There are so many different uses for bicycle trailers: Transporting equipment, taking your kids with you, taking your pets with you, for sleeping in… Yes, you heard correctly! Although still relatively new, bicycle trailers you can sleep in are beginning to show up here and there. In this article we’ll look specifically at what’s available for UK bike riders to sleep in on the go, and rate them out of 10.
So for anyone who’s looking to spend a few nights camping without hopping in the car, read on.
The Bikamper is essentially a tent that you mount onto the end of your bike. It’s made of water-resistant material and has mesh panel windows, and when it needs to be put away it packs into a special sack that straps to your handlebars. In order to set it up, you have to release your front tire, tuck it into the end of the Bikamper to weigh it down, then strap the rest of it over the bike and handlebars.
The Bikamper seems to be well suited to mountain camping and forests, and since it comes so tightly packed you don’t need to worry about it breaking or falling over when riding over bumpy terrain.
Great for bike holidays where you’re planning on camping out in the woods.
+ Good for mountain bikers and outdoor campers
+ Folds up to small size
+ Protects you from the elements
+ Sturdy in rainstorms
– Somewhat fiddly to set up
– Doesn’t keep you off the ground
– Not very spacious – just about holds one average sized adult
– Limited choice of sleeping bag/mattress you can fit in it
– Colour/design not to everyone’s taste
Our rating: 8/10
Final conclusion: Not too expensive, and does its job well by keeping things simple.
Wide Path Camper
Cost: €4000 (approx. £3500)
Buy at: https://www.widepathcamper.eu
This fiberglass camper is made by a Danish inventor named Mads Johansen. It can be pulled behind a bicycle with relative ease, although at 40kg it can be a struggle for uphill journeys if you’re not incredibly fit or using an e-mountain bike (making this perfect for e-mountain bikes in particular!). Inside it there are two seats and a table that can be converted into a double bed large enough for two adults and one child to sleep in. You can also order some extras such as a solar power cell in order to charge your phone, tinted windows, and a more comfortable mattress than the standard.
Currently, in order to get hold of one you have to order from their website, upon which they’ll make it and ship it to the UK in 1-2 weeks. The price is nothing to sneeze at either, but considering that each one is made to order from fiberglass, the price tag is to be expected. It’s still relatively new (it was first released in 2017) so with time it may be stocked in UK stores and not require international shipping.
+ Top quality
+ Seats fold into a bed, allowing multi-purpose use
+ Super easy to set up and go, no need for dismantling or erecting a tent
+ Keeps you out of the rain and off the ground
– Can only be ordered from Denmark
– Bit heavy
Our rating: 4/10
Final conclusion: The cost is simply too high for all but the richest bikers.
Cost: €40 for DIY blueprints (approx. £35)
Buy at: http://woodenwidget.com
You can’t actually buy the Foldavan pre-made, but if you have a bit of DIY know-how you can buy the plans for this folding bicycle trailer and make it yourself. According to Wooden Widget’s website, the plans are highly detailed and can be followed by even amateur builders.
This cosy little trailer is suspended off the ground and, if you follow the recommendations and use waterproof PVC cloth to build your Foldavan, it keeps you dry from the elements. It folds vertically rather than folding down for transportation and you can also take the wheels off and transport it on a car roof rack. It has a load capacity of 75kgs and weighs 30kgs. Since you build it yourself, you can choose what kind of materials to make it out of, and it can be made (according to Wooden Widget) for “next to nothing” out of secondhand parts. It does take a lot of dedication, however, as it takes about 50 hours to build.
+ Very cheap depending on materials used
+ Customisable according to your tastes
+ Keeps you out of the rain and off the ground
+ Easy to set up and use once built
– Requires you to build it yourself!
– No seats, only a bed
– Could tip over on bumpy terrain so probably not suited for mountain biking
Our rating: 6/10
Final conclusion: Looks great – if you can stomach the 50 hour work to put into it.
Our Recommendation is… The Bikamper!
Although choices are still limited, it seems the Bikamper is the best option available for UK customers. There were a couple options that we stumbled upon but aren’t yet available in the UK, for example, the Midget Bushtrekka by Kamp-Rite, which could be worth keeping an eye on. One thing’s for sure, though: This can only mean more interesting bike trailers out there in the future!
If you’re looking for a trail to bring your new trailer tent on, check out our article on planning your e-bike mountain biking holiday. Don’t forget your other accessories for your trip, too – read up on 20 essential mountain bike accessories here.