We’re seeing a little bit of a surge in bikepacking kit innovation just recently, although the branding and positioning is perhaps a little still off… Bikamper, really!?
Also, we’re not sure if this falls more into the bivvy category than the tent category, but perhaps that’s not so important as much as the use of it… In practice, any bivvy that has the ability to keep the material from lying against your face during the night is a good bivvy in our estimation. Just how many poles, pegs, and guy lines make it a tent is unknown, but as this product from Topeak uses your actual bike to pitch, it adds yet another layer of naming convention confusion. Sigh.
So, a single person tent/bivi, called the Bikamper, that uses your bike itself as an integrated structural component. If you’re wondering what this does to the size of the packed product, then wonder no more:
Crazy small, all things considered. Of course, you still need to add a sleeping bag and mat, but for a longer adventure you may prioritise a little bit of nighttime space and comfort for the bulk/weight tradeoff. Weighing a claimed 1.48kg (3.26lb) and attaching to your handlebars in the manner of a bar bag, it’s quite unobtrusive overall. Two side windows, and one end window give ventilation, security, and light, whilst the use of your bike to hold it up also offers a level of security too. If someone wants to steal your bike in the night, you’re probably going to know about it… With your front wheel at one end, and the rest of your bike at the other (it uses the saddle to hold it up), with side entry and a small covered area for cooking or kit storage, it’s quite high on the convenience scale too.
In the UK it should retail for around the £165 mark (available now), and maybe that’s what lets it down compared to a typical bivvy. The Alpkit Hunka (an excellent product) retails for £47, for instance. Still, if you’re after an additional layer of comfort, and don’t mind the cost, it looks like a really well thought out design.