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ADV PreppingQuick Tips: Buying Quality Motorcycle Camping Gear on the Cheap

Quick Tips: Buying Quality Motorcycle Camping Gear on the Cheap

Getting gear on the cheap doesn’t mean you have to settle for cheap gear.

Published on 07.24.2018

Motorcycle camping expands on the freedom that two-wheeled travel offers and opens up a world of experiences worth having. The problem that most newcomers to this type of travel and veterans alike experience is sticker shock from the price of lightweight and compact camping equipment best suited for this activity.
Thankfully with some savvy shopping and the following tips, it is possible to get outfitted without breaking the bank.

Don’t Believe The Hype About New Gear

Last year’s gear was the best thing available… until this year. Companies spend copious amounts of money each year hyping the latest and greatest in an effort to convince consumers that they need to ditch their year old equipment. This is great for the used gear market. Flagship items like tents, sleeping bags and pads aren’t typically redesigned each year but are still usually marched out in new colors or with slight design variations and portrayed as “new and improved.” This often results in discounting of the previous year’s models that are nearly identical.

Motorcycle Camping Gear bargains Adventure Motorcycle


We suggest looking for products that are at least a year old or midway through their lifecycle. End-of-season sales, early-season sales and the like should be keenly on your radar if you are in the market for new gear. Try not to buy camping gear in the spring or summer, wait until the dead of winter when most outdoor brands and stores are fixated on winter sports. Selection in stores might be scarce but online you will have no problem finding last year’s holdovers at bargain pricing.

Don’t Be Afraid to Buy Used

Sidewalk sales, gear swaps, Craigslist and second-hand gear stores are great options for lightly used and severely discounted items. Ironically events like blem sales and warehouse blowouts might involve sidewalk camping to get good deals on equipment. These are great options for getting lightly used, visually imperfect or leftover stock at a fraction of the MSRP.

Brick and Mortar Used Gear Options:

Ascent Outdoors Seattle, WA
Next Adventure Portland, OR
MER Colorado Springs, CO
Old Goat Gear Exchange Ithaca, NY

Motorcycle Camping Gear bargains Adventure Motorcycle

Act Fast!

Deeply discounted items rarely last long online or in store, be ready to pull the trigger if you find a piece you have been looking for.

Play The Long Game

Putting together the perfect camping kit overnight is a pipe dream; don’t think of it as a quick process if you are committed to technical equipment on a budget. Make compromises and collect nice pieces in the order that your needs dictate.

Paying Full Price

If you do resort to paying full price make sure you are getting something in return. Sometimes spending MSRP for gear is unavoidable if you are leaving on a trip or are unable to find a piece out of season. If you do run into this situation make sure you are benefitting in some form with a member dividend, airline miles, store cash or coupon for another item.

Here are some of our top picks for lightweight, compact motorcycle camping gear bargains:


Sleeping Bags

Sleeping Pads

Klymit Static V2 Sleeping PadKlymit Static V2 Sleeping Pad
$52.00 (20% Off MSRP)

Camp Stoves


Photos: Chad Berger & Spencer Hill

Author: Spencer Hill

“The Gear Dude” has been fueling his motorcycle addiction with adventure since first swinging his leg over a bike in 2010. Whether he’s exploring his own backyard in the Pacific Northwest or crisscrossing the United States, Spencer is always in search of scenic off-road routes, epic camping locations and the best gear possible. He began writing shortly after taking up two-wheel travel to share his experiences and offer insight with his extensive backpacking, camping and overland background.

Author: Spencer Hill

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July 24, 2018 10:58 am

I’ve always had a huge issue paying MSRP for stuff like this. It’s so freakin’ overpriced. Same goes for motorcycle gear. Like the article says, shop carefully and smartly. Craigslist, the various bike and camping forums, year-end closeouts, eBay, Amazon, etc. All great places to get deals. REI is another place too… twice a year, they offer a members-only 20% off one regular-priced item coupon, so use it wisely. That’s how I got my tent and sleeping bag. I have the Klymit pad shown above, and got it from Amazon just like the link in the story.. great pad that is more comfy than my old Thermorest and is smaller too.

The Tusk panniers in the photo at the top — great boxes for a very low price. Just be forewarned that they are not particularly tough, so if you go down, they WILL dent. I dented the heck out of mine to the point that a floor jack and a piece of wood (and a hammer) is what it took to return it to an approximation of its original shape. But they still work! If those are too big, the little Givi E21’s are more durable than they have any business being, especially for the price.

Mark P06
Mark P06
July 27, 2018 8:03 am

I suggest letting coworkers and friends know you are looking for quality camping gear also. There must be millions of dollars in unused tents, sleeping gear and cooking equipment sitting in spare rooms, closets and garages whose owners would love to get rid of.

Jake Murray
Jake Murray
July 27, 2018 10:11 am

I have had excellent luck using Alps products on my motorcycle trips; I’m rather impressed with the price:value. To me, the products are on nearly on par with REI branded gear.

Quick Tips: Buying Quality Motorcycle Camping Gear on the Cheap
July 29, 2018 6:21 pm

[…] Quick Tips: Buying Quality Motorcycle Camping Gear on the Cheap […]


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