Topeak's Bikamper Bike Tent


This bike tent tip landed on our desk and my first thought was "Hey, another product to help promote cycling!" But then as time approached to write the post I was less sure. It does however offer an opportunity to discuss green design on a broader canvas. At initial glance the Bikamper looks like an innovative idea (if it wasn't for the fact Early Winters offered something almost identical 20 years ago). Use the bike as the poles or frame of the tent. Saves the material in making the tent poles. But this only works if the bike is attached. Want to ride off to see a sunset from the clifftop, or into the village for some bagette and fromage? Then what? And can you get multiple use from the tent for normal trail hiking or beach camping with friends? Mmm, not unless it comes with its own poles, which would sort of cancel the reason for its concept. While the design is decidedly funky and slick, it is not 'ecodesign'. A smart niche product, but with limited application. A tent with inadvertently greener credentials might be something like ...... the Black Diamond Mega Light. It's less weighty than the Bikamper, yet sleeps up to 4 persons (or 2, plus bikes inside!), and can also be used in the snow. Whereas the Bikamper is a solo shelter, recommended for 3 season use. There is no denying that the Bikamper is eyecatching, which is possibly why it won a Red Dot design award, but green products need to be more than just groovy. It is hard to beat a simple, versatile, multi-talented product, that offers not just value-for-money, but value-for-resources-used, as we have discussed before with this little classic. Tip was from ::Yanko Design (who we note do have the Eva Solo, of which we were complimentary.)