfort down sleeping bag and a super warm, cozy sleeping mat. The equipment recommended to him costs around 1000 euros; Anyone who complains about a lack of comfort is actually a hopeless case – and should rather consult the hotel guide. Markus remains skeptical. Just like everyone who suffers from the trauma of a camping event that may have been a long time ago (icy boy scout Easter camp, army, completely soaked tent …). Those who refuse to go outside (is that even possible as a motorcyclist?), However, miss a lot, because modern, well-chosen equipment turns the outdoor trip into a dream vacation (first row to the beach, secluded lake, unique mountain panorama). Adventure freaks, desert traversers or Carpathian crossers have known for a long time: Less luxury is often more travel. Markus as a travel professional knows that too, his curses about the botched night have long since faded away, the bad mood is drowned in the fragrant coffee, and in the dewy morning air under a blue sky, your soul can relax again. Time to exchange first impressions of the test camping equipment in addition to planning the day tour over winding mountain stretches.
One-man show: The high-quality Northface Spectrum 23 offers little space, but can be set up in five minutes and withstands hours of rain.
Kati thinks so “Quick Erect” great (no, it is neither a new product from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer nor an item from the adult mail order business, but a tent from motorcycle outfitter Louis): “It can never go fast enough for me. I am and probably never will be a real camping fan, but I would love this tent when it comes to a motorcycle meeting.” In addition, everyone agrees that the three meter high, new Louis giant tent “North Cape Tipi” would also be the first choice for such an occasion. Because of the open space without individual sleeping areas, however, primarily as a hanging area and lounge area after the travel party. Simply ingenious: Due to the simple construction with only one central pole, the group hostel is set up within a few minutes and at least held tight in the heavily rainy MOTORCYCLE camping test.
Always with you: The Travelchair Trail from Relags for 11.95 euros keeps your bottom warm on wet and cold floors.
The high-end version of this type of tent, which is absolutely recommended for small motorcycle groups, comes from the Norwegian outdoor specialist Bergans. The Lavvo has been around for several years and, according to the manufacturer, is a real hit in Scandinavia. With 3000 mm / cm2 water column (Louis: 1500 mm / cm2) significantly more rain-resistant, with 5.5 kg surprisingly light and in comparison the better tent, from around 450 euros but also three times as expensive as the Louis Tipi. As a joint acquisition for a motorcycle get-together with eight people who fit into the tent, the question of costs is put into perspective. And it can be packed so small that it can easily fit in the luggage of a normal touring bike. With more elaborate tent constructions like the Badawi Long from Vaude, however, like the ancient Romans, the poles and tarpaulins for the camp have to be divided among several travelers, otherwise the duffel bag-sized forty-pounder will blow up the luggage allocation for a motorcycle. However, if an escort vehicle chauffeurs all the camping equipment directly to the destination (biker festival, brand and club meetings, etc.), such mammoth tents are also recommended for motorcycle camping.
In any case, the Vaude-Badawi quickly finds its fans. Space for six to eight adults, separate, opulent bedrooms, a practical organization system for kitchen and bathroom items, a floor space that is almost the same as a small holiday home. During assembly and dismantling (about 30 minutes) Kati just watched and got into the comfort armchair with a very lazy excuse “Banana luxury” with a footrest from the supplier Polo: “I have to test the different seating options now, okay?” It’s just funny that the spartan mini folding stool is still in the corner in its original packaging in the evening … In general, it’s the many little things that make camping really pleasant. As already mentioned, no equipment offers the comfort of a star hotel, but sitting comfortably in the middle of nature under a starry sky, with a headlamp while the forest rushes and the screech owl calls out a long tome instead of cranked TV shows, these are unforgettable experiences. An inflatable travel pillow, a small folding table, compact cookware – things that make life outside easier.
What do suppliers offer?
There is no shortage of products in the camping equipment range. MOTORRAD tested them for their true outdoor qualities.
Louis and Polo are the only motorcycle outfitters that can serve with a full range of outdoor products. Camping accessories have become an integral part of them in recent years. But also specialized outdoor companies such as Carinthia, Salewa or Marmot recognize motorcyclists’ desire for camping and recommend certain products for motorcycle tours. With the exception of the situation of a group tour already described here, light and compact items are ideal for motorcycle holidays due to the limited storage space on the machine, similar to those for trekking and cycling trips. However, motorcyclists need additional space in the tent for helmets, boots and station wagons, possibly also for bulky suitcases. Even minimalists should therefore not plan too tightly and should rather set off with space for another virtual person. The choice of the tent type is left to personal taste (see also tent recommendations): Tunnels usually offer more space with the same pack size and weight, domes and other structures with crossed arches are more stable in direct comparison and sometimes do not even need pegs be relaxed. When it comes to poles, high-quality, flexible aluminum is better than fiberglass poles that are at risk of breaking. If in doubt, it is better to seek advice from a specialist shop than to symbolically acquire a pig in a poke – even if cheap internet offers tempt you to do so. But before you take any money in hand, you should first make a needs assessment for yourself. No question for camping tester Sebastian: “For me, motorcycling is purism, which is why I don’t put any suitcases on the machine. All I need is a packing roll plus tank bag with tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, then maybe an Esbit stove and extra underpants.” But Sebastian thinks the mini grill in the magic wand format is so good that he would also pack it up. And the folding seat. The fluffy, waterproof picnic blanket also hardly takes up any space.
Markus and I, on the other hand, have nothing against spacious suitcases, top cases and panniers. Then at least large, comfortable lying mats and comfort sleeping bags (tip: blanket sleeping bags) fit in your luggage. And seating that allows you to sit halfway humanly at a height of just under 1.90 meters instead of just hanging around on the floor. The solid folding stool “Walkstool” (from Relags) with a seat height of 65 centimeters is just what you need. The nestable coffee maker including an insulated drinking cup also increases the quality of your holiday. And when buddies are on tour, a compact LED lantern that provides light for the skat round must be with them. For some, these are necessary equipment, for others just nice gimmicks or curious birthday gifts, which are in constant demand from providers such as Louis, Polo or the specialist Relags – also because the useful utensils are usually manageable in price and encourage spontaneous access. Cheap tents, sleeping bags and mats do that too, but here, as mentioned at the beginning, you should carefully weigh up whether the money is not saved in the wrong place. On the other hand, equipment intended for Himalayan expeditions – in total as expensive as a good used machine – for motorcycle camping is a straight overdose. When going on tour with a two-wheeler, no one needs extremely expensive sleeping bags that keep you warm at minus 30 degrees, not even for the elephant meeting in deeply snow-covered Bavaria. In the Vosges, the sun has kissed the ground and invites you to enjoy a vin rouge aperitif at the blue hour. Markus ’plans to move to the hotel are finally fizzling out, while local Merguez sausages sizzle on the wood fire grill. We’re out all day, all night Back to nature – that’s what makes camping so special. And Markus has a new travel story: “Waking dream in the Vosges” instead of “Poison camping in Seveso”.
Bergans, phone 040/325964450, www.bergans.de
Carinthia, phone 06400/958622, www.carinthia-bags.com
Exped, phone 0041/44/4971010, www.exped.com
Jack Wolfskin, phone 06126/9540, www.jack-wolfskin.com
Louis, phone 040/73419360, www.louis.de
Marmot, phone 09153/920590, www.marmot.de
Polo, phone 0211/979696, www.polo-motorrad.de
Primus, phone 02208/914761, www.primus.se
Nordisk, phone 04106/76770, www.nordisk-company.com
Northface, phone 089/23707190, www.thenorthface.com/eu
Robens, phone 0045/70228500, www.robens.de
Relags, phone 08065/90390, www.relags.de
Salewa, phone 089/909930, www.salewa.de
Trangia, phone 04105/68130, www.scandic.de
Vaude, phone 07542/53060, www.vaude.de
Motorcyclists like it hot. A powerful, easy-to-stow stove can therefore really score points on a camping tour.
Choosing the right outdoor kitchen is difficult because the range of utensils is almost endless. There are many different sizes, heating outputs and types of firing to choose from for the stoves alone. Motorcyclists often sympathize with gasoline stoves. The obvious thought: You only have to worry about the fuel when the moped is running on reserve, otherwise you draw from the tank. However, this can be a problem with injection machines without an easily accessible petrol tap. In addition, gasoline stoves like the Coleman are comparatively maintenance-intensive because they burn with a lot of soot. They can therefore hardly be used in the tent in bad weather. Purified special gasoline is better, but it is only available in specialist shops, while petroleum is available in almost every drugstore.
Denatured alcohol as well, and with simple spirit stoves such as the very compact and light Trangia set (including two matching pots and a pan), which has proven itself thousands of times over, spaghetti with sauce and fried bacon can be prepared well in the wild. Because of the poor heat output of the burner, however, it takes until the food is warm. Better for cravings: the retrofittable gas cooker insert. Or the cleverly made gas cooking set ETA Packlite from Primus? a tip for motorcyclists. As compact as a small lunch box, but with 2000 watts of heating power, small dishes can be conjured up in minutes. Minimalists take the 3000 watt Easyfuel, which weighs less than 400 grams, but is expensive and can be hidden in a side pocket of the tank bag. Group travelers without a weight limit prefer the double gas cooker (plus gas bottle), which weighs more than five kilograms, with a combined grill from Campingaz for an opulent outdoor menu. The following applies to dishes: it should be break-proof. Then: bon appetite!
Increased comfort through box shape: blanket sleeping bags.
Comfortable blanket in the smallest of spaces, tempting! But then a rude awakening in the night, as MOTORRAD camping tester Markus found out firsthand. At a harmless 16 degrees, Louis couldn’t sleep in the windy North Cape summer sleeping bag. And the extremely cheap super deal from Polo did not turn out to be a great deal at these temperatures. If you want to pack small but still dream pleasantly, you should spend a little more money on a sleeping bag in the shape of a mummy. Polo’s Super Lite summer sleeping bag is also good at least for early summer night temperatures (ten to 15 degrees). The superbly crafted Carinthia Airpack 300, which weighs only 600 grams and is stuffed with the finest goose down, is just as small in its pack size (16 x 26 cm), but is almost a three-season all-rounder. At almost 200 euros it costs as much as a night in a luxury hotel, but it is a good investment for minimalists who want to save every ounce of space in their luggage.
It’s all in the mat: For example Exped Synmat 7 DLX Pump, 119.90 euros. Combined air-insulation mat with synthetic fiber filling. Top comfort and great thermal output.
Acceptable in price and pack size (120 euros, 30 x 25 cm), the Vaude Kiowa Basic is recommended for motorcycle camping. Its comfort range ends at plus three degrees. As a synthetic fiber sleeping bag, it is very easy to care for and is also suitable for cold wetlands, because unlike down clumped together, high-quality polyester fibers bulge sufficiently even in high humidity. For around 70 euros more, there is the somewhat bulky (24 x 46 cm), well-equipped all-rounder Northface Snowshoe, which keeps you comfortably warm even in freezing temperatures. Not only a tip for winter get-togethers, but also for women motorcyclists, who are usually much more sensitive to the cold (smaller body volume = lower intrinsic heat). The more compact, similarly expensive and 1a processed Marmot Sawtooth is also recommended with perfectly air-conditioned goose down for sleeping outside on bitterly cold nights.
Tents in the test
Group tents (from left): Bergans Lavvo M, Vaude Badawi Long and Louis Nordkap Tipi.
Bergans Lavvo M
449.90 euros, pack size 70 x 20 cm, 4.5 kg. 2.80 meters high, 13 square meters of floor space. It’s unbelievable how small the very high-quality, albeit expensive, teepee can be packed up. Foolproof: the structure with a light, extremely robust central plug-in rod. The tent reliably withstood heavy rain and wind in the test. Floor and mosque door cost extra.
Vaude Badawi long
700 euros, pack size 70 x 35 cm, 16.5 kg. The luxury villa in the camping test. Too heavy for motorcycle transport, but first class as a permanent base camp. Separate sleeping compartments ensure privacy, the central ?? atrium ?? with standing height serves as a rainproof room for cooking and chatting. Table, chairs and even a motorcycle fit in.
Louis North Cape Tipi
149.95 euros, pack size 85 x 30 cm, 11.5 kg. In storms and rain at the North Cape, the tent made of cheap materials (unlike the Bergans) is probably overwhelmed. It cut a fine figure in the Vosges. And for the biker festival, the tent is a real revelation. The price doesn’t break the regulars’ cash desk, therefore a purchase tip!
Tents for two (from left): Polo tent 6, Robens Green Hawk and Exped Venus III DLX Plus.
Polo tent 6
39.95 euros, pack size 64 x 20 cm, 2 kg. Simple to set up, there is space in the awning for a helmet and clothes, and two people don’t have to squeeze. The fiberglass poles and the plastic floor look cheap though? this is not forever. However, if you don’t have any major camping ambitions, then the affordable Polo bestseller is the right choice.
Robens Green Hawk
299.95 euros, pack size 49 x 18 cm, 3.3 kg. Great, perfectly processed tunnel tent. Stands like a one even in stormy gusts and does not let rain inside. Thanks to the pleasantly small pack size, it even fits in the tank bag. Two people can stand it well in this cloth hut even on longer journeys. The price is okay.
Exped Venus III DLX Plus
569.90 euros, pack size 60 x 26 cm, 5.3 kg. Not exactly cheap, but the cleverly designed gable tunnel is still recommended as a buying tip because it is anything but cheap. The reliable and extremely spacious Venus is a tip for two motorcycle travelers aiming for a bad weather area.
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