Shelters » Topeak Bikamper

Bikamper is a personal shelter that utilizes a 26” mountain or 700c road front wheel in place of tent poles.

The main body is constructed of water-resistant urethane coated 45D ripstop nylon and features three mesh panels for ventilation and stargazing on pleasant nights. The fly is constructed of fully waterproofed 70D ripstop nylon for additional protection should the weather turn foul. Both tent and fly pack down to a small, space saving size.

Bikamper™ packs down to a compact size and has it’s own special stuff sack that straps to the handlebars.

Capacity: 1 Person
Weight (Tent only): 1.35 kgs / 2.98 lbs
Total Weight: 1.63 kgs /3.59 lbs
Season: 3 Season
Packed Size: (L X H) 26 x 14 cm / 10.2” x 5.5”
Floor Space: 200 x 90 cm/200 x 70 cm
Floor Area: 1.6 m2
Doors: 1 (Right side)
Windows: 3 (two side, one end)

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Comments (9)

MattNovember 13th, 2009 at 7:28 pm

I have used one of these on a couple of bikepacking trips, but not in any serious weather as of yet.

-Easy to set up
-Roomy for a one person tent
-Attaches to handlebars easily
-Works with both 26″ Mountain or 700c Road wheels
-No poles
-Looks really cool

-Relatively heavy for a one person tent
-Won’t work with 29er, cross, or snowbike wheels
-Can’t leave tent set up at camp and go for a ride at the same time

I wouldn’t have bought this tent if I hadn’t gotten a great deal on it. It’s a nifty design, but there are so many better options out there. It is however a great conversation starter. I’ll continue to use it for light duty tours where I want a full tent (buggy, rainy, etc.).

kruzApril 21st, 2011 at 7:06 am

It does look cool but it looks flimsy like it would fall in wind

MaxAugust 14th, 2011 at 8:28 am

Methinks the bike is prone to fall over.

JohnApril 1st, 2013 at 6:03 am

what if someone takes you’re the bike, while you are sleeping?

LeeSeptember 14th, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Oh Internet. *sigh*

Why must people feel compelled to comment on something they have never seen in real life, let alone actually USED for any period of time. Not just here, on this site, but internet in general.

I have taken this tent on my ride across Canada / US and used it as my primary shelter for the entire trip. After so much use I have learned the subtle nuances of this tent, so please excuse any verbosity that follows. Here’s what I learned from using this tent:

Setup is quick and easy, only after you have done it a couple times. Proper setup is key to achieving good performance.

There is a tendency, if not setup correctly, for sag in the fly towards the wheel end. In the rain, this will allow water to collect and pool on the roof, roughly above your kneecaps if you were inside it. The solution is to make sure your fork pegs are set further away from the tent footprint. This stretches the fly tight and allows it to keep a round profile.

Material, seams, and zipper are surprisingly waterproof. Even the corners nearest the bike, where the fly lifts up and away, is extremely waterproof. In torrential rains and wind, this gets exposed and wet, but does not allow rain into the tent. Just make sure your zipper flaps are in order. (flattened and aligned properly).

One problem with the tent is it is actually too airtight. Even with the full-length vents open, if you have the fly on it does not get enough ventilation. Most mornings I would wake up with a wet tent (inside) due to condensation from breathing. The best solution was I would NOT use the fly, and setup a tarp above (if needed) for rain shelter. This allowed proper ventilation and eliminated interior condensation. Added benefit is a larger shelter area (allowing you to store gear outside, and keep your entire bike dry), and better ability to adjust to conditions (eg. drop the windward side for more protection).

This is a very stable tent, not prone to falling over as commented above. The guy wires that anchor the handlebars to the ground do a great job of keeping the bike upright. Ground conditions are a large factor … but even setting up in sandy loose soil it is still reasonably solid. If you were pitching it on sand and in a windstorm, you would probably want to tie off to trees or use large rocks for added security.

I have used lots of other tents/hammocks for various bike trips. The advantages of this tent are:
– it is setup on the ground. Hammocks are great for a couple days, but ground is great for passing out – especially when you are a stomach sleeper like myself (this is personal preference of course).
– It is self supporting. No need for trees or tie-offs. This is an important consideration depending on where you are traveling.

– Can’t ride without taking down the tent. Sometimes this is a pain, but most often not (depending on the type of travel you are doing).
– low/no headroom.
– I kind of wish it wasn’t bright yellow. Would prefer something that blends / camouflages a little better. But I think that’s more personal.

Would be happy to answer any other questions.

BernhardOctober 9th, 2013 at 12:17 am

I recently got a used Mehler biketent which is set up by putting the bike inside. I hav not used it for a longer trip yet – as soon as I did I will report.
Advantage is: it’s green and bigger than the bikamper.
Con: you sleep beside your dirty bike…

DanielMarch 4th, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Hi Lee,

I’m thinking of biking from Miami to Santa Fe and then from there to Annapolis from June till August. Since you have so much experience, I’d like to ask a few questions.

Would you recommend the Topeak bikamper for that? What bike works best with it and that journey? How would you set up a tarp? Couldn’t you use the rain cover and leave the fly open? A reviewer on Amazon uses camo netting. Do you think this would work?

I’d appreciate if you could answer these questions, as this is a pretty big decision to make!


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